More Than Friendship Material Pt. 04byStory_Spinner©
After a quick shower and changing into some long cotton pj pants and a t-shirt, Liz returned to the boys. Ben was wrapping up and pulled her into another bear hug like at the hospital and gave her a friendly kiss on the forehead. She smiled and wished him a good night, then carefully crawled over to Todd, sitting next to him Indian style. "So? You need your meds? A shower? Peas?"
She grinned, messing with his hair. He looked so much better, but still could use a bit of cleaning up. She was feeling worn down herself and could have easily snuggled up to him and passed out. But the couch was probably a smarter idea and she could still hear him if he hollered loud enough.
Todd was tired and a little buzzed from the pain meds. He hadn't expected to be up this long, but it had been nice hanging with Ben and enjoying the normalcy. He wouldn't have minded a shower, but figured that he'd just get one in the morning. However, there were some other bathroom duties that he needed to attend to.
"I'll hold off on the shower, Liz," he said, " but I do need to brush my teeth, etc. Do you mind switching out the peas and grabbing me another drink? I have to take a couple of pills before I go to sleep."
"Sure thing," Liz said with a smile. She helped him out of bed and followed behind him as he staggered toward the bathroom Once she saw he was going to make it OK, she let him go in himself. They were close, but not that close.
Todd brushed his teeth, then settled in for a "long winter's crap" as Ben liked to call them. There was a stack of reading material, but the top of the pile was full of Liz's never ending supply of "woman" magazines. He'd never understand how someone as smart as her could waste time and money on these $5 advertisements masquerading as journalism. He didn't feel like digging though, so he picked up a recent issue of Vogue and leafed through it, trying to find anything of interest, other than the shots of half naked women. Usually those would have at least appeased him but now the boys were still feeling the effects of being "a-peas-ed." He stopped at one of the inane quizzes these things always had, but this one looked like it had been completed. That was new. Todd flipped to the first page of the thing and started reading.
Liz switched out Todd's warm bag of peas for one that was icy and grabbed him another soda can from the fridge. Back in his bedroom, she turned down the blankets and plumped his pillows, then returned to the bathroom door. "Doing okay in there?"
"Huh? Oh...yeah...I'll holler when I'm done!" Came his muffled voice from the other side.
She went to her own room, ruffled up her blankets, grabbed her lap top and took it to the living room. She wasn't proud of the fact that her own bed gave her the creeps after her near violation by Kevin. Partially closing her door, she set herself up in the living room, ready to use the excuse that she had some work to do and wasn't overly tired yet.
Flipping on the TV, she propped her feet up, glancing at the pretty french tipped toes and mentally going over her 'dance routine'. No one could have accused Mary and Hollie for not being creative, that was for sure.
More than Friendship Material?: A Vogue Relationship Quiz
Todd began reading through this allegedly helpful set of questions, all with multiple choice answers. The questions ranged from "Does he share your interests" to "Do you like his friends" to "Does he make you tingle in your special places." Yikes. That last one was close to home. Each answer had a different numerical score, and the final tally was supposed to say "Yay" or "Nay" to the prospect. In this case, the answers were a mixed bag, and the final score said "You should probably look elsewhere." Todd felt strangely saddened at that. He went back to the start, and answered the questions himself in regard to him and Liz. At the end, the score merited "Why aren't you together already?"
Liz knocked on the bathroom door and Todd nearly jumped out of his skin. "Did you fall in?"
"Finishing up now, " he answered, spinning the toilet paper roll. I'll be right out."
Todd flushed, washed his hands, and stuck the magazine at the bottom of the stack. He opened the door and Liz was there to escort him back to his bed. She handed him a root beer and a cold pea bag and smiled.
Liz 'tucked' him into bed and smiled. "I'm going to watch a little TV and work on my paper while I have a free moment." God she was tired, she thought to herself. Who thought shaking your ass and dancing could be such a work out. "So if you need anything, holler at me. Even when I go to bed, I should be able to hear you."
"Yes Nurse Liz." He teased and watched her light up again, her cheeks turning bright red. A slow grin spread over his lips and he eyed her curiously, "What have you been up to Lizzie? You've always been a terrible liar. At least with me."
"Nothing. Nothing at all, just take your pills and go to sleep. Want me to pop in a movie?"
