Teach Me

By: Alla Kar

Chapter One

Sarah

“You did not,” I said.

Jamie shook her head back and forth, nibbling at her bottom lip with her teeth. Her mascara was running in streams down her face, and she was doing a hiccup cry. “I thought he liked me, Sarah. I really did.”

I didn’t. I knew Cole was an asshole. I had told her. She called me crazy and went out with him anyway. Now look at her. This wasn’t the first time Jamie gave it up to a guy. She done this every few months, date a new guy, sleep with him, he leaves and I was there to pick up the pieces. “Jamie,” I said, wrapping my arms around her small shoulders. She started to shake, crying into my neck. “You deserve better than Cole. You’ll find someone else way better. I promise.” That wasn’t a lie. Jamie found boys like I found dirty clothes from my roommate scattered around. All the time.

She sniffled, let out a loud obnoxious cry and finally sat back up. She wiped at her face, smearing the remains of her mascara all over her cheeks. “Promise.”

I nodded, and rested my hands on her shoulders. “I do. Now, let’s get going. I need to get back to the apartment. I have a test tomorrow in Survey of Civ.”

Jamie slid down from the concrete wall in front of the library and fell into step with me. “It’s the first week of the semester, you already have a test?” she asked.

“Unfortunately, yes.” I rubbed at my eyes, thanking God I didn’t wear any make-up today. Jamie was going to run me to death. I didn’t have any drama, it was always Jamie’s I was dealing with. Matt, my boyfriend, always got mad that I was dealing with Jamie’s drama, when we had none of our own. It wasn’t liked I asked for it, she was my best friend, I couldn’t just throw her out to deal with her own problems. Not in my nature.

Jamie climbed in the side of my blue Jeep and curled into a ball. I sighed. She really needs to learn how to control her hormones. I drove toward the Pine Valley Apartments, right off the main drive toward the school. I pull into the overly priced green building A’s parking lot and parked.

“Is Matt here?” she asked, glancing over at me before opening the door. Jamie didn’t like Matt, either. She said he was ‘overly controlling.’ This was kind of true. He was a UAM baseball player, and gone to practice a lot. I enjoyed my free time without him. Sometimes he drove me crazy. How many times can you check your reflection in the mirror? Almost as much as my roommate Cody. Who was gay and had the right.

I shook my head. “He isn’t here,” I said, sliding down my seat to the pavement. “He is at baseball practice.”

“Thank, God,” she mumbled, straightening at her hair with her fingers.

We walked up to room 203A and opened the door. “Zeus come back!” Cody yelled, running into the living room. He was holding a hair dryer, two pink bows and running toward my long haired Chihuahua, who was sliding along the wooden floor. “Please, you’ll look so pretty.”

“Jesus,” I mumbled. “Cody. What in the hell are you doing to my dog?” I asked, slinging my bag on our pink futon. “Come here, baby.” I picked him up and he started to growl at Cody.

Cody rolled his blue eyes and shrugged his shoulders. “I give up. He won’t let me put the bows in his hair.”

“He is a boy,” Jamie said from the kitchen.

He shrugged. “Maybe he likes boys.”

I smiled and let Zeus down, so he could run and hide under the futon. “Leave him alone, Cody. What are you doing home anyway? I thought you had to work?”

I followed him to our little bistro table, where he sat down. “I’m gonna leave in about five minutes.” He rolled his eyes. He worked at Piggy Sue’s in the kitchen. He hated it only because he would get his perfectly quaffed hair greasy in the kitchen. I personally loved the place. The food, the owners, but grease and Cody didn’t mix. “But, I’m glad you’re here, I have got to talk to you.” He flipped his brown bangs over his forehead and his big brown eyes widened.

I grabbed an apple off the center of the table. “What is it?”

“We have a new neighbor,” he said, wagging his eyebrows up and down. They’re perfectly plucked and I regretted not letting him do mine. Why does he look prettier than me?

I laughed. “Next door? Who?”

He shrugged. “Have no idea but he is a freaking hottie.” He pretended to shiver and stood up. “You girls need to check him out when you get the chance. But, I guess I’ll go ahead and go to work. See you two tonight.” He grabbed his ‘man purse’ and walked out of the door. I told him to stop carrying that thing. This was Arkansas and not too accepting of homosexuals. But, he said he was sticking to the man. I admired him.

“So, new hottie next door,” Jamie said, a Cheshire cat like smile crawling up her jaw. She started to run her fingers through her brown hair.

