chapter xixMature

Groggily, she opened her eyes.  Naomi didn't remember falling asleep, but she supposed it had been inevitable, really.  Upon attempting to recollect the last time she'd slept, it was a hazy mess of events - a strong indicator it had been too long; it was not a surprise that her vessel had simply taken it upon itself to fall asleep.  It was easy for her to forget certain needs that her vessel had - having a celestial body was not like having an earthly one, and things like bathing, using the restroom, eating, and resting were foreign to her and did not cross her mind as often as they should have.  While she was thinking of it, she reminded herself to take a shower and find some sort of nourishment.  Her vessel often began to fail her if she neglected it for too long.  Falling asleep unexpectedly was the least of her worries in her current environment.

Graham was watching her, his eyes dilated so he could see in the dark.  Naomi rubbed some of the sleep out of her eyes and mumbled, "I hadn't meant to fall asleep, when did you wake up?"

She thought she saw a small smile twitching at the corners of his mouth, but when she looked again there was no trace of it.  "Not long ago, maybe a minute or two."  He positioned himself so his back was against the headboard, and though she could see the toll the pain took on him, he said nothing of it and when he realized she was watching him, the distress lines on his face vanished and were replaced with a gentle sort of curiosity.  He asked, "Are you hungry?"

"I suppose I should be," she answered, and lifted herself from the comfort of the chair.  In order to stand up completely, she needed to push it back against the wall where she'd found it, and once she turned around, Graham had swung himself around to place the soles of his feet on the floor.

Naomi wasn't certain he should be up and moving yet, but what was there to do that would stop him?  She didn't think Graham was going to simply obey her if she told him to stay in bed.  "Do you really feel all right enough to get up?"

He flicked a glance at her and nodded, saying nothing.

Doubt was clear on her face, she knew it, but she did not argue.  He would be as stubborn as he wanted to be until he realized his goal was set too high.  Or he would succeed and she'd have him gloating, if she were to contest him.  Instead, she said, "All right, I'll check the kitchen for something to eat."

"No," he said, and she was certain she could detect a heavy dose of discomfort in his voice as he began to shift his weight to his feet.  "There's nothing in there, I haven't gone shopping lately.  Being possessed keeps you from doing the basic chores, you know?"

She did not.  "Of course," she answered, "so should we 'order a pizza’?" The words felt strange coming from her; she had little idea what they meant.  While adjusting to her new settings, she'd over heard some strangers discussing the option and had assumed it was a normal dialog between friends.  Of course, it was just a stab in the dark, but Graham did not seem noticibly perplexed by the question so she guessed she'd used it correctly.

"A pizza would be fine, but I think I need a cup of coffee.  Would you mind driving into town instead of ordering in?  I know I'm out of coffee, I used the last of it trying to make sure I stayed awake long enough to exorcise that fu*ker."

"That's fine with me.  Would you like me to find some clothes for you or would you rather do it?"

The expression on his face said he would rather do it himself, but the cringe that followed it when he stood up said he didn't think he could.  "If you could just grab me a shirt and a pair of jeans, that would be great."

After a moment of digging around in his dresser drawers, she found the things he'd asked for and handed them over to him.  Naomi wanted to ask if he needed help dressing, but she could tell his pride had already taken too many blows and instead left him to dress himself after a quick inspection of his bandages to be sure they didn't need a change.

It took him a while, but eventually he came out of the bedroom, looking markedly more tired and drawn.  The worn-in grey t-shirt and beat up, tattered jeans should have looked awful on him, especially with him looking as ghastly as he did, but she found herself catching a peek at his ass before she realized what she was doing.  Shaking off the odd behavior, she pulled on her peacoat as Graeme grabbed his leather aviator jacket from the hook by the door.  "You ready?"

"Yeah," she said, snatching her keys from the counter in the kitchen and making her way to the door beside him.  "Might I suggest the elevator?"

A quirked brow and a half-smirk were his only response.  

The End

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