"'Cause angry sex is the best kind of sex."
"Here is fine," Ryan said, tapping the plexi-glass. We pulled up beside a 24 hour coffee house and I jumped out before Ryan could stop me.
My heels clicked on the cool cement. I tried to listen to only my steps as I glided along the side walk, trying hard to escape Ryan. It was a pathetic and useless attempt; he caught up to me in seconds and guided me by my elbow into the coffee shop and sat me down in the booth farthest away from the door. We were the only patrons besides a lonely looking woman dressed as if she was from the 60's, so I didn't see the need for such privacy.
Ryan slid across from me into the booth and clasped his hands on the table in front of him. His chocolate eyes turned upwards and met my waiting ones. He no longer looked angry as I had expected, rather, he looked resigned and tired. There was however a different look in his eyes that was harder to place. The night’s events were starting to take a toll on my energy, so I didn't even bother to try and figure him out. We were, as far as I was concerned, no longer having relations of any sort, so it didn't matter anyway.
"Well," he said calmly after a minute of silence, “I don't really have the right to be mad I guess. Technically you didn't break a rule." He shook his head at the last word and his calm facade was over. "But I'm pissed beyond belief. What I don't get is why him? You could sleep with any man in the city of sin, and no matter how much I would hate that, it would be better than sleeping with Brendon! Why in the bloody hell would you fuck him right in my apartment? I've made you moan enough times to know your sound just about anywhere. Did you even stop to think about how messed up it was?" His body was hunched forward as he spoke, as if protecting himself from unseen danger.
"It's not like I planned any of it. I was pissed off-"
"What the hell was that about anyway?" he asked. The tone he used sounded as if he already knew, and was just trying to get it out of me. I would not answer that question. It was none of his business.
"I'm busy answering your other questions, if you don't mind. Like I said, I was angry, and I met Brendon in the hall. Sometimes anger and arousal are closely linked with me, I couldn't help myself. I know how inconsiderate and stupid it was, but at the time it really didn't matter to me. I needed a fuck to get my mind back in place. And our rules stated we could sleep with other people, Ryan. Brendon was not mentioned as an exception to that rule." A waitress arrived at that moment to ask our order. Ryan quickly ordered two coffees before impatiently waving her away.
"But wouldn't it make sense that he would be off limits? Had he not told you before that he couldn't sleep with you?"
"Well then if you're going to get angry with anyone in this situation shouldn't it be Brendon? He’s a grown man, he shouldn’t be told who he can and cannot sleep with."
"He knows how furious I am with him, and I'll deal with that later. Do you know how much of an idiot you made me feel tonight? I was sitting in my bedroom worried I'd done something terribly wrong. I mean, we were in the middle of sex and suddenly you freeze up and then walk out on me! And then as I'm busy worrying and trying to figure you out, I hear you in my best friend’s room moaning for him! Do you know how much I wanted to kick his ass when I saw him touching you the way I do? Jealousy is not an emotion I'm prone to feeling." His eyes had a sort of frenzied look as he spoke quicker. "I'm not supposed to care about who you sleep with because of these fucking rules, but I do care, I care a lot. I'll be damned if I don't let you know that I care about you a lot more than you-"
"Stop," I said, holding up a trembling hand. "Don't you say another word. That right there is why we have to stop this. I can see now that I've let this go on for too long. It was a mistake to even begin, no matter how good of a fuck you are. You don't need to worry about the rules anymore, Ryan. This thing between us, it’s over. Don't bother trying to get a hold of me. I don't care if you see me in a club, or a store, or just on the street. Just leave me be, do you understand me?"
His thin lips turned downward into a frown. "I'm an English teacher," he said out of nowhere. "Or at least, I was. I've been looking for awhile. I lost my last job because of budget cuts, but there's an opening in the winter semester at a high school I have a shot at. Uhm, I love The Beatles. I think that if anyone is to make music, they should take a lesson or two from them. I-"
I cut him off before he could blabber anymore useless information.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"Well you said rules no longer apply. So before you walk out that door, I want you to know things about me that will make it harder for you to go. So, my dad died a couple of years ago, he and I had a troubled relationship but it was still hard on me. Sometimes I wish I could go back and change it, but then other times I think it was best the way it was. I used to be in a band, we called it quits not too long ago, although Brendon and another friend are still keeping it going and the other guy and I have started our own band. When I was growing up-"
"No more," I said sharply. I gathered my purse in my arms and left the booth. As to be expected, Ryan was right on my heels, but he did not stop me. Outside, he asked, "Why are you so afraid of letting someone in?" His question brought me up short.
