The S Word

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Testosterone

My hand stays on the doorknob, maybe for a little longer than needed as I try to think of what to do. Justin and Alexander will be under the same roof. After Layla’s party, Alexander’s impression of my ex only got worse, and if he is here to do what I think he is, it won’t get any better.

I take a deep breath, opening the door and stepping aside so my ex can enter. Justin doesn’t even bother to look at me as he walks straight to the kitchen counter and throws a set of papers there so loudly that I can’t help to wince.

His eyes come to me, as I avoid them and try to comprehend what is in those paper sheets.

“So, this is what you turned into Nicky? Is this how you’re making money now?”

He shouts as I close the door behind me and glance into the hallway. Alexander heard it, I’m sure he did, and by the sound of his footsteps, I have only a few seconds to calm everything before Justin is thrown out the door.

Hopefully alive. Not that I care, but only being able to see my boyfriend with a glass separating us isn’t what I meant when I said I want him in my future.

“What is that?” I ask, scared; I know the answer.

I know exactly what he is going to say. Even after our talk, also after we come to terms of being somewhat friends, Justin will always judge me. It’s something about him that he tends to do, and I hate it.

“These are prints from a video I received,” he speaks, staring at the photos and not me. “Prints of you and that boyfriend of yours fucking on camera.”

“That boyfriend of hers has a name.”

Alexander’s deep voice cuts Justin off, who stiffens and watches as my boyfriend walks across the room to stand between the both of us. Shielding me from anything Justin might say, or just from his eyes that pierce through me. I don’t blame him. Their interactions were never that pleasant, and this one doesn’t seem to be any different.

“Great, you’re here as well,” Justin says, rolling his eyes. “What the hell, Nicky? Now you have sex on camera, so everyone sees? Is this the new job you told me about? Is this how you-”

Alexander takes a step forward, and I grab his wrist, shouting at the same time.

“Justin, shut the fuck up.”

The man I love glances at me before averting his eyes to Justin again. The latter stares at me, an unreadable expression as his eyes linger on me, waiting. Justin glides his tongue inside his cheek as I take a step, standing now beside Alexander.

I’m done with men trying to belittle me because they feel insecure.

“See, this is why I didn’t answer your calls. You start accusing people, not even willing to hear what I have to say,” I speak, sliding one hand in my hair in an attempt to calm down. “The fact that you and I share a past, the fact that you saw me naked does not give you the right to march into my house, throwing accusations without even listening to me.”

Justin folds his arms over his chest; his eyes don’t fall from mine as I notice the disappointment in them. I can deal with that, but I can’t deal with being judged by him.

“What can you say that will make sense to all of this, Nicky? What do you have to say that justifies the fact that you’re naked having sex with a guy-”

“Since she’s not your girlfriend, she doesn’t have to say anything, does she?”

Alexander speaks, lifting his chin and clasping his hands on his side. I know it’s taking every fiber in his body not to punch Justin right now, and the latter thinks the same. His eyes flicker with danger, watching Alexander losing his patience with the seconds passing.

They stare at each other, threatening the other without opening their mouths. Justin is taking this too far, Alexander won’t back down a second time, and we both know it. Not with the week we had. My ex is playing a dangerous game, and if he keeps this up, my boyfriend will throw him out of the house, willingly or not.

Why couldn’t he be here to help?

“She’s not my girlfriend, and maybe she shouldn’t be yours either considering what happened.”

“It’s not any of your business,” Alexander speaks between his teeth.

Fuck. I try to grab his arm, try to shift his attention, but they lock eyes on each other, and I almost sense the fire in their stares. This is a first to me, with Alexander at least. I know he isn’t the most patient man in the world, especially when it comes to me. But the way he glares at Justin is making me fear for the latter’s life.

“Alex-”

My eyes don’t move from him, trying to bring him back to me. Trying to shift his anger towards me so it can ease a little. But, even if Justin was here to talk and not fight, the second these two stepped into the same room all of that flew out the window as their testosterone rise.

“Maybe if it were, she wouldn’t be in this situation,” Justin replies with a snicker.

It happens in the blink of an eye. Alexander takes a step forward, his arm easily breaks free from my hold, and the sound of flesh hitting flesh comes to my ears before Justin is on the floor. His head smacks against the dark wood, taken by surprise.

Justin’s eyes widen, staring up at Alexander, and I fear the worse.

“Alex-” I yell when I see him kneeling and grabbing Justin’s shirt to pick him up again.

My smaller hands grab his, trying to stop him from doing anything else, and he freezes. His eyes turn to me, and he lets go of Justin. I hold his gaze with mine in an attempted to make him see this won’t help. This won’t take us from the pit we are in right now.

Hurting someone else won’t diminish our pain.

“Let him go,” I mumble a little worried about the both of them.

Alexander sighs, biting on the inside of his cheek, and Justin falls on the floor with a loud thud.

I listen to a chuckle, helping Alexander to walk into the living room, and when I turn back, Justin is already on his feet, cleaning his face. The small string of blood on his lip, the place where Alexander’s fist hit.

“Good to know who wears the pants in this relationship,” he says, and I feel Alexander trying to walk around me.

Alexander is already trying to pass by me, but I run, pushing my ex to the door. In an attempt to be faster than my boyfriend, who will kill him if he keeps this up.

“Leave now. If you didn’t come to help, don’t come at all.”

“Nicky-”

There. His eyes shift from fury again and soften as he stares at me. Why in the world is this guy so stubborn and hot-headed? He lets his hormones take over him and then sees the crap he made. I can’t feel bad about Alexander punching him, not when I want to do the same.

“Leave Justin; I have enough to deal with. If you want to accuse me of something I didn’t do, if you’re not willing to listen to my side of the story, we have nothing to talk about.”

My feet quickly take me to the door, and I open it. Justin face drops, he lets go of a sigh and for a moment, I consider telling him what happened. Why Alexander and I are into this mess. But I won’t. He did me wrong twice, and I can’t let that pass by.

He will have to deal with not knowing, especially after this little stunt. Justin will soon be out of my life for good if he keeps this up.

“I-”

“Don’t talk to me unless you are going to apologize. Now go before I change my mind and let Alexander finish what he started.”

Justin steps out of the apartment, his eyes resembling that deer that lost his mother, and I shut the door. He won’t have his way again. Not when he is a dumb stubborn man who can’t see past his nose. With a deep breath, I walk back into the living room.

Alexander sits on the sofa; his hands closed into fists, breathing unevenly.

“Alex?”

I try to reach for him, but he avoids my touch. I never saw him like this. Justin made him snap, and although I enjoy seeing the dominant side of him appearing, it’s not under these circumstances. He sucks in a breath, his eyes glance up at me, and I freeze with my hand stretched.

“Will you ever stop caring about him?”

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