Something pulled me out of a deep sleep the next morning. I couldn't figure out what it was as I lingered between sleep and wake. It was a sound. Was it my alarm going off? Was I late for work? The thought of it almost shook me out of my barely conscious state, but somehow I knew it was Thursday. I didn't have to work on Thursday. I'd turned my alarm off the night before.
I tried to slip back into my deep sleep but I heard it again. What was that? Was I snoring? I didn't want to wake myself up enough to find the source, but it was preventing me from losing myself in another senseless dream. It was my day off work; I wanted senseless dreams.
I felt myself tip-toeing on the line of sleep and wake as I subconsciously strained to figure it out. But once the wheels start turning in my head, there's no stopping them. I have no "off" switch for my curiosity or imagination, which really affected my sleeping patterns at times. I wouldn't be able to sleep until I had an answer. It was a familiar sound. I focused all of my attention on the sound while I lay there as still as possible. I was afraid that if I moved an inch my body would decide it was time to wake up and get the day started.
Was it an email notification on my phone? Was it my daily "Good Morning" email from Cayden? I stepped over that boundary and into the world of wake to reach for my phone. Once I was conscious, reality flooded over me. I didn't have an email from Cayden. Cayden was in my bed. Next to me. I smiled at the realization of it and then I heard the sound again. It came from the living room. This time I could clearly identify the sound as Tank's bark.
Joyce and Joey had gone to work and the dogs were in their crates just waiting for us to wake up and play with them. Tank's adorable little yelp almost broke my heart. I couldn't stand knowing he and Axle were locked up in their crates, itching for some attention. I wasn't ready to get out of bed, but I forced my eyes open and swung my legs over the side of the bed.
Cayden opened one eye and gave me a curious look.
"Just letting the dogs out," I said in my hoarse, masculine morning voice. I tried to clear my throat to find my female voice but it hadn't woken up yet. Tardy to the party.
Letting the dogs out of their cages is the morning is like unleashing monkeys at a circus. They burst out of their crates and start juggling and clanging cymbals together. OK, not exactly, but their energy was similar as they jumped all over me, covering my face in wet kisses and competing for my attention. Their tails wagged so fast you'd think they were battery operated.
I let the dogs follow me back into my room and they hopped up on the bed as I snuggled against Cayden. Tank licked Cayden's nose while Axel tried to nudge his way under Cayden's free arm.
"Well, I guess I'm awake," Cayden said with an amused smile on his face.
"I know. I wanted to sleep in, but I just couldn't listen to his pathetic little yelp anymore," I said, pulling Tank onto Cayden's chest.
"He is a cute little fucker, isn't he?" Cayden asked.
"The cutest," I answered. "You're cute, too, Axle," I said as I leaned across Cayden and Tank to let pat him on the head. I didn't want to hurt his self esteem.
"No, you're the cutest," Cayden said, squeezing me against his side. I kissed his chest and looked up at him. Suddenly, my whole body was overcome with a wave of hormones. The dogs must have sensed it because they both sat up and jumped off the bed at the same time.
I stared at Cayden's mouth and I could only think about his tongue. I looked at his hand resting against his flat stomach and I could only focus on his fingers. I looked down his chest and my eyes wandered lower and lower. My hand followed my gaze and I heard Cayden's breathing change as I slipped my hand beneath his boxer briefs. I wanted to look up and watch his reaction, but I didn't. It was more fun to watch the goosebumps spread across his lower stomach and to hear his heartbeat quicken against my ear.
Within seconds, he'd pulled me on top of him. The only things separating us were his boxers and my silky boyshorts. I let my eyes creep up to his chest, neck and face until we finally locked eyes. We held our gaze while we pushed against each other, his hands squeezed the outside of my thighs to pull me down harder against him. I was so turned on, I felt like I was getting close to hitting the jackpot without even taking my pants off.
And then suddenly, I felt like someone was watching us. I tried to focus on his face and lose myself in the moment, but I couldn't shake the feeling that we had an audience. Cayden and I both looked to the side at the same time and saw Axle an Tank halfway propped up on the bed watching us with their heads cocked to the side. We busted out laughing as the dogs looked at us with concern.
"It's OK, Tank," Cayden said, laughing as he reached across the bed to pet him on the head for reassurance. "She's not trying to kill me."
I went to reach toward Tank as well while Cayden reached back, elbowing me in the eye socket on the return.
"Oh my god! I'm so sorry!" Cayden said, holding my face while I covered my eye with one hand.
"Dude! Was that payback or something?" I asked, laughing. I'd elbowed him in the nose twice during bedroom-related activities. He took it like a champ.
Axle growled at Cayden.
"No, it's OK, Axle!" I said, smiling at him to let him know I was OK.
Now, at this point, any other couple would throw in the towel and call it quits. With two protective bystanders and a black eye, one would think the mood was killed, right? Not for us.
The mood had changed from passionate and ravenous to light-hearted and humorous, but it most certainly wasn't dead.