"Stay away from me" I hissed. He grimaced at the words.
"Why can't you see?" he whispered. "I can't stay away from you. There's still so much I have to tell you."
"Then tell me! Get it over with!"
He smiled sadly. "You're not ready to hear it. And even if you were, it would take a whole lot more than some threats to keep me away from you." He leaned down and hesitantly brushed his lips against my forehead. "I'm sorry I made you upset, the last thing I want to do is hurt you. Please just come back inside and have a coffee with me."
I thought about it briefly. Ryan was a sweet man; I could see that underneath the exterior he projected because that's how I liked it. I didn't like to see his sweetness because, just like he was trying to do by telling me about himself, it made it harder for me to walk away, which was inevitable. His jealousy was quite another issue altogether, but made him seem all the more endearing. Why couldn't I let him in? It had been long enough since Tyler, plenty of time for me to move on. But I couldn't do it. It felt wrong for me to even think about such a thing, as much as I wanted it. I was sick of waking up in the middle of the night, choking on sobs and a pain ripping through my heart after having dreamt about Tyler. It seemed as if I'd never be fully whole again. It was time I opened myself to another guy, other than Lucas, but when it came down to it, I would find myself running away. There was no excuse, sooner or later it had to be done.
As the thoughts circulated in my head, I yawned widely and realized how much trouble I was having trying to keep my eyes open. A quick glance at my phone told me it was almost three in the morning. I had to be up in four hours to get ready for work.
"Valerie?" he said gently. My attention moved back to him, and as I gazed up into his eyes, I saw that same look in them that I had seen in the cafe.
"Ryan," I murmured and placed my hands on his chest. "I'm sorry I'm such a slut, I'm sorry that I don’t think before I do things. I really wish we could work it all out tonight but I've got to get up in a few hours for work. Can I call you tomorrow?"
The corner of his lip twitched the tiniest bit it was possible I hadn't seen it at all.
"How can I be so sure you'll actually do it?"
I pushed myself onto the tips of my toes and kissed him, but I intentionally made this kiss a different pace for us. My lips moved much more tenderly than normal, almost more passionately and meaningful. I just needed to get away from him to clear my head so I tried what I could to convince him I was being truthful. He seemed quite surprised by the kiss, but took full advantage and wrapped his long arms securely around me. Following his lead, my arms slid up over his shoulders and locked behind his neck. The kiss could have lasted only second, but felt like minutes, and it left me breathless with my head swirling.
"Just trust me," I managed to whisper before we untangled ourselves and I waved down a passing cab. Ryan only stood and watched as I climbed in and told the cabbie my address. I remember looking back to see him still standing, not having moved at all, before my eyes began to win the battle and I drifted off into a light sleep.
It was 4 pm when I got off work. My body ached from sleep deprivation and having to stand all day with a mere half hour break in between. My phone, which I had tried my hardest not to think about, was a heavy reminder in my pocket for what I had promise in the early hours of the morning. I hadn't been so specific as to what time I would call him, so I figured I could put it off for a few hours. But thoughts kept bothering me all throughout my work day. Maybe he wouldn't have to wait that long for me to call. The thoughts that had begun chasing me were exactly what they should be. As far as I could tell Ryan wasn't going to hurt me, something I was afraid of. If anything, I would end up hurting Ryan, as I had done unintentionally the night before. He had apologized for hurting me, when it should have been the other way around. I was not being fair to him, so I either had to set him straight and make him understand my situation or cut off all ties. As I thought about it, I realized the decision had already been made subconsciously.
As I rounded the corner to the block of my apartment, something stopped me dead in my tracks; police cars in too many numbers to count were parked outside my building. The red and blue lights caused my breath to get caught in my throat. The scene was all too familiar, and I had to get out of there. My feet carried me in the other direction and before I knew it, my phone was in my hand and I had already dialled Ryan. He had answered before the first ring had finished.
"You called," he said. I started panicking. What was I supposed to say to him? We had never spoke over the phone, the only reason I had his phone number programmed into my crappy piece of shit was if for someone reason I wasn't able to make our weekly Friday appointments.
I cleared my throat. "I said I would, didn't I?"
He laughed lightly on the other end of the phone. "I'm glad you did. I've been looking forward to hearing your voice."
