Love Stripped

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Chapter 19

“How do you-”

“Tell me why, Kimberly.” Ouch. Bad sign, here. He was calling her Kimberly, which meant something was really disturbing him. How had he found out that Kimberly had said that? Eric had told him when she had let them both alone? No, he wouldn’t, would he? “Tell me!”

“Keep your voice down! Sid and Tom are sleeping!” She turned around and walked, trying to keep him away from her. The fury he had in his eyes wasn’t normal and it scared her.

“I don’t care! Do you fucking prefer him other than me? Is that it?”

“Do you think if I had preferred him other than you, I would have gone to bed with you?”

“He wasn’t around the first times we had sex!”

“But still, I decided to sleep with you, to go to that hotel with you, to fucking tell you about my life and you still think that?” Kimberly yelled. Jake was really annoying her.

“Then why did you say that?”

“Jake, I don’t wanna talk about-”

“So, now you’re running!” Jake yelled, following her, coming closer to her. Something that Kimberly really didn’t want at that moment. He was way too furious to be close to her. How could he be that angry just because of that? He didn’t even care about her, so why the fuck was he acting like that?

Before she even answered, it hit her. Jake had said at that day at the hotel that his father preferred Eric. Did his mother prefer Eric? Did every member of his family prefer Eric to Jake? That was why he was acting like that?

“And you don’t even answer to me now!”

His yells were annoying her, until she couldn’t take it no more and yelled at his face, “At least I wasn’t the one who didn’t admit I didn’t like you!”

“So now it’s about that again?” It was his time to stepped back and let Kimberly attack.

“Yes, it’s about this again! If you don’t fucking like me, then why the fuck did you say that? Why didn’t you take it back first thing in the morning? I would have understood!” No, she wouldn’t, “We were both drunk!”

“I-”

“And then, the morning after, you fucking looked like an ice cube towards me! I hadn’t done anything! God, you’re the one who fooled me; I should have been the one acting like that!”

“What did you want me to say?” Jake asked her. Kimberly turned around, rubbed her cheeks and yelled back, “I fucking don’t know! Something! Something! You could have said something like, ‘Geez, Kim, I’m sorry about last night, I was drunk, I didn’t mean it!’ or you could at least have asked if I was ok! But no!”

“I was confused!”

“You? Confused?” Kimberly turned around to face him again and laughed at his face, “You’re never confused, Jake! You know every move you have to make to get every girl!”

“Do you think it’s easy?” He grabbed her hand in an aggressive way, “Do you think it’s easy to admit that I like someone? Who knows if you’re not just like any other girl? I have been fooled a lot before!”

That made her jaw drop. She could have slapped him, but she didn’t. How could he think that? She had opened herself to him and he thought she just wanted his money or that she just wanted him for his looks and the sex? What kind of fuck headed was he? “I honestly thought you knew me better than that.” Those words came out as a whisper.

“Kimb-”

“Get out of my room, Jake.” Kimberly didn’t bother to look at his face. But she knew he hadn’t walked out of her room. “You know what I’m going to do?” If that was a mistake to do or even to think, she didn’t care right now, “I’m going to start looking for another house first thing tomorrow after college.”

“You can’t.”

“Watch me then.” She smiled nervously, walked past him, opened the door and said, “I want to sleep. Would you do me the favor of getting out of my room?”

If Jake was already feeling guilty for having said that, he showed no sign of guilt, which meant he really did thought she was a stupid girl who fucked guys for their money, looks and sex.

Fuck Jake, his money, his sex and his looks.

After he got out of her room, without even look at her one last time, she closed the door of her bedroom aggressively, regretting right away since it could have awoken Sidney or Tom and let herself fall into her bed, where she fell asleep right away.

The next day, she felt tired and sleepy. She had had bad dreams which made her woke up earlier than what she used to, which meant she had only slept less than two hours. That gave her time to arrange herself slowly. When she finally came out of her room, she decided to make breakfast for all. She made some coffee and some toasts, prepared the table and cleaned what she had messed.

And lucky her, Jake had been the first one to enter in the kitchen. No word was spoken between them both. Jake looked at the table nicely set, but Kimberly saw him reaching for a bowl and his usual cereal. He grabbed some milk and ate right there without sitting down on the table that Kimberly had set. He didn’t give her one look.

Maybe he really wanted her to get out of his house. Therefore, it was just he and Tom again and he could screw the girls that just wanted him for his money. But honestly, her words had just come out of her mouth just like that, because, truly, Kimberly didn’t intend looking for a new house.

