Before I'm pegged as a total slut, I'd like to say that Kay Winslow was not my ideal boytoy. Although many of the college freshies—girls and boys, might I add—swooned at the sight of his slim body encased in a body-hugging leather jacket, boots to match and dark shades to cover his rakish but "deeply sensitive" eyes, I was immune to his charms.
Which is probably why I got in this whole mess to start with.
Because when the aforementioned heartthrob sauntered past me as I was walking back from my last class and lowered his sunglasses to survey me from head to feet, I shot him a dirty look and a "watch it, perv."
And, because Kay Winslow considers himself a badass, he was immediately turned on by the fact I didn't drop to my knees and beg him to bang me, as many of his other one-night flingers have.
So when he found me at a party the next weekend and suavely offered me a beer and complimented my top (which covered less skin than it showed), and I saw the reactions of the shocked and emotionally wrecked girls surrounding us, my thought wasn't, "oh wow, his twig-like body and artfully mussed hair are really turning me on right now." It was more like, "oh hey, this could be fun."
So I hope that's clear. This little thing that Kay and I had? All perpetrated by me. It was only with my blessing that I allowed him to talk his way into my pants. And it was only because of the wonderful tricks he does with his mouth—things not taught in Sex 101, mind you—that I thought I could compel myself to stick around for a while longer, at least until his broody no-one-understands-my-deep-inner-self persona had lost the little charm it had going for it.
What can I say. I'm a girl of simple pleasures.
Again, though, I have my standards. It was only after he had mumbled out a "hey, wanna be, like, I don't know, with me?"—which reduced me into a pile of quivering mush, believe me—that I gave him the all-access VIP card. If you know what I mean.
This, again, had all happened more or less in one night, so we were still in our honeymoon phase when I woke up at his place this morning, his vampire-pale arm wrapped around me and a persistent banging on his door.
"Come on," I heard someone yell in a frustrated voice. "Kay, this is getting so fucking old!"
Kay shifted slightly, his dark eyebrows coming together into a brooding pout.
"I have a fucking class in twenty minutes, you fucking swipe my fucking key, and then you won't even let your fucking roommate in because you're too busy reading poetry to your new fucking flavor of the fucking week!"
I looked over at the novel of e.e. cummings next to me, and dimly recalled, through my liquor-filled recollections of the night before, Kay reading a poem to me by the moonlight coming in from the window.
Hopefully I imagined that.
"Don't worry. He'll give it up eventually," said my peaceful sleeping companion, who apparently had an ego bigger than I had even guessed at, if he wasn't even going to try to earnestly tell me that I'm his only one, and always will be, and he's never felt this way before.
And then he patted me reassuringly. Yeah. Like I was a six-year-old who dropped her ice cream cone.
"This is so fucking—" here, a loud bang that made the door rattle, "—ridiculous. I. Might. As. Well. Be. Homeless."
Each word was punctuated with a kick.
I slipped out from under Kay's chokehold and, wrapped in a sheet, opened the door, hopefully saving the precious commodity.
"Uh," the roommate said, his leg half-raised to deliver a vengeful kick. "Hi." He was looking at me like I was some rare breed of animal. I guessed that Kay's one night stands didn't often actually make polite conversation before they snuck away on their walk of shame.
"Hi," I said, leaning against the door jamb. His mouth was working furiously, obviously trying to reassemble his fury, until I flicked a casual hand into the depths of the room. "Books?"
"Um," he said, reviving himself from his stupor. "Yeah. Um, yeah." He awkwardly turned sideways to avoid even the mere possibility of brushing up against me, and hurried into the room, all angry momentum lost.
I followed him in, watching him shoot at a venomous look at Kay, who was now rousing, and then to his own bed, where Kay and I had spent a brief interlude. I pretended to occupy myself in the mirror by the door as he roughly snatched up a bag and started to shove books into it.
"There a problem?" Kay said, half-sitting up and smiling devilishly. He seemed eager for confrontation, and smug, and—considering I was still there—desperate to share some alpha male superiority.
