Content Warning - Domestic Abuse
Chapter 20 – Fragments
Bright red spots on a field of old linoleum.
I continue digging with tweezers, the tips failing to get a hold on the tiny sliver.
Stainless steel scrapes on jagged glass. More blood drips off my heel.
No matter how many times I clean them up, fragments remain.
I’ll be walking on broken glass forever.
“Where we heading?”
“Is that so?” I said. I arched my eyebrow at him. I knew Preston had said he was taking me back to his apartment, but I didn’t know whether he had said it for Jameson’s benefit or what. At the time, I was so glad to get away from my ex that I didn’t ask any questions.
“It’s not what you’re thinking,” he said quickly. “I just didn’t think you’d want to overhear Kitten getting his birthday spanking.”
I rolled my eyes.
“At least they’re making an effort to be quiet now.”
“Cory is making an effort to be quiet,” he said. “Wolfie has been making a game out of it.”
“God, he would do that,” I laughed, then sobered up. Fuck. I did not look forward to going back alone only to listen to meowing and growling all night. As if running into my ex wasn’t bad enough. I sank down into the passenger seat and drug my hand over my face with a groan.
“That bad, eh?” Preston asked.
“Why’d you come back?”
“I take care of my friends,” he said. I looked at him, and he simply shrugged. His casual admission floored me so much that I couldn’t find anything to say until Preston pulled into the apartment complex and led me to his door.
Once on the other side, I took his hand and pulled him into my arms. He braced his hands on my chest and looked up at me.
“Like I said, it’s not what you’re thinking,” he said. “I don’t want to take advantage—”
“You’re not.” He started to back out of my arms, but I held him tighter. I knew he wanted to be nice, but the last thing I wanted to do tonight was think.
“Let me just—”
I kissed him before he could say anything else. I nipped at his lips and they parted, granting me access. His cologne teased at my senses, reminding me of the other times I’d had his body pressed to mine. He rose up on his toes and I coaxed his tongue into my mouth, deepening our kiss. Jackets shook from shoulders, shoes slipped from feet. We let go of each other long enough to throw whatever item across the room.
The fingers of one hand stole up the back of his shirt to trace the column of his spine, the other hand I sent down to knead his ass. I could feel the tight swell clench under my palm as his hips rolled into me. He broke away and started making attempts at offering me a beer, an opportunity to talk, a million other things I could possibly want. I pulled my t-shirt over my head and threw it in the vague direction of my jacket.
Preston bit his lip as he lifted a hesitant hand and let his fingers ghost over my nipple ring. I tipped up his chin and watched the realization bloom in his honey-brown eyes that my free hand had just unsnapped my jeans and drawn down the zipper.
When our lips next met, any sense of reserve vanished. Preston and I stumbled to his bed in a flurry of writhing tongues and groping hands. He pulled back to slide under the covers and invited me in with him. A few pieces of hastily shorn clothing flung out from under the blanket, and I was finally able to stretch myself along the full length of his warm and pliant body. I looked at him, from the tips of his soft brown hair, down to the parts of his body that I could see under the blanket. I felt his legs tangled up with mine, his sex digging into my hip. A fucking feast after nearly two years of famine. I’d spent enough sleepless nights thinking about what he had hidden under his clothes, and a few more besides having tasted and touched some of those secret places, but now that I had him in his full naked glory, I almost didn’t know where to start.
Preston squirmed under my reverential palms, arched into me when they brushed over his hips and pulled him closer. His lips nibbled at my neck, followed the trail his hands blazed across my chest. He scooted down the bed, licking lower. His eyes went wide when he got down to my dick, and wider still when he found piercings twenty-four and twenty-five as if he knew where to look.
“You have been thinking about it,” I said.
“I have,” he admitted. He wrapped his fingers around my shaft and we both shivered at the contact. His attention went back to the little bits of metal. “Fuck, a lorum and a guiche.”
“How do you know what they’re called?” Not that I’d shown them off to many people, but most would be surprised you could put a ring through the base of your dick or taint, let alone that there was a name for either one.
“Research.” His perfectly shaped eyebrow swept up into a decidedly wicked look. “Always wanted to play with a pierced dick.”
