Pavi was just pulling into Jalen’s driveway when her phone rang.
“It’s 12:23 babe thought you might have fallen asleep by now…” Pavi said.
“I wanted to wait up for you, just in case you needed to talk, how far away are you?”
“Closer than you know.”
“Ah, I heard you shut the car door. I’ll be here to greet you at the door.”
Pavi walked up to the front door and Jalen opened it wide welcoming her back in. He enveloped her in one of his great bear hugs.
“You’re freezing,” Jalen said.
“It’s freezing out there.”
“What were you outside that whole time?”
“No, not quite anyway…thank you for waiting up for me.”
“I’m finding it harder and harder to sleep without you.”
“Come here let me warm those lips.” Vance caressed her burning cheeks.
“Too tired for a kiss?”
“It was just a long conversation with an old friend trying to get them to sort some stuff out…”
“Yeah? How’d that go?”
“Not sure any progress was made but I did do my part and it’s left me exhausted.”
“I understand. Do you need anything? I can make you some tea.”
“You’re good to me.”
“And good for you?”
Pavi giggled “Yes. And good for me. Now if it’s not to much trouble can I go to bed please.”
“You to bed. Me to the couch.”
“Or the floor in the bedroom” Pavi said innocently.
“Nah, I need the cushion.”
Pavi laughed “Okay,”
Pavi walked into Jalen’s bedroom and closed the door behind her. She went to his drawer and pulled out one of his t-shirts and threw it on the bed. As Pavi de-robed Vance’s words echoed in her head. A knock on the bedroom door brought Pavi back from thoughts of Vance to realizing that she was in Jalen’s bedroom.
“Are you dressed in there lady?”
“Yes sir I am. You may enter.”
Jalen came in through the door.
“Might I say that you look ravishing standing there in my white tee.”
“Well I suppose you may after all you’ve already said it haven’t you?”
“Ah. Nothing gets past you.” Jalen winked at Pavi as he came closer to her. He stood right in front of her. Pavi felt dizzy from his scent it was intoxicating and she really had been exhausted from her encounter with Vance. Pavi couldn’t stand being that close to Jalen without him kissing her it was unsettling he was in her personal space and tonight she needed her space. Pavi took a sharp breath.
“Sir, is there something I can help you with?”
“I’m in need of a bedtime kiss my lady.”
Pavi planted a dry kiss on Jalen and backed away.
“Is that all I get tonight?”
“I’m afraid so my good sir. It’s late. Wouldn’t want to get carried away now would we?”
Jalen responded with only a muffled sound.
“Jalen let me ask you something…”
“Does this bother you?”
“This arrangement we have. Me sleeping over here so often and forcing you out of your own bed.”
“No, it’s fine with me.”
“Oh? Is…there something about this arrangement bothering you?”
“I’ve just been thinking that I don’t sleep at my house as much as I’d like to…”
“I thought you liked being here with me.”
“I do…it’s just that…”
“Wait…why are you saying oh boy? You don’t even know what I’m trying to say…”
“I’m sorry go ahead I shouldn’t have cut you off.”
“I like being here with you Jalen. But I don’t want to feel like we’re shacking. Get me?”
Jalen let out a sigh of relief.
“Wait, what was that sigh for?”
“I thought you were going to tell me that you needed your space- you know that we should take a break or something…”
“Why would you think that?”
“You know when a woman gets together with another woman friend who are having man problems that stuff can catch on and all of a sudden they start believing that they’re unhappy in their current relationship. I figured your girl talk tonight may have made you sour…”
Pavi scoffed “Figured?”
“I mean correct me if I’m wrong.”
“I care about you Jalen and I don’t want you to think I need more space or anything extremely girlie like that I just want Jesus to be pleased with our relationship y’know?”
“Of course sweetie. I don’t want you to compromise your integrity. That’s why I don’t mind sleeping on the couch.”
“Yeah…but what about shunning the very appearance of evil and not letting your good be evil spoken of…we may be setting ourselves up for disaster here.”
“Listen to me. We’re not having sex. We don’t even sleep in the bed together at night. There’s no evil here to be worried about…okay?”
Pavi smiled weakly “I’ll see you in the morning”. She walked into the bathroom and closed the door.
Jalen walked back out into the living room and closed the door. He thought nothing of the conversation he had with Pavi.
That night Pavi dreamed of Vance and had anyone been in the room with her they would have heard her whisper Vince’s name in her sleep.