Tommy leaned back against the bar and looked around. Everywhere around him couples were laughing and dancing. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see his newly married friends approach. Jason had married Kim today in a double wedding with Billy and Trini. Zack had gotten married a year ago. Now he left his very pregnant wife and joined the group.
"So" said Kim to Tommy, "when's it going to be your turn?"
"He needs a girl first," said Zack, teasing.
"Thanks so much for the reminder that I'm alone" replied Tommy dryly. "Just what I needed, Zack, really."
Trini gently laid her hand on his arm. "He doesn't mean anything by it really. You know how Zack is. We just want to see you as happy as we are."
Tommy looked at her. "I know. I'll find the right girl someday."
Billy cleared his throat. "If you never seek out recreational activities, that particular eventuality may never come to pass."
Everyone looked at Trini. She sighed. "If you don't look, you won't find."
Tommy nodded. "I know, but I have a lot of responsibilities right now. My students and Rangering take up a lot of my time."
Finally, Jason spoke. "Bro, you can't forget to take time for yourself. Even when Rita was attacking the city every other day, we found time to relax and have fun. You still need to do that too, now more than ever."
Tommy tossed back the last of his drink and signaled the bartender for another one. "I intend to have some fun tonight. I might even get in a dance or two with your wives."
"Oh no you don't!" Kim exclaimed. "You get one dance with me and one with Trini, but then you need to dance with other girls. Maybe you'll meet someone."
Tommy groaned and picked up the drink that had just been dropped by his elbow. "I will as long as you don't try any matchmaking" he told Kim.
"Deal" she replied. She smiled at her new husband. "Come dance with me."
The others drifted off, leaving Tommy alone at the bar.
Two hours and a half a dozen drinks later
Tommy returned from the dance floor and grabbed his drink from the bar. He sensed someone walk up to the bar next to him and looked over. A young woman stood there waiting for the bartender.
"Hello" he said.
"Hello" she replied with a smile.
"My name's Tommy - Tommy Oliver."
"Is that anything like Bond - James Bond?" she teased gently.
The next morning
Tommy's nose twitched. He could smell coffee and - vanilla? Puzzled, he cracked one eye open and shut it quickly. The sun was really bright this morning. He frowned. His bedroom didn't face the sunrise! Then he remembered that he had stayed in a hotel overnight for the wedding. His frown deepened. He knew his hotel room didn't smell like vanilla. He turned over in the bed so the sun was behind him and opened his eyes again. He groaned as his hangover hit him like a ton of bricks. His eyes focused on a nearby chair. His clothes were neatly laid across it. Now he knew he wasn't in his hotel room. Carefully, he sat up and then padded across to the connected bathroom. He realized that he had not a stitch on and grabbed his boxers from the pile of clothes as he went by.
After he had relieved himself, he went to wash his face and caught sight of himself in the mirror. 'I could scare the hair off a cat' he thought to himself. In the reflection of the mirror, he saw a fresh towel on the vanity table. He stepped over to it and realized that there was also a disposable razor, a new toothbrush, a small bar of soap and a trial size bottle of shampoo laid out next to it. Without hesitation, he started the shower and climbed in. Fifteen minutes later, he was clean, dried, dressed and had brushed his teeth.
As he exited the bathroom, he realized that the smell of coffee was much stronger now. As he glanced around the room, he saw a cup on the nightstand that he was fairly sure hadn't been there before now. Next to the cup were a couple of aspirin. Fortunately, the healing powers from being a Ranger and a good hot shower had wiped out the worst of his hangover, but he still swallowed the pills gratefully. He hoped they would handle the rest. Once again, he surveyed the room. A woman's room, he realized. A horrible feeling crept over him.
Had he slept with some woman he didn't know? He couldn't remember. The last thing he remembered was dancing at the reception. He glanced at the door. 'No use beating around the bush' he decided. Squaring his shoulders, he opened the door and left the room. Immediately to his left was a set of stairs heading down. He took a deep breath and went down the stairs. Not unlike his own house, the stairs ended at the living room and through the open door to his right he could see the kitchen and the woman he had stayed with. Or at least the back of her. The first word that came to mind was 'medium'. Her hair was medium brown and medium long. Her figure was average. She was medium height. He took a breath and stepped into the kitchen, taking another swallow of his coffee.
