We cheated. We didn't walk all the way back to my room to get the keys, just as far as Medbury to get the Honda from Liam. Then drove to Jackson, go my spare keys, drove back to Wegman's, drove back to Medbury, and then back to Jackson, and wound up eating our cookies on the battered couch in the lounge across from the third floor fishbowl. Murph had his feet stretched out onto a chair and I was suckered against his furnace-like warmth.
"Your brother didn't have to laugh quite so hard," I mumbled around a half-eaten ladybug.
"He did have a point."
Liam had nearly fallen over when I'd told him I'd locked the keys in the car. And then insinuated I was more focused on other things.
Not my fault Wegman's cookies and Murph are so damn distracting. Drool-inducing on their own and together? Positively mind-blowing.
"Have you done that before?" he asked. "Locked your keys in the car?"
The ladybug was down to half a wing. "Yup. In my driveway after coming home from work one night."
Murph kissed the top of my head. "You are one of a kind, Ol."
I put the ladybug out of its misery and turned, snuggling into Murph's side. It hit me: This was the same couch that we'd snuggled on during that night in pre-season. Seemed like years ago, now, though it was only a month and a half at the most.
And then I realized I'd had Murph for a month. Which meant that I had three more months of Murph-induced happiness left. Most - if not all - of my previous relationships had been over by the four month mark. That was my track record. That was always how the story ended. This, in all reality, wouldn't be any different.
Except incredibly more painful when it was gone.
Best not to think about that at the moment, as it's not conducive to the whole living in the here and now concept.
At this moment? I'm golden. Also helps that I'm warm, which is always a plus.
"You feelin' better?" he asked, idly running his fingertips across the back of my hand.
"Much, Murph." I settled further into his side. "Thank you."
His other hand reached around to hold my free one. "For what?"
Did he want the short list or the long? "For stickin' with me even though I've been an asshat most of the day." Which was the truth of it. Murph hadn't left me when others would have, even when I hit my nastiest.
He shrugged. "We all have days like that. I'm not gonna leave you because you have crappy days."
Give it time, Murph. Give it time.
If I wasn't careful, I was going to fall asleep on this couch with this boy. Then again, been there, done that.
Much as I like spending time with Mac and his whirlpool, I'd just as soon spend the rest of my Saturday afternoon sitting on my bed with my computer and a bag of ice. The ethernet plug was a safety hazard, but I wasn't expecting anyone. Not to mention trying to connect to the wireless network while on the fourth floor was entirely hit or miss. Usually more miss than hit.
Like any college student worth their tuition, I was Facebooking as much as working on one of my acting papers.
Who the hell has papers in an acting class, anyway?
The traditional Facebook knock sounded. I navigated through my open tabs.
Murphy McRiley: hey :)
Olivia Karizslowski: hiya sunshine
Murphy McRiley: r u tapdancin in the hallway?
Olivia Karizslowski: little early to be blitzed, dontcha think?
Murphy McRiley: funny. :) so thats not u?
Olivia Karizslowski: nope. besides, i can't dance.
Murphy McRiley: yes u can. ive seen u :)
And I've seen you dance, too, Murph. Light on your feet, yes. Rhythmic? Absolutely not.
Olivia Karizslowski: but i can't tap.
Murphy McRiley: oh
Murphy McRiley: dev can
I did a double take at that one. Dev could tap dance? No way.
Olivia Karizslowski: i call bullshit.
Murphy McRiley: ask him
Fine. Couple of clicks later I had another chat window open.
Olivia Karizslowski: dev
Devan Michael Starrett: lies. whatever he's telling you, it's lies. he's laughing his ass off at his computer.
Olivia Karizslowski: he told me you could tapdance.
Devan Michael Starrett: tell him you once took dance as a kid and this is what happens.
Devan Michael Starrett: how partial are you to your boyfriend?
Olivia Karizslowski: pretty partial.
Murphy McRiley: what did u tell him to make him throw his nalgene at me?
Olivia Karizslowski: nothin. :)
I got a bit more of my paper typed and the next time I checked my page there was one new notification.
Murphy McRiley has changed his relationship status from single to being in a relationship with you. Confirm. Deny.
There was a very curious feeling in my belly. Almost like the urge to puke from nerves but not quite. I clicked the only logical button and then stared at my profile page. We'd been official since that day at the pub, though this was different. Different in a way that I could feel but not exactly explain.
Maybe it was because I'd never changed it to say I was in a relationship with Bobby.