"Listen," I said, ignoring the flutter in my stomach. "Are you busy tonight? I have some things I want to talk to you about that aren't really phone call material. Could we go for dinner or something?"
There was a pause on the other end of the phone before Ryan sighed. "Normally I'd be excited that you want to go on a date with me, but this doesn't sound too good."
"Ry, please? Can you meet me at the Fleur De Lys in about an hour?"
"Yeah, sure. But-"
"I'll see you soon," I said quickly, hanging up the phone. I needed myself mentally prepared for the evening. And that started with my physical appearance. I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt; Ryan had never seen me in anything other than a dress or a skirt and blouse. The restaurant was also a little more expensive, so my casual wardrobe wouldn't cut it. I stopped at one of the many boutiques on my way and picked out a powder blue baby doll dress with a silver halter strap. It clung to my body in a softer way than any of my other dresses did, allowing me to feel a little more relaxed. I stopped in one more store to apply a little blush, mascara, and gloss. As I passed store fronts, I realized that Ryan would definitely be taken aback by the difference in appearance.
The restaurant was definitely classy, I was glad I had changed my outfit. But as I stood waiting for the hostess, I noticed the surroundings. The walls were painted black and decorated with mirrors of different eras and plush red booths surrounded beautiful marble tables. The lights were dim, and I cursed myself for having picked such an intimate place for the conversation I would soon have with Ryan.
"Reservation?" I heard the hostess ask, invading my thoughts.
"Oh, no. Table for two please."
She looked at me with a cynical eye before she answered, "We are by reservation only Miss, if you do not have one I'll have to ask you to leave."
I opened my mouth to respond with a rude comment but an arm slipped around my waist followed by, "Good evening, Camilla. She'll be dining with me."
"Of course, Mr. Ross, it’s a pleasure to have you dine with us any day." She picked up two velvet menus and we followed her through the restaurant. I expected the back area, but as she passed even those, I turned to ask Ryan, who had taken my arm.
"Here we are," she said, rendering my question useless. She stood and motioned into a private room.
"Thank you, Camilla." His warm hand pressed the small of my back and I walked forward into the beautifully scented room. This was the second time he had done something like this. I began to wonder if there was something important about him I didn't know. I made a mental note to ask him later.
We settled ourselves into the room. Ryan poured two glasses of wine from the wine bottle he produced from the selection sitting in ice in the center of the table. Before I had taken a sip from mine, Ryan had gulped down half of his and then placed his glass to the side.
"So let's get this over with then."
"I'd like to eat first, if you don't mind," I said politely. My hands brushed the velvet cover and I smiled over at him. "I need food in my stomach before-"
"This is weird," he said. His hand reached across the table and took mine.
"Seeing you like this." He looked around the room and then rested his eyes on me. "You look quite different without my bed sheets underneath you." I felt the heat rise to my cheeks and was glad the lighting was dim. His hand left mine, but came up and cupped my cheek. "It’s nice. Sometimes I forget there's a world outside when I'm with you in my bedroom. You look lovely by the way. You don't need to wear all that make up, I like you natural looking like this. Although, that dress might be a bit of a mistake."
His words made me flinch, and with his hand still on my face, he felt it.
"What I mean by that," he said leaning forward, "is that even though it’s showing less than normal, it's making me hard to think about anything other than skipping this whole dinner thing and taking you home with me." His lips came down against mine, and that same heat rose back to my face. My mouth moved eagerly, and my hands went behind his neck to pull him closer to me. He smiled against my lips and pulled away.
"That's not what I was expecting. The way you sounded over the phone, I was expecting this to be serious."
I sat back in my seat and tried to smile. "It will be. Just let me eat first."
Our waiter came in a few minutes later and we ordered with dinner following soon. The meal passed quietly, with few words exchanged, but the silence, much to my surprise, was not uncomfortable.
"Alright," he said, pushing his empty plate away from him. "Let me have it."
"Let you have what?"
"Well," he shifted in his seat anxiously. "Aren't you here to try and end this? I should warn you, I have a lot to say on the topic. Now I'm not saying we have to be exclusive or anything, but I'd really like to you see you more than just once a week. I'd like to take you out more often, too. You’re not the type of girl a guy likes to leave hidden all the damn time."
We eyed each other, neither one of us looking away. That familiar, yet unplaceable look was in his eyes again. What was it? I shook my head, trying not to get distracted.
