College and Woodland

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Chapter 10

Christina Perri and Jason Mraz- Distance

Raychel

When Sammie brought me home last night I thanked her but I really didn't want any company. I was asleep almost as soon as my head hit my pillow. I had nightmares throughout the night. That hasn't happened in months, but I guess it's a cycle. Hopefully Mark and Dillon will move on with their lives and I won't have to see them ever again. Keeping my fingers crossed for that one.

The morning comes bright, sunny and wonderful. I am to much of a coward to go down and have breakfast with the guys. So I decide to take advantage of my sun room. I grab my favorite book planning to lounge the morning away reading. The windows are open and face the backyard so I see Charlie when he goes to his internship. I am assuming Josh has to work today but his truck is still here. Just then there is a gentle knock on my bedroom door.

"Can I come in Ray?" His voice is muffled but I know it's Josh. I get up and open the door but I don't make eye contact with him I just walk back to my spot on the floor of the sun room. I am hiding I know it. It's hard to come to grips with the fact that my last relationship and all the screwed up things that happened to me are out in the open with him now. I am really attracted to Josh, like REALLY attracted. It's inconvenient that we live together, but I thought there might be something. Ugh, I don't know what I was thinking.

He walks into the room still giving me space like you would a scared animal. Obviously he wants to talk about last night. I so don't, but now it's like there are two elephants in the room, "the incident" and Mark. I have to do this fast. Rip it off like a band aid. I will answer his questions about what happened last winter; Then we can pretend that both things never happened. That's exactly what I want, and also for him to kiss me again. Dammit no. Non-incident, didn't happen.

"I'm not an abused puppy, Josh. It's okay come in and sit down. I am sure Max didn't tell you much. I want to warn you though, this will be the only time I talk about this. So get what you have to say out and then we will forget about it. Okay?"

He comes into the room with a long suffering sigh.

"I suck at this shit Ray." He takes his face in his hands."I have been thinking about that morning, and I should have talked to you afterwards. I couldn't deal and I made it worse. Then last night, shit. Last night I knew something was wrong when I saw you at that table. Before that guy even grabbed you I saw it. I ignored it because I was trying to ignore you, but I can't. Ya know. Then Max told us, Jesus, I am so fucking mad at you Ray."

"What? Why are you mad at me? What the fuck did I do?" Indignation has overruled my desire to be invisible at this point.

"You didn't do anything! Those assholes hurt you and you didn't do anything! You didn't let anyone help you and they are out there now. They could do it to someone else, or they could hurt you again. I can't fucking stand the thought that he touched you last night. Fuck!" He stands and starts pacing the very small room. I was expecting some anger because I included him in my drama, but this? This is above and beyond. He's scaring me a little right now. Not like Mark and Dillon scare me, but I don't know Josh that well.

Unknowingly I have plastered myself to the far wall of the room. I hate this. I am not this girl anymore. I may be shy but I am not a victim. This is why I didn't want anyone to know. Why I didn't go to the police when Stace and Max picked me up that night. I am not going to let Mark and Dillon ruin my life anymore.

Josh doesn't know me, he doesn't know who I was before they got their disgusting hands on me. He doesn't know that I was carefree and bold. That I wore my heart on my sleeve. He knows the me I created. The face I put on to protect myself. Now I'm mad, how dare he!

"You don't get to be mad! What happened, happened. I am getting over it. If I went to the police it would have never been over for me. I would have been a victim forever. Everyone would have known and treated me differently." My speech is giving me courage. Before I know it I am standing right up in his face. "You... You just met me. You don't get to judge me for how I handled it. How I continue to handle it. Because I am...I am dealing just fine on my own. As for what happened the other morning, forget about it. It's not a big deal." I just want this conversation to be over with. I want him out of here. Not looking at me like he is. God his eyes are almost black and he's staring into my eyes now. An emotion I can't put my finger on fighting behind his anger.

"Forget about it? Really?" He shouts. How did this turn into a screaming match?

"Yea, Josh. We're attracted to each other, and it happened. You obviously don't like me. You barely tolerate me. So we can ignore the attraction. Just be roommates we don't even have to be friends." His breathing is still harsh and is looking at me like I'm crazy. Then like a switch flips his hands come up to either side of my face and he is kissing me. Hard at first then when my body relaxes from the sudden attack it gentles. Soon I am fully participating, opening my mouth for his tongue and bringing my own hands up hold on to his forearms. He is walking me back towards the window lined wall of the sun room. Once my back hits the wall he slowly pulls away from the kiss. He still holds my face in his hands but rests his mouth against my forehead.

"Did I scare you?" He whispers.

"When?" Just now? No! I have wanted him to kiss me like that since he stormed out on me the other morning.

"The first time I kissed you, Ray. I was so out of control. I held you down and... fuck. Did I scare you?" The question confuses me a little. I mean I was kind of pinned under him but I didn't feel threatened at all.

"No Josh, you didn't scare me." I push back back on his arms a little so I can look into his eyes. "You aren't like them. You didn't take advantage of me. You confuse the hell out of me though."


Josh

I pictured this talk going so much different than it has. My plan to come up here and let her talk. Let her air out her thoughts about Max telling me what happened to her. I fully expected her to cry or hit me. I don't know, women are unpredictable. So I started my rehearsed speech about that morning and what Max told me.

I just get mad, really fucking mad about it. How could she not go to the police, to protect herself. To get them arrested, off the streets, out of school. I fucking blow up. Before I know it I am yelling at her, and she looks so scared.

I think about that morning and how I threw on her bed and pinned her down with my body. I am scum... Jesus. Who does that? My self loathing is so palpable I can taste it. Now she's yelling at me. Telling me how I don't know her. I know enough dammit! Forget about what happened between us? Like that could happen. I have been playing that minute and a half of insanity in my head all fucking week. I can't stop thinking about it. Yes, I am physically attracted to her but it's more than that. So much more. Just thinking that I might have fucked things up or scared her. I want to tell her all this but she keeps going. Suggesting we don't even have to be friends. Well she's partially right I don't want to be her friend. I want to be so much more than a friend.

She just keeps saying stupid shit, so I kiss her. In that kiss I try and put everything I want to say but can't put into words. How beautiful she is to me. How brave she is. How fucking perfect everything about her is.

"I know I'm confusing you and I promise this will be the last time I cross this line." I whisper into her lips.

"Why?"

"I am not any good for you Ray. Just trust me about that. It will be better for both of us if we are just friends." The words are coming out of my mouth but I don't agree with them. I can tell by the disappointed look in her eyes Ray doesn't either. " I am so much older, and you were right we don't know each other." I finally pull my hands from her neck and take a big step back.

"How about instead of pretending the other morning never happened, we hang out. Not like dates or anything but ya know friend stuff." I sound like an idiot, Jesus I am twenty seven and I can't just ask my roommate to hang out with me... ugh.

" I think I can handle that." She isn't looking at me anymore and I can see her face is getting red.

"About last night. If you don't want to talk about your ex that's fine with me." I hear her let out a sigh of relief. "However, if you see him or his friends ever again, or if he contacts you I want you to let me know."

"I have gone almost a month without seeing them I am sure I won't have any more trouble from them."

"Just think of it as piece of mind for me, more than you."

"Deal." She meets my eyes again and she is smiling.

"In concession I will stop being an asshole and ignoring/ avoiding you."Even if it kills me.

Her smile gets bigger...

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