Ron dozed fitfully during the night. Bonnie's snoring only created part of the problem. He had brought her upstairs when he found her drunk in the library after the wedding. He recognized that staying had been a mistake, even though she made the request and nothing happened, except his holding her as she slept it off. Ron left the door open to demonstrate pure motives, but wondered if anyone, including him, would believe it.
He slept through the first giggles, at about dawn. The later laughter and whispered conversation woke him up. As he opened his eyes the flash blinded him.
He closed his eyes, wondering who had inflicted the torture on him. He tried to open his eyes again. Shego held a camera and dazzled his eyes with another flash. Before he closed his eyes again he noticed Kim wore a hat, God knows where she found it - she could do anything - and had stuck a piece of paper with the word PRESS on it in the hat band. She held a pad of paper and a pencil. “We've definitely got the front page story for the house newsletter that goes out to everyone's parents,” he heard Kim say.
“We don't have a house newsletter,” Monique reminded her.
“Looks like a good month to start,” Kim replied.
Ron cautiously opened his eyes again. It looked like everyone except Zita had taken up residence in Bonnie's room.
“Ron shoots, he scores,” Felix laughed.
“They look like they're both wearing clothes,” Justine remarked.
“Seriously kinky,” Felix replied.
“Of course, the blanket covers them below the waist.”
“But they could be stripped to the waist.”
“Shhh,” Ron hushed them, “let Bonnie sleep.”
“You really wore her out last night, huh Tiger,” Shego teased.
“I didn't wear her out,” he whispered, “she got drunk and I--”
“You took advantage of her while she was drunk?” Kim demanded.
“Shhh,” he warned again, “I didn't take advantage of her. She didn't feel so hot and asked me to stay and hold her. Period. End of story.”
Shego shook her head in disbelief, “You know, Kim, you should have tried to set Ron up with Monique instead of Will Du, I think he's even more of a Boy Scout.”
“Well, I believe him,” Kim said. She walked over and gave Ron a kiss on the forehead. “You're a perfect gentleman.”
The noise finally succeeded in rousing Bonnie. She awakened with a groan. Opening her eyes produced a shooting pain in her skull. A startled look went across her face as she saw the company in her room. The second surprise struck her about ten seconds later. It wasn't clear if she noticed Ron for the first time or simply realized that her warm pillow, in fact, went by that name. Her scream only damaged her head further.
“When I get back from the bathroom everyone better be gone,” she groaned as she swung her legs over the side of the bed. “Where is my skirt?”
“You didn't want it to get wrinkled. I hung it over the back of the chair for you.”
“And you,” she snarled at Ron, “I want to know what you're doing in my bed. You be here when I get back.” Not certain if she had any dignity left to preserve, and feeling the call of nature deep within her, she stalked out in blouse, panties, and panty hose.
Shego gave an appreciative loud, rude whistle as she walked by.
“Congratulations, man,” Felix laughed, “she wants an encore.”
Ron got out of bed to shoo everyone out of the room.
“Look, he's wearing pants,” Justine announced almost sadly.
“I think I liked you better before you started growing a sense of humor,” Ron complained.
“I come to love her more each day,” Felix called as he headed for the elevator.
“Well said,” Kim and Shego laughed.
“You're all making breakfast for yourselves after treating me like this,” Ron yelled behind them. “And clean up my kitchen when you're done!”
Kim lagged a little behind the others, “Are you really okay, Ron?”
“I think so. Nothing happened.”
“I know, but she's mad and may not believe that. Holler if you need help. I've got your back.”
Ron sat on the chair by Bonnie's desk and waited for her. She staggered in a few minutes later and collapsed on the bed. “What happened,” she groaned. “Why were you in my bed?”
“'Cause you asked me to stay and hold you.”
“I asked you?”
“I don't remember that.”
“And tell me, just when does your memory end yesterday?”
“My memory gets a little fuzzy after Kim and I danced--”
“I'll bet it started getting a little fuzzy before that. I thought you were drinking too much champagne at the reception.”
“You should have told me.” She saw him open his mouth to say something. “Never mind, you're right. I wouldn't have listened. Anyway, after people left, I took a bottle of champagne into the library to think… I mean, I took it in to drink. I was going to think. But I can't remember any thinking.”
“You weren't thinking when I found you in there. I suggested you go to bed and you said you needed help getting upstairs. When I tried to leave you asked me to stay.”
“And you stayed, even though you knew I was drunk?”
“I didn't take advantage of you! You just, I don't know, looked lonely maybe. You asked me to hold you. I wasn't sure what to do…”
“And you took pity on me… God, how the mighty have fallen… I feel awful.”
