Bedsprings Arc Pt. 03bynaradragonfly©
I stare into my half-empty Styrofoam cup. The coffee's grown cold. I hate coffee, and this particular coffee smells like old shoes and tastes worse, but it's the only way I can stay awake at work.
I've slept five hours in the past week. I am a fucking zombie. I'm curled up in the archives in the basement. No one goes into the basement. It's even more ugly, sterile and depressing than the rest of the building. But if no one can find me, they won't ask me to do anything. I'm hiding. Hiding from my job. Hiding from my life.
I'm dying. Subconsciously killing myself with a combination of insomnia and starvation. I can't keep food down. I don't want to eat. I'm dying.
Someone trips over me. It's a girl.
"Darn it!" she squeaks. Someone needs to teach her how to cuss. She looks at me, annoyed. I don't recognize her, but that's no surprise. Employees change every week here, and it's a depressingly huge company. Film production agency, and I am at the bottom of the corporate ladder. I am the dirt beneath the corporate ladder. "Are you Matthew Dean?"
I stare at her.
She kicks me, annoyed. "Can you talk? Are you Matthew Dean?"
"Good. C'mon. They want you up top."
'Up top' around here means the top floors. Fucking-VIP only. CEOs and Movie Stars.
"Is this some kind of fucking joke? Why?"
"I don't know why!" she snaps. "Do you have any idea how hard it was to find you? They're gonna be so angry. Let's go."
"You've got the wrong Matthew Dean," I tell her.
"Well, I couldn't find any others!" She looks like she's going to cry if I don't come with her. I get up, drain my cup with a grimace. Follow her to the elevator.
I stare at the buttons. "What's your name?" I ask.
She flutters, glances shyly at me. "Anna."
Bloody hell. I wasn't fucking flirting. She's making eyes at me now.
We take the elevator to the ground floor, where we have to switch to the express elevator. The fancy one. Movie-stars and CEOs only. It even has a man in uniform to press the buttons, and a fucking couch. I keep expecting them to install a fucking mini-bar.
"This is Matthew Dean," she tells the man in uniform. "I found him."
"The Matthew Dean?" He laughs. "Was he under a rock?"
"Don't talk about me like I'm not fucking here," I say. They shut up, awkwardly. The trip up is uncomfortably silent.
There's a girl at the reception desk at the top. Her skin is stretched so tight across her face, it looks like she's wearing a mask. She looks at me sourly. I don't look one bit like a movie star or a CEO. "Yes?" she says.
"I'm Matthew," I tell her. "Dean."
"Oh." She very nearly glares, but I don't think her face is capable of that much movement. I wonder if she can blink. "You." She presses a button. "Sir, Matthew Dean is here. Okay. Right away." Glares at me again. "He said he'll come fetch you."
"He who? Why am I here?"
She looks at me. "Don't waste my time."
"I'm serious. I don't know why I'm here."
"He asked for you. You're his new personal secretary."
I'm still baffled. "He who?"
"Hey, sweetcheeks," he says. His voice is like something rich and heady and fucking drizzled with honey. This is why the fangirls fucking worship him, aside from that gorgeous body and his lapis lazuli eyes. I don't even have to turn around. I know that voice.
The botox girl stands. "Mr. Rosier!"
I can feel him standing right behind me. His breath is warm on my neck.
"Giselle, track down some hot chocolate for Matty, would you?" His hand touches my shoulder, intimate. "Are you hungry?"
I shove his hand off. Glare. "Don't you fucking touch me."
I hear Giselle shriek in horror. I just swore at Evan Fucking Rosier.
He smirks. "Giselle?"
"Hot chocolate. With whipped cream, and marshmallows. Chocolate sprinkles, if possible."
"Yes, sir." She disappears obediently.
"C'mon," he says to me. "I want to show you my office."
Evan Fucking Please-Die Roswell-Rosier, my twice ex-boyfriend, wants to show me his office. Evan Fucking Billionaire Movie-Star Rosier has just ordered me a hot chocolate, and he hasn't forgotten, just the way I like it.
"You're a movie star," I tell him. "You don't need an office."
"Yeah." He shrugs. "But I bought most of the company, so they gave me an office."
I blink. He opens a door, and it's not an office, it's a fucking suite. There's a waterfall. He takes a seat in this huge chair, puts his feet up on the desk. He's wearing this fucking suit like he's a magazine cover. No tie. Shirt unbuttoned to show his chest. Smirking at me, and he's so much more vain and cocky than ever, it makes me a little sick.
Almost a year ago I left him. I think he's forgotten, that I left him. For the past year, I've been dying. It's only become obvious in the past two weeks.
