Broken and screwed 2, p.20
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       Broken and Screwed 2, p.20
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         Part #2 of Broken and Screwed series by Tijan

  They’d hooked up.

  “And that was a mistake. Trust me.”

  “How about last fall? That was another mistake?” She lowered her voice so it was a seductive whisper now, “Jesse, it was good with us. You’re the only guy that I’d leave Jamie for. You know that. You know how I feel about you.”

  “Stop. I mean it.”

  A harsh intake of breath and then she demanded, “Are you seeing someone? Jamie thinks you are. I thought he was being an idiot, but are you? Who’s the girl?”

  “I’m not talking about this anymore.”

  “So there is. Who?! I’ll find out. You know I will.”

  “Tiffany.”

  “You know I can find out and you know what I’ll do to that girl when I find out. It’ll be better if you just tell me right now. I’ll even promise to leave her alone. Just tell me, Jesse. Come on.”

  “I’m not seeing anyone. You’re officially crazy.”

  I heard something being shoved into his bag and I stood from behind my bookshelf. He hadn’t told her. He hadn’t said a word, but her threats stung. It was worse than I thought. I knew if we went public, it wouldn’t be good for me. Girls were obsessed with Jesse Hunt. I’d heard the giggles in the bathroom, from rooms with opened doors, behind girls in line at the food court. Basketball star that everyone already figured would go pro and the son to movie producer Malcolm Hunt. There was a reason Jesse kept a low profile around campus, but hearing the lethalness from Tiffany made my hair stick up.

  Jesse rounded my bookshelf and braked. His eyes went wide, but he didn’t say anything. A wall slammed over him, but I caught a dark emotion in there. My pulse raced. This wasn’t good. Backtracking, he caught Tiffany by the shoulder before she saw me too. He herded her the other way, muttering, “I forgot something.”

  Trembling, I made my way to the table, but I knew I was pale as I sat down. Beth frowned, but didn’t say anything. Jesse and Tiffany swept behind us a few seconds later. Both ignored us, but her frown cleared and the corner of her mouth dipped down in disapproval.

  I couldn’t take it. Grabbing my backpack, I stuffed my books and laptop inside before I hurried out of the library. When I rounded the corner, headed to the back of the library where my dorm was located, an arm grabbed me. I was pulled into a group of trees and bushes. It happened so quickly. I couldn’t react before I was pushed against the library’s wall and Jesse clamped a hand over my mouth. He hissed, “It’s me. Don’t scream.”

  The scream was swallowed deep in my throat. As he pulled his hand back, I hit his chest. “Are you kidding me? Do you want me to have a heart attack?”

  He grinned, so damned cocky. “That’s what you get for eavesdropping.”

  Touché, but I wasn’t sorry. I glared at him. “You slept with her?”

  His smile dropped. “Yeah. You knew there were other girls before.”

  “Her boyfriend’s your roommate.” I didn’t say anything about us. I couldn’t. There was no exclusive contract, but it stung.

  He sighed, leaning away to rest on the back of his heels. One of his arms was braced against the wall beside me. “He wasn’t at that time. It was a dick move; one that I’m ashamed of. But I didn’t like Striker last year and I still didn’t when Cord asked if he could move in. He was in Camden’s corner and gave me hell last year.”

  Remembering when I had hidden in his hotel closet and the fight he’d gotten into, I was impressed at how Jesse had turned everyone around. He took them to the championship game. They hadn’t won, but everyone was looking Jesse’s way for another journey there. This time a win was expected.

  “You haven’t done anything with her since?”

  “No.” He gave me a dark look. “And she caught me when I was really drunk, both times. If anything she took advantage of me.”

  Not surprising. Sighing, I wrapped a hand around his arm and bit my lip, just feeling the touch of him again. It’d been a few days.

  He thought the same thing as he tucked a finger into my waistband and tugged me against him. My head rested on the wall as my back was arched, my body pressed into him. He watched me the whole time, his eyes darkened at the same time my lust started swirling in me again. It was always there, just waiting for the next time I was with him.

  He bent low and nuzzled underneath my ear as his hand pressed flat against my stomach. His thumb began rubbing again. Each stroke made me forget where we were. As his ministrations grew bolder and slipped inside my pants, I was panting, holding his head against me as his lips nibbled the underside of my jaw. He whispered, “I want to go public.”

  My eyes popped out. I stopped breathing. No, no, no. That couldn’t happen, especially after hearing Tiffany’s reaction. I couldn’t handle that.

  “What?” He pulled back, his mouth in a flat line now. “Why do you freak out like that? You did it the last time too.”

  “Come on.”