"Morning" she said, her tone carefully neutral. She didn't realize that she was adding to his impression of 'medium', she just didn't know what to expect.
She glanced over her shoulder at him. Tommy mentally nodded. Yup, more average - more medium. Medium brown eyes and an average face.
"If you're interested, the paper is on the table. If you're hungry, I can make some breakfast."
"If you don't mind, I could use something to eat." She nodded and moved around the room collecting the things she would need. She pointed to the breakfast bar.
"Have a seat. Did you want the paper, Tommy?"
"No, thank you." He watched as she scrambled eggs and made toast and set the plate down in front of him. He picked up the fork and began to eat as she refilled his coffee and her own cup as well. He watched her as she added flavored creamer and stirred. He was desperately trying to remember her name and was coming up blank. Suddenly, he realized that she had not made herself a plate.
"Aren't you eating?" he asked.
"Been there, done that" she replied airily. She leaned back on the counter and took a drink of her coffee as she watched him continue to eat. When he finished, she spoke again. "More?"
Tommy shook his head. "Thanks, but I'm good. Can I talk you out of a little more coffee, though?"
She smiled and filled his cup once more. Silence filled the room for a long minute. Finally, Tommy dropped his gaze and spoke. "Um, I hate to have to ask this, but um, what's your name?"
Tommy fully expected tears, rage, stony silence - anything except what happened. She laughed. He looked up in surprise. She stopped quickly.
"I'm sorry" she apologized. "I'm not laughing at you. I kind of thought this might happen. I was tempted to leave my driver's license out so you didn't have to ask, but then I'd have never known for sure. You did drink quite a bit last night."
Tommy grinned sheepishly. "I don't usually do this."
"Which part? Drink a lot, go home with women you don't know or forget their names?"
"Any of it" he admitted. "No offense, but I'm not pleased with myself that it happened this time."
"None taken. If it makes you feel any better, I don't do this, either."
Tommy grinned. "Which part?"
"I don't bring home men I don't know, sleep with them and/or cook them breakfast."
Ice formed in the pit of Tommy's stomach. So they had slept together. She saw the look on his face and waved it away. "Don't worry about it - your secret is safe with me. Your girlfriend or wife or whatever is a very lucky girl."
"Why would you think that I'm married or something?"
Her face reddened. "Because nobody is that good without regular practice, that's why."
Tommy blushed as well. "Um, okay. Moving on - so what's your name?"
"Would you believe it's Alexis?"
Tommy looked puzzled. "Why wouldn't I believe it?"
"No reason." Quickly, she changed the subject. "So do you have a girlfriend or wife or something?"
Tommy shook his head. "I don't really have time for it. Unfortunately, I have a lot of responsibilities and not a lot of free time."
"Shame. You'll make some lucky girl very happy someday, Tommy Oliver. Now, would you like a ride somewhere or do you have nothing better to do on this fine Sunday?"
Tommy glanced at his watch. "Actually, I have a very long drive home and I need to leave by noon. If you could drop me off at my hotel, I'd really appreciate it." 'And the sooner I can get away, the sooner I can stop feeling guilty and start forgetting my screw up.'
Twenty minutes later, Alexis pulled up in front of the hotel. "Take care of yourself, Tommy."
"You too, Alexis. Thanks for everything. How much do I owe you for the bathroom stuff?"
Tommy missed the look that flashed in her eyes. "Um, Tommy? What you just did was the equivalent of leaving money by the bed." Her voice was quiet and flat.
Tommy froze in horror. "I didn't mean it like that!"
"I didn't think so, but I would suggest that you don't do that again. If the woman asks for it, that's one thing, but don't offer."
"I'm sorry. That's not what I meant at all."
"I know." Silence fell for a minute before Alexis spoke again. "$3.75 ought to do it."
He heard the laughter in her voice and looked at her. She laughed. "I'm just kidding. You don't owe me anything. Now I believe you said something about a long drive?"
Tommy thanked her again and climbed out of the car. At the door of the hotel, he turned and watched her drive away, thankful that he could put it behind him and forget.