Ethan was floating, drifting in and out of consciousness, innately knowing that he had the luxury to do so. He was safe. Things were calm. He was in a good place to be even if he wasn’t quite awake enough to know what place that was.
His body felt super heated but it was a dry heat and the air was just cool enough to sooth rather than to cause shivers. The thread count of the sheets above, below, and tangled between his knees were far lower than what he was used to, but at the same time softer from cycle after cycle of use and washing.
Slowly he became aware of his surroundings. He was laying on his stomach in the middle of the bed rather than “his side” which meant it was at least after 0700. He yawned deeply, and he could feel a stucco of dried drool on his cheek and the brittle sleep grit in the corners of his eyes as his face contorted to accommodate his gaping mouth and deep inhalation of breath. His body felt three times heavier than normal, muscles languid, tension and stress nothing more than a memory. Without provocation, his left calf shuddered not quite ready to be used and Ethan could empathize. Being on the lam had run both his body and mind ragged.
Ethan shifted, pulled one knee up, and inadvertently exposed his toes to the rest of the world. Expression pinching at the unintended invasion of cold air, he straightened his leg, then bent both at the knees,raising his lower legs off the bed. Once the blanket draped over his feet and shins he let them drop to the bed again. Ethan snuggled down under further, pulling the edges under and creating a cocoon of cotton and warmth.
Exhaling deeply he tried to be as still as possible seduced by the illusion weightless, the rush of air through the ventilation system and the quite pop and creek of Eegan settling. After what felt like an eternity, for reasons unknown, Ethan turned on his side, poked his head out, cracked an eye lid open and checked the time on the bedside clock. He thought about little silicon stars and promises. He thought about how many unsavory "firsts" he'd had to do out of necessity in the last few months and the inevitable ramifications.
He thought of the heaven of the here and now.
He thought of the hell of what would surely come after.
And with that he drew the blanket over his head, tucked under the edges, and pulled up his knees, fully intent on making that nine-point-five hours of sleep a glorious eleven.