#31 Why would he do that to me?
The second I’m in my room, I put my earbuds back in, connect them to my phone and pick the chapter about Lucca and Cassy for what feels like the hundredth time. I’ll have to be quiet tonight, and I know this is all kinds of fucked up, to masturbate with my brother in the living room, but if I don’t I think I might pass out. I’m so horny it should be illegal.
I doublecheck my lock and slip into bed, not even taking off my clothes all the way. I just pull down my jeans and panties a little, grab my air pulse stimulator and give myself over to the pleasure it brings me. Khiêm’s touch underneath the table was so fucking hot, and I replay that moment in my mind again and again, reaching my peak in no time at all. I press my face into my pillow to muffle the sounds of the few soft moans that I can’t keep down.
I don’t stop at one. I make myself come three times before I realize it’s no use. I could come ten more times and it wouldn’t make a difference. I still want Khiêm. This is a fire I can’t put out on my own. No fucking way.
I need to calm myself down so I can pretend I’m okay when I eventually face the guys again. Jagger is probably staying the night, which means I have to keep myself together not just tonight, but tomorrow morning as well. Fuck him moving so far away. And why does he have to stay over here? Can’t he go home with my brother? I need to talk to Khiêm.
And kiss him. Kiss him so fucking hard.
Ah fuck, I’m so horny.
I grunt and pull my jeans back on, checking my messages and then moving on to read the news on my phone. Anything to distract myself. To my complete and utter surprise, I see a live stream with news coverage. I recognize the girl being interviewed immediately.
Rose! That’s Rose!
I quickly unlock my door and storm into the living room. “Turn on the news!” I yell at the guys, who are staring at me in confusion. “Now! Rose is on TV!”
“What?” Jagger’s eyes go wide as he grabs the remote, flipping to the channel I tell him to find.
Rose is being interviewed by some slimy snake who is asking her if the has actual proof that her teacher ever sexually assaulted or raped her. Bastard. Rose responds by asking him if he has proof he lost his virginity. I can’t help but let out a soft laugh. That girl is bold. I totally get her and Jagger together. He’s such a sweet, careful guy, always overthinking, and she just blurts out weird shit on TV. It’s the classic opposites attract thing, while at the same time they seem to agree on all the important things. She’s so much better for him that his cunt of an ex-wife ever was.
Looking at Jagger watching Rose’s interview is like witnessing true love. He’s so proud. Rose keeps giving the reporter shit, who doesn’t seem to know what the fuck to do with this 20-year-old firecracker.
She’s the face of a movement now: #youarenotalone. I’ve been following the news coverage, and it’s amazing what she’s been able to accomplish without even trying to. Her honesty, bravery and openness about sexual abuse and her call to hold the people who did it accountable… It’s inspiring women and men all over the world to press charges and speak up about past traumas.
“If you’re through with asking stupid questions, I think it’s time to call it quits for now,” Rose tells the reporter. Damn, she looks smug. Good for her. “To sum it all up: Damon Wright is an asshole and she’s going to rot in jail. Thanks for this interview, man.”
“Erm… okay…” The man says, looking into the camera with wide eyes. “Back to the studio.”
Jagger turns off the TV, letting out a heavy sigh. “What’s up with people acting like she’s the one on trial? The counselor at Harvard, now this reporter guy…”
I’m about to ask him what happened with her counselor, but his phone rings, and we all know it’s Rose before Jagger even answers. She’s not on speaker, but she’s so loud we can hear her anyway.
“Did you see me?!” she shrieks. “Oh my God, I was fucking epic, wasn’t I?”
“Yeah you were!” I yell, unable to help myself.
“Who’s that?” Rose asks, surprised. “Oh right, you’re with Khiêm and Marcus tonight. Is that… Nia, then?” She doesn’t sound appalled or anything, just curious. “Hi Nia!”
Jagger puts her on speaker, laughing at how loud his girlfriend is being. At least now we don’t have to shout anymore.
“You’re such an inspiration,” I say in the direction of the phone. “Keep kicking ass, girl!”
