So. Damn. Terribly.
Because now… Well, now I’m trapped in Edgar’s house. Like an animal gone to ground with a predator lurking in wait. That preditor being a vicious virus. I’ve debated taking my chances with the virus and soldiers of the National Guard to get away from the duplicitous bastard I’m currently entombed with. Still the directives were clear: seek shelter, do not move locations until told otherwise.
Yup. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
Edgar’s digs are sparse and unwelcoming, like a window into his soul. Empty and alone.
He probably has the lamest, most insufficient provisions. My thoughts are on the freezer of food I purchased for this possibility going uneaten, the coloring books and puzzles I’d stocked up on; something to do while I binge-watched TV.
I bet all he watches are high brow documentaries and dark shows with unsettling endings. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place for such things, but this was not the time. Now was a time for easy escapism.
For entertainment, I currently have my phone. That’s it. Box checked. But with the World Wide Web at my disposal, that should be enough.
Christ! What kind of phone does he have?! What if he doesn’t have the same charger as I do? I snatch my purse off of the table and begin rummaging in it, searching for the lightning cord that I usually have in there but I’m positive I took out to use at Libby’s house. Tell me I remembered to put it back! But I know I didn’t. I forget shit like this all the time. I all but dump the contents of my bag on the table.
I see him out of the corner of my eye watching me out of the corner of his eye.
Also, I don’t doubt that he’ll feed me, but I question how enjoyable the food offered to me might be. Like so many people, eating delicious food is one of my favorite hobbies. I don’t want to go without that for the next couple of weeks. Truthfully, if the roles were reversed, he’d be living on bread-heels and unseasoned vegetables.
Considering what I came here to do… that might be my fate.
“What’s got you in hysterics?”
Hysterics? What is this ol’ England times?
I roll my eyes. Maybe I should try to be nice to him, butter him up, but it doesn’t feel right. I don’t know how to be nice to him. I don’t want to be nice to him.
He sighs. It’s a full-body exhalation. “Billie, what’s wrong?”
I glare at him, making eye contact for the first time since I entered his front door five minutes ago. “Besides the obvious?”
“Obviously.” He crosses his muscular arms over his thick chest. The way he looks is the only good thing about him. If he was a picture of himself, I wouldn’t hate him so much.
He shifts his gaze pointedly to the manila folder I’d given him. It’s on the counter next to the fridge.
“I was just doing her a favor.”
His snort is full of his unspoken accusations. He doesn’t believe me. He shouldn’t, doing his ex-wife, Sofia, a favor was the last on my list of my motives.
“What kind of phone do you have?” I ask, letting my purse fall back to the tabletop with a thunk.
Dawning lights his brown eyes before they slide to my hoodie pocket. I’m sure he can see the boxy outline of my phone there. “No charger?” His voice is full of entertainment.
I clench my jaw. My vision darkens at the edges. I hate this, and I have no one to blame but myself. It’s not even asshole Edgar’s fault. I’d love to pretend that it is, but it’s not.
He lifts one thick black eyebrow.
“No,” I bite out.
You wanna know what’s a terrible position to be in? What really makes you feel like your on your knees, hands behind your back smooshed between two hard surfaces? Being in need of hospitality from someone you not only hate but who also hates you.
The shittiest part: I was in my car heading home. The deed was done. I was home free. I thought.
I wasn’t a mile away when I hit a checkpoint—that hadn’t been there when I’d driven to his house an hour before. A very polite woman in uniform, holding a rather large gun instructed me to turn around and head back where I’d come from. The order had come down, and we were not able to pass the checkpoint for any reason. I tried to argue that I’d head directly home, but nope.
So after I had dropped my bomb on Asshole Extraordinaire, I had to turn my car around, park it in his driveway, knock on his door and tell him that he had a new roommate for the next two weeks.
He hadn’t even fought me, just shook his head and said, “Makes sense.”
The phone charger debacle was the first conversation we’d had since.
A half-smile pulls on his lips, giving him a menacing look. “Mini USB.”
That makes him laugh, bent over, holding his stomach laughing.
Edgar will allow me to use his computer to check my socials and get my work done—he and I are both junior reporters for competing news organizations—when my phone goes dead. It’s set to battery save mode, but it won’t last forever. The offer came after hours of me doing nothing but fretting and sitting on the edge of his sofa—world’s most uncomfortable piece of furniture—chewing at my fingernails.
I’ve texted my mom to tell her that I’m safe, but I don’t have my charger, and I gave her Edgar’s number to reach me in an emergency. I had to confirm with him that the number I had programmed under “Biggest Bastard on Earth Inc.” is still his number. It wasn’t, so I updated it.
