Authors: Xavier Neal
Senses Series, Book 2
Copyright© 2014 by Xavier Neal
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.
All Rights are Reserved.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
To The Universe, Thank You for blessing me with talents in the seen and the unseen.
Have you ever woken up and decided that it was time to make a couple changes in your life? Well, if you haven’t caught on yet, that’s the story of my entire existence. Change is what I do. I change eating habits. Workout routines. Fight Night competitors. Girls in my bed. Change is a good thing. Change means I’m safe. As a kid, when the old man would change jobs, that first week at his new one, meant that beatings would be at their lowest. I’ve told you my old man was a sonofabitch right?
Taking the stairs two at a time, I see Erin exactly where I knew she would be. At the kitchen table behind one of her school books. The expression on her face half interested, half bored.
Who knew that in order to be able to shove eyeshadow sticks in people’s eyes and spray funky ass smelling crap in the air you’d have to have a license or some shit.
“Hey Erin,” I cheerfully call to her shoving my hands in jeans.
Suspiciously, she looks up at me and her brown eyes narrow. “What do you want Kellar?”
“What makes you think I want something?”
“Because you only say my name like that when you do.”
“So what is it?”
She glances down at the textbook in front her. “No. Just filing my taxes.”
Smartass. Now you see where Maxx gets it.
“Take me shopping?”
My question causes her to shut her book. “For what? You religiously believe in wearing jeans and plain t-shirts like some permanently hungover college frat boy.”
I look down at my dark jeans and white t-shirt. “Fuck you, it’s comfortable.”
You’ve seen me in my jeans and t-shirts. I look like a fucking model. Jeans frame my lower half, my t-shirts show off my toned abs and tatted arms perfectly. Not too tight so people don’t think I’m gay, but not so loose that people think I’m lazy as shit.
Erin crosses her long legs, her jean shorts inching up higher. “No. Your choice in cologne is classic. At least there’s variety there.”
“Are you done?” I ask. Once she grins I sigh. “I need new sheets and shit.”
“Tired of yours being covered in jizz?”
Please hold your opinions about the condition of my bedding to yourself.
Puzzled, she prepares to say something else, but stops. Leaning back she merely mutters, “Hm.”
I prepare myself for the twenty questions I know she wants to ask. “What?”
Nothing my ass. You can clearly see she wants to ask me something regarding this.
“Do you want me to grab my keys or not?”
I shut my lips tightly and motion for her to go ahead. My eyes follow Erin as she stands, adjusts her off the shoulder crop top, and strolls around the counter to grab her purse along with her keys.
You know, I get why guys drool over her. She’s fucking hot. Sun kissed skin that she keeps tanned, dark brown hair she keeps down to her ass, her body thin and in great shape since she hits the gym like a Victoria’s Secret model. Come to think of it, that’s exactly what she looks like. Do I have the hots for her? Are you fucking kidding? There is only one girl in this household that causes my cock to stir and it’s the one who wore a Legend of Zelda t-shirt yesterday while we watched en entire season of Family Guy. Before you go down that path and ask if I’ve ever been into Erin like that, I’ll go ahead and stop you. The answer is no. Yeah she looks good, but it would be like dating my own reflection. And while occasionally I like me, I fucking hate myself most of the time.
Once we’re in Erin’s car headed towards wherever it is she does her magical shopping thing, my body finally settles into the relaxation zone. It feels like I haven’t breathed in days. Ever since Maxx and I made up with that text message, I’ve been walking on eggs shells.
Suddenly, I’m some sort of a pansy who’s afraid to say or do the wrong thing. Yeah. What the fuck is happening to me? I blame you for this.
I shift against the black leather seat of Erin’s Audi as she turns down the radio, a clear indication that this little adventure is going to be filled with questions. Obviously.
You have them too, don’t you?
“So what exactly is it you are looking for? I’m trying to make a map in my mind of the best route to shop in the mall.”
I turn my attention in her direction. “You need a route?”
She glares at me. “You wanna do this alone?”
“So what? You want an itemized list? Should it be color coated and in alphabetical order too?”
“You only get this snarky when you haven’t had your penis touched in awhile.”
Her comeback closes my mouth.
Fuck her for being right. And you. You didn’t need to know that.
“Well lookie there,” she hums proudly tossing her hair over her shoulder. “Looks like I hit the nail on the head.”
“If you’re trying to offer me head, Erin, just be up front about it. And I don’t mind a little bit of nails or teeth.”
“Ugh,” she belts out in disgust.
That round goes to me.
“Anyway,” I start, desperate to change the subject before I have to explain my lack of sex.