Rose laughs. “Will do!”
“She’s not wrong,” Jagger agrees with me. “You were great, Rose. I’m so fucking proud of you.”
“I’m so pumped! The interview ended like… two minutes ago. It was live and everything! I was at dinner and this asshole reporter came up to me in the middle of the fucking restaurant and I was like… hell yeah. If I’m going to go on record talking about this, I might as well do it with a guy like that. I don’t need no fake sympathy. I’m not just a victim. I can still kick some ass!”
Khiêm chuckles. “I love her.”
“Love you too!” Rose replies.
“You did great,” Jagger tells his girlfriend, pride dripping from every word. It must be torture for him to not be able to jump in his car and go to her right now. Long-distance sucks ass.
“I’m running on adrenaline,” Rose groans. “Fuck, I need to blow off some steam or something. I wish you were here, Jag. I mean, I’ve got my vibrator, obviously, but that’s not the same as you tying me to the headboard. Not even close.”
Khiêm and I lock eyes, our eyebrows raised. Well well well… Jagger is fumbling to take her off speaker, his face flushed bright red, but he’s trembling too much to manage.
“God,” Rose moans, still going on about this. “That last night together makes me wet as fuck just from thinking about it.”
“Rose-” Jagger futilely tries to cut her off.
“When I get home for Fall Break we’re never leaving the basement,” she grunts. “Fuck, now I’m horny. I’m going to spend some quality time with my BOB now. Feel free to send me a sexy picture to look at while I get myself off. Gimme some abs. Maybe a dick pick while you’re at it. Oh, and say hi to your friends for me.”
Khiêm roars with laughter. “We can still hear you. Enjoy your evening, Rose.”
“Thanks,” she replies happily, not the least bit bothered that we all heard her. “I will. Love you, Jagger.”
Marcus starts making kissing noises, which earns him a kick from Jagger. “Love you too,” Jagger says before hanging up and leaning back against the couch cushions, looking both happy and appalled.
I can’t help it, I have to tease him about this. “Trying her to the headboard, huh? Didn’t realize you and Rose were so kinky.”
“Can’t complain,” Jagger says with a shrug.
I want to tease him some more, and I can tell Marcus has some things he wants to say as well, but Khiêm beats us to it.
“Dude, tell me Rose has some slutty friends,” he pleads with Jagger. “I need to get laid, man. Really fucking bad.”
What. The. Fuck.
How dare he?
Fuming that he’d say something like that after what happened between us tonight – what has been happening between us for a while now – I turn away from the guys. “I’m going back to my room,” I manage to choke out. “Bye, guys.”
Behind me, Marcus asks his friends what the fuck the matter is with me, and Khiêm mutters that he doesn’t have a clue.
Oh, I think you know, I can’t help but think as I slam my bedroom door behind me. I think you know exactly what my problem is. It’s you, fucking asshole.
It takes over half an hour before I feel like I can breathe again. I try to calm myself down by listening to music, but it doesn’t work. I want to hit something. Or rather someone. And I have some ideas about who that could be. I know this is all new, and we haven’t talked about it, and he’s technically still dating Gail, but to ask Jagger if Rose has some slutty friends for him…
Why would he do that to me?
Eventually, I manage to pull myself back together, and I join the others in the living room when I hear Marcus yell out to me that he’s going to leave. We say goodbye with hugs and some teasing ruffling of each other’s hair, and then he’s gone. I was right about Jagger staying the night, which is the most inconvenient thing ever. He’s not even tired yet, and Khiêm tries to catch my eye when I tell the guys that I’m going to bed, but I won’t meet his eyes. I will start throwing shit if I talk to him now.
Jagger and Khiêm stay up talking for another hour, their deep voices carrying through the thin walls to my room. I’m far enough away not to be able to hear their exact words, but there is a lot of laughter, which pisses me off even more. How can he laugh after obviously upsetting me?
