“Hey, what are you doing up?”
“Sorry.” Blaine grinned.
“Oh, I, uh, I needed a drink,” Maribelle said. “I’m sorry I woke you.”
“You didn’t,” Blaine said. “Mister Jones did, jumping on my nuts.”
“You coming back to bed?”
“Yeah,” she said. “Just a second.”
“Hurry up,” Blaine said. “I get lonesome with just Mister Jones to cuddle with.”
Maribelle smiled until Blaine disappeared back into the darkness of the apartment. Then she put her mug in the sink and went to the door, unlocked it, leaving the chain in place. She opened the door the allowed inches and peered through.
She unlatched the chain and poked her head out, looked to the right and left. The lot, bathed in yellow by the security lights, was empty save for the vehicles in their parking spaces and the insects swarming in the glare of the lights. Cicadas and frogs chirped and croaked in the nearby thicket.
Maribelle closed the door. You knew he wouldn’t be there, didn’t you? she asked herself. Yeah, but how do I feel about that? Disappointed? Relieved? Both, she guessed. Sure, but which one most?
Mister Jones had come back, meowing at her feet. Maribelle bent over and picked him up.
“He’s following me around in the dark, boy,” she said to the cat. She rubbed her cheek against the cat’s fur. She left the kitchen, going back to bed. She didn’t turn on any lights in the apartment. Though part of her wanted to.