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I awoke alone on the sofa. Sometime in the middle of the night Ryan had left me sleeping. I could barely remember what we did – there was a fog clouding my brain. I lay on my back and stared at the enormous pine ceiling beam running down the center. I blinked and looked down – yes, I was still naked. I sat up and grabbed yesterday’s clothes and started getting dressed. My head was pounding from a hangover-induced headache. I heard the back door opening and closing. I turned to find Johnny walking in and wearing swim trunks and drying his hair.
He stopped in front of me. He laughed and said, “You look like hell.”
I nodded, sighed and got up. “I’m going to shower.”
“You want me to leave you some Tylenol?” he asked.
I nodded and headed up the stairs all the way to the third floor. I should have felt embarrassed, but my head was pounding much too hard to care about anything. I walked into the grand master suite, which, by the way, was absolutely stunning – a four-poster bed covered in a big, fluffy burgundy-colored comforter took up most of the room, flanked by handmade pine dressers and side tables. A big armoire with a 56-inch flat screen TV sat on one wall. I had really missed out on sleeping in this amazing room with the bright morning light streaming in through the huge picture windows. I noticed my bag sat on the burgundy leather lounge chair in one corner. I grabbed it and headed for the oversized master bath, which was wall-to-wall, off-white marble with a big bathtub in one corner and a three-nozzle shower in the adjacent corner.
After I showered and felt somewhat better, I decided to face my “audience.” I felt confused about Johnny since he literally handed me over to his friend. I might have been a little more proactive about this “pass” had I been right in the head and not saturated in alcohol. When I got downstairs, both Johnny and Ryan were eating breakfast at the table near the windows with the amazing lakefront view. I tentatively walked over – and they both looked right at me with grins on their faces. I didn’t know what to make of it.
Johnny motioned to the head seat. “Breakfast cures most hangovers,” he offered with a grin.
I sat down and looked at both of them, uncertain of what to say. The minute I sat down, I felt Johnny’s hand move right under the table to my thigh. What the heck was going on? Ryan just gave me a sweet smile. No one acted uncomfortable at this table. In fact, it was quite the opposite. They both looked completely self-satisfied.
“Are we going to talk about last night?” I asked.
Ryan got up, leaned over, kissed me right on the lips, winked and asked, “Do we need to?”
He went to the kitchen and just left me there stunned.
Johnny leaned over toward me and said, “I’m good.”
“Okay … ” I replied as my voice trailed off in confusion.
Ryan returned to the table with a tray of buttermilk biscuits, which he slid right into the breadbasket before setting the tray back down on the counter. I reached out, grabbed one, smelled it and realized it was homemade. I immediately put it on my plate, scooped some eggs and grabbed bacon. These two guys could cook. What a strange moment. I started eating and glancing back and forth at them. They just began talking easily about the day’s plans and doing some fishing later on. I realized we were staying the afternoon and decided to read onshore while they fished. No mention was made again about the confused relationships in this room.
We returned to the city late that afternoon. The boys were happy. They had caught three brown trout and planned on eating them for breakfast the next day. I was still completely thrown by this Twilight-Zone-like situation. Johnny had continued to act affectionately all day, touching and kissing me. Ryan, while less obvious, kissed me a few times, too. I liked them both, but this was absolutely the most bizarre triangle – and neither guy seemed the least bit bothered by it.
That evening they dropped me off in front of the apartment. I climbed the stairs and went inside. Denise was actually home, which surprised me. I put my bag down and went and sat next to her on the sofa. She was watching an HBO show called Boardwalk Empire.
She glanced at me. “How was your trip?”
“Bizarre … and nice.” I sighed.
“How’s that?” she asked nonchalantly.
“Um, well, I don’t know how to describe it. Johnny asked me to go on the trip, but Ryan, his roommate, had sex with me.”
Denise’s eyes grew big, and she sat up and shifted toward me. “What?”
“Don’t ask me,” I said with a sigh.
“Why did you screw the friend?” she asked.
“I was drunk,” I replied.
“Oh, got it,” she said as she laughed and nodded.
“How was your weekend?” I asked.
“Not as interesting as yours,” she replied with a chuckle. Then she reached over, grabbed a note and handed it to me. “Kale called.”
I looked at the note with Kale’s name and number. My heart must have jumped clear up into my throat. The note said to meet him early at the office. Production was starting, and he wanted me to scout locations with him, which writers didn’t usually do. I smiled. Maybe it was a peace offering. I sat back against the sofa and started mindlessly watching the show. I felt somewhat hopeful for the first time in a long time.