"Yeah, there's a problem," he said bitterly. "This is my room just as much as it's yours. I need to come and go just as much as everyone else does." In the mirror, I caught his quick look at me. I busied myself with my hair. I looked like a poodle. A curly, red-haired yip-sounding poodle.
"Man, there's an unspoken code," Kay said, his eyes turning towards me too. And my makeup was all smeared too. Damn it—
"If one of us has company, the other just has to accept it. Privacy, respect, all that."
"Just because I have the decency—"
"You mean, just because you never get laid."
Yes, I know, my boyfriend of eight hours is a total doucher. But his abilities in all things carnal had at least cancelled out his unfortunate tastes in leather and hair gel.
My respect for Kay's roommate did go up as he refused to say anything to that, just swung his backpack up onto his shoulder murderously and turned away.
"Bye, Jeremy," Kay called still with that faint air of amusement.
Once Jeremy had stormed from the room, Kay slid from the bed and walked over behind me, teasing my carefully constructed ponytail out until it slid over my shoulders.
"Up for round two?" He smirked. In the mirror, I smiled back.
Two weeks later and I was still, surprise though it may be to me and everyone else, technically Kay's girlfriend.
I say technically because I had not chosen to date Kay Winslow because I wanted to be the one to turn him onto the right path and be his one true blue. So although many other girls were still on their crusades to reach that elusive, sensitive core that was Kay, I was just the one he was banging.
Although casual is the name of the game, even I was starting to get a little fed up with my newest beau, mostly because he couldn't be normal for just 3.2 seconds. I mean, he came from a freaking farm in Minnesota, had two normal, happily married parents and had never been given so much as a toilet swirlie in middle school, and he still acted like the world was doing him wrong. His parents were fucking paying his tuition! And yet he sulked around campus like he was, like he was—
"Fucking Edmund Cullen." A voice to the right caused me to look up from my laundry, and I saw a pissed-off looking Jeremy enter the room, carrying a laundry tote of dirty clothes. I looked away guiltily. I may or may not have still been dating Kay based on the fact that his dorm had better laundry facilities, and I didn't have to wait half an hour or more to launder my clubbing clothes into spring-smelling freshness like I did at my own humble dwelling.
After an indecisiveness moment, I ventured:
Jeremy shot a surprised glance over me, and a brief look of recognition crossed his face.
"Edward Cullen? If you were talking about the faux-teen, centennial sensation of the popular Twilight franchise who sparkles in the sunlight, is haunted by deep personal vices and nary gives a smile?"
To my surprise, Jeremy did smile at that, and then he laughed. It was a nice laugh.
"Sorry if I was rude the other week," he said suddenly. "I like to think I'm a nice guy for the most part. I was kinda a dick."
Although we had seen each other since the initial first impression, we hadn't actually talked. Without telling Kay, Jeremy and I had wordlessly reached an understanding after the first couple of mishaps where he would (gently) pound on the door and, in a few minutes, I would appear, more or less dressed, while he stood up from his sitting position on the floor. Each time, we had exchanged awkward smiles and nods as I skipped off to my walk of shame.
"You weren't the dick," I said, shrugging. "By the way, I'm Reagan."
Jeremy colored for some reason.
"Yeah, I know. Um, Kay talks about you. Um, a lot."
"Oh," I said, and because I like to fish for compliments: "good things, I hope?"
He turned an interesting shade of red.
"Yeah. Great things." I walked over to him and started separating brights from whites for him, a habit I picked up from helping my laundry-deficit roommate, Alexa.
"Good to know. I'm sorry to say that I can't return the compliment."
"I'd be surprised if Kay did ever bring me up in normal conversation," Jeremy admitted. "I'm too average and straight-edge to be considered noteworthy by him."
"I think every guy is considered too average for him," I said, still sorting his laundry. "In case you didn't notice, he kind of thinks of himself as god's gift to hot girls with poor self esteem."
Jeremy raised his eyebrows.
"You admit the Kay Winslow has a flaw?"
