Rough around the Edges Ch. 01byMyanlass©
"All you were ever good for was a screw. I can't believe you are doing this to me." She barked into his ear.
James continued to half listen to Deborah rant and rave about all the things he had done wrong in their marriage, yet he swore that she was the one who cheated on him. All he did was provide for her and give her what she needed. It was true that he was always overseas, but in the end he always came back home to his wife. She was everything to him, now he couldn't understand what it was about her that he liked so much. He even hated hearing the sound of her voice.
"Deborah, I have to go. Are you through bitching yet?" that started another one way shouting match.
He sighed to himself as he maneuvered past people swarming in the airport. He just needed his one bag and then he could get away from everyone. There were several women that were looking in his direction and smiling. Scott did say everyone in this town was friendly.
"Are you listening to me?!" he heard her shout.
"No not really. What do you want woman?"
"I wanted to let you k now that you lost the best thing that could have ever happened to you."
"Are you sure about that? I thought when I got rid of you, I lessened the chance to get an STD."
"You are an asshole, James. You just don't know how to appreciate a good woman like me."
"Yea, sure." He stated and blocked her out as she ranted and raved even more.
When was this damn bag going to get here, he thought as he looked at every bag that slid down? He just shook his head as the crowd started to slowly dissipate grabbing their own bags. This is turning out to be a horrible night, first it was a late flight, then the woman next to him continued to talk his ear off, his ex-wife calls, and now the airline might have lost his luggage!
"If you don't answer me, I'm going to come down there..." that was all she got out before the phone was taken out of his ear.
He turned around ready to fight but shook his head as he saw Scott's goofy grin, "I told you about having this on your ear all the time."
"You always know the right time to save me."
"You had that look on your face like you speaking with her." Scott said handing him back the phone, "Don't answer if she calls again, remember this is about you moving on."
"Thanks a lot Oprah." James said shaking his head.
He finally spotted his last bag and lugged it over his shoulder. Scott carried the other one as they left the airport. It had been a while since James had been stable in one place, especially after the divorce. He was a little reluctant to move down here because he wasn't familiar with the area. He was born and raised in Tennessee, but he didn't want to go back, she was there and he wanted to get as far away as possible.
As they drove to the house, James looked over towards Scott, it was hard to imagine that he has been married for only six months and it fit him. He let his hair grow a little more and was showing some sign of stubble. He grew up a lot since the little punk that was in his troop in the beginning.
"So, how is it, being a married man?" James asked.
"Can't complain man, but it's definitely different."
"Yea, I have to realize that I can't go anywhere when I want a break."
"Yea, there is no such thing as break, but you have a wonderful wife at home..."
"I do and I love my wife. She is just waiting for me to graduate."
"I'm ready for that too. You already got the job pretty much, you just need the degree."
"Let's not count on the job yet. He's going have me working with him to assist on cases."
"Still, it's a job. We can officially call you a lawyer, took you long enough..."
"Thanks a lot James." Scott said sarcastically.
"You know I'm proud of you. I just wish that Nik would go ahead and do what he needs to do."
"I talked to him recently and he said that he was going to go to the police academy out here. He is just waiting for some clearance and some documents."
"Good, I'm thinking it's about time to retire out." James said settling back.
"I thought this was your career?"
"It's not the same anymore. I've been in this thing since I was 18 and now 15 years later, I'm in the same spot. I need a home."
"I know how you feel. Well, we are having the condo sprayed and everything so tomorrow, you should be okay to move in."
"Good, thanks a lot for renting it out to me. You know this is just temporary until I get my own place."
"I know and it's no problem. After everything that you have done for me, I think this is the least that I can do."
"Yea, you know I'm not going to stay long."
"I talked to mama Tanya's husband, Gary, and he said that whenever you are ready to buy, he is ready to sell. I think him and Tanya are planning a vacation."
"Good, because I checked everything and they already put the money into my account. I'm glad I could depend on that government grant, I didn't want to use all my savings to get the place. I can hardly believe that I am going to have my own mechanic shop."
