Something was rustling. Scarlett opened her eyes, but stayed still in the bed. She was lying on her side facing the bedside table and wasn’t sure if Greyson was still next to her. Making herself fully awake, she listened harder. The sound seemed to be coming from the foot of the bed and it was as if someone was looking through a bin bag.
Slowly, she rolled over and was met by Greyson’s back. She touched his bare shoulder, feeling the rise and fall of his breathing. Rubbing then squeezing his upper arm, Scarlett pressed her face into him and whispered his name. No response. Trying harder only equalled in a soft groan and Greyson slightly shifting.
Leaving him, Scarlett sat up, ears still prickling at the rustling noise. She looked into the darkness, but couldn’t see anything. Reaching over, she clicked on the lamp. Light cast along the wall and floor. The rustling stopped. She slipped from the bed and walked carefully towards where the light ended. Looking at the floor, she could see the shapes of boxes and bags.
Greyson snorted and rolled over.
She glanced back at him and saw he was still asleep. Tucking her hair back, Scarlett retraced her steps and picked up the lamp. Holding it out like a weapon, she tried to spot anything moving on the floor. Walking as far as the cable would reach, which was almost to the end of the bed, she inspected the area.
‘What are you doing?’ Greyson’s rough, sleep filled voice cut in.
‘I heard something in one of the bags. Maybe it’s rats or mice. I’m trying to see it,’ Scarlett replied.
‘Probably gone by now.’
‘Maybe. But what if it comes back? I don’t want it eating the silk bedding.’
Greyson groaned loudly, ‘just come back to bed.’
‘I need the bathroom now,’ Scarlett hissed back, ‘turn on the lights.’
Grumbling incoherently, Greyson hit the main switched and flooded the room with light.
Scarlett placed the lamp back, leaving it on and picking her way across the bedroom floor, went into the ensuite bathroom. Turning on the light, she shut the door and did what she had to do. Coming out again, she hurried back to the warmth of the bed.
‘I have to go now,’ Greyson uttered.
‘See if you can spot anything,’ Scarlett responded.
He got up and weaved his way to the bathroom. Scarlett watched him over the edge of the duvet before resting back down. She shut her eyes, the sounds of him in the bathroom filling her ears. When he returned, they took a few moments to turn off the lights and settle back down again.
‘We’ll have to get some traps,’ Scarlett muttered.
‘Sure, tomorrow or whenever,’ Greyson said into the top of her hair.
Pressing her face against his chest, Scarlett tried to fall back to sleep again. She listened to Greyson’s heartbeat and breathing as well as the distant sounds of the house. She could hear wood creaking and the fridge freezer humming. Yawing, she snuggled down further and tried not to think about rodents roaming along the bedroom floor.
The shrill piercing of the alarm clock brought Scarlett wide awake. She quickly sat up, flipping the duvet over and looking, in the dim light, to the bedside table. Not spotting the ringing clock, she peered over Greyson’s humped up form and at his table, but it wasn’t there either.
‘You didn’t unpack the alarm,’ Scarlett snapped.
She climbed out of the bed and instantly felt a chill. Swallowing a soft moan, she went to the end of the bed and looked at the jumbled mess on the floor. She couldn’t pinpoint where the loud beeping was coming from and there was now ringing in her ears.
‘Greyson? Greyson? Get up and help me find it!’
‘What?’ his muffled voice asked.
Stepping over some stuff, Scarlett went to the nearest suitcase and opened it. Though, in the little light that had made its way through the curtains she couldn’t see much. Letting the lid fall back, she stumbled her way around and switched on the main lights.
Greyson cried out and flung the duvet over his head.
‘Come on,’ Scarlett urged and yanked the duvet down, ‘this is your fault!’
‘Why?’ Greyson threw back.
‘Because, you should’ve unpacked it last night when you made the bed!’ Scarlett shouted as she walked away.
Bending over, she began rooting through a box marked bedroom. Aware that his eyes were lingering on her, she turned her head, ‘what?’
‘I like the view,’ Greyson replied in a low voice.
Scarlett sighed, ‘I don’t know where my dressing gown is.’
‘Alarm first,’ Greyson stated, getting up.
‘Do you remember what box it’s in?’ Scarlett asked.
‘Nope. Probably with the stuff from my bedside table.’
Greyson came to her side and together they rummaged through all the boxes. Finally at the last one, Greyson pulled at the large red alarm clock and turned it off. Scarlett sighed and waited for the ringing in her head to stop. Pushing her hair back, she went over to another suitcase and opened it up to reveal some of her clothes. Kneeling down and searching through, Scarlett pulled some things out.
‘Leave that for a minute,’ Greyson said, huskily.
Scarlett felt his hands on her shoulders and the slow press of his legs into her back.
‘Come back to bed.’
‘After all that?’ Scarlett questioned.
She looked straight up at him and saw him shrug.
‘I’m sorry. I should’ve thought about it, but it just slipped my mind. I was tried too, you know.’
Scarlett smiled a little. She turned and he helped her up. Pressing her body into his, she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him. Hugging him, she breathed deeply and decided she couldn’t be angry. Greyson nuzzled into her hair, trying to angle his head to steal another kiss. Scarlett gave in and after they went back to bed.
Bathing in the afterglow, Scarlett studied the dappled white ceiling, lost in thought. Greyson was dozing beside her and she felt too warm and happy to move. Still though the sense that too many things had to be done lingered and finally, she got up and had a shower. Letting the hot water wash everything away, she recalled the rustling from last night and decided to add getting some poison and traps to her shopping list. They couldn’t have anything scampering around if they were going to reopen the hotel in a few months’ time.
Drying off, she wrapped the towel around her and went back to the suitcase she’d abandoned before. Selecting comfy underwear, slim fitting jeans and a loose long sleeved top, she got dressed. Digging out the hair drier, she sat on the bed and poked her husband awake.
‘Shower’s free. We need to go shopping,’ she stated.
‘Okay,’ Greyson responded and rolled out of the bed.
She watched his naked body going into the bathroom and couldn’t help but smile.
To Be Continued…