Jane Gets Back in the Game


“Are you almost ready, Jane?” Chloe called through the bathroom door of our shared apartment.

“Not even close, dude. Remind me why I am doing this again? I just want to stay in tonight and watch Desperate Housewives.” I called back, while I sat on the edge of the bathtub, flipped through a magazine, and avoided getting ready. Chloe barreled in, unhappy with my response.

“Jane, buck up! Archie was a dick and you didn’t deserve the way that he treated you, but it has been two months! It is time to get back out there and start experiencing life again. You can’t hide in this apartment forever,” she said as she moved my legs to sit beside me on the bathtub. I stuck my tongue out at her and continued flipping through the magazine.

“Girl, cut it out!” Chloe yelled at me while she grabbed at my magazine. I resisted her, and we had a short tug of war with the pages before we both fell into the bathtub, laughing. “Look. Archie is going to be there tonight, but that’s no reason for you not to go! Chester just met this guy, and he showed me some Instagram pictures. He is DELICIOUS. You have to come out with us, he is so excited to meet you! Plus, Rachel is expecting you to be there. It wouldn’t be a party without good-old Jane!”

I had agreed to go to the party at Rachel’s forever ago, but that was before. Before the only man I ever loved, had ever been with, fucked some woman in his marketing course. Several times. Enough times that I eventually caught them in the act. Archie said he was sick, so I brought over some chicken soup for him. His roommate let me in; in hindsight, I think he actually felt sorry for me and let me in so the deception would finally end. Anyway, I only needed to see Archie in his typical place on the bottom for about two seconds before it was over for me. The problem was that my whole life had included him. I’d known him all through elementary and Junior high, and we were high school sweethearts, now going to the same school. I think things had been over for a while, but I just don’t know how to be single. I feel completely uncomfortable playing a role that isn’t “long-term girlfriend”. I know that sounds so stupid, and I never wanted to be that way, dependent on someone else. It was just so easy with Archie, we knew each other, and we didn’t have to work at it. Maybe that was part of the problem.

Chloe has let me mope around for a while now, but I think she is finally getting tired of it. Her boyfriend, Chester, met some guy at the gym, and she has been wanting to set me up with him. Chester is incredible, he loves Chloe so much—the two of them actually make me sick they are so sweet together. But now, with this birthday party that my friend Rachel was hosting for her brother, Archie’s old roommate, she was determined. “Show me his picture, then I will decide.” I told Chloe indignantly. She pulled up his Instagram in a few seconds, and I have to admit I was impressed. He was damn fine, and it had been a while since I had gotten any. She saw the small smile on my face, and I knew I was doomed.

“I knew it! I knew you would be into him! HA! You’re coming, no excuses. Now let me do your hair, straight or curly?” She asked devilishly.

“Straight, so I can pull it up when that room gets too hot,” I replied with a huff. I had a new determination—I was going to get laid tonight. Not like I had ever had a one-night stand before, but change is good, right? When Chloe finished my hair, I did something I am sure I will regret. “Chloe, just make me look hot, ok?” Her eyes lit up at that request—she had begged me to let her give me makeovers in the past, and I had outright refused, as I was never one who put a lot of effort into her appearance. Don’t get me wrong, I take my health seriously, and swim nearly every morning, which has given me a toned body that works with my petite 5-foot frame. I had always been pretty lean, but since the ice cream portion of my diet has increased due to my breakup, my butt and tits have grow to a size that I am happy with. I had to go up a cup size to a C, and I had a nice little bubble butt. However, I generally left my wavy auburn hair alone, as it was long enough to be a pain to deal with in the morning. I rarely wore makeup because it all came off when I swam anyway, so it seemed like a waste.

But now, I wanted to make heads turn, and Chloe was the woman for the job. She had dark hair with straight across bangs and very pale skin, making her appear almost ghost-like, but she rocked the hello out of it, and was always dressed to the nines. She was the stylish one for sure, and had a flair for the dramatic. “You are going to look so sexy!” she yelped at me while she began applying eyeshadow for my smoky eye look. “Your green eyes are going to be popping out of your head!”
“Is that what the men want these days? Girls who have lost their eyes?” I joked back at her. She glared at me, stuff her tongue out, and then continued happily with her work.

“I think it is about time that you get some, girl. It’s Sinop Escort been too long, and you are always cranky!” She quipped back.

“Hey!” I cried, laughing, “I was in mourning!”

