Written September 2001
Synopsis: Paul becomes concerned when he hears pained wailings coming from Madeline.
Disclaimer: The characters within are property of LFN Productions, Warner Bros., and USA Network. No infringement is intended.
Paul whistled cheerfully as he strolled along the sidewalk, balancing two cups of coffee and a bag of bagels in his hands. He was in the best of moods. Madeline’s rare invitation to her apartment last night had led to more than just dinner. He grinned in recollection. As she slept this morning, he left her a note and went to purchase breakfast. Maybe she would still be in bed when he returned, and he could awaken her with something other than the smell of coffee.
He greeted the doorman and hurried to the elevator, riding it to the top floor. Holding the sack between his teeth, he unlocked the door and kicked it open. Once inside, he unloaded the goodies on the counter.
He paused, hearing the shower running. Damn. There went his idea. Another one came to mind immediately, and he chuckled, hanging his coat on the rack by the door.
A loud thud could be heard from the bathroom, followed by some wailing. His breath caught in his throat. It sounded like Madeline was talking to someone–and she sounded like she was in pain. Paul reached for his gun and unlatched the safety. His first instinct was to run to the bathroom, but if someone else was there, he needed to be covert.
The sounds continued, softly at times, growing louder at others. His heart pounded as he crept toward the bedroom. He prayed she hadn’t been hurt. When he entered the room, he noticed the doors to the balcony were opened, a light breeze tousling the curtains. They were closed when he left. Had Madeline opened them, or was that how the intruder had gained entry? No, he thought. Madeline must have opened them; they were on the top floor, and scaling the walls of the apartment building would not have been an easy task.
The bathroom door was slightly ajar, and Paul peeked through the crack. He glanced at the fogged-over mirror, which showed Madeline’s reflection as she showered. Alone. Relieved, he lowered his weapon. If she was by herself, then what had he heard?
Then he heard it again, and he chuckled softly. The wailing was none other than Madeline…singing. He winced. Her rendition of “Misty” was simply awful. Had she always been so terrible? Shaking his head at his overreaction to something so simple, he returned to the kitchen. He didn’t want Madeline to know about his ‘mistake.’
He began to set the table, putting out the coffee, the bagels, and the cream cheese. Then he placed the rose he had bought her in a vase. A pair of arms wrapped around his waist, and he smiled. He put his hands over the ones that stroked his chest.
“I missed you in the shower this morning,” came a soft purr.
Paul raised an eyebrow. “You could have waited longer.”
“You could have hurried up. What took you so long?”
He turned around as his mind hammered out a plausible explanation, but he found himself unable to speak. Madeline stood before him, completely naked, her dark wet hair plastered to her head. He cleared his throat, unable to meet her eyes, finding much more interesting things to look at elsewhere on her body. “Why are you, uh…” He licked his lips and moaned softly. “…undressed?”
“Because I was too tired last night to finish all the things I had in store for you.” Grinning wickedly, she started walking backwards, pulling him along by his waistband.
“What about breakfast?” He looked down to see her fingers unbuckling his belt. He swallowed. “Uh, never mind.”