“Good morning.” Sidney said as she walked in the kitchen, awakening Kimberly from her thoughts.

“Good morning.” She and Jake said at the same time. That made them look at each other. But still, they avoided each other’s eyes right away. If Eric had been there right away, he would have made some conversation, trying to warm up the mood there.

After Kimberly finished eating a toast, she heard Tom asking, “What’s wrong with you two? You’re quiet.”

“Yeah, well, I didn’t sleep much.” Kimberly answered right away and then she saw Tom’s gaze on Jake, like if he was waiting for an answer.

“Headaches.” Jake replied as he put the bowl on the sink. “I’m tired from yesterday still. Well, I need to go. Bye.” Without any more words, he grabbed his books and walked out of the kitchen and then, she heard him leaving the house.

Minutes later, it was her turn and Sidney’s turn to go to college and to school.

“I’ll see you later, Tom.”

“Bye, girls.”

Both Sidney and Kimberly closed the door of their house without hurries, since they weren’t late.

“Why did you like locked yourself up in your room yesterday?” Sidney asked, as she entered in her sister’s car. That question caught her off-guard.

“I was tired.” She started the car and drove them to school.

“You didn’t seem that tired.”

“Yeah, but I was! Can’t I feel tired? You have to see that I’m tired?” Kimberly answered in an aggressively sarcastic way.

“Ok, ok… I was just asking… Geez, Kim. Now, I can’t even ask if you’re ok or not. You’re way too bitter this morning. Something happen?”

“No.”

“God, you’re unsocial today, hum? Maybe I’ll go have dinner out with James.” She took a deep breath, “Yeah, maybe I’ll do that. I miss him.”

“Fine. As long as you’re home on time.”

“Don’t worry about that, Kim.” Sidney answered in a hostile away and then she left the car, crossed the road and headed off to her school. As for Kimberly… she was going to have to face Lisa, due to her attitude the last time she saw her. Because of Jake, Kimberly had completely flipped out and Lisa had had to handle that.

When she arrived at college, it hadn’t rung yet, so Kimberly had time to find her best friend and ask for her forgiveness. Unfortunately, before she could talk to Lisa, the bell ranged and she had to go to class. And she was going to receive her essay. It was amazing how college teachers could like correct everything so fast. It always amazed Kimberly.

The teacher delivered the essay by alphabetical order. When it came to Kimberly, Kimberly was scared shitless. Her teacher didn’t have a very good face. But when she gave Kimberly her essay and she saw an A plus, she was ecstatic.

“I really thought you wouldn’t make such a great essay, Miss Roberts, since you’ve not been paying a lot of attention to the class lately. But I’m glad I was wrong after all. Congratulations. It was the best essay in this class.” The teacher said. Kimberly didn’t know what to say. Jake’s help had been amazing and it had given her an A plus. Her essay was the best in her class.

But with her problems with him… Kimberly really didn’t think about thanking him. But he deserved. But at the same time, he didn’t. That bastard thought she was a slut who just wanted him for what he had and not for what he was. Jerk.

She went back to her place and watched the others receiving their essays. Lisa had had a B. God, Kimberly was really happy with her work, with Jake’s work. If she ever were ok with him again, she would thank him.

Kimberly tried to give Lisa a smile, but her friend had her eyes on her essay, so she didn’t even dare to look at Kimberly. Finally the class ended with a speech, saying that their teacher was very proud of the essays.

Right after Lisa step out of the classroom, Kimberly ran after her. “Lisa, wait! Lisa!” The blond girl turned around and looked at Kimberly.

“Hi.” Lisa stated, not even taking the energy to turn it into a question.

“I’m sorry.” Kimberly said right away.

“It’s ok.”

“No, it’s not, Lisa. I’m really sorry. I didn’t intend to loose my grip on my anger that day… I was really mad at Jake and I… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you or something.”

“Really, its ok, Kim.” Lisa said with a smile. “I’m used to you acting like that sometimes. In fact, I was wondering when you were going to lose your patience with him. It was about time, hum? So, tell me. What happened that day?“\

Kimberly followed her friend through the campus and when they saw a bench, Kimberly sat down and just started talking about that day at the hotel and her weekend. She had seen Lisa had dropped her jaw. “I can’t possible believe you didn’t tell me any of this sooner! I mean… Peterson saw you! God! He recognized you?”

