Distractions Ch. 09byHotSprings22©
I smacked myself in the head for what seemed like the fiftieth time today. Way to go asshole. I glanced at my watch. Gavin would be here any minute, and I was no closer to figuring out what to do than I was when he dropped me off this morning. The amount of work I had to do and the fact that I didn't sleep last night (sigh) kept my brain foggy.
So, I had sex with Gavin last night…and this morning. Big deal, right? I'm fine with that now that I've spent 8 hours and 37 minutes away from him – not that I'm counting or anything.
Yep. I had sex with my best friend, and he will be here any minute to pick me up from work. Fantastic. I wasn't sure if I wanted to hide my face in shame or jump for joy. I'd just made one tolerable problem into two fairly large ones.
Problem number one arises when I decide to stop listening to the voice in my head, and have sex with my best friend and now I'm more confused than I was before. I have no idea where we stand. I do know Gavin came on so strong after my nightmare because he was trying to distract me. Well, at least his plan worked. For those brief moments, I forgot about everything; Wilson, the fact that I'd spent the afternoon crying on my best friend's shoulder. It felt nice, but now it was back to the real world, and the real world, was pointing a big fat finger at me while shouting 'stupid', which leads me to problem number two.
Our night of fun was an unprotected night of fun. I'd stopped panicking about the whole pregnancy thing because honestly, there wasn't anything I could do about it until I got home. If Gavin hadn't realized by now what we did, or didn't do last night, who was I to rain on a parade that may or may not happen?
I nodded my head at my silent thoughts. I'm not going to be that girl. I wasn't going to obsess over every little thing that transpired between Gavin and me. So what he kissed me goodbye on the lips this morning? If he hadn't, I probably would have been incensed and called him an insensitive brute. If anything, I could say Gavin is the best friend a girl could ask for. He knew exactly how to make me feel better.
I was going to stop overanalyzing my life, and I was going to put an end to us having sex. The last thing I wanted was for him to think I was expecting anything from him.
I bit my nails as I imagined the ride home. He'd be distant and pissy, indication number one he didn't want anything from me. I knew his rules better than anyone, so there's absolutely no reason I should be blindsided by the way he was undoubtedly going to act. Not a big deal though, I'm a big girl and I knew – kinda – what I was getting into before our little game of charades last night.
I smiled at the memory and I smiled at my new outlook on life. I was just going to sit back and enjoy whatever happened. I wasn't going to be that girl. Not again. I got my wits about me, and I was thinking clearly now. No matter what happened, I had to keep things on an even keel. No expectations, no regrets. Now, there was no way I could be disappointed.
Gavin had sex with me last night, because I needed a boost in confidence. He had sex with me this morning, because he woke up to seeing me bent over half naked on the floor of his living room. What kind of guy would he be if he didn't take advantage of that?
I sighed when I saw his car round the corner. What's done is done, and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it. I set my shoulders and waited for him to pull up to the curb.
"Yo," I said as I opened the door.
"Hey." I sat down gently in the seat and kept myself close to the door. My first instinct was to fling myself onto him and squeeze, but I restrained myself. Keep things on an even keel. Gavin eyed me curiously but said nothing as he pulled away from the building. "Did you eat?" He asked after a minute.
"Wanna stop for something?" He was glancing at me sideways as he navigated the streets. Briefly, I wondered if he was having regrets. The tension was rolling off him in waves, and I knew he rethought this entire situation, not that I could blame him. Rule number four was to cut ties after fucking. He couldn't literally do that with me, but I could feel him trying.
I glanced at the clock. It was just after 7pm and I wanted nothing more than to go home and shower. A smile came to my face as carnal images of Gavin and I in the shower popped into my head. I could almost feel his lips on my skin, his fingers drawing patterns on my skin in the soap. I groaned and stopped the thought right there. There was no need to get ahead of myself. I cleared my throat and remembered he was still waiting for me to answer.
"Nah, I still gotta call AAA so I can get into my house. Tonight, I just wanna order Chinese and veg out."
"What, you don't like my kitchen?" What the hell does that mean?
"There's nothing wrong with your kitchen, it's just nice to be in your own house."
Without taking his eyes off the road, he reached down into the center console. He pulled something up and dropped it into my out-stretched hand.
"Oh, thanks." I was shocked. My keys landed with a thud in my palm. He called AAA and waited around for them to come unlock my car.
"When did you have time to do that?" I was pretty sure he worked today, and a quick assessment of his clothes confirmed that for me. I sighed and slumped my shoulders. This was him telling me he wants me out of his apartment. With my keys back, there's no excuse. I sighed. Oh well, I could live with that.
I'm not gonna be that girl.
Gavin nodded in response to my mumbled thanks and kept driving; talk about awkward silence. I watched the street lights play over his profile as he drove. He was white knuckling the steering wheel and his jaw was clamped shut; probably contemplating hurling himself from the moving vehicle to escape the tension. I smiled at the thought.
"What's with you?" I asked with laughter in my voice.
"What do you mean?"
I gestured to his hands and he let go of the wheel.
"So what's with you? Bad day?"
Gavin chuckled darkly. His eyes focused on the road and I could tell he was debating if he should tell me the truth or not. He took a deep breath and jumped right in. "Melinda, my secretary, was kinda pissed about my sudden departure the other night. This is why I avoid women in the workplace." He shot me another sideways glance.
He looked like he wanted to say something else, but he didn't. There was a 700-pound gorilla in the car suffocating us, and his name was Regret.
"Then why'd you do it?" I couldn't help but let the bitterness seep into my voice.
After a moment, he responded, "Distraction."
I rolled my eyes as he hit the accelerator, my good mood left behind with the lights of the hospital.
Gavin tried not to look at Red as he drove. He was having a hard enough time keeping his mouth shut as it was. He could feel her eyes boring into him, and he wanted to tell her why he was so tense, but he was certain she'd explode. He'd had a rough day today, and more than half of it was due to her.
He spent nearly every hour at work distracted and fucking up. He couldn't get her off his mind, and this time, there was nothing friendly about his thoughts. When he finally decided to leave, he found himself unknowingly taking a detour. He wasn't aware of where he'd driven until his car came to rest in the driveway of a quaint two story home. He had no idea if the occupant would even be home this time of day.
Red didn't need to know he'd made a pit stop at Jeremy's. He had sat in the car trying to resist the urge to get out, but ultimately, his sense of reason wasn't the voice he listened to. He'd actually hoped Jeremy wouldn't be home, but of course, Gavin could have no such luck.
Gavin tried to push the memory from his mind. He'd never pegged himself as the insanely jealous and possessive type, but when Red's cell phone rang, he snapped. She'd left her phone in the pocket of his jeans when she left for work this morning and he'd brought it with him with every intention of giving it back to her when he picked her up. He had no way of knowing he'd snap like he did when he that Wilson and Jeremy called her.
His encounter with Jeremy was borderline barbaric and he tried not to think about the way his best friend made him act. If Red found out, she'd freak and possibly punch him in the face…again.
Usually he was happy when the girls he was seeing were occupied with other guys, but the thought of Red laughing at Jeremy's jokes made his head ache. Wait, was he seeing Red? Would she want that? Gavin was confused but didn't want to say anything. The last thing he wanted was to say something that would get her thinking. Gavin was terrified she'd change her mind.
Red also didn't need to know his secretary spent the better part of the day trying to get him to see the error of his ways. She was more than pissed at him for leaving her the other night, and she figured that showing skin would make things better. Under perfectly normal circumstances, it would have worked, but he promised himself last night, he wouldn't fall for it.
He had Red curled up and sleeping in his arms last night because she trusted him – no matter how flimsy that trust was. He knew she didn't want him to know as much as she inadvertently revealed, and he was surprised she even showed him the incredibly vulnerable side of herself. The strength she'd exhibited trying to hold everything in this entire time astounded him. Gavin just wished she'd trusted him enough to confide in him.
His fists gripped the wheel tighter as he started thinking about what Wilson did to her. How the fuck could she let something like that happen to her? This was Red he was talking about. She'd just as soon break a guy's nose and laugh when he bled then let him push her around. That fucker Wilson deserved a house call from Gavin too for even thinking about trying to talk to Red, but there just weren't enough hours in the day. He'd get to it though, he'd make sure of it.
Gavin tried to slow his breathing and calm himself.
He kept his eyes trained on the road when he caught Red trying to get as close to the door as she could. He'd wanted to ask her if she regretted last night, but he couldn't bring himself to say the words aloud. If she said yes, what would he do then?
No, he'd give her more time to think about things. In the mean time, he'd just have to keep his shit together. It would be near impossible for him to hide things from her, but for the sake of her trusting him, he absolutely needed to try.
By the time we got back to my apartment, I was hostile and agitated from the ridiculously tense ride. I wasn't sure what Gavin wanted when he walked me to my door, but I didn't say anything as I shoved the door open. I kicked off my shoes and walked to the kitchen. I went straight for the fridge and pulled out two beers. I kept one for myself and tossed the other to Gavin. I didn't know what to do, but I knew a little liquid courage couldn't hurt.
He eyed me as I took a healthy gulp from my can. With his eyes still on me, he reached into his pocket and pulled out my cell phone. Honestly, until that moment, I hadn't even realized I'd gone the entire day without it.
He set the phone down on the counter. "Your phone rang a couple times today." I said nothing as my eyebrows climbed higher on my head. So, he's checking my phone now…
"That typically happens when you have a phone. It rings."
He shot me a look. "Jeremy called. So did Wilson."
I couldn't help it when I felt my eyes pop out of my head. Wilson called? I was fighting to remain indifferent but I'm sure my face gave me away. So, that's why Gavin was so tense during the ride home. Well, he had another thing coming if he thought I'd even entertain the idea of talking to Wilson. I wasn't surprised when I realized it didn't matter to me what Wilson wanted, but that didn't mean I wasn't curious.
Gavin took a long pull from his can as he watched my face. I knew I was trying too hard to conceal my confusion and now anger and I knew he could see right through it.
"Can I ask you a question?" He set his can down on the counter.
"You're going to whether I saw yes or not."
"Promise to answer me." I scrutinized his face, but it was impassive. He was trying hard to conceal his thoughts too, but his efforts were working.
"You're nightmare last night, what was it about?"
Well, I certainly wasn't expecting that.
"Wilson." I said tersely. I could feel the hair standing up on the back of my neck.
I scowled at him, not sure how he wanted me to answer.
"You said something in your sleep and I want to know exactly what he did to you."
"It doesn't matter. You knowing isn't going to change a thing."
"The hell it won't!" he shouted slamming his fist on the counter.
I rolled my eyes. His alpha display wasn't going to rattle me. "Listen, it's over. All of it. Sometimes I have nightmares. That's it." I thought I did a good job at keeping the edge in my voice.
"And when did you decide this?" he said with attitude. "Last night you could barely let me touch you."
I could feel my nostrils flaring. I felt like stabbing him in the eye with a fork. The fact that he could talk about last night with such severity in his voice made me want to cringe. But I didn't.
"Well," I said raising my chin. "You were the first person I've had sex with since him. Fo-," he cut me off with raised eyebrows.
"That time in the bathroom doesn't count?" his tone accusing. "Then, you wanted my hands all over you."
I balled my fists together trying to control the anger that was coloring my vision red. "I think we can both agree that we both weren't in our right minds when that happened," I spat.
He nodded with a scowl on his face. "But you didn't hesitate when I touched you."
"Didn't hesitate? Are you kidding? I seem to remember things a little differently. Things only progressed because of your…insistence." Gavin visibly winced, but I kept talking. "Forgive me if I wasn't ready and willing to drop my panties at your beck and call like all your other women do."
"You're not wearing any panties now." My face heated. I turned an even deeper shade of embarrassed as he pulled the panties I'd been looking for this morning out of his pocket.
"Fuck you." He was just trying to be an asshole, and it was working.
"Later. Now you answer my question," he said calmly as he slipped my underwear back into his pocket.
I set my jaw and tried to remind myself there were redeeming qualities about him, but I just couldn't recall any. I wanted to walk away but instead I planted my feet and stood my ground. I promised I wasn't going to be that girl anymore, and I wasn't.
"I'm gonna answer, but not because you demanded."
"Because you promised."
"I'm answering because I want to." He looked at me. "Nightmares are always worse than the real thing. Whatever happens in dreams is always worse than anything that actually happens." That was the truth.
"What did he do?" Gavin asked as he looked down at his can sitting on the counter.
"Nothing I'm going to talk about."
"Why didn't you say anything?" Gavin looked at me like I was fragile – like I needed to be protected. He asked me like I should have gone running to him at the first sign of trouble. Maybe I should have.
I gave a very unlady like snort. "And how was that conversation supposed to start? I can't have you and Bren fighting my battles for me."
Gavin huffed. "That's what we're here for."
"No," I said shaking my head. "He's my brother and you are supposed to be my best friend; not my personal body guards."
"Then why'd you want him back?" He looked as if it physically pained him to ask about Wilson, but his pain was nothing to the feel of my stomach clenching at my stupidity for wanting him back. That was a perfectly valid question, one I'd thought of a million times before.
I shrugged. "Because he was my first kiss, my first boyfriend. He was the first guy I had sex with, no matter how horrible it was. Because in the beginning, he was the first guy that made me feel wanted."
"I don't know," I continued. "Because he's Wilson Butler, and I didn't know any better. Maybe if I'd started this relationship thing before the age of 21, I would have been able to see everything I didn't, get over him and kick his balls into his teeth when he turned into a douche. But I was never afforded the opportunity of this relationship stuff. We all make mistakes, and Wilson was mine." I'd started rambling, but I got my point across without crying or tearing up. I was proud of myself.
"What do you mean, never afforded the opportunity?" he asked indignantly.
That's what he got out of that? "Just what I said."
"There are guys tripping all over themselves to get to you." He looked at me like I was an idiot for not noticing, and I laughed. Hard.
"Yea right. With you and Brenden as my personal security detail at clubs and not to mention my inherent tomboy nature, I can assure you that's not the case," I said still chuckling as I tossed my empty can in the garbage. I thought about getting another but decided against it.
"No, you just don't see it. Jeremy? You've given the poor guy a permanent case of blue balls. He follows you around like a love sick puppy."
"He does not."
"What about all those guys at the mall?"
"What guys at the mall?" My nose crinkled.
"I had to practically drag you into Victoria's Secret so they'd stop ogling you – it worked out nicely for me, but still. Two guys practically followed us all day. I had to threaten a couple of them when you disappeared into a store."
"You're being dramatic," I said shaking my head. There was no way. "I was born at night, Gavin, but not last night." I turned away from him.
"Why do you think you have so many guy friends? Which Bren and I have to screen by the way. They're just trying to get into your pants. I have no idea how Wilson got through," he said to himself as he ran a hand through his hair.
The bottom dropped out of my stomach. "Are you kidding me?!"
"No," he answered calmly. It was a statement of fact.
The look on his face told me he didn't want me to know that, but the cat was already out of the bag. He couldn't back down now. Was this how the animosity between Gavin and Wilson started?
"So that's why Wilson wanted me. Just to fuck me." I couldn't help the hurt that seeped into my voice. "Well," I continued, "guess that didn't work out for him – nothing to brag about." I felt dizzy. "Or has Wilson been telling everyone I'm a lousy lay?" That was even worse. I felt the room start to spin. I felt sick.
I couldn't look Gavin in the eye because I didn't want to see the stupid look on his face he got when I finally realized something he'd already known. If Gavin thought I was a lousy lay, he definitely wouldn't be able to keep that knowledge off his face.
As if my thoughts were flashing in neon colors above my head, Gavin said, "I've seen nothing to complain about. You and I are good together. In fact, I'd say you and I are better together than anyone I've ever known." I rolled my eyes. How was I supposed to believe that? That would certainly be a long list of women – and now was not the time to try to seduce me.
I pushed my thoughts from my mind; I'd have more than enough time to think about that statement later. I narrowed my eyes at him and took a deep breath. "I have so may guy friends because I'm fucking cool." Flimsy argument, be damned. He rolled his eyes.