Jake Nelson POV ~
I push open the front door, and drop my keys onto the kitchen counter.
"Hey Smidge? You home yet?" I put the dusty apron down, smiling at the prospect of my new job. George bounds downstairs, huge grin on her face.
"Ohmigod! Jake you're not gonna believe what happened to me today."
"You're not gonna believe what happened to me either!" She grabs my hand and drags me over the the sofa.
"So I went into that dance studio, y'know the one I pointed out to you the other day," I nod. I have no idea what she's talking about. "And there was nobody in there, just this empty desk and a ringing phone. So I answered it! The manager, Margo, she heard me taking a booking for one the studios, right, and she offered my a fucking job! Right then and there!" George's smile gets even wider, her eyes gleaming with excitement.
"That's awesome, Smidge! I got offered a job too." George squeals, and throws her arms tightly round my neck. "Yeah, this record shop. And the guy is so weird, but the whole place needs totally reorganizing and he said I can do whatever I want."
"Jakey that's so cool!" She lets out a huge breath, dramatically flopping onto her back. "I can't believe we both found like our dream jobs, just totally out of the blue."
I flop down next to her, nearly pushing her off onto the floor. My shirt rucks up a bit and she sits forward.
"Holy shit, Jake. I didn't think you'd get one that big." For half a second I'm convinced my dick has flopped out of my jeans, but realize she's taking about my newest tattoo. I laugh, pulling the waistband on my jeans a little lower so she can see it all properly. Her finger traces the intricate design, tickling me as she gets lower down. "It's beautiful, Jake."
Since finishing school I'd gotten four tattoos. Three were on my left arm, and would eventually meet up as part of a full sleeve, and the one George was currently examining, which was located on my lower abdomen.
"Wh-what's going on?" I sit up and see my girlfriend, Layla, standing in the doorway. Now I get that from where she was standing it really did look like George was shall we say, servicing me. Orally.
George sitting up, all flushed in the cheeks and full of apologies didn't help matters any further.
"Layla, it's nuthin', honestly." I jump over the back of the sofa and walk slowly towards her, hands held up. "Look, my jeans aren't even undone. George was just looking at my tattoo. Okay?"
Even from across the room I can see the tears in her eyes. I sigh, and pull her in for a hug, her slight frame relaxing into me as I kiss the top of her head.
George sneaks past us, mouthing sorry, and tiptoes out the front door.
I pull back, lifting Layla's head so she has to meet my eyes, and smile at her. "We okay?"
She shrugs, walking away from me to sit down. "I just don't know why you had to share a house together."
I groan, running my fingers through my hair, pulling slightly on the ends. "We've been over this so many times, Layla, what's the fucking problem? George is my best friend. She always has been and always will be. She has a fucking boyfriend. I thought the two of you were friends now."
"I just don't like walking in finding the two of you in compromising positions all the time. How do I know what you're up to when I'm not here?" She crosses her arms and pouts.
I shake my head in frustration. "If you don't fucking trust me, then why are we even together?"
"I don't know." Layla replies under her breath. She sits staring at her feet for a minute, before getting up and walking out of my house, the door slamming shut behind her.
"So where's Layla?" George crawls into bed with me, her ice cold feet pressing up against mine to steal some warmth.
"When's she coming back?"
George pushes me, and I slowly look at her.
"Did you guys fight about me again? Do you want me to talk to her?"
I sigh. "No. She doesn't fucking trust me. Since graduation she's been acting really fucking weird. Well really since prom night."
"What happened on prom night?" George props herself up on on elbow and starts combing her fingers through my hair.
"We slept together. It was her first time."
"Yeah, I know, she wouldn't stop talking about it. It was kinda gross." George wrinkles her nose. "Never in my life did I want to hear such graphic details about my best friend."
"Yeah, well did she tell you it was her only time."
George sits up, a frown on her face. "Jake, if you're telling me you guys broke up because she isn't giving it up for you, then..."
"Nah, you know me better than that." I scowl, and sit up too. "It's just...I know there's something going on with her but she doesn't tell me shit. How am I supposed to feel about her if I know she doesn't trust me enough to tell me what's bothering her?" I pick up a football off my bedroom floor and start throwing it up and catching it. "Her constantly acting like I'm doing something wrong when I'm alone with you is just pissing me off even more. I mean, Andy doesn't act like that."
George leans over and swipes the ball before I can catch it. "Jakey. I think you really need to talk to Layla. You need to tell her how you're feeling about all this. Else surely you're just as bad as her."
"Thanks for meeting me." Layla sits down in the chair opposite me with a tight smile.
"It's no problem." She nervously tucks her hair behind her ear. "So what did you want to talk about, Jake."
"Us." I take a deep breath. This was so fucking hard. "I know there's something going on with you, and I don't get why you feel you can't talk to me about it. I'm supposed to be your boyfriend."
