| Halfway through her junior year at the state college, Julia let her brother Simon move into her apartment. She knew how impossible her parents could be. Neither she nor Simon were ever "bad" kids - they never took drugs, never disregarded curfew, never skipped school. What scared Mom and Dad was their attachment to their arts - she to painting, he to his music. Neither of them ever had dates or went to any of the high school social events. For someone to spend all their time on such "frivolities" as the arts meant they were "silly and inconsequential". For someone to think they could make a life out of the arts meant they were "not right in the head".
Having Simon around wasn't the inconvenience Julia had been afraid of. In fact, the two of them made perfect roommates. They were both quiet, introverted people who enjoyed privacy and disliked idle chatter. He was tidy, and helped to keep the refrigerator stocked. Her last roommate - a brash redheaded girl her own age - ate anything she stuck in the fridge. Tall, lanky Julia had to tuck cookies and cereal away on the top shelf to keep The Mouth (as Julia privately referred to her) from swallowing it. This tactic would never work with Simon, as he had also inherited their father's height (and bony frame). Fortunately, Simon wasn't the type to take without restoring what he took. His part-time job after his high school day was done kept him away for most of the afternoon, giving Julia a few hours before she left for her evening position as bookstore cashier. Everything worked perfectly until James came around.
Julia saw James around town in his leather jacket and slicked-back hair, but never spoke to him (of course, she rarely spoke to anyone, and then only if necessary). He frightened and intrigued her, though in her conscious mind she wrote him off as just another silly young kid who thinks he's tough shit. Julia walked in from school one day to find James spread out casually on her couch. She stared at him with disdain. In return, he smiled smugly at her, looking her up and down approvingly. Angered, she dropped her backpack to the floor and stomped into Simon's room. Simon sat on his floor, searching through his CD collection.
"Who, I mean, WHAT is that on my couch?" she spat at him. She had never yelled at Simon like this before.
"What are you talking about?" Simon asked without turning around.
"You know what I'm talking about. The piece of crap sitting in my living room." Julia said through clenched teeth.
Simon sighed, and faced her. "Damn it, Julia. I have one person over and you throw a fit. You're worse than Mom." Seeing that this hurt her, he explained, "I didn't mean it like that. I just don't know why you have to get all pissed off. It's not like he's trashing the place or anything. He's a cool guy - he knows tons about blues and stuff."
"He just..." she sighed, and looked out his window. "He just bugs me, I guess." She turned towards the door. "Just don't hang out here too much, 'kay?"
"Yeah, yeah," he answered, sifting through his CD's. "Whatever you say."
She passed him in the living room. In an attempt to dull her first impression as a bitch, she smiled as friendly a smile as she could manage. He smiled back challengingly, eyebrows raised to show that he knew better. She sat in the old overstuffed chair that faced her ratty couch.
"Simon says you know a lot about blues," she said, not knowing what else to say or even why she was saying anything. He stared at her, and she found it impossible to break gaze with his deep brown, nearly black eyes. In her peripheral vision, she saw for the first time the elaborate tattoos on his thickly muscled forearms.
"Yeah. But Simon didn't say his sister had such a nice ass," he hissed, then smiled back at her.
She stood up. "Fuck you!" she sneered, went to her room and slammed the door.
"Any time, baby," she heard him call after her.
"What was that all about?" she heard Simon ask.
"Oh nothing. Your sister's a freak. A cute freak, but still a freak. You ready?"
"Yeah, let's go." The front door closed and she heard Simon lock the dead bolt. Pulling out her conte crayons and sketch pad, she felt angry and, strangely, somehow lonely.
She waited for him to show up the next day, but a week passed before she came home to find him again sprawled across her furniture - this time, the easy chair. He was leafing through her sketch books. She snatched it out of his hands.
"Hey, what's up with that?" he asked, half smiling.
"Do you always go through other people's stuff without permission?" she asked, pouring herself a glass of apple juice.
"Do you always come home in a pissed off mood?" he returned. "You know, Julia, you're really good. Your drawings - they're really nice. You've got talent. You need to work on your sense of perspective a little bit, then you're ready for the big time!"
"Oh, thank you, O Great Art Critic," she deadpanned.
He laughed. "Jesus... Why you always gotta be such a ballbuster? You should smile once in a while - I bet you'd be really pretty if you smiled."
"Christ!" she exclaimed, unconsciously smiling at the idiocy of someone being pretty only when they smiled.
"See! Right there - what a babe you were for a second. You should dress better, too," he added, gesturing at her jeans and sweatshirt.
"Oh, that's a classic. Mr. Fucking Lost in the Fifties James Dean wannabe giving me fashion tips!"
"Hey, just trying to help. Simon says you never have any guys over. Why is that, Julia?" He sat forward, looking at her intently. She felt the hairs on the back of her neck prickle up. "Don't you like guys, Julia? Or are you into chicks? Are you a dyke?"
"Fuck you, dickhead!" She stood up and started towards her room, but he was too quick for her. He grabbed her by the shoulder and whirled her around, pushing her backwards onto the couch. He sat beside her, his arm pinning her chest, his face inches from hers. "Simon!" she called out. The wind was knocked out of her, and she felt more fear than she'd ever felt in her life.
