Mia and Paul got engaged last week. It seemed a little fast to me, but I can’t deny that they’re really in love. Mia seems so sure about Paul, so I have to trust her.
Also, Paul and Mia have become the main couple that Will and I hang out with. We all get along incredibly well. I kind of see the four of us going out together for the next forty years, kind of like Fred and Wilma and Barney and Betty. I know it’s going to sound shallow though, but sometimes I’m a little jealous of Paul and Mia. I wouldn’t want Will to ever know I feel this way and it’s not like I’d ever trade him for Paul, but sometimes I just feel envious of how much easier it is for them because they don’t have to deal with a disability.
When we were at a club a bit ago, there was some music playing and Mia and Paul got up to dance. I was looking at them kind of longingly, and I think Will noticed because he pulled me onto his lap, and wheeled us out to the dance floor together. We “danced” and it was nice, but between you and me, it wasn’t quite the same.
Anyway, we’re taking Paul and Mia out to dinner tonight to celebrate their engagement. One thing I can say for Will is he has the most money of the four of us. He doesn’t count pennies the way I do, which seems like an amazing way to live. I wish I didn’t have to worry about money at all.
Will picks me up after work and we go to my apartment so I can change clothes. We’re going someplace nice and I want to dress up a bit. Will follows me upstairs, but I don’t have the most wheelchair accessible apartment in the world. The door to the elevator weighs a hundred tons, so I have to hold it open for him.
When I turn the lock to my apartment door, Martha immediately comes racing out to tell me to keep quiet because apparently, even the sound of the door opening is too loud for her these days. I kid you not. She showed me some way to open the lock silently that I haven’t been able to master (and I frankly don’t care).
I’m amused at the sight of Martha’s face when she lays her eyes on Will. I think she’s a little embarrassed to be in her sweats, because Martha’s sweats are really ugly. They’re gray, bulky, and stained with coffee (I hope it’s coffee), and at least two sizes too big for her. Will says he loves me in my sweats, but my sweats are actually cute. I wear a light pink tank top and darker pink sweatpants with thin, silky fabric.
“Oh, hi,” Martha says when she sees me. She looks at Will nervously, like I might try to set them up again. “I, um…”
“Hi, Martha,” Will says politely. “Nice to see you again.”
Martha’s face turns red. She looks like she’s considering making a run for it.
“Will and I are dating now,” I tell her, hoping it will put her at ease. “For about six months.”
“Oh!” Now she just looks confused. “Well, um, try to keep it down, if you don’t mind? I’m trying to study.”
Martha hurries back to her room and shuts the door behind her, and probably puts her dresser against the door to barricade it. I almost start laughing.
“Were we unacceptably noisy?” Will asks, confused.
“No, Martha’s just lost her mind,” I explain.
“Gotcha.” He grins. “Thanks for setting me up with her, by the way.”
“I’m lucky it didn’t work out.” I grin back. “She could be your girlfriend now!”
Will laughs but doesn’t comment further. If there’s one thing he doesn’t do, it’s make fun of other people. I guess he feels he can’t throw stones.
Unfortunately, Will can’t fit in my room. His wheelchair is just barely narrow enough to get through the door, but once he does, the bed immediately blocks him from entering or turning. Last time he was here, he attempted to transfer onto my bed, but he gave up after nearly falling on his ass. So he just sits right outside the door and watches me do my little Pretty Woman montage.
“What do you think of this?” I ask him as I model a green dress with a turtle neck and short dress.
“It looks amazing,” he says.
I bite my lip. “But what about this red dress? I’ve been waiting for an occasion to wear it.” I bought this short red dress after seeing Angelina Jolie wearing a similar one in Vogue magazine.
“That looks nice too.”
“But then I have this little black dress,” I say. “It’s a little more simple, more appropriate no matter where we go.”
“That one looks great too.”
“Maybe I should call Mia and see what she’s wearing…”
“Or maybe you should just get dressed right now because we have only twenty minutes to get across town and find parking.”
Men. They never get it.
I finally decide to stick with the green dress. With Will gently nagging me, I apply a fresh layer of lipstick then grab my purse to leave. As I’m unlocking the door, Martha peeks her head out of her room and gives me a look. One day, I’m going to throw something at her.
“Don’t take this personally,” Will says, “but your place is awful.”
“What are you paying?”
“Twelve hundred a month.”
Will starts coughing. “You’re joking, right? There’s no way you’re paying that much money for that shithole.”
“Unfortunately, there is a way. And I am.”
“Maybe you should just… move in with me.”
