Warning: Explicit Sexual Content
I can’t get it out of my mind. The look on her face, the pain in her eyes, it’s eating me up from the inside.
Alvarrez never explicitly told me that she likes me. Yes, she flirts with me occasionally—something she does to anyone who comes on to her—but that’s it.
That’s why her reaction caught me off-guard. Maybe she likes me more than what she lets on? Whatever the case, I drew the line a long time ago. I had no time or interest in what she has to offer. Or at least I used to think that.
Now, I don’t even know anymore.
The sound of my dogs’ crying and barking shakes me from my thoughts. She’s here. I take my time walking to the gate, in no hurry to see the person standing on the other side.
Relax, I tell myself. We’re just going to talk. Nothing more.
Sofie tried to pounce on Janelle the moment she stepped one foot inside. She caught her paws with one arm, giggling, as she rubbed the side of Sofie’s face with another. Perry was growling, Sammy was barking.
“Quiet,” I say, my voice clipped, and they immediately calm down. Turning to Janelle, I say, “Let’s talk inside.”
She follows me shortly, giving Sofie one last pat on the head. “Since when did you like dogs?”
“Since you left.”
That was meant to shut her up, but instead, she grabs my hand from behind and tugs, pulling me into an embrace. “Alex, I can’t tell you how sorry I am,” she whispers into my hair. “But it was necessary for us to be together.”
Anger boils up from the pit of my stomach. I break away from her grip and turn to face her. ”Necessary? Leaving me was necessary?"
Janelle runs both hands down her face. “I will tell you everything. But first, you need to calm down.”
“Did you know,” I ball my hands into fists. “How much shit I went through after you left? Did you know, that Jimmy delayed going into college just so he could stay with me when I needed him the most? Did you know," I hear my voice break. “That my mom died a month after you left?”
She puts a hand over her mouth, her green eyes wide, guilty. “Alex—”
“I laid in my bed for weeks, thinking about all the possible reasons why you could’ve left me. Did I do something wrong? Was it another woman? Did you find someone better? I almost lost my mind trying to wrap my head around the goddamn situation you put me through.
“Fuck you, Jan.” I snap, my words dripping with venom. “Fuck you for leaving me when I needed you the most. Fuck you for leaving at all.”
Her eyes were swimming in tears when she whispers, “I was engaged.”
My heart stops—a lump forms in my throat. I try to speak, but no words come out.
“My dad arranged a marriage with the son of a CEO without my knowledge.” She forces out a laugh. “You know my dad. You know how he operates.”
An image forms in my mind. A tall man over 6′2 with his hands clasped behind his back. His crooked smile that never seemed to leave his face. I remembered the times I saw him shout at Jan for disobeying his orders. I remembered how Jan always seemed to have another bruise the day after. I remembered how much I despised him.
Jan continues. “At that point, I didn’t care anymore. I ran away from home the moment I found out about the engagement.”
My hands fall limp to my sides. “Why didn’t you tell me?” I speak, barely a whisper.
“Because you would’ve done everything to help me. And if there was no other way, you would’ve chosen to come with me.” She meets my gaze. “And I can’t let that happen.”
I manage to utter one word. “Why?”
“Because then, the wrath of my dad will come knocking on your door, involving you, and your family.” She shakes her head. “I can’t do that to you.”
“And all of this,” I make a gesture with my hand. “You couldn’t spare a minute to tell me before you left? You left me with nothing. You didn’t say goodbye, didn’t leave a note, not even a text. What did you expect me to do, Jan?”
“I know what I did was selfish, but I was young, and it was all I could think of. I told myself that I will only go back to you once I’ve established a name for myself. That way, no one can get in the way of our love anymore.”
I steel myself. “And if I say I don’t love you anymore?”
“You wouldn’t have kissed me back if you didn’t.” She takes a step closer and my breath hitches. “I know you too well, Alex. You may hate me, but you never stopped loving me—not once.”
The truth in her words scared me. After all those years, a part of me still longed for Jan hoping that one day, she’ll come back to me.
