He stared me down, “You’re making me crazy. I was a fun guy before I met you. I rarely lost my tempter or worried what girls thought or did. I had sex, I drank, I sang, and I liked my life. You are killing me and making me insane. I’m doing things my anger management coach would have a heart attack about.”
I shrugged, “Then I guess we’ll be nuts together. No one is getting out of this fucking apartment sane.” I didn’t care. Not anymore. He’d fucked other chicks, I knew it. I could practically smell them on him.
He crossed the line. I jumped off the couch, holding my mace at him, “I told you, I won’t leave. I’ll stay here like your fucking prisoner, but you stay on your God-damned side. Your stuff is on that side of the room and mine is on this one.”
He stepped into me, calling my bluff, “Mace me. I don’t give a shit. The only fucking thing I care about in this God-damned room is on your side.”
He sat on the couch and pulled me down with him and sat me on his lap. I struggled, but he just held me and whispered, “I’m sorry.”
I shook my head, “I don’t care. I don’t fucking care.”
“I apologized to him. Dean seems really cool. I’m sorry. I saw him looking all professional and clean cut, like you. And you were laughing so hard and I assumed the worst. He deserves someone like you, he’s professional and smart, and I’m not.”
I looked at him, “I know you have your MBA, so don’t play dumb Little Drummer Boy with me. Besides, you’ve been fucking other people, so you can’t care if I have coffee with my teacher. I’ll do what I want and who I want.”
His eyes flickered again, “Firstly, I will give you points for being witty, but I’m the singer not the drummer. Secondly, I haven’t had sex since you and I.”
I saw myself in his eyes and my heart believed him. I freed one of my arms and scoffed, “I see the guilt.”
He sighed, “I was drunk and a girl kissed me. I stopped it. I’m sorry. Someone posted it to a blog and I assumed you saw it. I felt like shit.” He looked down.
I lifted his face, staring into his eyes with burning hate, “You said you wanted me. If you wanted me, you wouldn’t kiss other people.”
His eyes stayed true and strong, “I want you. I’ll always want you.” I looked at my face in the darkness of his pupils and swallowed the venomous things I wanted to say. His eyebrows pulled together, “I am fucking trying, princess. I am, I swear. I’ve been trying so hard to show you… to deserve you. I swear it.” He closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against mine, “Do you really feel like a prisoner?”
I shook my head, “No. Sometimes it’s a little bit like Beauty and the Beast with you though. You get so crazy and I don’t know what to do.”
He looked up and gave me his smug smile. I pointed a finger in his face, “You call me the beast and you’re dead.”
He laughed hard, pulling me into him. He smelled my hair. I did the same on his neck. We snuggled for a minute but I couldn’t take it. I pressed play for my show. I needed there to be someone else in the room.
He took the carton from my hand and we snuggled on the couch, watching Downton Abbey, while he ate the rest of my ice cream. “This show is insane,” he muttered, taking a huge bite.
I pointed at the screen, “You missed some hot stuff, it was about ten minutes before you got home. Little bit of back-door romance.”
He gave me a look, “Anal sex? They show that on the BBC?”
I laughed, “No, like clandestine love affairs. Like sneaking around.”
I laughed harder when he took a bite and shrugged, “Whatever. In the South, backdoor means taking it in ass.”
I plugged my ears, “Ewwwww.”
He grinned and sparkled, and became the guy I couldn’t resist, even if he was saying dirty shit.
We fell back into the comfortable relationship we liked. I wouldn’t let him remove the paint or the tape, even if he refused to stay on his side. Against all the odds, we became the people we were before. The ones who lived together without sex and drama. He was texting me more. It made me happy, too happy. We were headed down the same flirty road as before. I knew the sex was inevitable. He was being sweet and staying in the apartment with me.
The only saving grace was that he was traveling a lot with the band. They had left for Detroit the day before for a concert. It was his first televised concert, since the show he had gotten kicked off of. I looked at my phone to see if he’d messaged me or not. The girl in the chair next to me nudged me, “You and Lochlan Barlow still dating?”
I gave her a confused look, “No.”
She leaned over to another girl and whispered my answer. I looked at the girl and smiled. It was Lise from the bar. She gave me a wave. I smiled at her. How had I not noticed her in my class?