Best leave that where it was, meaning firmly in my not-so-younger days.
There were two more pops.
William McRiley: FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!
And, of course
Alexandra Meyer-Roberts: bout freakin time
Olivia Karizslowski: Thanks Sasha. thanks so much.
Managed another page and a half before I was interrupted again.
William McRiley: betcha twenty minutes before your webmail explodes
Olivia Karizslowski: fifteen tops.
I had a full inbox page of notifications concerning my new status in eight minutes. Guinness record, anyone? Maybe not.
Facebook needed a new sound.
Murphy McRiley: talk of the town aren't we?
Olivia Karizslowski: there's worse to talk about.
Murphy McRiley: such an optimist, chroi
He'd called me something in Gaelic. Much as I wanted to Google it, I'd let him tell me when he was ready. Not to mention I wanted to hear it first. From Murphy with the accent he got when he dabbled in Gaelic.
Only took me forty-five more minutes to finish my paper, say goodbye to those I was chatting with, and arrange my computer on my desk again. The ice bag had all but bit the dust and I trucked out to the hall garbage for that.
I should do some reading. S-T Britain, at least, so I could actually pluck up enough courage to speak in Kessinette's lecture on Monday. Though, from the way he'd started to sound, we might have a sort of sick day.
For Kessinette, not me, since I had three classes on Monday. I didn't really get a sick day.
Eh, I could read while I watched Newsies. Not like I hadn't done it before.
I set the movie up, grabbed my phone and my tie blanket and curled up in my moon chair. A Saturday night to myself. I enjoyed going out with Murph, but also really liked spending time on my own doing my own thing. Accepting a dinner invite from the girls - though I was flirting with ordering take-out from Main Moon - and then watching a movie or something. Those were the kinds of nights where I stayed in my comfort zone and mellowed out.
Jack and David were more or less debating the finer points of unionizing when I heard the scuffling.
"She's in there, trust me."
That was Liam. And if Liam was creepin' around my door then Murph and Dev couldn't be far behind. Colby, too.
No idea where that came from but it fit. The feeling of content in my chest meant it fit. Which was, in a way, so much scarier than any physics test.
"Yeah, Dev?" I hunkered in my chair after pausing my movie. Nothing. "You guys can come in." The place was clean; all embarrassing undergarments were properly stowed out of sight, as were the other female unmentionables.
He opened the door and there they were. My boys. Clustered in the doorway, not one of them the same. Even the twins were different. Broad shouldered, varying height (Colby could almost cleanly look over Dev's shoulder while Murph and Liam could look in his ears); Colby's red-blond hair with green eyes like mine; Dev's duck-brown mop of curls and almost matching eyes. And my twins. Roughly the same height (though Murph had Liam by a scant inch), same rich brown hair, and not a whole lot of styling from either of them, truthfully.
Didn't matter. They were still my boys.
"We're going to Parker's, wanna come with?"
I rolled my head back against the chair. "That means I gotta put nice clothes on." My biggest problem was that I didn't want to move. Not to mention this felt like a guys' night out type of thing. "What are you doing after?"
There were almost four synchronized shrugs.
"Probably going back somewhere and watching a movie." Liam stepped all the way in, taking a look around.
"You guys don't have to stand in the doorway." They didn't. I knew them all and it wasn't a big deal to have them in this space. The door thumped shut and there were now four fairly abnormally-sized men in my corner single. I should have felt claustrophobic. Instead, it was comfortable and familiar.
Murph sat on my bed, toes skimming the floor. "We could always come back here for the movie. If that's alright with everyone?"
They looked at me. "It's fine. Some of the girls might come over, so that okay with you guys?"
Four heads nodded.
"Have you eaten yet?" Colby asked, leaning against my desk.
"Chinese take-out." I hadn't had it in a while and, to be honest, was not feelin' the whole walk to the dining hall. "And Newsies."
"Love that movie," Liam mumbled. "But if we want to beat the rush, we should go."
I have a thumbs up up, hand the only body part outside the blanket, and then waved. Murph made a detour to lean in close. He was going to say something, as he didn't immediately kiss me.
"Will you get me an egg roll?"
"Yeah." I gave him my best anime eyes. "Sweet potato fries?"
He grinned before kissing my nose. "We'll be back."
"I'll be here."
I fumbled for the remote and pressed play again. Chinese, sweet potato fries, movies, and the boys, specifically Murph. Should be absolutely awesome.