And with that said, his mouth closed over my head. I swore and he giggled as best he could around a mouthful of my dick. His fingers crept over my balls and flicked the little metal ring hiding behind while his tongue and lips worked me. I swore again and Preston pulled my head out of his mouth with a lascivious pop.
“Damn, sugar,” he said. “The face you’re making, you’d think I was hurting you.”
Rather than answer, I pulled him up and shoved my tongue into his mouth. Preston wrapped his leg around my waist, and I took advantage of the position to touch where my hands had yet to stray before. My fingers slipped over the inside of his thigh, over a rounded cheek, and back down the cleft. He whimpered quietly when my fingertips first brushed over his tight little hole. I tickled over him again and he shivered. He grabbed my hand, and I was half afraid he was going to make me stop. Instead, he brought my hand to his lips and sucked two fingers into his mouth, running his tongue over them in much the same way as he had with my cock.
When he finally let them go, I let my fingers find his center once more. I pressed into him until his ass relaxed enough under my fingertips to allow me entry. He flexed his hips back, taking my finger up to the first knuckle. He flexed forward, grinding our cocks into each other’s hip. I let him fuck himself on my finger, adding the second digit to further open him. His small moans filled my mouth.
“Do you have a condom?”
“Yes,” he said. I pressed deeper inside of him and the word broke off in a cry. He slipped from me long enough to grab a condom and some lube. I quickly took out the lorum while he straddled my thighs. I let him slip on the rubber and slick me up.
Preston lined me up and carefully eased himself down on my cock. He worked his way down over me, taking me in another inch, lifting himself back almost to the tip, before sliding himself back down again, moaning and licking his lips in much the same way I had seen people react to really good cheesecake. At the last moment, I lifted my hips as he plunged back down and buried myself to the hilt in his body. We were both breathing hard by the time his sweet little ass rested on my thighs. His hand rested on my stomach, his body erect, back slightly arched, while he adjusted. I felt him twitch and spasm around me.
Yet, as amazing as he felt just sitting there, I desperately needed him to move. When he leaned back and put his hands back on his heels, I couldn’t help the way my breath stopped. Cute little Preston, ball of fucking fury, rode my dick in graceful thrusts.
He rolled his body as he lifted his hips off me – arching back on the up stroke, forward on the down. His lip held between his teeth, his breath coming in panting whimpers. The way he moved hit all his little sweet spots, the ones I’d never be able to find without asking first. Each thrust drove his voice higher, wound his ass tighter around my shaft. I stroked my hands over his body – grabbing at his ass, rubbing his thighs, teasing over his chest.
“Something tells me we aren't fucking,” I said between my own panting breaths.
“What makes you say that?” He gasped while I flexed my hips up to meet his down-thrust.
“You're just getting yourself off on my dick.”
“Doesn't seem like you have a problem with that,” he said as he ground into me. I had to admit, watching him was arousing and he knew it. I’d heard guys described as moving like a porn star, but I doubt a porn star could capture the undulating rise and fall of his hips. Preston was why porn stars moved like that in the first place. “With how long it’s been, you won’t last. Might as well get mine first.”
“Guess I’ll just have to enjoy the show then,” I said, rising up on my elbows to better watch his body dance in my lap. Something about it must have done it for him because he suddenly arched his back higher.
“Oh God!” he cried out.
“Angle hit something good?” I asked, but all I could get in reply were some whimpered curses and comments about the size of my dick. His controlled grinding faltered and he almost stopped completely.
I considered it about time that I disabused him of his notions regarding my abilities.
I rolled him onto his back before I pulled out to the tip and drove back into him. He cried out again.
“Nice thing about endurance runners,” I murmured in his ear. “We can keep it up forever.”
Eyes shut, nails in my back, legs gripping my waist, an endless chorus of oh God, more, don’t stop, please, fuck, yes, and theretherethere falling from his pretty lips. It didn’t take long before I was breathing heavy and moaning with him, but his rising voice drowned mine out.
I fucked him long and hard ‒ witness to the side of Preston that falls apart.
I pulled up to the house – cream colored with dark blue trim. The older BMW M5 that I parked next to looked well cared for. Similar care had been taken with the yard, but other than a few rows of dogwood shrubs and a couple small magnolia trees, the landscaping was simple. From the outside, you couldn’t really tell that college students lived in the modestly-sized home.
