The only reason I woke up was because I felt Jake slide back into bed next to me, his arms enveloping my waist and his nose brushing against my neck. I felt like I could have slept for days. And I was getting used to not having to be anywhere, at any time, every single weekday.
The photo shoot had gone well. The photographer went easy on me – I wasn’t sure if it was because I was inexperienced, or because he thought I might turn into a diva, but I appreciated it. Though the whole job was nerve-wracking, and I didn’t feel any great accomplishment after it ended.
Jake was becoming more adamant, kissing my shoulder and sliding his hand down my stomach.
He’d come down to New York to see Hannah, but not for long. We’d go back to Boston later today. Well, maybe.
It wasn’t like I had anywhere to be.
“I’m up, I’m up,” I muttered as he sank his teeth lightly into my neck. He rolled me onto my back and smiled, half of his face illuminated from the sun streaming in through the open window. “What?” I asked, suspicious of his wry grin.
He pushed my hair back from my forehead, leaning down to kiss me. “You’re beautiful.”
I kissed him back. “Thanks, Jakers.”
He pulled something from behind his back and let it drop on my bare stomach; it was a magazine. I looked closer. GQ. And I was looking back at myself from the cover.
“Is this a joke?” I murmured, frowning. Nobody had mentioned a cover.
“Nope,” he replied, sliding his hand into my hair and kissing my forehead. “They must have thought you’d fit the best.”
“Have you looked at the rest of it?” I asked, holding the pages tentatively between my fingers. I was half tempted to push the magazine away from me, afraid of what would be inside it.
“Not yet. I wanted to see it with you.”
He turned the pages for me, like he sensed my hesitation. The first page wasn’t a picture of me; I breathed a sigh of relief, as it was a little raunchy. Turning the page, I was greeted by myself. A full page picture of myself, in fact. They’d chosen the one I was uncomfortable with; wearing only tiny black panties, Jake’s number painted on my back underneath my mussed-up hair. And but for a strategically placed arm, almost the entire side of my breast was visible from where I’d turned a little.
“Wow,” Jake said after a minute studying it.
“I didn’t want this,” I mumbled.
“Hey, princess,” he said reassuringly, kissing my temple. “Don’t be upset. This is amazing. You look incredible. I think I’m gonna hang this picture in every room of my house.”
I sighed. “Obviously I have no problem with you seeing it but... not other people. God. My parents are going to see this.”
“It’s not trashy.”
“Still...” I closed my eyes, leaning against his arm. “What does the article say?”
“Um...” he scanned it quickly, silent for a few minutes. “It says that the writer thought you were standoffish at first but eventually sweet. You didn’t want to reveal much about your relationship but seemed very wise about it all. There are a few quotes... also he thinks you’re stunning in person.” He laughed, ruffling my hair. “It’s good, Daz, you should be happy with it.”
“If you say so.”
I rolled out of bed, slipping on some underwear and starting down the hall. A few seconds later I felt arms around my waist from behind and Jake picked me up, holding me off the floor. “Let me down,” I squealed, trying to pry his fingers open. He laughed in my ear, spinning me around.
“Not until you tell me you’re happy.”
“I’m happy. Put me down.”
He obliged, following me out to the kitchen where we ate breakfast quickly before showering together and dressing, leaving for Emily and Alex’s townhouse.
When we arrived, Alex greeted us; he and Jake had a manly hug and we followed him to see Emily, who was sitting on the couch, Hannah in her arms. The baby was awake, but quiet; she looked at everyone with wide, curious eyes. I sat down next to Em and held Hannah’s tiny hand in mine; she curled all her fingers around one of mine, whilst looking at Jake.
“You wanna hold her?” Em asked. I bit my lip excitedly.
“Are you sure? I might break her.”
“You won’t,” she assured me, placing Hannah carefully into my arms. I rocked her a little and she looked up at me, eyes still wide. She didn’t cry, which was a relief, but yawned widely, her tiny eyes closing slowly. Eventually I handed her back to Emily, who took her upstairs and put her to bed.
“So Al showed me GQ today,” Em said when she returned, nudging me. “You sexy bi.tch.”
“You don’t think it’s slutty?”
“Slutty? No, it’s beautiful. You’re beautiful. Jake’s a lucky man.”
“I really am,” Jake said, winking at her as he draped his arm around my neck.
“I suppose you’ll be taking that one on road trips when you get lonely?”
“Maybe, but I have better pictures of her for... that...” he replied, a grin creeping across his face. I rolled my eyes and smacked his chest, though everyone knew it was true. After we left, we wandered through the city slowly, his arm hanging around my shoulders.
“You don’t want one, do you?” he asked.
“A baby? No. Not yet.”
“I think I wanna keep you to myself for a while,” he grinned, kissing my hair.
[comment with ‘baby’ if you read?]