“A little breakfast and a couple aspirin would help.”
“Ron, I feel so bad in so many ways that breakfast and aspirin can't help me.”
“They can't cure you. But they can help.”
“I'm not sure what shape my stomach is in just now.”
“You need something in it to go with the aspirin for the headache. I'm going to fix you a cinnamon-raisin bagel, two poached eggs, and a cup of weak tea.”
“I'll be downstairs in five minutes.”
“No, stay here. I'll bring you breakfast in bed.”
She smiled with all the strength she could muster. “Thanks. Could you make a little breakfast for yourself too? I'd like to know a little more about what happened last night.”
“Didn't happen,” he assured her. “Try to sleep. Should I wake you up if you manage to nap?”
Everyone, including the twins, was in the kitchen when he went down, but they seemed to feel he had suffered enough and no one teased him as he fixed two plates of food.
She was sitting, propped up on the bed and looking haggard, when he arrived with the breakfast tray. “Eat half a bagel first,” he told her. “No aspirin on an empty tummy. And by then the tea will be cool enough not to scald you when you wash the aspirin down.”
She tried hard to smile at him, “Thanks, mom. Hey! What are you doing?” she asked as he sat his plate down on the desk.
“I'm not going to mess up your desk.”
“That's not what I mean.” She patted the bed beside her, “If I'm good enough to sleep with I'm good enough to eat breakfast with. And I want to keep things at a whisper.”
“I don't think anyone will listen in.”
“No, my head hurts if I talk too loud.”
He propped himself up and sat beside her on the bed. For several minutes the sound of chewing was the loudest noise in the room. Bonnie gave a little sigh of contentment as she finished, “Thanks, that was good.”
“Ah, but can you keep it down?”
“I think so… Can you pull the shade down and close the door? It's getting a little bright in here.”
“You aren't worried about your reputation?” he teased.
“I don't think it will suffer any more than it's already suffered.” As he pulled the shade down she remarked, “I hope you believe this is the first time I've ever had a strange man in my bed after getting drunk.”
“And I'm a friend, not a strange man,” he pointed out.
“Trust me, Ron, you're a strange man. Hey, where are you going?”
Ron had picked up the plates and looked like he intended to close her bedroom door from the outside.
“I thought I should let you rest.”
“No, back in here. You gave me a fast look at what didn't happen last night.” I want you to give me more details. What did I say? What did you say? And back here beside me,” she insisted patting the bed beside her again.
“I did some cleaning after the reception ended, making sure things that had to get put away got put away. I found you in the library,” he began. He paused, trying to remember the exact conversation of the night before. “I don't remember exactly how the conversation started, but I said you were beautiful and--”
“Time,” Bonnie called. “You said I was beautiful?”
“You asked me something, I can't remember what, and I said you were beautiful. And you said nobody ever told you that.”
“To quote Captain Corcoran, ‘Well, hardly ever…’ Oh, wait, you don't know that, do you?”
He shook his head no.
“Kim never told you about the time she and I were stuck together… Weren't you stuck to Mr. Barkin or someone at the same time?”
He nodded. “I don't remember Kim saying much -- except she hated being dragged along on your date with Brick.”
“Do you remember I have two sisters?”
“Well, they always made life hell for me at home. Always telling me I was ugly and stupid.”
“You? Talk about crazy.”
“Yeah? Try having someone tell you that every day of your life. It gets to you.”
“Sounds like high school to me,” he muttered.
She stared at him and her eyes went wide, “I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.” She looked like she was getting ready to cry.
“That's okay,” he said patting her hand. “I didn't think much of your opinion back then. I know it's a lot harder hearing it at home.”
Bonnie hesitated a moment, then began talking. “I had a long talk with Monique one night. I think she should go into psychology rather than business. She thinks I hate myself.”
Ron's brow wrinkled in thought, “You?”
“Yeah. That was what she said. She said it explains a lot. Monique said that's why I always wanted to be the center of attention -- I needed to compensate for my self-hatred. And yet I didn't think I was worth liking so I got hostile to anyone who wanted to get close to me. Or maybe I was modeling the behavior I'd seen at home. I can't remember everything Monique said. We had the conversation months ago.”
“What do you think about what she said,” Ron asked softly.
“You're as bad as Monique. Oh, she had another theory too, my hostile behavior served as defense mechanism.”
“Nasty as I was, I really, really wanted positive attention. I might have slept with anyone who said nice things to me. But I made it hard. He would really have to love me to get over how badly I treated him.”
