* Across Town *
Remy couldn’t do it.
He couldn’t fuck Rose. Not after recklessly causing Astrid to run. If he had to choose who rode his dick, it sure as hell wouldn’t be Rose. She sought attention from terrible men and yes; he noticed the irony between Astrid and the pink-haired girl but Arlo adored the slut and making waves in their lifelong friendship over her a pointless endeavor.
After kicking Rose out of his room, with orders to stay in the apartment because he was an asshole, called Astrid every five minutes praying she was not with him. If she turned to Calder, he planned to hunt down the piece of shit to remind him of their deal. He wasn’t about to let that spineless prick fool her.
Astrid answered the phone after being gone for two hours. He anxiously asked if she was safe and okay? Did she need a ride?
The line remained silent.
“Astrid!” he snapped, “Why won’t you talk to me? Why did you leave me? Did we scare you? Say something, baby.”
He heard her sigh, “Remy… I can’t do this anymore.”
“What?” he growled, “Be more specific before I lose my shit even more.”
“How’s this? Don’t call me or come to my house. Don’t follow me around town either.”
“Where are you?” he seethed, tugging at his hair in disbelief.
“You called him, didn’t you? You’re with that fake-”
“Remy, listen to me! What you did tonight was unbelievable! Unconscionable. You tricked me into coming over for a gangbang with your friends! Do I mean so little to you?”
“How many times-”
“Don’t say you love me. Don’t! I need space to reconsider where we stand.”
“No, I will say I love you because I do. You can’t worm in on my life, only to pick and chose which parts appeal to you. Why do you think I waited so long to tell you the truth? See? You’re like the rest. I thought you were better. Don’t go to him because he’s just as guilty. He’ll chew you up, and spit you out when his family decides you’re not good enough.”
He was talking out his ass. She deserved to be with someone who would treat her right and not play with her emotions. If she moved on, it was back to square one and he might have started out intending to use her sweet nature against her, but she took a sledgehammer to his walls and staked a claim. If she stopped caring for him, it would kill what little compassion he had left.
“What? He has nothing to do with your constant deception.”
“Bullshit. I told you!”
“You told me?” she shouted, “Just do what I ask. Give me time.”
“How much time?” he demanded through clenched teeth.
“Weeks… months? Goodbye.”
Remy threw his phone so hard it busted. He became crazed, throwing anything within reach. When breaking shit didn’t soothe the beast, he stormed into the living room.
Rose sat alone, drunk, stoned and wore out. Jay had gone home, and Arlo was in the shower. She smiled at Remy until he roughly pulled her up by her hair.
“Stop!” she cried, being tugged towards the front door, “Wait!”
“Shut up,” he spat, “No talking. Don’t fucking open your mouth or I’ll smack it until your teeth rattle.”
Rose obeyed like a good little whore she was, stars in her eyes. The girl lacked dignity, getting turned on by his abrasiveness. Remy yanked her into the hall and down the stairs.
“Where are you taking me?”
He pinched her butt, and she squealed, “Fuck, what did I say? We’re going out.”
When they returned to his apartment hours later, Rose collapsed on the sofa next to Arlo, wrecked from his harsh treatment. He ignored her complaints, having spent several hundred dollars at clubs around the city entertaining her ungrateful ass.
“What the hell did you do?” Arlo asked, pulling her into his arms, “Shh, it’s okay, babe.”
“Astrid and I broke up,” he admitted, his stomach souring from speaking the words out loud, “and needed to blow off some steam.”
“Oh man, that sucks,” Arlo frowned, gazing at the hot mess between them, “Better now?”
“No,” he snapped, “Still angry and horny.”
“We could have fucked earlier,” she pouted.
“Yeah, maybe another time,” he lied.
There was a reason he paraded Rose through his usual haunts when he and Astrid went there first but too wrapped up in their own drama to realize it, which was fine by him. Sometimes he wondered if he was losing his mind, but all he had to do was look online to lock that shit down.
Arlo stared after Remy when his friend stalked to his room, patting Rose on the back. He sighed when she stumbled to the door, grabbing his keys to escort her home.
“What’s his deal?” she sniffed, “Either he loves her, or hates me.”
“I told you to leave him alone,” he muttered, “Dudes got demons.”
“Tonight didn’t mean shit because tomorrow he’ll apologize,” she batted his arm off, “Astrid ran like the bitch she is, and we’ll be together once he realizes we’re the same.”
Arlo planted his feet in rejection, but she continued walking upstairs to her place, oblivious to his scorn. Their relationship sucked, but outside of work, he didn’t have a social life. Getting high with Jay and banging Rose a routine, he came by honestly. He considered her his girl but had it all wrong if she wanted his best friend.
He wished Remy would talk to him instead of lashing out, but Jay once explained every man had to figure out his destiny, fearing judgment from peers if they revealed their true nature. Well, to hell with those who never suffered abandonment or loss. Life threw curveballs, and he and Remy stuck together even if he couldn’t get his head on straight.
They were the only family each other had.
Someday Remy’s s buried secrets would spill into the open, and he prayed Astrid wouldn’t become a casualty when he entombed them again.