“I think so… But, if he knew what was best for him at the time, he knew it was if he just kept quiet. I haven’t seen him since then.”

“You need to be really careful! Why don’t you like… ask Jake to pick you up from work?” When Lisa saw Kimberly’s eyes looking at her, she remembered, “Oh yeah, Eric’s the one who knows… He’s gone now, right?”

“Yeah… I’ll miss him. He told me he liked me, you know?” Kimberly looked away.

“Do you like him?”

“Of course not, Lisa. It’s just that I’ll miss him. I was used to having him there, you know? Now, I’ll have to put up with Jake all by myself. Tom is always occupied and Sid has a boyfriend now… I’m so screwed.”

“I don’t know why you think you’re that screwed… I mean, he said he liked you-”

“He practically took it back!” Kimberly said right away, cutting Lisa’s words.

“Didn’t you say you were both drunk?”

“Yeah, but-”

“Maybe he just said that because he was really drunk and you asked him, not because he really likes you. He probably doesn’t like you.” How could he not like her?

“Lisa.” Kimberly got up, “I made him say I had won! He said I had seduced him! And if he doesn’t like me, then why the fuck was he so fucking mad at me just because I said I preferred Eric?” That issue was annoying her.

“You know what?” Lisa also got up and dragged Kimberly for the classroom, “I think you want him to like you.”

“What?” Yeah right. She really wanted him to like her.

“You say all of those things about him: that you don’t want him, that his brother is better than him, that he’s a bastard, etc. But, you’re mad just because he didn’t admit what he said at the hotel.” Right, she was also fucking mad because he practically called her a fucking whore!

Lisa’s words stayed with Kimberly till the end of her classes that day. Did she really want Jake to like her? Was that why she was so pissed off about? But Jake had said she had gotten him when they came back from the strip club… Besides, he was pissed off because somehow he had known Kimberly preferred Eric to him. Did she really prefer Eric?

She let herself wonder for the next two days.

Today as Wednesday, which meant, it was Kimberly’s night off. The past two days had been quiet. Kimberly tried to stay focused on everything, instead of worrying about Jake. In those two days she had spoken to Eric on the phone for three times. She had said nothing about her discussion with Jake. It was something she didn’t wanna talk about with him.

Jake hadn’t spoken to her either. Whenever Kimberly was on the kitchen and Jake walked in, she walked out and vice versa. It was annoying, but she didn’t want to face him nor did he want to face her. But it seemed something was against her, since it was her night off and everyone had left her alone with Jake. Tom had gone out with someone, and he didn’t even bother to tell who it was. And minutes later, Sidney had gone out with just these words, “I’m going out with James. I’ll be home around midnight! Bye!”

She hadn’t let Kimberly answer, since her words only came to her head, when Sidney was already out of the house. When it came the time to have dinner, they didn’t even eat together and both made their own dinner. She hated that atmosphere between them, but it was Jake’s fault.

Kimberly was watching TV in the living room, when Jake came in. He didn’t look at the red haired sat in the couch, but in the moment she got up to leave the living room, he got up too and stopped right in front of her.

“I’m sick of this, Kimberly.”

“I don’t care.” Lie. Of course she cared. Deep down her heart, she cared. She passed beside him and went to her room. She wasn’t amazed when she sensed him behind her, following her. Before she stepped into her room, she turned around.

“Don’t fucking follow me!”

“Let’s talk!”

“I don’t want to talk to you! That’s the point god dammit!” She yelled, turning around, ready to walk in her room and closed the door at his face. But Kimberly knew he wasn’t going to give up that easily.

He opened the door easily. They stayed there looking at each other for moments. Until Jake broke the silence, by asking, “Have you found another house?”

“Why do you care? I’m just a girl who wants you for your money. Aren’t you happy that I’m getting out of your house and leave you and your money alone?” She threw that to his face. He flinched and took a step backward.

Seconds later, he answered, “Look, I’m sorry.”

Oh, now he was asking for her forgiveness… “You should have thought about that before you said that.” What he had said hurt her. She thought Jake knew her better than that. A lot better. She wasn’t rich, but she wasn’t some whore looking for a rich guy.

“Kimmy.”

“Don’t call me that.” She snapped crisply.

“I’m sorry. It’s just that I was angry.” He tried to say calmly, but his gestures and his eyes didn’t seem calm.

“Saying sorry it’s just not going to put things good again, Jake. Nor is it going to delete what you said to me.”