My head was up my ass for sure.
After class we walked out together, “So no more bad-boy singers, huh?”
I shook my head, “No. We shouldn’t have ever crossed the roommate boundaries. It was stupid.” I didn’t mention, we were currently about to take the same crash course as before.
She winced, “Yikes.”
“Whatever, so have you been in this class the entire time?” How had I not seen her?
She laughed, “No. I switched out of the one on Fridays. It’s the same class and I begged and pleaded so they let me. I had to get a job and I work Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays now.”
She gleamed, “The bar where Thin Ice plays on Fridays. I can make five hundred in tips those three days.”
My jaw dropped, “No way.”
She nodded, “You want a job? I know Brian is looking.”
I nodded, “Hell, yeah. I don’t have anything after eleven on Fridays, I’m free from lunch on.”
She pulled her cell out, “Call this number and ask for Brian and tell him you’re my friend.”
I looked at the number and punched it into my phone, “Thanks, Lise.”
She shrugged, “Us hot law majors gotta stick together. The rest of them look like trolls.”
I laughed with her, but hated that she included me in her mean-girl mentality.
Brian was stoked, he actually used that word, that I was able to start Friday.
I sat on the couch, doing homework and watching another episode of Downton Abbey when Danny came in. He gave me a look, “You’re not watching the performance?”
I looked at the clock and shrugged, “It’s recording.” I had been avoiding it. He did bad things to my self-control without the singing. Adding it, was like putting gas on a fire.
He grabbed the remote and changed it to the show. It was obviously cool in the streets where the stage was. I could see Gerry’s breath when the cameras went to him.
My skin shivered hearing Lochlan’s voice. When the camera landed on him, my heart skipped a few beats. I couldn’t breathe. He was rocking it, as always. He held the microphone in his left hand and hopped with his right hand in the air. He kicked with the drums and bent down towards the crowd. He pointed at someone up front, winking and grinning.
I felt sick but I couldn’t look away. He was my own personal train wreck.
He finished the song and shouted into the microphone, “We want to thank y’all for having us. Big shout out to Boston and the amazing folks there for helping us get to where we are. And I personally want to shout out to North Dakota, the state that holds my heart! Goodnight Detroit!”
The crowd erupted.
“He says that North Dakota thing ever night now,” Danny muttered.
I nodded, “Great.”
Lochlan waved and walked off the stage. The camera zoomed in on him. The broadcasters were talking, but I just watched as he pulled his phone out.
‘You having a good night?’ I instantly, got the text I watched him send.
I smiled when I saw it.
A different band walked onto the stage and the crowd started back up again.
‘I have some good news!’
I smiled, ‘What?’
‘Gonna call, that cool?’
I answered on the first ring, “Hey.”
He laughed, “I can hear the show in the phone—you’re watching it?”
I took a deep breath, like hearing his voice made that possible.
I opened my eyes, smiling, “Yep. You guys were amazing, as always.”
It got quiet where he was suddenly, “We got invited to do a couple of the night shows in New York City in November, just before Thanksgiving.”
My jaw dropped, “Oh my God. Congratulations.”
“Thank you. Can I see you Friday night? Like we hang out, like before? Maybe go to dinner?”
I ran my hands through my hair, “I can’t. I have to work.”
His voice sounded panicked, “You got a job?”
“Yeah. My friend Lise got me one at that bar you guys always play on Fridays. I start there this Friday.”
He didn’t talk. I pulled the phone from my face, checking for signal. “Hello?”
He sounded pissed, “You can’t work there. Brian is a pig and tries to sleep with every chick that works there. He’s famous for his job interview.”
I scowled, “I already have the job. I don’t need an interview. And you work there, what do you care?”
His tone didn’t improve, “You can’t work there.”
I sighed, “Okay well, we can talk about it when you get home on Friday.” I hated that I was the on thin ice with him for the sake of Thin Ice. If I rocked the boat, he’d trash a hotel room or beat someone up. God only knew.
“I’ll be home tonight.”
I sighed, “You have shit to do. Stop being a pain in the ass. How’s this, I won’t work a shift until you speak to Brian and assure him, I am to be left to work and not hit on.”
He paused again. “Deal.”