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A Reluctant Hero

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I woke up with sunlight streaming through windows on the wrong side of my bed. In fact, blinking through the burning of my eyes and the pounding of my head, the sheets felt wrong. And the mattress felt- Shit. I sat up fast enough to make my head spin and forced me to hiss out a long breath. The events of yesterday and last night hit me like a freight train and I felt the urge to fucking die. Quickly.

“Morning, sunshine!” Who the literal fuck? I blinked past the pain, the blinding light, and the realization that I had not one single fucking clue where I was. “You look like hell.”

“Thanks,” I offered through my cottonmouth, which sounded much more like ‘tanks’ than I cared to think about. A chuckle rattled through the very bed, or so it felt like. I groaned, and tried to find some type of sight. “Ugh, I hate life.” I fell back on the pillow I’d woken up on and a sharp hit of pain rushed through me, causing me to groan louder. Another laugh and I considered tossing the pillow at this strange man.

“I brought you some coffee.” I must have turned green at the thought of drinking something so gruesome. “Or-” I felt the bed dip beside me and knew he had sat down. “Juice?”

I tried to open my eyes and focus them. He was tall, very tall. As I fought to see him more clearly, my gaze found the glass of orange juice in his hand first. “Yes, please.” And I sat up more slowly and leaned back against the headboard or wall behind me, so he could hand me the cool glass. Taking a careful sip, I went back to trying to see his face, this strange man who brought me something to take away the dryness of my mouth. After the first cool drink, I felt ready to try another go at conversation. “Thank you, mister-”

“Don’t remember me?” I shook my head and felt like dying. He smiled and I could have sworn that his teeth were brighter than the irritating sun. “Guess you had more than those last two drinks I watched you gulp down,” I felt my stomach lurch at the thought of alcohol. Any alcohol. “Are you going to throw up?” I shook my head slowly, fearing more pain. “If you feel the urge, let me know?” Nodding, he stared into my eyes. “I’d hate to have to toss my bed to the curb.”

His bed? Shit. “Are you going to introduce yourself, or-” Please, I thought, don’t let me have had a one night rebound with a hot as fuck tall guy. I mean, what a fucking waste. To not remember this man naked.

His chuckle vibrated the bed, and I nearly sloshed the juice all over myself and his bed. “You look worried. Very fucking worried.” I bit my lip and saw his stare land on the movement. “Ani, nothing happened. Other than you forgetting my name. Forgetting where you are. And of course, the part where you tried to take off all my clothes and ‘screw the living shit out’ of me.” My eyes went wide. “Don’t worry, you didn’t. You fell into my bed, after I had to carry your limp body inside, and then started to snore.”

From wide eyed to completely shut, I felt the flames of utter embarrassment hit me harder than ALL the alcohol in the world. “I still don’t know who you are,” I made myself open my eyes to see his smile grow. He was having fun with this, the asshole. Moving slightly, but feeling the pain in my head slam into me, his fingers touched mine and took the glass from me to sit it on the bedside stand where I’d been reaching. Long, tapered fingers, warm and strong, and my heartbeat skipped at the slight brush of our skin against one another. Damn it.

“JD Richter.” Wait, what? My eyes flashed. “There it is, the dawning-”


“Horror?” Finishing for him, my eyes shut against the knowledge that I’d propositioned Kelsey’s dad. Shit. “Guess I should be happy she didn’t ask Judge Judgy Pants,” I muttered, causing another laugh to jostle the bed.

“See you’ve met my ex.” I nodded, and sighed. “She makes a lasting impression doesn’t she?

“She’s not the only one,” the blush burned from the roots of my hair to my toes, I swore. Wait, glancing down, I confirmed that I was dressed only in my bra and panties. Fuck. “Did I-” I pulled up the sheet to make sure I was covered.

“Yeah, that was ALL you, Ani.” Our eyes met when I finally opened mine again. “Except your shoes, you nearly fell on your head trying to reach your feet, so I took one for the team.”

At least there’s that. “I should get dressed and-” Shit, he’d driven me to his house, that I had no idea of the location, and my fucking car was still in the bar parking lot.

“Relax, Ani,” JD’s smile was contagious, and I felt my lips curl in response to it. He stood up and started for the doorway. “Let me grab you something for the killer headache you must have, and then we’ll go to breakfast.”

“Only if I’m treating you,” I called to his retreating back, my smile growing as I saw his shoulders move to the sound of his laughter.