“You’re winking at me again. Sorry, I can’t help you out. Maybe you need to watch…a different kind of movie tonight? That might get you off. I have some if you want to borrow one to—you know—wet your whistle.”
His words from the other night once again replayed in my head. “Have some self-respect.”
I’d decided I was done with him tonight. I’d take the high road and go back to my room without saying another word but not before I grabbed the container of noodles and dumped it all over his lap. “Wet that, dickhead.”
His raspy laugh cut through me as I made my way up the stairs.
That night, I was still fuming as I squirmed around in my sheets. Who did he think he was with his passive aggressive behavior? He’d tried to play it off like I was the one seeking his attention, when he’d been texting me during his date before coming home early to intrude on my encounter with Bentley.
My obsessive thoughts continued until about two in the morning when I was interrupted by what sounded like yelling coming from Elec’s room.
Elec was tossing and turning as he cried out, “Mami, please. No! Wake up! Wake up!” His breathing was erratic, and all of his bedding had fallen on the floor.
“Pleeeeease,” he screamed.
My heart was pounding as I shook him. “Elec! Elec. It’s just a dream.”
Still in a state of semi-sleep, he gripped and squeezed my arm so hard that it hurt. When his eyes flew open, he still seemed to be in a haze. Beads of sweat glistened on his forehead. He sat up and looked at me in shock as if he didn’t know where he was.
“It’s Greta. You were having a nightmare. I heard you yelling and thought something was wrong. It’s okay. You’re okay.”
His breathing was still intense and slowly regulated. When his grip loosened on my arm, clarity returned to his eyes.
He let go of me. “This is the second time I’ve caught you in my room when I’ve been in a state of semi-consciousness. How do I know you’re not just hanging out here doing things to me while I’m sleeping?”
Are you kidding me?
I’d had enough of his shit.
Maybe it was the fact that I was wired from no sleep or maybe it was because I’d just hit my limit with all of his jabs, but instead of responding, I pushed him with all my might. It may have been a juvenile thing, but I’d been dying to do it, and this moment seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
He laughed heartily which pissed me off even more. “Well, it’s about damn time.”
“I’ve been waiting for you to lose it on me.”
“You think it’s funny that you’ve caused me to resort to that?”
“No, I think you’re funny…like really funny. Nothing has ever given me more amusement than busting your chops.”
“Well, great. Glad I could do that for you.”
Fuck. Tears were forming in my eyes.
This could not be happening.
It was almost that time of the month, and there was nothing I could do to control these emotions. I tried to cover my face but knew he had seen the first teardrop fall.
Elec’s smile faded. “What the fuck?”
I needed to just leave. There was no way to explain my asinine reaction to him if I didn’t even understand it myself.
I turned around and left, slamming my bedroom door behind me. I climbed into bed, pulled my blanket over my head and shut my eyes even though sleep surely would be impossible.
My door slowly creaked open, and the lamp was turned on.
“Peace offering?” I heard Elec say.
When I turned around, to my mortification, he was standing there with a dick in his hands. Not any dick. My dick. My vibrator. My purple life-sized rubber penis.
Elec waved it. “Nothing says I’m sorry like a dick and a smile.”
I turned back around and hid under the blanket.
“Come on. Were you seriously crying in there?”
The room was silent as I stayed under the covers. I assumed he’d just leave if I ignored him. I knew I was wrong when I heard a click and a buzzing sound then felt the weight of him on my bed.
“If you won’t smile, then I’ll just have to tickle you with your little boyfriend here.” He touched it to my hip, and I flinched, pushing the blanket off of myself. I tried to grab the vibrator, but he wouldn’t let it go. He continued to tickle me with it in quick movements: behind my leg, the back of my foot.
I was fighting the urge to laugh. “Stop!”
“Not a chance.”
All control was lost when he placed it under my armpit, which caused me to giggle hysterically. His own laughter vibrated against my ear.
How did I end up rolling around in bed in the middle of night with Elec holding a rubber cock against me?
I was laughing so hard that I thought I might die from it.
Death by dildo.
He finally clicked the off button, and it took me several minutes to catch my breath and calm down.
“Why stop now?”
“The point was to get you to laugh. Mission accomplished.” He handed it to me. “Here.”
He lifted his brow. “Party in your pants tomorrow night? Should I bring chip n’dip?”
“Very funny,” I said, placing it in my side table drawer and making a mental note to find a better hiding spot for it tomorrow.
He stayed lying next to me with his head leaning against the headboard. Even though we weren’t touching, I could feel the warmth of his body as we lay side by side in silence.
As my eyes wandered to his tanned chest and prominent six-pack, desire started to build inside of me. His briefs were peeking out of the top of his gray sweatpants. His long feet were bare, and it dawned on me for the first time how damn sexy that was. I forced my eyes off him and stared up at the ceiling.
His voice was low. “I really didn’t want to come here, Greta.”
It was the first time he’d ever said my name.
It sounded so good coming out of his mouth. I turned to him as he continued staring away from me when he spoke.
“I was this close to skipping that flight and going somewhere else.”
“What made you change your mind?”
“I couldn’t do that to my mother. I didn’t want her to have to worry about me while she’s away.”
“I see why you didn’t want to be here now. I didn’t understand it at first, but after listening to the way Randy spoke to you, I can understand why you have so much anger toward him. I guess, what I can’t understand is why you took it out on Bentley the other night.”
“Why do you assume that the fight was my fault?”
“Because you won’t explain it to me, and you were the one kicking him when he was down.”
He let out a single angry laugh. “I also look like the bad guy, right? So, every person in that diner just assumed I flew off the handle for no fucking reason other than to beat up that pretty boy for fun. I may have a record…for underage drinking and smoking weed once. But never in my lifetime have I ever attacked someone or even thrown a punch before that night.”
“Why won’t you tell me what happened?”
“Because despite what you think and despite the fact that I love messing with you…I don’t really want to see you hurt.”
“I don’t get it.”
He finally turned his body toward me and looked at me for the first time. “That first day when you walked in on me in the bathroom, I wanted to shock you. You said you never saw a guy naked before. I assumed you were kidding. Now, I actually feel guilty about pulling that shit on you.”
I repositioned myself, feeling a little nervous about where this was going. “Okay…what does that have to do with what we were talking about?”
“Fucknut didn’t know I was your stepbrother, so when you left the table, he started bragging about how he was gonna take you to that party next week, get you drunk somehow and fuck you. Your ex-boyfriend made a bet with him that he couldn’t get you in bed because you’re a virgin. If you ended up giving it up to Bentley, your ex was gonna give him 500-dollars.”
I covered my mouth. “Oh my God.”
Elec nodded slowly with a sympathetic look. “So, yeah…I fucked him up.”
“You let everyone think you were to blame. You took all that shit from Randy over it! You were just protecting me?”
“I didn’t know how to break that news to you about what they were planning. But clearly, tonight, my warning to stay away from him wasn’t getting through to you, so I needed to tell you.”
“I like to give you a hard time. It started out as a way to get back at my father…torture Sarah’s daughter. But eventually, getting under your skin sort of just became this fun little game. Tonight, when you cried, I knew I’d taken it too far and that for you, it wasn’t a game. As hard as it may be to believe, I never meant to hurt you, and I sure as fuck wouldn’t stand by and let someone else hurt you, either.”
He looked up at the ceiling again, and his lips bent into a frown as he pondered what he’d just said.
I lifted my index finger and brushed it softly across the spot on his lip that got torn in the fight. He closed his eyes, and my heart started to pound furiously as his breathing quickened with every stroke of my finger over his warm lip. “I’m sorry you got hurt.”