Thursday, January 7, 2010

Murphy and Me XIV

I think this was the most warm and comfortable that I've been in a long time.

And I wasn't even in my own bed.

And there's something warm and breathing snuggled against me.

I opened my eyes. Sunlight peeked in through underneath the window shade. From the sound of it, Devan was back and pulling nails from the ceiling, and had been for a while. I was starting to think that the lump at the small of my back was Smokey.

Which meant the soft hair under my chin belonged to Murphy.

My arm was between his neck and the pillow we shared, my other one over the one he had wrapped around my waist to lay on his back. He moved and I froze.

"Olivia?" he croaked in the vicinity of my neck.

I rubbed his left shoulder blade. "It's me." I grinned into his hair. "I take it you didn't die in the night."

He snorted. "Yeah, that's always a good thing."

There was an odd buzzing sound that I knew from experience was a phone on vibrate next to the mattress. Murphy winced and tried to stuff his neck further into my jugular. Apparently his head hadn't let up.

"Will you get that?" he mumbled.

I reached over him and fumbled for his phone, disconnecting it from the charger with one hand. I settled back again. And flipped it open.

"You have a new message," I said, and opened it after his grunt of agreement. "From Liam."

u alive?

I read it to him. He shook his head.

"Nope," he said. "I'm awake though."

Which was most definitely not the same as being alive. So I sent back something along those lines and called it good. It was then that I realized that the noise of the chainsaw had been sputtering on the other side of the room. It was quite amusing because he snored like my father used to, before dad got his breathing mask. It also reminded me of the old house.

"Head still hurt?" I was not aware that the hand that rested on his back moved up to start carding through his hair. Not aware until I started doing it.

"It did," he muttered. "Now, not so much."

I smiled. Devan gave a truly remarkable snort that sounded like he was dying painfully.

"Dear God, is that Dev?" Murph groaned.

This time I chuckled. "Yeah, and you wonder why I live alone."

"Not really," he said.

The phone buzzed again. I flipped it open. "He's coming over at three. And he'll bring food."

Murph shuddered. "Not really hungry."

I didn't say anything. Instead, I slid carefully down so that we were sharing the pillow nose to nose. I also pulled Smokey out and settled him between Murph's chest and mine. I bit my lip. This was as intimate as I had ever been with someone, and though I had last night's rumpled clothes on, I might as well have been naked as the day I was born.

"Murphy," I said. He cracked open his hazel eyes. "Why didn't you tell me you had a brother? A twin."

He didn't try to hide from me. Didn't try to say anything to deflect my question. There was no excuse, nothing he was trying to dodge.

"Because I didn't want to pressure you," he said. "I didn't want to make you nervous."

He was sincere, like always.

"I have a sister," I said bluntly. "She's thirteen years older than me and has a husband and a kid."

Murph smiled. "Liam's older by four minutes. Or so he says. I don't know - and Ma won't tell."

I chuckled. "You'll just have to guess then. Fight it out."

There was a grunt from across the room, followed by a sickly, "Murphy?"

"Oh, God, the beast has woken," Murph mumbled to me. "Yeah, Dev?"

"Did - Did you get Ollie home last night?"

Murph bristled, most likely at the insinuation that he couldn't take care of his girl...friend. Was that what I was? Seriously?

He poked me, his eyes gesturing to his roommate.

"He did good," I said.

"Oh, well, that's - " Dev paused, and then said, "You've been here all night?"

"Yup," Murph and I said together.

Devan laughed and then choked. "Oh, please tell me you', jeez..."

Murphy's eyebrows crawled up his forehead. "Our clothes are still on."

There was a thump, a curse, and an unintelligable sound. I slipped Murphy's phone under the pillow and pulled up the comforter. Despite what I'd like to think of myself and my coping skills, I could not handle this at the moment. I was still tired, and hadn't had my coffee, and my boy...friend's roommate had just thought that we had probably done all sorts of...things.

Yeah, I was goin' back to bed.

Murph scooted closer and draped an arm over my waist. "Sounds like a plan," he murmured. "Delivery at three by Chef Liam."

"I can handle that."

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"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz