I was walking across the parking lot when a familiar Black Lambo almost hit me. “Yo, what the fuck!” I shout at the car even though the driver probably can’t hear me.
The car comes to a screech, stopping a few meters away. “You were in the way,” Janelle says casually as she exits the vehicle.
“Go to hell, Jan.” Julia emerges from the other side and slams the door so hard Janelle flinches. She struts toward me, her expression somewhere between annoyance and concern. “Are you okay?”
“Yep.” I wrap an arm around her waist and kiss the top of her head as I have done since we became official. “Tell your driver to drive safely next time,” I say loud enough for her ex to hear.
Julia snickers before taking my hand and intertwining our fingers as we make our way to the school’s entrance.
If Julia didn’t send me a text telling me her car won’t start and Janelle was driving her to school, I wouldn’t have time to compose my thoughts and brace myself for whatever shit Janelle planned to pull off. Julia told me Janelle was somehow out at that exact moment just in time to hear the damsel in distress and was coincidentally going in the school’s direction.
“So it’s true.” Jan’s voice makes me stop and turn around to see her with one arm on top of her car, her expression hard to decipher over her sunglasses. “I can’t believe you’ll settle for something like this.” She shakes her head. “Enjoy it while it lasts.” She slides inside her car gracefully and shuts the door before Julia can get a word out.
“Ugh. She’s everywhere I go.”
We continue walking. “I’ve noticed. Wanna tell me what’s going on?”
The later time turned out to be during lunch, while we were alone inside their office. Not surprising considering it’s the only place where we can talk without people around—unless her clubmates come in.
“My dad doesn’t think you’re a good company.” Julia finally drops the bomb.
I swallow a mouthful of the carbonara pasta she made for me. “Yeah, I kinda figured from the way he was eyeing me like a stray dog. Your dad, Christian Gray, that is. I really could’ve used a heads up, you know. I was so proud of myself for not rolling over laughing.” I know it’s rude to laugh at other people’s names but it was just too damn good. The only thing that held me from laughing out loud was the fact that he's my girlfriend’s dad, and I don’t want him to hate me.
Julia bites her lower lip trying the hide her grin. “I didn’t expect you’d meet him. And I was really proud of you too. I’ve seen you laugh over seeing someone bump their head while entering a car. Must’ve taken a lot of self-control.” She pats my head. “So, how about I treat you to dinner after your training? And I promise no chopsticks.”
A grin forms on my lips. “It’s a date.”
“Good.” She turns on her chair so she’s facing me, her expression turning serious. “I’m really sorry about the way he acted, Al. He tends to get overprotective when it comes to me. And it’s not helping that Jan’s making you out to be a bad influence on me.”
I snort. “Sounds like something she’d do.”
“Everyone’s being such a bitch to you. I hate it.”
“Don’t stress over it. I don’t really care. Wait—actually, I do. I want your family to like me.” Which brings me to ask, “Do they know you’re gay?”
Julia returns her attention back to the LocknLock that holds her food. “I suspect Jimmy’s got a clue, but we never talked about it. As for the rest, I have no idea. The only real problem is my dad.”
“You think he won’t take it well?”
She gives me a wry smile. “What do you think he’d feel when his youngest and only daughter tells him she’s gay?”
“Good point.” I reach for her and rub her back. “Won’t Janelle tell him about us, though?”
“She might, but I don’t think she will. That would be too easy and she’s going to be caught in the middle of it. It’s not her style,” she says. “Did Diane’s parents know about you two?”
My back stiffens at her unexpected question. “Uh, well..”
“It’s okay if you don’t wanna answer. I don’t mean to pry.”
“I’m your girlfriend. It’s normal that you get curious about that stuff.” I assure her. “Her parents know.”
“Were they supportive?”
I snort, remembering the day her father found out about us. How can I forget? That day I was called more names than I ever had in my entire life. “I wish. Her mom tolerates it, but her dad—a military man who thinks homosexuals should burn in hell—literally threw me out of their house.”
“Her dad came home a day early from deployment to surprise his family. He’s the one who got it instead when he walked in on us making out on their living room. It was chaos. Her dad went ballistic on us and said he’d rather have a dead daughter than a gay one.”
My arm throbs at the memory of him dragging me outside their house, his face a picture of disgust and outrage. His big hands left a nasty bruise from where he held me, but it was nothing compared to the pain I felt when he backhanded Diane in front of me. It was then that I snapped. I can’t remember what exactly I told him, but I'd wager a good portion of them were in Tagalog. I wasn't exactly in the right state of mind to translate every word before it came out of my mouth.
“He ordered Dee to break up with me on the spot. She told him she’d rather be homeless than lose me.” That act alone could’ve been proof of how much she loved me. It just made the cheating hurt all the more. If she loved me enough to fight for me, why cheat? It doesn’t make any sense.
I search Julia’s face for any sign of apprehension but find none. She’s looking intently at me, urging me to continue, so I do. “True to her words, she left their house. She stayed at my house until her mom told her to come home when her dad left for another deployment. Since then, she always stays over whenever her dad is home.”
Julia nods in understanding. “So that’s why you offered to let her stay at your house on your birthday.”
“I can’t just leave her like that.”
“I know.” Julia kisses the edge of my shoulder before resting her cheek on top of it. “I’m glad you told me.”
Due to the close proximity, I found myself leaning in for a kiss. I meant to go in for a peck, but as soon as those soft lips touch mine, I find myself unable to pull away. Julia has this effect on me. When it comes to her, the teasing I’m so fond of leads to me being so turned on I can’t make myself stop. Like what happened back at my room.
It had been so damn close. I don’t consider myself someone as someone who craves for sex, but the heat that shot through my core at the sight of Julia sucking on my fingers told me otherwise. It was fucking hot I’m not even gonna deny it. Someone so reserved and graceful as Julia doing something like that almost sent me over the edge.
Julia breaks the kiss. “Missed me?”
I trace her thin lips with my fingers. So soft. “You bet I did. Wanna continue what my dad interrupted the other day?” The question comes out of my mouth automatically. Most of the time, I only say these kinds of things to tease her, but now I’m seriously considering doing exactly what I said.
She picks up on the tone of my voice and raises a challenging eyebrow. Before she can say another word, the door to the office opens, and Gwen and Thea make their way inside. She turns back to me, “Too bad.” She sticks out her tongue and I’m almost tempted to bite it.
Instead of focusing on what body parts of Julia to nibble on,—and there are a lot—I divert my attention to the newcomers. “Hey, guys.”
“Hi! Thought we’d find you here.” Gwen takes the chair opposite Julia while Thea smiles at me as she takes the seat next to Gwen. “The caf was full.”
When Julia told me Thea had a crush on me, I knew it was nothing serious. I’ve spoken based on experience, and as it turns out, I’m right. She has been nothing if not supportive of my relationship with their editor-in-chief. She, and the rest of the crew. They’re a bunch of great folks.
“Are you okay?” Thea asks. “I heard you almost got run over by Alex’s driver this morning.”
I laugh out loud at Janelle being addressed as Julia’s driver. “Yeah, I’m fine.”
“I also heard the driver in question was hot as fuck,” Gwen says after swallowing a bite of her hotdog sandwich. “That Lambo your new car, Alex?”
“No, my car broke down. She’s a childhood friend.”
“Is she single?”
Julia glances at me and we share a look. A sly smile appears on her face before she answers, “She’s very single.”
In addition to Julia’s promise of taking me out to dinner, she also stayed in the gym to watch during training. She usually only stays in her office and waits for me to finish, but on the rare occasion that she watches me, I get a little more pumped up than usual.
After showering and making sure I look presentable enough to be seen out on a date with her, I make my way to the bleachers. To my surprise and utmost displeasure, she wasn’t alone.
“That doesn’t look good,” Diane remarks next to me in a low voice.
I run a hand through my still-damp hair. “I’m not even jealous of her. At this point, I’m just plain pissed.”
“That girl is literally obsessed with Alexis. I’d watch out if I were you.” She gives me a slap on the back before heading out.
Letting out an exasperated sigh, I continue walking towards where they were sitting. Julia has her arms crossed and her expression tells me whatever news Janelle brought with her isn’t something I’m gonna like.
“Hey, babe.” I kiss the top of her head. She relaxes once I’m settled down next to her. “Something the matter?”
Janelle stands up and grunts. “I’ll see you outside.”
Once she was out of earshot, I ask Julia, “She gonna third-wheel in our date?”
Julia’s eyebrows dip and the edge of her lips turn downward. “Dad wants me to go straight home. He says it's urgent.”
“Figures.” I try to clamp down my disappointment. “I’m also guessing I can’t drive you home because your driver’s here to pick you up?”
She bites her lip and lowers her gaze. “Are you mad?” She asks softly.
I can’t get mad even if I wanted to. Not with my girlfriend being this cute and apologetic. “No, don’t worry about it.” I stand up and take her hand. “Let me at least walk you to your car. Or her car. Whatever.”
Outside, Janelle is waiting beside her car, talking to someone on her phone looking aggravated. When she sees us approaching, she abruptly ends the call and pockets her phone. She clears her throat before speaking. “I heard you used to screw Georgia’s new toy.”
Sometimes, I just wish I wasn’t raised the way I was so I can hit people in the face. I’m tired from training, and with our date getting canceled, I’m more than willing to snap at someone. Especially if that someone is my girlfriend’s ex who keeps on testing my temper. Janelle really should thank my parents for raising me right. “Dee’s not anyone’s toy.”
“Aren’t we in a hurry?” Julia thankfully intervenes.
Janelle pauses for a second before answering, “We are. Get in.” She enters her car and slams the door shut.
“I promise I’m going to make up for this.” Julia takes my face in her hands and gives me a kiss that instantly makes my heart calm down. Gray eyes stare right through me. “Don’t let her get to you. I’m yours.”
Hearing her say those words spread warmth in the pit of my stomach. I pull Julia in for another kiss, only this time, I let it get deeper. Julia wraps her arms around my neck as I push her against the side of Janelle’s car.
Janelle honks her horn at us, but I honestly couldn't give a single flying fuck even if she holds that thing for the entire night.
Julia chuckles when she pulls away and gives me an affectionate smile. “Actually, maybe you should. Just a little bit.” She winks and gets inside the car.