Walking Disaster

By: Jamie McGuire

So I did. Facedown with a reach around, and she loved every minute of it.

CHAPTER FIVE

Roommates

THE SEXAHOLIC WAS IN THE BATHROOM, GETTING dressed and primping. She didn’t say much after we finished, and I was thinking I was going to have to get her number and put her on the very short list of girls—like Megan—that didn’t require a relationship to have sex, and were also worth a repeat.

Shepley’s phone chirped. It was a kiss noise, so it must have been America. She changed her text tone on his phone, and Shepley was more than happy to comply. They were good together, but they also made me wanna puke.

I was sitting on the couch clicking through channels, waiting for the girl to come out so I could send her home, when I noticed that Shepley was buzzing around the apartment.

My eyebrows pushed together. “What are you doing?”

“You might want to pick up your shit. Mare’s coming over with Abby.”

That got my attention. “Abby?”

“Yeah. The boiler went out again at Morgan.”

“So?”

“So they’re going to be staying here for a few days.”

I sat up. “They? As in Abby’s going to stay here? In our apartment?”

“Yes, buttmunch. Get your mind out of Jenna Jameson’s ass and listen to what I’m saying. They will be here in ten minutes. With luggage.”

“No fuckin’ way.”

Shepley stopped in his tracks and looked at me from under his brow. “Get your ass up and help me, and take your trash out,” he said, pointing to the bathroom.

“Oh, fuck,” I said, hopping to my feet.

Shepley nodded his head, his eyes wide. “Yeah.”

It finally hit. If it pissed America off that I had a straggler still here when she arrived with Abby, it would put Shepley in a bad spot. If Abby didn’t want to stay here because of it, it would become his problem—and mine.

My eyes focused on the bathroom door. The faucet had been running since she’d gone in there. I didn’t know if she was taking a shit or a shower. No way was I going to get her out of the apartment before the girls came. It would look worse if I was caught trying to sweep her out, so I decided to change the sheets on my bed and pick up a little bit, instead.

“Where is Abby going to sleep?” I asked, looking at the couch. I wasn’t going to let her sprawl out on fourteen months of body fluids.

“I don’t know. The recliner?”

“She’s not sleeping on the fucking recliner, assclown.” I scratched my head. “I guess she’ll sleep in my bed.”

Shepley howled, his laughter spanning at least two blocks. He bent over and grabbed his knees, his face turning red.

“What?”

He stood up and pointed, shaking his finger and his head at me. He was too amused to talk, so he just walked away, trying to continue cleaning while his body shuddered.

Eleven minutes later, Shepley was jogging across the front room to the door. He made his way down the stairs, and then nothing. The faucet in the bathroom finally shut off, and it became very quiet.

After a few minutes more, I heard the door bang open, and Shepley complaining between grunts.

“Christ, baby! Your suitcase is twenty pounds more than Abby’s!”

I walked into the hall, seeing my latest conquest emerge from the bathroom. She froze in the hallway, took one look at Abby and America, and then finished buttoning her blouse. She definitely wasn’t freshening up in there. She still had makeup smeared all over her face.

For a minute, I was completely distracted from the awkwardness by the letters W, T, and F. I guess she wasn’t as uncomplicated as previously thought, making America and Abby’s unannounced visit even more welcome. Even if I was still in my boxers.

“Hi,” she said to the girls. She looked down at their luggage, her surprise turning to total confusion.

America glared at Shepley.

He held up his hands. “She’s with Travis!”

That was my cue. I turned the corner and yawned, patting my guest’s ass. “My company’s here. You’d better go.”

She seemed to relax a bit and smiled. She wrapped her arms around me, and then kissed my neck. Her lips felt soft and warm not an hour ago. In front of Abby, they were like two sticky buns lined with barbed wire.

“I’ll leave my number on the counter.”

“Eh . . . don’t worry about it,” I said, purposefully nonchalant.

“What?” she asked, leaning back. The rejection in her eyes shone bright, searching mine for something other than what I truly meant. Glad this was coming out now. I might have called her again and made things very messy. Mistaking her for a possible frequent flyer was a bit startling. I was usually a better judge than that.

“Every time!” America said. She looked at the woman. “How are you surprised by this? He’s Travis Fucking Maddox! He is famous for this very thing, and every time they’re surprised!” she said, turning to Shepley. He put his arm around her, gesturing for her to calm down.

The woman’s eyes narrowed, on fire with anger and embarrassment, and then she stormed out, grabbing her purse on the way.

The door slammed, and Shepley’s shoulders tensed. Those moments bothered him. I, on the other hand, had a shrew to tame, so I strolled into the kitchen and opened the fridge as if nothing had happened. The hell in her eyes foretold a wrath like I had never experienced (not because I hadn’t come across a woman who wanted to hand my ass to me on a silver platter, but because I’d never cared to stick around to hear it).

America shook her head and walked down the hall. Shepley followed her, angling his body to compensate for the weight of her suitcase as he trailed behind her.

Just when I thought Abby would strike, she collapsed into the recliner. Huh. Well . . . she’s pissed. Might as well get it over with.

I crossed my arms, keeping a minimum safe distance from her by staying in the kitchen. “What’s wrong, Pidge? Hard day?”

“No, I’m thoroughly disgusted.”

It was a start.

“With me?” I asked with a smile.

“Yes, you. How can you just use someone like that and treat them that way?”

And so it began. “How did I treat her? She offered her number, I declined.”

Her mouth fell open. I tried not to laugh. I don’t know why it amused me so much to see her flustered and appalled at my behavior, but it did. “You’ll have sex with her, but you won’t take her number?”

“Why would I want her number if I’m not going to call her?”

“Why would you sleep with her if you’re not going to call her?”

“I don’t promise anyone anything, Pidge. She didn’t stipulate a relationship before she spread-eagled on my couch.”

She stared at the couch with revulsion. “She’s someone’s daughter, Travis. What if, down the line, someone treats your daughter like that?”

The thought had crossed my mind, and I was prepared. “My daughter better not drop her panties for some jackass she just met, let’s put it that way.”

That was the truth. Did women deserve to be treated like sluts? No. Did sluts deserve to be treated like sluts? Yes. I was a slut. The first time I bagged Megan and she left without so much as a cuddle, I didn’t cry about it and eat a gallon of ice cream. I didn’t complain to my frat brothers that I put out on the first date and Megan treated me according to the way I behaved. It is what it is, no sense in pretending to protect your dignity if you set out to destroy it. Girls are notorious for judging each other, anyway, only taking a break long enough to judge a guy for doing it. I’d hear them label a classmate a whore before the thought ever crossed my mind. However, if I took that whore home, bagged her, and released her strings-free, I was suddenly the bad guy. Nonsense.

Abby crossed her arms, noticeably unable to argue, and that made her even angrier. “So, besides admitting that you’re a jackass, you’re saying that because she slept with you, she deserved to be tossed out like a stray cat?”

“I’m saying that I was honest with her. She’s an adult, it was consensual . . . she was a little too eager about it, if you want to know the truth. You act like I committed a crime.”

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