"Consider it an early Easter present. No, it's not chocolate. Just, whatever you do, don't let your mother see," she said with an impish smile as she handed over the big carry bag. "She'd have a coronary."
Jody desperately wanted to check the contents, but at the same time was scared to — knowing Sammi, anything could be in there. So, instead, she carefully stowed the bag beside the bed, hidden from her mother's gaze by the coverlet and the bedside chest.
"God, I'm bored," she moaned. "And I've still got two weeks of this before they change it to one I can get around in." She glared grimly at the cast encasing her leg from just below the groin to her toes.
Sammi's eyes sparkled. "Hasn't he been home lately then?"
Jody blushed and quickly glanced at the window. "I shouldn't have told you about that, should I?"
"It's all right, sweetie. I promise I won't tell. Besides, you've got to get whatever entertainment you can in these circumstances. I certainly wouldn't pass up the chance to ogle if I had a neighbour worth the effort."
Sammi stood and ostentatiously fiddled with the blinds, making sure Jody's view of the apartment across the alley was clear.
"Sorry, hun, but I've really got to go — got a hot date tonight and I've still got to finish packing. Now, don't you pine away while I'm gone." She grinned and winked as she turned to leave. "I'm sure there's something in there" — she pointed at the concealed bag — "that will relieve the boredom."
With a quick "love you, see you in a week" she was gone.
Jody sighed as she heard the apartment door close. What she wouldn't give to be going on a date — hot, cold or indifferent — rather than lying here staring out the window. Admittedly, the view was sometimes rather good. Now the pain had eased in her leg, she could definitely appreciate it. Her leg may be busted up, but the rest of her 22-year-old body was in perfect working order.
She was lonely, bored, increasingly frustrated and beginning to become a little sorry for herself. How sad was she? All her friends were heading out for beach trips and family get togethers over the holidays. The highlight of her days was watching some anonymous bloke working out in his apartment, and praying he wasn't going away like everyone else.
It was only because she liked to lie in the evening with the curtains open that she knew about him. Her mother had turned out the lights "so no pervert can look in". Oh, dear, if only she knew!
He certainly liked his fitness. Hell, she liked it too — she'd watched him working out often enough in the past few weeks. Watched the muscles clench and relax, beginning to shine with sweat as he pumped iron.
That he liked to undertake his home gym sessions unimpeded by clothing was an extra bonus.
He always checked his windows before stripping off. She wasn't sure if it was to be sure of privacy, or in the hope of an audience. But, as far as she knew, she was the only resident on this side of the building — everyone else had left for the holidays. And she had no intention of letting him know she was there. The images she collected help get her through each boring day, waiting for her mother to come and play nursemaid.
Jody chastised herself: she shouldn't be so damned ungrateful. Mother had been wonderful since the accident, dropping her own interests and activities to be there for her. She'd fed her, washed her, and tried to entertain her everyday. She'd brought gossip and magazines and never complained about missing her own friends.
But she was mother. And there were some things you just didn't share with her. Like gym guy across the way.
Mother would've been horrified. Not at the idea of Jody watching him, but the thought that he could maybe see her — like there was anything to see - and would close the drapes.
Sammi had devoured every detail, had even gotten a bit excited at the idea of a totally naked, well built, sweaty man almost within arm's reach. She'd giggled and preened and never failed to mention him when she dropped in.
And now she'd brought a present, and Jody was sure it had something to do with gym guy. And the warning see just piqued her curiosity more. But she'd have to wait. Mother would arrive anytime now with dinner. She'd sit and chat while Jody ate, fuss about for a bit and then dash out to get home before dark. She hated driving at night.
"I'll be off then, dear. You sure won't need anything till morning?"
"Yes, ma, I'll be fine."
It was the same farewell ritual every evening. Mother leaving, feeling guilty that she didn't stay. Jody staying, feeling guilty that she hadn't agreed to stay at her parents' home, but relieved that mother was going at last, and feeling guilty about that as well.
There was an added level of concern in her mother's voice. It had been rising steadily over the past two days. Jody sighed. She didn't like worrying her, but there was no way she could go with them on the trip to her brother, and there was also no way she was going to stop her mother from holding her first grandchild. Even so, it had taken some pretty fancy talking to convince both her parents that she'd be OK for a week on her own.
"As long as you're sure," Mother hovered at the door.
"I'm sure. You'd better scoot off, or it'll be dark. I'm fine. Promise."
Tonight the guilt at her relief as the door closed was barely a murmur. But still, she waited until she heard the elevator hum before dragging Sammi's bag out of hiding and shaking it out on the bed beside her.
As she recognised the items before her, Jody first gasped, and then collapsed in giggles. No, it certainly wasn't fit for Mother to see! The colours alone would give her a turn — a bright cerise jelly dildo, looking remarkably anatomically correct, if a little large; a purple vibrator with the delightful name of "Petite Flower"; and a cute little blue thingy called a Screaming Octopus, which promised "tingle tentacles to disperse the high speed vibrating sensation from central to tip."
The names along with the florid descriptions on the packaging, combined with an image of her mother's face should she see them, brought on a fresh attack of giggles.
There was also a less lurid box, containing a set of compact binoculars, with a note from Sammi: "So you can get a closer look!", a book of erotic stories "in case all else fails", enough batteries to power everything at least twice and a teddy bear — "check his butt".
So she did. The bear had a hidden zipper along the seam between his ass and his leg. The compartment it opened was big enough to take all the toys and cushioned enough for them to remain secret.
Jody carefully removed each item from its packaging — reading all instructions and outlandish performance claims as she went. Then she put batteries into each item and turned it on, her eyes widening at the crazed bumblebee noises and odd contortions. She laughed outright at the dildo — it had flashing lights!
Trust Sammi to find a way to lighten her mood. She collected all the cardboard and plastic packaging and put it back in the carry bag, which went back on the floor, hidden by the coverlet.
The bear, still empty at this stage, gained pride of place on the pillow beside her and the toys, book and binoculars lay on the bed. She wasn't really in the mood to take any of them seriously, but she picked up the binoculars, to see how well they worked.
The light outside had faded, so there wasn't much to see, but they did pull that window much closer. Not that she'd ever dare use them when he was home, would she?
No, of course not. She shoved the binoculars under the pillow, stuffed the toys into the bear, dumped it on top of the pillow and resolutely turned her back on the window.
There were only so many times you could hobble around an apartment this small before the novelty wore off. And it had definitely worn off.
When her mother had departed that morning, leaving many frozen meals for microwave reheating, a stack of new magazines, a set of crutches with a warning to only get up when she had to and a list of emergency phone numbers, Jody could barely contain her excitement.
Freedom to move at last!