“Dude, what the hell?”
Nursey didn’t respond. His back was
still to Dex, head pressed against the locked door. Only a few minutes
ago, he had grabbed Dex from the middle of the party and hauled him
upstairs into the bathroom. Dex was completely bewildered by his
behavior, but it was so uncharacteristic of Nursey that, after the brief
flash of irritation, he began to worry.
“Hey,” Dex said, though gentler this time. He reached out to touch Nursey’s shoulder, which Nursey immediately shrugged off.
He was inhaling and exhaling deeply, trying to get a hold of himself before he could face Dex.
without preamble, Nursey turned around and surprised Dex by kissing
him. It wasn’t gentle; it was a clash of teeth at first that made Dex
wince a bit. Nursey crowded him against the sink and roughly pulled him
closer. This wasn’t like the other times. Dex could feel an undercurrent
of anger in Nursey, and while he was unexpectedly enjoying the
possessiveness Nursey was showing, Dex broke away from the kiss anyways.
“Stop,” he said, turning his head. “What’s wrong?”
Nursey huffed but stepped back. He schooled his features into a calm expression, but Dex knew him better than that. “Nothing. Never mind. Let’s get back to the party.”
“No, Derek,” Dex said. “If
something’s bothering you, don’t fucking hold it in. I’m not a mind
reader.” The last part came out harsher than he’d intended, but Nursey
had been standoffish all night, and it was starting to grate on his
“Something’s bothering me?” Nursey a humorless laugh and rubbed his palm over his face. “It’s like…” he started. “It’s like we’re not even dating.”
“But we are,” Dex said slowly. He could could feel the dread coil up under his ribs as he wondered if this was Nursey’s lead up to breaking up.
“Yeah,” Nursey said flatly. “We are.”
“I don’t understand,” he said. “Do you not want to be? Is this what it’s about?” Dex could feel the anger rising, an automatic reaction for him. Get angry at everything first before they could hurt you.
“No,” Nursey said, and then something inside of him snapped. “But can you blame me for getting pissed off when the captain of the basketball team is flirting with my boyfriend and he does nothing about it?” Nursey progressively got louder, but he didn’t seem to care. Luckily, the music was still at full volume downstairs so it wasn’t like anyone was going to hear them.
“He wasn’t flirting,” Dex said, aghast and immediately defensive. “We were talking about our seasons.”
“I know what flirting looks like,” Nursey hissed. “You haven’t even looked at me all evening. It’s like I’m not even here.”
threw his head back and looked up at the ceiling.
The accusation stung. He bit his bottom lip and tried to control the
swirl of conflicted emotions inside of him. He wanted to lash out
instinctively, tell Nursey that he was wrong and that how could he think
Dex was interested in anyone else but him.
“I have to go.” Dex threw open the bathroom door and left the Haus before anyone could stop him. He ended up making his down by the river. The night was cool and it was quiet enough to leave Dex to his own thoughts.
This was still
all very new to Dex: guys, relationships, someone like Derek Nurse
actually wanting him. They’d agreed to take it slow and keep their
dating a secret, but it was starting to get harder and harder to keep it under wraps.
When he finally checked his phone, he realized he’d been ambling for almost an hour. He felt calmer now, less like wanting to punch something. He didn’t feel like going back to the party so he headed back to his dorm.
He wasn’t expecting to find Nursey sitting on the floor outside of his room. With a gentle prod of his foot, Nursey woke up with a start.
“Hey,” Dex said. “It’s late.”
“I know. I just wanted to say I’m sorry. It wasn’t your fault. I’m was a jealous asshole.”
“I know,” Dex snorted. He unlocked his door. “Wanna come in?”
“You still mad at me?”
“A bit, but we can talk about it in the morning.”
There wasn’t much conversation as they slowly stripped off their clothes and fell into Dex’s tiny bed. There was solemness to the way Nursey kissed, as if he was trying to show how sorry he was from the lingering presses of his lips on Dex’s neck all the way down the soft skin of his hips. Dex was pliant under Nursey’s touch, arching up and surrendering himself in the only way he could to show Nursey that he was his, all his.
Afterwards, Nursey snuggled in and rested his head under Dex’s chin. They were both too tired to say anything, and as they drifted off to sleep, Dex’s mumbled, “Derek?” There was no response except for quiet breathing. “I’ll always choose you,” Dex said anyways, and hoped that, somewhere in his unconscious mind, Nursey heard it.