chapter 1 - growing apart?The fit ones were always the most fun to break. And she never failed. They all succumbed in the end. Their tight little abs and flawless chests were easily melted away in her domain.
She knew how to pick them too, somehow sensing the fragility beneath. Teetering on the edge of control. Hedonistic and over-indulgent little jerks, every last one, just aching to be set free. And she had the key.
Blessed with an agile mind and a body built for sin, she toyed and tamed them, leaving a slew of shattered hearts behind. But she never truly let them in. Not now, not ever. They would be the ones who got hurt, not her. She knew better than that.
But Nero was different. She couldn't help herself somehow. It had only been a whirlwind three weeks, but she could feel herself hanging onto his every word. It drove her mad. The player was finally being played. The irony was not lost upon her. How could she have let this happen?
"Don't get too involved," she kept telling herself. "Take a step back". But that gruff exterior kept drawing her in for more. Tall, broad-shouldered, and strong armed, she guiltily let herself picture him in her mind's eye. The way he towered above her that night. The way his stubble grazed her cheek. The two hundred and ten pounds of pure masculine strength - just ripe for the picking. A real man, and rough around the edges. But not an ounce of fat anywhere to be found on him, just yet.
She stared out of the coffee shop window, thinking about that smile he'd shone her way during their last early morning embrace, almost 9 whole days ago now, before he left. She was sure he had felt something, because she'd felt it too. It wasn't just about the sex. Not this time.
Her coffee was growing cold. She glanced back at her phone, wishing it would answer her silent plea. But no news.
"Nine days. Nine whole days!" And not a word. Nothing. Complete silence.
"Why?" her mind screamed.
She just couldn't bring herself to text him again. She'd broken all the rules by now, her play book bare.
"Oh forget him," said Claire, matter of fact, as she sat down opposite her best, and now forlorn looking friend, as she caught Emille glancing at her phone once again.
Emille looked up and pensively brushed a few stray hairs behind her ear, trying her best to break free from her depressive slump by straightening her back.
"I don't know what I've done," Emille said, finally breaking her silence. Her voice sounded wounded, filled with emotion. Nero's rejection was beginning to hurt. She wasn't used to it, not this way. The game was always played by her rules.
"Screw him Emille. It's his loss," replied Claire.
"I suppose," sighed Emille staring at her hands as if looking for answers.
The feelings were still raw and Emille found it difficult to talk about it, but needed to get it out, move on. She appreciated Claire coming to her aid to keep her company that morning.
"Did you let him sleep with you?" asked Claire, bluntly, once she had made herself comfortable in her seat.
Emille stared out of the window, trying her best to ignore the question, and in that very moment hating how she and her longest standing friend had shared everything between one another over the years. Well, almost everything, bar her feeder's streak.
"You did, didn't you?" prompted Claire once again.
EmiIlle's silence was answer enough.
Claire smiled broadly, schadenfreude perhaps.
"I knew it! ... I just knew it!"
"Far, far too soon. And you know it too, don't you?"
Emille felt the anger rise at hearing the unvarnished truth. Perhaps, this time, Claire was right. Had she let him have his fill too soon?
"I don't know Claire, it just felt right somehow," replied Emille, "for once". She glanced out of the window once more, wishing she could be elsewhere - at least not laying her feelings bear before her friend like this.
Claire shook her head in a motherly fashion.
"It always feels right, you idiot," she joked childishly, before casting her open mouth into a hearty bite of a plump blueberry muffin, quickly followed by a sip of latte.
Claire put her latte back down on the table and proceeded, quite self-righteously, thought Emille.
"You should have made him wait. You know it, I know it. The whole world knows it. Always keep them guessing".
Emille hated being read the riot act by her friend. She was too old for this any more - playing games. This wasn't how things were meant to be. Claire had been in a long term relationship for several years by now and therefore felt entitled to pry, as those in a relationships often do, into every aspect of Emille's love life. Why a singleton's love life is fair game to the 'coupled ones', Emille had never quite figured out.
"This isn't high school Claire," replied Emille sarcastically. "There are no rules these days you know. It's not a game any more".
"Ha! ... You just keep telling yourself that," retorted Claire, cruelly, before ploughing her way into another mouthful of blueberry muffin.
'Bitch,' thought Emille. Although in her own way, her friend was probably right.
"Maybe he'll call over the weekend," said Emille, ever hopeful, as she checked her phone once again. "Something may have happened".
But there was no message. Not this time.
"Oh Emille, what has he done to you?" asked Claire concernedly.
"I've never seen you like this before."
"You know he won't call you, right? It's been too long now."
"Just be ready for that".
But Emille wasn't ready to face that thought just yet.
"Look Emille," said Claire, "You two had some fun, a few sparks flew. Just don't read too much into it. It his loss after all. There'll be others down the line. You'll find a good one that's for sure".
Claire was such a hypocrite thought Emille. The amount of times she'd listened to her friend whine on endlessly about her ex boyfriends after break-ups, trying to help her through the pain - she was always there, willing to listen, sympathetic. And now Claire couldn't event grant her one single hearing to talk this through sensibly. The truth is not what she had wanted to hear right now. She needed comfort, not hard facts.
"And besides," continued Claire, "a friend of a friend knew him from way back when."
"And you know ... he wasn't always as 'handsome' as he is now, or so I've been told at least".
Emille, sighed, but raised her eyebrow inquisitively.
"Really?" she queried, sensing her friend's obvious eagerness to spill her juiciest piece of pent up gossip.
Claire looked around before leaning in across the table towards her, and lowered her voice clandestinely, desperate to let it out.
"Well, ... between you and me ...and these four walls."
"C'mon, ... spit it out Claire". Emille had little time for games the way she felt today. This had better be good.
"Well ...," Claire teased.
"... ... He was at least 60 pounds heavier by all accounts ... way back when. Crazy to think about isn't it? I mean, when you look at him now."
Claire leaned back in her chair, proud at having unleashed her newest titbit of information on her friend's once, but no longer, prospective partner.
Emille's heart skipped a beat at hearing just the number alone. She felt a sudden urge for Nero's embrace, amongst other things, stronger than ever right now in that moment. She'd sworn she could have seen the faintest hint of a long lost double chin on him as he last lay beside her, but put it down to wishful thinking once she'd been granted an audience with his washboard abs.
"Is that so," replied Emille, dreamily. "Is that so". She looked out the window again, thinking about her most recent lover's fluctuating waistline.
She sat back confidently now as she stared, spinning a few strands of hair with her slender index finger, thinking that this must be some sort of sign. She knew what she was doing now, she'd been here before. Why would he be any different to 'the rest' of her little playthings. She just liked this one a little more, that's all. A woman was entitled to her favourites after all.
"At least 60 pounds," mouthed Claire almost silently across the table, nodding proudly to herself as Emille glanced back towards her.
"Just think about that for a second Emille".
Emille's heart started racing again. She hoped her face didn't flush. Her friend was cruel, if only she knew.
"You may have dodged a bullet right there," added Claire. "A very big bullet".
"And besides, would you have really wanted a fat husband way down the line?"
Emille didn't think twice before leaning forward to reach for her phone, and placed it by her ear.
"I don't really know Claire," she lied, of course "but let's find out".
**** To be continued, if of interest? ****
2 chapters, created 7 years , updated 7 years
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