I creep into the room, wincing when my foot hits a creaky floorboard. I still, just inches from the bed, paralyzed by fear. When he doesn’t move, I slowly pull back the covers and slip beneath them, easing my head onto the pillow beside his. Van’s arm automatically wraps around me and pulls me closer. I don’t know if he’s still asleep, and I don’t much care because . . . cuddles.
It’s toasty and warm in his embrace, and I snuggle in.
Van takes a deep breath in through his nose. “There she is.”
“This doesn’t mean anything.”
“Sure it doesn’t,” he mumbles, in possibly the sexiest sleep-roughened voice I’ve ever heard.
“My fire’s gone out. That’s the only reason I’m here right now.”
“Do you want me to come light it again?”
I pause for entirely too long. “No. You’re way hotter.”
He chuckles. “Than fire?”
“Shut up. You know what I mean.”
“I’m not really sure I do. I think I’m going to need you to spell it out for me, snuggle bunny,” he murmurs, his warm breath ruffling my hair. Oh, I’ll spell it out, alright. I stretch my toes back and poke him with them. He jerks away, and I plant both of my feet on his warm legs and chortle as he shrieks like a little girl.
I snuggle closer, my body spooned by his much larger one, and a beat passes in silence.
“Still doesn’t mean anything.”
“If I say it doesn’t mean anything, will you shut up?”
“If I say it doesn’t mean anything, will you blow me?”
“Oh my god, Van.” I attempt to squirm out of his grasp, but he pulls me closer and buries his nose in my hair. He sighs loudly.
“Relax, I’m just kidding. Sort of.”
“Go to sleep, hockey hero.”