I fell asleep an hour or so later. I was really hoping for dreamless sleep but that would be too much to ask I guess. I dreamt about Dylan, of course. About the time when he almost knocked my teeth out. It was two or three weeks after the school started. We were still desk partners. We remained desk partners until the freaking graduation. We wouldn’t talk much but at least we would talk. I was the only person in the entire school Dylan would talk to in somewhat normal way. When it came to anyone else, he was an unbelievable dick. For some reason his attitude didn’t get him into as much trouble as someone would expect. He would get an occasional detention but that was it.
I dreamt about the day when he left his book in the classroom. As soon as the bell rang that day, he took off in his usual manner without saying anything. I was used to that by then so it didn’t bother me. Then, after I got all my crap together, I realized that the only book left on the desk wasn’t mine. It was Dylan’s. I grabbed it and went outside. I had no intentions of chasing him, I was planning on giving it to him tomorrow. When I got outside, however, I saw him almost immediately. He was walking across the parking lot, his hair shining in the sun.
I called his name and he didn’t slow down. I yelled his name again. No reaction. Then he stopped and started fumbling through his pockets. As I learned later, he was looking for his lighter. So I went after him. I was positive that he knew I was behind him. I mean, I yelled his name several more times. Well, apparently he had no idea that I was there. I got close enough to him, said “Hey!” and grabbed his shoulder. His reaction was beyond wild. He spun around and before I could say “Huh?” he punched me in the face so hard that I swear, I saw the stars.
Then his eyes immediately became huge and panicked. He muttered “Oh, shit!”, dropped his backpack on the ground, and grabbed my wrist, his hands shaking.
“I’m sorry”, he said quickly. “Shit, I’m sorry!”
I had a very strong desire to beat him into bloody pulp right then. I mumbled something that resembled “Go to hell” and pulled his hand off my wrist. Then I looked at him and I didn’t feel like beating the shit out of him anymore. He looked like he was about to start crying or something.
“Jesus”, I grumbled and carefully ran my tongue over my teeth. All there, good. “What the hell…?”
“I’m sorry”, he said again. “I didn’t know it was you… I… I don’t react well when someone grabs me… Sorry.”
“I called your name like a hundred times”, I said angrily.
“I didn’t hear you”, he muttered. “Crap, Connor, I’m sorry…”
I waved my hand at him, trying to tell him to shut up already. Then I shoved that damn book into his hands. He looked at it with great confusion.
“It’s yours, dumbass”, I muttered and rubbed my cheekbone. It hurt.
Great, I thought gloomily. I’m gonna have a hell of a bruise tomorrow.
“I’m sorry”, he said again.
“See you”, I grumbled and started walking away.
Then I’ve heard a loud honk and a woman’s voice called Dylan’s name rather shrilly. I turned around and blinked. It was Kay Laurie, the hottest woman in the entire goddamn city. She was a model for several magazines, at least two of them lingerie ones. How on earth does she know Dylan? I looked at him. He picked up his backpack and walked towards her car. Right before he got in, he looked at me and mouthed “I’m sorry” again.
I woke up and immediately smelled cigarettes and coffee. I sat up and rubbed my eyes. Finally I got off the couch and shuffled into the kitchen. Dylan was smoking in front of the open window, his back uncomfortably straight because of the bandages. He looked at me above his shoulder.
“I made coffee”, he said with a small smile that used to turn me on like no other.
I felt familiar twitching in my groin and gritted my teeth.
“I can see that”, I grumbled. “And smell for that matter…”
I poured myself a mug full, grabbed a cigarette and sat on the windowsill next to him.
“I dreamt about your Aunt”, I said after a minute or two. “How is she?”
“Alive, I think”, he said solemnly. “I haven’t talked to her for almost as long as I haven’t talked to you.”
“How did you even find me?” I narrowed my eye against cigarette smoke.
He gave me a slightly amused look.
“Never mind”, I sighed.
If Dylan wanted to find something or someone, he’d do it, no matter how hard it would be. And I doubted that finding me was hard at all. We smoked in silence for a while. Finally I flicked my cigarette out of the window.
“Get off the sill”, I said. “I need to check on your cuts.”
“They are fine”, he grinned. “I heal fast, you know it.”
