“Hey,” she whispered and poked him on the nose. He didn’t respond. So she did it again. “Hey.” Poke.
No response. Again.
“I know you’re awake.”
“I wouldn’t be if some woman would quit poking me,” he mumbled heavily into his pillow.
“Sorry. Irritating woman,” he said and turned away from her but his voice was light. He brought the duvet up over his head and she reached over and yanked it back down. He groaned and lazily turned back to her, his eyes laden with sleep. “I’m tired,” he whined. “Leave me alone.”
She smiled sweetly. “That’s your own fault. Don’t stay up so late and you won’t have this problem.” She got up onto her hands and knees and clumsily crawled on top of him, her body awkwardly jabbing and sticking him in all kinds of uncomfortable places.
He groaned again, maneuvering her knees so they weren’t digging into his ribs. “My dear, I am not a jungle gym.”
“But in here you are my jungle gym.”
“That sounds unpleasant.”
“I can show you that it’s really not,” she said and bit her bottom lip coyly, her chin tucked down. “If you’re thinking naughtily.”
“Hard to do that when you’re concerned with important things being injured.”
She gave him a look of mock offense, her jaw dropping comically. “I would never do such a thing to something I treasure so much.”
“You almost did a second ago,” he countered, glancing at her bare knees. He shifted beneath her. “Those things never bode well for a man when they get near.”
“Come on,” she whined, perfectly imitating his inflection from two minutes ago as she softly bounced on him. “Let’s have some good morning fun. It’ll wake you up, I promise.”
“Too early,” he stated simply, closing his eyes and moving to hold her hips still, her offer not enticing him in the slightest.
“It’s noon,” she said flatly; and he feigned sleep.
She reached over to her side of the bed and grabbed her pillow, plopping it down onto his face. “Oh, such sweet peace again,“ she heard his muffled–his grateful–sigh come from beneath the cushion.
She made a disgruntled noise and quickly clambered off him and in turn off the bed. She heartily gripped the duvet and ripped it from the bed, gathering it up in her arms in a giant ball she had to peek around because it was taller than her.
He removed the pillow from his face and sat up, his hair forming an unnatural cowlick on one side, a fine dusting of short dark whiskers across his cheeks and jaw. “Your age is showing.”
“This would be the first time that has bothered you.”
“You know, my bed has perfectly good blankets; and they come without the nuisance that is you in the morning.” Her brows scrunched together and he smirked because her face was usually at its cutest when he was toying with her. Her buttons were the ones he enjoyed pushing the most.
He tossed his legs over the side of the bed. “I think I’ll go to my own room, now,” he threatened; and she immediately darted to the door, her feet stumbling on the plush carpeting due to the mass of thick, fluffy fabric she was clinging to. He couldn’t help but laugh at the sight. “You look silly.”
She stared pointedly at his hair. “You look silly.”
“You look cold,” he said, referring to the thin pink silken gown she was adorned in that left her arms and calves exposed. Her face free of make up and her own hair unevenly poofed, he thought he might be able to give her what she wanted this morning.
“You also look cold.”
“So bring the blankets–and yourself–back to bed; or force me to seek warmth elsewhere.”
“You’ll have to take me on,” she said, hefting her mountain in a show of determination.
“The both of you? I’m not sure how well I’ll fare against so much cotton.”
“It’s not the cotton you should be worried about.” She pretended to bring her knee up into the air nonchalantly, like she was simply stretching her hamstring.
“That’s not playing fair.”
She smiled innocently from around the pile. “I learned from the very best, you know.”
While they may or may not have even known what a jungle gym was, I don’t care. Just accept it and let them be cute.
© 2015 Elizabeth Klarke