The knock at the door made Aiden jump. It seemed like he had barely closed his eyes. But when he looked toward the blackout curtains, a shard of light was breaking through. The knock came again.
“No thank you!” he yelled. Did the housekeeper not see the Do No Disturb hanger on the door?
“Um. Hello?” Aiden sat straight in bed. It was the voice from the machine last night. No. This time it really was Sam.
“Hold on!” he yelled and pulled himself to stand. “Just give me a minute. It’ll just be a second.” His brain was fogged and slow.
He reached for the khaki shorts neatly folded over the back of the desk chair and then shook his head. The mirrored closet door opened easily, hit the wall and rebounded slightly. He knew he’d be hot in the jeans he grabbed from his suitcase but he didn’t care. He popped a shirt off its hanger and when he closed the closet door, his reflection surprised him.
In the low light, he looked older, more angry. He looked like his father.
The shirt wasn’t even over his head before he reached for the chain on the door.
“Sorry,” Sam said looking him over nervously. “I didn’t mean to wake you up.”
Aiden looked at the bedside table. The clock read 9:14.
“It’s fine,” he said. “I was up a little late. Um.” He looked around. “Do you want to come in?”
Sam shrank slightly. “Yeah. I guess.”
He held the door for her and she hesitated as she stepped into the dark room.
“Hold on,” he said. Pinning the door open with the chair, he walked to the curtains. When he opened them, the day was thick with sunshine. The heat of it hit him in the face and burned his eyes.
When Aiden turned back to the door, he almost gasped. She was beautiful, standing there in the light. Her skin was the color of soap; her hair wavy and fluid like desert sandstone. Continue reading