The first time, he left me, and I started stripping, because it was the only thing that came close to the way that Evan Fucking Roswell made me feel. Rosier's his stage name. So when I got fed up and left him, I went back to stripping, because I could.
Shortly after this I was hit by the car. I was in a wheelchair for three weeks. They told me I'd never dance again. This is how I ended up in the basement here, hating my life.
Two weeks ago, I couldn't take it anymore. I walked up to this huge-ass mansion he has on the outskirts of town, and pressed the intercom.
"Yes?" A voice said.
"I'm here to see Evan," I told the intercom.
"I'm sorry, is he expecting you?"
"No, but I'm his boyfriend. My name's Matthew Dean."
I heard laughter on the other end.
"Fuck you," I snapped, and walked away.
That was when I forgot Evan Roswell forever.
That was also when I realized I had nothing to live for. Since then I've been dying, and I don't care anymore.
"What do you want?" I ask
"You're too late," I tell him. Two weeks ago I would've thrown myself at him. Now I don't care.
He's confused, I can tell. He didn't expect me to change. "At least sit down," he says. I sit. Giselle brings me the hot chocolate. I sip at it. It's good.
"Matty," he says. I don't reply. He growls. "What's wrong with you?"
"You cheated on me."
"I know why you broke up with me." He sighs. Gets up. "Matty, I've been looking for you since you walked out. I need you back."
I don't reply. He takes the hot chocolate away from me. "Why aren't you swearing at me?" I still don't reply. He growls. Kisses me, because that's always worked in the past. I kiss back, not because it's Evan Rosier, but because I haven't had a wisp of affection in months. I haven't gotten laid since—since Evan.
He pushes me down on top of his desk, and his hands are down my pants. I feel sick. I break the kiss. "Evan."
He's kissing my neck. He's heavy on top of me and I hate it. "Evan, stop it."
I feel his grip tighten, and he bites me. Evan's a control freak. He doesn't allow people to disagree with him. I struggle. "Evan. I'm serious. Stop."
"No." He snarls.
I've known Evan for five years. This is the first time I've ever felt afraid of him. He's not going to stop. He's actually going to rape me, and there's nothing I can do about it.
I can hear the whimper in my voice. "Please."
He's got me pinned, and his grip's starting to hurt. He's completely tense with rage. I've never refused him like this. I never wanted to. Sometimes we fought. Hell, the first time we broke up was after I put a knife through his hand. But I never said no. I never needed to.
He lets go slowly, carefully. Wipes a tear off my cheek. I didn't know I was crying.
"Matty," he says, and his voice is soft. "I don't know who you are anymore."
The lights are dimming, and everything's suddenly very dark.
I open my eyes. The ceiling is very white. This is not my bed. I sit up. Regret it immediately. I fall back into the pillow. Take a few deep breaths. Look around.
Evan's sitting by my bed. He's holding one of my hands, and I can't feel it because he's fallen asleep on top of it. There's a cord in my arm, so I'm probably not dead. His hair's fallen into his face, and I reach over to move it, watching him. My wrist is tingling, and I'm itching to move it. I try to pull my hand back without waking him.
His eyes open. He stares at me. "Matty," he says, like I'm fucking Christmas morning.
I try to say something. Can't. He hands me a glass of water. I drink the whole thing at a gulp. He refills it.
"Don't call me Matty," I say. My voice sounds awful. He takes the glass from me, puts it aside, and suddenly he's hugging me, tight. It hurts, and I whimper. He lets go. "Dammit, Matty, you didn't have a pulse."
"You passed out." He reaches over, presses the call button for a nurse. "Three days ago. Your pulse was so faint I thought you'd died. The doctor said you'd been starving yourself, not to mention you were showing so many signs of exhaustion you should've collapsed a week ago. Why aren't you taking care of yourself?"
He's all flushed, and I can see the indentations my knuckles left in his cheek. I laugh, weakly. "You're all worried."
He smiles a little, seeing me laugh. "I was afraid I was losing you."
"Pff," I say. "Don't worry. You're coming to Hell with me."
He kisses my forehead, and I don't think he's ever been so gentle. "Go back to sleep," he says, and I do.
When I wake up again, it's my sister Val sitting by my bed, reading a magazine. "Matt," she says. "You're okay."
"Where's Evan?" I can't believe those are the first words out of my mouth.
"I sent him home, to get some actual sleep. He hadn't left your side the whole time. He only agreed to take shifts with me after you woke up the first time. He told the hospital staff you were his boyfriend."
"Oh," I say.
