Aryn's Desire(7)

By: Zoey Derrick

Their condo is nice. It’s modern, open, with massive eighteen to twenty foot ceilings. Their room is upstairs, a loft. They have a guest room downstairs and another room, but that door is always closed. I don’t know what’s actually in there, and frankly, I’ve never asked.

I go into the guest room and toss my bag on the bed and undo my shirt. I’d taken off my jacket before getting in the car, but I threw it back on so I could hang it up when I got inside.

I quickly change into a pair of black button-up flannel pants that look like jeans, but they’re fucking comfortable as hell, and a t-shirt. I left my shoes off. Being here at Dex and Raine’s is nothing unusual for me. In fact, I’ve spent many nights here since they moved in. Usually too tired to drive home after a night out. Or on nights like this when we’re just chilling, talking, drinking, eating, or having a movie marathon. It might be corny, but being around them is often a relief. I actually feel like I belong somewhere.

The fantasy from last night plays through my mind as I leave the bedroom, and thankfully, I don’t get hard from it. That would be a little awkward and impossible to explain, especially in these pants.

“Here you go.” Raine hands me a cold beer as I step into the kitchen.

“Thanks,” I tell her and I take a seat on the stool at the breakfast bar of the kitchen and watch as she and Dex do normal everyday things.

There is something odd about the way Raine moves around him. This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed this about the two of them, but each time, it becomes a little more pronounced. The fact that it’s Raine who hands me my drinks and food doesn’t go unnoticed by me anytime we’re together, and there is always a sparkle of approval in Dex’s eyes when she does things like that.

I’ve often wanted to ask him about it, but it’s never quite the right time, place or circumstances to do so. I toy with the idea of asking now, but instead, I swallow down some beer.

“What’s on the menu tonight?” I ask.

“That Chinese place you like so much,” Raine says with a smile and I smile back.

“Sounds great,” I tell her before taking another sip of my beer. “You sure we’re not going anywhere tonight?” I ask before I keep drinking. If I keep it up, I’ll be good for nothing.

“Nope, we’re staying in,” Dex says as he turns around, holding up his own beer and we clink our bottles together.

“So what’s in North Carolina and Nashville?”

Raine looks at Dex quickly, but goes back to putting dishes away and he answers, “We’re going to see Derek and his wife Dacotah. He’s got a ranch house in the mountains and then Nashville has a couple of things we want to go do.” His voice holds a hint of mischief and is cryptic even for Dex. I want to pester him for it, but I let it go, for now.

“So why do you need me? Doesn’t Derek have his own team?”

“He does,” Raine answers as she sets plates down on the breakfast bar. The door buzzer rings and she scurries off to answer it.

“So then, why do you need me there?”

“Just thought you’d like to get out of town,” Dex replies before going to the fridge for something.

“I do, but I’d hate to be the fifth wheel for you guys.”

He smiles. “Well, I don’t see how that would be possible. Besides, we’ll be going out frequently and if his team has the detail, well, then you can just relax and hang out.”

Raine comes bounding back into the kitchen with two plastic sacks tied up and stuffed full of the best Chinese food I’ve ever had. She and Dex start unpacking and scattering cartons across the breakfast bar and when they’re done, we all dig in.

“So what’s wrong with you?” Dex asks.

“What do you mean?” I respond before I finish off my fourth beer, my second since finishing dinner.

“You’re just so… I don’t know, you seem off. Not getting any?”

I roll my eyes. Leave it to Dex to turn it sexual. “Nothing worth mentioning,” I mutter.

“That bad?” he probes.

I shrug. “I don’t know. I’m just bored I guess.”

“Bars and easy women no longer your thing?”

I stare at him, unsure of how to answer that. Raine delivers another beer and takes my empty. “Thanks, love,” Dex says and Raine lights up from his praise.

“You’re welcome.” Her voice trails off like she was going to say something but then stopped herself.

“Alright, enough of this cryptic crap. What is the deal with you two?”

“What do you mean?” Dex counters.

“Oh, don’t play coy with me. I see how you two act around each other, I’m not stupid.”

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