I was sweating.
The warmth from under the thick blanket woke me up, before the sun had fully risen. I opened my eyes trying to find the source of the warmth that was leaving me sweaty, not expecting to be staring into a chest.
The last thing I expected was to find myself laying on my side with my legs curled up under me, my face leaning against his chest. Nor did I expect the warmth weight around my lower hip to be his hand.
We hadn’t shared a bed in so long that the feeling was foreign, and it felt more of an obstruction to my sleep. I felt no comfort.
Judging by the steady rise and fall of his chest, I could tell that he was still asleep. I hesitantly lifted my eyes, just to make sure he was asleep behind those closed eyelids. Even in his sleep there was a frown on that handsome face.
His eyes were shut tightly, framed by long dark eyelashes, but on top of those eyes his eyebrows were frowning, pinched like he was thinking about something.
Probably about work, that was the only thing Jasper could think about these days.
I bet he was having a nightmare about the wrong signature on a contract or perhaps the wrong effective date...the horror.
I wriggled away from him, till I felt his arm drop and turned around to face the other way. I could still feel his arm wrapped around me, the warmth lingering, even when it wasn’t. I looked at the clock to see it was five in the morning, the sun should rise soon. I closed my eyes trying to get a few more minutes of sleep, but now I was distracted by his breathing.
He wasn’t breathing loud, but in this silence I could hear it. It was quiet, yet for me it felt like it was the only sound I could hear.
There was no way I was going to fall asleep now.
I got up, looking over my shoulder to see him fast asleep. Grabbing fresh clothes I sneaked out of the room to go freshen up.
I was planning to wake up by six anyway, so now I had a bit of time to just relax before I started work on the lavenders again. I had come here to get myself away from him, to use this time as a distraction to the chaos that was our lives.
But now he was here, this was no longer the distraction that I craved.
I poured myself a coffee as I went outside, sitting on the egg chair letting my legs swing as I took a sip of the strong brew. I could see the bright orange and yellow colours across the sky, almost like someone had painted it.
Out here on the farm everything was amazing. The air was fresher, there was no pollution out here, just endless acres of fresh air and beautiful green trees. The water tasted fresher and cleaner, it was like you were drinking straight from a waterfall.
People were more relaxed, there was no rush to do anything or get places. I shuddered thinking of how many things that were not important during the day, that I still had to do back at our mansion. Even cleaning felt like it had to be done against a clock.
Here I could spend all day gardening and I never felt like it was a chore. I sipped some more of my coffee, bending down to tie up my laces when the fly screen opened.
I looked up, surprised to see Andy.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, as I put my coffee cup down. He was the last person I expected to be walking out that door.
“You told me to come remember, to help you with the lavenders, do you want me to go?” he asked.
I had forgotten I had told him a few days ago to help me, but that was before Jasper had come along. Jasper and Andy got along fine, but not as well as I would like them too. They always acted a little bit stiff with each other, but Jasper was like that to everyone.
“No I forgot, it’s fine. I didn’t think you would be here this early.”
“Oh,” Andy shrugged, “I was going to come start before you woke up so I was surprised to see you here. Your mum let me in, she was out the front anyway.”
“That’s fine, do you want a coffee or anything?” I asked as I finished the last few drops of mine.
“No, you know I don’t really like coffee.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot.” I said, as I stood up grabbing my water bottle. We both headed towards the lavender fields, Andy already talking my ear off about some insect he found on the apple trees. As much as I loved Andy, sometimes he just talked way too much, especially when it was this early in the morning and the coffee barely woke me up.
It almost reminded me of when we were younger, back then he had a new story to tell me every morning on the way to school. His dad used to pick us both up in his old white beat up truck, we used to sit squashed in the back and Andy would be telling me about something new that happened, a crazy dream or just some other crazy story he had watched in the news.
That was a good thing about Andy as well sometimes, he was an expert in talking, that he was able to hold conversations with everyone quite easily. He also knew how to diffuse awkward moments by shifting the attention to himself and getting everyone interacting with what he was saying.
He was also an expert in listening, he would always listen to me rant in high school, find ways to fix my issues. He was like a shoulder I could always rely on.
Jasper used to be like that.
Now he was too busy to listen to me, talk to me, or even speak to me. It was work this, work that, and work everywhere. Sometimes I wondered if I was just not reading the signs properly and when this switch happened.
Did something happen at work that made him much more stressful, was I not being a supportive wife? Was there something I could do to be able to fix what went wrong? Maybe there was, but maybe there wasn’t.
“What do you think?” Andy asked and I realised perhaps I wasn’t that good of a listener if I just turned out. I had no idea what he was even talking about, but he didn’t notice as he kept yapping on.
Andy and I worked on the fields for a few hours, the sun had risen and now it was boiling out here. By lunch time I was practically sweating enough liquid to fill a sink. How was it so hot?
“You don’t mind if i take my shirt off, do you?”
“Doesn’t bother me,” I said as I sat half defeated by the lavenders. I had my hand shielding me from the sun.
I had seen Andy shirtless plenty of times growing up so I was surprised he was asking, or maybe it was because Jasper was here.
“I need to dunk myself in a tub full of ice.” Andy said as he took a seat on the ground in front of him, his shirt now over his head like a hat.
“You’re going to get burned.” I pointed out. I was pretty sure he wasn’t wearing sunscreen and his skin was already showing a nice golden tan. It wasn’t going to be too long before the tan turned into a burn.
“I’ll head off soon. I just need to catch my breath. We did well though, two whole rows.”
We had actually made some progress and hard pruned heaps, all the plucked out ones left on the aisles for us to go pick up later. The big bushes of lavender were now smaller, neat and ready to grow into their stems again.
“Thanks for your help, you didn’t have to.” I said passing my water bottle over to him.
“No worries, anytime I don’t mind it, really. It’s quite fun and gives me a break from the cows. I need to give them their medication otherwise I would be staying for longer. Besides I’m pretty sure your husband has been glaring at me from the porch for the last hour.”
I raised my head and sure enough Jasper was sitting there on the porch with his laptop.
“I doubt it.” I said. There was no reason for Jasper to be staring at Andy, Jasper was never one of those jealous types, not that there is anything to be jealous for. Jasper knew how close Andy and I were since we were kids, I was positive he wasn't glaring at Andy like he thinks.
“Do you need any help with the cows?”
“I’ll be alright. It’s just their flea treatment, I just add it into the water and they go in, easy.” Andy stood up.
“I’ll come over tomorrow maybe if you’re free?”
“Sure.” I said as Andy stood up grabbing his shirt off his shoulders as he started heading back inside.
I decided to sit here for a bit longer, I was too tired to move. I bent my head between my legs to shield my face from the sun, but the back of my neck was now starting to feel the heat. I closed my eyes for a while trying to see how people enjoyed sunbathing.
I was definitely not a sunny person.
The sound of a voice clearing made me look up. I squinted into the sun trying to make out the face, just as I was about to raise my hand to shield my face, he moved, blocking out the sun with his body.
“We need to talk.” Jasper said, sounding serious.
“Ok, talk.” I said.
“Not here. Somewhere private.”
My stomach flipped, not the good kind of flip.
Author's Note: I hope you're all enjoying this story! If you are please remember to vote on each chapter, and leave a comment on the main page! Follow me on my social media and let me know your thoughts! Instagram: Imsooverpolice & nkpockett, FB: N.K.Pockett, Twitter; N.K. Pockett