Getting Over Edie Ch. 05bynerd4music©
The acrid taste of the cheap whiskey burned his throat as he tossed his head back, letting the alcohol slide down, leaving a sloppy trail of fire in its wake. Grady hissed sharply before pounding his chest. The pain was divine.
He needed this.
Lifting the bottle to his lips, he drank deeply yet again. It was a fairly large handle but he was determined to finish every last drop. He was going to drink so much and so fast the dark thoughts whirling through his head would slow down and turn to sludge, congealing in his cranium while forcing him to think about what was currently torturing him.
She was late.
His eyes scanned the room before landing on the digital clock perched precariously atop a makeshift tower of file folders and way overdue library books. It was two a.m. and she was FUCKING LATE.
Another large swig of the alcohol temporarily soothed the anger bubbling under his skin, threatening to break free. Grady tried to calm himself down. He tried not to be the angry and jealous boyfriend. They were moving forward. They were supposed to be in a circle of trust.
Well fuck the circle; Edie was a lying bitch. She was out giving HIS pussy away and he was just supposed to sit there and practice deep breathing or some shit like that. How was that supposed to help him fix his broken life?
He wasn't drunk at all; in fact, he'd only had two swigs from the bottle. It was only forty-five minutes ago he was fast asleep when his hand reached out for her. His blue eyes opened in confusion as he glanced at the clock on his nightstand.
She was supposed to be home hours ago. Instead of her lithe frame wrapped sensuously around him, Grady was left with cold sheets and an empty heart.
Grady dragged himself from the bed and padded down the hallway, in the vain hope she was just sleeping on the couch. It was her new habit, bunking on the sofa. The sight of her lying serenely on that damn thing, her back to him...it was a visual manifestation of what his head already knew: she was pulling away.
But she was not there. The sofa was as empty as their recent conversations. There was a time when he would tell her everything. Now he was living with a stranger.
He didn't want to think. He wanted to drown out the voice in his head that taunted him, whispered black thoughts, coaxed dark images in his head of Edie fucking someone else. It's happened before, the voice hissed nastily. She's done it before. The model; he should have known. The fucker who thought he was God's gift to women everywhere.
Fucking pansy with his light skin, light eyes and that goddamn pretty-boy smile. The fucker was forever touching Edie, even in front of Grady. He was an absolute fool; he should have seen the signs.
Well he wasn't going to play the cuckold any more tonight.
Tipping the whiskey bottle, Grady drank deeply before setting it down on the coffee table. He was finished with the bottle. He was going to wait, as long as he had to, for her to bring her ass back to this apartment. She wasn't going to play with him any longer.
It felt like hours before he heard the keys opening the various locks. The door slowly creaked open, as if she were trying to keep quiet. How generous of her to not wake him up after fucking around on him.
He was so lucky to have such a considerate girlfriend.
Grady watched as she tiptoed into the house, slipping out of her stilettos. He knew she was going to leave them in the hall; she always did. He was forever tripping over her goddamn shoes because of her habit of kicking them off whenever she stepped inside the apartment.
He knew she'd head for the bathroom first. Gotta wash of the scent of pretty boy so your dipshit of a boyfriend won't suspect a fucking thing, he thought bitterly. Without thinking, his hand reached out and turned on the lamp perched on the end table next to the couch.
The illumination stopped her in her tracks and she turned. "Grady?" she called out.
A short moan nearly escaped, but he pressed his lips tightly together. She had the voice, and he knew right away what she'd been up to. He could hear the syllables of shameless sex ringing heavily through the room.
Grady tensed as her footsteps drew closer and when she stepped into the living room, his eyes locked on her.
"What are you still doing up?" She really had the goddamn nerve to ask him that.
"Trying to diffuse a bomb," he muttered, the bitterness in his voice so heavy he flinched at the sound. "Where have you been?"
"Shooting ran longer than intended. I had to stay late." Her golden skin shimmered in the warm light from the lamp. He could practically feel the glow from the post-sex euphoria radiating from her pores.
"Yeah," was all he said. His reddened eyes stared back at her, refusing to look away. Her gaze was sharp, searching his with such intensity it almost made him uneasy. Anger bubbled deep inside, hot and hostile. Who was she to look at him so accusingly? HE wasn't the one who'd just crept into the house like a goddamn thief.