The tall, lanky guy who opened the door, however, definitely looked like a college student. Black hair with turquoise highlights, multiple hoops through his ears and face, jeans and a Bad Religion t-shirt. Attractive in that alt scene kind of way. I wondered how Teague even knew, or knew of, this guy.
“You must be Efrain,” he said and offered his hand.
“You must be Indie,” I replied and shook the offered hand. “A teammate said you’re looking for a roommate.”
He waved me in and led me past the foyer. He seemed to be favoring his heel; the sock covering it sported an inch-wide spot of blood.
Indie showed me the living room, which boasted a fireplace, a massive flat-screen TV and even more massive couches. It made sense, the furniture at least. He towered over my 6’1” height, and I doubted he’d sit comfortably on a normal sized couch. He pointed through a sliding glass door to the backyard. More magnolias and dogwood, nice lawn furniture (none of the cheap white plastic stuff favored by most young adults), and a custom firepit that he said he’d built himself from some plans he found on the internet.
The guy seemed nice enough, and the house neat enough, but it could have been a crack house for all I cared. I needed to get out of the dorms and away from my roommate. Carey was an okay guy, that is, until someone mentioned gay people. I didn’t have any plans to come out at VT, but I somehow knew Carey would fucking flip if he found out he’d been rooming with one of them homosexuals.
“This is the kitchen,” Indie said.
I think he meant for me to just glance and move on to the bedroom, but I needed to see this. The homophobic roommate was my primary reason for leaving, but I was also going fucking crazy eating college food. I needed a goddamn kitchen, so I could make my own goddamn food.
The kitchen fit in with the rest of the house – way too fucking nice for a college student. A massive fridge with French doors and a freezer drawer, six-burner natural gas stove, and dual ovens – all in stainless steel. A wealth of cabinet and counter space, with an island that featured a prep top surrounded by bar seating. Smaller appliances, like a top-of-the-line stand mixer and a food processor, sat on the counters. He even had an espresso machine in addition to the coffee pot.
He must have noticed me gawking.
“My step-mother remodeled their kitchen and sent all the old stuff here.”
“Old stuff?” All this crap couldn’t have been more than a few years old.
“If Molly’s brat was getting a house, then good ol’ Claire was going to at least get a brand new kitchen out of it,” he said, rolling his eyes. “That’s where most of my furniture came from, too. She even got my step-brothers new bedroom sets.”
“Your dad bought you a house?”
“No, my dad bought a house,” he shrugged. “I just take care of it.”
“Like a manager.”
“Exactly,” he said. “I’d charge a hell of a lot more if I were paying down my own mortgage.”
“I was wondering why the rent was so cheap,” I said. “But why get a house?”
“He figured that if he was going to be paying my rent for four years, he might as well get something from it.”
“But, to buy one this big?” I remembered Indie saying something about four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms.
“Resale value,” he said. “Besides, my dad originally planned to use this like his personal hotel during home games.”
“Man, nothing like dear old Dad crashing your football parties.” I was pretty sure from his tone that there was little love lost between my potential roommate and his father and step-mother.
I started opening random cabinets and drawers. His step-mother had probably re-outfitted her kitchen from top to bottom, if Indie’s kitchen was any indication. What normal college student owned chef-quality knives and a full set of la Creuset cookware? My mom only had the one Dutch oven, and that was because it was on sale at the base exchange. “You know how to use any of this stuff?”
“Do you?” I briefly worried that he would get annoyed with my going through his kitchen, but if anything he looked indifferent.
“Yup. My mom’s a caterer,” I said. “She taught me everything she knows.”
Of course, she had regretted doing so when my cooking turned out to be better than hers. I could definitely teach a thing or two to whatever jackass they had in charge of VT food services.
As I went through Indie’s cabinets, I started fantasizing about the damage I could do in a kitchen this well-stocked. The one thing he seemed short on, however, was glassware and dishes. I figured he might be one of those guys that used paper plates and plastic forks because he was too lazy to load a dishwasher. Dad had more than a few sailors like that under his command before he retired.
I got to a cabinet with a massive dent in the door and no shelves inside.
“A minor accident,” he said. “It knocked a shelf loose and the whole thing came crashing down.”
“The glasses and dishes?”
“Yup. My ex insisted on putting everything in one cabinet.”