Fine. I’ll admit it. I haven’t slept with anyone since the first time Maxx touched my dick. Happy now?
“I need some sheets. A comforter. Couple of blankets. Some new pillows. Maybe some towels and a couple of candles or something for smell.”
“Basically, a complete room makeover?”
“Were you up late watching the DIY channel? You’re not gonna try and re-stain furniture again are you? Did you not learn from your dresser incident?”
I did learn. I learned that I am good with my hands in the ring and in bed. I’m not really the home improvement type. Hey, at least I can admit that. No. I don’t think it makes me any less manly. Want me to prove it?
With a short smile I shake my head. “That is not a lesson I could forget. Those were my favorite pair of shorts.”
“Who does home improvement projects in their favorite shorts?”
“Someone who clearly shouldn’t be doing those kinds of projects.”
Erin giggles and asks, “So what brought on the change then?”
Fuck me, we all know the answer to that. Come on. It’s so fucking obvious you’d have to be blind not to see it. What she doesn’t know is just how bad things have gotten for me. You know, at first, I figured these feelings for Maxx would pass. You know the way you feel about a stomachache or bad gas? It’s okay. I’m a guy, you can talk to me about these things. But the feelings never faded. They only changed. I am in it deeper than I was before. Doing things I’ve never even thought about before. I’m shopping for Christ sake! Willingly! My cock hasn’t met pussy in weeks!
. Once upon a time if I went longer than twenty-four hours without getting my dick stroked I would find a way to make it happen and double up on partners to compensate. Yes. There really are that many chicks willing to have threesomes. You really just have to know the right way to ask. But back to the topic. There’s something about knowing that Maxx wants to be underneath me as much as I want her there that twists something inside of me. It’s a hard, excruciating twist. It feels like something inside me is on the verge of breaking.
Isn’t there a phrase that says old habits die hard or some shit? That’s what’s fucking happening to me. Those habits are trying to die for Maxx. Because she deserves better. I’m gonna give her better. Fuck. Listen to me. Just a couple months ago I would’ve never even considered anything more than a one night stand and now look at me. Holy shit…am I becoming pussy whipped?
Not ready to admit what a pussy whipped bitch I am being right now I shrug. “Just time I guess.”
“Just time you guess?”
“Do you enjoy repeating everything I say with an added question mark?”
Her lip twists and I know to brace myself since that’s her attack mode face. “How are things between you and Maxx?”
“How are things between you and C.J.?” I counter.
“How hot does she look without her top on?”
“How hard was he when he saw you topless?”
“And what does Maxx sound like when she comes?”
“And what’s C.J.’s dick size again?”
The car gets quiet between us but, surprisingly enough, not tense.
This is how we operate. Doesn’t make sense to most people. Hell, doesn’t make sense to you does it?
Turning my body slightly towards her I say, “Tell me, what exactly is it about him that’s got you all knotted up, Erin? You act like the guy is just the scum of the earth, and he adores you.”
“I do not—” She cuts herself off as she pulls up to a stoplight. “Did you say he adores me? How do you know that? Do you two talk about me? Since when are you friends?”
“I’m friends with everyone who works at the bar.”
“Except Tony.” The response causes me to glare and her to smirk. “Right? You don’t like Tony.”
Just his name makes me want to break her windshield.
“I don’t like the way he looks at Maxx.”
“You mean like the way you look at her?”
“Like the way C.J. looks at you?”
And we’re back to where we always are.
Believe it or not, this is the strange way we communicate. We always have. Remember I told you dating Erin would be like dating my reflection? Do you get it now? We have the most in common when it comes to relationships much like Luke and Maxx do. They crave stability while we crave satisfaction. Neither of us handle discussing our feelings very well. Clearly. At the same time though, we understand each other.
While gently pushing the accelerator, Erin asks, “Why do we do it?”
“Talk to each other? I assume it’s because other people get tired of our attitudes.”
“Push people away, Jackass.”
I don’t answer.
That’s the only place people are safe from me. Away. Fuck. What am I even thinking about trying to get close to Maxx like this? You need to take the hint too. Being close to me never ends well. For anyone.
“Why do we push away people who just wanna get close to us? Just to prevent ourselves from ever truly making a deeper connection outside of our family? That’s not healthy.”
I turn to face the window as if I’m not listening. Like I can ignore her.
Maybe she’ll stop talking. Maybe she’ll stop pushing. Maybe she’ll stop—
“Don’t ignore me,” she demands loudly.
It was worth a shot.
“Why Logan? Why do you push people away?”
“Why do you?” my voice snaps along with my head. Erin doesn’t answer. She merely grips the wheel tighter. “Why does it matter
we do it?”
