After a long interval of dreamless sleep, Meaghan became aware of heat radiating against her back and a warm weight around her waist. Looking down, she saw a muscular arm draped over her. She twisted a bit, and gasped at Rickie, who was spooned against her.
At her movement, Rickie tightened his arm and snuggled in closer, planting a kiss on the top of her head. She thought about elbowing him, but he was still injured.
"Sleep a little longer, sayangku," Rickie murmured. Meaghan paused in her struggles to hear the rumble of sound, and loosened a tiny bit. Rick smiled into her hair.
[A/N: "my beloved"]
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"What are you doing here?" She asked in a hushed tone.
"This is my bedroom," he cheekily answered, "and this is my bed. I'm happy you were here; it saved me time looking for you."
Meaghan relaxed further. "JoAnne brought me here last night. I didn't realize it was your room."
Rickie choked back a laugh, but Meaghan could feel it across her shoulders.
"Remind me to give her a raise."
Susceptible to Rickie's charm, Meaghan nevertheless tried to wiggle out of his grasp. He easily held her, and kissed her neck, freezing her in place. She tried reasoning.
"I don't want your father to know I'm in your bedroom."
"I'm sure he already knows. JoAnne wouldn't have done this without his knowledge. We can ask him at breakfast, if you want. Sleep now, my Meggie."
Meaghan sighed, deciding to worry about the future later and just stay with the man she adored.
"Rickie, please move your arm."
Reluctantly, he released his hold around her waist, only to have her rotate around until she was facing him. Reaching out a hand that only trembled slightly; she cupped his face and kissed him, a benediction and a promise. His breath went out on a sigh as she laid her head against his chest.
They both fell asleep, their hearts beating together in sync.
~ ~ ~
Meaghan woke up when the sunlight from the mullioned windows moved into her eyes. She stretched, automatically reaching across the bed, only to discover she was alone. She felt a pang of disappointment, then chided herself. It was better that he left the room so they weren't seen leaving it together.
She noticed a small note left underneath a bud vase containing a single bird of paradise. She carefully slid the paper underneath the crystal and unfolded it.
[Meggie – I wanted you to sleep as long as possible, but I needed to speak with my contacts at the BKN this morning. When you are ready, come down for breakfast; I'll be in the office which is the second door on the left once you reached the bottom of the stairs.
She felt a giddy leap in her heart as she jumped out of bed and padded towards the bathroom. A thump on the door halted her in her tracks. Cautiously opening the door, she saw JoAnne there, holding a bundle of colorful cloth.
"Selamat pagi, Meg. I hope you slept well. I thought I'd bring you some things to change into. They're Sethe's, but they should fit alright. And they are guaranteed to make Rickie happy!"
[A/N: Good morning]
Meaghan opened the door and JoAnne stepped inside.