Chapter Sixteen.

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Songs for this chapter are:

Coloring- Kevin Garrett

Someone New- Hozier

Company- Justin Bieber


"It's the kitchen," I add when she touches on the third reason we can't sleep together.

I missed the first two reasons she stated because I couldn't stop being one of those guys who stares, the type I was just claiming to be exempt from. In my defense, she was fumbling over words strung together as excuses while adjusting her bra. It was hard not to stare at her soft tits pushing one way, then the other.

"The kitchen makes us crazy," I say then turn and crack two eggs into the bowl and stir them with a spoon.

If she doesn't want me to kiss her, I won't kiss her. The way my body aches for her can be ignored.

It can.

I'm pretty sure.

Nora watches me, looking pleased that I'm continuing with breakfast after all. I reach over and grab a third egg. When I oil the pan, she walks over and takes the milk jug from the counter. She adds at least a half-cup more to the bowl and opens my silverware drawer. She grabs a fork and stirs the eggs with it. Her fork moves much quicker than my spoon and I back away, bowing slightly to her chef-ness.

She appreciates my gesture and laughs, although the rain nearly drowns out the sound. I wish it would stop so I could just hear her cute laugh better.

Nora opens the top of one of the plastic containers of pre-cut vegetables. She adds a handful of onions into the pan and then peppers and waits to add the eggs. While she's effortlessly smashing me in the kitchen, she leans against the counter and looks at me.

"Tessa's my friend and if this gets too messy, it could ruin that."

That was reason number four? Or maybe five?

"We have too much baggage, both of us," she adds.

Seven, maybe eight if we are counted separately?

"How many reasons do you have, ten?" I say lightly. "Or would you like to come on my run with me so you can finish telling me all of the reasons why we can't be friends."

"I wasn't saying we couldn't be friends. I was talking about all of this," she says and waves her hands all around in front of herself.

I imagine her running beside me, listing off reasons line-by-line. I have a few too, I'm just not as eager to say them as she is. She's still waving between our bodies. I decide to fuck with her, just a little.

"The air? You mean the nitrogen and oxygen--"

Reaching her free hand over to me, she clamps her hand over my mouth and gives me a shut-the-fuck-up-you-adorable-bastard look that shoots through me like cupid's arrow.

Yikes, good thing I didn't say that out loud.

"I meant the making out. The heavy petting," Her eyes make a pass on my lips and stay there.

"I fail to see how petting animals is a problem—" I start, but the hand goes right back over my .

"We can't keep doing that and keep everything from getting out of control. Your ex is my roommate, she lives with me, she knows where I sleep," she smiles, and I think she's only half teasing. "I was only thinking we could take each other's minds off of whatever baggage we had--Tessa told me about your breakup,"

Her eyes fill with sympathy . . .

And I sort of hate when people feel sorry for me.

But I nod. "I understand. I wasn't sure what you were thinking, how you were feeling and I was trying to get over Dakota," I explain.

She nods her head yes. "I'm glad you were. But let's just agree to be friendly. No touching, no kissing"--her voice slows and her eyes glance off center--"definitely no thigh grabbing... And no ear nibbling, no throat kissing," she clears her throat and straightens her back.

I clear my throat too and look for a towel to wipe my sweaty palms on.

I'm getting caught up in her words and whirled back to two minutes ago when I was possessed by one of those guys in romance novels. She was about one more moan away from me saying things like, "I shall ravish you," in my best attempt at an enthralling voice.

A list of romantic comedies pops into my head, guiding my thoughts "The next step in this agreement is for you to propose a friends-with- benefits type of relationship, and then we bicker over it for about thirty seconds before we agree," I say. 

"One month later, one of us will be in love and it will be messy. Cut to another month later, we have ourselves a perfect relationship or a complete disaster. There's no middle ground. It really is a fact of science the movies have proved."

I like that I can be completely unfiltered around her. I've made a fool out of myself more than once, so she should be used to it by now. There's no history, I don't have any expectations placed on me. She laughs and nods. Her omelet is browned now and my kitchen smells amazing. She slides it onto the plate and blows at the light puff of steam coming from the omelet.

"Agree," Nora tucks a lose strand of hair behind her ear, "We can easily avoid all of that mess now and agree to be friends. I don't have time for catfights in restaurants with twenty-year-old girls who shouldn't even be drinking in public in the first place,"

Somehow the way she says that she sounds much older now, and I feel like a child being scolded by their mom.

"I'm building a career in a thriving city and I don't want to fuck that up for some cute college kid."

Her use of "kid" stabs at my already wounded ego. I'm nearly twenty-one and I have more in common with the people my parents' age than I do with college "kids". I've already been stopped twice on campus by students who thought I was a professor; I have that mature look. It's true, my mom says that too.

Ugh. Using my mom as a reference--maybe I am just a kid. That hurts a little.

I wouldn't have thought Nora would see me as anything other than a peer, but apparently to her, I'm just some college kid who was going to be her distraction from whatever.

"Friends then." I deliver her a smile and she nods. From here on out, I will be only friendly to Nora and Dakota.

I will not let things get messy.

No chance.

(Author's Note: I'll update again tomorrow!! I love reading your comments, I'm so so happy I get write on Wattpad <3 )

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