Feisty Francesca

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#24 Player Aston versus officer James

Author’s note: to everyone who read “Eager Annabel” I’d like to apologize in advance. I know you all love Aston, and so do I, but... yeah. Just read.

***

“Why are you nervous?” James ask, chuckling at how I keep checking the oven to see if our lasagna is still doing good. “They’re your friends, honey.”

“I know,” I say, rubbing my hands together. Shaughna and Dshawn will be here any minute. It’s not them I’m nervous about, though. It’s who they’re bringing along.

They’re bringing Aston.

“I’m sure they will like me,” James says, completely at ease in my apartment, sipping his red wine while he lounges on the couch. “I outdid myself with that lasagna, I made the best tiramisu you will ever taste in your life, so… unless you’ve been telling them shit about me, I should be okay.”

“Yeah,” I agree, still nervous as fuck. “I know.”

“What did you tell them about me?” he asks, looking up at me with curiosity while I pace around the room. “They know how we met, right?”

“Of course, they were there,” I say, rolling my eyes.

“What else?” James asks, still amused by my nerves. “Do you discuss your sex life with them?”

“Erm… just with Shaughna.” Fuck, did he not realize that girls tell each other everything? Will he be mad not?

He’s still got an easy smile on his face, luckily. “What did you tell her?”

“That you’re amazing and that you’ve got the most magnificent cock I’ve ever seen.”

He smirks at that. “Including Aston’s?”

I roll my eyes. “Yes, baby, I like your cock better than his.”

“What is Aston like?” he asks me. We’ve been avoiding the subject so far, but now that he’s about to walk into my apartment, I guess we should indeed talk about him.

“He’s… a little childish,” I say, smiling at that understatement. “He’s got no filter whatsoever, so he might bring up things that are totally inappropriate, like places he had sex, or a threesome he had once, or the fact that he likes big tits.”

James cocks an eyebrow at me. “Sounds like a wonderful guy.”

“He’s got a big heart, and he’s really funny.” I stop talking, not wanting James to think I’m still holding a torch for Aston. “I told him to behave, but that usually doesn’t help at all, so… just stay calm, okay?”

“Honey, who do you think I am? Some kind of caveman?” He winks at me. “I survived having a beer with Thomas earlier today, didn’t I?”

He’s right. He was all polite and not at all behaving like a jealous asshole. But that was only half an hour, and Thomas isn’t as bad as Aston.

“Come here,” James says, motioning me over.

I sit down on his lap, melting into him. He kisses me softly and runs his fingers through my hair.

“It’ll be fine,” he assures me. “I’m sorry I made you think I can’t be normal around your male friends. I can be. I will be. For you, I would do anything.”

“Anything?” I repeat, kissing him again.

“Anything,” he promises me, his blue eyes sparkling.

“So if I asked you to get my name tattooed on your forehead, you’d do that?”

He grins. “What is it with you and tattoos?”

“Well, would you?” I press, nipping at his bottom lip.

“Anything for my baby,” he says. “You want to mark me as your property that badly?”

“Maybe,” I tease, tracing the letters of my name on his forehead. “Or maybe we could tattoo my name on your cock instead. I think the letters F R A N should be enough. They would totally match your piercing!”

“That sounds very painful.” He winces.

“You said you’d do anything for me!” I insist, kissing his neck now. Damn, I’m starting to get horny.

James grunts and I feel him growing hard underneath me. “Easy, babe, I don’t want to meet your friends with an erection.”

Laughing, I get off him. Right when he adjusts his junk and takes a few deep breath, the doorbell rings. The nerves come back, and I buzz all three of them up. James joins me in the hallway to welcome them, shaking hands and telling them how nice it is to meet them

“Damn,” Aston whispers to me, pulling me to the side. “I may be straight, but that is one hot man.”

“Thanks,” James says dryly, overhearing the comment. “I wish I could say the same about you.”

Aston roars with laughter and smacks James on the shoulder so hard that he winces a little. Yeah, Aston is strong. Stronger than James even. “I like you,” Aston decides.

“And to think Fran was anxious that we wouldn’t get along,” James comments, winking at me. “Crisis averted.”

