Page 17 of RoomHate

How about dinner tomorrow night?

I pondered my reply. It would probably do me some good to take advantage of a distraction from Justin. Since our talk the other night, things had been more cordial between us. At least he was no longer avoiding me. After he performed last night, we actually drove home from Sandy’s together. It was a quiet ride, but it was a step in the right direction. So, things were as good as they could have been.

The problem was me. I still couldn’t curb my attraction to him and didn’t know where to draw the line on my emotions. I thought about him every second of the day. We’d be going our separate ways soon, not to mention the not so insignificant detail of his committed relationship with Jade. I would never do anything intentionally to jeopardize that. But I still couldn’t control my feelings.

My fingers forced out a response to Will.

Tomorrow night sounds great. Just let me know what time.

Justin’s deep morning voice startled me. “I see you made coffee fusion.”

I jumped, quickly putting down the phone.

He snickered. “Oh. Did I interrupt something? You texting a boy?”

“No.”

He glared at me suspiciously. “Liar.”

A nervous laugh escaped me. “Want some coffee?”

“Trying to change the subject?”

“Maybe.”

“So, who was it?”

“Will.”

“Dr. Danger?”

“Yes.”

“Ever heard of stranger danger?”

“Yes.”

“They created that term about him.”

“Oh yeah?”

“I’m pretty sure. Yeah.” He poured himself a mug of coffee and turned to me again. “Seriously? Dr. Cheeseball? You’re gonna go out with him?”

Nodding, I said, “Tomorrow night. What’s your problem with him anyway?”

“He’s disrespectful.”

“In what way?”

“That guy was eye fucking you before he even confirmed we weren’t together.”

“Maybe he’s just perceptive.”

“How?”

“He sensed your disdain toward me. It was quite obvious.”

“Where’s he taking you?”

“I don’t know yet.”

“You should find out.”

“What does it matter?”

“In case you go missing, I’ll know where to tell the police to start looking.”

***

Evening rolled around, and I had absolutely no clue what to wear. Will said he was taking me to this restaurant on the water in nearby Tiverton. It was going to be a humid night, so I opted for a lightweight floral tube dress that I’d bought one afternoon while out shopping with Jade earlier this summer.

I could hear Justin panting from down the hall.

Not again.

I didn’t dare go over there to assess the situation after what happened the last time I found myself witness to that jerk-off jamboree. After several minutes, what sounded like punching was added into the mix. I broke my vow to stay out of it and marched out of my room to check things out.

It turned out that Justin was in the exercise room beating the shit out of an Everlast punching bag.

Beads of sweat were dripping down his sculpted back. The room smelled of sweat mixed with his cologne. His hair was drenched. He had earbuds in, and I could hear the music blasting through them. Gritting his teeth, he hit the black rubber contraption harder and harder. My heart beat faster with every punch.

When I inched cautiously closer, he growled, “Get out of the way.” I flinched as his arm swung dangerously close to me.

I backed up but stayed watching him from the corner of the room. I’d seen him working out before but never like this. He was like a beast, so strong and virile. It occurred to me that with Jade gone so long, he must have been sexually frustrated. Maybe that was why he was taking it out on the punching bag. Whatever the reason, I was transfixed by the energy he was expending and found myself unable to take my eyes off him.

He suddenly stopped, took out his earbuds and moved over to the doorway where he’d set up a metal bar for pull ups. My eyes followed the movement of his body as he lifted his own weight, his rock hard abs tightening and curling with each lift.

He jumped down from the bar and wiped the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand. “Nothing better to do than to watch me work out? Aren’t you supposed to be getting dressed for a date?”

“I am dressed.”

“That’s Jade’s dress, isn’t it?”

“No. It’s the same one she has, but this one is mine. We both bought these from the same shop on clearance the same day.”

“It looks normal on her. On you…it looks ridiculous.”

My stomach sank. “Are you saying I’m fat?”

“No, but your body is different than hers. That dress looks obscene on you.”

Looking down at myself, I suddenly felt naked. “What are you talking about?”

“You want me to spell it out?”

“Yes.”

He came up behind me, grabbing my shoulders and positioning me in front of the full-length mirror on the wall. Shivers ran down my spine from the feel of his rough hands on me.

“Look. Your tits are busting out of it. Your nipples are poking out of the middle of those daisy flowers.”

My mind was in a fog because all I could see was me in the mirror with Justin’s hot, sweaty body behind me. Then, he flipped me around fast and his stare was burning into mine. He was too close for comfort, and my legs felt like they were going to collapse under me from the surge of sexual awareness. “Look at your ass in the mirror. The material can barely wrap around it. You think Dr. Doolittle is going to be able to look you in the eyes when you’re dressed like that?”

“You really think this looks that bad?”

He suddenly walked away from me and returned to the pull-up bar. My nipples were tingling. I just wanted his hands on me again.

“I think it makes you look like a whore, yes,” he said before doing a few more reps in silence. He hopped down, the weight of his body causing a large thump against the wood floor. “You really are that oblivious, aren’t you?”

“What do you mean?”

“You never did have any clue what kind of effect you have on people.”

“Be specific, please.”

“When we were younger, you would sit on my lap, put your hands on me, run your fingers through my hair, hug me all of the time with your massive tits pressed against me. I spent half of my teenage years walking around with a fucking hard on that I couldn’t do anything about. The entire time you apparently had no clue.”

“I didn’t.”

“I know that now. And you have no idea how many times I had to defend you behind your back. Guys talking about your body, saying sexual things about you right in front of my fucking face. Do you have any clue how many fights I got into because of you?”

“You never told me.”

“No. I didn’t. Because I was trying to protect your feelings. I tried so hard to fucking protect you from shit, and that was the one thing that bit me in the ass in the end.”

“I’m sorry.”

He held his hands up. “You know what? Never mind. My bad. Let’s not do this again. I told you we were done talking. And we are.”

“Okay.”

“I’d like to continue my work out in peace if you don’t mind.”

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