Rm w/a Vu(3)

By: A. D. Ryan

“Juliette,” she says, holding her hands up because I’m sure she thinks I’m going to assault her with my heavy book bag next. The thought never crosses my mind, though. Strangling her? Well, that’s another story… “It’s not what you think.”

I laugh dryly, just once. “Oh, it’s not? Well, I feel pretty damn foolish, then,” I say, stepping into the room and flinging my bag on my bed. Ben seems almost relieved, like Delilah’s really been able to convince me that damn quickly. I’m sure to nip that shit in the bud immediately.

Crossing my arms, I turn to them and sneer. “So,” I say, “you like it dirty…big boy?” I can see Ben swallow thickly. “Yeah. That’s what I thought. And to think I was going to offer to…” I can’t even finish the sentence without my stomach rolling.

“Juliette…” His tone is soft, like he’s trying to appeal to some part of me that’s sympathetic. Won’t he be surprised to find that no such part exists.

Shaking my head, I walk to my dresser to grab a few things. “Save it. Honestly, I don’t even care that the two of you are…whatever you are. You made this really easy on me. You two are perfect for each other. I’m out of here. Delilah, the room’s yours. Have a nice fucking life.” The double entendre isn’t intended, but it’s more than fitting. “I’ll be back for the rest of my stuff as soon as I’ve made other arrangements. Touch any of it, and you’ll wish you hadn’t. You’ve already taken something of mine; I’d say I’ve been more than generous.”

I throw my bag back over my shoulder and stalk toward the still-open door. People are no longer walking by; they’re standing in the doorway, blocking my escape. I’m still receiving sympathetic stares, but I don’t want their sympathy; I just want to get the hell out before I break down. Though, if I’m being honest, I’m too angry to cry; I don’t even feel the sting of tears in my eyes.

Pushing my way past the gawkers in the dorm hall, I proceed to our R.A.’s room. I really hope she can move me into another room as soon as possible. It’s the middle of the semester, and I know it’ll be tough, but I’m not above hoping for a miracle.

My knuckles barely touch the wooden door before it’s yanked open. It’s almost as if she was expecting me. “Juliette, what can I do for you?” Daphne asks with a smile that brightens her green eyes.

“Daph, you have to help me out. I need to move out of my dorm. Please tell me you’ve got another room or bed available somewhere.” I flop down on her bed and let my heavy bag fall to the floor with a heavy thud.

Daphne leans against her desk, pulling her shoulder-length strawberry blonde hair into a ponytail. She looks at me, but she doesn’t speak for a minute. She’s trying to figure out what’s happened. Yes, she’s my R.A., but Daphne Robicheaux is also one of my closest friends. We met last year and started hanging out whenever we weren’t busy with our studies.

“Is Delilah’s revolving door of men still active?” she asks carefully.

I laugh, turning my head to her. “Something like that.” Daphne’s eyebrows rise, waiting for me to continue. “Her latest customer was Ben. My Ben.” Her eyebrows stay up, but her mouth falls open. “Yeah. That was my reaction too.”

A loud, repetitive knock on Daphne’s door fills the room. She shakes her head and pushes off the desk to answer it. It shouldn’t surprise me to hear Ben’s voice, and I refuse to get up to go talk to him when he commands Daphne to send me out.

“She doesn’t want to talk to you, Connely,” Daphne tells him fiercely. I can almost visualize her feral stare as she looks two feet up into his eyes, and it makes me smile.

“Don’t start with me. I want to talk to her now.” He sounds angry, which is laughable.

I push myself off the bed, walk to the door, and touch Daphne’s shoulder. Slowly, she turns and looks at me. “I’m going to go and stay with my parents. You’ll call me if something opens up?” While I know that Daphne would gladly let me crash in her dorm for a few days, I don’t want to run the risk of another run-in with Ben or Delilah. What better way to avoid that than to stay with my over-protective father?

“Juliette…” I ignore Ben as I squeeze through the very narrow space he’s left between him and the doorframe.

People are still staring, and it doesn’t help that Ben is following me through the dorm and out to my car, yelling my name the entire time. There’s a part of me that wants to turn around and tell him to screw off, but I know it will only open the lines of communication. And talking to him isn’t something I ever want to do again.

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