The spider performed an insanely graceful dance as it glided down the web of death that it had created and finally reached the trapped fly that was buzzing meaninglessly against the instrument of its torture. In a few short moments the spider was on the fly and I knew what would come next. The spider would feast and the fly would be bye-bye.
Yeah. I wasn’t about to watch that.
When was the last time that the ceiling had been cleaned anyway?
Turning over onto my stomach I buried my face in my pillow and breathed in the smell of him. The smell was intoxicating: aftershave, his citrusy shampoo, and the faint hint of man sweat that made him oh so more desirable. Before I could stop it, a wide grin cut across my features, making me feel even more pathetic than I already felt. Why does it feel so good to love someone that’s so wrong for me?
“Oh boo hoo. Get over it, no one forced you into this arrangement,” the voice in my head screamed at me, “You could stop this sick charade any time you want to.”
I threw the pillow over my face and spoke aloud. “Yah know, for a conscience you sure do make me feel shitty.” As I was getting prepared to breathe in my second dose of Adam (Adam, the person to whom the scent coating my pillow belongs to) my cell phone vibrated on the wooden table next to my bed that housed all my junk. Feeling blindly I finally located my phone and answered it, my voice slightly muffled by the pillow.
“Tanner?” the voice on the other end sounded unsure. I recognised that voice as soon as the first letter of my name was uttered. It’s the voice that plagues my dreams too often. I sat upright; the pillow falling to the floor as I dragged a hand across my face to compose myself.
“Adam,” I say, the smile reaching my voice without my intention.
“Bad time?” again, the voice sounded unsure and my smile grew even wider as I imagined the slightly distressed look on his face.
“Actually...yes. Yes it is. I am, in fact, watching a spider eating its lunch on my bedroom ceiling. Extremely entertaining.”
And my reward? His rare short burst of laughter. The laughter that lit up his eyes and turned my world over on its heels.
Oh, for shit’s sake, someone stop me before I make myself puke.
“Come over,” he said, the laugh still trailing in his voice.
“Now?” I ask, the phone gripped so tightly in my hand that I’m sure the skin around my knuckles has turned white.
“Yeah. My parents aren’t due ‘till seven and I just got rid of Chelsea.” There was a pause but I knew that he wouldn’t say the words that I long to hear from him.
Say that you want to see me again.
Say that you miss me.
Say that I mean something to you.
But, of course no such words were spoken.
“Okay, see you in ten.”
“Oh, would you look at that. Princess finally decided to get up.” My sister Gabrielle, blonde, preppy and oh-so-nauseating, appeared in the kitchen just as I was forcing down a cup of black coffee. She laughed at my pain.
“Why do you insist on drinking your coffee black again?” she flicked her blonde hair (standard blonde hair, mind you. The hair colour that she, and half the cheerleading team, sported) and smirked.
“I’m working on my bad guy persona. And I think that drinking this...stuff, adds to it.”
She grinned and tousled my hair as she poured herself a cup, adding plenty of sugar and creamer.
“Yeah...I think that being gay kinda puts a dent in that so-called bad guy persona.”
I laughed. My sister was one of the first people that I came out to. Maybe before I was sure of it myself. We get along pretty well.
Even if she does stand for all that I’m against.
But hey, that’s family for you.
I grabbed my bag and cell before giving her a playful punch on the shoulder.
“Well I’m heading out. If mom decides to get up today tell her I’m at the library or something.”
Gabrielle grabbed onto my arm and forced me to look at her.
“Tanner...Where are you really going?”
I grinned at her, trying not to show my discomfort.
“You know where...” I raised an eyebrow and tried to lighten the mood.
“Tanner. You have to end this. Soon. Chelsea is my friend; I can’t keep lying to her.”
I inhaled sharply and closed my eyes. Stupid Gabrielle. She just had to walk into my room when Adam finally had enough guts to come over. And unfortunately we weren’t just talking when she walked in. In other words, we were making out. There is no way to explain your way out of that one, believe me, I tried.
I slumped onto the kitchen chair, my shoulders deflated like the rest of me. “It’s just...some innocent fun okay?”
Gabby smiled faintly at me. “It would be if he wasn’t dating my best friend while he was fooling around with you.”
I pulled a face.
“Fooling around? You make me sound like a common whore.”
She grinned and left the kitchen, leaving me with only my conscience as company as it hurled insults at me.
The door to Adam’s house never used to affect me the way it does now. When we first moved in, it was just the house across the road with the hot guy in it. I stood in front of his door and held the razor blade chain he gave me between my lips. I always did that. My hand clutched the door handle as my conscience decided to belittle me once again. “I wonder if his girlfriend has her own key to his house. Do you think that he tells her he loves her whenever they speak on the phone? Stark contrast to the way he acts around you isn’t it?” I shook my head, but it was no use, the bastard in my head was right. I opened the door and walked into the hallway as I had done so many times before but those annoying, nagging thoughts messed with my mind and made me analyze something that had seemed so simple to me a little while ago. Adam is popular. Being gay would make Adam less popular. This means that Adam is a complete jackass in public but one of the sweetest people I know when we’re alone. But is that all I am to him? A quick hook up? Strong hands circled my waist before my thoughts had a chance to make me go completely emo, and I felt myself being pulled into an embrace. I smiled as his lips touched my neck, the smile on his lips transferring onto my skin. “Well helloooo to you too.” I said, breathlessly as his hands worked their way over my sides and tried to ease their way under my shirt. I swatted his hands away playfully, using the distraction to turn in his embrace so our eyes could lock, a smirk pulling on my lips. My witty retort of how much he must have missed me was ended, before it had a chance to form, by the abrupt assault of his lips smashing onto my own. Somewhere in the haze my mind was screaming that we could be caught out in the open but it was effectively silenced as Adam nipped at my bottom lip teasingly. He moved excruciatingly slowly over my jaw down to my throat, peppering the flesh with hot, wet kisses.
