Love Thy Neighbor(8)

By: Belle Aurora



Ghost stops me with a hand on my arm and a pleading, “Nat, hold up.”

I pull my arm roughly from his grip and hiss, “I’m tired and I don’t want to talk, goddamn it.” I whisper hoarsely, “I just want some freakin’ sleep. So, for the love of God, please fuck her quietly.”

I turn on my heel and rush back to my apartment.

Well, that was fun.

Once I close the door, I put a hand to my chest, breathe in deeply then exhale slowly.

Well, seeing Ghost with another woman was something else. It hurt more than I’m willing to admit to myself. There is a piercing ache in my chest. I gently rub at it.

I’m just about to move from the door when I hear a muffled Ghost say, “Tasha, I think you should go.”

My eyes widen and I tiptoe closer to the wall. I press my ear against it and hear the woman reply, “Sure thing, lover. Sorry about that. I get a little loud. Who was that anyway?”

Ghost replies, “No one.”

Ouch.

That freakin’ hurts.

My throat clogs, my eyes mist and I move away from the wall. I head back to my room, crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head.

Then I do something I’ve never done over a man.

I cry.

***

I see Tasha out of the apartment, lean back against the door and think.

What just happened?

Tasha and I were screwing. Pretty loudly. But we were havin’ a good time. Then out of nowhere comes my living fantasy. To my apartment. While I’m screwing another woman.

Yeah, not good.

My chest aches.

What do you care? She doesn’t.

Yeah… I’m sure she doesn’t. Although, when she realized it was me, she looked kinda hurt.

Nah. Nat doesn’t feel. Ever.

Yep. That’s for sure. I’ve never met a woman like her before. She’s a total bitch.

Goddamn, she’s sexy though.

Ain’t it the truth?

Even wearing ridiculous mouse pajamas and slippers, she looked hot, which put me off Tasha right away. Not a stitch of makeup on and her red hair up in a stupid looking ball at the top of her head, wearing a tiny tank top with no bra.

Hot.

I don’t know why I felt the need to explain to her that Tasha and I were only screwing. I don’t do relationships. They require people to eventually move in together and sleep in the same bed together. And I can’t do that.

I have extreme nightmares. Well, technically, they’re memories.

Memories of my father, mother, my childhood, pain and hurt. Everything that came with growing up in my house.

Ever since I lived with Nik and Max’s family, I knew something was wrong. They looked at me with pity for days when I got there. I never woke in my nightmares. Only one night when Nik’s mother, Cecilia, tried to hold me during a fitful sleep and I attacked her, did I ever find out about what I was capable of during my sleep. I punched Cecilia in the face. I was so worried Nik’s dad would kick me out, I actually cried. I couldn’t go back home. But Nik’s dad, Ilia, was more of a father to me than my own. He was a kind man, but if you crossed him, you got yours.

I planned on killing my father. Ilia told me if I was serious about that, he would do it for me. Ilia was part of a Russian gang called Chaos. He claimed me as his own, so when Nik was recruited after Ilia died, Max and I joined with him. I felt I owed it to him.

I never knew what having a family was like until Nik befriended me. I’d never even had a friend before. He had my back before he even knew me. In high school, I got picked on for having ripped or dirty clothes. Nik approached me one day while I was getting picked on and asked if I needed a hand. He’ll never know what that gesture meant to me. I sorta tagged along with him after that and I was surprised he let me. Everyone wanted to be Nik’s friend in high school, but he was selective. After I met his father, I knew why. Nik only befriended people he could be real with.

Then Ilia suggested I sleep at their house whenever I felt unsafe at home. Which was always. So, I basically came over one day and never left. I even had my very own room. Cecilia, who I call Mama, went out the next day and bought me an entire closet full of clothes and three pairs of shoes.

I didn’t even know people could own three pairs of shoes. I had one pair and they were falling apart.

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