Ciao, amici. I know… it feels like forever since we chatted. Sorry about that. There were some things I needed to deal with, some changes I needed to make. I started reading and liking posts this week. Boy, I missed you all so much! Starting Monday, I intend to start commenting, too. The plan is to be back to my regular schedule then.
Wondering what got me going again? Read on; the explanation will be clear.
I look up from the book I’m not reading, past the TV playing a show I’m not watching. Mr. Muse is standing there, leaning against the wall.
Wearing a tuxedo.
A freaking tuxedo. I’m in my jammies. More to the point, I’m in mismatched jammies. The pants are torn, the shirt has a stain. My messy hair is up in a clip. I can’t remember the last time I opened my makeup bag.
The juxtaposition of our two levels of hygiene is horrifying. I take down my hair, run—try to run my fingers through the tangles.
His widening eyes tell me it was better before. So, I twist the tresses, replace the clip. Without the use of a mirror.
He presses his lips together and looks away.
Perfect. I can only imagine how I look now.
On second thought, I don’t even care.
I lay aside my book and look up at him. “You interrupted?”
“I thought an author would know the definition of ‘interrupted.'”
I’m too tired to cross my arms or glare. I manage a disgruntled sigh.
“Let me define it for you, then. To interrupt means to stop someone when she’s in the middle of doing something. As you were—as you always are, these days—in the middle of doing nothing, it’s not accurate to say I interrupted anything.”
“What do you want?”
“I want you to get back to work.”
“Well, we don’t always get what we want, do we?”
“Cara, I say this with all the love in my heart—get off your ass and write something.”
My eyebrows arch. “Excuse me?”
He opens the blinds. A flood of sunlight pours into the room.
I cringe at the the brightness. I didn’t even know it was daytime.
“This is your cue to stand up. Take a shower. Put on clothes that match. Pants without an elastic waistband.” He sits beside me, places his hand on my shoulder. “Open your laptop and write something.”
His hand is warm, soothing. He smells like a dream, conjuring images of pine forests and ocean waves, melting chocolate and freshly baked bread. The scents shouldn’t go together, but they make a powerful and intoxicating blend.
I want to yell at him. Instead, I fall into his arms. He holds me while I cry. And he doesn’t even complain when I mess up his lapel.
After thirty-ish seconds that feel like a month, I sit up and mop my face with my sleeve. He looks more affronted by the wetness on my shirt than he did by my tears on his jacket.
Maybe he’s just recoiling from my appearance in general. And who could blame him?
“Good cries are cathartic. And you’ve had more than your share of late. Are you ready to get back to business now?”
“You know, if you hadn’t deserted me, I’d have been working. You’re my muse. You’re the one who’s supposed to be motivating me.”
“Deserted you? I’ve been here this whole time, cara. You’re the one who’s been ignoring me.”
You have no idea how annoying it is that he’s always right. But I’m still not ready to admit it. “I haven’t been ignoring you. I just didn’t get your messages.”
“I don’t leave messages. I’m here. You haven’t been paying attention.”
Again, I looked at him. Really looked. And regretted it instantly.
He’s usually barely dressed, body slick with sweat, hair mussed from working out or wet from the pool…
Wait, where was I going with this? I lost my train of thought.
Oh, right. His usual appearance. Completely un-ignorable. But now, all cleaned up? The top of his bright white shirt unbuttoned to show that Mediterranean tan. The tails of his tie dangling over his broad, muscular chest…
Dang it. I was going somewhere, but I lost my point.
“You were saying?” His eyes were dark pools of concern, but a soft smile lifted one side of his lips.
Oh, those lips.
I blinked a few times. Shook my head to clear my thoughts.
When he grinned, my cheeks burned. He always reads my mind. Which is humiliating, given my fertile imagination.
“Go, cara. Take a shower. You’re behind on… well, everything. It’s time you get to work.”
I rise. Stretch. Start walking toward my room. But then I stop. “Hey. Where are you going all dressed up?”
“What?” He runs his fingers over his lapels. “This old thing?”
“Seriously. An award ceremony for one of your charges? A hot date?” I waggle my eyebrows.
“No, cara. I did this for you.”
And I thought my cheeks were burning before.
“You’re getting back to work. It’s cause to celebrate.”
“You didn’t know you’d get me working again.”
He rolled his eyes at me.
Right. Of course he knew.
“You’re awfully cocky, you know that?”
“Stop stalling, cara.”
His smile follows me out of the room.
So, there you have it. Mr. Muse had enough of my mental health sabbatical and got me going again. I’m so behind, it’s frightening. But I’m working overtime to catch up.
I’m freshly showered and wearing a proper outfit. My hair clip is in a totally different room.
And he’s now standing in the doorway, dressed in his usual workout clothes. Sigh.
Okay, he’s tapping his watch and glaring at me. So I need to sign off now and get back to my WIP. Our hero is fighting for his life against—well, you can read all about it after I finish the story, revise it, submit it to my publisher, go through their edits…
I’ve got a lot to do. Gotta run. Arrivederci!