Dawn closed the door slowly behind him, not quite sure why he’d come. There could be logical explanations, like Jeff was in the neighborhood and wanted to stop to use a bathroom, or his car broke down and he needed a phone. But she paid those ideas little mind in the face of more hopeful excuses. Like that he just needed to see her, to have her, right then, no questions asked. Because, damn it, she was going crazy; months of not getting any were building up into an ethical black hole, sucking up every shred of sexual morality she’d ever had. And because he was an ex-boyfriend, someone she’d been with before, it wouldn’t even be adding another notch to her bedpost. She slinked into the room after him, waiting to see which way the night would go.
“You got a new bookcase,” Jeff said, turning with a casual once-over of her, the way he’d checked out the room.
“Yeah. I ran out of space for my books, you know?” Dawn had nothing clever to say, no way of hiding her curiosity over the purpose of this impromptu visit. Instead she leaned on the back of the couch, twisting her body uncomfortably into what she hoped was a seductive pose. At least, it was how the model on the cover of her latest Victoria’s Secret catalogue seemed to be positioned.
He continued to stand, staring at the titles of her books, making her feel somewhat self-conscious about the volumes she’d chosen to display. Would he be impressed or dismissive? Since when did Jeff have any interest in books anyway? And more importantly, would he turn around to look at her before her neck became too sore to move?
She couldn’t simply continue to stand there crooked and awkwardly sexy, so she said, “You know, I have more books in my bedroom if there’s something you’re looking for.”
He finally turned around, cocked his head to look at her, and replied, “Nah, I wasn’t really looking. Hey, can I ask you something?”
He shifted his weight and she waited with anticipation for his request, hoping it followed her idea of moving to the bedroom.
“Do you have anything to drink?”
He gazed sheepishly toward the kitchen, and she nodded for him to go and help himself. And began to remember that part of the reason they were no longer together was that Jeff couldn’t take a hint. If she wanted something to happen, it was time to stop being subtle.
He came back into the living room with a can of beer, smiling. It took a lot of effort for Dawn not to roll her eyes, something she recalled he hated. Instead, while he happily sipped his Coors Light, she unfastened and pulled off her bra underneath her shirt, slipping it out of one short sleeve. For the moment, she seemed to have his attention. Then he asked, “Oh, were you getting ready for bed? I can go, sorry.” And started to walk back toward the door.
Dawn jumped in his path, growing desperate. Maybe he was an idiot, but damn it, she was going to nail him tonight, and then she could kick his dumb ass back out on the street.
“Jeff, I don’t want to go to bed alone tonight. So how about it?” She was standing just inches from him now, prepared to grab at him if necessary.
“Yeah…sure.” He sounded uneasy, his face contorted with confusion, and then nodding, he continued, “Oh, did you go see that new thriller movie? Are you scared to sleep alone?” Jeff put an arm around her in a nicely protective way, still not understanding the severity of the situation. Most likely this teddy bear routine of his had been very attractive to her when she was a college freshman, but now she could only wonder just how many times the boy had been dropped on his head throughout his life. She might have come right out and asked him just that, but with his strong arm around her, his muscular body pressed up against her, she couldn’t let little things like pride and IQ come between her body and his. She could feel his rapid heartbeat, and knew he was excited too.
“Yeah, that’s it, that movie. I’m terrified really, I don’t want to fall asleep. You have to get into bed with me, please?” Dawn struggled to remember how naïve and innocent she must have sounded when they’d dated, how she must have been with him for this to have ever worked. They walked into her room, and he crawled into her bed with her, an arm around her just as sweetly. There was no question that they had worked together physically, she thought, pressing herself against him, goal-oriented. Without warning, she pulled off her shirt and then began kissing his neck, unable to play coy any longer.
“Dawn! What are you doing?” he asked, not sounding entirely pleased. He jerked his head away from her, even as she tried to shut him up with her mouth.
“Damn it, Jeff, what does it feel like I’m doing? Come on!” she snapped, pulling at his clothes. But he jumped out of the bed, and stood dumbly for a moment, staring at her uncomprehendingly, his mouth hanging partway open, his eyes darting between her face and her breasts, then focusing on the wall behind her. “Jeff, just get back in here. I miss you,” she said, trying a softer approach. But he wouldn’t move. Dawn sighed, trying to hide her agitation, and drawled, “Don’t you miss me, baby?”
“No. You said I was the worst lay you ever had.”
“You were always such a bully in bed,” Jeff replied defensively, turning his back on her.
Right, she thought. Jeff wasn’t the one she’d liked sleeping with at all. That was James; he was the one she’d been missing. Jeff was the one who just liked to cuddle, and only had sex when she made him. Wuss.
“Yeah...sorry about that Jeff. Look, no hard feelings, ok?” she said, pulling her shirt back over her head. Jeff nodded, his back still toward her, then showed himself to the door. From where she sat in her bed, she heard the latch close behind him, feeling slightly guilty that she’d brought up those old insecurities for him.
Then her guilt passed, and she picked up her phone to call James.