He groaned slightly, popping the pills into his mouth. "Just put in the new Iron Man. That should lull me to sleep."
She giggled and did just that, then blew him a kiss and left, partially closing the door behind her and going to the couch. With a sigh she settled in, turning down the sound so as to not bother him and switching on her laptop. She didn't have anything to really work on. She had already tackled everything that needed to be done. But she settled it on the coffee table and slid down, resting her head on a pillow and grabbing one of her school books.
At a little past 11:30, Ben got home to find his fiancee and her little friend dozing on the couch. An empty wine bottle was on the coffee table. "Wakey wakey ladies. You all need to get to bed."
"Was that a proposition, big boy?" Mary asked.
"Usually, but we all have things to do tomorrow, hon. Hollie, do you want to crash here or have me take you home? You aren't driving."
"I'll just hang here, coach," Hollie said with a smile. " I need to make a couple of calls though. I can find my way to the guest room."
"OK. Let me collect Drinking Beauty here. You have a good night." Ben picked Mary up and carried her off to the bedroom. Hollie gathered her things and headed back to the guest bed she was now used to spending time in. She called Cindy and let her know she was too drunk to drive home. Then she looked at the receipt for the costume purchases from that morning. The X-Mart phone number was on it, and she dialed it.
Someone picked up, "X-Mart. We never close."
Mary looped her arms around Ben's neck and pressed her face against his neck as he carried her to bed. She loved how he always made her feel like a bit of a princess. Always looking out for her, opening doors, cooking her breakfast and doing little thoughtful gestures that left her melting. For as tough as she was, her walls were always down where Ben was concerned.
"Have I told you how much I love you lately?" she asked him, giving him a bit of a goofy grin as he peeled her shirt over her head.
Ben chuckled and grinned down back at her. "Nope. I think you have some making up to do."
She fell back against the mattress and let him strip her of her bottoms, leaving her naked apart from her bra that pushed her full breasts up high and proudly. It still amazed him how much she turned him on. Seeing her never failed to crank his motor and make him feel like a horny high school boy after his first crush.
"I would be more than happy to make it up to you, baby. You're the best." She gasped as his lips touched the tops of her naked thighs and then moaned. "But I can't do my part if you do that." She breathed.
Ben smiled against her skin and slipped his big hands under her bottom, squeezing her firm ass and nudging her thighs open with his shoulders. "Maybe I just want a treat before bed...something sweet. Complaints?" He murmured against the smooth skin of her inner thigh.
Mary curled her fingers into the bedspread and whimpered, "Nope, take your time. I'm all yours..."
"Hi. Is this Allen?" Hollie asked the male voice who had answered the X-Mart phone.
"No, This is Jim. Allen's out on the floor. Want me to get him or leave a message?" Jim replied.
"If you could get him, I'd really appreciate it," Hollie said, adding the sweet tones that usually tied men in knots.
"Sure, sweetheart. I'll get him." Hollie heard Jim call "Yo, Allen. Telephone." There was a muffled reply.
"Who may I say is calling, ma'am. Allen says he never gets calls here."
"Tell him it's Hollie." Jim relayed that information and a few seconds later Allen picked up the phone.
"Hello?" Allen's deeper voice came through. Oh yeah, that was Allen. Her heart did a funny little flutter and she inwardly sighed, composing herself.
"Hi Allen. It's Hollie. We met the other night and again this morning."
"I remember. Was there a problem with the costumes? If so, you can return them, but only for store credit."
"No, they were great. I was calling to ask you something. Are you busy Saturday around five?"
"We're having a little get together and we'd like you come. It's a combination celebration of Todd getting out of the hospital and a thank you for him, you and Ben."
Allen paused and Hollie could almost hear the confused gears turning in his head. Hoping she hadn't overstepped any line, she hastily added, "You can bring a date if you want. It's just casual."
"I'll try to make it. Where?"
"It's at Ben and Mary's place. If you have a cell phone I can text you the address."
"OK. I need to get back to work. Todd has my number," Allen said.
"OK. Sorry to bother you at work, Allen."
"No bother. Thanks for asking, Hollie. Bye."
"Bye." Hollie wasn't sure how that had gone. Allen was hard to read. But he hadn't said no. That was a good start. She fired off a quick text to Todd to ask for the number, then added another one to Liz. "Practice tomorrow at 5:00. Wear sneakers and a sports bra. :)." Feeling good about what had gone on that day, Hollie snuggled in among the covers. A cry of pleasure from Mary could be heard in the distance. Hopefully she'd be making similar cries soon.