The kisses morphed into gentle caresses, mischievous lips brushing against the heated flesh, his fingers free to drift under my shirt unhindered, taking joy in tracing the skin and light muscle under his tips. I mewled softly, pawing at his back, trying to get some control of the situation but he was having none of that, his touches masterfully manipulating me with précised stroking and skilled tampering; his hands scorching.
“Hmm?” he didn’t even bother to remove his lips from my skin. He was making it so hard to think.
“We need...to get to your bedroom.” My hands grasped his shirt and the material was clenched in my fists, my libido urging me to remove the cloth that was keeping me from being closer to him.
He chuckled, a sound almost as rare as his laugh.
“You don’t believe in foreplay anymore?” I felt his teeth graze my throat before his lips closed in on my pulse, biting and sucking on it gently. A moan escaped my lips without my consent and I knew that there was no point in talking. Grabbing his hand, I dragged him to his room before someone could walk in on us. I heard another chuckle from the person being dragged behind me and turned my head slightly to shoot him a quizzical look.
“Oh, don’t worry about me. I’m just enjoying the view.“ I felt the blush creeping up my cheeks and turned to look straight ahead before he noticed. Once in his bedroom, with the door firmly shut, I felt as though I could breathe again. I grinned at him before leaning in for a kiss, a kiss that was cut short by the sound of the front door opening.
“Adam! Adam? It’s Chelsea...I think I left my cell here?” the sound of someone walking up the stairs followed. “Adam?”
The look of panic in Adam’s eyes would have been amusing to me had it not been for the fact that his girlfriend was making her way to his bedroom while his hands were still under my shirt and mine were still on his waist.
“Shit!” he whispered while looking around the room frantically. I honestly wasn’t as freaked out as he was. The worst that little cheerleader Chelsea could do to me was bitch slap me.
“If she thinks that this looks suspicious you can just tell her that we were...hmm. Well I see how this could be hard to explain.“ Adam shot me a look of unease.
“Tanner...this is serious man.” I shrugged. Finally an idea dawned onto him and he grabbed my arm, pulling me into the direction of his black, polished wood closet. He at least had the decency to look sorry before he shoved me in there.
“Adam! Adam, damit! I did not come out of the closet, to the whole judgmental world, just to get shoved back in here!”
“Shhh tanner. Just...it’s just ‘till she leaves okay?“ I kept quiet as Chelsea’s voice filled the room. “Adam! There you are love, why didn’t you answer me?” I heard him cough awkwardly.
“I didn’t hear you.” I heard shuffling and a brief pause before Chelsea spoke again.
“Oh, there it is! I knew that I had left my phone here. I’ll see you later at my house? You are still planning to come over to dinner aren’t you?” her voice grew softer, warmer. “I love you Adam, I want you to meet my parents.” I bit my tongue and willed him not to repeat those words back to her.
“I love you too Chelsea.”
Pain shot through all my senses and I had to bite onto my cheek to keep from running there and tearing her eyes out.
I guess he had made his choice.
“Tanner? She’s gone.” I stepped out of that closet with as much dignity as I could master. A smirk pulled at his lips and made him look so sexy that the anger I had built up almost melted away.
“So, now that you’re out the closet again, do you wanna...” his sentence died when he saw the look on my face. His face fell instantly. “What’s wrong?”
My voice came out devoid of emotion. “You love her.“
He kept quiet.
“Adam...” my hand went up to stroke his cheek, “do you love me?“ The flinch at my touch told me all I needed to know. “Oh, it's fine, don’t feel guilty.” My voice stayed emotionless even though all I wanted to do was scream. “I know what the terms of the agreement are. It’s just a physical relationship right?” A rueful laugh escaped my lips as I felt the hysteria bubbling inside of me. “Can you even call what we had a relationship? There was nothing emotional, nothing...intimate. There was nothing. It was nothing.” I pulled my hand from his face and walked towards the door, blinking hard to keep the tears at bay.
“Tanner...where are you going?” he sounded so defeated that I knew that if I turned around I would probably let all the anger escape and forgive him as I normally did.
“I’m done with this. I’m done with us, whatever we were.”
“You...you won’t tell Chelsea, will you?”
A sigh from me.
“No Adam. But you should tell her. If she loves you as much as she claims then...maybe she’ll forgive you.”
“Do you forgive me?”
I shook my head before walking out of his room.
“I told you that it was going to end badly.” Gabrielle said, sipping the mug of hot chocolate she had brought up with her. We had climbed onto the roof of our house, carrying heavy blankets, like we had so many times before as children. And now we were snuggled close together, watching the stars as they showed off their beauty in the midnight blue sky, while sipping scalding hot hot-chocolate.
“You know what Gabby? How about we wait at least until my wounds aren’t oozing blood anymore before we start with the ‘I told you so’ accusations?”
There was a silence.
“What are you gonna do if he doesn’t tell Chelsea?”
I almost choked on my hot chocolate.
“What in the world makes you think that I plan to do something about it?”
She runs a finger around the rim of her mug, collecting all the milky foam on her fingertip before sticking it into her mouth. Her voice is slightly muffled when she answers.
“Wouldn’t you want to know if you were in her position?”
I sigh. “Let me deal with the Chelsea Bridge when I get there.”
“He’s an ass for hurting you.”
“Well then, I’m an idiot for letting him hurt me.”
“I think you’re pretty okay for an idiot. And tanner?”
“You’ll be okay.”
And looking out at the stars, with the twinkling of lights below me from the city, I believed it.