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Bad Reputation (Bad Behavior Book 3) by Vivian Wood (1)

1

Emma

Jameson

We fuck until dawn. Jameson seems unusually demanding and possessive, driving both of us to the very edge of sanity. And I am so happy to be with him, to kiss him and hold him… even to be brutalized and punished by him…

I love it. I can’t get enough of Jameson, it seems.

Afterwards, exhausted and sleep deprived, I fall asleep in Jameson’s arms. I sleep fitfully, tossing and turning. Even in sleep, I know something is wrong. I just can’t figure out for the life of me what it is.

As the first fingers of morning creep into through the window, I slip out of bed. Padding down the hall to the bathroom, I sit down and pee. I look over at the little pink plastic chest of drawers that Evie insisted upon when we first moved in.

“It’s to keep our necessities in,” she said. She dropped her voice to a whisper. “You know, our lady time necessities.”

I smile at that. She apparently thinks that we need to hide our tampons and pads, in our own bathroom. I get up, going to wash my hands. I turn on the water, run my hands underneath, and then stop.

Turning a little to look over my shoulder, I eye the chest of drawers. It’s been a while since I have needed to use anything from inside the chest. How long has it been?

I turn off the tap, wiping my hands on a towel. Doing some math in my head, I realize that it’s been… almost seven weeks since my last period. And I’ve been sleeping with Jameson for… almost a month…

“Shit.” I glance at myself in the mirror. “There’s no way that… you’re definitely not…”

I do the math again, then bite my lip. It could be the stress from finals. Or it could be some kind of secret stress from the pressure not to let Asher know about my relationship with his best friend. That could play a role, definitely.

It could also be nothing.

I open the drawers, digging around, hoping to find a pregnancy test. Of course there are none; both of the women in this house are on birth control, as far as I know.

I bite my lip. I’m probably freaking out over nothing.

Still… I will feel so much better if I take a test, just to be sure. Slipping out of the bathroom, I decide to get to the pharmacy as soon as possible. Better to just put a thought like that to bed, right away.

Once I reach the bedroom though, I know that something is up with Jameson. He’s sitting on the side of the bed, totally dressed, his head hanging low. When he looks at me, his expression is tormented.

I close the door behind myself. “Jameson, what’s wrong?”

He takes a breath. “I don’t want to see you any more, Emma. Or… I don’t know. I can’t.”

My brows shoot up. “What? What are you talking about?”

He stands up, pacing a little in the narrow space beside the bed.

“I talked to Asher yesterday.”

I’m taken aback. “I thought he wasn’t talking to you still.”

“Well, he changed his mind.”

I put my hands on my hips. “That’s nice, but it has nothing to do with us.”

Jameson looks at me, his eyes dark. “It was never supposed to turn into this… this… whatever it is, that’s between us. It wasn’t even supposed to happen at all.”

I glare at him. “And yet, it did. Here you are, in my bedroom.”

He runs his hands over his face for a second, clearly frustrated.

“I shouldn’t have let it happen.”

“But you did.”

“And I’m trying to undo it!” he shouts. “I’m trying to save us, Emma. Jesus fucking christ, can’t you see that?”

“I’m sorry, did you say you were trying to save us?” I snarl. “As in, you are trying to save us both? Save us from what?”

“Emma…” he says, clenching his jaw. “We have nothing in common. We’re not even remotely connected, except through my best friend. And yesterday he reminded me—”

“Reminded you??!”

“Yes! He reminded me of the fact that he’s been there for me when nobody else even gave a damn if I lived or died! He helped me when there was no one else. I… I owe him, big time.”

“That doesn’t mean that you owe him your life!” I snap, growing frazzled. “When will you have paid your debt, Jameson? Huh? Five more years? Ten more? Tell me, what is the plan, exactly?”

I see a flash of pain in his eyes. “There is almost nothing I wouldn’t give up if he asked me to.”

“I’m one of those things, then? You can just… just decide to stop being in a relationship—”

“We were never in a relationship!!” he hisses. “At best, we had a fling. And now, it’s over.”

My eyes fill with tears. He means it. This isn’t just another we really shouldn’t moment.

“You want out?” I say, controlling my voice to keep from screaming at him. “There’s the door. No one is stopping you.”

His expression hardens. “It’s better this way.”

“Fuck you,” I whisper, looking away as tears start to spill down my cheeks, hot and wet. I wipe them away with the back of my hand. “I mean it. Go straight to hell, Jameson Hart.”

He hesitates for a few moments, then shakes his head. “It’s better if I do it this way than—”

“Get. Out!” I scream at him. “No more explaining! Just go!”

He rips the door of my room open, the expression on his face grimmer than any I’ve ever seen.

And I’m left in my bedroom, alone, sobbing over him.

What am I going to do?