She pretended to be asleep when she heard him entering the bedroom. Lied perfectly still, controlled breathing, facing the window instead of his side of the bed, like she normally did. Annoyed at herself because she had actually been lying awake, waiting for him. Annoyed at him for meddling in other peoples lives again, without anyone really asking for his help. Why did he keep on doing this? Over and over again. Yep, still annoyed with him, and definitely not ready to speak to him just yet. A good night sleep would help.
She could feel the mattress move slightly as he lied down next to her. Her so called controlled breathing stopped for a second as he leaned over towards her side of the bed, gently stroke a few hairs away from her face, and whispered –“ Good night, darling.”, before he leaned back and closed his eyes.
So, he knew she wasn`t asleep yet. He always knew.
Terese didn`t answer him. She focused on her breathing again.
Her thoughts wandered back to their first night together. Well, their first night as a couple. Only a short week, just a few days after Valentines day. There had been no point in waiting. Both of them felt the same, like there was no point in waisting any more time apart, not when they had waited so long to be together. She had dozed of, wrapped in his arms, her head resting on his chest, their fingers intertwined. He had kissed the top of her head, and whispered- “I can tell you`re not asleep!”
She had looked up at him. In that dark room, only lit up by a couple of candles on the dresser, she had studied his face. Wanting to memorize every little detail of a face she already knew so well. The tiny scar on his chin. The lines around his eyes, the ones that didn`t really become clear until he smiled. Really smiled. The lines that became most clear every time she caught him looking at her.
-“Promise me something? she said.
-“Anything!” he answered.
-“Always kiss me good night!”
And so he did. From that day, he always kissed her good night.
Till this day she wasn`t really sure why she had said that. Maybe deep down, she wanted some sort of security. A kiss to seal their love, every night, just in case times got rough, and they forgot how to talk things out. She had spent so many nights feeling insecure and lost after arguing with Brad, and she didn`t want that with Paul. She knew there would be difficult times, that they wouldn`t always see eye to eye, but she knew they were end game. She just wanted to be reminded of that every night. With a kiss.
Paul kept his promise. Every night ended with a kiss, followed by –“Good night, darling.”
And even though it at times seemed like it had become a habit to him, to her it was a necessity. An anker in life. Metaphoric maybe, but still. She relied on that kiss good night.
When he was hospitalized after being beaten by Vance, he pulled her down for a good night kiss before she went home for the night. That night Sonya died, and she had cried herself to sleep in his arms, he kissed her good night.
When she was struggling after her relapse with her drinking, he had kissed her good night, even though he was struggling himself with everything David went through. A good nigh kiss when they left Pierce and Chloe`s wedding reception early and checked into a room at the resort, just because they couldn`t keep their hands of each other, and didn`t want to waste any time driving home.
Every single night she had spent in LA with her kids, he had called to say good night, event though they were in completely different time sones. A call, followed by a text with a simple emoji. The blowing kiss one. She found it incredible cute, her kids had made fun of her. Made fun of Paul, but she didn`t care. He had found a way to kiss her good night.
Behind her she could hear how his breath started to change, and she knew he was falling asleep. So that`s how he knew? That`s how he could always tell if she was awake or not. She smiled as she slowly turned around to face him. In the dark room, only lit up by the ray of moonshine that fought its way through the curtains, she found herself once again studying his face. That tiny scar, those lines around his eyes. And even though she was still annoyed with him for meddling in the surrogacy possess of David and Aron she couldn`t help but smiling. She knew he meant well, even if he did go about it the wrong way. His heart was always in the right place when it came to his family. To her.
So she leaned over to get even closer, let her finger run over the scar on his chin, and stroked his hair until his breath changes slightly again, and she knew he was awake. That`s when she leaned over, brushed her lips against his. Once. Twice, before she whispered –“Always kiss me goodnight!”