Orlando knocked on the door that connected his room to the hotel room of his assistant Emma. He waited a moment before opening it, finding the room dark as he had expected. He'd been laying awake for over an hour before he finally gave in and went to her. She'd been his assistant for over 7 months now, even though it seemed like much longer, ever since he met her in a Miami bookstore.
"Emma?" He murmured into the room, just in case she was still awake. He did try to be a proper gentleman when he could. Emma always threatened to tell his grandmother if he wasn't.
No answer. Her shape under the covers didn’t so much as move; she was deeply asleep.
He quietly made his way over to the bed, to the left side and pulled back the covers. Over the last few months of knowing her, and of sharing a bed on occasion, he always had the left while she had the right. He slipped under the covers and slid over to her, where she slept slightly curled on her side, away from him. He didn't have to wait long before she turned in her sleep, almost instinctively and tucked herself into him, her face in the crook of his neck, one arm thrown over his chest and one leg tucked between his. He tried not to react to her cold toes pressing against his calf, something he never got used to. He never met a woman who had colder feet than Emma.
Once he got comfortable, he closed his eyes and let his hand play with Emma's long curls. His mind drifted back to the first time he’d crawled into bed with her, although then had been more out of concern for her than insomnia on his part.
“This is Emma. I’m not feeling very well and I won’t be in today for my shift at 8. Thank you.” He woke at the sound of her soft voice coming from the kitchen and was momentarily confused until he remembered where he was and what had happened. Emma had insisted he spend the night at her apartment rather than drive back to his hotel, worried he would fall asleep driving. He remembered her tears as they had left her company party where her coworkers had told her that he was only being nice to her and would never see her as anything but an average girl. She’d believed some of it, arguing later that the very odds of meeting him like she did were so astronomical, what they had been telling her wasn’t out of the odds.
He listened as she made her way back into the bedroom, the sounds of the bed as she made herself comfortable and the exhale of breath as she no doubt tried to fall asleep. He wondered if she had slept at all since she’d said good night to him. He sat up and ran his hand through his hair. As much as she couldn’t believe meeting him, he couldn’t believe where he was. He’d met her at a little bookstore, doing a promotional junket for Kingdom of Heaven with MTV and their apparent never ending Spring Break celebrations. He’d been lucky enough to run into her and have her help him pick out a few gifts here and there since his assistant had abandoned him for the moment.
That was something he was going to have to talk to Fiona about. This new assistant she’d hired for him just wasn’t working out. He didn’t seem to understand the job description required him to assist, not just tag along and then disappear when he was needed.
Pushing those thoughts out of his head, he sat up and listened, hearing a small sniffle come from the bedroom, or something that sounded like a sniffle. He got up, not thinking about how he’d barely known this girl for three days but thinking of the kindness she’d repeatedly shown him, helping him shop not only in her store but then after when he ran into her again in the mall. He’d been a little overwhelmed at the party by her coworkers, something she’d warned him about, but she’d gone the extra mile, along with a couple friends that she had there to get him a little more personal space.
Walking toward the bedroom, he wondered if she wanted personal space right now. He’d find out.
In the vague light given by the streetlamp outside, he could see her jump a little before wiping at her face anxiously and turning in bed to see him. He had been right, he had heard her crying. “Orlando?”
“Yeah, it’s me.” He sat down on the bed. “Are you alright? I heard you on the phone. You don’t feel well?”
“Well, I’m not sick, but I can’t go back there. Not after tonight.” She sighed and laid against her pillows, avoiding his eyes. “I don’t even know what I’ll do now. But I can’t go back there.”
Her voice choked on the last words and before he even realized what he was doing, he found himself more on the bed, pulling her into his arms, murmuring comforts to her. “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want, love. Those bastards don’t deserve to have someone like you working so hard for them.”
She’d been a little surprised at his presumptuous movement, but quickly relaxed in his arms, obviously in need of some TLC. “I just worked so hard and none of it seemed to matter. I’m probably an even bigger joke there now than I was before. I’m sorry you had to see that tonight. I’m sure listening to me cry and complain isn’t how you wanted to spend your Friday night.”
