The Dick Next Door(3)By: Simone Sowood
“Okay, thank you, it won’t happen again,” I say, and gather up my things.
I make my way to my car, and plunk myself behind the wheel. I wonder if I even should be driving given how tired I am, but I manage to drive home without incident.
As I get out of the car, I pause and look up at the second floor windows and sigh. Why did he have to move in? Here, of all places. Why me?
I put my key in my door and turn, springing the door open. Making my way through the little entrance hallway, I emerge into the living room and jump.
A man is up a ladder and plastering the ceiling. A plastic sheet covers my furniture and floor. Not just any man, a jaw droppingly hot man. And I do mean man, with a capital M.
“You okay?” the guy says, his voice deep and gravelly.
“You startled me, I wasn’t expecting to come home and find a man in my living room.”
He hops down off the ladder and wipes his dusty hands on his jeans. His dark hair is messy, the strands long enough to reach his eyes.
My heart beats faster and faster as I take him in. His eyes are dark, such a deep brown they almost look black. The eyelashes that frame them are so long and thick, they seem to tangle with the messy hair hanging from his head. His jaw is chiseled, and a day’s worth of scruff completes his rugged appeal.
His black T-shirt betrays his muscular physique. His tattooed arm muscles are dusty from the plastering, creating an effect that is irresistible and it takes all my self-control not to reach out and touch the stranger.
As I stare at him, I become aware of his eyes raking over me.
When our eyes connect a jolt of something So powerful it hits me in my chest, and I have to move my foot behind me to steady myself.
We stand in silence, our eyes locked. Suddenly wide awake, my mind races, trying to understand my intense attraction to this man. I wonder if he is thinking the same things.
“I’m glad they finally sent someone to fix the ceiling,” I say, my voice breathy.
“So am I,” he says, our eyes still connected.
I swallow, and say, “I’m Lily.”
He steps toward me, his hand extended. On reflex, I lift my hand to his. He takes it, sending warm from his hand rushing through me.
“Would you like a drink?” I offer, my heart pounding.
“Would love one,” Max says, but doesn’t let go of my hand.
“Hot or cold?”
We remain motionless, in the center of my living room. Somewhere in the back of my head I think the drinks are in the kitchen. But I make no motion to move.
Max swaps the hand he is holding mine with, and leads me to my kitchen. Opening the fridge, I grab the first thing I see, a Corona. I hold it up to him and he takes it from my hand. I reach back into the fridge and grab a second one.
We each open our beers.
“Cheers,” he says, clinking his bottle against mine.
“You did a real number on your ceiling,” Max says, half smirking.
My cheeks flush, and I say, “I snapped. The guy upstairs is a real dick, and keeps me up all night banging on his drums. I was trying to get him to stop.”
“He sounds like a real jerk.”
“Yeah. He won’t answer his door, and even the landlord will respond to to my complaints. I’m surprised they actually sent you to fix the ceiling.”
“When property is damaged, it’s more likely the landlord will act.”
“I wish they cared about my job. I got sent home today for being so tired and useless in a meeting. It’s going to get me fired.”
The fatigue and frustration comes rushing back, and I turn and step toward the kitchen to hide the emotion on my face.
“Hey, hey,” Max says, grabbing my shoulder and turning me back to face him. “Sorry this happened, you don’t deserve it.”
“Yeah will tell it to him. I can’t lose my job over this.”
My lip quivers as I struggled to hold back tears. I’m not usually so emotional, but the exhaustion is really getting to me. I turn my head, embarrassed that I’m about to break down in front of the stranger.
Max’s hand is firm on my shoulder, and he wraps his other arm around me pulling me into him. My body buzzes under his touch, and I welcome it. Somehow he soothes me.