I squinted in the lamplight and rubbed my temple. "Thanks. Compliments are always appreciated."
She sat beside me on the big blue chaise. "When was the last time you had a good night's sleep?"
I thought a moment. "Nineteen eighty-seven. Give or take."
She leaned toward me and put the back of her hand against my forehead. "You're not warm. Have you been eating?"
I swatted at her and she jerked her hand back. "I'm fine. I just can't sleep. Quit poking at me."
"I wasn't poking," she said, and jabbed her thumb into my side, and I grunted. "Now that's a poke. Keep it straight, in case I do it again later."
"Aim for the eye. I can get disability."
"You're in a good mood," she said. "I'm glad I came over. I'd hate to miss out on your sunshine and light."
"Can't be cheery all the time."
"You could be cheery some of the time."
"Look, are we going to bicker, or are we going to go to bed?"
The Muse snorted. "Excuse me? You get all snippy at me, and then you want me to get into bed with you? Unless you're Hitler, that's not very romantic. And even he probably gave a girl a priceless piece of degenerate art or something first."
"I don't want to have sex with you, Muse..."
"Good. 'Cause you're not."
"... I just want to sleep with you. I need someone in bed with me. I can't get into a groove these days, and the insomnia is starting to kill me."
"You're not getting any groove going with me, buster. We don't swing that way."
I exhaled sharply. "No, not that kind of a groove. Jesus, Muse, I just need a body to hang on to for a night. I need to get settled, and I can't do it apparently right now without someone there with me. And seeing as you're the only single girl I know in town..."
"Not my fault you don't get out more," she said.
"You're also the most kind."
"You don't mind if I snore."
"I do mind," she corrected. "I just can't get you to roll over and stop. A fucking drag racer, that's what you sound like."
I threw my hands up. "Look, either come to bed with me or go home, because as tired as I am, I'm likely to beat you to death with my shoe if you don't stop arguing."
She crossed her arms. "You're a prince when you're tired."
"I'm beyond tired," I said. "I'm undead."
She sighed dramatically, and regarded me. "The bags under your eyes have bags. Your coloring isn't good, either. Sort of like the Shroud of Turin, but not as mystical."
"I have no idea what that means," I said.
"Of course you don't," she said. "Sleeplessness makes you thick." She stood up and held her hand out to me. "C'mon, let's go. Get up. Come with me now, before you waste away out here."
I took her hand and she helped pull me to my feet. "God bless you, Muse. If you weren't going to stay, I was going to resort to holding my breath until I passed out."
She led me toward the bedroom. "Honey, where you're concerned, I don't think a little brain damage would really be that much of a change for you."
I frowned. "I might be too tired to tell, but I think you just insulted me."
"It's me, baby," she said. "Of course I insulted you."
"Must be love."
"Get in bed," she said, pushing me into the dark room. "Dumbass."