I look at Will’s face and I can see that he isn’t joking. Of course, I’d been thinking a lot about moving in with him. But I was afraid to bring it up. “That’s a thought.”
“I don’t want to rush you,” he says quickly. “But this place is just a money sink. I’ve got a huge apartment and… well, I’d love to have you living with me.”
I sit down in his lap and he puts his arms around me. “I’d love it too,” I say.
He runs his fingers gently through my hair. “Also,” he says, “if you don’t have to pay your rent anymore, maybe you could quit your job and go back to school.” He quickly adds, “If that’s something you’d want to do.”
I’m initially surprised by the suggestion because Will hasn’t mentioned my going back to school in a long time. But he’s right. If I don’t have to work, then maybe I could go back to school. Get enough education to do a job that I actually love. Or at least, don’t hate. But I’m not going to think about that right now.
So the dinner ends up being both a celebration of Mia and Paul’s engagement, but also a celebration of me and Will deciding to move in together. Mia is over the moon when she finds out because she adores Will.
“Mark my words,” Mia says to me when we’re in the ladies’ room together. “You’re going to be the next one to get engaged.”
“I think it’s a little soon,” I laugh, although the truth is, I’ve been thinking the same thing.
“I bet Will has already picked out the ring,” Mia says as she runs a comb through her hair, even though her hair is already perfect.
“Oh, come on…”
“And our kids will be the same age,” Mia sighs.
At dinner, Will is incredibly affectionate, even more so than usual. I think we both feel like we’ve finally found The One, and this is it for us. It’s a great feeling. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m at least doing okay in the relationships department.
I just keep getting this bad feeling like I’m going to do something to screw it up.
Jude moved out of Will’s spare room ages ago, but there’s still a few of his old boxes in the closet. Since I’m moving in, Will decided that Jude needs to get his shit out ASAP. So Jude’s coming by to pick up the boxes.
Will and Jude are still sort of friends. Will doesn’t talk about him much, but they work together so I know they have contact. Will has known Jude for a really long time, longer than he’s known me, and really, he doesn’t have any particular reason to be angry at him. I think they grab lunch together from time to time. I’m okay with it. After all, how can I really be angry at Jude when he’s the one who introduced me to Will?
Will warned me that Jude was taking off early from work and would be showing up around 4 in the afternoon, so I would know not to be around. Initially, my plan was to work late today so there would be no chance of running into him. But then I got to thinking about how Jude decided he didn’t want me, that he thought I wasn’t good enough to be exclusive with. And I wanted to teach him a lesson. Plus if he ends up moving back to London, this could be my last chance.
So instead of staying at work late, I end up cutting out early. I go home and dig out the slinkiest red dress I own. I put it on and stare at myself in the mirror critically. I’m not thrilled. When I bought this dress, I was a size 6 and now I’m a size 8. Will and I have been eating way too much greasy food, and although my breasts are bigger, I’ve clearly got a bit of a tummy. I suck it in and the effect isn’t too bad though.
Then I go for the make-up. I know Jude loves the smoky eyes, so I really lay it on thick. I just got my hair done last week, so my roots are perfect. I grab my curling iron and give myself a few soft curls around my face. When I step back to examine my handiwork, I’m very pleased. I haven’t looked this good in months.
I want to be waiting for Jude when he shows up. I want him to lay his eyes on me and want me desperately. Then I want him to know that he can’t have me ever again. That he blew it.
As planned, I’m waiting in the apartment at 4 o’clock, perched on the sofa, pretending to read a book. Of course, Jude’s late. He finally shows up at 4:45, after I’ve retouched my make-up about eight times.
Jude walks in like he owns the place, which I guess isn’t surprising considering he lived here for many years. I look at him for a second before he spots me, and… god, he’s still really hot. Somehow I forgot how sexy he looked, especially in his suit from work. I love that streaky blond hair. And even from here, I can smell his cologne. How is it possible that after all this time, after everything that Jude did to me, the smell of his cologne still gets me?
“Libby,” Jude says, looking shocked.
I scramble to my feet. I almost trip, but I quickly recover and do my best to look alluring. “Hello, Jude.”
He looks me over and blinks. “Wow, you look stunning.”
“This old thing?” I’m still terrible about being gracious.
“Well, you look great,” he says. “Really. Being with Will obviously agrees with you.”
“Yes,” I say.
“He’s very lucky,” Jude says.
He’s not quite saying what I want. I want him to fall to his knees and beg me to take him back. Then I can laugh in his face and tell him he’s too late.
“Are you jealous?” I ask him.
“Naturally,” he says, shrugging. “As I said, Will’s very lucky.”
Okay, this isn’t quite working.