  “Yeah. Come on,” he snapped. “I’m sick of hiding. I’m sick of the sneaking around and picking you up late at night, making sure my roommates are sleeping. I want you to come over so I can study with you during the day and not have to deal with Tiffany always asking. What’s your problem? Are you embarrassed?”

  “Yeah, right,” I bit out. “Me, a nobody, being embarrassed at being the campus basketball star’s fuck buddy.”

  His hand went to my shoulder and he pushed me against the wall. He bent so he was eye-level. “You are not my fuck buddy. Shit, Alex. You’ve never been. You know that.”

  “That first year—”

  “That first year nothing. I felt guilty. Ethan hadn’t wanted me to be with you and you were the first thing I did after he died.”

  I flushed at the literal meaning behind his statement.

  He continued, vehemently, “I’m serious. I’m sorry about that first year, but I was trying to stay away. I was trying to respect your brother’s wishes, but screw Ethan. If he were alive now, he’d know he was wrong. I mean, hell, he knew first hand that being perfect wasn’t what it was cracked up to be. He tried to do everything your parents wanted and when he messed that up—” His eyes widened and he stopped himself, but his chest rose from the effort. He backed away from me, watching me guardedly now.

  I was slammed from what he’d said. My parents. Perfection. Ethan messed up. I lunged for Jesse and grabbed fistfuls of his shirt. “What are you talking about?”

  “Nothing.” He tried to dislodge himself.

  I reversed our positions. He was the one against the wall now, metaphorically and literally. I knew enough. Something had happened. Something my brother had done and somehow it included my parents. “Explain yourself. Now.”

  “I can’t.” All fight left him. His tone was soft, defeated. “I’m sorry, Alex.”

  “What are you talking about?”

  He shook his head. That was all he did.

  Agony and long-forgotten grief broke free again. It was sweltering, overwhelming. I couldn’t push it away. The old Ethan was there again. His ghost was next to me, pressing against me, pushing at me. I was being suffocated. I couldn’t get away from him.

  “Alex,” Jesse grabbed me. “This isn’t the right time, but to hell with it—” He kissed me.

  He continued to kiss me and he transferred us so that I was against the building once again. His hand slipped under my shirt and he cupped my breast. His fingers wrapped around one and he began to caress me. His lips commanded his entrance. Helpless, I opened for him. His tongue swept in and he melted against me. Every inch of him was plastered against me.

  Desire battled away the panic. Then my body came awake and I gasped, wrapping my arms around him. One of my legs lifted on its own accord. He caught it and held it up, using the angle to press even more against me.

  I felt him between my legs. I knew he wanted me and I began to kiss him back. My fingers unzipped his pants. They went inside and I found him. Gasping, he hissed against my lips, rubbing against my tongue as I began to stroke him. He was alrea
dy hard. He grew even harder.

  “Your room,” he whispered.

  I nodded.

  Before we left the hideaway, he tried to adjust himself. His shirt was pulled out to cover him and then we slipped from the bushes. As we did, a large group had congregated outside the library’s doors. They spread over the yard and it wasn’t long before the whispers started. Jesse Hunt, seen coming out of the bushes. I knew this would be all over. A few cell phones were raised, but he ignored them. Taking my hand, he led the way towards my dorm. As we went up the back stairs and into my room, the damage was done.

  Jesse wanted to go public and we just had, whether I wanted it or not.

  But then he locked the door, took me in his arms, and I stopped worrying. For the moment.

  It was an hour later when the knock came. As I opened the door, after throwing some clothes on and making Jesse do the same, Beth hurried inside. She closed the door behind, locking it, before turning to us. A cloud of doom was over her.

  My gut dropped. I remembered the cell phones. I remembered the whispers. I knew where this was going.

  “Hi, I’m Beth.”

  Jesse nodded, coming to sit on the edge of the bed. His basketball shorts were on, but no shirt. Her eyes lingered over his broad shoulders and I couldn’t blame her. “Beth.”

  “Oh.” She took a deep breath. “It’s all over. You know that, right?”

  My butt made contact with my chair. I wasn’t consciously aware of sitting, but I must’ve. I was now looking up at her. Faintly, I nodded. “People saw us come out of the bushes.”

  “Yeah.” She frowned at me. “Those pics are on a website. I even got a few sent to me and you know how social I am with the gossip mongers at this college.”

  I nodded, but I was reeling. What did this mean? I should’ve done something, damage control in some way, but what? I hadn’t been thinking straight. Jesse always muddled things for me. I never had a clear head when it came to him and now this…my heart was pounding so loudly, it wanted out of me.

  She perched on my sofa’s arm. “What are you going to do?”

  Jesse snorted, rolling his eyes. “Are you fucking kidding me? Who gives a shit if I’m banging you. It’s none of their business.”