“You’re 22, Jane, and he cheated on you, you aren’t a widow! Now, you’re almost done,” Chloe declared as she left the room, only to quickly return with one of her many little black dresses. “Put this on,” she said as she threw it at me, “and let’s get going, Chester has been waiting to come over with Paul for like an hour.”

“Fine,” I cried back from the bathroom as I grabbed the dress from my head. I took a good look at it, and noticed that there was barely any fabric at all. I shook my head and slid it over my slender frame. The entire dress consisted of a tight skirt and a billowy halter top, with an open back and deep slit down the front. I slid off my bra and ran to my room to find some black heels to match. Before I finished lacing up one shoe, I heard the doorbell ring. I wasn’t surprised, we lived in apartment land in our University town, and pretty much everyone we knew lived within the maze of complexes. It made for short walks but an uninspiring view.

“You coming out anytime soon?” Chloe called to me just as I finished with the second shoe.

“One second!” I yelled back at her, as I did a quick once-over in the mirror, grabbed a hairband and snagged my camera bag from the door as I headed out to meet Paul.

“Damn, you look amazing! Do you really need your camera?” Chloe questioned. “You always are carrying that thing around!”

“Yes! You never know what I might capture at this party—maybe some good blackmail to get you to do your dishes,” I replied with a wink. I turned to the tall, dark and handsome man in front of me. He was at least 6 feet tall and was clearly built with substantial muscle. His skin was a deep, dark brown color and he was wearing a fantastic sport coat. Overall, he was a giant hunk of man meat. “Hi, I’m Jane,” I said to him, and reached my hand out to shake his.

“Hello Jane, I’m Paul,” He replied in a deep, sexy voice. “You do look fantastic, but the camera bag is an odd touch.” He said to me.

That may not have been the nicest thing to say, but he is gorgeous. This is going to be a good night, I thought to myself as I smiled at Paul. “It’s my signature.”

“Let’s get our asses to the party, I want to get DRUNK!” Chloe cried as she shoved the three of us out the door.

When we got to the party, it was already bumping, and filled to the brim with party-goers. Chloe leaned in to whisper to me, “Chester and I are going to leave you and Paul to have some alone time. Love you!” She kissed me on the cheek and she and Chester dove into the crowd.

“Can I get you a drink?” Paul asked, leaning down towards me to make sure I heard him over the loud music, since there was over a foot difference between us.

“That’d be great, thanks!” I yelled up at him. Before he turned around, he reached around and grabbed my ass.

“Good, feel free to get nice and drunk tonight, I can take care of you,” He whispered in my ear and turned away.

That might have been a little much, but I’m sure he means well, I think as he barrels through the crowd. I grab my camera from my bag and start snapping photos of the party-goers, the neon lights adding an interesting touch to my photos.

I begin to get immersed in the lens, when I hear my name from across the room. “Jane, hey!”. I look around the dark, crowded room to find who was calling me. “Over here!” I waded into the crowd to try and get a better view, but I am so short that I couldn’t see over anyone’s shoulders. Suddenly, I feel a hand touch my waist and stop me from continuing into the crowd. I feel the person behind me use their other hand to pull my hair behind my ear, and I hear a man whisper into it. “Behind you,” he said as his breath danced over my ear. I melted a little bit before I regained my composure and tried to turn around in the compact space surrounded by other bodies. His hand stays strong on my waist, as if he is worried about losing me in the crowd.

I flip my head around and see Gus, Archie’s old roommate. The one who took pity on me and let me into the apartment that fateful afternoon. I had forgotten how handsome he was. Much taller than me, but not quite 6 feet, Gus was a strong presence in any room. His shaggy brown hair curled slightly around his bright blue eyes, and he always had a smile on his face. I had seen him around Archie’s apartment without a shirt on every occasionally, and he was definitely built, with a 6 pack that certainly rivaled Archie’s beer belly. “Oh, Gus, hi!” I finally responded, laughing. “Sorry about that, I was trying to figure out who was calling me, and I got a little… lost in here.” I gestured to the hoard of people around us just as someone bumped into Gus’s back and sent him stepping closer to me, until we were only inches apart.

“It was cute watching you. It must be hard to see anything Sinop Escort Bayan from down there,” he teased me, poking my stomach with his free hand, but still holding my waist with the other. I giggled when he poked me, ticklish as I am, and I wiggled around while he laughed. We were so close I could feel his breath on my naked shoulders.