Grady's fingers itched to curve around the bottle of whiskey but he knew it was a bad idea. His head was already throbbing, partly from the alcohol and mostly due to frustration. It would only exacerbate an already intense situation.
"Why are you still awake? Don't you have an early meeting tomorrow?"
"No. That was today. If you'd been paying attention you would have realized that." He knew he was being an über-dick, but he didn't care. If she was going to traipse around and flaunt her infidelity in his face, then he had to do something.
Edie sighed. "Whatever, Grady. It's late and I don't feel like getting into it. I'm going to take a shower."
"What's the rush? Come here; sit down and talk to me." He patted the empty space next to him.
"Grady, I don't have time for this. I'm tired and I just want to take a hot shower and go to bed..."
"And I said sit down," he countered. It was a struggle to keep the snarl from his voice.
"Unless of course you don't want to talk to me."
She rolled her eyes, which added fuel to his barely contained anger. "Why wouldn't I want to talk to you?" She still hovered in the doorway.
His laugh was gruff and sardonic. "I can't remember the last time we said more than ten words to one another. This is the most I've heard from you in weeks."
"What do you want from me?" Her tone was snippy.
She was getting defensive. Good, he thought. He wanted the argument; he craved that fire, that heat of flaring emotion. Grady missed those feelings. They had so much intensity, so much passion for one another. What the hell happened? When did the spark fizzle out?
Grady no longer saw the light in her eyes when she glanced up at him. No, that light was gone, snuffed out and replaced by a glazed look of darkness. Somewhere along the way she stopped loving him. "I guess I just want to know when you stopped giving a damn about me."
"Fuck," she swore softly. "Not tonight, Grady. I seriously cannot deal with this shit tonight."
"Well then WHEN?" he shouted. There was no containing the rage now. It was all out in the open, spilling into every part of the apartment, invading the once pleasant home and twisting sweet memories into snarling black reminders of what was lost. The pain choked him deep, so rough and harsh in his chest it took everything in him to breathe.
He watched as she stared at him, and for the first time her eyes widened in fear. "Grady, I..." she began, but he silenced her words. A flick of his wrist sent the whiskey bottle sailing through the air, whizzing swiftly past her before smashing against the wall.
The destruction was poetic, the bottle slamming gracefully into a framed black and white picture of the two of them, hanging so serenely on the wall. The picture fell to the ground, large shards of glass scattering to the floor.
The fear in her face quickly morphed into anger. When he threw the bottle she'd flinched away. He hadn't thrown it at her; it wasn't anywhere near her. But he knew she felt the stab of his anger just the same.
"What the FUCK is wrong with you!" she screamed. Her dark tresses swished angrily as she swung into the kitchen. She returned with the broom and the dustpan and began to sweep up the remnants of his rage.
"Go right ahead," he spat. "But this is one thing that can't be cleaned up."
"Grady, what are you talking about—"
"YOU BROKE US!" he shouted. "You fucking broke us. Are you honestly going to sit there and tell me you did fuck someone else tonight?" His hands began to tremble and he balled them tightly into fists to mask his weakness.
Edie finished sweeping the glass up and quickly discarded the shards. When she re-emerged Grady was still watching her, waiting for the lie to spill from her lips. It hurt to look at her; she was so fucking beautiful, even when she was pulling away from him.
"What do you want me to say?" she whispered. He could hear the vulnerability in her voice and for the first time in God knows how long, she reminded him of the girl he first fell in love with.
Somewhere inside this cold, bitchy exterior was that wildly beautiful, darkly dangerous Valkyrie who kept him guessing still but allowed him brief glimpses of her sweet and tender side.
No, he couldn't get pulled in again. He had to be strong. They weren't the same people anymore. She made sure of that when she gave away the love he'd won. "What can you say, baby? You can tell me the truth. You owe me that."
"I love you, Grady. Isn't that enough?"
"Don't. Don't do that. Don't say things you think I want to hear. I want you to tell me the fucking truth. I want you to look me in the eyes and tell me that you let this guy ruin what we had." Grady rose from the couch, his feet carrying him over to where she stood against the wall. "You owe me, Edie. If you ever loved me, just tell me the fucking truth."