Mom asked me where I was and who I was with. I told her I was with an old work colleague, which is true. Then, to end the conversation, I gave her the excuse that I needed to conserve my battery.
I have been texting Libby ever since. She is, of course, safely in her townhouse. She thinks the whole scenario is hilarious. I might never speak to her again. Twisted sense of humor, that one.
Strange. When he got up to prepare himself something to eat he offered to make me something as well. So civil and polite, it felt like a trick. I followed him into the kitchen; it was the least intrusive way to scope out the goods.
As far as food options go, he’s pretty well stocked. I’d love to say that I’m surprised, but I’m not, he’s always been an efficient planner. The food is sufficient. But not fun. There’s some fresh fruit in the fridge and on the counter, frozen fruit in the freezer. But where’s the chocolate? Or ice cream?
My God. Two weeks with fruit as my sweet? No. I’m not going to make it.
Of course, his body is that of a Greek god. There’s no joy in his food.
“Yogurt and granola?” He held up a tub of organic vanilla greek yogurt.
I nodded. “Thank you.” My polite response was out before I knew it was there. But my parents drilled manners. You don’t have to be friendly, but you must be polite. It was a phrase repeated regularly. Some things stick.
It dawned on me that he was likely raised the same way. He grew up just a few towns away from where I had, and Michiganders take their manners as seriously as we take our meat and potatoes; they are regular sustenance. The realization makes his offer to feed me more understandable.
He hands me the prepared bowl, and I follow him back to the torture device he calls a sofa.
His politeness doesn’t extend to choosing something to watch. Nope. He turns on a foreign film that I have to read subtitles to follow the story. He must notice my lips purse when I realize what is happening. I’m not one of those “I don’t want to read my movies” sort of people, but was this the time? I’m in no position to complain. It’s better than eating my yogurt in silence and just letting my mind run wild.
Unfortunately, the film is gripping and kinda hot. Like… really hot. I think it’s Portuguese. The male lead has tan skin with dark brown hair and eyes, thick brown eyebrows on a sharp bone structure. His lips are soft pink and full and they move in a hypnotizing way. He reminds me of someone, but I’m having a hard time placing it.
The realization hits me during an explicit sex scene. It hit me at such an alarming rate that I gasped. Which is awkward timing.
Edgar turns his head towards me and blinks before saying, “You okay?”
I roll my lips together, sucking them between my teeth. “Mmm-hmm.”
The sex scene is still happening, heavy breathing and the actor’s back flexing beneath his skin. There was a mole just above his right ass cheek.
“Do I need to turn on something else?”
I shake my head. I wish Edgar would stop looking at me. The flames of a hot blush are filling my cheeks.
“Eddie, it’s fine,” I snap back.
I know he hates when I call him Eddie, and I receive a glare in response. His attention lands back on the TV. He shifts a little, pulling at his pant leg with his left hand. Then he crosses his right ankle over his left knee.
Is he hard?
I mean, I get it. The movie had me wanting to shift in my seat too.
Maybe it was just proximity, like how hearing two people have sex through a wall will turn you on, but the idea of him feeling aroused at the other end of the sofa made me feel a little more squirrelly.
I could use a distraction, so I ask, “Are you Portuguese?”
“My mom’s parents were.” His focus prickles like thistles on my skin; sharp and itchy.
The characters on screen had found release and are cuddling, the actor’s hand running from the actress’ waist to hip, over and over.
“You look like him,” I nod toward the actor.
“Is that the actor?”
“Then, yes.” I don’t know if what I’m about to say next makes this more awkward or less, but I’m going to say it anyway, “That’s why I gasped, I was having a hard time figuring out who he reminded me of and then I realized it was you.”
“When he took his clothes off?”
So more awkward. My cheeks burn all over again. “Don’t flatter yourself.”
“You thinking about me naked?”
Kinda. “That’s a leap.”
“I’ll satisfy your curiosity.”
“Jesus Christ! If you take your clothes off, I will chop your dick off with your own knife!”
“Violent. I’m not going to take my clothes off.”
“Calm down. That’s why we’re in this mess, you get worked up and do something without thinking.”
“Don’t talk like you know me.” But yeah, Captain Obvious, obviously.
“I wasn’t going to take my clothes off.”
“Good,” I say again.
“But, I look very good naked.”
I roll my eyes. “Arrogant much?”
“No need for false modesty.”
From Marty Vee:
I’ve included the link to Day 2 below. Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying the story, please share it with a friend.