Are you kidding me? Oliver had to be doing it on purpose. He scooted close to where their forearm hairs touched. Immediately, her arm hid under the table.
Aunt Betsy brought two plates of eggs to them and sent her husband a glare. "Do you have to use that thing during breakfast? I rarely mind, but we have guests."
Uncle Robert frowned at the rectangular tablet in front of him then at his wife. "Argh, I do this every morning, woman. This is how I get m' news."
"You get your news from social media?" Aunt Betsy placed her fist on her hip.
"No, a legitimate news website. Check this out." Uncle Robert lifted his glasses and showed her the tablet's screen. "First case of Wuhan virus in US soil."
"Robert, we don't want to see that." His wife clenched her jaw.
"I'm good, Aunt Betsy." Oliver cut into his eggs. "I have guts of steel. Nothing grosses me out. Plus, only three-hundred people got infected; and in China. That's a long way from here. We have nothing to worry about."
"More people have died from the flu," Robert agreed.
Betsy motioned muted words at her husband with a blinking, a twist of the jaw, and multiple muscle contractions. Pudica decoded the words "father," "flu," "Asia," and "meatball?" She was unsure about the last one.
"So insensitive," Aunt Betsy whispered.
"If this is about my father, don't worry about it. We weren’t close." Pudica shook her fingers at her.
An estranged Oliver woke to the situation. "Oh, snap. What happened to him?"
Pudica held her hands between her thighs in embarrassment. He had addressed her as if it were a regular morning.
"He died on a business trip to Beijing. Nasty case of the flu." She took a sip of her milk, hiding her burning cheeks behind the cup.
Oliver addressed his aunt. "The flu kills more people than this Wuhan virus, and nobody bats an eye."
"Okay, eat your food." Betsy sighed and sat at the table while her husband nodded at Oliver's statement.
Social anxiety had potential as a valid cause of death because Pudica was near fainting. Luckily, Oliver finished his food before her, and excused himself to some place—she didn't care where.
Washing dishes was the least Pudica could do to thank her aunt and uncle for offering their home. After the death of her mother, friends disappeared, forcing her to call Aunt Betsy. Although they made acquaintance of each other at her mother's funeral, Betsy treated her like a daughter.
She turned off the faucet and placed a dish on the drying rack, wondering why the sisters didn't share a close relationship. Her aunt was so giving, when she learned her niece was homeless, she provided her with a room. Even knowing of her father's inheritance, Betsy still insisted she should stay and determine her path in life. She and Pudica's mother would have been exceptional friends.
Submerged in her thoughts, the girl grabbed a microfiber cloth and wiped the kitchen counter. Her arms reached behind and around the faucet without missing a spot. Her butt moved higher, when her hips met two enormous hands. A gasp spun her around, protecting her rear from a warm bulge.
"Where were we?" Oliver locked her waist between him and the sink.
Pudica's eyes grew enormous until her sockets hurt. Naturally, her fist crashed into his jaw, catapulting the man onto the breakfast table.
"Owe! What the hell?" Blood dripped out of his mouth. His teeth cut into his tongue.
Pudica had a docile nature despite her familiarity with high school fights. Only one other time had she started a scuffle—when Karen Nguyen spread rumors about Pudica catching a sexually transmitted disease. Both girls got a one week detention. Still worth it.
"Don't come any closer." She stabbed a finger at him.
"Th-so you can barge into a th-stranger's room and agree to suck him off, but the moment they touch you, you're holier-than-thou," Oliver muffled into a paper towel.
"Shhh." She watched the kitchen entrance, fanning her arms down at him. Her aunt and uncle wouldn't appreciate hearing about the morning incident. Now their godson thought of her a whore.
The girl hugged herself, unaware that the action lifted her breasts, making them more pronounced.
"I'm not like that, okay?" she whispered.
"Like what? You're bipolar, for sure." He pointed at her breasts, walked toward the kitchen trash can, and disposed of the paper towel.
The blonde raked her hair in front of her chest. "That was an impulse. I had a lot in my mind."
"Let me see if I get it. While stress makes girls eat ice cream and drink margaritas, it makes you give blow jobs.”
