Never Again

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Chapter 6

Why does Seth have to have a spare bedroom with windows? Why not a dungeon or something dark and gloomy like that? The odd sounds from the city and the new and strange smells made it hard to sleep; now with the light shining so brightly pouring through the window, it’s impossible to try to sleep any longer. I roll and groan into the pillow while I kick my legs like a small child throwing a fit. When I get it all out of my system, I find the stamina to make my body finally meander to the living room where I can hear Seth talking. I hesitate and listen, my heart beat quickening, but all I hear is one voice, so he must be on the phone—phew for a second there I thought maybe Mr. Hot and dangerous had come back.

Seth lay sprawled on the couch with one arm slung over the back and the other holding up the phone to his ear. Slowly making my way into the kitchen, trying hard to be as quiet as possible to not interrupt his conversation, I continue my desperate search for coffee.

“Oh hey sis,” He says looking over his shoulder at me. “Coffee’s made, cups are in the cupboard on the right above the stove, and sugar is in the bowl on the counter.”

“Thanks,” I grumble.

I find a cup and pour the thick black heavenly goodness to the brim, and I find that I’m eavesdropping on Seth’s conversation.

“Who knows? Whoever knows with him?” He says to the other person on the line.

I wonder who he is talking to and who they might be talking about, I think, as I sip on the lightly sweetened black coffee.

“Well, I was pretty drunk last night and when I got home I just passed out, but my sister is up. I’ll ask her, maybe she can shed some light.”

I hear Seth speaking about me and my eyes pop up right in time for him to look at me and ask, “This is Travis, he says Ronin is like on DEFCON 1—in major rage and war mode, more so than often—and he is tormenting everyone today. You got any idea what crawled up his ass?”

I shrug my shoulders. A quick flash back of the previous night floods my memories, maybe because I kept him up until six o’clock this morning. “I don’t know.” I say, and then quickly look down into my coffee like it will give me some sort of reprieve. “Maybe it was that fight between him and Matt.” I add quickly. I see Seth speculatively look at me from the corner of my eye; crap did he hear us last night? I thought we had been relatively quiet, but then again Ronin did have me in a sex coma, who knows what could have happened—Seth turns back around not giving any indication either way ... Phew

“Oh yeah, I had forgotten about the brawl, or maybe he lost a few million dollars on the stock market or something.” Seth says into his phone.

I figure Seth is being sarcastic, but then I realize he probably isn’t joking. Ronin probably has more money than I would ever know what to do with. I shudder at the thought … we’re worlds apart.

I walk to the living room and sit down next to Seth, I flinch slightly when I sit—my body remembering the large cock spreading me so far open last night and now leaving me quite tender, The couch on the other hand is so comfy, and it sucks me in as I sit down.

“Yeah, sure hang in there man. We’ll talk later.” Seth turns toward me, “and how about you? What would you like to do today?” Seth asks me after he hangs up. I take a slow sip and eye my brother.

“Well for starters, I have to find a cure for this headache.”

“Lightweight,” he teases.

“WHAT? Bull pucky… Who’s the lightweight? Our friends from back home would have been ashamed of you last night.” I retort.

“I guess some of us have to grow up and work for a living. We can’t all just party non-stop.”

I roll my eyes at him. “You grow up? Ha now that’s funny.” I lean over—being careful not to spill my scolding hot coffee before punching him on the shoulder.

“It’s so nice to be here with you Seth.” I smile at him.

“Um, what to show you?” Seth mutters out loud. “One thing is for certain, I should probably keep you away from my friends. What the hell was that fight about last night anyway?”

I usually can’t lie to Seth, but in truth, I’m not even really sure why the events last night erupted into full out war—I’m not really lying when I tell him I’m not sure. I let him take it in for a second, and then I scoot right around that uncomfortable memory and change the subject, “Well … I do have an urge to do a few tourist things. I was looking online when I decided to book my flight; and I saw a few things like Old Town, Little Italy, The pirate ship, zoo, some museums, oh and definitely the ocean, maybe a whale watching tour…”

“WOW hold on.” Seth starts laughing at me. I try to keep a straight face, as I gaze at him with the heaviest pouty eyes I can muster up. I’m going for the big eyed animals you see on the front of a Hallmark card, but I’m sure that on me it doesn’t have quite the same effect.

“Don’t worry; we’ll do all that stuff—just not in one day. Stop looking at me like that.”

“And Seth,” I say in a slightly whiny voice, “Do you think you could take me to Disneyland while I’m here too?”

“Really? Disneyland?”

“YUP!”

“Sure sis, whatever you would like to do.”

Setting my coffee cup on the side table, I jump with excitement landing in his lap. Giggling uncontrollably, I lean down and kiss his forehead. “You’re the best big brother in the whole world.”

Seth shakes his head back and forth, “I forgot how crazy you are.”

“First things first …” I climb off his lap, “I need a shower. I took one last night, but I can still smell the alcohol oozing from my pores.” Seth nods in agreement, and we both head to our own bathrooms to start our day.

