#74 No one touches my man
Everyone is having a great time, dancing and drinking like there’s no tomorrow. Well, everyone except one person.
Surprisingly, he seems to be all up in his head – I didn’t even know that he had the ability to do that, since even our conversation about him wanting kids only lasted for a little while before he turned back to his lighthearted demeanor. He’s not even trying to find himself a girl to hook up with. A few beautiful women have already tried to win him over tonight, but he just pies them. What the hell is going on with him?
I’m buzzed, on the verge of being drunk, which makes me the most sober person out of the six of us. Well, aside from Aston, who seems to have lost his appetite for alcohol tonight as well as his appetite for sexy girls.
Francesca is slurring her words, leaning heavily on the guy she’s dancing with. He’s a regular fuckbuddy of hers, so I’m not too worried about him taking advantage of her, not like I would be if it was just some random dude. I’ve met him before and he’s decent enough.
Nathan and Caroline are so far gone that they’re making out against a wall in the corner of the club, her legs wrapped around his waist while he totally ruins her make-up. They may be married now, and he might be 42 now after his recent birthday, but they’re still just a bunch of hormonal teenagers at heart.
Dshawn is jumping around like a mad man, cutting loose like he always does. That man knows no shame. And he shouldn’t, since even drunk he dances like he should be up on a stage with people worshipping at his feet. A few girls have tried to woo him already, but that just makes him laugh. I don’t even mind – in a way, it’s nice to know that my guy is wanted. And why wouldn’t he be? He’s absolutely breathtaking jaw-dropping sexy.
When Aston turns down the millionth girl that night, I yell at Dshawn that I’m going to head outside for a bit with Aston. Dshawn just nods, not worried about my safety when I’m with Aston. I pull my friend with me to the exit and we both inhale deeply when the fresh air hits us, making us forget about the sweaty odor in the club. If Dshawn and I ever get to open our own place, we’ll definitely need to find a way to keep the place smelling fresh and clean.
“What is up with you?” I ask Aston, pulling my dress down a bit since it rid up while I danced. I don’t look as alluring as I could have, since I didn’t have much time to get ready, but at least my dress is short, my neckline is plunging and the bright red color makes me look sexy. Screw my make-up being subpar and my hair just hanging around my face without any oomph to it.
“Nothing,” Aston sighs, leaning against the wall. “I just… Fuck, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
“Is it Annabel?” I ask, nodding when I see the answer in his eyes. “I figured. You like her, don’t you?”
“Yeah, of course, but I almost always like the girls I fuck,” he says, rolling his eyes. “I liked Fran too, a lot actually, still do, but she didn’t get stuck in my head like this. I feel like… like I can’t even enjoy the chase anymore. Finding a new girl every night, bringing her back to my place… It just feels so… useless.”
“Are you saying you don’t want anyone but her?” I ask, surprised by this. He was so certain that he can’t do monogamy, yet here he is whining about one single woman who’s stuck in his head.
“No,” Aston says, a little smile on his face. “I’m not hanging up my cape like you did. I truly can’t imagine never getting to fuck another woman. Besides, Annabel doesn’t even want me like that. I’m just her hot young sex slave, nothing more, nothing less.”
I highly doubt that, but I know better than to tell Aston. When he gets all stubborn, there is nothing I can do or say to convince him otherwise. He’ll just have to figure out for himself that Annabel is totally into him. I know the look she gives him when she’s around him. I’ve seen that look on many girls’ faces. Hell, I wear that look myself when I look at Dshawn. If he wants more from her than sex, I’m sure he could get it. He just needs to figure out what he wants and feels first, but I can’t help him. That’s got to be all him.
“I doubt you’re anyone’s slave,” I tell him with a little smile. “Hot and young, sure. A slave? No way.”
He grins. “Okay, fair enough.”
We both just stand there, our backs against the wall, enjoying the soft July night. It’s nice to be back to normal with him. I missed this, hanging out and talking.