"Yea and most of the employees there are willing to stay with you, most of them are kids in college."
When they got to Scott's house, they were greeted with the sweet aroma coming from the kitchen. Scott was use to it, but it's been awhile since James had a real home cooked meal. Not once, when he was married to Deborah, did she ever cook him a meal. They walked in and saw Katrina in front of the stove and she turned to smile at James.
"Hey James, how are you?" she went over and gave him a big hug.
"I'm good, nice to see you are doing well too. When do we eat?" he said and she couldn't help but laugh.
"It's coming soon; I decided to make you some Jambalaya since you enjoyed it so much the last time you were at the restaurant."
"Oh yea, I've been dreaming about that for awhile. You got a room picked out for me yet?"
"Yeah, it's just upstairs to the right."
"Alright, well I'm going to wash up and I'll be back. Get that airport stench off of me." He said before he went upstairs.
While he was going up the stairs, he saw Scott kissing on Katrina's neck. Wow, must be great to go through the honeymoon period. After everything that James has gone through, he wasn't too happy to jump into any relationship. He was happy with women seeing him and only wanted one thing from him because most of the time that's what he wanted. He made sure of that, he's just going to focus on making a home for himself here.
After dinner, Scott and James stood outside for awhile and talked. He updated him on Nik going back home to see his folks and then he will be around here as soon as he gets the okay from the academy.
"I swear you are trying to convert us all to live around here." James said taking a swig of beer.
"Hey, I love my hometown. There's a lot of opportunity around here. Besides everyone loves his shop because of this prices and the fact that he interacts with the community. Now that's something you are going have to learn."
"Excuse me solider, I know how to interact with people. It's you guys I don't like." he laughed
"Whatever. Anyway, he said there's a truck there that's abandon and he's willing to give it to you, tomorrow. I think it's an '04 F150." James nodded.
"So, how far gone is Ricky? I was thinking I would see him."
"Oh he's been all over Kendra since he knew that she was pregnant. I know because she calls me to drag him away from her."
James laughed, shaking his head, "Wow, that's good though."
Katrina joined them outside and wrapped her arms around Scott, "Hey guys, what are ya'll talking about?"
"How beautiful you are." Scott said and James made a face as Katrina kissed him.
"Can you two please stop?" James said and they both laughed.
"So, are you ready for civilian life?" Katrina asked.
"I'm trying my best to be prepared for it."
"Good, I think you will be okay here. Jade and I have been thinking about remodeling the restaurant a little." James flinched at the sound of that name.
He didn't want to hear about that girl while he was relaxing. She had trouble written all over her. He had always been attracted to her. She was just a bit shorter than Katrina, but she was definitely shapely. He usually picks women that were smaller, but there was something about the way she looked and walked that commanded his attention, then she opened her mouth. After that it was all over. Yea, he accidentally bumped into her and he apologized, but she just jumped off the handle at him. She must have her boyfriend taking care of her and that's why she was so edgy.
"Well good luck with that." He replied.
"James, I still wonder what you said to Dante that scared him so." She asked.
"It was nothing; I was just looking out for her."
"I didn't think you cared. That was actually sweet though. They have been a little better, but now he is out of town on some business and she is going to get her aunt's house in order."
"Oh really?" he said not really caring. She was still with the loser that just figures.
"You don't have to look like that." she said pouting.
"Hey, I'm acting like I care because I like you, but you keep fixing me meals like that and Scott will have a run for his money."
"Hey now." Scott warned as Katrina laughed.
"I got my Marine. Well fella's, I think I'm going to go to bed. I'll see you tomorrow." She said leering at Scott as she walked back in the house.
"Yea, I think I'm going to go back inside too."
"You acting whipped." James warned.
"Just call me Cool Whip." He smiled as he followed Katrina in the house.
He shook his head and decided to turn in himself. He was getting ready for bed when he glanced over at his phone. There were six missed calls from Deborah. He didn't want to listen to the voice messages so he just ignored everything. He stripped down to his underwear and went to bed. Well, everything seemed to work itself out in a little peaceful way, almost like he was supposed to be there.