“I know and I’m sorry!”

“I didn’t even know you were rich when I had sex with you the first time!” She yelled at him. It just came out of her mouth and it was true. How could he think that?

“Kimmy, I’m sorry! I was annoyed at the time! I heard you say you preferred Eric over me to my mom and I was-”

“So, that is how you know that.” Eric and Jake had shown up behind her and their mother when they were talking. She should have known that, she should have noticed that.

“Yeah. I was so pissed off… And then you just started talking about that shit at the hotel and it made me be even mad!” He said. He wasn’t yelling, but he was close. Kimberly could see he was trying to calm down himself. “You know I didn’t mean that.”

“You fucking seem to think that!”

“I was out of control!”

“Do you think I’m that futile?”

“No, Kimmy of course not.” He stepped towards her, but Kimberly stepped back. “I’m really sorry.”

She turned around. She couldn’t look at his green eyes. They made her fall for him this whole time. She didn’t want to fall for him now. Kimberly didn’t want the hardness in his eyes make her weak. Jake hadn’t meant that and she knew it. Didn’t she?

Kimberly didn’t turn around, when she said, “My essay was the best in class.”

The answer took some time to be heard, “Really? That’s great.” If Jake was smiling or not, Kimberly didn’t know.

“I’m thankful for your help.”

“You’re welcome. Now, would you please turn around and face me? Let me talk to you, Kimmy!”

She slowly turned around and faced his beautiful and dark green eyes, “What do you want Jake?” Kimberly asked with a tired voice.

“I want to know why. I want to know why you prefer him, Kimmy. I mean, you said you went…”

“Let it go, Jake.” Her voice didn’t seem strong enough to make him stop.

“… to bed with me, that I was the one you had sex, that it had been with me that you had gone to the hotel, then why, Kimmy?”

Suddenly, she exploded, “BECAUSE ERIC IS NOT THE ONE WHO DISMISSES GIRLS LIKE IF THEY WERE JUST AN OBJECT! BECAUSE ERIC ISN’T THE ONE WHO JUST WANT THEM FOR SEX! BECAUSE ERIC CAN REALLY LIKE SOMEONE! BECAUSE HE CAN BE NICER THAN YOU! BECAUSE HE ADMITS HIS FEELINGS! IS THAT ENOUGH REASONS FOR YOU?”

He remained calm when he replied, “So that’s it? Because he’s the good guy and I’m the bad guy?” The moment Jake said that, Kimberly regretted her words as she remembered Jake’s own words at the hotel. They preferred Eric, but he had said he managed to handle that. Now, it seemed he had lied about it.

“I didn’t mean it like-”

“No, no, it’s cool, Kimberly.” Kimberly always thought it was funny the way Jake called her. She always knew when he was pissed off with her or when he was ok with her. Every time he called her Kimmy, he was ok with her. But when he called Kimberly… It meant trouble and a huge pointless argument.

“I understand.” He said, “I’m used to it.” She tasted blood in her mouth.

“Jake, I’m serious; I didn’t mean it like that!”

He turned around and walked out of her room. His hands were on his trousers’ pockets, his eyes looking towards the door of the house, his walk firm. “Where are you going?”

Jake didn’t turn around when he answered, “Fuck a slut.” He was kidding of course, right?

More blood. “Don’t say that.”

“Why? I’m not lying.”

“Jake, come on.” Kimberly reached him before he could grab the door handle. She didn’t want him to go, she didn’t want to imagine him in other girl’s arms, just like she had seen him and Joanne that night…

Out of the blue, the words just came out of her mouth in an uncontrollable way. “I don’t prefer Eric, I don’t like him, I like you.”

Jake turned around right away and studied her for some time. “What?”

If Kimberly should already be regretted about what she said, she didn’t know.

He reached her, placed his hands on her shoulders and asked, “You’re sure about what you’re saying?” No answer came from her mind. Not even a breath. She shouldn’t have said that… she didn’t want to be his toy for a week, just like Joanne. “Say something, Kimmy!” He shook her, pressuring her.

“I-”

“Don’t say you didn’t mean it.”

His green eyes pierced her silver eyes. “I mean it, Jake.” How could she possible deny if he was practically pleading?

“Kimmy…” His smile enlightened his own eyes. “I meant what I said at the hotel, Kimmy. I just didn’t know if you felt it too, I was confused. I didn’t want to show that I had fallen… Not without knowing if you felt the same way too.”