“Because maybe if we can figure out
we can figure out how the hell to get through it!” Erin pulls into a parking space. “We can’t go on like this forever, can we? Anytime we get to close to someone who cares for us, or threatens to love us, we run.”
We don’t run. We fucking sprint.
“I don’t know about you Kellar, but I’m really tired of fucking running…” Her head hits the back of the seat as she looks out the window in an attempt to collect her thoughts.
Fine. Yeah. Sometimes I’m tired of running. But I’ve spent my entire life running. It’s how I stay safe. It’s how I protect the things I love. It’s how I keep the things I love alive.
I nibble on the soft pretzel Tony brought me for lunch. The salty taste lingers on my tongue while I continue to listen to his ideas for the ‘Ho-Down Sho-Down’ coming in a few days. He’s been showing me western themed templates for the last forty-five minutes and, had he not brought this pretzel, I might have considered duct taping his mouth shut. While I’m glad that he’s passionate about his job, I don’t necessarily feel the need to know every small detail.
Honestly, it just interrupts the reveries I keep losing myself in. Yes, of course they’re about Logan! And yes, I replay him pushing me against the wall while his fingers search for the thong I wasn’t wearing, but my imagination has also taken on a life of its own. Me on my knees with him open for me to take on the couch. Me on the stairs spread eagle for him to taste. Wow. Admitting that to you has made me realize that maybe I’ve been daydreaming about Logan a little too much today. After our little text message convo almost a week ago, things settled back down to normal. Or what is considered normal for us. Laughs. Cuddling. Napping together. But no other sexual anything. Can you believe that? We are back to square one. After the embarrassment of the car episode, we’re back to square fucking one. Ugh. Now can you blame my imagination for running wild?
“Are you even listening?” Tony asks, leaning forward and sliding a pencil behind his ear.
“Mmhm.” I lick the salt off my fingers.
Don’t rat me out.
Before he has the chance to prove that that’s a blatant lie, Erin opens the office door. “You ready?”
“Yes!” I hop down thankful to get away from the wonderful world of computers.
Tony swivels around in his chair. “Where are you two headed?”
“Costume shopping,” Erin answers quickly, shoving her phone into the butt pocket of her jeans. “Maxx and C.J. need their costumes.”
“You already have yours?” I question Tony who is now leaning back in the chair, his arms folded above his head, looking like a nerd’s fantasy.
Is it wrong I wanna climb in his lap and pounce his lips? Yeah. You’re right. I know better. But can we just let this one pass? I haven’t gotten any action in over a week and it’s starting to take its toll on me. I thought life before knowing Logan’s touch was rough, but life after is like some sort of new age torture. I feel like a damn prisoner of a sex war. I’ll talk! I swear I’ll tell you everything you wanna know if I can just feel Logan’s lips on mine again. Or his fingers on my nipples. God, I can’t keep getting this fucking horny.
“It’s a cowboy theme. You really think I could live in Texas and not own a few cowboy things?” A small smile crawls onto his face. I wanna crawl on his face.
Bad Maxx! Bad!
“Way to play into the stereotype,” I fuss at him, swinging my computer bag over my shoulder.
“Oh like your boy Unbreakable doesn’t?” The jab makes Erin snicker.
Remind me to chew her out later.
“Own cowboy clothes or play into stereotypes?”
“You tell me…”
Before I can snap out a response, Erin grabs my hand. “Come on Sally Sue, we’ve gotta get started. Something tells me this process is gonna be longer than any of the others.”
“Have fun girls.” Tony’s voice fades behind me as Erin pulls me out the front of the bar.
Is it just me or did Tony seem a little annoyed about the subject of Logan? Was that jealousy? I mean I figured he was a little jealous, but that sounded well…almost too harsh. Were those words meant to be harsh towards me or towards Logan? Damn it! Why did Erin have to drag me away so soon?
In the car I listen to Erin talk about her classes that are wrapping up, how she will be graduating as one of the top five students, and how her final exam is giving her a bit of anxiety.
Even I knew that. Here’s the thing with her. When she gets stressed out, she cooks. Not just cooks like ‘Hey here’s a hot meal for dinner’ but cooks like ‘Hey our house is now a full menu Mexican restaurant.’ She has a weakness for Mexican food. Her mom and dad met at a Mexican restaurant, so her mother cooked it quite often and passed the habit down to her. Good thing we all like Mexican food.
The conversation regarding her classes fades once we’re in the store looking at clothes that I would never wear outside of the ring.
