"Have another, Melly?" the bartender asked.
"No thanks, Jack. I'm good," I slurred. I was a bit more drunk than I had anticipated and wondered how I was going to get home.
"Is there anyone you can call for a ride?" he asked.
"It's a nice night, I think I'll walk. Thanks anyway," I said as I slowly got to my feet, trying to keep myself steady.
Just as I stood up and took a few steps away from the bar stool, I lost my balance. I fell right into the arms of Jason, my neighbor who lives across the hall from me. He held me while I got my balance before he spoke.
"Melissa, funny seeing you here."
"How many times do I gotta tell ya not to call me that?"
"Sorry. It always gets your attention, though," he said, smiling. "Can I walk you home?"
"Whatever would your wife say?" I asked sarcastically.
"I'm just walking you home, Mel. She wouldn't say anything," he said as we walked out of the bar up the street from our apartment building.
Morgan, my husband left me six months ago and it hit me pretty hard. I had no idea it was coming. Just one day he got up, went to work and never came home. He never gave me any explanations. I spend most Friday nights here at Quinn's Tavern now, drowning my sorrows wondering exactly what it is that I did to make Morgan leave. He and I were high school sweethearts, I was 16, he was 17 when we met, we'd been together for 25 years.
"How's things going with Patty?" I asked Jason as we got off the elevator.
"They're going. She seems like she's trying to make the effort to make our marriage work. It's difficult though."
"Why's that?" I asked, putting the key into the lock of my door.
"She goes away on these business trips all the time so that doesn't give us many opportunities to spend any time alone together," he said as he followed me into my apartment.
I flopped down onto the couch and flipped on the TV. It was getting close to 11pm so I changed the channel over to the local news. Jason walked to the kitchen to fix me some tea. He knew his way around my apartment pretty well. He and Morgan were good friends so were Patty and I, they spent a lot of time here when Morgan and I were still together.
Jason and Patty helped me through a lot of rough spots after Morgan left. When Patty was away on business, Jason would spend some nights in my apartment, sleeping on the couch. I was so confused about my feelings toward him, I just buried them deep knowing he was married and if I ever acted on my feelings, it would damage his marriage more than it already was.
"You want Earl Grey or Green Tea?" he asked, holding both boxes.
"Earl Grey," I told him. "So where's Patty now?"
"Away on business again. She left a few hours ago," he said, not turning to face me while he filled the teapot with water. "Tea should be ready in a few minutes." He pulled out a chair and the kitchen table and took a seat, waiting for the water to boil.
"Another Friday night alone," I sighed. "Quinn's has become my home away from home on Friday's. They know me pretty well in there." I sat up a bit more and tucked one leg underneath me.
"You've gotta stop doing this to yourself, Mel," Jason said with concern in his voice.
"Stop doing what?" I hissed at him.
"Stop drinking your problems away. Sooner or later it's gonna be every night, not just Friday's."
"If you're gonna lecture me, you can just go home now, Jason. I really don't need --"
"It's not a lecture. You know I'm right. Morgan left you. So what? Move on with your life and stop this self destructive behavior."
"Now you're a psychologist, too?" I said, still slightly slurring my words. "Just go, Jason. I really don't need this shit t'night, okay?"
The tea kettle on the stove started to whistle. "Sorry," he said and got up to pour my tea. "Here's your tea, Mel. Have a good night." He left and closed the door quietly behind him.
Jason was really a good guy, he deserved better than what Patty was putting him through. She ended up pregnant a couple years ago but it turns out the baby wasn't Jason's. She gets to see the baby from time to time, but for the most part, his daddy takes care of him. They started seeing a marriage counselor shortly after that, much to the surprise of just about everyone who knew them. I figured he'd have left her after that, but he claims it was just a mistake on her part and he was willing to forgive her and try to work it out.
Shortly after Patty had the baby, things started getting rocky with Morgan and myself. He'd start working late or going out with the boys, I figured he was having an affair but could never prove it. That's more than likely why he left. He always liked the younger, slimmer blondes and I was far from that these days. My figure isn't what it was in high school.
Morgan's secretary was probably about 21 with long flowing blonde hair, brown eyes, and big boobs. She wore skimpy outfits and always seemed to be shaking her ass around any man who would pay attention. Morgan's probably banged her a few times on the nights he was "working late." I always died my hair a lighter blonde for Morgan, figuring that's what he liked and maybe I could hold on to him a bit longer.
Lately, I've just let it go and it's starting to finally get back to my normal color, a much darker blonde -- almost light brown. I always kept it long for Morgan, too. After he left, I had it cut. It was down to the middle of my back, now it rests just below my collar.
I sat there blankly staring at the TV, completely oblivious to what the newscasters were saying. I kept hearing Jason's voice echo through my head and it got me angry again.
"Who the hell is he to tell me what to do?" I said aloud. I finished my tea, turned off the TV, turned off the lights in my apartment and went to bed.
I woke up the next morning with a splitting headache. I walked to the bathroom, got some aspirin then headed to the kitchen to fix breakfast. I saw something sitting on the kitchen table and as I focused my eyes, I noticed it was Jason's cell phone. He must have left it here last night. I thought again about what he said last night and I felt guilty for getting angry with him. He was just being a concerned friend. I went back into the bedroom, put on a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt, then grabbed Jason's cell phone and headed over to his apartment to return it to him.
I wasn't sure if Jason was awake yet, so I knocked lightly on the door instead of ringing the doorbell. I heard movement inside after the first knock so I waited for Jason to open the door.