"He has many of them," I admitted. "So I guess it kinda makes me Mother Theresa that I accept him anyways."
"Or just shallow," Jeremy said offhandedly, and then cringed. "I'm so sorry. I have this interesting talent of putting my foot in my mouth—but seriously—"
"Like Barnum and Bailey's," I said, laughing. "It's okay. I've heard worse. I'm the campus's pariah because I'm the first girl who's actually gotten Kay to 'settle down.' I'll admit it's for my own benefit, too."
Jeremy looked mystified.
"Well I'm certainly not sleeping over because I like his poetry collection," I said, turning away to dump an armful of his clothes into the washer.
Jeremy laughed again. It was nice that I could get such a reaction from a guy. Since I had dutifully renounced flirting with the opposite sex after being bestowed the gift of Kay, I had only the opportunity to joke with my own boyfriend, who had found my imitation of Kanye West so revolting when I had stolen the TV remote from him (he was watching fucking Mad Men) that he told me we just shouldn't bring up popular culture in our conversations anymore.
When you dorm, you're supposed to fill out a questionairre to match you with a compatible roommate, but I couldn't help but thinking that whoever had done that had royally screwed up with Kay and Jeremy. Jeremy was more of a classic All-American boy—blonde, broad-shouldered, tall, and clear green eyes that were as open and honest as Kay's were dark and mysterious.
Jeremy probably went to the football games on Saturday's, while Kay probably smoked in a coffee house. Jeremy probably dated girls he was friends with, while Kay picked them up at parties. Jeremy was someone you'd take home to ma and pa. Kay was someone who would make them turn over in their graves.
"So," Jeremy said, his voice lower, "would you consider yourself a hot girl with poor self esteem?"
"Would you?" I returned.
"Definitely the first part," he said softly, "I don't know about the second." For once, I was the one stunned into silence. When Kay delivered a compliment, it was quick, effortless, like he was throwing it into a trashcan. It didn't mean anything.
My dryer suddenly let out a blaring noise, causing both of us to jump. I tucked my hair behind my ear and smiled.
"See you around, Jeremy. God knows that you'll be seeing me in nothing but a sheet at least one more time."
"Looking forward to it," he grinned, and shook his head as I grabbed an armful of lingerie and left.
Two months into dating Kay and I was seriously considering breaking up with him.
Kay didn't know the meaning of fun. He distanced himself from anything that could have the remotest possibility of fun because it was cliché or normal, and not something he could be seen doing. He only went to parties for the weed. He only hung out with me when he wanted someone to listen to the dull-ass poetry he wrote himself, or when he wanted to "make love," and the fact of the matter was that he only acted melancholy and mysterious to distract people from the fact that if you tried to have an actual conversation with him he was the most self-absorbed, boring person in the entire solar system.
I had even revoked my all-access VIP card on the basis that I was sick and tired of wasting another night listening to him talk about himself and only being rewarded with a few minutes of fun. And can I just say, he was a complete tease. His A+ abilities in the sack that had initially inspired my lust had just been for show. Now it was all about him. And there was no point in getting sweaty and naked if it wasn't even going to be about yourself, am I right?
After you took the booty-call aspect of the relationship out, though, there wasn't a whole lot to go on. Seeing as he could no longer rub his sexual superbness in Jeremy's face by letting me sashay out of the room with bedhead and smeared mascara, Kay didn't see a point in having me spend the night anymore.
With the key Kay had given me, I let myself into his room, and was startled out of my Kay-hating thoughts by the sight of Jeremy sitting at his desk. He was wearing glasses and diligently jotting notes out of a textbook. It kinda turned me on.
"Hey," I said, shutting the door behind me.
"Hey, Reagan," Jeremy said. "You know Kay doesn't get back from his classes for another two hours, right?"
"I know," I said, stretching out on Jeremy's bed. "I came to see you."