“I still need to make sure that they didn’t get infected”, I said gloomily. “So get off the windowsill.”
He dropped his cigarette outside and slid off the sill. I made him sit down on the chair and turned the kitchen lights on. He pulled his shirt off, wincing slightly. I kicked another chair closer to his and sat on it. Very carefully I pulled the bandages off his cuts. They didn’t look too bad but they weren’t great either. I expected them to be better by now, to be honest. They weren’t infected or at least I didn’t think so. But they were still gaping open. And they were still bleeding.
“I gotta clean them again”, I said finally.
“They’ll heal”, he shrugged.
“Or they will get freaking infected”, I snapped. “Sit still.”
Then I repeated last night’s ordeal with the rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs. I knew it hurt him because his breathing became shallow again and fingers of his right hand wrapped tightly around the back of my chair.
“God, I hope I won’t have to stitch you up”, I muttered when I was finally done.
“You know how?” he asked softly.
“Yeah”, I nodded without looking at him. “You take the needle, thread, and then you sew. The same as putting a button back on your shirt.”
“Right”, he laughed. “Ow! Son of a bitch…”
“Don’t laugh, sneeze, or cough”, I rolled my eyes. “You have three broken ribs. It’ll hurt.”
“I know”, he agreed.
I glanced at the clock.
“I gotta go to work”, I said.
“Call in”, he snorted.
“No”, I got up. “There is food in the fridge, you have enough smokes, you are not disabled by any means. You’ll be fine.”
“What time you get off?” he pulled his shirt back on and got up.
“Seven”, I said curtly. “I’ll be back at seven thirty. Maybe earlier. Try not to attract any attention to yourself, will you?”
“I won’t”, he promised with a nod.
I grabbed my car keys and headed towards the door. I wasn’t late nor was I anxious to get to work. But I wanted to get the hell out of the apartment, away from his scent, his eyes, his goddamn smile… Shit, I thought I was free of him. After eight freaking years I was positive that I was finally free of him, my mind was free of him, my body was free of him. But no such luck.
I put my sneakers on and grabbed my jacket. He came closer and leaned on the wall slightly.
“Want me to make dinner?” he asked.
I knew he was mocking me right now. He hated cooking with the passion. He was bad at it too. I looked at him darkly.
“I’ll get pizza”, I said.
“All right”, he nodded and peeled himself off the wall. “Hey…”
Sudden change of intonation in his voice made me blink. Now he sounded uncomfortable like he was trying to say something that was quite difficult for him.
“What?” I frowned when he just stood there.
“Thanks”, he muttered finally.
Okay, that explains why he sounded uncomfortable. Saying “thanks” for him was worse than agreeing to cook for a full week.
“Yeah”, I said quietly. “I gotta go.”
And then he was really close to me and I honestly don’t know how it happened but his lips were on mine and his tongue was doing its painfully familiar quick licks on the corner of my mouth. Before I could think, I was trying to catch his tongue with my lips. I managed to do it on the third try and then my head was spinning after he was assaulting my mouth, my teeth, my tongue. His fingers were idly playing with my hair, stroking my face. It felt like he had his hands everywhere at once just like eight years ago. He let out a small moan into my mouth and it sent shivers down my spine.
I almost succumbed right then. Almost. At the last second I managed to pull myself together though. I took a step back, holding his shoulders with my hands. His eyes flew open when he wasn’t in my mouth anymore.
“Dylan”, I muttered. “I am not going down that road again…”
He didn’t say anything. He just looked at me with those transparent eyes of his, his breathing shallow.
“I gotta go”, I whispered and opened the door.
I stumbled out of the apartment, my knees shaking. Goddammit… I leaned on the wall next to the door and closed my eyes. I know what I just said. “I am not going down that road again”. I know that. But I also knew that if he makes another move, I won’t be able to push him away. He is unstable, moody, downright psychotic, he has that very disturbing sadistic streak in him, I know all that. But God help me, I still love that son of a bitch. I almost decided “Ah, screw work! Go back inside, call in sick, and don’t worry about the consequences!” I almost did. I took a step towards the door and wrapped my fingers around the door handle. Then I let go of it and almost ran downstairs like someone was chasing me.