“Happened back in the spring. Swept the floor dozens of times, but I’m still stepping on glass,” he said and pointed down at the blood on his sock. “Just got that out all of five minutes ago.”
“You didn’t vacuum it up? Mom always used the vacuum.”
“No, ‘cause that would have made sense,” he joked and led me off to check out the rest of the house.
“So, did she at least replace them?” I asked.
“Nope,” he said. “And it was a ‘he.’ My ex-boyfriend lived with me.”
“Hope my being gay isn’t a problem,” he said as he showed me into what would be my room.
“Would be a bit hypocritical if it was.” At least I wouldn’t have to deal with a raving homophobic lunatic, so one more point for Indie. “Lemme guess, Claire got a new bedroom set.”
“How’d you know?” he chuckled. The room was fully furnished with a king-sized bed and matching oak furniture. I walked through the door that led to the connected bathroom. It was fucking huge with the most unbelievable shower.
“This is the master suite,” I said.
“Then why didn’t you take it?”
“The previous owner converted the garage into a mother-in-law suite,” he answered. “As awesome as that shower is, the tub is even better.”
“Aw man,” I said. “This shower vs. tub thing could be a total deal breaker.”
“I’m sure I could pull out some kitchen appliances to sweeten the deal.”
“God, how much shit did your step-mother buy?”
“What shit didn’t she buy?”
I fingered the cord around Cory’s neck – black leather braided with stainless steel beads. Indie had called it a choker when he laughed at me for buying jewelry, but I liked how it looked on my boyfriend. I could see how it got the name, any tighter and the thing would likely strangle Cory. I ran my fingertip along the cool metal beads, my knuckle brushing against his throat.
It was well past midnight by the time I got Cory away from the bar and into his truck. Preston had sent him a quick text that Indie was staying with him so we’d have the place to ourselves. For some reason, we’d decided to do the most unoriginal thing ever and snuggle in front of the fireplace in the living room. I nabbed any blanket that wasn’t attached to a bed, and he pulled all the cushions off the couches. Since he was the only one who knew how to work a fireplace (apparently those weren’t uncommon in south Texas – who knew?), I made up a pallet while he got the fire going. In no time at all, we were under a jumble of blankets being all cuddly ‘n shit.
I didn’t know how I turned into one of those guys who fucking liked cuddling or making out, but Cory did all this cute shit and it was hard to deny him when he did cute shit. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I liked it myself, but…
Who the fuck was I kidding?
I was propped up on my elbow, gazing down at my boyfriend, for fuck’s sake. We were tangled up in the blankets, but still fully dressed, in front of a motherfucking fireplace. I wasn’t even doing something respectable like feeling up on his junk through his jeans, just playing with the beads on his necklace, but I was perfectly happy to be there with him. Occasionally, my finger would stroke him in a way he liked and he’d make some cute little noise, and my dick would plump up a bit, and maybe he’d pull me down for kiss, and maybe we’d nuzzle a little bit, but we didn’t get further than that.
As much as I wanted to complain, I rather liked being Cory’s housebroken “Wolfie.” I couldn’t even be pissed off about the nickname, especially seeing as how he got the worst of it.
How in the hell was a 210lbs hunk anything remotely like a kitten?
Although, the prospect of viciously fucking him until he made cute kitteny noises wasn’t without its merits.
As if able to read the direction of my thoughts (or, more likely, able to feel my dick suddenly digging into his leg), Cory spoke up.
“So, if Indie’s not here,” he said, “I don’t have to be quiet.”
“Wasn’t going to give you the option, anyway.”
“And we don’t have to move this to your room.”
“Fuck,” I said. “I didn’t think about that.”
I let him pull me down over him. He whimpered when I shifted my leg between his thighs, brushing against his cock as I lay back down next to him. I’d been digging into his leg before, but now he was digging right back. I briefly wondered how long he’d been that hard.
Gone were the nuzzling kisses when I took his mouth. As content as we had been snuggling with our clothes on, we couldn’t get undressed fast enough. We struggled out of shirts and jeans and kicked them out from under the blankets as soon as they were off, grabbing at each newly exposed body part. I swatted at his ass, hitting him just hard enough to make it register.
“Knew you couldn’t resist giving me a birthday spanking,” he said.
“Of course not,” I answered him. “So, how many licks?”