Fear not, Kaygan fans. I wasn't having an illicit affair with Jeremy or anything. But the fact of the matter was that this suggestion wasn't so weird. We had been seeing more of each other lately, and the more I got to know Jeremy the less I understood Kay's contempt of him.
He was majoring in engineering, but was taking a philosophy class this quarter because it interested him. He had three older brothers, so he was used to taking people's crap, mostly goodnaturedly, but Kay had really started to rub him the wrong way lately. His one older brother in the army had died three years ago in Baghdad, but he still kept a "support our troops" sticker on the wall over his bed, which Kay often made fun of.
His last serious relationship had been in his freshman year, with a fresh-faced, innocent little slut named Emily who said she needed space when she in fact was sleeping with my precious other half. Kay doesn't know that Emily was Jeremy's girlfriend—Jeremy made me swear not to tell him, it would be just one more thing for Kay to hold over his head—but the fact of the matter is that Jeremy has remarkable self-control when it comes to rooming with the twat who stole his girlfriend.
He liked football, and baseball, and his mom's lasagna, and summers at Tappan Lake and Comedy Central and trigonometry. If engineering didn't work out, his life's aspiration was to be a big enough baseball star to appear on a cereal box. He hated U2 and disingenuous people and, oh yeah, my boyfriend.
Jeremy was also the only person I had told at college about my parents, who had been killed on New Year's Eve four years before by a drunk driver, along with my three year old brother Hayden. The only reason I hadn't been in the car with them was because I had insisted on going to my friend Shyann's party, where I got thoroughly wasted and lost my virginity to the school quarterback, Flynn Eggelton, and didn't notice til the morning the 53 missed calls from frantic relatives.
For the record, Jeremy didn't try to get me into bed with him, either, when I told him that and started sobbing on his shoulder (the effect of four parts beer, two parts vodka, when I told Kay I couldn't have sex with him because I was going home for the weekend, when I was really partying with my friends and his roommate). Even if I am known as the campus slut. He was just there as a friend.
Also, for the record, I told Jeremy because I knew he'd understand, having experienced loss before too. Wanna know who's died in Kay's life? His pet hamster. So don't judge.
And so maybe I was around Jeremy so much because I knew he had a slight crush on me, and he thought I was beautiful, but considering that Kay allowed girls to practically throw themselves into his waiting arms like he was a fucking prince, I was fully in my rights to have a platonic relationship with his single, goodlooking roommate. So, yeah.
"Sloppy seconds?" Jeremy said, giving a mock pout. "What do you expect me to do, princess?"
"Stop studying, for one. You're giving me a headache."
"Yes. All that learning is being transferred to me via osmosis and its making my head spin."
"I could read something else if you want me to. The Wall Street Journal, Thoreau, Shakespeare…"
"Erotica, Danielle Steel, Twilight…"
"I'd rather have pins stuck into my eyes than read That Book."
"I have a better form of torture for you, actually," I said, bouncing up on his bed.
"Which is…?" He said, trying to look disinterested but totally failing. He knew that going to Church with me would be more fun than whatever he was doing.
"It's called beer pong." I said, opening my coat to reveal my scanty party clothes, ready to go, and he ogled for just a second before turning the gentleman and returning his eyes to my face.
"I'm in," he said immediately.
The problem with going out to party with Not-Your-Boyfriend is that catty little bitches who want to steal your man see it as a good opening for causing interference.
We need to talk. I read the text from Actual-Boyfriend and sigh.
"What's wrong?" Not-Your-Boyfriend asked, still remarkably coherent after a sore loss to the school's beer pong champion, Jao Ching.
"Kay," I said moodily, shoving my phone back into his pocket, where I had been keeping it since I realized there was no place to keep it on my body.
"What about him?" Jeremy asked, instantly less happy.
"He's mad," I sighed airily, waving my arms around dramatically. "I'm sure he knows now that I lied about where…where I'd be tonight. He thinks he's…he's…fucking Nancy Drew!"
"Reagan, why don't you just break up with him?" Jeremy—Not-Your-Boyfriend—looks at me accusing green eyes. He's shouting over the pulsing music, his head close to mine.