  “Jesse,” I started.

  “I’m serious.” He stood, just gaining momentum. He grabbed a bag and started stuffing my clothes in it.

  “What are you doing?”

  “I’m packing you a bag. You don’t want to deal with this? Fine. Live with me. Problem solved, but damage is already done. You can’t go back on this. Hell, I won’t let you.”

  Frowning as he grabbed my favorite things and put them inside the bag, I could only sit there. Had he not heard Tiffany’s threat? And she was only the first one. I knew it’d get bad after this. It never got better. There was always a valley of hellish moments I’d have to wade through. But then Beth came over and she started grabbing my books. “What are you doing?”

  She took all of it. My textbooks, my notebooks, all of my laptop cords, even my highlighters and pens. “What do you think? It’s a good plan. Do you not know what girls live on this floor? I heard the stories. Kara took them to their party and they broke into his room.”

  “They did?”

  Jesse shrugged. “Worse shit has happened.”

  Another soft knock came at the door, followed by Kara’s voice, “It’s me, guys. Can I come in?”

  Jesse was closest. He opened the door and locked it as soon as she slipped under his arm. Glancing up at him, she was flushed in the cheeks. “Oh, hi, Jesse. I didn’t realize you’d be here.”

  “Hey.” He started grabbing my shoes.

  Giving me a warm smile, she came over and touched my arm. “You okay?”

  I was still dazed. What was going on with my life?

  Beth answered for me, “She’s behind. We’re packing so she can live with Jesse.”

  “Oh! That’s a great idea.” She looked around. “What do you want me to do?”

  Jesse gestured to my mini-fridge. “She’s got her favorite foods and sodas in there. You can put them all in a bag.”

  “Stop! Stop, you guys.”

  His bag was dropped by the door and he bent for another one. Underwear, socks, and bras went into that one. He drew out a piece of black lingerie and raised his eyebrow at me, then flashed me a smirk and tossed it with the rest.

  “Jesse, stop.” I tried to take the bag from him, but he shook his head and nudged me out of the way with his hip. “Jesse.”

  Kara had squatted down my fridge and she blinked up at me from the floor now. “I think it’s a good idea, Alex. Kate and Amanda are outside your door. I know they’re wondering if Jesse’s in here.”

  “Who are Kate and Amanda?”

  Beth snorted as she zipped up my bag. “They’re tarantulas. Icky and full of poison. I hate those girls. They’re friends with Hannah’s roommate.”

  Ooh. Noted. Jesse nodded at the bed. “You want your pillow and blanket too?”

  “I don’t like this.” I plopped back down. This was all too much. Was this really necessary?

  Beth said to him, “Better take it, just in case.”

  “Oh my gawd.”

  “Okay.” Kara stood, a grocery bag bulging in her arms. “I’m done. Anything else?”

  Jesse looked at Beth, who shrugged. “I think I got all her stuff.”

  I was moving out. It was final. The revelations were already starting and I knew there was more to come. I couldn’t believe any of this. Then panic started in. I would be living in a house with four guys; one that I would be sleeping with every night. I’d had the house to myself over the last year. My parents moved out after her suicide attempt. Then that summer, there hadn’t even been friends involved. Me and Ethan.

  My chest tightened. My vision grew blurry. My head started to pound.

  I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t live with all those people.

  “She’s freaking,” Beth spoke over my head. “Shouldn’t you say something to her?”

  Jesse replied, “Nah. Let her stay in this state. She’s easier to move around. When she wakes up, she’ll start fighting. I won’t get anything done then.”

  Someone patted me on the head.

  Kara soothed, “It’ll be okay. Jesse’s like a celebrity here and now everyone knows you’re connected. Once they get over the shock, they’ll start not to care. You can come back then.”

  “Why aren’t you mad?”

  “Derek told me. He said Ethan was your brother.” She turned to Jesse. “That was your best friend, right?”

  “He was my family,” he said softly.

  My heart constricted. I was his family too. So was Zala. Wiping a tear away, I stood on trembling knees, but I ignored them and reached for a bag. “I can carry something.”

  My purse was slapped into my chest. Beth grinned. “You can carry that. You have to lock the door, don’t forget.”

  I flushed. I would’ve.

  When we went into the hallway with our army of luggage, some girls squealed. I heard the sounds of cell phones taking pictures and one girl even asked for his autograph. Jesse plowed through them and led the way for Beth. Kara waited until I locked the door and went behind me. Once everything was in his car, Beth patted my shoulder, saying, “This is the best goodbye you’ll get from me. I don’t do personal contact.”

  Kara threw her arm around her shoulder. She beamed at me. “I’ll bring her over to visit.”

  Beth threw her arm off before darting back inside.

 
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