I rolled my eyes. “Didn’t you just call me up to the school to pick up the pieces of last night? Why would you want to throw yourself at another guy so quickly?”

She narrowed her eyes. “Tell me what you really think, Sarah,” she said, her lips pressed into a tight lipped grin.

“Just saying,” I said.

“Well,” she stood up, adjusting her shorts. “I’m going to go home. I have some homework.” She walked out of the door and slammed it.

I sighed. Jamie could be such a drama queen. She never did homework either. I walked to the master bedroom and pulled my blonde hair into a high bun. Dark circles were under my eyes, from staying up with Matt. He was a night owl and wanted to watch movies all night. That’s hardly true. He wanted to do other things all night. I wasn’t a virgin when I got with Matt but I hadn’t had that much experience. After several months, he took it into his own hands to experience me. He has been around the block a few times, but it’s hard to find one that hasn’t these days. Since Matt spent a lot of his nights at my house, instead of his dorm room, I didn’t get much sleep.

I pulled out my notes and started studying the different places in Africa. I watched the ID channel while studying and munched on some Chex Mex. This was the calmest part of my day, when no one was here but me.

A couple of hours later Zeus started barking at me. He had to go. It was eight, and Matt and Cody would both be back around ten-ish. I slipped on a pair of old HHS cheer shorts, a tank top and my UGG boots.

The fresh Arkansas air was cool against my skin. The crickets chirped as I walked down the stairs with Zeus. He pulled with all his four pounds toward the back of the apartments close to the woods. “Hold on, goober,” I said, rounding the corner. I took the last step and tripped over something large. “Shit,” I yelled out, fumbling to the ground. The rocks crunched underneath me and my wrist started to burn. Ouch.

“Oh my, God. I’m so sorry,” someone said in a true southern accent, from the darkness.

I fumbled around, waiting for the motion lights to come on. When they did, I saw a man staring down at me, hand outstretched. Holy Fucktarts. My stomach tightened as I glanced up at him. His outstretched arm acquired long, lean muscles, and tattoos covering from his wrist to the top of his shoulder. Oh shit, he doesn’t have a shirt on. I stumbled around trying to find words. He furrowed his dark brows, his full lips parting. “Are you okay?” he asked, his southern drawl dark and sexy. I used to hate how I talked, and hated the country guys I grew up around. But this was different, this made my insides heat. He tilted his head to the side, and I noticed his scruffy face. He hadn’t looked like he’d shaved in a while. It was sexy.

“I’m fine,” I finally said, taking his hand. It was calloused, warm and strong. The muscles in his arm contracted when he helped me up from the ground. His dark gray eyes were searching my body. I was sure it was because I had fallen, but it made my most personal place warm at the thought. “What the…” I trailed off, looking at the massive chocolate lab standing at my feet. His tongue flopping out, tail thumping against the ground.

“That’s Layla,” he said, a deep chuckle slipping from his throat. It felt like silk crashing over me.

“I didn’t see her, she must have been what I tripped over. Damn it,” I said, rubbing at my wrist. A trickle of blood ran down to my elbow.

“Let me see,” Gray Eyes said, taking my arm in his hand. I bit my lip and fought the urge to lean into him. He smelled like rain, but I could see the sweat dripping from him. He must have been running. He sure looked like he worked out.

“Looks like ya got yourself a little scratch, darling. I’m sorry. We didn’t see ya coming. Let me take care of that,” he said. Zeus came running up on us, barking, growling and showing his teeth. I rolled my eyes. He is mean to everyone.

“Hi puppy. Is he yours?” Gray Eyes asked, offering Zeus his hand.

“Yeah, better watch out, he isn’t that friendly.” I saw Gray Eyes smile and he rubbed Zeus’ head, who rolled over on his back and offered his stomach to him. He never does that.

“Wow, he never does that,” I said.

Gray Eyes smiled, stood straight up and winked. “I have a way with dogs.” He bent over and unhooked his dog’s leash. I took a minute to watch his muscles in his back work. His shoulders are so broad…“I’m Liam,” he said, offering me his hand. When did he stand back up?

“Sarah,” I said. He smiled, a dimple denting in his cheek. Fuck, a dimple, too? Jamie better be glad she didn’t run into him. Because, right then she would have had her clothes off and screwing him behind the apartment building. Jealousy twisted in my stomach. Wow where did that come from? I’m with Matt?

“So, let’s get up here and I’ll bandage that up for you.” He tossed his head toward the building. He walked toward the pavement and the streetlights beamed down on him. My blood started to pump in overdrive. He had basketball shorts low on his slender hips, running shoes, toned tanned legs and a killer six-pack. Why do you tease me so?