"Because!" I said indignantly, when the fact of the matter is, the more I want to break up with him for reasons having nothing to do with his insanely sexy roommate, the more I realize I'm clinging to him because I have what no one else can get, and I'm a stupid girl with self esteem issues who likes to think she's won some prize.
"You can do so much better!" He said, looking genuinely upset.
"Shh," I end up saying, at loss for words. The last thing I need right now is a desperate, drunken confessional about how he's in love with me. God knows I've gotten enough of those before. But seriously, I have. I'm a sucker for compliments.
"Reagan," Jeremy said loudly, "he's cheating on you. Why do you think he doesn't want you over at night anymore? Because there's a new girl walking out every morning now, and can I just say she isn't nearly as quick getting out of there? She takes fucking forever."
Jeremy's eyes are wide and earnest, and I immediately shake my head.
"I'm sorry, no, you must be mistaken," I informed him politely.
"I'm not! I've been feeling so awful that I haven't told you, but Kay said you knew! He said you two had an agreement."
My head was feeling really fuzzy at this point, so all I remember is turning and walking away from him. I mean, I don't even like Kay. He's sort of a bastard. He really annoys me walking around like life is so tragic when I have more of a reason to than him.
But I thought I was the one he couldn't get, that I was the one he was faithful to, I thought my distance would make him love me.
I woke up the next morning, thankfully, in my own dorm and feeling awful. I didn't have my phone on me because it was currently in Jeremy's pants—which, by the way, I'd rather be in.
Except I can't, because I'm dating his roommate and even I have higher standards than to fool around on my boyfriend.
I was deep in a hole of glum and despair, realizing that even I had had that secret hope that I would be The One for Kay, and I had been trying to gain some sense of self-worth by playing hard to get with the resident bad boy, who was really just a horny poser, and he had seen right through my tough girl act and only stayed with me because I had a libido like the Energizer Bunny.
And, once I failed to put out, he just started sleeping around so I looked like a pathetic moron and he was out spreading his STDs to every willing girl faster than ever.
And, when he realized I wasn't exactly Betty Homemaker on the side, he had the gall to get mad at me for my late-night shenanigans? At least I wasn't sleeping with Jeremy, I was just having wet dreams about him!
I hate to say this, but I didn't empower myself by realizing that I was better than this, better than Kay, and Lord have mercy on a man that cheats on Reagan O'Reilly.
What happened was I was walking to the bathroom to release Lake Erie from my bladder when I realized the girl talking on the phone in front of me was none other than That Slut Emily.
"Shut up, Natalie! Okay, okay, yes, I was at Kay's place last night, which was kinda awkward considering his roommate is Jeremy?!"
My ears perked up at that, let me tell you. With the grace of a hungover klutz, I tailed her to the end of the hallway.
"I mean, I know he's hot, with those leather jackets and that hair! But when I saw Jeremy…I mean, Kay's good in bed but he has nothing on Jeremy. He's, like, a sex god."
What ran through my blood right then was icy cold revenge. I mean, this two-timing whore had not only slept with my still-technically boyfriend the night before, but she was even considering getting back with Jeremy when she had cheated on him with my fucking boyfriend?
This love triangle was not to be borne!
Ten minutes later I was standing outside Kay's room, the key he gave me in my hand. I was about to unlock the door but there was no need, because right then he opened the door, looking sexy and alluring and rather chipper considering he's a cheating bastard.
"I'm breaking up with you," I said abruptly, and then I let my fist fly.
I'm not going to say this is some coming-of-age saga for the ages, but when you realize you're being cheated on, violence (as long as its not in an extreme form) has its own special merit. And when you realize that the boy you've been pining after is better in bed than your current ass of a boyfriend, well. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
After such a bittersweet ending to our two-month long relationship, the reactions on campus were still a little bit unwarranted. People were treating me like I had just harpooned Free Willy. I dealt with it with as much grace as I could, reminding myself that I was, in fact, encouraging the spread of feminism and independence.