"I thought you should be warned," she says. "The nurses adore him, so they might tease you. A couple of them are horrible gossips." She frowns. "So you might get some press harassment, if it gets out."
"He never told people I was his boyfriend, before. I was just a member of his entourage. Only a few people knew he was fucking me."
"It was hard on you, when you got back together and he'd just started getting famous, wasn't it?"
I shake my head. "No more than it ever was. We're a messed-up couple, Val. Did either of us ever tell you why we broke up the first time?"
She shakes her head.
I lean back, looking up at the ceiling. "I put a knife through his hand."
She's not sure what to say.
"The second time was because I caught him cheating on me."
"I've been worried about you," she says. "Since the accident."
"Did you tell him?"
"No. But I did tell him how to find you."
I look at her. "What?"
"He's been trying to get me to tell him, since the day you left him. Two weeks ago, he calls me up and tells me you showed up on his doorstep."
I blush. "I did."
"I was worried, you'd been so broken since you left him, so I told him where you worked. You don't have a phone."
I lean back, look up at the stark white hospital ceiling. "Sorry."
The nurse comes in. She's a bustling woman with an ample smile, not to mention her ample everything else. "You're awake!"
She bustles over, fluffs my pillow, straightens my sheets, and checks my vitals. "Feisty young thing you are," she beams. "Bounce right back. Just a case of exhaustion and stress, that's all it is. Were you trying to starve yourself?"
She laughs. I don't know how to reply to her exuberant friendliness. "I'm hungry now," I tell her.
"Alright, darling, I'll bring you some lunch, right away." She leans in, gossipy. "Is Evan Rosier really your boyfriend? No one had any idea. He didn't leave your side, three whole days."
I hesitate. "Yes. He is."
"I never knew he was such a romantic. How long have you been together?"
"Five years," I say. "On and off."
"Five years? He wouldn't tell us, really." She stage-whispers the next part. "Is he good in bed?"
I'm startled, but then I laugh. I like her, I decide, which is strange, I hate people, especially pushy people. "Fucking fantastic."
"Oh." She looks a little dazed. She seems like the romance novel type, obviously past her prime, so I don't mind giving her something to thrill over.
"And he's hung like it's a fucking crime."
She gasps, and I've probably just made her month. "Is it true, how you met?"
I scoff. "What'd he tell you?"
"That he seduced you at your family's home by a lake."
"Did he tell you how he had us all thinking he was married to my sister at the time?"
"Was it love at first sight?"
I fluster. "I… it was hate at first sight, actually, for me. I don't know about him."
"Alright," she says. "Let me go get you some lunch, sweetie."
"When can I leave?" I ask.
"Today, if you like. But you have to take it easy. Plenty of liquids. No starving yourself. I told Evan, if he didn't take better care of you, he'd have to answer to me."
Evan. She's on first-name terms with Evan Fucking Rosier. She leaves. Val's watching me.
"Can we call him?" I ask.
"If you want. He's probably still asleep. I got the impression he'd be back here the instant he woke up. What are you going to do?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, he's going to try to take you home with him, and if you don't, you're coming home with me, since you're clearly incapable of taking care of yourself. They say you were killing yourself."
"I don't know," I say. I lean back on the pillows, dozing.
I feel lips on the side of my neck and squirm. "Stop that."
"Morning, sweetcheeks," he says. "Feeling better?"
"I hate that nickname," I reply, but this only makes him kiss me again, this time on the lips.
"I'm taking you home with me," he states. "So someone can make sure you actually eat."
"Do you still have the old house?"
He laughs. "Do you seriously think I'd ever sell it?"
"This doesn't mean I've forgiven you," I mumble.
The nurse brings my food, and I find myself laughing with them as he flirts with her. It feels good to laugh again, and he's flirting with me more.
"You're free to go," the nurse says. "But I want you in a wheelchair. You're not to be on your feet for another day, at least."
"I can carry him," Evan offers, and scoops me into his arms. I yelp and hit him. She laughs.
"Put me down!" I'm only wearing this fucking skimpy hospital gown.
He obeys. "Shit, Matty, you really have been starving yourself."
"Don't worry," he smirks. "I'll take you home and fatten you right up."
"Can I have my clothes now?"
"Sure thing, sweetie," she says, bringing them to me.
"Need help changing?" Evan smirks.
I twitch. "Please die." I swing my legs over the side of the bed and stand up. I regret it immediately. Fighting dizziness, I grab my clothes and stumble into the bathroom.
Evan laughs at me when I emerge. "Sweetcheeks, you look like a dork."
I glare. He walks over and kidnaps my tie.