“Don’t count your blessings quite yet,” Shaughna warns James. “It’s me you should be worried about. I’m the best friend with veto power.”

“You wish,” I tell her, moving over to James to put an arm around him. “So… beers, everyone?”

James walks into the kitchen to get everyone something to drink while my friends sink down on the couch, following every move James makes. He stays in the kitchen a little longer than necessary, pretending to check on dinner, giving my friends a moment to tell me their first impressions. He’s too good to be true, that man.

“That’s the cop that cleaned up my wounds,” Dshawn says quietly. “He was one of the good ones.”

“He also told the others to stop kneeling down on me,” Aston agrees. “So at least he’s not a racist asshole. You did good, Franny.”

“You have such low standards,” Shaughna tells the guys, rolling her eyes. “I still think the whole jealousy thing could be a dealbreaker.”

“Yeah, honey, but you’re always seeing red flags everywhere,” Dshawn tells his girlfriend fondly. “Not everyone is an abusive prick, you know. Maybe he’s just a little jealous. Besides, I thought you liked it when I get a little possessive sometimes.”

“Yeah, in the club or something,” she agrees, giving him a sweet kiss. “That’s hot.”

James walks over then, handing everyone their drinks and settling down next to me in the small loveseat, which means I’m basically in his lap. Not that I mind, of course.

“Where’s the General?” Aston asks, looking around for my cat. “He’s usually already purring in my lap by now.”

“He doesn’t like me very much,” James confesses. “I think he’s afraid I’m taking up too much of Fran’s attention.”

“Where is he?” Aston gets up and drops to his knees, looking under the couch. “Fluffy, where are you, you big fat monster?”

General Fluffington comes running in from the bedroom like he knew Aston was calling him. He pauses to hiss at James, but has no problem with Aston scooping him up in his arms and sitting down with him on his lap. Weird.

“So, you’re a cop,” Dshawn says, turning his attention back on James. “Did you ever have to shoot someone?”

“Dshawn!” Shaughna grunts, hitting him on the back of his head. “You can’t ask him that!”

“Why not?” her boyfriend asks, rubbing the spot where she hit him.

“I think Shaughna might have heard from Franny that my sister got shot on the job,” James says, sounding perfectly calm. “It’s fine though, you can ask me that. And no, I’ve never had to shoot someone. I do pull my gun quite often though. Usually the threat is enough to make people stop being stupid.”

“Oh man, I’m sorry,” Dshawn says, looking horrified. “Okay,” he admits to Shaughna. “You were right to hit me.”

I kiss James on the cheek, happy with how things are going. He’s being so nice to them, even though my friends are acting like a bunch of dimwitted teenagers.

The oven timer starts beeping, and James gets up to check on the food. When he announces that dinner is ready, we all sit down at my small kitchen table, huddled together. James hands everyone a steaming plate of lasagna, putting the dish back in the oven to keep the leftovers warm in case anyone wants a second helping.

“Damn,” Aston says, already stuffing his face before James had a chance to sit down. “This is amazing! Did you make this?

“Me?” I ask, laughing at him. “Hell no. I only helped chop the vegetables. James is the star chef, not me.”

We chat pleasantly during dinner, and I’m so happy that everyone seems to be getting along. Shaughna is the only one giving James a hard time now and then, but she seems impressed by him as well. Aston is acting like a normal person for once, all through dinner and desert. It’s not until we sit back down on the couch with another beer that Aston reminds all of us why we call him the king of inappropriate behavior.

“Shaughna told me that you’ve got a piercing in your dick,” he says to James like that’s a perfectly normal thing to say to someone you just met a two hours ago. “Why the fuck would you ever want to put a hole in your dick?”

James gives me a strange look, and both Shaughna and Dshawn tell Aston to shut the fuck up.

“Hey, we’re all wondering the same thing,” Aston says, unbothered. “I’m the only one with the balls to ask him. Do you have a tiny little dick or something, and you want to bedazzle the thing to make it look more impressive?”

“Aston!” I chastise him, throwing a pillow at his head. “Don’t be an asshole.”