“Oh yeah, happy birthday Gus!” I stammered, remembering why we were at this party and feeling like an idiot. “23… you’re such a grown-up,” I teased, punching him lightly in the shoulder.

“I know, I feel like I should be getting a dog or something,” he responded, and we both laughed at the idea of a dog running around in any of these small apartments. “Rachel’s a great sister for throwing this party for me, but I barely know anyone here!” he laughed. “I wanted you to know that Archie is here. I’m sorry, I told Rach not to invite him. He’s such an asshole, I can’t believe he did that to you. He… it’s like he didn’t understand how great he had it.” He paused, and we stared awkwardly at each other for a few moments before he continued. “Anyway, Jane, I want you to know I’m here for you and I won’t let him near you, I promise. But I’m so glad you came! You look incredible, by the way.”
I smiled shyly and looked up at him, wondering what he was thinking. “Thanks, Gus. Don’t worry about it, Chloe warned me he would be here and I’m okay with it. I’m glad I came to, I wouldn’t miss celebrating your birthday!”

He smiled wide and leaned down to me, “Can I get you a drink?”

“I have that taken care of, douche-bag,” Paul announced as he walked up to us with two drinks in his hands, one nearly empty already. “Step off my girl.”

“Hey, Paul, that’s not cool. This is Gus, the birthday boy, and he is not a douche-bag, he is my friend. Gus, this is my new friend Paul. I am NOT his girl.” I replied sternly to the two of them. “But thank you for bringing me a drink.”
“Gotcha, no hard feelings,” Gus gestured to Paul. “I’ll catch you later, Jane,” and he walked into the crowd.

Paul downed his drink quickly, threw the cup on the ground and yelled into the kitchen from his high stature, “Chester, throw me a beer!” I ducked just in time to avoid getting nailed with a beer can.

“Sorry, Jane!” I heard Chester scream/laugh while Chloe slapped him on the arm. Paul opened the beer and it fizzed over, spilling all over my dress and hair.

“Shit, my bad,” Paul said, mid-laugh. “You look sexier wet, though,” he winked. I was starting to get really tired of Paul, and honestly was concerned about drinking the open drink he offered me. I decided I would not be drinking from it.

“No worries,” I said back, trying to wipe the excess beer off my chest and wring out my hair with one hand.

“Let’s dance,” Paul said, and he wrapped his arm around my waist and lifted me up, wading through the crowd toward the “dance floor”.

“Okay, you can put me down now,” I told him when we reached the area where people were dancing.

“You’re just so tiny, it seemed easier to move you where I wanted you,” Paul replied, clearly trying to flirt with me, but for some reason it was incredibly off-putting. He didn’t move his hand from around me, and started to dance wildly, drinking from his beer every couple of seconds. I was just about to turn away and leave Paul for the night, until I say Archie from the corner of my eye, staring at me while Torey, a girl from our high school, stroked his arm and spoke to him. I decided I better get into dancing with Paul rather than seem like I was here alone, which would only further humiliate me. I started moving to the beat along with Paul, his free hand running up and down my side and ass, until his beer was gone. It was almost enjoyable, until he stopped, saying he wanted another drink and dragged me by the arm to the kitchen. I dropped my drink down the sink when he wasn’t looking and set the cup down, and was about to tell Paul I wanted to go find Chloe when she popped up beside me. Chester started talking with Paul and Chloe pulled me aside.

“What happened to you?” she asked, gesturing to the wet ends of my hair. “You look like a wet puppy.”

“Paul happened,” I replied, rolling my eyes and pulling my hair into a ponytail. “He is a little bit out of control.”

“You seemed to be enjoying yourself on the dance floor,” Chloe commented, catching me in my mischief, as always.

“Archie was staring at me. I acted on a survival instinct,” I spat back, feeling ashamed.

“Well, that’s what I came to talk to you about! Archie came over, fully drunk, and badgered Chester for twenty minutes about who you are with and if you guys are dating. He is totally bugging out!” Chloe exclaimed.

“Good, he deserves to “bug out”, he’s an ass,” I replied, feeling relieved for some reason. “I don’t think I can keep hanging out with Paul just to make him feel bad, though, it is almost worse being with him.”

“Well, you better make your choice fast, Escort Sinop because Archie is coming over here!” Chloe screeched. I panicked and grabbed Paul, pulling him through the crowd and yelling goodbye to Chloe over my shoulder. I dragged Paul through the crowd until I was far enough away from Archie to feel safe, in the other corner of the apartment, near the hallway to the bedrooms.