"Hey!" I object, and get a kiss in response. He untucks my shirt, unbuttons the top three buttons, and musses my hair.
"There," he says. "Much better." He's smirking. I hate that smirk.
"I look freshly fucked," I point out.
"Exactly. It suits you."
I have to fight a grin. "You're such a bastard."
"Ready to go?"
I nod, and he sweeps me off my feet.
"Hey!" I punch him. "Put me down. I'm not being carried like a girl."
I consider. "Deal."
He sets me down on the bed and sits so I can get my legs around his waist. He smells good. Not that I care. And I'm definitely not nuzzling his neck.
I blink as he sets me down in the parking lot and opens the car door. "You got a new car," I say, surprised.
"My baby finally died. But she'll always have a special place in my heart."
"You're a freak," I say. I'm not grinning.
He gets in and drives. "You want to go to the mansion or the old house?"
"The old house," I say. "I can't believe you have a fucking mansion."
"It's disgusting," he says. "But it keeps people from finding the old house."
The old house is this decrepit ancient manor out in a ruined neighborhood on the outskirts of town. It's surrounded by neglected factories and overgrown fields. It doesn't have electricity.
"I installed a Japanese-style bath," he tells me.
"What's a Japanese-style bath?"
"Doesn't require electricity. It's like a hot tub, with a fire underneath that heats the water."
"So you got a hot tub," I say. I'm grinning a little.
"No water jets, though. Sorry."
The house does, at least, have running water, which has to be heated on a wood stove so that it's not cripplingly cold. Living there certainly makes one miss a good fucking hot shower.
He pulls up. Opens my door and smirks at me. "I think you ought to be carried over the threshold. Like a bride."
"Go to hell," I reply. "Piggyback. We agreed."
"That was just at the hospital," he says, and lifts me out of the car. I sulk, but don't fight.
I open the door because his hands are full. It's not locked. It's never locked. There's no one around for miles.
"Bath or bed?" His lips are right at my ear.
It doesn't show often, but he really does have a romantic streak. The bath is down in the stone cellar, and he sets me down on the stairs at he lights candles around it. I watch, as he fills it with water and builds a fire beneath it. I know I'm the only one who's ever seen this side of him. A fucking Japanese-style bath, lit with candles.
"It takes awhile to heat up," he says. I nod. He picks me up again, puts me down on the side of the tub. Kisses me softly as he undoes my shirt. He wants sex, but I'm not sure if it's because he feels he's earned it for taking care of me, or because he's missed me so much. I don't know where our relationship stands, but I don't want to discuss it now. I want sex, too.
He lifts me and holds me by the waist so he can divest me of my pants. I laugh, because he's nuzzling my neck so that it tickles. He sits me back down now that he's got me naked, running his hands over my hips.
He stops. "Matty." He frowns, studying my hips, where one of the bones juts forward slightly. This is what causes my limp, but it's hard to notice if you're not looking.
I look away. "I was hit by a car. It's why I stopped dancing."
"Does it hurt?"
"Sometimes. I've got a limp, now. It hurts if I do a lot of walking."
"Is it a problem?"
He asks this gently, but I know what he's really asking. He wants to know if I can still take being fucked as hard as he likes it.
"I'm fine," I tell him.
He traces my disfigured hip with a finger. "You've really suffered since you left me, haven't you?"
"Don't give yourself so much credit."
He tests the water with a hand. Sprinkles the droplets at me. It's still too cool.
"I don't come here often," he says. "Not since you left. I reminds me too much of you."
"Why'd you do it?"
"You know what I mean."
He rests his forehead against mine, one arm around my waist. "I've always had affairs. Not often. Once, sometimes twice a year. Less when I'm with you."
"More than once while you were with me?" I didn't know. I pull away. He pulls me back.
"Don't fucking call me Matty." I'm annoyed.
"Listen." He gives me a gruff shake. "Yes, I've had affairs. This is what I'm trying to tell you. I've never had a relationship last more than a month. Even the best of them bore me, after a week or two." I blink at him. He holds my gaze, with those damn lapis lazuli eyes. "Except you. Even after you tried to take off my hand, I never stopped wanting you." He kisses me. I let him. "So yes, I will sleep around, occasionally. But I will always, always come back to you."
"I hate you," I say, against his lips. He kisses me again, deeper, but still trying hard to hold himself back and be gentle. One of his hands is on the small of my back, holding me up, and the other is caressing my skin, tickling me and making me shiver. He touches my prick and I gasp, nearly choking on his tongue. (His tongue, like his cock, ought to be a fucking crime.)