interested in and your friend comes along and lays claim to him.
That’s my life—except it’s worse. My friend who keeps “jamming” me is my gay roommate and if that isn’t a W.T.F. moment, I’m not sure what is.
Fact: He’s really pissing me off. I mean, hello? I’m trying to get back in the saddle, but I’ll
never manage to get a boyfriend before the age of fifty if he keeps this up.
Fact: Secretly, I wonder what it would be like if he weren’t gay. Why do all the hot, sweet,
tender-hearted guys have to be gay?
Fact: My gay-dar needs a serious tune-up.
The day I interviewed for the room to rent, everything changed. I knew I had met “the girl”, except there was one small problem: she didn’t want anything to do with men. I recognized a top-notch force field when I saw one. She’d been burned badly and didn’t want to deal with a heterosexual guy as a roommate. I could’ve turned around and found another place to live, but I wanted to live there—with her.
Fact: I’m a likely candidate for carpal tunnel surgery since all the action I’ve had for the past year has been my hand.
Fact: She’s going to hate me if I come clean now.
Fact: I’m not giving up. Which means, I’ll just have to continue to run defense until I figure out a way to get Maggie to see the “real” me.
Inhaling deeply, I continue, “But I have to be honest with you. I’ve recently broken up with my dirtbag fiancé”—I break off with what I hope is a lighthearted laugh, but I swear it comes out sounding strained and a touch maniacal—“and I’m not interested in having a roommate who’s a guy and—”
I jerk, startled by his interrupting admission. And if I didn’t know better, I’d swear I detected a little hint of surprise in his eyes.
My eyebrows arch. “Really?” Shoot. That’s rude because even I hear the tinge of disbelieving doubt in my voice.
“Yes.” He nods, clasping his hands together and leaning forward to rest his forearms on the table. “Jack and I have been together for years now.” One of his hands reaches up to tug on his earlobe. “We still have a bit of an”—he pauses, lips pressing thin as though he’s trying to word it correctly—“open relationship, and I feel it’s best … to have a separate place and not be continuously underfoot.”
Huhhhhh. I’m still processing this information when he continues.
“So”—he flashes a smile that makes my insides all gooey—“you wouldn’t have anything to worry about with me.”
“Okay,” I say slowly, “but what about guests and sleepovers? Because I’m not a huge fan of having to listen to moaning and—”
“Not a problem.” He waves a hand dismissively. “I can totally stay at Jack’s place. He doesn’t have a roommate. It’s no big deal.” He flashes me another smile, and I feel my ovaries weep his name.
It’s a good thing he’s gay. Otherwise, let’s be real. I’d likely end up being that roommate who accidentally-on-purpose “sleepwalks” into his bedroom—naked—and has sex with him.
Holy crap. Did I really just think that? Bad, Maggie. Baaaad, Maggie.
Glancing over his paperwork, I say, “If you don’t mind, I have a few other applicants to interview.” Lies. I’m totally stalling. Raising my eyes, I find him watching me expectantly; that gaze centered on me in such a way that I feel like I’m the only person who exists right now. “But, tentatively, I’d like to offer you the room for rent.”
If I thought Ryland’s smile was ovary-lurch inducing before, this one trumps that. Big time. It’s blindingly bright and infectious, and I can’t help but return it. We sit there for a moment before he clears his throat, and I remember what else I have to tell him.
Boldt, a retired Navy Chief, mother of Little Miss Boldt, and former teacher of
many students. She currently lives on the southeastern coast of North Carolina,
enjoys long walks on the beach, running, reading, people watching, and singing
karaoke. If you’re in the mood for some killer homemade mojitos, can’t recall
the lyrics to a particular 80’s song, or just need to hang around a
nonconformist who will do almost anything for a laugh, she’s your girl.