The day seemed to flash by in a blur; it was absolutely wonderful to spend the day with Seth … just the two of us wandering around in downtown San Diego. It was a nice way to clear my head of Ronin. I had secretly been wishing he would call or text Seth, but in the back of my mind his “I don’t date, or have time for relationships,” comment reiterated that it was only a one night stand. Goddamn it! My head is way too wrapped into this already, but thinking about his beautiful sexy as hell body keeps popping into my brain. I shake my head while trying not to let my thoughts stray too far. I hear the sound of a can top opening and look up from the kitchen—Seth is plopped on the couch cracking open a beer and flipping through channels.

“I love palm trees, and sand.” I blurt out of nowhere.

Seth turns around from the couch and looks at me, “You’re such a dufus.” He taunts.

“Hey, give me a break; all we have is pine trees. It’s nice to see different foliage. I bet our dad, the logger, would even appreciate them in his own kind of way. He’d probably tell us how they can make some special plank out of it or something.” I laugh and then wink at him.

“Treva, Treva, Treva, I think all of our walking around in the ocean air made you loopy, maybe you should just grab a beer and come watch TV with me.” I can’t argue with that, so I nod in agreement.

I finish up putting the groceries away that we had bought, and I hear my phone ring. I run to my purse and see a Montana number that I don’t recognize, but I answer it.

“Hello?”

On the other end of the phone there is nothing but silence. I must have missed the call, however, when I look at my screen, it’s showing that the line is still connected. Lifting it back up to my ear, I try again, “Hello is anyone there?” Still nothing.

Seth gives me a quizzical look and I shrug my shoulders.

“Hello, hello?” I say one last time before I give up and hang up the phone.

“Who was that?”

“I have no idea. It was a Montana number, but not one I’ve seen before. Probably some stupid kid trying to play a joke,” I toss my phone on the counter.

Glancing out the glass French doors, the darkness fills me with an awkward emptiness out of nowhere. I realize that I had really been hoping it would have been Ronin calling. I know there is no chance of he and I ever being a permanent couple, but for the first time ever, my heart is compelled by a man—a very dark mysterious man. I sigh heavily feeling lost and confused. Seth is staring at me, and I give him a weak smile. I need to just try to sit back and relax for a while.

٭٭٭

“NO, NO PLEASE DON’T. DON”T TOUCH ME!!!”

“Sis it’s okay, it’s just a dream … Treva! Come on, snap out of it.” I feel light pressure from someone’s touch on my arm, and I hear the tone of Seth’s voice … sounds like he’s a million miles away. I sit straight up in bed, gasping for air as my chest heaves with sharp pains. My shirt is clinging to my body—all soaked with sweat and my heart is racing. Seth puts his arms around me … holding me tightly. Everything is still fuzzy, but when things start to come into focus and I realize where I am, it hits me that it was just another nightmare. I’m not in the captivity of that ass hole. I’m here in Seth’s house, in San Diego, safe and sound. My fears start to go away—slowing down my pulse rate—but I can’t keep from crying … tears flowing down my cheeks.

“I’m sorry Seth.”

“What for? You didn’t do anything wrong; you’re fine baby girl, I’ve got you.”

“He ... he was holding me down.” I hiccup while sobbing uncontrollably.

“Don’t worry, he’s gone … long gone. If he ever takes a single step back into Helena again, I’ll kill him.”

I lie in Seth’s arms out of harm’s way, and I grip my fingers around his strong forearms feeling slightly calmer. “I’m sorry Seth,” I mumble again.

“SSHH you’re ok.”

We sit like that for quite a while, and I am thankful that Seth doesn’t push and ask me what my nightmare was about. “What time is it?”

“Umm,” Seth looks around to look at the clock on the night stand, “6:20”.

“Ugh, well it’s early, but I don’t think I can fall asleep again. I’ll go make some coffee.” I crawl over Seth who had worked himself up onto the bed, and then head for the kitchen.

Before I am even out of the doorway, Seth interrupts. “Hey, so usually I try to fit in a daily work out before I start my day. Got to keep up my boyish figure you know. I have a membership around the corner at a club. You want to go with me and maybe get rid of some tension?”

“That sounds like exactly what I need. Great idea! I don’t have much for workout clothes, but I think I have some shorts.”

At the club, I have already run thirty minutes on the treadmill, and I’m working on thirty more on a state-of-the art elliptical machine. I can see Seth lifting weights on a contraption I have never seen before.

“You must be new around here.” A deep voice startles me. I turn my head to the machine on my right and a nicely trimmed guy is pushing buttons to start the elliptical.

“Uh … yeah, kind of, I’m just visiting.” I answer politely … a little out of breath.

“Well that’s too bad, maybe we could have hooked up.”

Holy cow! I think to myself, what a blunt asshole.

“Hey Vance, are you trying to pick up another chick … one that’s obviously too good for you?”

