Molly stood in the hallway and gazed at the man asleep on her couch. A raging thirst had woken her up and she had come out to use the bathroom and get a fresh glass of water. She couldn’t help smiling at the way he had tucked himself up under the woven blanket. He must have planned on spending the night because she didn’t recognize the blanked to pillow that he was using. There was also a garment bag laid out across the loveseat. Molly pulled out her phone and took a quick picture of him sleeping to send to her sister. Mandy would love it. She shot the photo off to her twin and made her way into the kitchen. Dumping out the old water in her glass, Molly rinsed it and pulled open her refrigerator to get more. She starred at the contents of her frig.
All of the food that she usually kept in there was gone. Mandy had taken everything that even remotely looked like it didn’t belong in a vegetarian’s home. But there were a few new containers that surprised Molly. Setting her glass on the counter with her phone, she picked up one of the plastic boxes and popped the top off. It was filled with spaghetti noodles. She closed it up and found another tub. This one contained a red meat sauce. Looking around, she made sure she was alone before sticking the tip of her finger in the sauce and tasting it. Finding it very nice, she popped the cover back on it and set it back on the self. She picked up a third dish and found that it contained some kind of puddingish stuff. Not wanting to try the unknown substance, she put the lid back on it and got the pitcher of cold water out.
She nearly dropped the water when she shut the door and found Phelix leaning against the wall in the entrance to the kitchen. “Don’t do that.” Molly said grabbing her chest. She drew in a deep breath, trying to calm her racing heart. Turning around to see someone unexpected in her kitchen had given her a nasty fright.
Phelix stepped into the kitchen and took the water jug from her hand. “I’m sorry.” Setting it on the counter, he pulled her into a hug and rubbed her back. “What are you doing out of bed?” He placed a soft kiss on the side of her head.
Molly sighed and leaned into him. “I was thirsty.” She admitted.
Cuddling her against him, Phelix rubbed his cheek into her hair. “You could have called.” He said softly. “I would have brought you something.”
A contented noise rumbled from her chest as she pressed her face into his soft t-shirt. “I didn’t know that you were still here.” She admitted enjoying the way his hands rubbed the muscles of her back. “I thought you would have gone home after I fell asleep.”
Phelix laughed softly. “I didn’t want to leave you alone with as sick as you are.” He raised his hand up to the back of Molly’s neck. “It seems you’re still running a bit of a fever.” Releasing her, he turned to the water jug and Molly’s empty glass. He poured some water into the tumbler and handed it back to her. Put the pitcher back into the refrigerator, he picked the phone up from the counter top. “Let’s get you back to bed.” Phelix placed his hand on her lower back and propelled her out of the kitchen.
Molly’s heart fluttered slightly as they moved through her home. She glanced back at him dressed in his pajama pants and dark t-shirt. “Are you comfortable on the couch?” Molly asked. She knew that the cushions were really nice to sleep on, but that piece of furniture was just a little too short for Phelix.
“It’s a nice couch.” Phelix shrugged, making Molly grin.
She could not believe she was going to offer this, but Molly took a deep breath and looked up at her sister’s boyfriend. “If you like, you could join me.” Molly blushed, embarrassed that she had the courage to make the offer.
Phelix wrapped his arm around her and kissed her hair. “I would love to.” He accepted. “But only to sleep. I have an early day tomorrow and you need your rest to recover.”
Contented, Molly smiled as she got back into bed.
Circling around to the other side, Phelix slipped under the covers. Molly expected him to stay on his side of the bed, but he slid over to the middle. Wrapping his arms around her, he pulled Molly over until she was tucked up against him.
“You’re going to get sick that way.” Molly protested and tried to push away from him.
Phelix shushed her soothingly. “I’m probably going to get sick from this anyway.” He held her fast against him. “A stomach bug can be passed on even before symptoms start to show. That’s how viruses work.”
Molly thought about this as Phelix cuddled around her. Mandy was going to be royally pissed off if Phelix came down with this stomach flu.
“Now go to sleep.”
Nodding once more, Molly relaxed in Phelix’s arms. She loved the way he felt pressed against her. Her sister would forgive her just this once, after all, she was sick. Molly fell asleep to the feel of Phelix’s fingers rubbing soft circles into her skin.
Light filtered in around the curtains waking Molly from her slumber. She felt better, but her head still hurt. Looking around, she found that Phelix was nowhere to be seen. A fresh glass of water and a note sat on the table beside her. Molly picked it up and read the scrawling hand writing. There was something oddly familiar about it, but she couldn’t place it.
“Good morning, Beautiful. I left some breakfast in the fridge for you. There are also some pills on the counter in the kitchen. Please take them. You still had a fever when I left so rest easy today. I’ll speak with your boss to let him know that you won’t be in, so please don’t worry about it. Call me if you need anything.” Phelix had signed the note with three little x marks.
Molly slipped it into the drawer with the note he had left the first time. Usually, she was a light sleeper, but twice now he had gotten up from her bed without waking her. She shook her head and picked her phone up from the table next to the water. She clicked into the first text.