So what he needed to admit that he had really meant what he had said at the hotel was Kimberly saying what she wanted to hear from his mouth? But she was not going to give herself to him that easily.

No.

Kimberly didn’t want to date him. She didn’t want to be a toy; a girl that he just used for a while and then… “Jake.” Kimberly said.

Kimberly noticed Jake had noticed her tone. “What?”

“I like you, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have a free pass to have sex with me.”

“This isn’t about sex anymore.” Jake declared. His eyes had met hers. “I like you too. Do you think I just want sex? Fuck, Kimberly, I just admitted I like you and you think I just want sex? Hell, I want you, but not because of the sex! I want you because I like you!” Even if his words seemed honest, Kimberly found hard to believe him.

“I’m sure you must tell all of that to your previous sex adventures. Like Joanne for example.” Kimberly turned around, and walked in the living room, enough time to take a break from his piercing green eyes.

When she saw him walking in the living room, Kimberly heard him saying, “What the hell is wrong with you?”

“Nothing is wrong with me!”

“Don’t lie to me!” Jake yelled, “Now that we both say the truth to each other, you just go like that?”

“It’s the truth Jake! I like you, but hell if I date you!” Kimberly yelled. For how much she already liked him, she didn’t want him. No, she didn’t want to be another sex adventure.

“What the fuck do you mean with that?”

“I don’t want you! Is that clear enough?”

“But I want you! And I know you want me too! Why are you saying that?” Jake reached her arm and grabbed her, “Kimmy, look at me. What are you saying? You like me, why don’t date me?”

“Because, Jake, I don’t want to end up hurt, just like Joanne!”

“I won’t hurt you!” He promised. Promises are deceiving.

“Like hell you won’t! I bet you hurt every girl that you fucked!”

Jake didn’t believe in Kimberly’s words. What the hell was wrong with her? “Don’t talk like that. It’s just not you. Kimmy, since you came to this house I have never been with someone else! Joanne was just for keeping me distracted from you, because you had me since the very beginning!”

“Don’t-”

“You have me since the first time I saw you walk in the house, all stressed out and ready the drink that entire bottle of vodka! You have me since the first moment you asked me to kiss you!” Jake revealed. How could he still remember that? Kimberly still felt ashamed of her own actions that night.

“I-”

“Shit, Kimberly! You’re a hard one! I have never liked a girl, like I like you! I have never talked like this with a girl, as I am talking to you right now! Why the fuck did you say you like me, if you don’t want to date me! Explain me that!”

That was an easy one. Just thinking about him screwing some other girls made her sick. “I didn’t want you to go out and…” Kimberly knew Jake had heard the unspoken words.

“Baby…” He reached her and Kimberly let him hug her. “I swear I will never hurt you.” Some seconds after a pause, he said, “You’re the first girl I like and I’m not lying. Girls are so futile these days… Besides… I told you all of those things at the hotel because I knew I could trust you. And I know you don’t want me for my money.”

Kimberly had never seen him speaking in such a soft way.

“You even made me and my brother torn apart from each other for some time. He was jealous of our relation and I was jealous from him. Because I knew you used to talk to him in such an easy way… But with me… You were always hard.”

“Because you were always hard with me, too, Jake.” Kimberly replied, “I couldn’t even read you. You’re so different from Eric. I could know what Eric was feeling, but you…”

“Look who’s talking.” That earned him a laugh from Kimberly. “Let’s date, Kimmy. Right now, fuck everyone else.”

Wow.

Kimberly surely wasn’t expecting that from him. Wasn’t he rushing things? This coming from him… She didn’t even know how to explain herself. But her answer was firm when Jake let her go.

“No.”

“Kimmy.”

“Jake, no. I’ve answered why. I don’t want to be played.”

“You want me to prove that I can be good?”

“I don’t care, Jake.” It came out as a whisper, “Do whatever you want.” If she was being a bitch to herself, she couldn’t tell, but she knew it was the safest thing for her. This way, she wouldn’t be another Joanne and she wouldn’t make a scene in the future if Jake broke up with her.

Kimberly passed beside him and went to her room. Jake followed her, but he didn’t come in.

With his dark green eyes fixed on the red haired, he declared decisive, “I can be good, Kimmy. I won’t play you. I’ll prove you that. You’ll see.”

Seconds later, he was no longer there, and Kimberly felt she was alone in that world, with nobody to talk to, with nobody to support.

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