"Oh well." He said out loud, turning off the light and slowly falling sleep.
He didn't know what time it was that he woke but he knew it was footsteps in the room that woke him. With him being in combat, he has learned to sleep light. He just listened as the door closed and the footsteps walked closer to his side of the bed. He couldn't really make out the form of the person, but it didn't matter. They won't get that far.
As soon as he saw the hand reach out, he grabbed it and quickly got up from the bed. He was actually shocked by how soft the hands were. He heard the gasp and maneuvered their arm behind their back and face down on the bed.
"What the hell!" the person screamed.
Suddenly the lights came on and there was Katrina and Scott standing in the doorway. James looked down at the person and saw long black hair ruffled on the bed. The head turned to the side to reveal that damn Jade with her ass pressed firmly against him.
"I told you they would get along great babe." Scott said.
"Will you get off of me, pervert!?" He turned her loose and she stood to full height, rubbing her wrist.
"Are you alright?" Katrina said going over to her friend.
"I'm fine, what the hell is he doing here?" she said.
"Trying to sleep until you disturbed me."
"Disturbed you? You pretty much just assaulted me in the middle of the night."
"Okay, you two stop." Scott said, "What are you doing here, Jade?"
"I got some car trouble and had the cab drop me off here."
"How did you get in?"
"That's not important, baby." Katrina said, "Anyway, where is your car?"
"I told you about me going out with some girls from the restaurant and I couldn't get in touch with any of them heifers when my car stopped. I thought you said it was okay if I used my key." Jade said and Katrina's eyes widened.
"Key? She has a key?" Scott repeated, "Why does she have a key?" he said looking at Katrina.
"We'll talk about that later, the point is that she is safe."
Jade looked over at James and saw his arms folded across his chest. She couldn't believe how he had her on the bed like that. She was taken off guard and it left her dizzy not only from the attack but also from feeling him planted against her.
"Why did you come into this room?" James asked.
"I like this room."
"That's true, anytime that she spends the night, she is always in here, but that's because it's a guest room." Scott reminded and she sneered at him.
"Look dear, I'll let you two work this out, you know we both have a busy day tomorrow." Katrina said, "Night all."
"Behave please; we are still paying on the house." Scott said before following Katrina out.
They stood silent as they stared at each other. She turned her attention away from him trying to stare at his long muscled thighs and the slight bulge in his shorts. He really did have a delicious body, but no, he was trouble not only that but she was with her boyfriend.
"Look." He finally said, "I can take the couch downstairs and you can have the bed."
The first sign of being a gentleman, she thought, "No, I will take the couch. You were here first."
Why she had to be so difficult, he thought to himself.
"I insist." He said gritting his teeth.
"Alright." She said moving past him and he got a first whiff of her scent.
Damn, she smelled good. Her back was to him as she started fixing the sheets on the bed and he noticed the short denim skirt rise revealing more of her chocolate thighs. He shook his head as he reached for his own pants. Get it together James.
"Good night." He said as he headed out the door.
Jade watched his back as he left the room, she didn't know why but she felt bad. What was that about? She didn't like him. He was a brute and a bully. Yet, he did look good half naked. She shook her head loose of those thoughts; the only man that should be on her mind is Dante. He was her boyfriend and her future. She didn't tell her friends, but just before he left, he proposed to her. She didn't give him an answer yet, but he was happy to have her think about it.
In truth, she wasn't sure what to do. She wanted to say yes to him, but with everything that has happened to them in the past, she wasn't sure if she could trust him. He has helped her through a lot of things and she owes him a lot. Her mother wants her to marry him. She keeps saying that he is so stable, but she wasn't sure. Not only that he wasn't exactly the best in bed. He wasn't bad, just didn't really know how to touch her body. When she tried to give him direction, he just yelled out that no one else ever had problems with his dick and that's why she hasn't had some in awhile. Now she was hungry. Every time she harbored too long on a subject she got hungry. She decided to go downstairs to get a snack. She took off her shoes and tip toed downstairs to the kitchen. She peeked from the stairs and saw that he was lying still on the couch with his arm covering his eyes. He must be sound asleep.