Regardless of semantics, there was still controversy over why I was spending so much time in Kay's room if I was really and truly done with him.
Well, that's a little secret between me and Kay, who has done his best to protect his woeful manhood after I gave him something real to brood about.
But it also has a lot to do with Jeremy.
When I finally summoned the courage to go get my phone back from him, it was when I knew Kay would be gone and he'd be in the dorm, studying away diligently.
"Hey," Jeremy said slowly, seeming less than happy to see me.
"Can I come in?" I asked nervously. He stepped aside wordlessly. "Sorry for the drink and dash last night. Whatcha studying?" I said, seeing the familiar textbooks open on his desk.
"Philosophy," he said, hands in his pockets, regarding me unsmilingly. I saw my phone laying on the desk but pretended I didn't to buy more time.
"Listen, if it makes you feel any better, I broke up with Kay yesterday," I began.
"That's supposed to make me happy?"
"Well, I thought, twisted and morbid as you are, you'd at least get a little chuckle that Kay was crying when I broke his nose."
Jeremy's mouth twitched, but he looked away.
"What about you? Are you happy?"
"Of course I'm happy! I don't know why I was wasting my time with that dickwad."
Jeremy ran his hand through his hair. "Yes, you do. We both do. Even though you claim that you're above it all, you wanted your own brooding Edmund Cullen."
"Whatever. And you broke up with him to save face, but does that mean you're really and truly over him?"
"Jeremy," I said flatly. "You're putting this a little out of proportion. For me, all Kay had going for him was his artfully mussed raven locks and his status symbol as a sex fiend."
"His hair is pretty artfully mussed," Jeremy agreed, starting to smile. I took a brave step forward.
"And I'm totally over him. I've actually liked another guy for a while now. He's pretty hot, majoring in engineering, belongs on a Corn Flakes box, and he's fucking Zeus in bed."
"Hold up. I've never slept with a ram—" Jeremy began.
"He totally gets me and my sense of humor, laughs at my Kanye impersonation, holds my hair when I throw up and holds my hand when I cry, and did I mention he's amazing in the sack?"
"I'm all right," he said modestly, but at the same time he reached out a hand to pull me closer to him. He smiled as he put up a finger and wound it around one of my curls.
"I've wanted this for a really long time," he said softly, looking down at me with those green, green eyes.
"Sleeping with me?"
"Just being with you. No Kay. Just you and me."
He lowered his head and was just starting to make all that annoying macho silence before worth my time when there was a loud knock on the door.
"Jeremy, why is the door locked?" Came Kay's melancholy, plaintive tones. Giving Jeremy a wicked smile, I walked to the door and opened it.
"Reagan?" Kay looked shocked. He quickly composed himself. "Look, you and I—"
"Don't embarrass yourself, Winslow. The room's occupied." Kay's eyes move past me to Jeremy, and then he got a really pissed off expression. It looked really funny, with his nose splint and everything.
"Hey!—" I closed the door and locked it. "But I need my books! Come on, Reagan! Jeremy?"
"Where were we?" I asked Jeremy, wrapping my arms around him to the sweet music of Kay's muffled curses.
"I was just studying for a philosophy test," Jeremy said, grinning.
"Yeah, I have a different philosophy," I said, taking his hand and tugging him to the bed. Jeremy willingly complied, kissing down my neck as I worked the buttons of his shirt.
"Poor Kay," he said in between kisses. "When he had you, he lost you, and know that another man's got you, he's consumed with jealousy."
"I like it when you talk philosophically," I gasped as he pushed me back onto the bed.
"I think, therefore I am," he grinned against my neck, and the sounds of our laughter drowned out everything else.
I hope everyone likes this, I had so much fun writing it! Hopefully I don't get any Twihards out to kill me.
For anyone who was reading my other stories, I'm afraid to say that after an awful computer crash that wiped both into oblivion, it's still going to be a while, if at all, before I work up the courage to write back everything I lost.
It's nice to be back, though, and I hope I'll post something again soon!