“Caroline’s man is an animal,” Aston comments after a moment of comfortable silence. “He seemed so normal at the wedding, but the freak is really coming out tonight. Did you know they were that kinky? I swear she’s got bite marks on her neck, and I’m pretty sure I know what they were up to when went to the bathroom at the same time.”
“You have no idea,” I say, remembering the times I walked in on them and all the stories Caroline has told me. She used to be totally sexually repressed, but Nathan’s care and patience truly got her out of her shell. And even though Nathan was vanilla before her, he isn’t anymore. Those two were made for each other.
“Damn.” Aston sighs and drags a hand over his face. “I miss Annabel.”
“And talking about Nate and Car reminds you of her because… she’s a freak too?”
“You have no idea,” he repeats my words, smiling slightly. “It’s not just that, though. She is… I don’t even know where to begin. She’s not at all what I expected when you showed me her picture.”
“Is she the reason you’re not drinking tonight?” I ask him, wanting to understand what is going on in his brain right now.
He shrugs. “She doesn’t care what I do what I’m not with her, so I can get drunk and fuck whoever I want to, but I just don’t feel like it. And if I get drunk, I might end up doing something I’ll regret in the morning.”
“Would you regret sleeping with someone else?” I ask, very surprised now.
“Maybe.” He grunts and pushes himself off the wall. “I don’t know. She’s fucking with my mind, Shaughna. I think I need to just cut her off.”
“But you like her,” I argue, getting involved in this against my better judgement. “Why would you stop seeing her? Finally a woman gets underneath your skin and you want to quit? Are you sure that you’re not just scared?”
“Please,” he scoffs. “I’m not scared of anything. It’s probably just the mind-blowing sex and her sexy little cheerleader outfit that’s got me all scrambled. It will pass. Maybe I should get a drink after all and just find someone to fuck her out of my system.”
“Yeah,” I say, rolling my eyes. “Because that always works so well.”
“It’s what you did for seven years,” he growls at me, his eyes dark when they meet mine. “Annabel is not my Dshawn. No one ever will be.”
“Maybe not, but even if she’s just your Joshua, that could be worth seeing how things go,” I reason. Joshua’s sweet nature was, after all, part of the reason that I was open to seeing where things could go with Dshawn. Even though he wasn’t it for me, he did remind me that there are good guys out there who treat women well.
“Did someone say my name?”
Aston and I both turn to see Joshua standing a few feet away, an amused smile on his face. Aston grunts and ignores him, directing his next words at me: “Well, it seems you’ve got a new babysitter. I’ll be inside, where the booze and the sluts are.”
“Aston-” I start, but he takes off without looking back. Fuck. I should have just stayed out of his relationship with Annabel, if you can even call it that.
“Trouble?” Joshua asks, taking Aston’s previous place against the wall, his body angled towards me. “I’m sorry if I interrupted something.”
“He was going to storm off anyway,” I reply with a shrug. “So… are you stalking me?”
Joshua turns bright red, his eyes going wide. “N-no, I swear it’s just a c-c-coincidence that w-we’re running into each other again. I come here a lot, actually.”
“Just kidding, Josh.” I grin at his relieved sigh. “So how have you b-”
Before I can even finish my question, a guy that was just walking past us suddenly turns, his blue eyes focusing on me. “You bitch,” he says, talking right over me, ignoring that I’m talking to Joshua. “I knew I’d run into you eventually.” The stench of alcohol wafts over me when his breath hits me in the face. He’s too close. Way too close.
It takes me a moment before I recognize the man towering over me. His long curls are gone completely, a buzzcut in its place, making him look older. Those blue eyes are the same, though.
“Hollister?” I ask, take aback by suddenly having him right up in my personal space without warning. In fact, I haven’t seen him at all since I fired him.
“Dude, back up,” Joshua says, trying to place himself between me and Hollister, but he’s not nearly as big or broad, so he gets pushed to the side rather easily.