She was almost to the kitchen when she heard, "If I could hear you upstairs, what makes you think I can't hear you just now."
She looked back at the couch to see that he was still in the same position. Damn military men; it reminded her of how her father would sleep, "Well I was hoping I was being quiet enough."
She just went ahead and turned on the kitchen light. She immediately went to the refrigerator and went after the leftovers. She almost bumped into his hard chest when she closed the door. Damn, he's stealthy she thought. She walked past him and reached for a plate.
"You're eating kind of late aren't you?" he said.
"That happens sometimes when you've been drinking. Why are you still up?"
"I've always been a light sleeper." He said leaning on the counter.
She tried to keep her attention on fixing her plate but kept stealing glances of his chest. He wasn't overly muscular but he was definitely built and defined with some hair on his chest. Damn, she needed to get her mind focused. Why couldn't she keep her eyes off him?
"Thanks for the bed. I didn't know that you were going to be here." She said.
"That was evident from the way you screamed." She laughed to herself and he noticed how her face brightened up as she smiled.
"Yea, I never been held down like that in the dark." For some reason the way that sounded was very sexual.
He just stood there unfazed, "Sorry about that."
"No, I'm somewhat use to it because my dad was in the military and he use to sleep light like that all the time."
"I bet it that made it very hard for you to sneak in the house."
"I was a good child, I'll have you know." She said looking up at him.
"For some reason, I highly doubt that." He said glaring back at her and her mouth dropped.
"I wasn't bad; I just liked having fun sometimes." She said staring back at him.
They stood there staring at each other for a brief moment. His face looked real rough but his eyes were such a clear blue, almost like the ocean. For some reason, James attention went to her slightly parted lips. They were full and plump and just begging him to taste. He shook his head and broke the connection. She bit down on her lip as she returned back to her sandwich.
"So, are you really moving here?" she asked clearing her throat.
"Yea, I need something stable. I'm thinking of making this my last year."
"Scott said that you have been with the Marines for a long time."
"Ever since I was 18."
"That must have been rough." she added.
"Not really, but after awhile, you want something to call home."
"Yea, that's true. We use to move around a lot when my dad served until my mom just said let's stay here."
He nodded; slightly wondering to himself why he was talking to her about this, "So, how is your boyfriend?"
"Um, he's good. He went to Colorado to visit some family. That's another thing that I have been meaning to ask you. What did you say to him?"
"Doesn't matter." he said crossing his huge arms in front of his chest.
She sighed, "It does matter."
"Not really, it was between me and him."
She hates the fact that he was stubborn and pushy, "Whatever, can you at least tell me why you did it?"
"I didn't like the fact that he was disrespecting you like that, no woman deserves that."
"Well, thank you. He has changed a lot since you said that to him."
"I have a way with people. The question is; why do you put up with it?"
She was taken aback by him being so blunt. She didn't even have an honest response for him. The only thing she could tell him was what she had always told herself.
"He's good for me. We have been through so much together."
"You still didn't really answer the question. Why do you put up with it?"
"That does answer the question."
"No, not really. You just said that he is good for you, that was not answering why you put up with it."
She swallowed hard somewhat feeling attacked by this oak. What business of it was his? She felt herself getting heated under his waiting stare.
"Why do you care?"
"I don't really; I just thought I would ask the question. It's obvious that what he does upset you and you two have probably been going back and forth for awhile and yet it took someone outside of the situation to get him to change. It's a little sad."
She hated him at that moment; there were no other word to describe it. It was partially because she knew he was right. She won't admit it to him, but something about what he said hit home. She turned her head away from him suddenly losing her appetite. James read her reaction and wasn't expecting that. He really shouldn't care about her relationship with her boyfriend but he did. There was no way to hide that. Even though, she could be a bitch at times, a woman that beautiful didn't deserve someone disrespecting her. At least that's something that he wouldn't do if she was with him.