That was as far as I had gotten when this happened…
I am already in my jammies, typing this in bed. It’s one thing for Mr. Muse to be in the house, but it’s another when he’s in the master suite. The master suite! My hubby would not be amused to see him here. But, alas, he’s working.
I’m also supposed to be working. Instead, I am blogging. Or was about to. Hence the interruption.
I scowl at him. “I’m not dressed for company.”
“I’m not company. I’m your muse.”
Truth be told, he isn’t dressed for visiting. His feet are bare and he has on plaid pajama bottoms and a US Navy tee—more clothes than he usually wears around my house. Still, the outfit seems somehow… intimate.
“What do you want?” As if I don’t know.
“I’m here to keep you on track. When you work, I have to work. But this? The last several hours have been a waste of your time and mine. You’re supposed to be working on outlines.”
“I like chatting with my blog friends.”
“But that’s fun, not work. You’re supposed to be working. You’re woefully behind.”
“Give me a break. It’s 9:30, and I just got done with a massive edit.”
“No. You finished the edit around 4:30. You’ve been working on a book cover since then.”
“Well, I was hoping to reissue Love Set in Stone this summer and release a collection of short stories this fall.”
“Oh, really? Have you done a final read of LSIS yet?”
“A long time ago.”
“That’s a no. Have you selected your short stories and edited them?”
“I’ve looked through a few files.”
“So, what you’re telling me is you’ve spent the last five hours working on book covers that may never be used when you could have been working on an outline for tomorrow. Or writing your blurb and author note. Or editing the next book on your list.”
“My vision was blurring.” Too bad it wasn’t now. Even though his shirt is baggy, I can somehow see every ripple of muscle under the soft cotton. And yes, I know it’s soft even though I haven’t touched it. I can tell by the way it… clings to him.
He sits on the edge of my bed, and the mattress dips. I come dangerously close to falling into him before I scoot away.
“If your vision was blurry, cara, how on earth did you work on graphics?”
He has me there. “My vision was word-blurry. My mind was muzzy. I needed to work on something that didn’t require thought.”
“And I’m sure everyone who looks at your covers will appreciate the concern that went into them.”
“That’s not what I meant,” I mumble.
“What’s that?” He turns his head and holds a hand to his ear.
“Come on. Give me a break. I’ve been working fourteen, sixteen hour days.”
“Not taking weekends off.”
“I’m worried about Casey’s surgery tomorrow.”
“You aren’t really trying to use your dog as an excuse, are you? That’s unforgiveable.”
“No! I’m really concerned. You don’t have kids or pets” —at least, I don’t think he does— “so you can’t possibly understand why my thoughts are scattered and my heart’s not in my work.”
And for a change, Mr. Muse’s appearance isn’t what’s distracting me. I really am worried about my sweet doggo. That’s all I can think about.
Mr. Muse takes a deep breath, vents it slowly, then stands. “No, I don’t have kids. Or pets. But I have you. And all my other charges. When you suffer, I suffer.”
“You mean when my writing suffers.” The petulance in my voice even annoys me, so I can imagine how he must be feeling.
But he doesn’t scold me. Instead, he walks to the door, looks back, then shakes his head. “No, cara. That’s not what I mean.”
Then he leaves.
That wasn’t exactly the note I wanted to end the workday on. Even if—especially if—my workday was ending right before bed. But Mr. Muse surprised me. I didn’t realize he cared that much.
And now I feel guilty for not working harder for him.
If I take a while to respond to messages, it’s because I’m at the vet with one of my dogs. When I’m home and he’s comfortable, I’ll catch up. Please be patient with me. Thanks.
Update: Casey is home and resting somewhat comfortably. He didn’t take well to the cone, and even with it, somehow managed to rip a stitch. I had to take him back to the vet and they used wound glue instead of numbing him again and re-stitching. He now has a scarf taped around his neck and there’s no way to protect his forehead, but we’re keeping an eye on him and hoping he doesn’t scratch or rub and make things worse. But the good news is he’s home and, although woozy, in decent spirits.