Practice and team meetings are not a choice but an obligation. I honestly don’t know how Drew will manage, seeing as he barely slept. But his body is a machine—a gorgeous, perfect machine—and he knows how to operate it.
Despite his protests to wait for him at his house, which were varied and persuasive, I came home. It would be too strange waiting around in his house alone. Too much of an opportunity to think. And Lord knows I’m an expert at overthinking things.
So here I am, lips swollen, hair wild, holding tight to my keys to keep them from jangling, and tiptoeing past the living room on the way to my room. When the couch squeaks and a dark shape lifts from it, I do the sensible thing and shriek like a poked banshee.
The keys fly across the room, and Iris barely ducks in time to avoid them hitting her head.
“What the f**k, Anna?”
“Sorry.” I sag against the living room wall. “You scared the ever-loving shit out of me.”
“Must have been preoccupied, what with doing the walk of shame,” Iris grumps before bursting into tears.
“'Ris!” I drop my bag and hurry to the couch. Only then do I realize she’s a mess, her makeup smeared, her hair standing up on one end. Her clothes are rumpled and creased as if she slept in them. And judging by the dents in the couch cushions, she probably has. “What’s going on?”
“Henry,” she wails as I sit next to her. “He f**king… fucking…”
“What?” I grab her arm. If he hurt her…
“Cheated,” she gets out.
Expecting the worst, this actually fills me with relief, but my heart aches for Iris. I’m not the touchy-feely type, but Iris is. So I pull her into my arms, and she leans heavily against me.
“Oh, God, Anna, it was so embarrassing.” She sniffles and reaches for the half-empty box of tissues by her feet. There’s a snowstorm’s worth of used ones littering the floor. “I went over there to surprise him, you know?” Her dark, wet eyes blink up at me and all I can do is nod, not liking where this is going.
“His roommate lets me in, and I… and I…” She shudders. “I was wearing this slinky teddy…”
“And waiting on his bed, when he…he… He f**king bursts into the room with his tongue down some slut’s throat!”
A keening noise pierces the air as she leans forward, pressing her hands against her face. “They didn’t even notice me until they were right on top of me!”
“Oh, ‘Rissy.” I stroke her hair. “I’m so sorry.”
She rears up, her palms hitting her thighs with a slap. A wild anger lights her eyes. “And that piece of shit, puta madre, f**khead had the nerve to shout at me.” She stabs a thumb to her chest. “Because I came over without asking.” Her laugh is manic. “He was all, ‘Shit, Iris? What’d you expect? We aren’t married or anything.’”
She breaks into a rapid-fire string of Spanglish cursing that I appreciate if only for its inventiveness.
“I cannot believe he didn’t even try to apologize!” I say when she calms enough to get a word in.
Iris whips around to face me. “Well, why should he? When Henry is never wrong.” Her fists tighten on her thighs, and then she’s crying again.
I can’t do anything more than rub her back. “Do you want me to call George—”
“No!” She looks horrified. “He’ll just make it worse by going over there and kicking Henry’s ass.”
And George would do a good job of it too. While he might be happy-go-lucky and obsessed with finance, George likes to keep in shape by practicing mixed martial arts.
“This is a problem, why?”
Iris scowls. “I don’t want Henry thinking he’s worth it.” She scrunches down in her seat and scowls. “Besides, George will be all, ‘I told you so, 'Ris.’ Which I do not want to hear.”
Mental note: bite back any and all urges to say ‘I told you so.’
“He’ll find out sooner or later.” I hold up a hand when she looks ready to tear my head off. “But I’ll keep quiet for now. Why don’t you go take a shower, and I’ll get us hooked up with some truly terrible and truly good munchies, and we’ll have some quality veg time on the couch.”
Iris smiles and leans in for a quick kiss on my cheek. “Thanks, Banana. That sounds good.”
It takes me no time to run down to the corner store and fill my bags with goodies. I’m just getting back into the apartment when my phone dings.
Baylor: Hey, beautiful. Had a quick break between drills. What are you up to?
I smile wide. Shit. I am so gone on him. I want to dance in place. I want to run and hide. I settle for answering him back.
Me: My armpits in drama. Iris discovered Henry with another girl last night. It’s bad over here.
Baylor: Damn. Sorry for Iris, but that guy is a POS
Me: The biggest. Iris was with Henry for two years. She’s a wreck.
Baylor: So I’m guessing you’ll have your hands full?
Disappointment tugs with both hands on my breastbone.
Me: Epic girl time is imminent. Movies ordered. Junk food acquired. Dart board w/Henry’s pic attached is being hung at this moment.
Baylor: Lol. I guess I’ll be seeing you in class then.
Me: That’s probably a good guess. :( Sorry.
Baylor: I’ll console myself by hugging the pillow you slept on. Maybe the guys will come over & watch Snakes on a Plane with me. Sigh…
Me: Funny. :P