Sidney lay there in bed just staring at Misty, who was asleep on his chest. He’d been awake for a while, but he’d been afraid to move. If he moved he might wake her up, and then she’d probably move off of him and he wasn’t ready for that. He wanted to stay here like this, holding her, as long as possible.
Instead he watched her eyelids flutter every now and then, her chest rise and fall with her breathing, and the corner of her mouth twitch on occasion. Her hair fell over her shoulder, cascading down to the bed, and if he wasn’t pinned down the way he was, he’d be running his hand through it. He could still smell coconuts in it.
Sidney thought about last night, about seeing her outside the rink. Once he’d gotten over the shock at seeing her and having her run away from him, which he still didn’t understand, he’d realized that he hadn’t been that happy in a long time. Seeing her had stirred something up in him he wasn’t sure he’d ever felt.
Misty had driven 9 hours just to surprise him for a night or two with plans to turn right around and drive 9 hours back. Her time on the road was almost as long as she’d planned on seeing him for. No one had ever done that for him before. He’d never forget it.
His heart had surged at the first smile she’d given him, when she’d decided to come out with him. It was strange, because he already knew he was in love with her, but this feeling now, this was different. It was more intense. It was like he suddenly realized a part of him had been missing for the past few months.
He wished that he had the balls to tell her. It just wasn’t that easy. He’d never, not once, ever felt like he loved someone before. No matter how much he loved her, it just wasn’t easy to come out and say it. There was always that fear of rejection, that he’d misread something and she didn’t even feel remotely the same. There was the fear that if he told her and she didn’t feel the same way he’d be crushed. There was the fear that it would ruin their relationship and he’d never see her again.
Even so, he’d felt something shift in their relationship last night. He couldn’t explain it, couldn’t pinpoint a moment when it happened, but he knew it did. Things were different between them now. They were no longer just friends. They weren’t together, they’d never even indicated to each other that they wanted anything more than friendship, but he felt it. He just wasn’t sure what exactly that was, and what it meant for them.
He heard a tiny whimper escape from Misty’s lips and she shifted slightly. He watched as her eyes slowly opened. She took a moment before turning her head so that those beautiful blue eyes of hers connected with his. He felt himself smile at her and watched as her lips turned up into one of her own.
“Morning,” he said.
“How long have you been awake?” she asked.
“Not long,” he lied. She narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously, obviously not believing him. She could usually see through his bullshit.
“You could have woken me up, you know,” she chastised.
“I just didn’t want to bother you,” he told her, only telling half of the truth. She sighed and rolled her eyes before pushing herself off of him and glancing at the clock on the nightstand.
“Boy am I not looking forward to doing the walk of shame into the hotel later,” she half laughed. He couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped him.
“I’m sorry about forgetting to bring you back last night,” he apologized, even though he wasn’t sorry at all.
“No biggie,” she assured him as she sat up and stretched out. He suddenly wished he hadn’t given her some clothes to sleep in last night so that she’d be doing that naked instead of in a baggy t-shirt and shorts. “So where are we going for breakfast?”
“Pardon?” he asked.
“Breakfast. Where are we going? I know you, Crosby. There’s no way there’s anything edible here to eat.” He laughed and got out of bed right after she did.
“I know a place.” He watched her collect her clothes from the night before and watched with disappointment as she walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind her, to change.
They hadn’t discussed how long she was going to stay in town for, and he knew he had to bring it up. Vero was right last night, like she usually was. He had to ask Misty to stay longer than just last night, or even just through tomorrow. She’d just gotten here and he wasn’t ready to see her leave yet.
Once they were both dressed he gave her the tour of the house before they left for breakfast. As they sat across from each other in a booth at the tiny diner it was like they hadn’t been apart at all. They talked and laughed throughout breakfast like they’d done all summer long. When the conversation finally hit a lull he decided now was as good a time as any.
“How long can you stay?” he asked. She shrugged and stuffed a bite of a chocolate chip waffle into her mouth.
“As long as you want me,” she replied, dunking a home fry into some ketchup. If that were the case, she’d never be going home.
“You don’t have to get back to work?” he checked. He didn’t want to exactly jump straight at asking her to stay until Christmas, which was a few weeks away.
“It’s closed until after the New Year for renovations. I told you that,” she replied, giving him that look she gave when someone really should know better than to make the comment they just had.
He watched as she stuck her fork into the eggs on his plate, taking a large mouthful. He hated when people ate off of his plate. It was one of his biggest pet peeves. Except when Misty did it. Instead he moved his plate a little closer to her and took a bite of her chocolate chip waffle. She smiled and wrinkled up her nose at him in response.
“You can stay as long as you want, you know,” he said after a minute. She grinned across the table at him.
“Thanks, but I only have enough clothes for a couple of days.” He felt the disappointment hit him like a semi. Then a thought struck him.
“So go buy new clothes,” he suggested. She lifted her eyebrows at him and snorted out a laugh.
“Yeah, I don’t have the money to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe just to stick around here a little longer,” she said with a shake of her head.
“I’ll give you money,” he offered. He watched her let go of her fork, and heard its loud clatter when it hit the plate. Her expression told him exactly what she thought of that idea.
“No. I’m not taking your money for clothes,” she told him firmly. She picked up her orange juice and took a long sip as if the conversation was over.
“Well, I don’t want you to go yet,” he blurted out heatedly before thinking about it. The straw fell out of her mouth and back into the glass. She didn’t say anything for a moment and he wanted to take it back.
“I don’t want to go yet, either,” she whispered, avoiding looking into his eyes.
“Then please just go shopping. I don’t mind. Really,” he practically begged. He wished it was possible for him to sound a little less like an idiot, but at this point he almost didn’t care. He needed her to stay in Pittsburgh as long as she could.
“I guess I could just get a few things.” He felt himself begin to smile.
They spent the next few minutes discussing how this was going to work. He couldn’t exactly head to the mall with her and take her himself, because he’d get mobbed. He said he’d give her his credit card to which she rolled her eyes at him. Did he think if she used a credit card with his name on it that they’d believe she knew him and it was okay for her to use it? Eventually he made a phone call. Finally it was settled. She’d go shopping with Vero tomorrow while they were at practice, and Sidney would pay Flower back for whatever she spent.
“I still don’t like it,” Misty told him as they walked into the lobby of the hotel. He sighed.
“I know. You don’t have to say that every 10 seconds,” he replied.
She glared at him while they waited for the elevator. A couple of people got off the elevator when it arrived and Sidney slunk low, pulling his hat down, hoping they wouldn’t recognize him. They didn’t so much as give him a second glance. He couldn’t even imagine what people would think if they saw him at the hotel with Misty who was still obviously in clothes meant to be worn out on a Saturday night and not to brunch on Sunday.
“I told you to stay in the car,” Misty commented as the elevator doors closed them in.
“I wasn’t going to just circle the block until you were done,” he argued. She shrugged and laughed when he put his head down so the group waiting for the elevator on Misty’s floor wouldn’t see his face.
She threw her stuff back into the bag she’d brought with her from home and they made their way back to the lobby. Sidney went to get the car while Misty checked out. By the time he pulled up in front, she was waiting for him. She threw her bag in the back seat before hopping in beside him.
“I hope it’s not an inconvenience for you to have to move into a different bedroom for a while,” she said as they started to drive away. He furrowed his brow in confusion.
“What do you mean by that?” he asked.
“You told me I could have any bedroom I wanted when I came to visit. I’m taking the master suite,” she announced with a grin on her face.
“Like hell,” he responded with a laugh.
“It’s not polite to go back on your promise to a guest,” she joked. It was good to have Misty back.