I can’t help but smile when I see Matt walking up to us.

“Oh, and I suppose you think you’re good enough for her Matt?” he shoots back.

“Hi Treva.”

“Hi Matt,” I nod at him with a huge cheesy grin on my face.

“You … you two know each other?”

“Of course we know each other, don’t we baby?”

“MMM HMMM we sure do baby.” I follow queue. Silently I am laughing when the guy gives up and walks away from his machine. Matt takes his place, and he’s up to my speed in no time.

“How do you like San Diego so far?” He asks.

“It’s beautiful. I love the palm trees.”

He gives me a twisted grin. “Yeah the view is amazing.”

His indirect comment makes my cheeks flush even more than they already are from working out. I hesitate for a second, but speak up anyways, “Speaking of views, I couldn’t help but notice how well you guys are in shape when we were out the other night. Do all of you share a membership here?” Really, I’m more interested in one of the guys in particular. I haven’t seen Ronin since the night before when I kicked him out —something that I still regret —and now I want to see him again.

“Just Seth, Travis, and I—actually Travis is right over there,” Matt points towards a weight machine and I see the other guy, that I vaguely remember dancing with Amy the other night. I wave and he kindly waves back. “Ronin has his own club he goes to. I guess he feels obligated to work out there since he owns it.”

“Oh,” I gasp, being pulled from my catty thoughts about Amy.

“Hey Matt!” Seth walks up right then and joins us. I’m thankful for his timing. I hope he caught Matt off guard before he notices the longing on my face.

“You coming into work today?” Matt asks Seth heaving through breaths.

Seth looks at me, “Probably not today; I have some Christmas decorations to buy. I need to get some things to keep Treva busy and out of trouble so that I can work tomorrow.”

“Yeah, if I’m not kept busy I chew up furniture.” I snort.

“At least she’s house broke.” Seth says before bursting out in laughter.

I just shake my head at my brother’s horrible sense of humor.

“Hi Matt, Hi Seth.” An obnoxious over friendly voice rings out. I lean to the side to see two blonde women—girls, hoochie-mama’s, or whatever—standing behind my brother. They are openly eyeballing Matt and Seth. “Liz and I were talking about going to Ray’s tonight; maybe we’ll see you there.”

“Yeah,” Seth replies with his tongue half hanging out. The girls walk by me and give me a heavy look up and down, “Nice flannel shorts.”

I feel my blood boiling, but decide to just move my legs faster, and think better of speaking.

“I wonder how flexible those legs are. “ Seth drools as the girls walk off.

“You pig!” I spat. Seth just shrugs his shoulders.

“I’m going to go hit the showers.” I abruptly stop and climb off the machine.

I turn the locker room shower fairly hot, and let the steaming water wash away the sweat. After I feel clean, the hot water almost feels like it’s too much. I turn the handle to make it cooler, letting it spray me all over … a brisk awakening. When I finish and leave the locker room, Matt and Seth are outside waiting for me. I had slipped on a halter top dress that has green, brown, and orange stripes in a diagonal pattern. It is a very fun springy dress that I am very happy to wear. In Montana I’d be covered up in a heavy winter coat. I tried to dry my hair with the makeshift hairdryer the club has hanging on the wall, but with my natural curls it just makes them almost untameable. I leave it slightly damp, hoping that it won’t get too frizzy.

Matt notices me instantly, “you look beautiful Treva.”

“Thanks I can’t wear this at home right now. I love this weather,” I exclaim.

“It’s been pretty warm this winter; you timed your visit perfectly.” Matt replies with a wink of his eye. He checks the time on his watch and seems disappointed. “Well, hey guys, I got to scoot, but if you’re in the neighborhood later let me know; and we’ll grab some lunch together.” Matt reaches out and grabs my hand and brings it up to his mouth to kiss my knuckles.

His gesture is so sweet, and being on the more sober side, I realize that my rose colored alcohol induced glasses weren’t lying about how hot he is … wow, he is sexy. This makes a mucho bad combo for me, hot and sensitive, I might be doomed.

“NOT you too!” Seth huffs.

“Me too? What do you mean me too?” Matt asks.

“I’m going to have to beat you and Ronin off my sister. That’s what I mean.”

I smack Seth’s arm and tell him to “shut up.” At the same time , Matt mumbles, “Ronin,” not really asking or stating.

I’m a little shocked by Seth’s comment, because I thought the intensity between Ronin and I had been a little more hidden than it obviously was. Yet, I had been pretty comfortable with Matt too, but maybe Seth was too drunk to remember all the details of our night out.

“By the way, sorry about that the other night. I think we all had too much to drink.” Matt says apologetically.

The concern etched on his face is strongly apparent, “no worries,” I say.

Seth looks between Matt and I, “Alright we’ll catch you later,” and Seth opens the door … trying to push me away from Matt. “I think I’m going to have to keep you in the house. All the wolves have come out to prey.”

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