“So….” she says and then lets the word just kind of hang there.
I’m not sure how to respond so I just wait for her to continue. There’s a plain black and white wall clock above the couch and the secondhand ticks loudly.
This is officially awkward.
“So…what?” I ask her.
She can’t decide what to do with her hands. They now move behind her back. She breathes in. She breathes out. “Now that you’re here, Landon, I think it’s time we had a talk.”
I haven’t a clue which direction she’s going with this. Maybe Nesto was right and this is about to veer someplace exciting. “What do you want to talk about, Autumn?”
She appears startled by the fact that I’m using her name. I don’t know why. She’s the one who told me to stop calling her Ms. Katsaros.
She takes a breath and clears her throat. She fidgets. My eyes wander. Thanks to those shorts I can see more of her legs than I’m used to seeing. They are way above average, her legs. And they’d look pretty fucking fantastic wrapped around my waist. It wouldn’t take much for me to forget my promise to maintain a sex free environment. I’m already hard.
Autumn bites her lip. “I just feel like we should clear the air about that incident on your last day at Emblem High.”
“That’s what you want to talk about?”
“Yes. I know it was over two years ago but I just want you to know that I’ve never mentioned it to anyone and now that we’re roommates I wouldn’t want you to feel embarrassed.”
“You mean because you saw my dick?”
She blinks. “That’s one way of putting it.”
“How else would you put it?”
“That I mistakenly walked in on you having a, well, a private moment.”
“Okay.” I shrug my shoulders. “I forgive you.”
Annoyance flashes in her eyes. “I wasn’t apologizing, Landon. You were in a place you shouldn’t have been and doing something you shouldn’t have been doing.”
At this point I don’t know what she wants to hear. “In that case, I’m sorry you saw my dick.”
“Just so we’re clear, I didn’t want to see your dick.
“Well, I didn’t intend to show you my dick.”
“Okay, well, that’s good. We’re on the same page. This is not an issue and we don’t need to talk about it.”
“Then why did you bring it up?”
“I just…never mind. It’s not a thing and it’s over and it’s in the past and it doesn’t need to become a thing.”
I’m honestly confused. “What’s not a thing? My dick?”
“Yes. No!” She’s flustered and has to breathe in and out again before continuing. “Look, the dynamic between us is very different now. I am not your teacher. You are not my student. What’s done is done. I don’t feel uncomfortable and you don’t either. So we can just move forward and have a pleasant association from now on.”
Her face has become all red. During her speech she started pacing around like she does when she’s lecturing in her classroom. She also talked very fast, as if she’s rehearsed what to say.
“Are you always like this?” I ask her.
She frowns. “Like what?”
“Like all jumpy and half hysterical over nothing.”
“I’m not hysterical. I am simply attempting to engage in some open and honest dialogue.”
“Seems like a waste of time to me.”
“That’s an immature attitude.”
“If you say so.”
She’s getting flustered again. “You’ll change your mind when you’ve lived a few more years.”
I laugh. “Yeah, you’re practically ready for retirement. What are you, twenty five?”
Her chin tilts up. “I’ll be twenty seven next month.”
I let out a low whistle. “Old enough to be my mother.”
She narrows her eyes. “Look, just clean up after yourself and don’t eat my cookie dough ice cream and we’ll get along great. Can you do that?”
“I think so.”
“Wonderful. I’ll leave you alone to get unpacked. Kitchen is that way. Washer and dryer are in that closet behind you. I’m sure you can figure the rest out yourself.”
She turns, marches to the opposite side of the living room and disappears down a hallway. A second later I hear a door shut.
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