“So Brick was really nice to you?”
She gave him a look of disgust, “Brick is an idiot. But he's handsome and was the captain of the football team. When I dated him it proved I was somebody. It meant I was good looking. I was special.”
Ron smiled, “This is so weird. I was miserable in high school, always bullied and insulted because I didn't want to do what everyone else was doing--”
“You had courage.”
“Maybe, but I was miserable. And I'd look over at you at the table with all the popular kids and think how easy you had it and how happy you were. Man, you make it sound like you were messed up more than I was and even more unhappy.”
“I probably was. You learned how to be yourself. I conformed to everyone else's expectations of what was trendy and fashionable. I went by the rules so well I because the style dictator of Middleton. That was hard work. I couldn't relax and be myself. If I'd made a mistake the next in line'd knock me off my perch. I think Monique called it overcompensating. All part of wanting to be told I was pretty or smart, but I'd despise anyone who told me that because I'd have thought he was too stupid to tell the truth.”
“Want me to tell you every day that you're beautiful?”
Bonnie smiled and opened her mouth to speak, then shut it and thought for a minute. “No, better not. I…”
He waited, but she didn't continue. “Why not,” he asked.
She smiled and slowly ran a finger down his cheek to his chin. “I could fall in love with you Ron. I might be half way there now. But you're still stuck on Yori, aren't you?”
He wanted to tell her no. He wanted to take her in his arms and hold her tightly. “Yeah, I guess I am.”
“I don't want to fall for a guy whose heart is somewhere else. You could really hurt me, Ron. You've already hurt me… I don't want to get hurt again. Having you tell me everyday that I'm beautiful? Yeah, I'd love it. And I'd love you. If you're ready to move past Yori some day… I'm not going to wait. But I could use a friend.”
“Someone you trust to carry you upstairs if you're drunk and tuck you in?”
“Apparently someone I even trust to hold me if I'm drunk and depressed.” She leaned over to give him a little kiss on the cheek.
Ron turned his head, perhaps to say something to her, perhaps thinking that she intended a fast kiss on the lips. The kiss did not end quickly and seemed only to grow in passion the longer it lasted. Bonnie opened her lips, allowing Ron's tongue inside her mouth. His arms went around her, pulling her tight against him, then he rolled slightly so she was on top of him. His hands roamed over her back and sides. One hand played with her thinly covered ass and she moaned softly as they continued kissing. Suddenly, he felt her stiffen. She struggled and he released his hold on her. Bonnie's hands pressed against him as she pushed herself away. He saw real fear in her eyes as she rolled away from him.
“I'm sorry, I'm sorry,” he apologized. “I thought you wanted that.”
She stared straight up at the ceiling, unwilling to look him in the eyes. “I did, Ron. that was the problem.”
“Why would that be a problem,” he asked, putting his hand down on top of hers.
She jerked her hand away as if touched by a live coal. “I'd be making love. Would you be making love or having sex?”
Ron didn't know what to say. He knew he loved Yori and wanted to be with her no matter how impossible that dream appeared. His desire for Bonnie that moment felt as strong as his love for Yori, and he felt ashamed of himself for his desire. “I don't know,” he confessed. “I'm confused. I lusted after you in high school--”
“You did? Really?”
“I was a guy in high school. I probably lusted after half the girls who went to school there. But, man, you were Bonnie Rockwaller -- top of the food chain, one of the most beautiful girls in school and the most unattainable. You were the… the…”
“The bitch queen of Middleton?” she suggested.
“I wasn't going to say that.”
“Thanks, but that was what you thought.”
Ron continued to stare at the ceiling, his fear of looking at her as great as her fear of looking at him. “Part of me still has that lust for you. The last couple years I've come to know you. Under that hard surface you are a really great person. It's not just lust I feel for you. I like you a lot. Too much probably… Can I love two women?”
“I don't know… Please, Ron, don't say that. Not today. Today I need to hear you don't want Yori, you just want me.”
“I can't tell you that.”
“I know. Maybe someday you can. Maybe someday I'll believe you can love two women. But today I'm feeling sick, and stupid, and jealous. I need to be told I'm special--”
“Let me finish. I need to be told I'm special by someone who loves me more than anyone in the world. Who wants me to make love with him… Thanks for not lying to me. Thanks for not using me.” She gently stroked his face with her fingers, smiling as she stared into his eyes. She stopped abruptly, “You'd better get out, Ron. Now.”
He got out of bed, and looked at her sadly before he left. “You're right. Don't want to do anything both of us would regret later.”