“Licks? That can be taken so many ways.”
“I’m going to take you so many ways.”
“Is that so, Mr. Talk-Big-Game?”
I bit the sensitive juncture between his neck and shoulder, and he gasped. I rolled him on to his stomach and straddled his hips.
“Don’t get cheeky with me, Kitten,” I growled into his ear before I trailed nibbles and licks down his spine, yanking his trunks down as I went. I slapped him once, twice, then again, and gripped the stinging cheek in my hand as I licked the dimples at the small of his back before sinking my teeth into the other side (which, in my opinion, was the only reasonable thing a man could do with such a bitable ass). Cory arched his back with a curse and panted harder when I gripped a cheek in each hand. I watched his fingers dig into the blankets as I spread him open, almost to the point of pain. He whimpered and my dick twitched in response. I decided to wait until he begged.
Not like I really had to wait long.
Not like I really wanted to wait long.
I let him get half-way through please before my tongue lapped at his ass and the -ease part ended up sounding a lot like goddamnyesyesyesohfuck. I licked again and he cried out again. Licking him more made him beg harder for it. By the time I was eating his ass in full, I did so to a constant string of bilingual entreaties. He lifted his hips, opening himself further under my tongue. I slid my finger into him and he slipped into a territory better known as “incoherent babbling.”
Now came the fun part.
“How many licks has that been?” I said while I continued fucking him on fingers and tongue.
I spanked him again.
“Wasn’t counting,” he whimpered.
“Start now,” I said and punctuated the command with a slap.
He jumped and gasped.
I continued my assault, making him keep count. Every time he jumped, my fingers and tongue dug deeper. At five, I crooked my fingertips over his prostate and he lost count. We started over. When we got back to five, I pressed my thumb down on his perineum, attacking his prostate from within and without. I still wasn’t striking hard enough to really hurt, but the little stings added up and pink handprints blossomed across his ass. He’d obediently count every time I struck, then go right back to senselessness. His ass clenched harder around my fingers and his back arched higher the further he counted, until right around seventeen when he suddenly went rigid and hissed out a quick “oh fuck.” I’d managed to get my thumb pressed into him at just the right time, so he came dry. Eighteen and nineteen whimpered out weakly. I didn’t pull my little prostate trick often, but man was it fun to watch him cum like that.
Cory trembled as my kisses soothed over his warm pink cheeks. I rolled him back over, nibbled at his neck.
“You kept count for me,” I said. I bit his earlobe and said the one thing that never failed to get him hot. “Good boy.”
I scooped up the little black bottle that I’d secreted out when I grabbed the blankets (you seriously thought I was going to let him cuddle me all night?) and lubed myself up. When I spread his legs and positioned myself, he started pleading with me to keep going. He practically cried as I sank into him. Muscles that had been pulling at my fingers swallowed my cock whole as I bottomed out in him. I pulled back to thrust into him and his hips rose to meet me.
His head fell back with a shuddering moan. I recognized this as the quiet before the storm, the moment of calm before he started getting really vocal. I watched him as I steadily plowed into him. The choker stretched tight around his neck; I was almost afraid the leather would cut into his throat.
The word choker swirled around in my head.
My hands crept up his body, from his hips where I’d been gripping him, to his waist, and over his pecs. I pinched his nipples and he writhed under my hands, but my brain kept itching. I looked at his neck again, at the black leather and bits of metal resting against his straining Adam’s apple. He swallowed hard when I thrust back into him, making the choker rise and fall. My hands inched up and encircled his neck, his pulse leapt against my fingertips. His hands came up to grip my forearms and I stopped moving.
We had talked about the kind of kinks we’d been getting into, even went so far as to set up a safe word, but I was afraid me putting my hands on him like this pushed the boundaries. My dick throbbed in time to the pulse beating against my hands. I swallowed and looked at him. Cory’s dark blue eyes met mine. He knew the words to make me go and the words to make me stop. I could back off if he didn’t want this, but his eyes spoke volumes.
He trusted me.
I pulled back my hips and pushed into him again. His moan vibrated against my fingers. As my hips built a steady rhythm that drove us both closer to the edge, my fingers stayed around his throat with his hands around my forearms, almost holding me there. I felt the rising crescendo of his voice against my palms. I knew it couldn’t be my imagination, but his ass felt tighter the longer I held him.