Liz groaned as sunlight filtered through the window of their living room and blinded her as she blinked. Rolling to her side, she raised her arms up and stretched, listening for sounds of Todd and heard nothing. It was still early in the morning, but her internal alarm wasn't going to let her sleep in. Rolling her shoulders, she shuffled to the kitchen and started a pot of coffee, then made a quick trip to the bathroom to brush her teeth and relieve herself.
Quietly she peaked into Todd's room and found him still snoring, one arm flung above his head and the other hidden under his sheet. He looked gone to the world, still deep under the influence of his drugs. With a soft smile, she returned to the kitchen and began cooking some breakfast. Before long, she had two plates filled with scrambled eggs, sausage, toast and fresh juice. On a tray she set up their morning meal, making sure she had a ice cold bag of peas for him just in case.
"Wakey wakey," She said, balancing the tray on his bedside table for a moment so she could gently prod him to the world of the living. "Hey sleeping beauty, I have some friendly peas and some breakfast here for you."
Todd was half awake and loving the smell of breakfast cooking. When Liz popped her head in, he woke up completely and smiled. "Come here you beautiful thing, you," he said with a grin.
"Well that's quite a welcome," Liz answered. "Someone must be feeling better."
"Well I was actually talking to the breakfast, but you're pretty OK too Red." Liz threw the bag of peas at at him and he caught it. "I am feeling some better though. If this holds up, I think I may be OK by this weekend."
"Well that sounds good. Actually, really good since Mary wants to have a little get-together Saturday evening."
"Fan-fucking-tastic!" Todd yelled. "It'll be nice to get out of bed and back to some fun. Who all is coming?"
"Mary, Ben, and Hollie are all, I think."
"Cool. An intimate gathering but still sounds fun. I think there's a good football game on that night too. What do you have planned for the day? Hopefully not just babysitting me."
Liz laughed. "But your mom is paying me eight bucks an hour, and at least I don't have to change you.
Anyway, I have a class I can't miss this morning, and I have to meet the girls at five."
"Again?" Todd asked. "What are you three up to. You looked like you had been um, active last night."
Liz flushed. "Perv. We're just exercising. Kinda a hip-hop class, like Zumba, that Hollie's leading."
Todd closed his eyes. "MMMMMMM, spandex."
Liz sent both Hollie and Mary a text, keeping them up to date on her day. After leaving Todd alone, she sent Ben a text to let him know that his best friend was probably bored out of his mind ten minutes after her departure, so if he had any free time, to swing by.
Class seemed to drag on forever. Usually focused and on it, Liz found herself staring out of the dirty glass window and wondering what the reaction would be to this little 'show' they were going to put on. Not to mention that since Todd's time in the hospital they really hadn't talked seriously about anything. She was just happy to have him home and getting well again. Only now she ached to get closer. To show him how much he meant to her, but the fear of screwing things up with a bitch to contend with.
After class, Liz took a short break and grabbed some fresh coffee. It was still early in the day, so she sent Todd a text. "Doing alright?"
Her phone blinged a moment later. "No. Stretched to get comfortable and almost knocked myself out with pit stink."
She giggled and rolled her eyes. She was close enough to go back home, but then what? Sponge bath or help him into the shower? The idea of getting that close made her instantly flush with warmth. She groaned as her nipples hardened and her stomach quivered. "Damn it...no thoughts of naked Todd." She muttered to herself.
Blowing out a breath, she wrote back, "No showering until someone is there to help!"
Todd shot Liz back. "Was that an offer?" then returned to the unexpected bonus of a giant reptile movie marathon. Cobra, Python, Dinocroc, Cobra vs. Komodo: Thank you SyFy channel. One thing he would really not miss was all this lack of independence. He knew it was necessary logically, but emotionally it bugged him. Plus, no one was available during the day, and that was irritating. He was used to being on the go. Finally, he was missing work, and those lost wages would catch up to them eventually. On the bright side, X-Mart did have health insurance, so the hospital stay was mostly covered.
Now, back to the mystery of the day. What the hell could Liz be practicing? She wasn't a sporty type by any means. He would have bought the aerobics class story, because she did like to dance once she let herself go, and she did keep in shape. But that couldn't have been a misspoken word.
