Harley & Rose(9)

By: Carmen Jenner

I open my eyes and snuggle into his warmth, rubbing my hand against his solid stomach. Harley must have been working out harder than usual. He’s always been in great shape, but this feels … different. Like he did when he played varsity football. Harley’s hand grasps my fist and squeezes tightly. He groans and whispers in my ear, “Fuck, Rose.”

And I realize that it’s not his stomach at all that I’m stroking but his crotch instead, and what’s worse still is that his own hand is wedged between my thighs. He’s not touching me as inappropriately as I’m touching him, of course, but it seems that while we slept our bodies conspired against us and decided to assume our old sleeping positions.

Because vacationing in paradise wasn’t torture enough for my sad little penis starved vagina.

I yank free from his grasp and glare until he removes his own hand from between my thighs, what he used to refer to as “his spot”. “I am so sorry.”

He just gives a chuckle and straightens in his chair. “Don’t worry about it; it’s not like we haven’t done it before, right?”

He’s right. We’ve woken like this several times in the past when he’s fallen asleep at my place or me at his. It’s always awkward, and every time it happened I’ve been terrified he’ll read more into my embarrassment than I want him to see.

I laugh nervously and say, “Yeah, happens all the time.”

“Remember that one time—”

“Yeah, Harley, I remember,” I interrupt, because no matter which incident he’s about to refer to, all of our trips down memory lane hurt.

“Right,” Harley says, and just like that the humor of this situation is gone, replaced instead by the bitterness of rejection and the sting of missed opportunity. It’s a never-ending cycle with us, and one he should know better than to dig up.

Chapter Four


We check into our hotel around noon and find our way up to the suite. Harley hands me the key and I slip it in the door, opening it wide. I don’t make it two steps before I’m dropping my bags and running for the balcony. I shriek like a little kid entering the gates at Disney when I throw open the door and take in the view. Nothing but resorts, crystal clear aquamarine water, and pristine white beach for miles, all the way to the big, beautiful Diamond Head Volcano.

“Holy shit! Get over here and look at this view, Pan.” I turn and lean against the balcony railing, craning my head back. I close my eyes as the sun kisses my face and the excited squeals of children filter up to us from the resort pools below.

“It’s really something,” he agrees. His expression is somber as he sits down on the huge king-size mattress, and I feel my own heart fall when I realize how insensitive I’m being. Roses are strewn all over the white comforter and a bottle of champagne sits in an ice bucket beside the bed. I’m not here on vacation with the man I’m in love with, I’m here as his best friend, the woman charged with lifting his spirits—or buying him spirits—since I’m the one who’s supposed to get him drunk and help him forget all about making the worst decision of his life.

“Shit, I’m sorry. I’m not helping here at all, am I?” I throw my purse on the bed beside him and pick up the bottle, popping the cork on the champagne. I reach for one of the long-stemmed glasses before realizing I should just hand him the whole thing. So I do. He accepts it, his fingers brushing my own and his gaze locking on mine. Kamikaze butterflies whirl and crash inside my stomach as I stare down at him. The moment stretches on, our hands briefly touching, our eyes saying everything while our mouths remain tightly closed.

The hotel phone rings, the spell is broken, and I disappear into the bathroom, locking myself away in order to catch my breath. This isn’t what he needs right now. He needs time, he needs a friend, and he needs liquor—lots and lots of liquor. When I’m done giving myself the third degree, I exit the bathroom and make a beeline for my purse.

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