Ray

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It's fine. Is it?

“It’s me.” came a small voice muffled from under the cushions.

“I am me too, that isn’t very definitive.” grunted Ray, thrusting the stranger’s head further into the pile of pillows. So much so that he was suffocating and slapped his hand against the coffee table to let Ray know. Afraid she might kill the man she let him come up a bit and pulled his head back so she could see his face.

Her hands let go of the guy of their own accord as she registered his face. He took the opportunity to turn around under her and now she was sitting on top of him, hiding her face behind her hands. She mumbled repetitively as a deep red tone creeped up her neck.

“I am sorry, I am so sorry.”

“I am not complaining though.” Said the guy letting out a hearty chuckle.

Ray moved her fingers to peep at Sam’s face and she saw him leaned back resting on his arms and staring back at her with a mischievous smirk. Ray contemplated in her head what was there for him to be so smug about, when she felt something harden and twitch under her, in between her legs. Realizing what Sam was so amused by, Ray jumped off him and landed on the floor smacking her head against the coffee table in the process.

“Fuck” she whimpered pressing down the spot she hit her head on to subdue the pain.

“What are you doing here?” she asked him through the pain.

“Initially I came to have dinner with you, but ended up having to fight for my life. Jeez woman, that is some muscle you have. What were you, the ringleader of a prison gang?” said Sam, propping himself up on his elbows.

“Well I didn’t assume you would sneak in like a serial killer.” Ray retorted back, irritated by the mixed emotions she was feeling. Embarrassed, blue, guilty.

“Why are we having dinner together? We never made plans.” continued Ray, not wanting to have any awkward silence between them.

“Well, it was an impromptu decision on my part. A surprise, inspired by this.” he said, as he tapped away on his phone before turning the screen to face Ray. Ray saw a snap of their conversation from earlier about how hungry she was and how she was craving something delicious today. Although, the messages were from that morning. All of that hunger and craving were gone by now. Ray looked away and fixed her eyes on an imaginary spot and mumbled, ashamed of herself for getting carried away and saying something like that to the guy she went on one date with.

“You didn’t have to. I am a bit dramatic sometimes.”

“Oh no but I did. Dramatic or not, I had a chance to see you again, how could I pass on an opportunity like that.” Whispered Sam in Ray’s ear who was sitting at the foot of the bed. He was closer than Ray would have liked him to be but his warm breath fanning her neck felt good. And the tenderness in his voice melted away any doubt she cradled within her. Moving back and sitting upright on the couch Sam then teased Ray as she picked up the plate of peanut butter sandwich from the table and said.

“Thank the heavens I did not decide on a peanut butter sandwich for today’s menu.” His voice was laced with fake relief, taunting Ray further.

Upon that Ray looked at him amused and they both broke out into a hideous fit of laughter.

Later that night, Ray had accounted to Sam the events of her day and he had listened with utter sincerity, with a nod of acknowledgement every now and then. The dinner Sam brought was laid out between them on the small dining table along with Ray’s sandwich of she made one more for Sam. Ray toyed with her food in silence after ending her story with her getting fired when Sam reached across the table and took Ray’s idle hand in his. He caressed the soft skin on the back of her hand with his thumb as he said in a low voice.

“Rough day at work, huh?”

“Just a bit.” Said Ray, forcing a smile, trying to lighten the mood.

“How can you be so calm after this?” he said, tightening his grip on her hand, as if he was afraid that she might slip away any moment.

“That job didn’t mean much to me.” said Ray, brushing him off.

“But still, for you to be this unbothered…” he trailed off, not sure what he was going for. It was like a passing thought he didn't mean to say out loud.

“I am bothered, financially. Hence, instead of having a three course meal, I opted for a sandwich.” sneered Ray, a bit offended by Sam’s remark.

He picked up on her decry and held her gaze as he pulled her hand to his lips. He placed a feather-like kiss on the back of her hand, afraid he might have gone too far and was trying to make up for what he said earlier. Ray caught on with his intentions and hushed out an apology.

“I am sorry, I am on edge right now.” She downed the wine and poured more for herself all the while sensing Sam’s keen gaze on her. Now he was playing with the ring on her finger, turning it this way and that.

After a while of eating in silence, Sam dared to speak up again, the tension from their earlier exchange still hanging low upon them. As he opened his mouth to speak, he was interrupted by the slamming of the front door. Sam’s eyes averted towards the door, curious to see who came while wondering what did the door ever do to them. Maybe her Roommate, he thought to himself. The moment the door slammed shut, Ray yelled, not looking up from her plate.

“Shoes, Justin.”

Sam noted that the roommate was not a girl. A fact he didn’t like as much. He maintained his mum, as a rash and angry voice came from near the door.

“Fuck, Ray.”

Sam was not happy with this guy, but he noticed how Ray was barely affected by this rude behavior and decided to keep himself out of this. He had upset Ray enough for the day. He did not want her to kick him out, and seeing her mood, she would but politely do it. The guy who was the reason for Sam’s current distress was young and angry. That’s all there was to him. Everything he wore was loose and hung low. His bangs covered the entirety of his eyes. His frail body was thoroughly scarred and he was as pale as a corpse. He ignored them as if they did not exist and dragged his feet along the floor to a door at the end of the living room.

Ray casually looked up from her meal and noticed Sam boring holes into Justin’s back, his nostrils flared and jaw clenched.

“Get off the high horse my lord and loosen thy reins for he is my step brother. No suitor who might quench the thirst of my loins.”

Ray waited for her comment to settle in and enjoyed the look on Sam’s face as he absorbed what Ray said and tried to derive meaning from it. He then flushed red and coughed looking anywhere but at Ray, clearing his throat attempting to shrug off the embarrassment. He then sneaked a glance at Ray’s face and seeing the smirk on her face he couldn’t control the laughter that bubbled up in him. Ray soon joined in and thus the tension between them vanished and they were merry again.

Seeing the mood lightened now, Sam took the opportunity to ask what had been nagging him awhile.

“What do you plan to do next?” He said, careful still not to press too hard.

“I have no idea, but something that fulfills me.” said Ray with a hint of a smile.

Sam nodded in response and went back to his food when a realization hit him and he half screamed in Ray’s face, overflowing with excitement.

“I know what you should do.”

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