Okay, yeah, most of the shit she puts me in I wouldn’t wear outside the ring, but I mean I would
never wear this. I don’t do the country western look very well. Just because I live in Texas doesn’t mean I own a pair of cowboy boots, jean shorts, and a cowboy hat. If you must know, I don’t own any of those things. Well, I didn’t own any. I’m about to own all three and probably the big ass oversized belt buckle too. Don’t judge me! None of this is my fault.
“Really?” My pout gets worse as Erin dangles a pair of jean shorts, that have the pockets hanging outside of them, in front of me. “Are those shorts or underwear?”
“Suddenly it feels like the sun does shine there.”
Erin huffs and shoves the denim disaster back on the rack and continues her thumbing through. “So…how are things with you and Logan?”
Without hesitation I mutter, “Non-existent.”
Abruptly, she stops. “What?”
Damn it. Why didn’t you tell me to just keep my mouth shut?
“I didn’t say anything.”
Deny and distract. One of the only ways to win with a Hart.
“What do you think of this?” I hold up a rhinestone covered tank top.
“I think that looks like an after-school cheerleading project gone wrong,” she snaps and shoves the tank top back on the rack. “Now, back to Logan. What do you mean non-existent?”
With a heavy sigh, I lean my back against the glass covered pillar. “I mean…things are basically back to normal.”
“You guys aren’t fooling around anymore?”
My cheeks flush as I remember him crawling into my bed and sliding his hands between my legs. Suddenly it feels like his warm hands are stroking up my outer thigh, across my hip bone, around to my inner thigh. The thought gives me goosebumps.
Gives you goosebumps too, huh?
“Stop picturing it,” she fusses and pulls me back away from the ideas that have been dictating my own personal spank bank. “Answer the question.”
“No, Erin. We haven’t been fooling around.”
“What have you been doing then?”
“The normal. Dinner, TV, video games.”
“So eating off each other’s plates, cuddling, and flirtatiously play fighting,” she translates.
Isn’t that what I said? I mean, you gathered all that without me having to spell it out like she did, right?
“Let me ask you this.” Erin returns to pushing clothes around in search of something that will hopefully cover more than just one ass cheek. “How many times this week has he slipped away to get his dick sticky?”
I cringe at the phrasing. “Really? Was that colorful language needed?”
I swear she sounds just like Logan.
“It was.” She giggles before biting her bottom lip.
Rolling my eyes I shrug. “I don’t know…”
“Think about it. I mean, really think about it, Maxx.”
Fine. Before I go to work he’s been having breakfast with me then leaving for training when I leave. By the time I get home if we aren’t having group dinner we’ve been going out to eat. Then we went bowling a couple nights ago. He’s actually been falling asleep in my bed almost every night, but crawls into his own sometime before morning. He says I kick in my sleep, but wouldn’t you kick too if someone were trying to take all your covers? Self-defense!
“I mean, normally he’s pretty obvious about needing to slip away to go get laid, but lately…I guess he really hasn’t. I can’t say for a fact—”
“But we can assume he hasn’t right?”
“You’re not supposed to assume anything.”
“Is that so?” Erin’s tone changes to the one that warns she’s about to be a smartass.
Even more so.
“So it’s not safe to assume you wouldn’t wear this?” She holds up something that looks like a swim suit top with ugly flannel print. Without hesitation my face scrunches.
I know yours did too.
“Exactly. When you know someone like I know you, and like you know Logan, it’s more acceptable to assume. Now, from what you’ve told me it seems like he may be trying to do the right thing with you.” She begins to smile before mumbling, “For once in his life.”
Does she think we can’t hear her?
“I think you’re reading too much into this.”
“And yet again, I don’t think you’re reading into it enough.” She finally holds up something mildly acceptable, a red and white checkered crop top shirt, that’s clearly intended to be tied in the front. As much as I don’t wanna wear what she’s holding, I like it better than anything else she’s offered. Sensing that, she hands it to me to hold while she starts looking at bottoms. “I’m not saying this to fill your head with delusional fantasies, but it sounds like you might be Logan’s one and only now…”
One and only? Like we’re dating? Is that what we’re doing right now? Are all the dinners and cuddles us beginning to date? Surely Logan wouldn’t start dating me and
tell me? You’re right. What the hell is wrong with me? Of course Logan would start dating me and neglect to tell me. So if we’re dating…does that mean I’m his—
“Hey!” The shrill pitched sound makes my eye twitch. “You’re Unbreakable’s roommates!”
Erin and I turn to see one of the off brand Olsen twins standing in front of us wearing a skintight red mini skirt with a black halter top that is not all the way zipped up in the front. However, instead of her sister, or the clone she looked like, there’s another girl. Shorter, wider, and noisier judging by the way she’s chomping her gum like some goddamn horse.