“Um,” I swallowed a dry lump in my throat. “I think I can handle it,” I said, rubbing the cut.

He tilted his head to the side and smiled. “I’m not gonna hurt ya, Sarah. Let me bandage you up. I live in 204A.”

Oh, God. My stomach dropped from my belly. It’s so not normal to have this feeling. He doesn’t matter. Matt does. “Oh,” I said. “I live in 203A.”

“You and your boyfriend? I saw another boy come out from there. Cody, maybe?”

Boyfriend? Ha. He has to know Cody is gay. I smiled. “Roommate. It’s Cody, he doesn’t exactly like girls.”

“Thought so. Nice, Kid. Come on, let’s get that wrist bandaged up. I promise I’ll be gentle,” he said. The way he said gentle made my stomach feel heavy and my nipples hardened.

I gulped.

Liam walked me to my door where I dropped Zeus off. He opened his door and the smell of take-out flooded my nose. Ameca’s takeout boxes where on his dining room table. They were the best Mexican restaurant in town. There were boxes everywhere. “As you know I just moved here, so I haven’t unpacked everything. So, excuse the mess.”

I nodded. “Of course.” He had a huge TV in the living room, and hardly anything else but some chairs and a recliner.

“Ugh, sorry for all of this mess,” he said again, walking into the living room holding a first-aid kit. “I’m not much of a cook and I love takeout. Ameca seems like a good place.”

“It is the best Mexican restaurant. Piggy Sue’s is good if you like barbeque. Then La Terraza is pretty good.”

Liam smiled and patted the seat next to the bar. “Sit down and I’ll get to work.” I walked over toward the bar stool and sat. He pulled out some spray and a Band-Aid. “This may sting.” He grabbed my hand, sprayed my wrist and began to rub the spray in. I winced, my stomach tightening from his touch. “Sorry, it’ll stop hurting in a minute or so.” Doubtful. He pulled the Band-Aid off the strips and placed it over the scrap. “There ya go,” he said, stepping back.

I examined his job and smiled. “Thanks a lot. It feels better already.” It never really hurt that bad anyway.

He leaned against the bar. “So, what are you doing in Monticello? You work at the college?” he asked, his gray eyes intensely watching me.

Wait? He thinks I work at the college. I almost laughed. Everyone always said I looked older than twenty two. “I--,” my phone playing Carry On by Fun started blaring through his apartment. Matt’s name crossed the screen as I heard footsteps outside. Damn it.

“You need to take that?” he asked, cocking an eyebrow.

I nodded. “Yeah, I actually need to go. Thanks so much Liam. It was so nice to meet you.” Literally.

He smiled, waving me off. “No problem. Sorry about the wrist. It should get better.” He walked me to the door, opened it and leaned against the frame.

“Thanks again Liam. I--,”

“What in the hell?” I heard from behind me. Matt was standing at our door, mouth ajar, baseball pants on, muscle shirt and cleats. His black hair was messy underneath his backwards UAM baseball hat. “What are you doing, Sarah?”

My faced began to heat as Matt glanced over at Liam, who was cocking an eyebrow and smiling. Stop that. Not to mention he was half-dressed. “Um…I…”

Liam laughed. “She tripped over my dog and scratched her arm. I offered to fix it. No worries.”

Matt narrowed his eyes and cracked his neck. Matt was muscular, but more of weight-lifting than hard work. His blue eyes were what drew me to him at first, not to mention his sexy smile. “Well, ya finished, Sarah? I’d like to eat sometime tonight.”

He is mad. I glanced back over at Liam who winked and smiled. “Nice to meet you both. See ya around.” He shut the door and I felt my stomach shrink.

“Sarah,” Matt said, gesturing toward the door. “What was that about?”

I shook my head. “Nothing….he told you he just helped me.” I walked passed him and unlocked the door. Zeus started attacking his feet and he grumbled underneath his breath.

“Damn it, dog. Get off of me.” Matt took off his shirt, his cleats and his hat. “I’m gonna jump in the shower really quick. Got anything to eat?”

I fought the urge to roll my eyes. Matt wasn’t a bad guy, just jealous. He was raised in a man bring homes the money and women cook kind of family. I wasn’t. He was kind, gentle and kissed really good. He always remembered our anniversary and my birthday. He took me out, but he was obviously stubborn and jealous at times. But, I loved him. “Sure.”

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