The waiting room had cleared out by the time Sam returned from seeing little Joseph, and then down the hall to the NICU to see Baby Ishy through the glass walls. Uncles weren’t authorized visitors and that was okay. Sam was exhausted.
He decided to wait to contact Leanne until he’d gotten cleaned up, fed, and possibly after a nap. He almost fell asleep in the limo on the ride back to the resort. A quick conversation with the concierge on the way into the lobby and breakfast was ordered to be delivered to his suite as soon as possible.
A steamy hot shower washed off the grime of spending the night perched on a plastic waiting room chair in the hospital. But the steam and heat also doubled his fatigue. Just as Sam wondered if he’d be able to keep his eyes open long enough to wait for the room service, there was a knock at his door.
Not room service.
“Leanne?” Sam held the door open for his on-again-off-again girlfriend who took him on a roller coaster ride only to crash the cars at the bottom of each hill.
As Leanne tucked herself into Sam’s arms, he breathed in the heady scent of her freshly washed hair and savored the soft, thin flannel jersey shirt and pants combination that looked like regular clothes but screamed pajamas. Leanne was probably just as tired as he was.
“Have you eaten?” Sam asked as he rubbed his hands up and down her back, suddenly much more awake than he’d been three minutes prior.
“Not yet,” she whispered, holding him in her arms as he held her.
“I have room service on the way up.”
“Good.” Leanne pulled herself away and strode over to his bed. She didn’t bother getting under the covers, just climbed on top of the downy comforter near the end of the bed and curled up in the fetal position. “I’ll just wait here.”
Sam chuckled, missing her presence in his arms but liking the direction this morning was heading. He knew he would never take advantage of her, and he knew she would never encourage him. But snuggling? Yeah, that could be cool.
There was another knock at the door and Sam ushered in the wait staff, who moved a large cart over by the table. The young man lifted lids on several large platters of food containing a selection of breakfast foods, fruits, eggs, meats, pastries. Sam slipped the kid a hundred dirham note and he ducked from the room, never even glancing at the half-asleep girl on Sam’s bed.
“Come on, Sleeping Beauty.” Sam offered his hand. “You need food just as badly as I do.”
Leanne allowed Sam to lead her to the table where they ate heartily in companionable silence, both of their eyes growing heavy.
Almost simultaneously they were full and stopped eating as quickly as they’d started.
Sam stood and offered Leanne his hand then led her back over to his bed, this time pulling back the covers and tucking her in. He rounded the bed and climbed in next to her then scooted to the middle. She willingly rolled into his arms and they both sighed in contentment, causing each other to chuckle.
He pulled back slightly and brushed her still damp hair away from her face.
“This is what it will be like to be married,” Sam whispered, loving the soft smile in her eyes.
“Not even close,” she mumbled, her lids half closed.
“What do you mean by that?” His hopes fell. Maybe he was reading her wrong.
“We wouldn’t have this many layers of clothing on.” This time her mumbling was so garbled it was nearly unrecognizable. Her eyes closed and her breathing evened out.
“Dang, you’re beautiful,” Sam whispered, not sure she would hear him.
Her answering mumble didn’t sound like a word. But she rolled over and tucked herself up against him, snuggling into his arms.
As Sam wrapped himself completely around Leanne, he whispered one more request. “Marry me, my love.”
“Mmm-kay,” she mumbled and sighed, settling into the cocoon of his arms.
When Sam awoke the shadows were low in the late afternoon, and Leanne was gone.