Broken and screwed 2, p.21
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       Broken and Screwed 2, p.21
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         Part #2 of Broken and Screwed series by Tijan

  “If you need anything else, let me know. I’m coming over for the night. The RA from fifth floor is covering for me.”

  “Because of me?”

  “Because I want to be with my boyfriend. So call if you forgot anything. I’ll be here for three more hours.”

  “Oh. Thanks.”

  Jesse waited until Kara had stepped away before he turned the car out of the parking lot. The same girls who were always outside the door, smoking, watched the entire spectacle, but this time they waved their goodbyes. I wondered if they had known the whole time? They always seemed to be outside.

  Derek had the garage door opened and waited until we parked. He came over, nodded to me, and bent to grab the bags from the back of Jesse’s car. Everything, the little I had, was transferred in minutes. It was then that I remembered my car.

  Jesse already had my keys in his hand. He dangled them and gestured to Derek. “We’ll go get your car.”

  This was so stupid. It was as if some trauma happened and they were treating me with kid gloves, like I was ready to break. Fragile: Handle with Care. Sighing from disgust, I went up the stairs to put my food and soda away. As I stepped into the kitchen, Cord was coming from their garage. He was holding hands with a tall and leggy blonde. She giggled, running her hand up and down his arm. He nodded to me in greeting. “Heard what happened.”

  I grunted.

  “That bad?”

  “What do you care? You don’t have to look out for me now. It’s out in the open. I can handle it from here. Thank you.”

  His eyes narrowed, but he shrugged. “Fine, but I wasn’t being nice cause of Jesse. I liked Ethan too. Thought we were friends, but if that’s not what you want, so be it.”

  And the Bitch of the Moment Award went to…

  I sighed as they started up the stairs. “I’m sorry. I don’t have a great track record with friends.”

  “I know. Why do you think I don’t give Marissa the time of day?”

  “You did that for me?”

  He flashed me a smirk. “Nah. I did that because it showed me what kind of girl she really was, well, that and how she cheated on her guy with me. Once a cheater, always a cheater.”

  I snorted and finished putting all my food away. I was still in disbelief at the turn of events. Maybe everyone was overreacting. They could be blowing this entire thing out of proportion. I was turning back down the stairs when the front door opened again.

  Keys were tossed on the counter and someone walked into the kitchen. They hadn’t spotted me. It was someone familiar with the house, so, holding my breath, I figured I should get it over with. It must’ve been Jamie. And I didn’t want to imagine his reaction.

  “Are you fucking kidding me?”

  Nope.

  Tiffany Chatsworth stood before me, rigid and furious. Sadly, the look agreed with her. The ice-cold beauty queen seemed even more stunning before me. All her hatred was directed at me. She said it again, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Waving her phone around, I guessed what was on it. “I thought this was a prank. Had to be, because who the hell are you? You’re no one. You may be pretty, but you’ve got to be blackmailing him. He kept his mouth shut, for you?”

  A door was opened and footsteps hurried down the stairs. Then Cord was there, standing between us. He held a hand out to Tiffany as if she was going to attack me, but she knocked it down and twisted around him.

  The first dose was only her warm-up. Her face scrunched up as she threw out, “You’re a freak. Hannah told me about you. You don’t think she didn’t? She said you’re not normal and something’s off with you. She said things don’t compute right with you. She’s right, but I can’t believe Jesse has anything to do with you. He must be—”

  “Enough!” Cord growled down at her.

  Her words stung, but I knew they were true. And she was right, about all of it. What was Jesse doing with me? But it wasn’t the first time I’d thought that. I had always wondered, but Tiffany was wrong at the same time. My gut kicked in, an emotion spread through me. It was—I couldn’t name it, but it felt right. It felt normal. Then I knew what it was and I looked her dead in the eye. Softly, I started, “You’re wrong.”

  A bitter laugh wrung from her. She threw her head back and it came bellowing out. She didn’t look very ladylike, not how she always tried to be. The Grant West Royal Court. She looked like a joke right now, but she bit out, “Okay, little girl, why don’t you tell me what I’m wrong about. Please enlighten me! I would love to hear this.”

  “You’re the one who doesn’t fit in.”

  She scoffed in disbelief. “Please.”

  A calm settled over me and I spoke clearly, “I heard you.”

  She frowned.

  “In the library. I heard what you said to him. You’re the one who wants in. You want Jesse, don’t you? It goes both ways, you know. Your sister told me things too, about you this time. I know you want your boyfriend to use Jesse’s connections to help Jamie run for office. Does Jamie know that? Or no, do you not know about his dream of being a sports news anchor? Because that’s what I heard his plans are after college, not law school.”

  Her frown deepened, but it didn’t cut her.

  She didn’t care. I realized that and then I knew the real reason she liked Jesse’s connections. “Or no, you’re using your boyfriend to stay close to Jesse.”

  Her eyes widened.

