From the reaches of deep sleep, I scraped the surface of consciousness to wonder why I wasn't wearing pants. There was a pair of bare legs against my own, and I had only a moment to recall what had happened a few hours previous, before sleep pulled me under again...
Every morning, I wake up the House of Cards theme song as my alarm clock. This particular Wednesday, I woke up to the pair of arms around me stirring. My eyes, heavy with yesterday's mascara fluttered open, and I felt something else flutter in my stomach.
I never thought this day would come. In all honesty, I don't think I ever saw myself waking up in CJ Anslow's arms. Let alone, waking up naked in his arms.
I felt the weight of CJ's head disappear from the pillow next to me, and I only had my eyes open for a few moments before he leaned over and kissed me, and they instinctively closed once again.
"Good morning," CJ said, pulling away from me, just an inch.
"Good morning," I echoed, running a hand through his hair, and lifting my face to his to kiss him again. My hand settled at the nape of his neck, and when we broke apart, I ran my thumb along his jawline. When CJ smiled, he smiled with his entire face. I had only a minute to see that smile before he kissed me again. CJ's hand clasped around the back of my neck, holding me close, and our kiss deepened.
"This is a great way to start the day," CJ whispered in my ear.
"I couldn't agree more," I trailed a line of kisses from just underneath CJ's ear to his collarbone.
"I haven't wanted to stop kissing you since I started," CJ said.
"Then don't," I breathed, and I kissed his lips.
Our kisses were only interrupted by CJ's alarm, which wasn't the House of Cards theme song. CJ reached over to turn the alarm off on his phone, and instead of replacing his hand where it had been clasped with mine, he let it rest on my thigh. It wasn't long until that hand found itself between my thighs, and only a short while later until CJ's beaming face disappeared down there as well.
"Don't you have an exam at 9am?" I said, slightly out of breath when CJ kissed me on the lips again.
"I set an early alarm," CJ smirked.
"Smart move," My smirk matched his and I pushed him over so I was on top of him, and I spent a few delirious minutes kissing CJ before I kissed my way down his torso. He held my hair out of my face as I went down on him, and kissed me furiously when he finished.
The sun was beaming through the slots of the shades when we finally made it out of bed, "I set the early alarm intending to shower before my exam," CJ said, pulling on a fresh pair of American Eagle boxers as I dug my VS black lace panties out of the pile of our plaid flannel PJ pants and white undershirts that we had abandoned the night before.
"Well, gold star for trying," I said with unnecessary peppiness.
CJ chuckled, "It was worth it," he held out a hand to help me jump down from his lofted bed, and when I made it to the ground, he kissed me on the forehead, "I still don't want to stop kissing you."
"You should stop this time, or we'll miss the bus," I smiled sweetly.
"At least one of us has got it together," CJ smiled, kissing me once more and then heading into the bathroom.
I pulled on the black dress I wore to our ballroom lesson yesterday and the black fleece-lined tights I had paired with it. This felt so morning after, so college, but it didn't feel wrong. When it was my turn to spend a few seconds in the bathroom, I couldn't help but laugh at how not-Kaitlyn I looked: I was wearing last night's dress, my sex hair was out of control, my mascara was smudged, and my sketched-on eyebrows had been long since wiped away. I didn't care. For the few seconds I would face other people on the bus, I knew I could simply flip up the hood of my green twill parka and it would hide both the hair and the eyebrows. But it couldn't hide the fact that I couldn't stop smiling at the thought of how yesterday had ended and how today had began.
"Do you want coffee?" CJ asked, motioning to the boiling water on the stove.
"I'm good," I yawned, stretching my arms over my head, "I think I'll survive the next half an hour until I make it to my house and can make better coffee than you have."
"Ok good, because I don't have another travel mug," CJ said, throwing his laptop in his backpack, "I'm so distracted now, there's no way I'm going to focus on this exam."
"If you fail this exam and don't get your master's degree, don't blame me," I pulled on my parka.
"Are you ready for your exam today?" CJ asked.
"I didn't exactly do anymore studying between the time we stopped studying last night and now, and yet I'm still feeling fine about it. Your exam is done at 10:30 right?"
"Yeah, are you going to your morning class?"
"Nope, skipping to study more for the afternoon exam. Want to meet for bagels after your exam?"
"It's Wednesday!" CJ smiled excitedly. Every Wednesday, the Alumni Center offered free coffee and bagels for students, "Of course!"
"I might go home and nap before I meet you, be jealous."
"And I'll be napping during your exam, so suck it," CJ said, before we grabbed our things and headed out the door of his apartment. I got off the bus closer to my house and CJ kept riding all the way to his class on North Campus. When I passed the familiar Med Frat where James Hammond lived, I found myself oddly grateful for winter.
James and I lived exactly one block apart, and one summer morning when I found myself over at his house after spending the night, I made him give me a shirt to walk the one block home in, instead of wearing the sheer sequin tank I had worn the night before. I was grateful for my parka that was disguising the dress that was inappropriate for barely 9am on a Wednesday. I had successfully weaseled my way out of every walk of shame I might have had to take. College done right.
A pot of coffee was already brewing before I abandoned the black dress and stepped into the shower. By 10:30 when I left my house to meet CJ, my hair was back to voluminous, my skin glowing with having finally washed off my makeup and applying it fresh, and the coffee had given me to boost to not worry about how late CJ and I had been up the night before.
Meeting CJ for bagels was one of those brilliant ideas I sometimes have: the main purpose was for us to have a few minutes for us to just be friends in light of the events of the previous night and morning. It worked, we parted ways with a hug, and I knew we wouldn't see each other until dance practice much later.
CJ drove me back from dance later that night, and when he dropped me off at my house, he kissed me goodbye.
That was when I knew that this was something real.