I feel my anger slowly fading—replaced by a fleeting sense of disbelief. “You think I’m going to take you back, just like that? You show up, tell me the reason you left, and accept it just like that?”
“I know it’s a lot to process, and I don’t expect you to understand right away. But a chance is all I’m asking for—a chance to right my wrongs.” She takes my hand, kisses it gently. “I know I’ve been gone for a long time, but I’m willing to make up for it for the rest of my life.” She leans in, cups my face, and gently presses her lips against mine.
The solid anger I’ve held onto turns into sand, slipping from the gaps in my hands. And just like that, all those years of hatred vanished into thin air.
Butterflies explode in my stomach. The feelings I’ve had to suppress for the past years are pounding on the walls I’ve tried so hard to build. My knees buckle, and I allow myself to fall into her arms.
I don’t know what happened, or how we ended up in my bed. But I do know one thing: I don’t want to stop.
I am bathing on her scent—different, but nonetheless intoxicating. An arm snakes around my waist as she deepens the kiss. I clasp my hands at the back of her neck. I had no idea how much I missed her until this moment. Her lips, her kiss—everything.
Jan pulls back. She’s breathing hard when she looks down at me from the bed. She takes my face into her hands, slightly brushing my cheek with her thumb.
“I love you so much.” She whispers, and I see the sincerity in the forest green eyes that were boring into my soul.
I’ve loved her for so long I don’t remember a time when I didn’t.
“I love you too.”
And we’re kissing again—this time, with urgency. She licks my bottom lip before her tongue invades my mouth and my heart is about to explode. She traces a finger down my spine, making me arch my back.
Janelle’s hands found their way to the hem my shirt and in one swift move, tugs it over my head. She starts kissing my collar bone, slowly making her way down to my chest.
Her kisses send my body into a state of frenzy, the way it always did whenever we make love. It’s been so long since anyone’s held me like this—since anyone’s held me at all. She unclasps my bra, letting them fall to the floor.
She takes one breast in her full mouth while her hand plays with the other. She licks, sucks, bites while her hand was playing with my nipple. A surge of pleasure causes me to throw my head back. “Fuck.” I grab her by the hair and crash my lips into hers. My hands fumble to remove the buttons on her shirt. And soon, her shirt joins my bra on the floor, along with everything else.
She straddled me on the bed as I laid myself bare before her. Her eyes scrutinize me under the subtle glow of the moonlight. She mumbles something, but I don’t catch it because I was too focused on her hands that were making their way between my thighs.
“Spread your legs.”
Those three words lit a fire inside me. I did what I was told and braced myself for what’s about to come.
One brush against my soft spot sent a shiver down my spine. I see a hint of a smirk form on her lips—no doubt realizing how much my body is screaming for her. She started moving her finger, slowly flicking the source of my pleasure.
She brought her lips to my neck, her kissing turned to sucking. This shocked me. Janelle never liked hickeys. Our families don’t know about the extent of our relationship so we had to be discreet about our intimacy. Leaving a hickey is too dangerous.
I raised my hand to stop her, but before I even had the chance, she slipped a finger inside. I gasp at the sudden but welcome motion. She eased her way inside, slowly but surely.
She thrusts once. Twice. Slow. Hard. She stops sucking my neck and I feel her lips return on my breasts. Another finger slips in and I cry out in pleasure.
Jan thrusts faster, her fingers hitting deep inside me. I feel the tension building up in the pit of my stomach, aching for a release. Her warm lips make their way down, trailing kisses along my torso before finding its way to my clit.
She gives me a sensual look before proceeding to devour me. Her tongue invades my sex, licking every fold and corner until my hands are tangled in her hair, screaming her name in pleasure.
It didn’t take long until my body started to convulse. I shook beneath her as an orgasm rocked my body. She brought her lips back to meet mine as my center throbbed and my climax ended.
Her lips taste like me. I was heaving. My limbs felt numb—and yet I still can’t stop kissing her.
I flip her on her back. “Your turn.”
The rest of the night was a blur. My hands all over her perfect body. My lips on hers. My fingers inside her. The touch that served as evidence of how much we missed each other.
I wake up the next morning with Jan nowhere to be seen.