"Mel. What's up?" he asked as he opened the door. It looked like he had just woke up, his short black hair was uncombed and his eyes were partially closed. He was wearing just a pair of black silk boxers. It's been a long time since I had seen him in no shirt and he looked good, damn good. I felt something stir inside me.
"Uh -- um -- you left your cell at my place last night," I stammered, handing his phone to him.
"Oh. Thanks. I'm always leaving this thing somewhere," he said. "You wanna come in?"
"No. I just came by to return your phone," I said, not making eye contact with him.
"Have you had breakfast yet?" he asked.
"No," I said quietly. "Look Jason, I'm sorry about being such a bitch to you last night. I know you were just being a concerned friend and I treated you like shit."
"It's okay, Mel, really. I paid no attention to it. I'm just glad I could make sure you got home safely," he said, smiling as I looked up at him. His blue eyes sparkled when he smiled at me. "Why don't you just come in and have breakfast with me?" Before I could refuse, he grabbed my hand and pulled me inside.
"I really should go, Patty's not here and I --"
"So what if Patty's not here. If she were, she'd invite you in for breakfast, too. What's the problem?"
"No problem," I replied quietly as I sat down at his kitchen table.
"By the way, you look really good this morning," he told me as he headed toward his bedroom. "Let me get a quick shower and some clothes then I'll cook you breakfast."
Where did that compliment come from? I thought I looked like hell. My hair was a mess, I had a splitting headache and my sweats and t-shirt probably look like something I got from a second hand store. I felt something stir again as I watched Jason walk down the hall. I got up and headed toward his bedroom. The door was partially open and I could hear the shower running in the bathroom that was off the bedroom.
I walked into the room and peaked into the bathroom. I could see Jason's silhouette behind the shower curtain. I just stood there for a moment watching him and briefly fantasized about being in that shower with him, feeling him pump his hard cock deep inside me. I snapped out of my daydream and reminded myself that he's a married man and as I turned to leave I heard the water turn off. I froze in my tracks, still in the bedroom, but just out of eyesight of Jason still in the bathroom. I took three or four large steps to get to the bedroom door, then quickly walked back to the kitchen table and sat back down.
I had no way to conceal my extremely erect nipples that were poking into my shirt, so I just crossed my arms over my chest as Jason came back into the kitchen wearing a pair of black sweatpants and a black t-shirt. His hair was wet and still uncombed. He looked at me and smiled as he pulled some eggs and bacon out of the refrigerator.
"I should go, Jason. I don't wanna keep you from anything today." I kept my gaze anywhere but on him as I got up to leave.
"You're not going anywhere until you have breakfast, young lady!" he said playfully scolding me.
"Okay, okay. At least let me help you make breakfast then," I said as I walked into the kitchen.
"You cook the bacon," he said, handing me the package. "How do you like your eggs?"
"Scrambled," I said. "Is there any other way?"
"A woman after my own heart!" he said, smiling. My heart started beating faster.
What the hell is going on here? Jason is married to a good friend of mine, I shouldn't be feeling this way about him. He looked so damn good, though. There wasn't a lot of room in the kitchen for two people and every time Jason had to walk past me, he placed his hand gently on my back. It sent shivers through my body every time he touched me. I just kept my focus on the bacon cooking in front of me, ignoring the stirring of feelings I was having toward him. He walked back to the pan next to me again and when he brushed by me this time, I felt his erection brush against my ass.
"I got the wrong spatula!" he said, looking at the spatula in his hand.
He reached around me, opened the drawer next to me and rifled through it to find another spatula. My heart was beating so loud, I knew he could hear it. He seemed to move in slow motion looking for the spatula. Feeling his body against me was driving me absolutely crazy. I felt my desire for him intensify. He finally pulled away, finding the spatula that he needed. I pulled the last piece of bacon out of the pan and quickly walked to the table.
"Bacon's done!" I said as I put the plate down on the table and sat down, one arm still across my chest. He handed me two empty plates as he finished cooking the eggs and toast.
"Eggs are, too!" Jason said as he set down a plate of toast next to the bacon and held the pan of eggs, serving some to me, then himself. He took the pan back to the stove, poured us both a cup of coffee then came back to the table.
"Looks delicious," I said, keeping my eyes fixated at my plate and one arm still crossed in front of me.
"Especially the bacon," he said, making me blush slightly.
"So what are your plans for today?" I asked him, finally making eye contact.
"I dunno. I gotta clean up around here a bit, probably that and some laundry. Patty won't be home until Tuesday," he said. "How about you?"
"About the same. Clean up, laundry. Probably go catch a movie," I said. "Pretty boring weekend."
"We could go catch a movie together," Jason offered, breaking eye contact with me.
"I -- I don't know if that would be such a good idea, Jason," I stuttered nervously.
"Why not?" he asked, puzzled. "We'd just be going as friends."
"Let's just finish our breakfast," I said quietly.
I ate quickly, not making another sound. I think Jason could sense that I was suddenly uncomfortable being there, which was correct. All those feelings I was having for him before came flooding back and I knew it was wrong. I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. We finished breakfast and Jason took our plates to the sink. He offered me another cup of coffee, I turned him down and told him I had to go.
"Thanks for breakfast," I said, quickly walking to the door.
"Thanks for the company," he said, sadness in his voice.
I got back to my apartment, ran to the bedroom and fell to the bed on my back, just staring at the ceiling. "What the hell is wrong with me?" I said aloud. I dozed off for a few minutes and was awakened by a knock on my door. I pulled myself off the bed and went to answer the door. My heart skipped a beat when I saw it was Jason.
"Why did you leave so quickly?"