She kicked off her shoes and stretched out on the couch, lacing fingers behind her head. The voices of her roommates drifted from the kitchen where they were preparing supper. After a few minutes of rest she'd go help them. For the moment, the soft couch was a haven to her exhausted and aching body. Closing her eyes for a few precious moments, she breathed deeply and let her breath out in a long, relaxing sigh.
Following that resolution, she was up at five the next morning getting ready for work. As usual, her stomach was grumbling for food. Something about her feet hitting the floor in the morning seemed to trigger her stomach. Maybe a bowl of cereal would help. At least it would be quiet.
She crept down the dim hall, past the bedroom that Julia and Rachel shared, and on past Brandon’s door. There
were only three bedrooms, and because she had to get up the earliest,
she was the lucky one to have a room of her own - with the exception of Brandon, of course. With her own bedroom came responsibilities – things like not waking up anyone else.
For a few minutes neither of them spoke while they put away their breakfast. His mother wasn’t the first to worry about her little boy being corrupted by women. Being the only child, she was probably over protective of him. She was the middle of two sisters, but Mom fussed over their baby brother. He was still a senior in high school, but how would Mom feel if he lived in a house with three women? Of course, Brandon was a little old for mama to be fussing over him. An idea flashed through her brain and left a frown on her face. She glanced quickly up at Brandon.
She hesitated, staring up at his face. And how was she supposed to take that? Sure, she could be mule headed, and sometimes she was moody, but was she that bad? What had come over him, anyway? Where was the sweet, gentle Brandon who never seemed to be upset by anything? Lately he had seemed discontented. Of course, living in an apartment with three girls couldn’t be easy. If it were any other man, she might think it was sexual frustration, but Brandon didn’t appear to be interested in any of them. Besides, he dated other girls. Not that he’d been out much lately. He was probably too busy with school. Maybe his mood had more to do with feeling unappreciated. Had they been taking him for granted? After all, he wasn’t a guard dog. He was a living breathing . . . hunk of a man. She reached out and touched his arm.
The crisp morning air wasn’t necessary for the purpose of waking her up. She couldn’t have been more awake before she left the house. What was the matter with Brandon, lately? Or was Brandon the one with the problem? Did he suspect that she was beginning to feel more for him than simple friendship? Did he want to move out of the apartment? He needn’t worry. It wasn’t as if she was going to chase after him. Right now she only had time for school. Besides, house rules protected him from that sort of thing. She chuckled to herself. The house rules had been set up to protect the girls from him. Maybe she should accept a few dates now and then. It might make him feel less threatened. Michael was the perfect candidate. There was no chance of becoming romantically involved with him. Oh, sure. He was a good-looking intern, but there simply wasn’t a spark between them. Anyway, with all the money in his family and the good looks as well, he couldn’t hold a candle to Brandon in the charm department. He was a nice enough guy - tall, dark and handsome. She sucked in a breath of the cold air and let it out slowly.
There was another reason she had been turning down Michael’s invitations. Roxanne had a set her cap for him and Adrienne had no intention of being the one to spoil her friends’ plans. Roxanne had everything; beauty, a good figure, and a sweet personality. Why Michael wasn’t following her like all the other guys was beyond Adrienne’s comprehension. Maybe he didn’t like competition. In which case, he’d sure picked the right girl to hound.
She left him standing there looking after her. At that moment it occurred to her that Michael merely enjoyed a good chase. The fact that she was uninterested only enticed him further. A point she would have to tactfully convey to Roxanne. In the mean time, maybe if she stopped running, he’d stop chasing. Maybe accepting a date would be the perfect way to end this one-sided relationship