I am probably the only student with a key to her professor’s house.
There is nothing creepy about it since the said key was given to me by Professor Rossi himself when I started dating his son two years ago. He would always be the one answering the door when I came to meet Blake. The act started to grow tiring on him such that he refused to do it anymore and instead made me a copy of the key to come over whenever I wanted to.
The said key is going to be the reason my relationship ends with his son.
As the lock clicks, I push the door open cautiously, familiar with the creak it has the habit of making. The adjoining hall room of the Scandinavian duplex apartment is dimmed in darkness as the lights aren’t hit on yet and the sun has just gone down.
I step inside the cozy home that has become known to me since I started dating Blake Rossi. It always smells of something fruity. Blake and his Dad are the only ones who live here. There is no sign of Blake’s Mom who disappeared from their lives years ago, more passionate about her acting career than her baby son.
The space has a manly presence, devoid of any feminine touch. I smile to myself, excited at the thought of surprising Blake.
He didn’t come to college today and texted me that he wasn’t well. I, like the good girlfriend I am, plan to take care of him till he gets better.
I stalk toward the staircase which leads to the upper floor where Blake’s room is, passing the walls where photographs of Blake’s childhood with his father are fixed in an ascending manner. The last one at the top of the wooden stairs was taken a while ago when our football team in college won the game against The Wolves and Blake was announced the player of the match. It is a photograph of him holding the trophy as dark blond strands of hair fall over his eyes, his smile bright and his blue eyes shining with pride.
I reach the first floor, happily sprinting toward Blake’s door when a sound from inside makes me halt before I can throw the door open.
Moans meet my ears, followed by the familiar grunting of someone I am used to hearing. There is a rocking sound, the female moan growing louder as I stay outside, my feet glued to the floor.
My stomach aches as dread fills my heart. Not again. He couldn’t be doing this to me again.
He promised he wouldn’t.
The last time had been a mistake, a genuine one he had explained. His friends had gotten him drunk enough that he didn’t know who he was fucking and had thought it was me. It had happened at a frat party.
This isn’t a frat party.
Grinding my teeth as anger rages through my nerves, I throw the door open to Blake’s room, the sight that greets me a proof of his infidelity.
He glances from over the shoulder of the brunette who is riding him. He is under her, his white shirt unbuttoned and his pants still on, but I didn’t need to get closer to see what is pleasuring her that much. The girl is naked, her face known to me as that of Amelia Miller who is the head cheerleader — one who did everything to kick me out of the team when I started dating the star player. She succeeded after much effort and with the help of her brother who does her bidding now and then.
She rides him and Blake’s expression goes pale when he meets my gaze.
“Fuck you!” I yell, lifting the middle fingers of both hands to show Blake how done I am with his shit.
I don’t wait to hear his explanation this time as Amelia’s moans finally cut off and I storm out of the room. Footsteps tread behind me, hurried to catch up while I rush down the stairs, unshed tears building in my eyes.
I let out a chafed sob as I reach downstairs and feel fingers curl around my wrist, turning me to face a bare chest where lipstick marks still taint his skin.
“Anya, let me explain…” Blake starts.
“There’s nothing to explain!” I yank my wrist out of his grasp, anger making me bite my bottom lip hard. “You fucking liar! You have been lying to me all along. Why the fuck do you keep asking me to take you back when you don’t have any interest in this relationship?”
“Anya…” he huffs my name, raking a hand through his thick blond hair. “I swear…I didn’t mean to this time. I…I want you.”
“Fucking hell you want me!” I push his chest, shoving him back and he hits the coffee table behind him, stumbling on his heels. “I’m done with you, Blake. We’re done!”
I grit my teeth, promising myself not to cry as I turn around. Before I can open the front door though, it is opened by another from the other end and I collide with a solid chest, gasping at the impact.
I glance up, skating my eyes up the broad chest of a man who stands nearly at the height of 6′5. I spot the ink tattooed on his tanned skin, peeking from the collar of his cotton shirt, as a hand curls around my leg instinctively, the sweet pressure of it reminding me of other feelings than anger.
I find his eyes, the amber irises holding a magnetic impact on me as my eyes take in the other handsome features of the not-so-stranger’s face — from the strong square-cut jaw dusted with a light stubble to dark hair sprinkled with white strands, his dark wavy locks, to a cupid’s bow mouth.
The face that I stare at is older. It is of the thirty-eight-old father of my ex-boyfriend.
The man before me is Dimitri Rossi.
His eyes are intensely studying my face, pure concern for me locking his jaw tight. He reads my thoughts instantly.
I should have known he would be home too. College just got over.
“Anya…” Dimitri speaks my name with such carefulness, such softness that I forget about heartbreak for a second as I let the rhythm of his voice soothe me. “What’s wrong?”
I don’t want to answer his question, knowing he would figure it out anyways once I leave and he sees Amelia with his son. This man has always been kind to me, considerate of our relationship, and has asked me countless times if his son was messing up but I always defended Blake.
His touch burns my bare skin where my uniform pleated skirt ends. When he notices that, he tears his fingers off my skin, each tattooed finger letting me go one at a time, leaving behind only heat.
I pull away from him and walk out of the apartment, leaving his question unanswered.
“That jerk did what!?” My best friend and neighbor, Vanessa, bellows over the phone.
I can picture her lying on her plush bed in her home, picking at her manicured nails absently while I update her on the details of my ex-boyfriend, needing to hear her voice and have her assure me that things are going to be okay. She is in Los Angeles visiting her parents for a week so by the time she comes back, I don’t trust my memories to be not distorted.
“Can you believe it? I blame myself for trusting him!”
“I told you not to take him back.”
“You know me,” I foolishly defend my actions. “I’m a mess.”
“No, you’re not!” she chides. “You’re just too soft for this world and that’s courageous, okay? Now, don’t worry. I’ll be back in a few days and then we’ll rant all about him.”
“I love you.” I blow her a kiss over the phone. “Thanks for always being there for me.”
“Love you too!”
She cuts the call while I walk in a daze along the pavement of a cobbled path in New York outside Blake’s apartment building, realizing that I was played by my ex-boyfriend for the third time and doubting my instincts for trusting people so easily. My mother always says I am too easy to trust and I am starting to believe her finally.
I wait for a cab, watching the people pass by as I stand under the sky which is pregnant with rainy clouds. Rain would have been a mercy. It would at least make me feel something other than self-hatred.
The cabs are few and I remain standing there, waiting for one to stop for me.
Instead of a cab, a black SUV pulls up on the road beside the pavement, the glass rolling down to reveal the face of Dimitri Rossi in the driver’s seat.
He appears both intimidating and welcoming at the same time. He is no doubt way too good-looking, giving major daddy vibes 24x7. No one can focus on his classes anymore because they are too busy checking him out instead. And why won’t they? Not all professors have enigmatic personalities with a body that is covered with ink all over. Even his fingers are tattooed with a signet ring that adorns the middle finger of his right hand along with two other rings on his index and ring fingers.
Worst of all? He has a piercing on his tongue and looking at it only brings visions of his head between your thighs.
Sometimes I think that the reason I keep falling for Blake’s apologies is that being his girlfriend allows me to be near his Dad too.
It is so sick of me to feel such things for my professor.
I hear a click as he unlocks the doors of the SUV.
“Ride with me instead?” Dimitri asks in that Italian accent of his and my heart skips a beat.