"I can't do this anymore, Ryan. You and I are just too different. And not including that, I can't ever be what you want. I will always be that girl who gets fucked, not made love to. I-"
"No," he said over me. "I'm not going to let you do this. There's still so much-"
"You keep saying that!" I yelled, throwing my hands into the air. "But what do you mean?"
"I can't tell you yet." He voice was calm and even, as if we were discussing what to eat for desert. "Please, just, don't leave like this."
"There's nothing in this arrangement for you but fucking. It’s really no big loss. I'm sure you'll find someone better than me, and so can I. Brendon was well on his way-"
"Don't even joke about that!" Ryan burst out, his usually composed face twisted in anger. “You will not see him again!”
"I'm not joking! We have to talk about Brendon. You had no right doing what you did last night. And you most certainly cannot tell me what to do!"
"We both know that neither of us is going to find someone better. Sex has never been like it is with you with any other woman and whether you want to admit it or not, that's because there is something more between us."
"I can't deal with you Ryan!" I yelled. "You're absolutely impossible!" I grabbed my purse and made for the door but Ryan’s strong grip wrenched me around. I tried to pull myself free but the attempt was nothing. The look on his face scared me but I had no time to react as his lips crashed onto mine, moving roughly, almost hurting my lips. He took my purse and dropped it on the floor before grabbing my shoulders and nearly threw me against the wall.
"What are you doing?" I gasped when I managed to free my lips. My head was turned away, searching for air, and he released my shoulder to pull my chin towards his face.
"I'm giving you what you want, aren't I?" His hand slid down over my breast and slipped under my dress to tug down my panties. He had his pants undone in a record time and then lifted my off the ground and lowered me onto his erect member.
"You have no idea how much I love fucking your pussy," he whispered hoarsely into my ear. With my back pressed against the wall, and my legs wrapped around his body, Ryan slammed into me. My back scrapped uncomfortably against the wall and my hips hurt from where his hands gripped the bone tightly but not a single part of me wanted him to stop. I moaned as he thrust even harder into me. This wasn't just fucking. Many times we had fucked and it had never been like this. No, this was not fucking, this was anger.
"We should argue more often," he huffed between thrusts.
"Why?" I managed to spit out. The room was filled with only the noises of our bodies meeting for a moment before he said, "'Cause angry sex is the best kind of sex."
I opened my mouth to agree with him, but the door swung open and both Ryan and I froze. The waitress did not seem to notice us thanks to the door opening towards us and not away from us. She sighed and retreated from the room, allowing me to let out the laugh I was trying to stifle. Ryan grinned and then carried me over to the table, his hard member still inside of me. He sat me on the edge of the cool surface after having pushed the plates aside, and began where we had left off. As he fucked me, my unfocused eyes noticed our reflections on the frosted glass door; the sight was erotic and I was fascinated by it. Perhaps it was what drove me over the edge, allowing myself to let myself go and triggering Ryan's own finish.
I bit down softly on his neck as he leaned against my body, panting and trying to catch his breath. He moaned softly and repositioned his head so that his lips brushed my chin.
"Thank you," he whispered. Had I not been spent and out of breath, I might have noticed the change in his tone and body language. It would have made me realize that he really did feel more strongly about our situation than I was ready to admit. But I was too busy trying to catch my breath, so the mood changed without a thought on my part; Ryan had won an unspoken battle.
After things we cleaned up and the dinner bill paid, we stood outside the restaurant.
"So where does this leave us?" I asked him, surprising myself; I had just given him the power.
"No more of this rule bull shit. If we're going sleep together, I don't want to have to worry about all this other nonsense. You can sleep with whomever you want, but I want to be able talk to you. It’s not at all like a relationship, so if it helps you, think of it like a friends with benefits kind of thing."
"Friends with benefits?"
"Yeah. I'm good at things other than sex.” He smirked and stroked my cheek with his index finger. "Come talk to me if you have problems."
"Friends with benefits," I repeated, more to myself. It seemed practical. It just made me more of a cold bitch if we kept sleeping together without me knowing anything about him at all. "I think I can handle that."
He grinned and swooped down to kiss me.
"I'm glad to hear that. Now, it’s only seven-thirty. Would you like to do something? You know, as friends. We can make good on the benefits again later tonight."
"Uh, I sort of have plans already."
He looked down at the ground and shrugged, aware of the underlying meaning of that simple statement. I didn't realize I felt bad until I was telling him I would cancel my plans and not at all feeling guilty. In one evening, without either of us really addressing it, our relationship had changed, and for once, I was scared of not knowing what was going to happen.