“I still end up with a pretty girl in my arms. I think it’s not half bad.” He teased, giving her a squeeze before he moved so he was propped up against the back of the bed and she was tucked to his side. They laid there for a few minutes when he felt himself falling asleep and figured he should get up while he still could. “You should try to get some sleep, you’ve had a long night.”
He moved to get out of the bed when her hand tightened on his arm. “Stay? Please?”
He didn’t even respond except to move under the covers, put his arm back around her and comb his fingers through her hair.
Emma woke up with the hotel phone ringing and wasn’t surprised to find it difficult to move because her boss was currently snoring with his head on her stomach and his arm thrown over her hips. She stretched and managed to pick up the phone and thank the employee on the other side before putting it back and taking in the man who currently held her hostage. She didn’t remember him coming to bed, but most times she was already asleep when he came over. Most people would think it was strange or assume things if they heard that Orlando probably spent half his nights sleeping next to her, next to his assistant, but it wasn’t like that.
Not that she wouldn’t mind if it was.
But Orlando had a girlfriend, an Australian model who called herself Capar, and who Emma fondly referred to as Crapper. Crapper was the latest thing and had met Orlando nearly 6 months ago when her photo shoot found her on the island where he’d been filming Pirates. Much to her chagrin, something attracted him to the nearly 6 foot model. Maybe it was the fact that she barely ate or the fact that she probably put out the first time they went out. Emma didn’t know, she’d spent the night they first went out watching movies with Keira Knightly, both cursing the model for entangling sweet Orlando in her web. Keira was one of two people who knew about her feelings for Orlando and had been sworn to secrecy.
A snore brought her back to the present and she tried not to giggle. She wondered what Orlando’s fans would think if they knew he had a tendency to snore like an off board motor if he slept a certain way. Still, it was endearing.
Fondly, she ran her hand through his dark curls, wondering what it was that made him sleep better with her. She’d asked him once, in the beginning, why he came over to her room at night and he’d simply answered that he’d started to suffer from insomnia, but had yet to have a case of it when he fell asleep with her at his side. She wished that it would open his eyes to really see her, but unfortunately, she was just his good friend and of course, the best assistant on the face of the planet, as he liked to say.
No, that was left for the Crapper who he only saw every few weeks and who ran him ragged with her demands and wants. When they’d been on hiatus and he was relaxing, she’d called demanding why he hadn’t immediately flown to Australia to see her. So he’d gone, taking Emma with him, much to her dread. She’d spent weeks there with them, forced to stay at a hotel a few blocks from Crapper’s apartment while the pair pranced around Australia. She’d hated it, being in a strange country and having the only person she knew being the only person she couldn’t get near. Crapper hated her, she didn’t know why. She’d tried to be nothing but nice to the model out of respect for Orlando, but had been treated with nothing but distain and distrust.
Looking down at the man asleep on her, she smirked. What would Crapper think if she saw this?
He stirred against her. “Emma?”
He grinned, running his hand over his face before moving so he was lying with his head on her shoulder. “Remind me to give you a bonus everytime you say that. I love that.” He snuggled closer to her, sighing with a smile on his face.
“I know you do.” She laughed, giving him a hug. “Why don’t you go back to sleep? You don’t need to be up till later.”
“What are you going to do?”
“My job.” She teased, easing out of the bed and immediately missing the warmth he provided. “I have to check a few dozen things out and talk to Fiona about your interview schedule. See if I can get them more spaced out for you and maybe not so early in the morning.”
“I bloody love you. Marry me.”
“Why not?” He pouted playfully before burrowing under the covers and into a ball.
“Because I would break you like a pretzel on our wedding night and I kinda want to keep you around.”
He laughed. “You are a bloody tease. I love it.”
“I know you do. I’ll wake you up in a bit.”
“Thank you.” His voice muffled from the blanket cocoon answered her.