“That’s like telling water not to be wet,” Dshawn comments with a smile.

“So?” Aston asks James, looking at him with a curious expression.

“I just like the way it looks,” James says, sounding a little annoyed with Aston.

“It looks amazing,” I say, feeling the need to stand by my man.

“Really?” Aston cocks his head to the side and lets his eyes travel to James’ crotch. “Can I see?”

“Aston!” everyone yells in unison.

Shaughna even gets up to smack Aston so hard that he actually curses and rubs his arm, giving her the stink-eye.

“I thought you were kidding,” James whispers into my ear. “He really has no filter, does he?”

“Do you now get why I was nervous?” I reply quietly.

“Seriously, though, doesn’t it hurt when you’re fucking a girl?” Aston goes on like nothing happened.

“Maybe you should ask Franny that,” James shoots back, hit voice tight.

“Right!” Aston says, shifting his attention to me. “Does it hurt?”

“No,” I say, knowing that he will keep pestering us if we keep refusing to answer. “Not at all. I think it’s hot. Any more questions you need answered?”

I was just kidding, but Aston sits up a little straighter, putting the General on the floor, who was still on his lap. “Actually, I do. Can you still wear a condom with a piercing?”

James laughs. “Are you thinking about getting one yourself, Aston? Yeah, I can still wear a condom with mine. Although I’m surprised you’re worried about condoms. From what I’ve heard, you don’t seem too careful about using them.”

Oh fuck. Aston’s expression freezes and I can tell he’s crumbling. He was trying to forget about his own mess for a moment and we were all letting him do that, but I guess James was getting fed up with Aston asking him inappropriate questions. I get that, but did he really have to go there?

“You told him?” Aston asks me, looking hurt.

“Hey, you were just asking my new boyfriend about his goddamn cock piercing,” I bite out, annoyed that he’s acting like I betrayed him. “Are you seriously going to act like me talking to James about your sex life is inappropriate?”

“Right,” Aston sighs. “Okay. Sorry.”

“Dude, you should call Annabel already,” Dshawn says, sounding like he’s been wanting to say something all night.

“You haven’t called her yet?” I ask, my voice getting louder. “Aston! What the fuck are you doing? She walked out on you crying like she was on the verge of a mental breakdown. She’s pregnant with your baby! Why the hell didn’t you call her the moment you calmed down?”

“Because I didn’t calm down!” he yells at me, tears in his eyes. “It’s not even my baby!”

“Come on, Aston,” Shaughna says softly, rubbing his leg. “She said she used a condom with Christopher. You had unprotected sex with her three times, right? It’s yours.”

“You don’t know that,” Aston insists.

“Okay, maybe it’s not yours,” I say, earning me an angry look from Shaughna. “So what? You love her, right? You worship the ground she walks on. Would it be so bad to be with her even if she’s carrying Christopher’s baby?” I don’t even know who this Christopher guy is, but I feel for him. If this is his kid, he’s in for a lifetime of Aston as the stepdad of his kid. That’s gotta be tough.

“I don’t know,” Aston says, looking down at his hands. “I don’t want to call her before I know what I want. She needs me to commit to her, but we only just figured out what the fuck we mean to each other. I didn’t tell her I loved her until two weeks ago. And now she may be carrying someone else’s kid. He’s a doctor, a real stand-up guy. If it’s his, she’s going to dump my ass and go back to him.”

“If you don’t man the fuck up, she might,” Dshawn tells Aston in a serious tone. “She loves you, man. If you stick with her, she’s not going anywhere. You don’t need to have all the answers to call her. Just talk to her. Let her know you still care.”

“I don’t want to raise another man’s baby,” Aston whispers more to himself than us. “I can’t tell her that. I just can’t.”

“I’ve never been this glad that you didn’t love me back,” I say before I can stop myself. “If you had treated me like this, I would have cut off your goddamn balls.”

“That’s not what you said when you showed up at my place in a sexy nurse outfit, begging me to let you give me a blowjob,” he retorts, looking up at me with nothing but hatred in his eyes. He’s hurting and he’s lashing out at me. I get that, but I’m still mad as fuck. “Annabel was in the other room that night,” he goes on, his gaze still on me. “She heard you. She saw you. On your knees, trying to take off my pants even though I kept telling you no over and over again.”