“No!" She stiffened her arms by her sides. "It's not like that. I—" She refused to explain her pain to a stranger. He probably didn't care. "I eat ice cream, too. It's just—you wouldn't understand. The point is that whether I'm a whore or not—which I'm not—you don't get to touch me unless I say so."
"Kay, and you say—" he elongated the y, awaiting her response.
"Well, your loss."
"I'm okay with that."
Oliver had moved out of view, when he abruptly stomped toward Pudica. His ribcage touched her breasts, prompting her retreat. His arms trapped her again, although this time, her fist didn't move.
With a beak for a nose and his Neanderthal brow ridge, her face turned away in disgust. But that twitching bicep under his shirt made her want to trace its outline with her finger. The vein stretching out of it and into the inner side of his elbow made her sensitive to his touch.
That fragrance—it didn't come from his clothes—took control of her core. Body temperature increased pleasantly. She had never encountered that smell, but her body sensed a man. She flustered, struggling to stay disgusted. One glance at him, and he grinned. Her head leaned slightly forward ineffectually attaining his lips. A bomb exploded in her stomach, seeing distance reducing between them.
Since much was at stake, Oliver did nothing about the morning situation. They had just become roommates and Pudica was his godparents' niece. He would have hated making them miserable after all the good they did for him.
During breakfast, his mindset changed, and his biological urges re-gained control. He would have chosen any of the empty seats across from her, but he feared if he looked at her long enough, he would get lost in her eyes like an idiot.
Curiosity took over his mind. Somehow, his eyes had encountered the most beautiful woman to have ever walked the earth, and they lacked an explanation. Blonde, long hair wasn't that unique. Hazel eyes were overrated. Rosy cheeks typical of white girls. Not the magazine cover supermodel either as she was too short.
He sat next to her to steer clear of eye contact. A suggestion came to him: it wasn't her individual features that intensified his thirst, but the combination of them. The way God had positioned her mouthwatering features to make anybody fall in lust. Aside from this, her politeness and her nice-girl act made him cut breakfast short, fearing hankering might lead to insanity.
Loneliness proved to be worse as he became a savage animal rummaging for Pudica. He would have sex with her to appease his genitals, and after a jab to his face, he was unsure that was attainable.
"That's what I thought," Oliver whispered into Pudica's ear.
He chuckled at her disconcerted face. He tricked her into thinking he wanted to kiss her, which wasn't far from the truth. But it was her punishment to make her yearn for his lips, then rob her of that pleasure.
He might have not been the hottest Texas bachelor. Hell, countless mean girls in his teens let him know, but he never lost confidence. Perhaps the biggest factor was the gym. Weight lifting and being mindful of the food he put in his body played a role in his assertiveness. It was all about attitude.
Pudica shoved him back toward the breakfast table. "Stay away from me or I'll tell my aunt you're harassing me and I'll call the police."
"Hey, you made a move on me first when you closed the door," he replied.
Okay, she's not that easy.
"I gave you the wrong first impression. That's on me. It was a mistake on my part and I can assure you, I won't repeat it."
Oliver frowned at her apologetic tone. A whore would never apologize. She was unquestionably going through something. Then, he remembered seeing that lawyer leave the study. Uncle Robert said he came to read the will. Someone close to her died. Perhaps, she tried doing something crazy out of grief.
Really? A sex act? He kept all judgement to himself.
“I'm going to work." He sighed and left her in the kitchen.
Pudica buried her last encounter with Oliver deep in her brain.
Nineteen years old and rich. She needed to make sure she made strategic decisions with her money, so it didn't run out like it happened to One-eyed Mildred. She was an old neighbor who hit a two-million jackpot, and spent her winnings on fast food, crack, and taxes. Pudica had to be smarter than that.
Not needing to work for minimum wage she could study business and finances, then major in culinary arts. Her biggest dream was to be a chef at one of those fancy restaurants where the food is a tiny work of art in the middle of a giant plate. With the money, she might own the restaurant. And if it did well, franchising seemed like an excellent idea. The steps to success were unclear, but the number-one step was studying.
She opened her old laptop to research study programs. The countless options made her happy. She could study online or on campus, or leave Texas if she wanted. Then again, Texas was all she knew, so she opted for staying. Hours of planning went by, realizing that applying to colleges was hard, so she took a break.