"Simon isn't here right now. He gave me his key so I could meet him at 4. That gives you and me a few hours to chat, eh?" He smiled, but the smile never touched his dark eyes. "So, before you got all rude and tried to end our conversation, I believe you were going to tell me whether or not you're a dyke."
"I'm - I'm not telling you anything until you get off me," she stammered, wild-eyed and breathing heavy.
He smiled again, and this time the edges of his eyes turned up in genuine amusement. "Okay, I'll let you go, but you have to promise not to run, 'kay?"
"I promise," she breathed. He lifted himself from her. Immediately, she bolted towards the door. He grabbed her ankle, and she fell, hitting her head on the carpet. He pulled her over onto her back, inspecting the cut on her forehead.
"Jesus, girl! What are you doing to yourself? I'm not gonna hurt you, but look what happens when you pull this shit! You get hurt!" He lifted her by her shoulders and threw her back to the couch. "Look at you - you could give yourself a concussion! All 'cause you don't wanna answer one simple easy question." He stroked her hair, staring into her eyes. Behind her fear, she felt a primitive arousal, a hunter versus hunted sort of hormonal rush. "So, is you or is you not a dyke?"
"Of course not," she sneered back. "Just 'cause a girl doesn't plan her life around guys, that makes her a dyke?"
He laughed. "Hell, no! I never thought you were! I knew you were into guys the moment I saw you. But other guys, they tell me you're into girls, and I thought to myself boy, what a terrible waste of such a nice piece of ass that would be!" He laughed again, his arm still pinning her to the couch. She began to see where this was going, and started to struggle.
"Please, please don't hurt me," she whispered, tears welling in her eyes.
"Oh, baby, I don't wanna hurt you. I wanna make you feel good!" He pinned her with his knee, freeing his arm to pull a handkerchief from his jacket pocket. He pulled off his jacket and dropped it to the ground. The muscles on his arms climbed over one another as he grabbed her wrists and tied them together. "You see, there are two kinds of girls in the world. There's the normal everyday girl - the kind that lets you take her out and, if you show her a good time and spend lots of money on her, she lets you have some - a little titty, a little pussy, whatever. Those girls are the easy girls, 'cause they have a price and you know what it is and whether you can afford it or not." He finished her wrist. He picked her up, threw her over his shoulder, and carried her into her room.
He tossed her onto her bed and pulled another handkerchief out of his back pocket. He tied her bound wrists to her wrought iron headboard. "Then, there are girls like you. You know, when I was six, my Dad sent me to my uncle's farm to live. My uncle used to buy and sell horses, and sometimes he'd get these wild ones in - horses that had never been ridden before. There wasn't any negotiating with these babies - you just had to show 'em what was good for 'em. You had to break 'em." He straddle her legs, bent down and tenderly cupped her face. "And once you broke these horses, you could ride 'em for life. So now, I'm gonna break you."
She pulled away, but he clutched her head and kissed her deeply on the mouth. He moved his lips down her chin to her neck, kissing her neck with expert delicacy. Julia felt weak - the fear, in an odd way, was an aphrodisiac. She struggled only slightly as he nibbled her ears while his hands lifted her sweatshirt and undid her bra. "Oh, these are nice! Small, but really nice!" he exclaimed as he cupped and fondled her breasts. His mouth found her nipples, and she arched her back. "You like that, huh?" he asked huskily. She turned her head away in denial, but Julia still didn't struggle.
She didn't struggle, at least, until he unzipped her jeans and started to pull them off.
"No, please!" She whipped her legs around. "Please, don't! I've never - I mean - I'm a virgin!"
He smiled, grabbed her legs, removed her jeans and panties and tossed them to the floor. "I figured that," he said, pinning her down with an elbow while pulling her legs apart and laying between them. His hand found her crotch, and he slid a finger over her until he located her clitoris. He stroked her gently, trying a few different touches until he found one that calmed her. He kiss-licked her neck as he slid a finger inside her tight pussy. Julia lay beneath him, smelling his smell and growing closer to orgasm. Right as she felt herself nearly there, he withdrew his hand. He unbuttoned his jeans, pulled out his cock, and rubbed it against her wetness.
As he pushed himself inside her, she struggled. He felt impossibly huge, and she grew afraid he would tear her. Just when she thought she could bear it no longer, something popped loose and he was inside. "Oh, baby," he moaned, and she pushed against him, her eyes streaming tears of relief. His cock pushed in and out of her, and she felt herself once again approaching orgasm. Suddenly, he came, moaning and pushing himself deep inside her. This caused an explosion within her, too. She gasped, her face pressed against his chest.
He lay heavy on top of her for a long moment, breathing deeply. Then, he held her face in both hands and smiled, gazing deep into her eyes. He kissed her delicately, stroking her cheeks. He untied her wrists. Julia sat up, rubbing her sore arms. "See," he smiled, "That wasn't so bad, was it?"
Her face contorted with anger, and her hand shot out in a slap that left a comically red hand print on the side of his face. He looked at her in shock, then laughed. She slumped down, and laughed as well. "Okay, you owed me that, I guess," he admitted.
She follow him into the living room. He straightened the couch, and she handed him his coat. He turned to her, kissed her again. He gazed deep into her eyes. "See ya soon, eh?" he said with a wink. As she watched from the window, she knew that soon wasn't soon enough.