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Wake-Up Call
By Finley

My brain is sleep-fogged, but I register the body heat behind me and instinctively know it's Kelly. It's dark, the middle of the night by my estimation. The sounds of the city filter through the open window of my bedroom. Kelly's arm snakes around my midsection and up; I cover her hand with my own and press it gently to my lips, then my chest. She tightens her grip, pulling me backwards into the curve of her body, my backside against her belly. I can feel her crisp curls pressed into my sensitive skin and it makes my breath catch in my throat – a sound that doesn't escape her notice. She moves her mouth along my naked shoulder, and I feel her tongue sneak out to taste at the same time the hand on my chest shifts to claim my left breast and pull me closer to her still. Her teeth nip at my skin. My arousal surges and suddenly, sleep is the last thing on my mind. She buries her nose in my hair, squeezes me against her as she nibbles at my neck, my ear, her breath sweet and warm, her voice raspy with sleep as she whispers, "I love you, Tracey…"

I jerk awake, my eyes snapping open with no warning. The sunlight streaming through my window is like needles poking into my retinas and I curse. This is the third night in a row I've had such a dream and I'm starting to wonder what the hell my brain is trying to tell me. Like that takes an Einstein. I roll my eyes at myself. The sex dream part I like to think I can handle – though I've found myself looking at Kelly in a different light at the office lately. The declaration of love is always the part that jolts me awake and makes me feel like I'm going to have a heart attack. I lay there and wonder why, pretending I don't already know.

I'm still lying awake and staring at the ceiling when the phone rings. A glance at the clock tells me it's barely seven thirty on Saturday morning. It's either a telemarketer or my mother – I'm not sure which would be worse – and I let the machine pick it up. At the rich sound of the familiar voice, I practically dive across the bed and snatch up the receiver.

"Hey." My voice is gravely and I clear my throat.

"Tracey?" Kelly says, her voice laced with apology. "Did I wake you? I'm really sorry. I was just – ."

"No, no," I say, interrupting her. "I'm up. I was up. I've been up." I'm sure I'm dazzling her with my extensive use of the English language. I cover my eyes in self-disgust.

"Yeah?" She sounds pleased. "Listen, um, I was just in the neighborhood getting bagels for breakfast and wondered if maybe you wanted to go over some of Jacobsen's testimony for Monday. It's such a pretty day, I though we could work someplace other than the office." At this, she seems to catch herself and begins to ramble adorably. "I mean, um, I could come there or you could come to my place even or we could meet somewhere. I don't want to just invite myself up or anything, I was just thinking…"

Invite herself up? I raise one eyebrow as my heart rate kicks up a notch. "Where are you, Kelly?"

She's quiet for a few seconds and I can almost hear her brain working. "Um. In the lobby."

"The lobby? Which lobby?"

Her voice is small now, unsure. "Your lobby?"

"You were just in the neighborhood, huh?"


"And you have bagels?"

"Four of them." She's sounding a bit more confident now. She knows the way to my heart is through my stomach.


"Oh, yeah."

"Cream cheese?"

"Of course."


"Hot and strong with a little cream."

"Just the way I like it."

"I know."

I can barely contain my excitement and my dream comes rushing back at me, flooding my face with heat. I've already decided somewhere in what's left of the rational portion of my mind that it's no small coincidence Kelly just happened to be 'in my neighborhood.' It's time to face this thing head-on. I'm already up and out of bed, pulling on my plaid pajama pants and wondering if I should bother with a bra or just answer the door in the snug-fitting gray tank top I have on. "What are you waiting for?" I say into the phone. "Bring that food and your cute little ass up here." I push the disconnect button before she can respond and I hurry to the intercom near my door to buzz her in.

Zipping to the bathroom, I brush my teeth in record time. I check the mirror and make a feeble attempt to tame the disorganized mass of hair on my head just as I hear a light tap at the front door. I take a deep breath and blow it out, sizing up my reflection.

"Here we go."

The End

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