My anger slowly subsides into hurt, then into downright sadness. It was all a game to him. For me, this is real, and I want way more than just groping under the table, but he’s just horny. It’s not about me at all. Gail, a random friend of Rose, it’s all the same to him. My joke about how Khiêm would flirt with a brick wall if it had tits might not have been that far off. I’m not special. Of course I’m not. Why did I ever let myself believe that maybe, just maybe, to him I was?
I curse softly when I start to cry, muffling my sobs in the pillow. In the hallway, I hear Khiêm walking around, probably grabbing a blanket and a pillow for Jagger to crash on the couch. Five more minutes of two deep male voices, the toilet being flushed, water running, and then the door to the living room falls shut and I hear the unmistakable sounds of Khiêm’s footsteps stopping right outside my door.
Fuck. I didn’t lock my door. If he comes in right now, I don’t know what I will do.
My phone buzzes on the nightstand, and I grab it, not surprised to see it’s him.
Can I come in? he asks. That’s all. Nothing more.
No, I shoot back. Go fuck yourself.
Let me explain, he says next. Please, Nia.
With a grunt, I get out of bed in my loose string pants and old blue top, opening the door. We look at each other for a moment, the only light coming from our phones.
“Have you been crying?” he asks, sounding shocked.
“Yes,” I admit, knowing it’s no use denying this. “What else did you expect?”
“Ah fuck,” he whispers, walking into my room and closing the door behind him. “I thought you understood.”
“I understand perfectly,” I hiss, sitting down on my bed cross-legged. I flip on my bedside lamp so we can see each other. “I don’t know why I thought you’d be different than all the other assholes I’ve been with.”
Khiêm motions to the other end of my bed, silently asking if he can sit down. I shrug, and he takes that as a yes, perching on the foot of the bed with an unsure expression on his face.
“That comment earlier, about me needing to get laid and asking if Rose has any slutty friends…” He pulls a hand through his hair and sighs. “I hoped you’d understand that I was trying to throw off Marcus. We’ve both been really fucking obvious tonight, and he told me five minutes before you came in that I’d better not be sleeping with his sister.”
“Oh,” I breathe, feeling a little stupid now.
“He told me he trusts me and to not make him regret that.” Khiêm looks guilty, not meeting my gaze. “I think you and both know that if Marcus knew how I feel about you, he’d kill me. I needed to do something to make him think I’m not at all into you, so the comment… it just seemed like an easy way to throw him off our scent.”
Okay, this was so not how I expected this talk to go. “How do you feel about me?” I can’t help but ask, praying to God that I’m not misinterpreting him this time.
This time, he looks over at me, his dark eyes smoldering. “I think you’re the most amazing, smart, creative, funny, caring, nurturing and sexy woman on this whole goddamn planet.”
“So it wasn’t all just in my head?” I ask, needing to know for sure I’m getting this right.
“Lovely…” Khiêm grunts. “You’re perfectly aware of what you do to me. The past months have been both the most amazing ones of my life and the most bittersweet torture. When you all but pushed your breasts in my face and told me about listening to my voice when you get yourself off…” He throws up his hands in exasperation. “Fucking hell, Nia, I never stood a chance against you. Not when you were all sad and broken, and most definitely now that you’re all feisty and flirty, finally at ease with who you are. It’s been so hard to pretend you’re like a sister to me. Trust me, if you truly were my sister, I ought to be locked up, because the things I want to do to you…”
That’s all sweet and all, and of course I’m flattered and aroused, but there is still something we need to clear up. “If you like me so much, then why are you dating someone else?”
“Who?” Khiêm asks, looking like he genuinely doesn’t know who I’m talking about. “That comment about Rose’s slutty friends was just a joke, sunshine.”
“Gail,” I remind him. “The girl you’ve been spending all your spare time with.”
To my complete and utter surprise, he laughs. Way too loudly, causing me to shush him.
Why the fuck is he laughing?
Next chapter will have to wait until tonight, will take me hours, probably. So in the meantime... Give me your best guesses about why Khiêm is laughing & what you think will happen next.