"Alright fine!" she exploded. She moved him away with one hard shove. "Yes, I did it. I fucked Quentin. And it felt good. Are you happy? Does this please you? Are you fucking satisfied?" She wiped the moisture from her eyes as she took in his stony glare.
"Don't you dare cry," he hissed. "You don't get to cry. You're the one who did this. You're the one who opened your legs for another man and threw away everything we had like it was FUCKING NOTHING!"
His hand hit the wall and he felt the satisfying crunch of the plaster. "I trusted you. We were supposed to be moving on." Grady was quiet for a moment as he withdrew his hand from the hole in the wall.
Small cuts and bruises were already starting to form, but he could barely feel a thing. The pain in his hand didn't compare to the sheer agony in his heart.
"How long?" he asked, his voice hoarse.
She watched him as he slowly turned, his stormy blue eyes glazed over in hurt. "Grady please," she begged. "What's the point of this? I admitted I was wrong. Can't we just move forward? There's no point in looking back..."
"How. Long." He repeated.
Her sigh was long and loud before she whispered. "Since that night."
Grady felt his heart completely crumble at her words. He knew which night she was referring to.
It was after her first revelation she'd cheated on him after the random fashion show. Their first fight over the incident. She had stormed from the apartment and didn't return until hours later, claiming she "needed some air".
She had returned, fresh and determined to make things work and the whole time she'd been fucking around on him. Through the couples' therapy sessions he went to alone or canceled "date nights", she was secretly still seeing the man.
That fucking pretty boy model.
"So you never stopped seeing him. Even after you were admitted to it the first time. Even after you cried, and you begged for us to start over, you were still sleeping with this dude."
His head jerked in her direction. "What?" he snarled, his normally ocean blue eyes were frosty and she flinched. "What can you possibly say to make this better? You had the opportunity to leave back then, when I first found out. Why not take it? Why pretend to want what I wanted when clearly fucking him was more important than staying faithful to me!"
"It wasn't about you!" she shouted. "It was about me!"
"Of course" he hissed venomously. "It's always about you. Everything revolves around your wants and needs. Newsflash, princess: if you wanted him so badly why not break up with me? But no, you sat there and pretended like you wanted to work things out all the while spreading your legs for some douchey pretty-boy! You are so goddamned selfish. You're throwing away everything we had on some fucking affair. I can't live like this anymore," he said. "I won't fucking do it."
"Well you won't have to," she said hotly.
"Quentin wants me to move in with him."
Grady felt like he'd been slapped. "What the hell did you say?"
She folded her arms across her chest defensively. If he didn't know any better he could have sworn she was bracing herself just in case he decided to swing. The idea that she would even consider that he'd put his hands on her in that manner irritated him. He was angry, but he would never hit her.
He took in her appearance, the tight black dress with the quarter sleeves and the scoop neck. It was one of his favorites, short enough to show off her mile-long legs and the silhouette of her perfectly sculpted ass.
Her breasts were on the small side, but the neckline was low enough to highlight her cleavage. She was gorgeous: golden caramel skin, wavy dark brown hair and eyes the color of melted chocolate.
Grady was so in love with her, but looking at her face and the contempt she held for him...it was just painful.
"Quentin wants me to move in," she repeated.
"Really? So that's it? You're leaving me. 'Thanks for the last year and a half, it's been fun'? Is that really all you can say?"
She sighed before turning. Grady followed her down the hallway and into the bedroom. His chuckle was incredulous when he saw her reach into her walk-in closet and pull out a large suitcase.
"Are you fucking kidding me? You've already packed?" He stood next to her, completely at a loss for words. "How long have you been planning this?"
"Why is that important," she said with a sigh.
"Let's not do this. Let's just make a clean break."
"You call this clean? For fuck's sake, Edie you were planning to sneak out in the middle of the night like a damn thief!"
She shifted on her toes. He knew she was uncomfortable, but he couldn't care less. "I figured this would be easier," she stated plainly.
"Easier?" He chuckled bitterly. "Easier for you. Once again, you make everything about what you want. You owe me an explanation."
"I just can't with you right now Grady" she said. "I just want to leave."
"Might as well leave then," he spat. "Don't forget to step on the remnants of my shredded heart when you go."