“You’re a fucking whore,” Hollister grunts, closing in on me even more. When I try to move to the side, he grabs my wrists and pins them to the wall above my head using just one of his big hands. Fuck, he’s strong. “Jane broke up with me because of you,” he goes on, his eyes shooting fire at me. “She went through my phone and found our texts.”
“Your texts,” I can’t help myself from replying. I hardly ever texted back when he was trying to get me to sleep with him again, after all. “And I thought you said you broke up with her?”
“Like I would ditch a girl like her for a whore like you,” Hollister bites out. “You ruined my life. I’ve got no job, no money, no girlfriend, no fucking life.”
Joshua is still trying to get Hollister to let go of me, but it’s no use. I try to convey to him that he needs to go back inside to get Dshawn, Aston or Nathan – all of them are stronger than Joshua, after all, and a match for Hollister for sure – but he doesn’t seem to be thinking logically. He just keeps pulling at Hollister’s muscular arms without actually accomplishing anything.
“You’re only good for one thing,” Hollister hisses, lowering his face to mine. “And no matter how much I hate you, I do miss that one thing.”
“No,” I say sternly, happy that there’s no sign of a panic attack in any part of my body. I feel eerily calm, even though I’m defenseless. “Don’t.”
“Like you could stop me,” Hollister says, his lips already brushing mine.
With a grunt, I pull up my knee, wanting to hurt him where it counts, but Hollister gets pulled off me before I can connect with his groin. I rub my wrists for a moment before looking to see who came to my rescue.
“Maybe she can’t stop you,” a dangerously familiar voice says, the raspy edge making my skin crawl. “But I sure can.” The man shoves Hollister against the wall roughly, making it look like nothing at all. Hollister grunts in pain, but the man isn’t done yet. He pushes him again, making him hit the wall so hard that Hollister cries out. “Don’t ever fucking touch my girl again.”
“Who the fuck are you?” Joshua asks, his voice tight. He’s standing right next to me, his hands balled into fists.
My eyes lock with the man’s and we stare at each other for a moment, forgetting everything around us, including Joshua and Hollister. His eyes are still the same unusual gray, his nose still sharp and his face angular. His black hair isn’t short anymore, now a carefully slicked back hairdo, looking professional and preppy. The corners of his mouth are tilted upwards slightly in an amused smile. My eyes travel down to his black button-up shirt that strains over his muscles. He wasn’t that buff back in the day – thank God – but I do recognize the way he holds his frame up with a certain arrogant air. He must be close to 30 by now, and he looks it too.
“Fuck!” Joshua curses next to me, causing me to break the staring contest to see what’s going on. Hollister has Joshua in a headlock and they’re struggling. Hollister may be drunk, but he’s not budging, no matter how hard Joshua tries to break free.
“Well, that takes care of those two assholes.” Again, that gravely voice with the amused tone. Oh, how I used to miss that.
“Only one of them is an asshole,” I say, still surprised that I feel fine considering I was just assaulted by Hollister and am now face to face with the most horrific demon from my past. “What are you doing here?”
“Who is he?” Joshua asks, sounding like he’s choking.
“That’s something I’d like to know as well,” Dshawn’s comfortingly familiar voice sounds from the shadows. He steps into the light from the lamppost, slipping an arm around my waist possessively and protectively at the same time.
I nudge him and am about to tell him to help Joshua, but Aston and Nathan pop up just when I open my mouth, pulling Hollister away from the poor guy who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. With Joshua rubbing his neck, Dshawn holding me close and Hollister subdued by Nathan and Aston, that leaves Melchior standing there on his own, looking around at the scene before him.
“You always attract drama, Shay,” Melchior says, shaking his head and chuckling softly. “Look at you, surrounded by men fighting your battles. You’re still that scared little girl I met in the grocery store, aren’t you? Desperate for love…” He cocks his head to the side and studies me for a moment. “You look good. I missed that sinful body of yours.”