“Are you alive?”
Molly smiled at her sister’s text sent at 6 am. She closed it and looked at the next one.
“Seriously, text me as soon as you wake up.” The time stamp on the second message was 7:30.
Chuckling, Molly closed this one too. She opened the third and final text in her mail box. Her smiled widened when she read the first words.
“Hey Beautiful. It’s lunch time and I couldn’t help thinking about you. It’s lonely here without you. I hope you are getting some good rest. I’ll stop by after work to check on you again.” Phelix had sent this text about ten minutes ago.
“Hey there. Just woke up.” Molly hit the reply button and hoped he would get the text before he had to get back to work. She had just finished sending the same message to her sister when a reply popped back.
“How are you feeling, Beautiful.”
Molly smiled at his reply. “Like something the cat dragged in.”
“LOL. I figured as much. There are meds on the counter. Take them if you have not yet. They will make you sleepy.”
Molly laughed at this. “Trying to knock me out?”
“You need sleep to recover properly. Besides, how else am I supposed to take advantage of you if you’re still awake when I get back.”
Molly gasped as she read Phelix’s words. “Oh, so bad! Did you steal my keys again?”
“: ) How else am I supposed to get in?”
“Knock like normal people.”
“That’s no fun. This way I can come and go as I please. Hmmmm, maybe I should make a copy of this key.”
Molly giggled at this prospect. She didn’t think he would actually go make a copy of her apartment key. Mandy wouldn’t date someone that creepy. “Maybe I should get the locks changed.”
“: ( Would you?”
Molly smiled warmly at the phone. It touched her that Phelix was worried about her rejecting him. “No. I enjoy your company.”
“Good, I enjoy your company too. Hey, I have to get back to work. I’ll see you later, Beautiful.”
Closing her eyes, Molly relaxed back into her bed content. She hadn’t realized how happy hearing from Phelix made her. Lifting her phone up, she looked at the short exchange with Phelix again, and sighed. Her sister was going to be pissed about this. Molly starred up at her ceiling and thought about what she was going to do about her growing feelings. Her attention was pulled away from her problems when her sister responded to her text.
“Hey sis! How you doing?”
Pushing back her worries, Molly punched in a quick reply. “Better. Still have a headache.”
“Not good. BTW loved the picture. He’s so cute.”
“I was surprised to find him on the couch. Thought he would have left.”
“Kind of figured he would stay.”
Molly grinned at her twin’s text. “He really does love you.” It hurt to admit it, but it was obvious that the man was head of heels for her sister.
“I know. He texted me to see how I was doing.”
Molly looked at the message confused. She had just gotten finished texting him about how she was doing. “What did he say?”
“Not much, just to take it easy and get better.”
Molly couldn’t wrap her mind around that. Why was Phelix texting her at two different numbers. It only made her aching head hurt more so she let it go. There had to be a rational explanation, but she couldn’t think of it at the moment. “Going to go find food.” Molly sent in response and wiggled out from under her covers.
“Take it easy. I will stop by after work.”
Molly closed up her phone, picked up her water, and headed to the bathroom. She had a desperate need to get rid of the foul flavor in her mouth before finding food.
With freshly brushed teeth and a washed face, Molly made her way out to the kitchen. True to his word, Phelix had left a dish with three little pills and a note reading ‘take them all’. Smiling, she picked up the pills and chased them down with the water. Her stomach was feeling better so she opened the fridge to see what Phelix had left her.
Molly laughed out loud as she pulled out a bottle of orange sports drink and a covered bowl. The little sticker on them made her feel like Alice. One simply said ‘Eat Me’ while the other said ‘Drink Me’. She set the pair on the counter and took a picture of them to send to her sister. Molly just shook her head at the line of question marks that her sister sent back to her. She knew her sister really wasn’t the bookish type, but Molly was sure that she would have recognized the reference to Lewis Carroll’s most celebrated work. After a quick explanation of the joke, Molly opened up the bowl to find a thick porridge like substance. She wrinkled her nose at the white mass and took a picture of the goop.
“What is this?” She attached the message to the picture and sent it off to Phelix.
“Your boyfriend is trying to poison me.” Molly sent the picture to her sister.
“What is that?” Mandy sent back.
“Wallpaper paste?” Molly replied as she speculated about the contents of the bowl. She stuck her finger in the bowl and found that it was actually quite pleasant. It was starchy with a hint of apples to it. “Tasty wallpaper paste!” Molly sent another message to her sister.
Another ping from her phone pulled her away from her investigation. “I see you found lunch.” The text from Phelix read.
“What is it?” Molly typed to him.
“Rice porridge with apple juice for flavor. You can heat it up if you like.” Molly looked at the bowl and nodded. It would taste better heated up.
“Thanks.” She shot back to him and took the bowl over to the microwave. She zapped it for a minute to take the chill off before taking the food and drink over to the couch to watch some TV.