“Sorry, he feels like he has to be big brother while Drew’s away.” But I don’t mention the way he makes me feel or the dirty things he says to me when we’re alone.
“Truthfully,” Jason lowers his voice. “I think he just wants you for himself.”
Heat rises to my cheeks and I hope he doesn’t notice. If he does, I’ll blame the wine, but honestly I didn’t expect those words to come out of his mouth.
“I sincerely doubt that,” I choke out. “Not happening.”
He takes a drink and narrows his eyes. “Everyone knows you hate him though. Why is that? He never tells anyone why.”
I feel like I’m under Jason’s microscope and he’s peeling away every layer I have when it comes to Travis, which is okay because at least he’s stopped mentally peeling off my clothes. I force out a smile and think about my answer. The truth would sound immature and stupid, so I give him a basic version. “Because he’s an asshole.” …that broke and continues to break my heart, but I don’t dare say that.
Jason laughs. “True. But he’s a good guy too, and he means well.”
“Good for him.” I finish off the glass of wine and he orders me another one.
We sit and chat a little longer before the waiter brings our check. Soon after we’ve finished our drinks Jason drives me home. The car ride is full of conversations about graduation, professors, and my future. I actually enjoyed talking to him about school. When we pull up to the house, we sit in the driveway like two teenagers. The awkward silence pushes on until the Challenger roars into the driveway breaking the monotony. Travis gets out of the car looking like an unruly mess and just glares at us.
“Ugh,” is all I can say. The silent message is heard loud and clear.
“Tonight was fun,” he says. He holds out his hand and I shake it, grateful that he didn’t try to kiss me.
“Good luck with that.” Jason laughs, referring to Travis..
“Thanks for everything.” I give him a smile then get out of the car. Jason waits for me to turn around and wave at him before he drives off.
My heart is pounding in my chest and for a second I think about hopping in my car and driving around the block a few times, but it’s better to look the beast in the face without fear. I suck in a deep breath and walk inside. The living room is dark and the only light shines from the kitchen. I take a few steps forward and see Travis drinking tequila from the bottle. His messy hair is falling in his eyes the way it used to when we were younger. He looks at me like he wants to say something but I immediately start walking away. I can’t deal with him right now.
“What are you doing home so early?” he asks, his tone harsh. “You didn’t go back to Jason’s house and fuck him?”
I turn around and Travis is standing in the doorway of the kitchen, the warm glow of the light surrounds his body as his shadow splashes across the floor. His mouth is drawn into a tight line and he’s breathing hard.
“Oh, wait. I forgot you don’t do that. You prefer to be a little cock tease while judging everyone else’s lifestyle instead.”
I look him up and down and narrow my eyes at him. “Jealousy doesn’t suit you well,” I say, stating the obvious and choosing to ignore his last statement.
I’ve struck a nerve because all he does is take another swig of the bottle he’s tightly grasping in his hand. He doesn’t deny it, and in a sick way, it makes me happy.
“Were you thinking about me the whole time you were with him?”
He’s saying things to rile me up but I refuse to let him win. “You’re the last person I think about when I’m out with attractive, available men who know how to respect me.”
“Liar.” He half laughs and takes a drink of water.
I walk to him, getting ready to give him my best, and notice his knuckles are cut and bloody.
“What the hell?” My face drops and everything I was just about to say slips my mind. “What happened?” I’m generally concerned because if his hand looks that bad, I feel sorry for whatever took the brunt of it.
Travis shoves his hands in his pockets and doesn’t take his eyes from me. “It’s nothing.”
I notice the black t-shirt he’s wearing hugs his muscles and body in all the right places. The tattoos on his arms tell a colorful story, and I find myself gawking at a disheveled Travis King. All he needs is a leather jacket to nail the bad boy James Dean look especially with that hair. Shit.
He lets out a slight laugh when I swallow hard. “See, sweetheart. Told you. You’re fantasizing about me right now.”