“Motherfucker!” Dshawn suddenly yells. “You’re him!”
Before anyone can respond, he throws himself at Melchior, a fist connecting with his face. A sickening sound echoes in my ears and Melchior grunts, holding his bleeding nose.
“You’re going to wish you were never born,” Melchior warns, not affected by his probably broken nose at all. “Thanks for keeping warm my side of the bed, boy. I’m here to take back what’s mine.”
“Like hell you are!” Aston roars. He leaves Hollister to Nathan and moves in front of me protectively. “You are one sick bastard!”
Dshawn shoots forward again, grabbing Melchior roughly and trying to shove him up against the wall. He doesn’t succeed, since Melchior isn’t drunk or blinded by hatred. Melchior manages to shake Dshawn off even though his nose is bleeding.
“Stop it!” I yell, trying to get out from behind Aston, who immediately yanks me back by the back of my dress. “Dshawn, don’t! He’s not worth it!”
It’s too late. They’re already fighting, blows flying everywhere, grunts from pain erupting form both men. Still, I’m not panicking. Or well, yeah I am, but I don’t go into freeze mode. If Aston would just let me get in there I would very much like to join the fight. No more freeze, no more flight. It’s fight all the way for me. If only Aston wasn’t so big and strong. Goddamned.
“Nate?” Caroline’s voice is high and shrill when she and Franny join us outside. “Oh fuck, Nate!”
I look in their direction and see that Hollister broke free. Nathan is clutching his bleeding hand to his chest, his face scrunched up with pain. Joshua and Aston throw themselves at Hollister at the same time, wrestling him to the floor. Aston probably could have done it on his own, but it seems Joshua isn’t going to let his lack of muscles stop him from trying to help.
I’m free to move now that Aston is occupied, so I throw myself at Dshawn and Melchior who are trying to shove each other into the wall, both failing.
“Stop it!” I try to yank Dshawn back, only to end up with Melchior’s fist in my stomach.
While I’m doubled over, Melchior finally manages to kick Dshawn’s feet out from under him. My boyfriend doesn’t get up right away, clutching his left leg with a pained groan.
“Oh Shay,” Melchior says, grinning through the blood on his face. “Look what you’re making me do.”
“You fucking piece of shit!” I’m shrieking, my voice warped into something shrill and vile. I don’t even recognize myself like this. My whole body seems to be on fire.
No one touches Dshawn.
Without even deciding to move, my body is already flying into Melchior, both of us toppling onto the ground in a heated struggle. I manage to kick him in the nuts, but even in pain he’s stronger than I am. He rolls me onto my belly and covers my body with his, rendering me unable to move.
“Oh, I missed this,” he breathes into my ear.
To my horror, his rock-hard dick is twitching against my ass, clearly noticeable even through our clothes. He grinds against me a few times before the pressure is suddenly removed, allowing me to flop onto my back, breathing hard.
Aston and Dshawn are wrestling Melchior to the floor, their clothes torn and bloody. I sit up, trying to blink away the black spots in my vision, and I see that Hollister is face-down on the pavement with Nathan and Caroline on his back. Nate may be hurt and bleeding, but he’s still fierce, and Caroline has a look so horrifyingly scary on her face that Hollister would be wise to stay down and not face her wrath. Her full weight is on his upper back, her nails dug into his upper arms to keep him from trying to get free.
Joshua is on the ground as well, his legs in an awkward angle. Francesca is kneeling down next to him, talking to him in hushed tones while she tries to access the damage to his body. Nurse Franny to the rescue.
Aston and Dshawn almost have Melchior, who is trying to bite Aston to get away from them. I get up and move over, kicking the side of his face so hard that it hurts my foot. Goddamn heels. He groans and closes his eyes in pain, no longer attempting to bite my friend. My small action enables Dshawn and Aston to shift their weight, finally ensuring that Melchior won’t be able to get up on his own.
The fight is over.
And, of course, that’s when the first police car rounds the corner, sirens blaring.