I can tell she’s fighting back a laugh.
“So, does that mean you don’t hate me anymore, princess?”
She groans loudly and finally cracks a smile.
On cue, the door barely opens and Drew steps in. “What the hell?”
Viola turns and glares at him with her hands on her hips.
“What damage did he manage to do already?”
Without a beat, she responds, “He knocked my toothbrush off the counter, and it fell into the toilet.”
My eyes widen at the story she creates. I know she wouldn’t lie to Drew normally, but she’s good at playing the part, so he doesn’t get suspicious before I have the chance to tell him.
“Dude…” He looks behind Viola and stares right at me.
“Genuine accident,” I say, knowing he’ll think I’m full of bullshit.
Viola turns to scowl at me, knowing Drew is watching our every move. “Was it a genuine accident when you didn’t tell me until after I brushed my teeth?”
I hear Drew snort behind her, and I can’t help cracking a smile at her performance.
“Sorry, man. Can’t help you out of this one,” he says to me, and then shuts the door, leaving us to rip each other apart, or at least that’s what it looks like. In any other circumstance, it might seem odd to him that Viola’s in my room, but considering her reaction, it just looks typical.
“Great acting. You really should have pursued that theater degree,” I say.
She scoffs. “I’m much better at reading words than reciting them.”
Patting my hand on the bed, I motion for her to come closer. Hesitantly, Viola comes closer and sits on the edge. Her voice drops to a whisper, and she leans into me. “I have to go, but I’ll be back tomorrow after my morning class.”
I cup her cheek and brush my lips across hers. “You better.”
After grabbing my bottom lip in her mouth and tugging, she forces herself to stand before I’m able to take it any further.
“So, tomorrow,” I begin, “I’m going to need some help taking a shower.” I lift my eyebrows hoping she gets the hint.
I know she wants us to work as much as I do, and I’m determined to spend as much time with her as I can. Fuck the rules. I’ve never been one to follow them anyway.
“I’m sure Drew can help,” she teases.
I smile at her sweetly and lift an eyebrow. “Don’t think so, princess.”
She’s contemplating it, and I wish I could read her thoughts right now. When she breaks a small smile, I know she’s on board. “I don’t really have a choice, do I?”
“So, it’s a date?”
She fights back laughter. “You’re ridiculous.”
“And you’re beautiful.”
The mood shifts and she stills. Viola searches my face as if she’s memorizing it and I can’t seem to take my eyes from hers.
“If you’re trying to win me over…”
“I’ve been trying for years,” I said, cutting her off. “Nothing’s going to stop me now.” I wink, knowing it’ll drive her nuts.
“You’re relentless,” she says before flashing a quick smile. After a moment, she glances over at the clock, then back at me. I know it’s time for her to leave, and I’m half-tempted to beg her to stay and climb in bed with me. But that’s a horrible idea.
“Goodnight, Travis,” she says as she walks across the room.
Before turning off the light, Viola turns and smiles at me. The door clicks shut, and as I close my eyes, the only image I can see is her.
The sun peeking through the blinds wakes me up sooner than I’d like. Sleeping in the same position all night sucks ass. My neck is stiff, and my back is tight. With all my strength, I move my legs to the floor and try to stand. Once I’m finally up, I slowly make my way to the bathroom. I didn’t realize something as natural as pissing could be so difficult and painful.
When I step out, I hear music echoing down the hall, and as I walk toward the kitchen, it gets louder. Rounding the corner, I see Viola dancing around the kitchen in a t-shirt that says Dumbledore is my Homeboy on the back. I hold in laughter as I watch her shake her hips and bob her head. She’s holding a bowl and stirring it as she sings along with the music blaring from her phone.
I lean against the wall, balancing myself while silently watching her. She’s so distracted by what’s she’s doing, she doesn’t even notice me. This is the Viola I love. The one that’s wild and free, who doesn’t give a shit about anything. Her hair is up in a messy bun, and she’s wearing her black-rimmed glasses.
I clear my throat, letting her know I’m behind her. She goes frigid, and the smile fades from her face. I can see her pulse beating rapidly in her neck.