“Where were you last night?” I heard his voice as I tip-toed across the living room floor in the early dawn hours. I thought I had been quiet when I came in the door at 5 am. I took off my red stilettos before I entered our apartment. The sun had yet to break the eastern horizon and his alarm wouldn’t sound for another 45 minutes. I thought I would be safely in bed by then. Until I heard his gravelly voice call out from across the darkened room.

I stalled for time, searching my mind for an excuse. “Can you be more specific?” Standing still where I had frozen when I first heard his voice, my heart raced with fear. I had come close to being caught before and the feeling had been exhilarating but this, this was something altogether terrifying.

“How much more specific shall I be?” His voice sounded calm on the surface, but I detected the razor’s edge on his words. “You went out with Margo and Jillian at 8 last night. It’s 5 am and you’re sneaking in the door holding your heels in your hands. You look like you don’t want to get caught. The question is, what have I caught you doing?”

My eyes had adjusted to the darkness and I could just make out his face with the moonlight through the window dancing off his profile. He was classically handsome, with short brown hair and green eyes. His face looked almost as if it had been carved of marble by one of the masters, but had enough flaws to make him human – relatable. The stubble on his face was amazingly sexy and, were it not for the circumstances, I might have crawled to him on my hands and knees and allowed him to take what he wanted.

This was a damn fine time to decide he was worth staying for. Lie or truth? Which would better work to my advantage? “Margo had way too many. I took her home and she was sick. Everywhere. I stayed to hold her head while she was sick, cleaned her up, tucked her in bed then cleaned her house.” I made a mental note to talk to Margo as soon as possible. Crossing the room, I knelt before him and stroked his thigh. “I took off my shoes because I didn’t want to wake you. I’m sorry if I worried you.” As I laid my head in his lap I closed my eyes, the flash of guilt tearing through me like a knife. I’d learned my lesson. This time.

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