If there was a bad time for someone to walk in, it would be now. The blankets had long fallen off our sweaty and writhing bodies. There was nothing hiding my boyfriend and me from anyone who suddenly found themselves in the living room. He had both knees drawn up, head thrown back, screaming curses in two different languages, while I was practically choking him and fucking his ass hard enough for the slapping sounds to be audible clear across the room. The added thrill of potential discovery drove me on. I wasn’t sure if the same thoughts were going through his head, but something had him grabbing for his dick. I held back until he came first, letting his second orgasm pull me toward climax.
I released his neck and pulled close to his body before I exploded into him, seeming to push out against the walls that had been collapsing around me. Cory’s arms, mouth, ass drew me in, held me, until I wound down.
We stayed wrapped around each other for a long time, and I wondered if it was still considered cuddling with my softening dick still in his ass.
“So,” he said while catching his breath. His nose nuzzled my neck. Yep, we were back to cuddling. “Choking kink?”
“Yeah, sorry ‘bout that.”
“No, I like it.” He nosed me again, then bit my neck. He cupped the back of my head, threading his fingers through my hair. I felt his fingers tightening; the tug at my scalp gave me goosebumps. “Although, I’m not looking forward to explaining fingerprints to the guys.”
I pulled back to check out the damage. I didn’t think I’d held too tightly, not like I was actually choking him, but I figured it was best to be sure (especially since JJ fucking Teague would know exactly who to blame).
“Neck seems fine,” I said.
“Not there,” he said.
“Aha, the birthday spanking.”
“According to my ass, you think I’m eighty!”
“Want a recount?” I growled through a predatory grin.
I always fucking hated when professors cancelled class at the last minute. More so today than any other. Had class gone on like it should, I would have had an excuse to ignore my dad’s phone call. Ever since Jameson’s parents found out that he’d flunked out of college and cut him off, he’d been riding my ass about getting rent money. I kept telling him that Jameson was looking for work, but could only find part-time gigs. My dad didn’t care.
Yet by this point, he knew he wasn’t getting back rent and just wanted Jameson out. Even breaking down and telling him that I couldn’t kick him out because he was my boyfriend, and not my best friend like Dad had assumed, couldn’t make him budge. If anything, it made things between my dad and me worse. He had stopped coming to stay at the house for home games, which was the only time I saw him anymore. It wasn’t like I needed a relationship with my father, but it still stung that he preferred his second wife’s kids over a son he actually shared DNA with.
He still “did right by me” and helped me through college, even if it was giving me a place to stay and paying my credit card bills without looking at the statements – a small detail that obscured the fact that I was helping Jameson out a lot more than I’d told him.
But, Dad was done. His latest call had been to tell me that my boyfriend needed to move out, or else he’d evict Jameson himself. No matter what I said, he couldn’t get that Jameson was going through a rough patch and our relationship was strained enough. We hadn’t cooled off so much as froze out – we hadn’t had a decent conversation, let alone sex, in months. Telling him that he had to move out wouldn’t help me fix what was wrong with us. It was almost like my dad wanted Jameson to break up with me.
In the end, however, the Norman on the house deed was Andre, not Indiana. If he wanted my boyfriend out, then he was going to have his way. I just needed time to think of a decent way to break it to Jameson without starting yet another fight.
At least the upside to the last-minute cancellation was that, with Laurel still in class and Jameson at his part-time job, I’d have the house to myself. I fully planned to make a bee-line for the shower, turn on every shower head full-blast and as hot as I could handle, then stand under the water until it went cold. I did all my best thinking in the shower, which was why I wasn’t too broken up over my dad claiming the mother-in-law suite, the best room in the house, for himself, despite only being in it a dozen or so weekends a year.
However, I lost all interest in taking a shower half-way down the hall to my bedroom. I did not recognize the feminine squeals coming from behind the door, but I would recognize the other voice anywhere as I’d heard that particular moan hundreds of times in the last eight years.
Still, my fucking stupid ass had to open the damn door.
I didn’t see the woman he was fucking, just her nails raking down his bare back. It wasn’t even midmorning, but I’d already had a shit day, only to come home to my boyfriend in my bed with some fucking skank.