“Aston!” Shaughna says, appalled. “Stop it!”

“I never even told anyone about all those other times,” Aston goes on, still looking at me with that crazy look in his eyes that I’ve never seen before. “How you kept telling me that you didn’t even need me to commit to you. That you’d gladly be nothing but a fuckbuddy if it meant keeping me. Every time you got drunk, you ended up at my place, crying and begging and making a spectacle of yourself.”

“Okay, it’s time for you to go,” James says in a deep, threatening voice, getting up and towering over Aston. “I don’t care what the fuck you’re going through with the baby and everything. I won’t just sit her and let you treat my girlfriend like that. You can either walk out right now, or I’m kicking you out. Your choice.”

“I’d like to see you try, fuckboy,” Aston bites back, getting up and flexing his muscles. “Do you really think you can take me?”

I’m trembling from anger and I step between the two men, looking up at Aston with pity. This isn’t him. He just doesn’t want to feel anymore. He wants to forget how broken he is. I get it, I felt that way for a long time after he broke things off. And yes, I did make a spectacle of myself, but that doesn’t mean he can just throw that in my face right now. James is right. He needs to leave.

“If you don’t walk out before you hurt me even more, I swear I will never talk to you again,” I tell Aston, my voice eerily calm. “We both know you’ll regret this in the morning, Aston. Just walk out. I swear to god if you don’t leave, I won’t stop James from kicking your ass. And trust me when I say that if there’s ever been anyone who can take you, it’s him.”

“Fine,” Aston spits out. “Thanks for dinner, I guess.” With that, he storms out, slamming the door behind him.

“Well, that went as about as well as I thought it would,” Dshawn mutters.

“Yeah yeah, you were right,” Shaughna sighs. She gives me a rueful smile. “I’m so sorry, Fran. I never should have brought him. He’s just so lost. I’ve never seen him like this. We both know that the person you just threw out wasn’t our Aston.”

“I’m not sure I even know him at all anymore,” I mumble, sinking back down on the loveseat. “I don’t mean to be rude, but could you guys please leave? I really just want to be alone right now.”

“Of course,” Dshawn says, pulling Shaughna with him. “Aston drove with us anyway. He’s probably pacing up and down the sidewalk right now.”

To my surprise, James grabs his phone from the coffee table and moves to walk out as well.

“James?” I ask, looking up at him while he turns around.

“I’m sorry,” he says, looking just as bad as I feel. “I was way out of line. I totally get that you want to kick me out as well.”

“Are you kidding?” I ask, unable to believe my own ears. “You were amazing all night. I’m not kicking you out. When I said I want to be alone, I meant be alone with you.

“Oh,” he breathes, a small smile creeping onto his face.

“In case you didn’t notice, we referred to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend for the first time,” I go on, smiling as well. No matter how fucked up this night ended up, at least some good came out of it. “I don’t know if you meant it when you said it, but I sure did.”

His whole face lights up. “Of course I meant it.”

“Then get over here and hug me, for crying out loud,” I order, motioning him over. “I could really use a hug right now.”

James drops to his knees in front of me and pulls me into his arms, stroking my hair. “I know it’s totally the wrong thing to say, but I’m sort of glad this happened.”

I laugh and give him a kiss. “Yeah, you’re right, that is the wrong thing to say.”

“I just mean that I’m glad you’re my girlfriend now,” he explains, kissing me hard and passionately. “Do you think that Aston could come over again around the time we’re ready to drop the L-bomb?”

I grin at that. “I think we can manage that ourselves, James.” I sure hope he’ll take his time before dropping that on me, though. I’m really happy to be his girl, but I’m nowhere near ready to tell him I love him, because I just don’t feel that way yet. I think that I could, I can feel the pull that’s slowly making me fall for him, but I need some time.

“Come on, let’s clean up and watch a movie or something,” James offers, pulling me to my feet. “Let’s forget all the shit that asshole said and just focus on us for the rest of the night.”

“That sounds like a plan.”

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