He hadn’t realized he had dozed off until he was dragged back to consciousness by an unknown source. His blue eyes blinked away the daze of slumber as the young woman in his arms mumbled in her sleep and snuggled further into his embrace. A flash of heat surged through the ninja turtle at her proximity, but he quickly relaxed again, a weary smile playing at his lips. His fingers teased the green streak in her bangs, gently brushing them out of her face to better view the freckled surface beneath. His smile broadened with confidence as the girl pushed her cheek into his roaming hand and sighed contentedly. “I could get used to this.” He whispered to no one at all, with a sigh of his own.
Unfortunately, his placid temperament was shattered by an insistent buzzing, vibrating noise across the hard surface of the nearby nightstand. He absently let a groan of frustration rumble through his throat as he attempted to disentangle himself from his companion without waking her. With all of his ninja training, this maneuver was still trickier than he would ever admit as he snatched his T-Phone from the stand just as the call went to voicemail. No big deal. He concluded, I’ll just text ‘em and… His thoughts trailed off as the Missed Call message disappeared from the screen and a new notification had him struggling not to bolt from the bed. “18 missed calls?!” He hissed in disbelief, struggling not to scream or jostle his partner. His gaze quickly flicked to the displayed time and his breath hitched. I’ve been gone for hours! He realized, and then another revelation had him forgetting about his attempt not to wake his consort as he sprang from her bed.
He danced around the spacious room for a few seconds, his gaze flashing between the small south-facing window and the doorway. Which escape would be more prudent? He didn’t have time to decide as he darted for the door. His brothers had failed to make contact for at least an hour, the fact that they hadn’t already shown up inside the apartment was a miracle in itself. He had to get out, lead them away before that happened.
He’d been lucky so far. He’d been sneaking off to spend time with Sammi for almost six months, and so far, his brothers hadn’t even suspected he’d been meeting a girl. I was so damn careful! He inwardly groaned. For six months he’d been intermittently taking his “training” to the surface to “escape” his brothers’ jeers and snide comments about his diligence and obsession with perfection. And while it had started that way, it certainly was not the case anymore.
During his early explorations for a suitable training ground, he had accidently come upon a ruined part of the city. And a girl using the necropolis for her own kind of training with a small handgun. At first, he made sure to avoid her, to ensure she wasn’t aware of his presence. But as he began to utilize the area more often, he found himself watching the girl more than his own practices. From a distance, he realized the girl used the ruins as a sanctuary, a place to get away from the rest of society, and vent her frustrations on unassuming aluminum cans, plywood boards, and other assorted makeshift targets. It was easy to be impressed by her accuracy with the weapon, but also easy to understand why she was so good with it.
In all honesty, Leonardo wasn’t sure when his unassuming spying had became a growing conversation with the girl. He couldn’t even remember who had made the first contact. Had he gathered his courage enough to speak to her through a wall, or had she stumbled across him while he was – as Mikey referred to it – in the Leo Zone. A trance-like state that nothing could pull him out of as he practiced his ninjutsu training. Everything had progressed from that moment, what ever that moment had been. At first, they would just talk – usually through a wall while they continued their training – and then steadily they began to interact. One day they would share a conversation while Leo practiced his ninjutsu, another day they would chat about nothing in particular while she practiced impressive trick shots. Some days she would let Leo fire her gun, and other days he would let her dance around the broken stones with his swords. They became very close in a very short time.
However, he had never stayed with her more than three hours before, and never at her place, least of all sharing her bed. They’d dozed off while watching TV and now his brothers would learn everything and jump to unprecedented conclusions.
He’d barely stormed into the darkened interior of the main room when a derivative snort had him reeling towards the leather sectional before the massive flat screen mounted on a nearby wall. “You know, breaking and entering is against the law.” A distinctly familiar voice grumbled from the shadows.
Not fast enough. Leo chastised silently, but spoke plainly; “I could say the same to you.”
Suddenly, his brother was in his face, green eyes flashing in unspoken rage. Not here, not here, please don’t start something here. He silently pleaded, as he attempted to meet his brother’s fury with his best poker face, which was to say not very good at all. And it shattered completely when his other two brothers appeared from the shadows.
Mikey didn’t say anything, his pale gaze fixated on the luxurious room they stood in, but Donnie’s keen eye for detail was seemingly attached to his mouth and vocal cords. “Where’s your mask, Leo?” He inquired, “What happened to your leathers? Why aren’t you carrying your swords?” At the comment, the lanky turtle held up his twin katanas, a note of worry laced his words, but they dripped with as much aggravation that glittered in Raphael’s eyes. They were upset, and rightly so.
Leo tried to swallow, but his mouth was dry, so he tried to speak, but no words came to him. He hadn’t even thought about the fact that Sammi had ordered him to drop his swords on the table just inside the main door. Or the fact that she’d insisted he take off his sweat-drenched leathers before climbing into her bed. And most importantly, he’d completely forgotten about the rather intimate moment she had pulled off his mask.
Thinking back, he remembered protesting against the removal of his mask, but had conceded when she informed him that he didn’t have to the ninja leader around her, but rather that she required him to be himself in her presence. Which – apparently in her mind – meant setting the ninja equipment aside.
Heat rushed into his cheeks as his brothers rounded on him; he would not escape this without an explanation. He tried to sort through just how much to tell his siblings when the soft creak of an opening door declared the arrival of another, and a gentle squeak made Leo cringe and want to throw himself off the highest building he could find.
“Leo…?” Sammi squeaked dazedly as she stumbled into the main corridor, scrubbing at the freckled face he’d so recently been admiring. He couldn’t decide which detail was the worst. The fact that she’d clearly just stumbled out of a bedroom. The fact that she was scantily dressed in a pair of loose-fitting sleep pants that hugged her hips adjoined by a tight black camisole bunched up over her flat abdomen, one string barely clinging to her shoulder while the other had slipped down entirely. Or the fact that the first thing out of her sleep-dredged lips had been his name.
Realizing all three pairs of eyes were shifting between Leonardo and the awakened young woman, Leo swallowed hard and forced out a simple saying, “It’s not what it looks like, I swear!” But you’re not going to believe me anyways. He silently added to himself, as his brothers took turns eying their leader and the disheveled woman who had woken enough to realize she had company and struggled to compose herself.
Pressing his lips into a thin line, Leonardo hung his head in defeat, before turning slightly to address his three brothers and the young woman. “Guys, this is Sammi. Sammi, these are my brothers. Now if you’ll all excuse me, I think I have a date with the Byerly Building roof.” He appraised, distractedly stepping towards the open window his brothers had probably entered through.