Summer Heat – Part Sixteen
I am always surprised by the positive feedback i get from the SH series, how much people seem to enjoy it, and the fact that most times i publish a new chapter my stats show that someone reads the whole thing. So thank you all for still being here. Jessica and Toby fascinate me as characters, and so does their relationship. Anyway, here is the latest chapter. Click here if you want to know what happened previously on Summer Heat. And if we’re all sitting comfortably, on with the next instalment.
Summer Heat – Part Sixteen
Toby sat on the floor of his bedroom, his back against the wall as he hid beneath the window. He was still shaking, biting nervously at his fingernails, his breaths short and shallow. He turned and knelt, inched his head upwards to peer over the sill. She was in the trees now, the thin blue smoke of her cigarette breezing through the branches. He slumped down again, sighed, and reached for his glass. One sip, another, the rest of the shot.
What had he done wrong? Why was she behaving this way? How had the day turned from a wonderfully romantic lunch to him skulking in his room and having to spy on her? He thought back to the pub, to the date that she had been so keen on. He would rather have spent the day in bed, making love, chatting, but Jessica had seemed so insistent, and he wanted to make her happy. She was a great girl, he could see that they were a great match, he wanted to make sure he got things right this time, not like before.
The conversation had been easy, they chatted and shared stories, likes, dislikes, and Toby felt their initial sexual connection growing into a romantic bond. But when they had arrived at the pub – the pub she had chosen – she had looked about her, inspecting the premises as if she was deciding if the place was good enough. And he noticed that while they were eating, while they were talking, her eyes would flit from his face to the rest of the pub. Her words and her laughter suggested she was enjoying lunch, but she was obviously distracted by something, her attention was not on him. And hadn’t she said that morning that she didn’t usually have sex so soon after meeting a man, that she didn’t want to spend all day in bed with him? This sounded to Toby like she was having second thoughts, and as they drove back to the flat he had decided he would give her the space she seemed to need.
He had only lasted half an hour before he changed his mind. He would go down to her flat, talk to her, try to ease whatever concerns she had. But as he opened his door, he heard her on the stairs, heard the main door open. He walked to the landing window and saw her dressed smartly, climbing into her car and driving away. Instinctively he reached for his phone to send a text, to ask her where she was going, but paused. That wouldn’t be giving her space would it, he said to himself, don’t be an idiot. His phone went back to his pocket, his text stayed unsent.
The afternoon passed slowly as he played game after game on his console, checked his phone repeatedly for messages that never came. Perhaps he had misinterpreted her interest in him, maybe she was changing her mind, withdrawing from him, letting him go gently.
Letting him go in favour of him, as it turned out. In favour of that guy with the BMW, the guy who came and picked her up, opened the passenger door for her, whisked her away to an evening where Toby imagined she wasn’t looking over his shoulder, making sure she wasn’t seen. An evening she wasn’t ashamed of.
When the BMW revved back onto the drive, Toby had watched the pair of them from his window, heard Jessica’s laughter, seen the way she grabbed his arm as they crossed the carpark. He heard their voices loud and indiscreet on the stairs, echoing through the building, and the slam of her door. And a short while later, as he made himself a late night cheese on toast supper, he heard the distant, muffled, but unmistakable, familiar sounds of Jessica’s passion, her pleasure, her ecstasy. He abandoned the supper, threw the half-grilled snack in the bin angrily, and reached for the whisky. He slammed a glass on the worktop, poured a generous serving and sank it in one gulp.
After all she had fucking said, all that shit she had fed him about never doing this sort of thing, feeling so safe with him, she hadn’t wasted any time at all moving on to someone new. Toby refilled his glass, carried it and the bottle to the lounge, and sat noisily down on the sofa. He sipped his whisky once, and then leapt up to switch off the light. The darkness of the room better matched his mood.
A few glasses later, his anger had subsided, to be replaced by disbelief, incomprehension. Jessica’s behaviour wasn’t consistent with how she had been with him these last few days, and Toby could not make sense of it. He had not known her long, but he had sensed an openness in the way they talked. Had he been mistaken? Had he misinterpreted her? Had she not been honest with him after all? He could not answer any of these questions. Only she could, and it didn’t seem that she would be knocking on his door soon.
Voices on the stairs again. Toby stood at his door, silently listening to him telling Jess he would call soon, her keen encouragement. So that was it then. The rear door to the flat opened and he dashed to his bedroom overlooking the rear garden, and watched through the window as she crossed the grass. When she turned her head, he ducked out of sight.
He drank another glass. He sighed. He wondered.