Practice was something else entirely. Maybe she was trying out for a play or something. That was in the realm of possibility. Still, why would she hide it? They didn't keep secrets from each other. This was just odd. But, he didn't want to snoop. He trusted Liz implicitly. If she didn't want to tell him, he wouldn't pry. On the other hand, if he found out by accident, that wouldn't be so bad would it?
Liz's insides tightened up again. Grrrr...if only he knew what he was doing to her! But the banter was fun.
Glancing at her watch, she pondered the issue. Should she surprise him? Perhaps give him a bit of a taste of what he was doing to her? After all, she could tease and let him ponder things while she was gone later.
The idea actually sounded really good right about then. Perhaps Hollie and Mary were rubbing off on her after all. She grinned wickedly and took off for home. Now she would have something fun to share with the girls.
Todd kept staring at Liz's response to his text. Little Todd crawled out of his wintry hidey hole like it was Groundhog Day. The accompanying twinge of pain was a lot less that it had been earlier that week, but that wasn't good, right?
He had just been kidding, Surely she was just doing the same thing. Right? But what if she wasn't. He groaned. Hopefully he hadn't just ratcheted up the weirdness.
Well, he was just going to play it cool. If she was going to be a doctor, she'd have to see all kinds of nakedness, and he wouldn't be completely naked anyway. He could wear swim trunks. Hell, if it wouldn't hurt so damn much, he could have gone with the banana hammock. This was Liz anyway. Blushing at the slightest compliment, hiding her body, averting her eyes when he was in a towel Liz. Todd grinned. She may have been hanging with Mary and Hollie the last few days, but her personality couldn't have changed that much that soon. If she was feeling feisty, he could still call her bluff.
Liz entered the apartment, her nerves on high, but willing to have just a bit of fun. Just a little. Throwing her keys and bag to the side, she kicked off her shoes. "Home!!"
"Still here!" Todd barked from the bedroom and she smiled, walking in to see him still sprawled out in bed.
"Hey stinky." She grinned and padded comfortably towards his dresser drawers. Considering most of the time she was the one washing and putting away his clothes, she knew where everything was. Well, most everything. Banana hammock had caught her completely off guard, but it had been one hell of a funny moment. "Sooo I was thinking, swim trunks would work good."
She fished out a pair and turned to him, a playful smile teasing her lips. "Unless you want a sponge bath..."
"Well, someone's feeling feisty today, isn't she?" Todd answered with a grin. "Almost like she's trying to play chicken with the master. Many have tried, all have failed young lady. You're in the big leagues now." He eased his way up from the bed. "Close your eyes and hold out your hand...if you dare." A dramatically played evil laugh followed, making her giggle.
Closing her eyes she extended her right hand. What did he have in mind now? With Todd, you could never really tell. She could hear him moving around in the bedroom. Drawers opened and closed. "No peeking," he warned.
"I'm no cheater," she answered. "Should I be wearing gloves though. This place is a mess."
"Ha Ha. You just wait, I think I just found what I was looking for. Yep. There it is." A round metallic object slid into her hand. "OK, you can open your eyes now."
Opening her eyes, she peered down at a large gold coin. "That, my dear," Todd said, "is a commemorative Super Bowl coin from Super Bowl XXXV, won by the Baltimore Ravens. The same type of coin was used for the opening coin toss. Now you're playing with the big boys. Heads; shower. Tails; sponge bath. You flip, I'll call it in the air."
She smiled with amusement, watching him ease back down onto the side of the bed, still sore and a little uneven on his feet. "Seriously?"
"Hell yeah, seriously. Flip it sister!"
Liz palmed the coin, the cool texture almost cold against her warm hand. This could be interesting. His eyes challenged hers, eyebrows raised and then wiggling suggestively. His grin was impossibly cocky, making the butterflies in her stomach flutter. "Alright...you asked for it."
Taking a breath she flipped the coin up in the air.
The coin twirled up and landed on the bed. Liz caught it, flipped it and held it against her forearm. "Last chance to back-out Snow White." Todd said with a grin. " Heads is the side with the Football, tails is the number"
Liz removed her hand. Todd leaned to see what fate had determined and smiled wickedly at her. "Well, I guess we both need to prepare. See you soon."