Brix I don’t remember who brought me home, much less why I chose to crash on the couch, of all places. My back screams in agony from the pain and stiffness, moving to stretch, peeking one eye open.
The piercing ray of sunlight combined with the skull-splitting headache has me regretting the round of shots we had after wrapping up our show last night.
It wasn’t the first time it happened, and it won’t be the last.
I miscalculate the space between me and the edge of the couch when I roll on my side, sending me falling face-first onto the hardwood floor.
“God damn,” I groan, bracing my hands beneath me, pushing myself up. Feeling weak, I reach for the edge of the oak coffee table to help me up.
Beer cans litter the surface, reminding me of the one too many drinks I put away when I got home.
“What the hell was I thinking?”
I wince hearing the sound of a throat clearing behind me. I expect it to be my father, which should have me regretting my choices from last night even more. Except that would mean I gave a shit, which I don’t. I stopped worrying about what he thought of me a long time ago.
I rub the pads of my fingers over my eyes, delaying the inevitable moment when I glance up to find him staring bullets through me, adding yet another reason for being a disgrace of a son to the list.
“Are you waiting for me to answer that question?”
The soft voice from behind catches me off guard, sending my head jolting over my shoulder. The sharp movement causes a shooting pain to slice up the column of my neck. I roll my eyes shut, groaning in agony.
Her quiet chuckle follows. Whoever it is clearly relishes in my pain.
Pushing to sit on the edge of the couch, I fall back against the cushions, tilting my head in her direction.
When I finally manage to open my eyes enough, I wonder for a second if I somehow misplaced where I was or what the hell happened last night.
What was I thinking?
Did Ivy end up coming home with me?
Thinking back to the scant denim shorts she wore showing off her sculpted legs nearly has me biting my lip at all the thoughts swirling through my mind. My eyes rake over her body once again, pausing as they land on her tan legs. She’s active, judging by the clothes she’s wearing combined with her tight body.
Recalling how she all too joyously turned me down, followed by the smirk lining those sexy-ass lips when she pointed out who she is, left the sting of embarrassment ringing clear in my memory.
Yeah... there’s no way she would’ve come home with me. If that’s the case, what the hell is she doing standing in my living room with the look of disdain painted like a neon sign on her face?
“What the hell are you doing here? Did you break into my fucking house? Or is this your way of twisting the knife deeper after last night?”
She laughs. The sound coming out both sexy and frustrating. Her head is thrown back and strands of her long, dark hair are falling over her shoulder.
“The fact you think I give a shit about you or would even consider wasting another second on your bullshit is hilarious.”
Well, okay then. It still doesn’t answer the question of why the hell she is in my house?
As if reading my mind, she continues, “I’m actually wondering the same thing.” She clenches her jaw.
She looks so fucking sexy, the way her cheeks turn rosy. If this is how she looks when she’s mad, I can’t wait to see her when she’s turned on.
“Like I said, sweetheart”—I lean forward, bracing my hands on my knees to stand— “this is my house. I live here.”
Facing her now, the subtle tick in her jaw at the term of endearment does not escape me. Anger blazes in her eyes when she crosses her arms in front of her chest. She widens her stance like she’s gearing up for the argument that’s about to ensue.
“Are you sure you still don’t want to take me up on my offer from last night? I have no problem letting you take a little aggression out on me.”
I reach my hand out, brushing my knuckle along the ink covering her forearm. Goose bumps rise over her skin, and despite her best effort to paste the look of hatred on her face, her body gives her away.
She’s trying to play it off, hoping like hell I won’t notice, but I flash her a grin letting her know she’s not fooling me.
“Something tells me the hate-sex will be some of the best fucking I’ve ever had,” I moan, wrapping my hand around her wrist.
She grits her teeth, whipping her arm out of my hold. Seeing how riled up she is, I bite my lip to cover my bemused smile. I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy letting her take her anger out on me.
Nails in my back, teeth marking my skin. Fuck.
“If you think I’d ever let your dick anywhere near me, you’ve gotta be fuckin’ crazy. I bet you have shit growing on you from all the places that thing’s been.”
“You better watch your fuckin’ mouth,” I grunt, tension coiling in my body, taking a step closer to her.
She smiles like the Cheshire cat, apparently liking how she’s pissed me off.
Yeah, the hate-sex is gonna be real fuckin’ good for the both of us.
A familiar sound of keys sliding into the lock followed by the click of the deadbolt has us both turning toward the door. Laughter filters through the room, and my eyes bounce back over to Ivy. The smell of her clean scent washes over me; the way her throat bobs when she swallows ignites a fire within me.
“Mother?” Ivy says, sounding both surprised and lighter. Like happiness was wrapped around one simple word. That is until I realize it’s my father and his fiancée, Charlene, staring back at us.
For a second, I wonder if they heard us arguing from outside.
“Ivyana,” she replies, smiling, and it all clicks into place.
My mind filters through the several conversations we’ve had about her daughter, Ivyana. The daughter who graduated high school with honors and has a nearly perfect GPA at the University of North Carolina.
Ivy is Ivyana. What the hell is wrong with me? Why didn’t it click into place until now? I’ve never heard her called by her full name, not even when we were back in high school.
“Hi, Mother.” She grins, crossing the distance between them to wrap her in a hug. The snarky tone she threw at me a moment ago is completely gone, replaced with something else entirely.
Reaching my hand up behind my neck, I massage my fingers into my skin in hopes of easing the tension.
“I’m so happy to see you, honey. I’ve missed you.”
Already over this bullshit, I begin picking up the beer cans strewn over the coffee table along with the ones knocked over onto the floor.
“Brix, what the hell happened here?”
It wouldn’t be a typical day if my father wasn’t finding some reason to lay into me.