“Missing me?” Paul questioned me before burping in my face. “Sorry, my bad,” he said before he reached down to grab my ass again. I rolled my eyes and then jumped when he reached both arms under my ass and lifted me up against him.

“Put me down, Paul, this isn’t going to happen,” I told him, trying to wriggle out of his hold.

“Oh, you don’t like to do stuff with people seeing?” he questioned, “I get it, hang on,” and he took a couple of steps into the hallway, concealing us from the rest of the party-goers. He pushed my back up against the wall and leaned in to kiss my neck.

“Paul, stop it!” I told him, pushing his shoulders away from me, trying to keep him from kissing me. He brought one hand to the back of my neck and forced my face towards his, bringing me into a sloppy kiss. I pulled away as hard as I could and turned my face. “Paul, let me down, now! Stop!” I yelled at him.

“Come on, baby. I just want to have a little fun. Shut up and enjoy it,” he replied, and he clamped his hand over my mouth. I tried to cry against his fingers, but his hand was nearly as big as my face. He pushed harder up against the wall to keep me up, and began running his hand up my thigh, trying to touch me.

I turned my head sharply towards the main room of the apartment and got away from his fingers. “Stop, now!” I cried, and in that moment, I saw a blur of a fist and Paul released me from the wall and fell sideways.
“What the fuck?!” he yelled and turned toward his attacker just as I did, only to find Gus with both fists up, ready to hit him again. “Dude, what the fuck? Leave us the fuck alone!”

“She told you to stop, man.” Gus replied coolly as he stepped in front of me. I adjusted my skirt back down and stepped behind him farther.

“You just fucking assaulted me!” Paul cried. “I should call the Cops!”

Rachel ran up to us. “Get out of my apartment. Now,” she said firmly, pointing towards the door.

“Whatever, this party sucks anyway,” Paul declared as he headed toward the door.

Gus turned around and wrapped his arms around me. “Are you okay, Jane? I’m sorry I didn’t come faster.” He held one of his hands in my hair, and I felt how quickly his heart was beating against my face.

Before I could answer, Chloe ran up to us and pulled me into a hug. “I’m so sorry for bringing him, Jane, I had no idea! I’m so glad you are okay!”

I pulled away, “I’m fine, I’m fine, everyone calm down. Thank you, Gus, I appreciate the help. I am okay! As long as he is gone. Let’s get back to celebrating your birthday! I need a drink now!” I cried, and everyone around cheered and got back to enjoying the party. I walked to the kitchen to get myself a drink, and then found the couch, slightly exhausted from what almost just happened.

“Can I join you?” I hear someone say, and I look up to see Gus with a beer in his hand.

“Sure, as long as you don’t spill on me, too,” I joke and scoot over to make room for him. “Don’t you want to go and enjoy your party? Dance and play beer pong and all that jazz?” I asked him.

“Like I said, I barely know anyone here anyway,” he replied, smiling at me. “Are you sure you’re okay?” He asked again, locking eyes with me in a way that truly expressed his concerns.

“Yeah, thanks to you,” I said. “I don’t know what I was doing with him anyway, what a loser. I guess I just didn’t want to appear in front of Archie for the first time alone, you know?” I said, surprised that I was opening up so much to Gus. “I just wanted to have a good time tonight,” I said.

“I can understand that, maybe you still can have a great time!” He answered optimistically. “What would make this fun for you?”

“Hmmmm… that’s a great question. I think I could use another drink,” I replied, noticing my beer was almost empty.

“Don’t move!” Gus said, and he bolted out of the couch and sunk into the crowd. I waited only a few minutes before he returned with three drinks balancing in his hands. “I forgot to ask you what you wanted, so I figured I would get a sweet mixed drink, another beer, and a vodka soda… I don’t know what I’ll do with the ones you don’t want, but, yeah! What do you want?”

“I’ll take the vodka soda,” I replied, laughing at him, “Thank you. I think I have an idea of what we can do with the other two drinks. Let’s play a game, loser drinks! We can go until we finish all three.”

“Sounds fun, what game did you have in mind?” Gus asked, raising an eyebrow at me.

“Let’s ask each other questions about ourselves. If you get the answer wrong, you drink, if you get it right, the other person drinks. You game?” I ask. Gus nods at me, smiling. “I’ll start, with an easy one,” I say, “What’s my full name?”

“Jane…. Robert Harmon!” Gus responded with little confidence, laughing at himself and already going to take his drink. “What is your middle name?” he asked me.

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