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|Before Jamaica Lane(On Dublin Street #3)(15) by Samantha Young|
‘I haven’t had sex in seven years,’ I blurted out, not caring if Nate knew this embarrassing fact about me.
His head jerked up at my confession as he pulled off my right shoe. ‘Are you kidding?’
I shook my head, pouting a little.
‘Seven years. I’ve slept with one guy, Nate, once. It was awful. I was awful. I’m crap at sex, I can’t flirt. I’m a loser.’ I felt tears prick my eyes and flopped back against my pillow.
Nate finished taking off my other shoe. I felt the bed dip at my side as he sat. ‘Come here, you.’ He pulled me up and I melted into his arms, his chin resting gently on my head. His warm hands rubbed my back soothingly and in response my drunken tears fell silently.
‘You are not a loser,’ he told me gruffly. ‘You could never be a loser, Liv, and I don’t want to hear you call yourself a loser again.’
‘Okay,’ I mumbled.
We sat in the quiet for a while and then I decided since he knew so much he might as well know everything.
‘There’s a guy at the library. A student. Postgrad. I like him, but I sound like Rain Man every time I try to talk to him.’
Nate made a choking noise in the back of his throat.
‘Are you laughing?’
He cleared it and answered shakily, ‘Never.’
He was so laughing.
‘It’s not funny,’ I told him grimly and pulled wearily out of his arms to fall back against my pillow, my eyes finally drifting shut. ‘I’m going to die alone, Nate.’
And as unconsciousness pulled me toward it, I thought I heard him whisper, ‘Not on my watch, babe.’
How had cotton balls gotten stuck in my mouth?
Smacking my lips, I pushed my tongue up against my teeth and attempted to rid myself of the dryness. As soon as my lips parted, my head jerked back against my pillow and pain shot across my forehead, around my temple, and down the back of my skull.
My breath did not smell good.
As I bravely forced movement into my limbs, the ache and wave of sickness that rose from my fragile stomach were just two more pieces of evidence pointing toward one conclusion:
I wasn’t just hungover.
I was hung-the-fuck-over.
Ugghhhhhh. Groaning, I turned on my side and gently pried my eyes open. The hope was that I had been smart enough last night to leave a glass of water by my bedside before I’d passed out. As soon as my eyes hit the glass I knew smarter would have been to bring a jug of water to my bedside. I’d emptied the glass already.
For a few minutes I flicked my gaze back and forth between the glass and my bedroom door, hoping for a miracle every time my eyes swung back to my bedside table.
But no. It looked like I was going to have to get up off my drunken, smelly ass and get my own refill. I shuffled up to a sitting position, whereupon the room suddenly spun around, and with the spinning a memory slammed into my brain, knocking me back against the headboard.
Nate taking me home and getting me into bed.
That memory was like a key unlocking the rest, and as everything I’d said came flooding back in fits and starts, my cheeks burned with mortification. I grabbed at my phone in the hope that I’d find something there to prove that my brain was making up all those memories, but I found only a couple of texts from Jo and Ellie, asking me if I’d gotten home all right.
I slammed the phone back on my bedside table and then flinched in pain from the noise.
I’d admitted to Nate I hadn’t had sex in seven years, that I’d only had sex once, that I was shit at it, and that I had a whopping big crush on Library Guy.
‘You. Are. An. Asshole, Olivia Holloway. Ass. Hole.’ I glared up at the ceiling and felt the prick of tears in my eyes. I’d told Nate something I hadn’t told anyone. Drunk off my ass, I’d ripped open my insides and shown them to the biggest player I’d ever met. Now every time I saw him, I would remember how I had laid myself bare to him.
I was a walking wound and I’d given Nate Sawyer total access to throw salt and anything else he liked on me.
Squeezing my eyes shut, I ignored the warm tears trickling down my cheeks and tried to reassure myself of Nate’s loyalty. Even though I’d exposed myself completely, all I had to do was talk to him and make him promise not to tell anyone, or to talk about it. Ever again.
This was Nate. He was my friend. My good friend. I could count on him to just put this behind us.
The buzzer to my apartment knifed through my skull and I moaned, burying my face in my pillow. After a few minutes my phone rang.
Blindly, I reached for the cell, picked it up, and shoved it against my ear. ‘What?’ I asked into my pillow, so it was more of a growl than a word.
‘Open the door,’ Nate demanded softly and then hung up.
Heat rushed to my cheeks again. I’d thought I would at least get the chance to be sober and, you know, clean, when I got to face him again. Still in my bridesmaid dress, I rolled out of bed, fell, and then stumbled my way to my ungainly feet. Nate started ringing the buzzer again and I swear to God the noise was going to make me upchuck the delicious dinner I’d had at Joss and Braden’s reception.
‘All right!’ I yelled as I picked up the entry phone and slammed my palm on the button to let him in.
To save the irritation of going through more banging, I swiped my hair off my face and clumsily unlocked the door, hearing Nate’s footsteps ringing up the stairwell as I opened it. Through the jet-black strands of my wild hair I saw his face appear.
‘You look like shit,’ he observed cheerily, looking way too sober and happy for someone who had been drinking the night before.
Skin prickling with embarrassment, I grunted at him.
He held up a bag. ‘I brought you aspirin, energy juice, and donuts.’
I must have turned green, because he sighed, brushed past me toward the kitchen, and advised, ‘You need to eat something.’
I grunted again and turned toward the bathroom. Seeing the crazy-haired lady with the globs of mascara around her eyes, pasty pallor, and lipstick smeared across her mouth, I gave a little shriek.
‘You okay?’ Nate asked warily.
My fingers shook with the hangover as I leaned across my sink. ‘I look like the Bride of Frankenstein with a massive hangover.’
‘I’d be hungover too if I’d just had to f**k Frankenstein.’