  Bingo.

  I shook my head and took a step closer, softening my voice, “You want him. You want to use him to become famous, don’t you? Or do you just want to be with Jesse? Do you think you love him? You think he could ever love you?”

  “And you think he loves you?” she spat out.

  I shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe. Probably not, but I know one thing.”

  She rolled her eyes.

  “I’m his family.”

  They snapped back to mine at that statement. Oh yes. I saw the different assessment. I wasn’t the crazy one now. Wariness flooded in; perhaps she had misjudged the situation? I could see all the thoughts playing over her and then dread settled in, along with loathing. The bitch loathed me. Well, welcome to the club.

  I imagined a knife in my hand. I’d just dug it into her and now I ground it in a circle, really making it painful for her. “I grew up with him. He lived with my family. I’m his family. Alex, always Alex. That’s what Zala said. Do you even know who that is?”

  Her eyes shuttered, closing and turning away from me. The bitch was being knocked down a peg. It was damn time. The smug smirk on my face wasn’t pretty. I knew that. I didn’t care. As she looked me in the eye again, she saw some of the crazy rage, a gift from my parents. It was the least I could give her. “I have been in his life longer than you and I will remain in his life, past your due date, so don’t get comfortable in this home. Your boyfriend lives here. He’s the only reason you’re allowed.”

  “Alex!”

  Jesse’s shout didn’t startle me. I heard the gravel on the driveway outside. I was aware of the door opening and how Kara followed Derek inside. Stepping back, I glanced at him idly. He was chalk white, but his eyes were riveted on me. He looked sick.

  I frowned.

  Tiffany’s voice seethed at him, over my shoulders, “Nice new girlfriend you got here. She’s a complete whack job.”

  Taking two steps, he wrapped an arm around my waist, but he frowned down at her. “Do everyone a favor and just stay away from Alex. She’s going to be living here awhile.” He turned for the stairs and I knew our time was up with playing house.

  She stopped him at the door. “Was she right?”

  He was stiff underneath me. “She’s family, yes. She always will be too.” Then he went down and before the door was closed behind him, I waved my fingers at her. Toodles, Bitch.

  Round two happened in the middle of the night, but it wasn’t with Tiffany. It was with her boyfriend and her sister.

  After taking me downstairs, Jesse informed me that he didn
t want to hear it. Then he gave me a lecture on getting along with his roommates, when I tried to interrupt, he included the girlfriends as well. That’d been the last of our discussion and we remained in the basement for the rest of the evening. I’ll admit. It was nice. We studied in the living room section of his private basement/apartment. Cord came down for a while. He had finished and sent the girl home, whoever she’d been. He studied with us too before he went to bed. Kara had stuck her head over the stairs and said goodnight. And it wasn’t long until Jesse started rubbing at his eyes, so I took his hand, put both of our books away, and led him to bed.

  Our lovemaking was nice and tender that night. Maybe it was because we were living together or because we were ‘out’, whatever that meant. We still hadn’t defined our relationship, but he said the words I longed to hear. I was family.

  I hadn’t been family to anyone in so long.

  As he fell asleep after, I gazed at him for a while. There was a heavy feeling over my chest. It was pushing me down, anchoring me in place beside him. I didn’t want to move, but I couldn’t sleep. My blood was singing, zipping around in me and I couldn’t stay. I’d wake him up. I’d done enough to him already so I snuck from the bed.

  I couldn’t sit still in the living room of his basement so I went upstairs. As I was going to the main living room and searching for the remote controls, I heard the front door open again. This time no keys were tossed on the counter. A person was tossed on the counter. Moaning. Groaning. Gasping. A zipper was heard, I held my breath as I was about to hear my first porno in living color. Live and 3-D.

  Then I heard a female voice rasp out, “Jamie, oh god!”

  “Hannah,” he murmured back as his voice grew muffled again.

  Oh whoa. I was frozen in place. If they turned the light on, they’d see me. I’d be caught red-handed, but if I moved, they might hear me and I’d be caught for certain. I was still debating when Jamie pulled away from her, muttering, “Hold still, baby. I’m going to get some of the good stuff. I know where Hunt keeps his stash.”

  When he went into the kitchen, she could see me. The foyer attached to the living room and I saw the shock on her. The horror came next. Guilt was the third and she clamped a hand over her mouth, a sob hitched in her tone. She slid off the counter, “Oh my god.”

  “I got it.” Jamie came back to the foyer and turned the light on. He had a bottle of tequila in his hand.

  Hannah couldn’t look away from me. I grew flustered and tried to cover myself. I’d forgotten that I only wore a pair of boy shorts and a tight tank top, no bra. Then he followed his gaze and the storm surged forward. His eyebrows furrowed together and his lips went into a tight line. His jaw hardened and he clipped out, “What the hell? Tatum didn’t wear you out? You better fucking get back to his room. And don’t you say a word of this to anyone.”

