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Justin, who?

After Ray’s intense confession, Sam had swooped Ray in his arms, cuddling her as she quietly sobbed into his chest. They stayed snuggled like that for a while, neither of them uttered a single word, holding onto the other until Sam deemed Ray calm enough to answer some of his questions.

“Why didn’t you tell me before?”

“Emotional trauma isn’t very appealing to a potential partner.” said Ray, her voice coming out muffled as she buried her face deeper in his chest. She adjusted her face such that the faint pulses of his heart fell on her ears. It was calming. A moment passed before Ray felt the vibrations of his vocal cords as he spoke.

“Roses have thorns. Only the one who dares get pricked can admire its beauty.” said Sam in the cheesy way that came easy to him. Ray never understood how people allowed such words to roll off their tongues without dying of cringe first. But she still liked it coming from him, meant for her.

“That’s very cheesy. Also, I prefer sunflowers.” said Ray in a monotone.

“I am a writer. Being cheesy is what I do for a living.” said Sam to induce some humor for the glum aura surrounding them.

“Uh hmm.” is all Sam got from Ray, so he reverted back to his original question.

“Was that the only reason?”

“No. The other thing was that we met on a dating app. I didn’t really think this would go anywhere.” said Ray nonchalantly.

Sam, a bit offended, countered.

“Why can’t people find love on a dating app?”

Ray now raised her head from his chest and said.

“No, because one, that account was created by my co-worker as a joke and two, no sensible adult, hope’s to find love on a dating app. The most you will find on there is desperate teenagers and horny adults who both would like to fuck more than find true love. We just got lucky”

Sam opened his mouth to counter when Ray put her finger to his lips and said.

“Don’t even try to make up some philosophical shit about it, because I know you agree with me.”

Sam melted under Ray’s touch and his lip split into a smile. She snuggled back into his arms and a brief silence lingered between them before Sam spoke up again.

“Talking about teenagers, what’s the deal with your step brother?”

Ray, now completely alert, pulled back from the warmth of Sam’s arms and asked him not making any effort to hide the shock in her voice.

“Woah, where did that come from?”

“Nowhere in particular. A random thought, passing by. I recall his personality to be overwhelmingly rude.” said Sam with a hint of bitterness in his voice.

“Ignore him as much as you can. Apart from the blood cells and the condo we share, there is nothing between us. He lives on his own.” Said Ray in a matter-of-fact way.

“Where does he get the money from?” asked Sam, out of curiosity.

“I don’t know, drugs.” Said Ray flailing her arms in the air, exasperated.

Sam searched Ray’s face for any hint of humor or mock but found her to be completely serious. He then said a bit hesitant himself.

“You are awfully composed saying that you live with a potential drug abuser. I am not sure I like that. Are you sure about being this unconcerned? Should you not be doing something about it?” Sam felt the familiar frustration rising within him when he saw that guy for the first time. He was not happy with the fact that Ray had to go live with him and go through all that crap on a daily basis.

“I couldn’t even if I wanted to. He is not obligated to me. I inherited that place. But, only half of it. He inherited the other half. So he can do whatever he wants and I should not have a problem with that. Now, I know I can turn him in. But for one I am not sure if he really is guilty and two, if they search that apartment and find drugs, I would not be let off the hook so easily either. And I have enough shit going on to add legal stuff to it. So I would rather not. Ergo, there is nothing I can do about it.”

“Why don’t you move out?” said Sam with a deep frown.

“I would if I could. There is nothing more I want, baby.” Said Ray as she placed a wet kiss on Sam’s cheek. She continued as she gathered her stuff. “I should leave, it’s really late.”

She got up when Sam grabbed her hand and entwined his fingers with hers as he said.

“Or you could stay.” He added before Ray could even try to refuse.

“I don’t want you going back, knowing he will be there.”

Ray smirked at him and said as she lowered in this lap, putting her hands around his neck and whispered, her breath fanning his face, their lips only inches apart.

“I think I will.”

She could feel the butterflies in her stomach and her heart beating in her ears, as she inched closer. Finally, she would find out whether he tasted just as sweet as she thought he would.

Ray closed her eyes, expecting Sam’s lips to land on her any moment now, but all she got was a dry peck on her nose.

“Not yet.”

“Mmm okay.” muttered Ray, the pain of being rejected again, evident in her voice. But she did not let it show, as she continued masking it in a high and mighty voice.

“For tonight, would you like to take your horse and venture into the unknown wetlands of Vagina town or talk a walk through the warm dusky night of the arms field of the cuddle farm, my lord?”

“Cuddle until I melt in your arms, milady.” Said Sam, burying his face in the crook of Ray’s neck as got up, hooked her legs around him and carried her to his bedroom.

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