“Good morning, Jameson. You’re off work early.”
Jameson turned around and stared at me. I stared back, hoping he’d break before I did. Seemed his little playdate decided to beat us both to the punch.
“Who the fuck are you?” The woman had all but screeched the question.
“Could ask the same,” I said. I folded my arms across my chest, if only to hide how badly my hands had started to shake.
“Who the fuck is this?” she asked Jameson.
“Get out, Indie,” he said.
“Last time I checked, this is my bedroom,” I said, leaning against the door. “If anyone needed to leave, it wouldn’t be me.”
“What is he talking about, Michael?”
“My house, my bed,” I said, then pointed to Jameson, “my boyfriend.”
She repeated the question. I was two seconds from elaborating for the stupid bitch when I finally got a look at her. She’d had the duvet, my fucking duvet, pulled up, but the outline was unmistakable.
“How pregnant is she, Jameson?”
“How the fuck is that any of your business?” she asked. Her face twisted into a snide look. “Michael said his roommate was fucking crazy, but—”
I slammed the door and stormed out before she could finish.
I just stood there.
It took very little in the last years of our relationship to get Jameson screaming. This however, was by far the worst I’d ever done.
“What the fuck is this?” He’d shoved the piece of paper in my face, almost grinding my nose in it. The words “EVICTION NOTICE” in angry red letters rendered the rest of the page superfluous. He’d already left me in deed, if not by word, and that had made it much easier to follow my father’s orders.
Easier, at least, until I had to face Jameson.
He had cornered me in the kitchen when I returned from class. I had made sure I’d be out when they served him the notice, but I hadn’t counted on seeing him afterwards.
He screamed the question at me again as I retreated to the other side of the kitchen.
I didn’t answer him.
I didn’t know what to say.
I’d heard all of it in one form or another before – small remarks, just-kidding-but-not-really comments, out-right insults, hurled accusations in the middle of a fight – but the things Jameson said never lost their sting.
I was lucky he’d stuck around as long as he had.
I was weird, and a nerd, and not particularly attractive, and a terrible kisser.
Possibly, no definitely, crazy.
If it wasn’t for him, I’d have been alone all this time.
I was going to be alone without him.
I would die alone without him.
He railed at me for being such an asshole to him. He was doing the right thing by taking care of his kid. I, of all people, should understand that there were enough shitty dads in the world. What right did I have to do this shit to him?
The piece of paper in his hand was supposed to fix all this for me. It was supposed to get rid of him because I was too scared of him to do it myself. He made sure to include that I was a fucking pussy for not talking to him like a man.
I just stood there, taking his abuse, not quite knowing what to do or say.
Apparently, doing and saying nothing was even worse.
He decided yelling wasn’t enough when he wasn’t getting the reaction he wanted. He picked up the nearest thing he could get his hands on – a pot I’d had drying on the counter – and aimed for my head.
His throw slammed the pot into the cupboard, missing me by a good foot, but was still close enough that my whole body went rigid. My brain had failed to process the noises – the domino effect of shelf brackets breaking and shelves falling onto each other, one by one – until the cabinet doors swung open, spilling all the plates, bowls, mugs, glasses that I owned out onto the floor where they shattered. What seemed like a thousand cuts and stings bloomed on my bare legs and feet. No matter where I stepped to get out, I would have to walk on broken glass.
At some point, I would need to clean all this up, to tend to my wounds, to get away from him.
But, I just stood there.
A bed that is not my own, a body that is not my own, a warmth that is not my own.
The initial strangeness of waking up holding Preston’s small body wore off the longer I watched him sleep. The arm carelessly thrown across my waist, the even rise and fall of his chest, the beginnings of a most epic case of bedhead, the haphazard tangling of limbs below.
I wasn’t sure if Preston knew what he’d given in not letting me wake up alone.
Author’s Note - It’s a first that I’m putting it down here, but it felt kinda cheap to give a content warning, then make cheeky jokes. Many apologies for the delay - this wasn’t the easiest chapter to write, and work had kinda been, well, work.
I have been cross-posting Efrain and Cory over at GayAuthors.org. Since I post directly to the site over there, they see it first. I also revised and expanded the earlier chapters, in case you’re interesting in re-reading.
In any case, thanks for reading! ~Dayne (firstname.lastname@example.org)