  I opened my mouth, “Um—”

  “I swear.” He took a menacing step towards me. “If you say one word, I’m going to cut you. I don’t give a shit whose bitch you are. I will make your life hell if you breathe one word. So keep your trap shut, you hear me, girl?”

  “Jamie,” Hannah started. She slurred at the end.

  Oh no. I knew what he’d done. I was revolted as I asked, “Is she drugged?”

  He had turned to her, but his head rotated back to me. His massive bulk was a frightening sight when it was filled with hatred and violence, and all of that was directed at me. I shivered, but not from being cold. My shoulders lifted as I took a deep breath. Hannah was drunk. I could smell the liquor from her now. He couldn’t do this, not when she wasted. That wasn’t right.

  Hoarse, I tried to speak up, “You can’t—”

  “I can’t?” His voice went over mine. His chest started heaving and he clamped a hand over Hannah’s. She winced behind him, but he didn’t care. “You don’t know how long I’ve worked to get this piece of ass. You’re not going to ruin it for me.”

  “I’m not going to ruin it?” I shouldn’t laugh at him, but I couldn’t stop. He was delusional and he was an asshole. “You had to drug her?”

  “She’s not drugged.”

  “She’s drunk.” Pointing to the tequila in his hand, I added, “And you were going to keep her that way, weren’t you? I was going to do you a favor, but by all means—have at it. Take her to your room.” Wake the beast in his bed.

  He scowled. “Are you messing with me?”

  “Alex.” Hannah pressed her hands to her head. “I’m really drunk.”

  “I know.” Oh god, do I know. “Maybe you should call Beth. She can come and pick you up.”

  Jamie growled at me, “She’s not going anywhere.”

  “And you’re not forcing her to do what I think you’re hoping to do.”

  “Where the fuck’s Tatum? Why aren’t you screwing him? Use those legs for something useful and shut your trap. This is none of your business.”

  My chest rose as my anger kicked up a notch. I was growing sick of his Neanderthal mentality. “It is my business. I’m here. You’re here. She’s here. She’s my friend. I know that she doesn’t want to have sex with you when she’s sober and she’s drunk right now so you do the math.”

  “Bitch,” he took another menacing step towards me with his hand raised in a fist, but then he was slammed against the far wall. Punches were exchanged and everything happened after that in a flurry of activity.

  Jesse threw him against another wall, and rained down on him with punches. Jamie tried to fight back, but there was no use. Jesse knocked him dazed with the first few. He couldn’t lift his arm to even block after a while, but then lights were switched on and footsteps stampeded back down the stairs.

  Jesse was tackled off him and thrown against a far wall, clear across the living room now by Cord. Derek stood over Jamie and as he cleared his vision and regrouped, he flung himself to his feet and started for Jesse. Derek held him back now. Then a sob was heard from the stairs.

  Tiffany stood in a flimsy nightgown. Kara was beside her, a comforting arm thrown around her shoulder. She was in her pajamas, a top and shorts like me, and patting her friend. Tiffany’s gaze wrenched from her boyfriend to her sister, who was still dazed in the foyer. “Oh my god.” She breathed out, a hissing sound, before her chest jerked up and she held firm. All the blood had drained from her face, but she turned to watch her struggling boyfriend. He was trying to throw off Derek, who seemed to have a firm grip on him.

  “What the hell, man?! What the effing hell?!”

  “Stay away from Alex!” Jesse shouted back at him. He pushed Cord off, shaking his head at the same time. Cord only moved a foot away with a hand kept on his arm.

  “WHAT?!”

  “You heard me.”

  “Tiffany,” Hannah groaned. “I can’t—I’m drunk.”

  “Let’s hope you are,” her sister snapped back. “You were going to screw my boyfriend. My boyfriend, Hannah!”

  “I wasn’t. I’m sorry. I’m drunk.”

  Tiffany looked at Jamie, who had grown still by that time. Her eyes narrowed and the same venom she had spewed at me was directed at him now. “If you would check your phone, you would’ve known I was here. And you would’ve known that she’s not screwing Cord, you idiot. She’s screwing Jesse!”

  The fight drained from Jamie and his body slumped as Derek pushed him back against the wall, from the sudden lack of struggling. “She’s what?”

  Cord cursed. “Man, you’re so stupid sometimes. I told you I wasn’t sleeping with her.”

  “Yeah, but you never keep a girl around and then Chandra was gone. You’re not sleeping with her?”

  “No.”

  Jesse growled at him again, pushing against Cord.

  Dumbstruck is the only word to describe the look on Jamie’s face as he swiveled his eyes from me to his roommate. Then the same horror I’d witnessed on Hannah appeared over him now. “Oh man. That’s worse. Serious?”

  Tiffany rolled her eyes. “That’s the least
of your problems right now.”

  “Oh yeah. Um,” biting his lip, he turned to me. “I’m sorry,
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