Edie rolled her eyes. "Jesus Christ, Grady!" she exclaimed, her accent thick with irritation. "Always thinking like a writer, so dramatic."
"Better than thinking solely with my cunt, like a model." Grady knew he'd crossed the line, but he didn't care. He needed her to hurt. He wanted to humiliate her, just so she could feel a smidgen of what he was going through.
He wasn't surprised when she reached out and slapped him. In fact, he'd already braced himself for it. The sound strike against his cheek was still sharp and stinging. His eyes burned into hers as they glared wordlessly at each other.
"Fuck you," she hissed.
"Yeah? Well if you would have stuck to fucking just me then we wouldn't be in this situation now, would we" he shot back. "You wanna leave? Go. Get the fuck out. I'm done, you hear me? I'm fucking done with you."
"You're pathetic," she snarled. "Quentin was right about you." She wrenched her suitcase behind her as she practically fled the bedroom.
"Yeah, well you're his problem now" Grady yelled. He could hear the wheels of the suitcase clicking softly against the hardwood floor as she tried to maneuver the handle while slipping into her stilettos.
His head and heart waged a silent battle. Follow or fight. Follow after her, make her see sense or fight the urge and keep his pride.
He couldn't help it; he'd always been a fool for love. "Edie, wait" he shouted. Grady sprinted to the door. She was standing at the entrance, fingers clutching the doorknob. "Edie...baby. Please don't do this. Don't leave like this. We can...we should talk."
She glanced at him, her face steely. "There's nothing left to talk about."
Grady shook his head violently, his fingers grasping her arm. "That's not true. Do you love him?"
"Grady, I..." She moved to pull away from him but he held on tighter.
"No!" he interrupted. "No. You look me in the eyes. Do you love him?"
She was silent for so long, just staring at him while he agonized over her impending response. Finally she whispered, "Yes. Yes I do."
Grady felt the stabbing shard of betrayal pierce what was left of his heart. The pain was sharp, nearly crippling him, but he had to make it worse by asking the next question. "Do you still love me?"
The hope was so obvious in his voice, but he didn't care. He knew he looked desperate and weak. Love emasculated him, made him vulnerable and pliant but he couldn't help the desire to still mean something, anything to her. Surely the last year and a half wasn't for naught?
"Do you?" he whispered again. "Do you still love me, Edie?"
Her brown eyes focused on anywhere but him. He could see the moisture welling in her eyes and his resolved softened just a little. "Please, baby. Please just answer me."
The tears began to fall in earnest as she tried to free herself. "Let me go," she sobbed. "
"Do you still love me?" he repeated.
Edie gazed up at him, her eyes steely once more.
"No," she said firmly. "I don't love you."
"Liar," he said, his voice cracking slightly. "I don't believe you."
"Well believe what you want, but it's the truth. I don't love you. Not anymore." She wrenched her arm from his grasp and opened the door. "Are you satisfied now? Does hearing that make you happy?" she spat.
"Believe me, I'm far from happy right now. Not that you give a damn," he hissed. "Just leave me alone. And leave your fucking key when you go."
With that, he turned and walked down the hallway and into his bedroom, closing the door behind him. Grady stared around the room.
Everything seemed the same, and yet nothing was the way it was supposed to be.
It was the little things: her body lotion and deodorant gone from the top of the dresser, her stack of couture magazines that sat on her side of the bed. And more than half the closet was emptied out.
Grady leaned against the wall, totally at a loss for words. It was only when he heard the loud slam of the front door did he remember to breathe. The nerve of her, getting offended when HE was the one getting dumped. Grady was having a hard time processing everything.
He was emotionally skull-fucked, a little drunk, and completely exhausted. In short: he was a disaster, and was slowly spiraling into a dark place. He couldn't think.
He felt the hot tears pricking his eyes and this time he didn't bother to stop himself. Crying wasn't manly, but damn the antiquated gender norms. In less than thirty minutes his whole world had completely imploded all around him and he was helpless to stop it.
"Fuck," he swore loudly. His chest was heaving as he fought to breathe. The sobs threatened to break his body and he began to shake from the force.
His body was in self-destruct mode and he couldn't find the 'OFF' switch. "I can't...I can't," words were hard to come by as he struggled, the weight of all this sadness finally breaking him.