Ocean Kills:Book One of Ocean Breeze(125)

By: Jade Hart

Chelsea gave me a sarcastic smile. “Thank you.”

Walking into my bedroom was like walking into another apartment – one representative of me. A patchwork quilt done in primary colors was thrown over my bed. Curtains I’d knotted together out of multi-colored squares of organza hung over the window, dark for now, but during the day they painted my room like a stained-glass window. I had an old white dresser by the door, with my stereo, docking station, and jewelry box on top. A small desk stacked with textbooks and my ancient laptop - 1999, baby! - was positioned by the window to give me a view of the White Mountains. My favorite art print, Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, hung over the length of my bed.

Mine was the smaller of the two bedrooms, not much bigger than a prison cell, really, but it came with its own private bath and was on the end of the building. Chelsea’s room was almost twice as big as mine, but hers was the bathroom guests used and her wall backed a quartet of noisy soccer players, hence her computer setup off the kitchen.

Yawning, I tossed my bag on my bed and stripped, leaving a trail of clothes on the carpet on my way to the bathroom. Pandora, my grumpy Russian Blue rescue cat darted out from beneath my bed to pounce on one of my socks, almost knocking me over.

After washing away the day’s dirt, I threw on an oversized Riordan Athletics XXL Tee and climbed into bed. I had to be up for class at eight. Unfortunately, sleep didn’t come easily. It never did after a show. I fleetingly considered engaging in a little ménage a moi, knowing it was a surefire way to help me fall asleep, but the truth was, masturbation was becoming less and less satisfying. Plus, I was pretty confident I was starting to feel the first pangs of carpal tunnel in my wrist.

I snuggled deeper into the blankets and released a wistful sigh, thinking about what I really wanted: an active sex life. I missed the feel of warm skin, of heated kisses and large hands on my flesh. I missed the euphoric, frenzied rush of joining together with someone who stimulated my mind, heart and body.

Eight long, dry months had passed since I last had someone in my bed. Not for a lack of offers, mind you; I was just very particular. And cautious. Too often I encountered the kind of opportunists who simply wanted to nail the campus sex-guru. And on the rare occasions I met someone whose interest seemed genuine – like Brian’s had seemed to be - Ian managed to get in the way, even when that wasn’t his intent.

I punched my pillow and rolled onto my side. Ian had run some of my prospective dates off, but some guys were just too insecure to accept that I had a male best friend, especially one as… okay, hot as Ian. Oliver, my last serious boyfriend, had even given me an ultimatum. I chose Ian – no contest.

Boyfriends would come and go, but Ian Hollister was a permanent fixture in my life.

Still, it would have been nice to find a way to have both.