Is it really that hard to chew with your mouth closed? It’s fucking gum.
“You’re one of the zoo escapes,” Erin mumbles draping the jean skirt she was admiring over her arm.
The short one looks mildly offended.
Well at least she might have half a brain.
“She means it in a joking way,” the one night stand clarifies.
Erin pipes up, “No I don’t.”
Giggling, she tosses her scrawny hand at Erin, still passing it off as a joke. “See, the night Candy and I hooked up with Unbreakable, we were dressed as monkeys, for Rumble in the Jungle—”
She continues talking but I find myself distracted.
Did she say her friend’s name is Candy? You wanna bet me ten bucks that is
her name? I’ll double it and bet you that this one’s name fucking rhymes with it.
Interrupting her ramble Erin snips, “What did you want again? Uh…Mindy was it?”
“Mandy.” The girl giggles and adjusts her tiny purse.
“I was just wondering if you knew why Unbreakable hadn’t been texting me lately?” Her information forces Erin to smirk like a know it all.
Oh good God, she didn’t need an ego stroke right now.
“He’s got a girlfriend,” Erin says proudly, and Mandy’s face contorts like she doesn’t understand what was just said. She continues her awkward staring while we continue looking back at her, waiting for the information to click into place.
It’s honestly like waiting for a small child to try and finally fit the square peg into the square hole.
“No.” She finally shakes her head before tossing a hand towards us again. “They’re just messing with me.” She elbows her friend. “They have all these crazy, weird jokes I don’t get, but they’re really funny!”
If she doesn’t get them, how the hell does she know they’re really funny?
“What jokes?” I finally enter the conversation.
“Like when you guys told me Unbreakable was illegitimate.”
“Illiterate.” My correction has her giggling again.
“Right! That!” She shakes her head and pulls out her phone, her French tipped nails texting away. “It was so funny! Unbreakable isn’t that, he knows how to talk—”
“It means he doesn’t know how to
!” Erin and I croak in unison.
“That too.” She clicks away. “Anyway, they’re always joking around like that…” Her voice trails off before her phone pings and she snaps her head back at us revealing the text. “See! No girlfriend!”
Erin and I lean our heads forward together to read the text on her phone.
Me: Hey, rumor has it you’ve got a girlfriend. That true? That why you haven’t been sexting me?
Me: No what?
Unbreakable: No girlfriend.
I drag my vision back up and shoot Erin a look while doing my best to hide my emotions, although the lump in my throat is making it a bit more than difficult.
What the hell am I upset about? That I
her to be right, but knew she was wrong? Because right when I had my hope placed in him again he let me down like he always does? You’ve met him. You knew she was wrong about him thinking of me as his girlfriend, didn’t you?
“You two are so funny.” Mandy shakes her head putting her phone away. “One day I’m gonna get the jokes…”
“One day.” Erin emphasizes.
“Hey, Mandy, the movie starts in twenty minutes,” her friend finally speaks.
“Oh yeah! Gotta go.” She waves us off and then takes her red heel covered feet and clicks away leaving a trail of stale perfume and disappoint behind her.
“She came. She talked. She annoyed.” Erin rolls her eyes before turning to me. I let the corner of my lip curl upward. “Look, Maxx—”
“Nope,” I cut her off and pretend to care about the clothing rack in front of me. “I don’t wanna hear it.”
“No, Erin. Not listening.”
“Damn it! I—”
“Ladies,” a voice I recognize interrupts.
Turning around I smile widely. “Hey C.J. What are you doing here?”
“Wardrobe.” He gives me a small hug before attempting to hug Erin.
She holds up a finger to stop and wags it at him.
Before he can question it I sigh. “She’s just pissy because she was wrong.”
“I’m not wrong, Maxx!”
wrong,” I repeat this time looking at C.J. “But I’m glad you’re here.”
Wearily, he rests his hand on the rack behind Erin so she’s now sandwiched between us. “What’s going on?”
“Nothing,” Erin and I croak out in unison again.
We’ve been friends most of our lives, is it really that shocking that it happens?
“Okay…” C.J. shrugs. “Can you two at least tell me why it smells like sadness and poodles next to you?”
The joke makes the two of us chuckle before Erin playfully pushes against his chest. It’s a flirty kind of push and, by the way he smirks back at her, he knows it.
Well at least she knows he wants her. That’s more than I can say about my situation right now. Oh. No. Don’t start. I wasn’t listening to Erin. And I don’t wanna listen to you either. Not right now. Just…let it go.