Trashed / Page 34

Page 34


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Mind-blowing for me, at least.

Which makes me wonder what he thinks about all this. If this is par for the course for him, or if this was as expectation-shattering for him as it was for me. I mean, I know I’ll never be the same again.

My heart squeezes, and I force myself to keep calm, to breathe slowly and push the glut of emotions away. It was just sex. For him, and for me.

Just sex. Don’t get attached. You know nothing about him, or he about you. He owes you nothing. You owe him nothing.

My entire being rebels against that line of thought, though. I want it to be more. I want him to want it to be more.

A knock at the door has me shutting my eyes and feigning sleep. Adam answers the door, speaking in low tones. The door shuts again, and I hear his weight on the steps leading up to the bedroom.

“You can get up now, Des.” His voice comes from beside the bed.

I sit up slowly, bringing the sheet with me, clutching it to my chest. His eyes are all over me, taking in my hair—which must be a rumpled rat’s nest—and my eyes and my shoulders. “Hey,” I say.

He has a mug of coffee in each hand, one black, one creamed to a medium khaki color. “How do you like your coffee?”

I grab the one with cream. “This have any sugar in it?”

He shakes his head. “No, you want some?”

I take it and sip. “No, thanks. This is perfect.”

He sits, drinks his coffee, and watches me drink and watch him. It’s a very meta moment. “Wasn’t sure what you like for breakfast, so I got a little of everything. Bagel, an omelet, French toast, scrambled eggs and bacon, some rye toast.”

I grin at him. “French toast and bacon.”

He sets his mug down on the bedside table, goes down to the foyer and picks through the metal lid-covered plates, transfers bacon from one plate to another, the toast and the omelet to a second, and carries both plates up to the bed. He arranges them on the foot of the bed, and then returns for silverware, butter, syrup, and the carafe of coffee. He settles on the bed next to me, reaches for the plate with French toast and bacon on it and hands it to me, along with a fork and knife, and then he takes his plate.

“Dig in, babe,” he says.

I sit cross-legged, and try to figure out a way to eat while keeping the sheet tucked under my arms. Adam watches me for a few seconds, fighting a grin.

“What?” I ask, giving him a sideways glare.

He shrugs, the smile ghosts across his lips, gone again immediately. “Nothing. You’re just so fucking cute it’s ridiculous.”

“And that means…?” I prompt.

He shovels a bite of eggs into his mouth and speaks after he’s chewed a few times. “You’re being so modest all of a sudden. It’s just cute.”

I sigh. “I didn’t care when we were in the moment, but now, it’s different. I’m not…I don’t even get changed in front of Ruthie, and I’ve known her for years, and we share that shoe box of a room every summer.”

“Why?” he asks, as he snags his T-shirt off the floor and hands it to me.

I put it on with a grateful smile at him.

“Why what?” I cut my French toast into tiny squares and take a bite. I can’t help a moan of bliss from escaping as the rich flavors explode in my mouth. This is no IHOP French toast. It’s fancy gourmet food, bursting with spices and ingredients I can’t identify, but I know I’ve never had them in French toast before.

“Good, huh?” Adam says. “Why are you so uncomfortable being naked?”

I shrug and keep my eyes on my breakfast rather than him. “I just am. For lots of reasons.”

He sighs and takes several bites. I can feel him thinking, processing. “You really won’t tell me one single thing about yourself, will you?” he says eventually.

“It’s not like that, Adam. I just…don’t see the point.” I swipe a chunk of French toast through syrup, wash it down with coffee.

Again he doesn’t respond immediately. “There’s no point in getting to know each other?”

“Not really.” I finally look up at him. He’s troubled, judging by the expression on his face. “I mean, it’s not like you’ve told me much either.”

Adam scrapes the last of the eggs into a pile. “What do you want to know?” He laughs, but there’s no humor in it. “That you can’t find with a quick Google search, I mean.”

I groan in frustration and set my plate aside, empty except for the bacon, which I saved for last. “Adam, god. It’s not about information. I’m sure you would tell me whatever I wanted to know. I’m not doubting that. And I’m not hiding anything.”

“Then tell me anything. One fucking thing.”

“Why?” I nibble at a slice of bacon. “What’s the point? Let’s not make this something it isn’t, Adam.”

He growls in irritation. “You keep saying that. ‘What this is, what this isn’t.’ I thought we’d already gone over this.”

“Adam. You don’t have sex with someone you’ve known barely forty-eight hours and think it’s gonna be a match made in heaven. Especially not when you’re leaving. That’s all I mean.” I have to push away the disappointment I feel when he doesn’t disagree. “I’ve had a great time, Adam. You’re amazing. This has been incredible. Honestly, the best two days of my life, and that’s the truth. So thank you.”

“So you’re going to tell me you didn’t feel…I’m not sure how to put it…a—a connection? Last night, you didn’t feel that?” His eyes bore into mine, and I’m trying desperately to deny what I see there.

I have to protect myself. I can’t go there with him. I can’t let him know that I did feel it, that I still feel it. I can’t get attached. Can’t let my emotions out of their cage. So I lie, sort of. “I mean, maybe? I don’t know. It was incredible sex, I felt that.” Which is true, and I hope that came out casual. It’s not as if I have anything to compare it to.

Adam stares at me for a long moment, his eyes piercing, demanding, and open. I see his emotions. I see that he felt something, just like I did. But it still means nothing. He’s leaving, and I’ll never see him again, so what’s the point? I keep my eyes neutral. It takes every ounce of strength I possess to do so. I’ve got a lifetime of experience in burying my emotions to draw from, a lifetime of denying the pain of loneliness, the pain of a foster-father’s fists or belt, the pain of never fitting, never belonging, of never having a real home. I know how to block everything out, how to pretend I’m unaffected. I know this like I know how to breathe, because it’s what I do, what I’ve always done, what I’ll always do. So I do it. I imagine a brick wall going up, brick by brick, around my heart, around my soul, around my emotions, and I build it high, build it strong.


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