"Fuck, Muse," I mumbled. "What the fuck? Why aren't you sleeping? What time is it."
"It's eight something," she said.
"In the morning? Are you insane? I've been in bed for three hours!"
"I can't sleep," she said. "Miranda's a tease."
I groaned and pulled the blanket up over my head. "I don't need to hear this right now. Let me sleep and you can gripe at me in the morning."
"It is the morning," she said. She pulled the blanket back down from my face. "She's such a tease!"
I kept my eyes closed against the morning sun slipping in through the window next to me. "Fine, a tease. What did you do? Did you try to sleep in her bed?"
"Well, duh," Muse said. "She's cute. I had to sleep in her bed. I'm not stupid, you know."
"No, you're just a tramp."
She punched me in the thigh, dangerously close to my groin, and I reflexively rolled onto my side to protect myself. "She's the one who started it, dumbass. I was being good. She's your friend. I know when to keep my hands to myself. But I got up and went to the bathroom, and when I came back she said I looked like a lost puppy and that I had to sleep with her for a while. How could I refuse that, I ask you?"
"You could have feigned sleepwalking and gotten back into your own bed."
"Can't do that. It would be rude."
"Whatever." I yawned, and made a gakking sound when the Muse stuck her finger in my mouth. "Do you have to do that?" I asked. "I hate that."
"Then pay attention, dammit. She got me into bed and then she made out with me."
"Why do I want to pay attention to this, Muse? Do I really need to hear about two of my best friends making out a room away from me? You know that girl-on-girl action isn't really my thing."
"She made out with me," she said, "and then she stopped! What's with that? Who stops when they're making out with me? I'm great at that. I've gotten people off just from that, goddammit!"
I opened my eyes and scooted myself up on my elbows. "Wait a minute. She made out with you, and then she stopped?"
The Muse nodded. "And then she fell asleep."
I looked at her a moment, nonplussed. "She kissed you..."
"And groped me!"
"... and groped you, and then she went to sleep?"
She nodded again.
I stared a moment at her pained face, and then burst out in a fit of laughter. "Oh my God! You've been out-teased! She pulled a Muse on you, Muse!"
She punched me again, this time in the stomach. "Shut up! This isn't funny!"
"It's completely funny! You're the queen of the tease, baby. It's about time you had this coming. Oh man, I am going to give her such a hug when she gets up."
The Muse crossed her arms and pouted. "You totally suck. You are so not feeling my pain here."
"I've known you a few years, Muse. I've lived your pain on an almost daily basis. You are the Platonic ideal of a cocktease." I laughed again. "This is simply the best. The rest of the trip is going to pale in comparison to this moment right now." I reached into my backpack, which was on the floor next to the sofa, and took my camera out, switched it on and snapped a quick shot of the Muse. "This is going to be my new desktop image. I'll call it 'Muse of the Blue Balls.'"
"Mapplethorpe would be so proud," she said dryly.
"He'd applaud me, in the name of all sentient beings, gay or straight, that you've turned on over the years and left to their own devices. I could have my own show, just from this one photo."
"Let me see it," she said. I turned the playback on the camera, and held it up for her to see. She squinted at it, put her hands on the camera as if to steady it, and then quickly hit the erase button. "Fucker," she said. "Nobody sees me like this."
I tapped my index finger against my head. "It's all up here, Muse. Burned in like a brand."
She growled. "Good thing you don't have your glasses on right now."
"Why is that?"
"Because I'm going to have to go in through your eye sockets, and your glasses would just slow me down."
"Go back to bed, Muse. Your own bed."
She made to punch me in the stomach again, and I flinched, but then she stayed her fist, and I relaxed a bit. That was when she really did punch me, and I whoofed out the air in my lungs.
"Who's the tease here, buddy?" she said, scowling at me. "We'll see how the rest of the day goes today. This isn't over yet."
"Muse," I said. "Don't make me regret bringing you along."
"And don't make me have to pull your brain out," she said. She got off the couch and pulled the blanket with her. "You don't get a blanket now. You lose your blanket privileges." She started back toward the bedroom.
"You don't live here," I said. "You don't make the blanket privileges."
"Just watch me," she said without turning around. She parted the beaded curtains and went back into the bedroom, the blanket dragging behind her like a tail.
This, I thought, is going to be the most interesting vacation ever.