Sam pauses his knuckles over the grain of Sarah's apartment door, twisting slightly to procure his cell phone from the pocket of his sweat pants to check the time. He sucks in a breath at the late hour, glad he hadn't knocked, in case they are asleep. Stepping back, he scrummages for the nick in the door frame, tongue peeking at his intense concentration as he feels the boards making up the frame with his fingertips.
Dropping his duffel bag onto the floor, he snags the thin string painted the same color as the boards, and hooks it with his pinky finger. Tugging the key our of the hidden nook, he chuckles in triumph.
"That little sneaky creature," he playfully chides as he sticks the key into the doorknob and unlocks the door with a congratulatory ping of successfully interlocking metal hooks. 'Always thinking up new hiding places. Hasn't changed a bit.'
Softly, he peels the door open, surprised the lights of the apartment are all on. He recognizes the blaring of infomercials from the living room and frowns, hoping she hasn't waited up for him.
Locking the door behind him and abandoning his shoes, his frown lifts at a corner when he enters the scene. Holding back a chuckle, he tiptoes to the T.V. to switch it off, silencing the incessant chattering and revealing the snores escaping from the couch.
For a moment he just watches, absorbing the oblivious couple tucked into the cushions. 'No wrinkles,' he marvels, relieved to see his childhood friend as she was years before the worry and stress inhabited her thin shoulders and collected onto her brow.
Her hair is tousled, splayed out around her face like an aura to highlight her cheekbones and jaw. A strand tickles her temple and she absently scrunches her face to deter the offending lock. She has slid down the couch to lay across the length of the furniture, her right arm tossed above her head, and her left wrapped around the boy snuggled deep into her chest.
A spark of jealousy spikes through his veins and he remembers the challenging stare the "innocent angel" had displayed.
"You damn cheat," he hisses, and attempts to wipe off the pout that wants to settle on his lips. Instead, to break the losing battle and to satisfy the jealousy building up inside his chest, he pokes Sarah in the cheek, none-too-gently, to wake her up.
After the fifth poke, all unforgiving, she starts to move, although only to shift away from the attack. "Leave me alone," she mutters in her sleep, slipping her arm from around Blue and flipping away to face the back of the couch. "I'm sleepy."
He almost doesn't contain his laughter when Blue is effectively tossed off the edge of the couch from her roll. Managing to stifle his laughter to a smug grin, he remarks to the confused frown, "Looks like both of us are on our own tonight."
Noticing her struggle to curl up against the couch, he twists his mouth before scooping her up into his arms. She doesn't move a lid as she settles into the crooks of his arms as he transfers her into her own bed. Automatically, she sinks into her familiar duvet and pillow, ignoring the feelings of the man watching over her.
Sighing, he pivots on his heel, ready to make himself comfortable on her couch, when he realizes who is making his way to the bedroom.
"Oh, no, you don't," he whispers, wrenching Blue out of the doorway and into the living room. "You get the love seat and I'll take the couch, you sneak," he announces, waiting pointedly for Blue to obey.
As if taking the moment to think over the demand, Blue slowly complies and lays on the cushions, not meeting Sam's eyes as he stares off at the ceiling. Taking this as a sign of obedience, Sam retrieves the spare blankets and pillows from her hallway closet and tosses one of each to the motionless boy before settling himself on the couch so his long legs hang off an armrest with minimal discomfort.