Amina’s eyes flew open and she was awake, startled. Her heartbeat drummed out all sound, and for a few seconds, she couldn’t breathe. She was terrified. She had no idea why. Focus eluded her as stared into the darkness. Then she heard a sound louder than her heart, piercing the silence. “Wake up sleepy head! Wake up sleepy head” She stretched an arm, grabbed her cell phone and tossed it with all her strength. There was a sickening crunch and the sound died down, but she could still hear the loud vibrations. At least it wasn’t broken.
Amina shut her eyes and steadied her breathing. Her sleep was gone. The alarm was annoying, but effective. She reached for her bedside radio and switched it on. “Oh what a beautiful morning, it sang. She groaned and flipped to another station. “I want to get away, I want to flyyyyyy away!” Me too, she sighed She spread her arms, searching for an abandoned pillow. If only she could go back to sleep…
“Monday mornings are the worst, aren’t they?”
Amina froze. Something in her blocked. Slowly, she sat up and reached for her lamp. Her fingers hesitated, afraid, then she pressed the switch. It took a second for her eyes to adjust to the light, and a few more to adjust to the sight. He was just over six feet, dark skin, broad shoulders, muscled chest, strong legs. He stood in a towel, droplets sliding down his gorgeous body, eyes intently fixed on her. And she had no idea who he was.
Amina had a million questions in her mind, but none of them would form. She opened her mouth, shut it, tried again, stopped herself. Then she noticed that his eyes had shifted from her face, and she followed his gaze. The sheet had slipped, exposing her skin. She grabbed it and covered herself. Not sure why. The stranger laughed, a loud, hearty laugh that made her want to join him.
“A bit late to be shy isn’t it?” he teased, a twinkle in his eye. He started to fiddle with the towel at his waist, and Amina blushed, looking away. Finally, she gathered her courage.
“Who are you?”
The man didn’t answer, and Amina looked up. He was quiet, and his eyes looked almost…hurt. He stared at her for a long moment, then sighed dramatically.
“You could at least pretend to remember my name. Call me sweetie or gorgeous – it’s what I would do.”
Amina took a deep breath, feeling overwhelmed, and just a little irritated.
“Who are you, and what are you doing in my room?”
He grinned. “What do half naked men usually do in your room?” he asked.
Amina resisted the urge to throw something at him. This was wrong. It didn’t add up. Here she was in her bedroom with a gorgeous naked man – half naked – and yet she wasn’t scared. She had no idea who he was, but he was quite comfortable…so he must know her – but then how could he, she had never seen him in her life.
The man just watched her as these thoughts whirled through her mind. He had the oddest smile on his lips, and the most delicious look in his eyes. But who the hell was he, and what was he doing in her room?
Amina’s thoughts were interrupted by a loud swing as the door flew open.
“Kim ! Thank God you’re still here! I thought you had…ooooh hi Mina”
Amina stared at her best friend, Stacy. Stacy was fully dressed, and her make-up was in place. She was, clearly, a morning person. She also never missed a beat.
“I see you’ve met. Good. We’ll just get out of your way now,” she said, grabbing Kim’s arm and pulling him out of the room. Kim, for his part, was reluctant.
“Stacy – what the hell-”
“I’ll explain later. Promise. I’ll call you.” And with that they were both gone.
Amina sat at the table sipping her tea. The paper lay in front of her, and her eyes stared absently at the TV. Stacy sat next to her, picking at her muesli. Amina hated muesli. She kept a pack specifically for Stacy. Stacy had a habit of showing up unannounced, and leaving the same way. After years of being woken in the middle of the night to open the door to the ever gorgeous Stacy and some random date, Amina had given her a spare key.
“ I met him at the club last night. Isn’t he beautiful?”
Amina mumbled a response.
“We didn’t do anything though. He was too tired. He fell right asleep. I’ve never known a guy to do that.”
“Maybe he blacked out.”
“That’s just it, he didn’t touch a drink all night. He just sat there being gorgeous and brooding over his meal. If he wasn’t such an Adonis I’d never have brought him home.”
“Shame” Amina mumbled.
“I don’t think I’m going to keep him…”
“No…too serious. He’s more your type. I like them blonde and beautiful not dark and creepy. He looks like the type who’d spend hours on a chess game.”
Amina’s heart rate rose slightly, but she kept her eyes on the screen.
“Then why’d you bring him here?”
“Thought I might get lucky. They say those dark types are VERY talented.”
“He asked for your number.”
Amina tried to control her voice. “He did?!”
Stacy’s laugh was only half mocking. “And here I thought you weren’t a morning person.”
“You noticed him didn’t you, and you were half asleep.”
“Stacy, you could be half dead and you’d notice that boy. A stone straight man would notice that boy.”
“He is beautiful, isn’t he.” Stacy sighed. “Well, you can have him. I refuse to waste my time. He makes me feel blonde.”
“Stacy, you ARE blonde.”
“Exactly. I don’t need a man to rub it in!!”