“Hey,” Jude says, “are my boxes in the bedroom?”
I nod. “Can I get you something to drink?”
“A glass of water would be lovely.”
Water? No, I don’t think so. While Jude is in the bedroom, I dig around in the cupboards and find a bottle of white wine. I pour him a glass and then one for myself as well. When Jude comes out, his muscles bulging from carrying a heavy cardboard box, I hold out the glass to him. “How about wine instead?”
“Perfect,” Jude says. “I was dying for a glass, but I was afraid to ask.”
He sits down on the couch and I sit next to him. Close, but not too close. He sips his glass of wine and I can tell he’s looking at my legs. The old Jude probably would have commented that I put on a bit of weight, but he’s not saying that now. I can see his eyes sliding up the length of my legs until…
“You’re not wearing your knickers,” he comments, a glint in his eyes.
“You noticed,” I say, smiling.
Finally, he gets it. He slides a little closer to me on the couch. “I’ve missed you, love.”
I look down and I can see the erection poking at his work pants. He puts his hand on my knee and slides it along the inside of my thigh. Now is the time to lower the boom. To tell him that he can never have me, so he may as well just go home and take a cold shower.
Except somehow I’m not saying that. Somehow I’m letting his hand move up my leg and into an area where no one but Will has touched me for the last six months. And now I’m letting him lean over me and kiss my lips as his hand continues to move north.
I need to tell him to stop. Now. Right now.
Except I can’t. Really, all I can think about is Jude thick, hard cock, which is now throbbing against my thigh. And I think about how even though I have the most amazing oral sex ever with Will, it’s been a really long time since I’ve had a thick, hard cock thrusting roughly inside me. And suddenly, that’s all I can think about, all I want. I know I’m not thinking straight but I can’t bring myself to push Jude away. Will flashes in my head for a second, but I can’t think about that. Jude is so fucking sexy.
“I want to fuck you, Libby,” Jude whispers in my ear.
“Yes, yes,” I breathe.
He’s lifting the hem of my dress higher and higher, and finally, I just say fuck it and take it off. Jude grins at me and undoes the button on his pants and pulls them off. He takes my dress out of my hands, and hurls it and his pants across the room. I’m breathing fast as Jude continues to kiss me and paw at me. And Jude’s penis is pressing against me and I know any second he’ll be inside me….
And then the lock turns on the apartment door.
I jump away from Jude, my heart slamming in my chest. I see my dress draped sloppily over a chair and know that there’s no way I can get to it on time, or at least, no way to get it on me and hide what I’ve been doing in here before Will gets inside. It’s not physically possible. “Shit!” I cry.
So I do the only thing I can, which is to grab a cushion to cover my naked body. As if maybe Will won’t notice I’m naked if I do that. Of course, the whole thing is totally stupid and I realize that as Will wheels inside and sees the two of us half-naked on the couch.
At first, he’s really quiet. He just stares at us and Jude gets up to put on his pants. I am completely frozen and can’t move. I want to rewind the last thirty minutes. I want to do anything that will get rid of the look on Will’s pale face.
“I’m so sorry,” I finally say.
He shakes his head, his eyes glassy.
My fingers dig into the fabric of the cushion. “Will…”
“You know,” he says, his voice shaking. “I would expect this from you, Jude.” He looks at Jude, then back at me. “But never from you, Libby. Never.”
I didn’t think there was anything that could make this moment any worse, but there it is. My eyes meet his and I can tell he’s struggling not to cry. Finally, he backs up his chair and heads for the door, slamming it behind him.
Jude, now wearing his pants again, hands me my dress. “That was a shame,” Jude says. “I hated for him to find out that way.”
I’m too numb to respond. I take the dress and hold it in my lap.
“Libby,” Jude says. “I know the mood is kind of dead right now, but… I’d really love to see you again. Finish what we started today.”
I look up at him, not sure what to say. The truth is, as awful as I feel right now, I do kind of want to see Jude again. It’s obvious that he’s not entirely out of my system. But what’s the point? He was so awful to me before.
“I made a huge mistake letting you get away,” Jude goes on. “I fancy the hell of you and if the only way to be with you is for us to be exclusive, that’s what I want.”
I shake my head. “I don’t know, Jude.”
Jude reaches out and takes my head. “At least promise you’ll give it a think. You’ve still got my mobile number, haven’t you?”
I nod. I never removed Jude’s number from my phone and maybe that was a sign. Maybe all along, I was just deluding myself that I was happy with Will because he treated me so well and was so in love with me. Maybe I owe myself another shot with Jude. After all, it seems like he’s changed.
God, I’m confused…
To be continued....