the room.

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lynette led me down the long, dark and winding hallway that separated the boys' rooms. while d.j.'s room was light and airy; charlie's room was dark, covered in red and green velvets and surprisingly, held a library and study room. what most people didn't know about charlie was that he was incredibly smart when he wasn't being completely perverted, and loved his library almost as much as he loved himself.

as we stopped in front of the door, lynette looked me up and down. she sighed, defeated, when she looked at my feet.

"seriously?" she asked.

i'd ditched my heels in d.j.'s room, telling him i would burn them later, so i stood in front of the room of doom in my bare feet.

i shrugged and turned for the door. peter, charlie's assistant smiled evilly as he held the door open. "have fuuun," he said in a singsongy voice.

from the second i was fully in the room, peter slammed the door behind me and locked it. i gulped and sat on charlie's huge bed. my eyes widened as i realized how comfortable it was. minutes went by and charlie was nowhere to be seen as i sat there waiting.

then suddenly, the door that led to his bathroom came flying open.

he stood, spread out in the doorway. his right arm leaning above his head on the door frame, holding a glass of whiskey, while his left hip was popped out. he wore his plush green-and-navy plaid robe, which hung wide open to expose his light blue boxers with tiny, embroidered cherries on them.

"well, well, well," he said with a smirk, "look who we have here."

i scoffed as i looked him up and down, "well, don't you look... relaxed."

he marched toward the bed. "quite the opposite," he said as he stood over me, "i'm quite tense. think you could help me out?" he made a gesture towards his boxers. his voice was smooth, but joking as he smirked.

i rolled my eyes anyway. "you're so disgusting."

charlie took a final sip of his whiskey and sat the glass down before he slid into the bed next to me, pushing back one of the loose strands of hair from my face. "aw, come on, it's just business, baby," he smiled devilishly.

my stomach lurched. was i actually nervous about what was going to happen?  i could feel charlie's minty, hot breath on my neck, and i thought back to all of those girls who had been up here before me. the looks on their faces after they left, could that really happen to me? what would it do to my friendship with d.j.?

charlie stared at me, waiting for a bantering response. when no retaliation came, his face and eyes softened. "are you okay?" he asked. "you look exhausted."

i sighed. "i am exhausted." i snapped. "i've been up for almost eighteen hours, wearing this death trap," i said motioning to my corset, "they didn't feed us anything except for a veggie tray and finger sandwiches at lunch. not exactly the way you want to spend your birthday."

he rubbed my arm. his face showed his shock and surprise at his action, but he quickly hid it. he sighed, "i'm sorry. you're right, it's not the way you want to spend your birthday." he paused. "look, i've got pizza downstairs waiting on me. i can run down and grab it, snatch a bottle of whatever you want --wine, bourbon, vodka -- whatever, and we can just hang out, or just sleep. sound good?"

normally, i would think this was a ploy to get me into bed, but since i was already in his bed, and legally had to sleep with him, i sighed and nodded. d.j. had left for his hunting trip already, so there was no point and seeing if he wanted to join.

charlie rolled off the bed and grabbed his glass from beside it. "uh, you can take a shower while i get the stuff. towels are in the warmer under the sink. there's washcloths in the basket for you to wipe all of that crap off of your face, and then just grab a t-shirt or whatever from my closet." i nodded as he walked around to the side of the bed that i was on. "oh, and nora?" he said quietly before kissing me on the cheek. "happy birthday."

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