Layla chews on the inside of her cheek, gathering her thoughts I hope, and I take a big gulp of coffee to try and calm the nerves that were buzzing round my body. Or maybe that was just all the caffeine. This was like my sixth cup this morning. Plus I'd smoked a huge blunt walking up here.
"I'm sorry, Jake." She eventually says. "I just...you've changed."
"What do you mean, I've changed?" I frown.
"All this," she wafts her hand at me, "And since prom night you've been different around me."
It was kinda true I guess. The day after prom I'd gotten my ears pierced, and had spent the summer slowly stretching them, currently wearing 1/4 inch gauges in them. Then I'd started getting tattooed, but I thought she liked them. My hair had grown through again, and was long enough to graze the tops of my shoulders. I know Layla liked it shorter but I was just too lazy to get it cut.
"Okay, I may have changed my appearance a little, but how have I been acting different? You're the one who has run away whenever I've tried to show any affection."
"I knew you only wanted to stay with me because I slept with you." The venom in her voice makes me raise my eyebrows in shock. "My friends all warned me not to become a cliché, giving up my virginity on prom night. They said from then on all you'd want me for was sex."
"Hey, whoa whoa whoa! Have I ever even asked you for sex since that night? Did I fucking pressure you into doing it with me? If I remember rightly, it was you who instigated it, not me. So get your fucking facts straight." I'm fuming, trying to get my breathing under control as I glare at her.
"You did try to get me to sleep with you again, and you made me feel like shit when I turned you down." Layla's eyes flash with anger.
Fuck. I actually remember that. It had been about a week after prom, and we had spent the day at a comic convention. Layla had been dressed up like The Black Widow, and I'd been sporting a semi all day looking at her poured into that tight black suit. I had been a little pissed when she'd pushed me away when my kisses had gotten a little heated and my hands had gotten a little gropey, but I didn't think I'd made her feel bad about it. But after that she'd become weird and stiff whenever I'd kissed her, so I had kinda stopped trying. I'd just chalked it up to the fact that she was inexperienced and a little shy.
"Hey. I'm sorry if I made you feel bad. But why didn't you just tell me?"
"Because I don't want you to think I'm this stupid little girl. I mean, you're in college now Jake. And I'm not stupid, I see the way other girls look at you. I know you're so much more experienced with all that stuff than me."
I move so I'm sitting next to her, and put my arm round her shoulders.
"Layla. I'm with you, okay? I don't give a shit about any other girl, just you. And if you're not ready for a sexual relationship, then that's cool. But just be honest with me from now on, okay?"
She nods, and leans her head against my chest. "I'm sorry, Jake. I'm just a bit insecure. I mean, look who your best friend is. I could never live up to that."
I close my eyes. Why does every girl feel they have to compare themselves to fucking George? "I've told you a million times. You don't have to worry about George, ever."
The rest of the week flew by.
College classes were way harder then high school, with so much more homework. Luckily me and George had some overlapping lectures so she could help me a little. Being best friends with two fucking geniuses was a fucking blessing.
I'd gone to McGee's shop every day after lectures, and had been slowly trying to get things looking better. I'd washed down the sign outside, and the windows. Then I'd replaced all the blown bulbs. Mr McGee had just moaned about how bright it was, but he was walking around the shop easier so I think the dim lighting had been a real issue for his eyesight.
Layla had been a fucking nightmare. After our chat she'd become super clingy. I'd had to start turning my phone off completely in lectures because she was texting all the time, and if I didn't answer quick enough she'd start ringing me. One day she was actually waiting for me outside the lecture theatre because I hadn't answered and she was convinced I was off getting laid somewhere.
Football training had started too, which meant early mornings for practice. I was so fucking tired by the time the weekend came.
Lying in bed on Saturday morning smoking a fat blunt, trying to summon the mental strength to get up, the ever present buzzing of my phone signaling Layla was already trying to find out what I was doing, I hear Andy come back in from his run. Don't know how the dude can still get up a 5:00am on a weekend to punish himself like that.
"Hey," He sticks his head round my door, sweat sticking his hair to his forehead. "Wake'n'bake, you know your phone's going, right?"
I nod my head, flicking ash into the ashtray they'd bought me back from Europe. He smirks and starts to walk away.
"I think I need to break up with her."
"I think you do too, Jakey." Andy walks back in, and sits at my desk. "You've been fucking miserable the last few months. I know she looked like your dream woman, and on paper you guys are great together, but she's done nothing but try to change you for weeks." He gives me a sad smile. "If she truly loved you she'd love everything about you."
"Just like we do." George pipes up from the doorway, flashing me a grin.
"Yeah. You're right." I groan, wiping my hand down my face. "I just hate having to be an asshole."