A wave of panic hits me in the gut. After putting on some clothes, I made my way downstairs where I see her, rummaging through the refrigerator.
Her eyes find me and she gives me a smile. “I was about to make breakfast but there’s nothing but cake in here.”
The cake. The one Alvarrez brought me as a gift from her mom for giving them Percy. An unfamiliar feeling catches me off-guard: guilt.
“I have ingredients at home. You wanna come over?” Jan proposes.
Her house is literally in front of ours so I didn’t bother changing out of my oversized shirt and shorts.
As we step outside, I notice a very familiar Benz parked in front of their house. Jan paid it no attention.
Their house smelled of bacon and waffles as we went inside. Jan led me to their kitchen, where a girl in apron stood, holding a plate of bacon and eggs in one hand.
“You’re cooking,” Jan acknowledged. Her voice laced with amusement.
The girl rolls her eyes. “I cook. Just not for you.” Her gaze flits towards me. “You must be Alex. I’ve heard so much about you from my cousin.”
“Good things, I hope.” I smile at her.
“Oh, you have no idea.” She laughs and puts the plate on the table.
Jan introduced me to her cousin, Georgia, who apparently, is her uncle’s love child. I never knew her as a kid because Jan’s uncle tried hard to keep her hidden. His reputation is bound to go down the drain once the media finds out.
“So where’s the person you’re cooking for?” Jan finally asks as we sat down in their dining table.
“She’s taking a bath.” Georgia glances at the second floor. “But she should be done any minute now.”
Then, as if on cue, Alvarrez emerged from the living room.
“You put a fucking hickey on—” she stops. Her damp brown hair cascaded over her shoulders, wetting the cream-colored t-shirt she’s wearing. My eyes flit to the red spot on the crook of her neck. Anger coursed through my veins. They slept together.
“Alvarrez.” I greet, my voice tight.
“Gray.” She replies but doesn’t meet my eyes.
Georgia interrupts and puts a hand around her waist, and for some unknown reason, this makes me more irritated. “That’s payback for what you did to me last night.” Alvarrez’s face turns red. “Let’s eat.”
Alvarrez sat in front of Jan with Georgia next to her. Jan breaks the silence. “I’m sorry for what happened last time.” She says to Alvarrez.
“It’s fine. I’m just glad to have cleared up the misunderstanding.” She replies in a slurry voice.
“You seem to have had a fun night.” Georgia gestures to me.
She points a finger to her neck. “You might wanna hide that.”
Realization dawns on me. The hickey. My head snaps to Alvarrez, checking if she saw, and yes, she did. Her jaw tenses as she looks away before I get the chance to read the expression on her face. My cheeks flush in embarrassment.
Here I am, hating on Alvarrez for sleeping with a girl while I did the same with my ex who came back after disappearing from my life for years. I’m such a hypocrite.
Alvarrez was quiet throughout breakfast. She keeps on rubbing her temples. Georgia notices this and rests a hand on her back. The gesture makes me flinch. “Are you okay? Should I drive you home?”
She smiles at Georgia. “Thanks. My head is killing me.” She stands up. “I’ll go get my things.”
As soon as she disappears from view, Jan speaks again. “Letting her stay over, cooking breakfast, and driving her home? Who are you and what did you do to my cousin?” She laughs.
Georgia’s face reddens. “Shut up.” She glances at the direction where Alvarrez disappeared. “She’s different.”
The way she said it stirred something inside of me. Alvarrez is different. Ever since we started spending so much time together, she’s been making me feel things I don’t ever want to admit out loud.
Then Janelle came knocking on my door and just like that, my whole world turned upside down.
Alvarrez came back with a bag slung over her shoulder. “It was nice meeting you, Janelle.” She looks at me then adds, “Take care of Alex.” She says this with a smile that doesn’t reach her eyes.
She turns to leave and I stand up from my chair without thinking, surprising all of us—including myself. I blurt out her name without thinking. “Alex.”
She stops but doesn’t look back.
As she walked out the door, I had the faintest feeling of regret. Why do I get the feeling that she’s letting me go when she's never had me at all?