Her chest constricted, and she frowned. Yep, right on cue. She always got a case of the guilties after escaping back to her ordered, happy life.
She should’ve stayed longer. Her family drove her wacky sometimes, but she loved them. All of them. And it was almost Christmas. The kids were bouncing off the walls over Santa. At least the ones old enough to have a clue who Santa was, anyway.
Next time she’d stick around. Better yet, maybe she’d knock off work early tomorrow night and go take the kids to the movies. Give her sisters and her mom a night off.
She yanked open the fridge door and poked her head in. Soda? Or better yet, something with kick? She grabbed a beer and uncapped it, sighing as the cold brew slid down her throat.
While she drank, she rummaged through the packages of snacks on the counter. Pretzels, meh. No diet food near Christmas. Why bother? She grinned and eyed an unopened bright orange bag. Cheese puffs were a much better option.
Tucking them under her arm, she stepped into the back hallway that led upstairs. All quiet. Even the stray kitty Tristan liked to feed wasn’t curled up in the box he’d set up for him to stay in on cold nights. Maybe Tris hadn’t been able to round him up tonight.
She smiled. It was always so cute to hear Tristan calling, “Hey, cat!” as he walked around outside with a handful of treats.
Cait ascended the spiral staircase, then stopped at the top to listen. For what, she wasn’t sure. The guys probably weren’t home. Maybe they’d gone out to grab a pizza. Or maybe one of them had had a last-minute date. It was Friday, after all. And they were sexy single guys.
. Too sexy.
She wrinkled her nose. Not that she cared that they dated eagerly and often. Their hookup with her—whichever one of them turned out to be willing to aid in her virginity search-and-destroy mission—would be a one-time thing. Then all would return to normal.
Hey, if she got an orgasm or two out of the deal, she’d consider the maneuver a rousing success.
She strolled down the hall that branched off into three sections. Matt’s was first, hers in the middle. But instead of heading straight for her set of rooms, she hesitated.
It was too quiet. Unnaturally so.
A line of sweat trickled down between her shoulder blades. Slowly, she unwound her scarf. She’d forgotten to take off her outer clothes. No wonder she was hot. She had no reason to be nervous in her own house.
Then she heard a heavy scraping sound, like furniture being moved, and she pressed her back to the wall. Oh God. She’d known something was wrong. The lights were off, so who the hell would be moving furniture? Maybe someone had broken in and overpowered the guys. They could be tied up even now or worse. Maybe the serial killer was rolling their bodies up in the rug in Tristan’s living room.
She shoved her fist into her mouth to keep from making a noise. The smart thing to do would be to run downstairs and get help. Maybe the police would arrive in time.
A groan ripped through the air, disturbing the silence so fully that the sound echoed. And it sure didn’t seem like pain. Well, not regular pain. She’d heard that particular sound before when guys—
Again. A long, low sound of pleasure.
She bit down on her knuckles, forgetting the cheese puffs she held under her arm. The bag clattered to the floor, but whoever was boinking in the bedroom couldn’t hear. Not when they were now screwing so loudly that the bed was moving.
That had been the noise she’d heard. They were going at it so hard that the frame kept slamming against the wall.
Creak. Creak. A pause. Slam.
Her stomach twisted, hard. The beer suddenly tasted rancid on her tongue.
Why should she be jealous? Stupid. Tris was a talented lover. Of course women wanted him. Matt too. Women wanted Matt, she amended, only half-aware that her feet were carrying her closer to the bedroom instead of away.
The door to Tristan’s section was shut. Though this level had been split equally into three distinct areas, the doors that separated them from one another were usually only closed when someone had a girlfriend or boyfriend over. Even then Matt in particular could be counted on to leave the door cracked, as if he got off on the idea of making his roommates listen to his bedroom antics. He was noisy as hell in bed, grunting and yelling with the best of them.
Honestly, she envied him. She sure hadn’t ever experienced anything to elicit sounds like he regularly made. Moans, sure. But grunts wrested from the depth of her soul?
That would be a no.
She stopped, her throat convulsing at the new groans reverberating down the hall. That wasn’t Tristan.