Deeply Destructive
Author:Lucy Covington

“Hey.” Justin peeked around the side of the refrigerator and I almost screamed.

 

“You scared me!”

 

“Sorry.” He just stood there, grinning that mischievous little grin of his, like he knew a secret I didn’t.

 

“How’s Gil doing?” I asked, trying to sound like it was every day that I slept over a boy’s apartment and watched him walk around half-naked.

 

“He’s good. Tired, a little nauseous. But he’s going to be fine. He went into the spare room for some reason. I guess he likes sleeping on the floor.”

 

“That’s good. That’s he’s going to be okay, I mean.”

 

“Yup.” He leaned against the wall, still looking at me with that smug little look.

 

“So what are you doing in my refrigerator?”

 

“I was going to make breakfast.”

 

“Good idea. I’m starving.”

 

“Eggs and bacon?”

 

“Sounds good.” He reached into the breadbox and pulled out a loaf of bread.

 

“And toast, of course.”

 

“Of course.”

 

I brought the eggs and bacon over to the stove and set them down. Justin crossed his arms over his chest, watching me.

 

“Um, what are you doing?” I asked.

 

“Watching you.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because you’re cute.”

 

There was a lightness about him this morning, so different from the way he’d been last night. Last night he’d been dangerous and dark and brooding. This morning he seemed playful and flirty.

 

I felt myself start to blush. “Where’s your frying pan?” I asked.

 

“Right there.” He pointed to a lower cupboard, and I bent down and opened it. I pulled the frying pan out, and when I stood up, Justin let his eyes move up my body slowly, not even trying to hide what he was doing.

 

I swallowed and moved to the stove, setting down the pan on one of the front burners. “Do you have any, um, cooking spray?”

 

“Cooking spray?” He sounded outraged. “For what?”

 

“You know, to spray the pan.” I gestured at it. “So that the eggs don’t stick.”

 

“Oh, Lindsay.” He shook his head at me. “We don’t use cooking spray in this house. Cooking spray is for girls.”

 

“I am a girl.”

 

“Trust me.” He took in a deep breath and grinned. “I know.”

 

“So then what do you use?” I asked, ignoring his comment.

 

“Butter.” He moved over to the refrigerator and pulled out a flowered butter dish.

 

“You have a flowered butter dish?”

 

“Wyatt’s mom got it for him,” he said defiantly. “It’s convenient. Besides, you shouldn’t be mocking my butter dish when you’re looking for cooking spray. You obviously have a lot to learn about cooking.”

 

“And you’re going to teach me?” I asked skeptically.

 

“Don’t look so surprised, Pip,” he said. His took a step closer to me, and his eyes moved up and down my body again, slower this time. “There are a lot of things I can teach you.”

 

I shivered as he moved past me to the counter. He still wasn’t wearing a shirt, and I wanted to tell him that if he expected me to pay attention to anything he was about to say, he should put his damn shirt on. His biceps were making me dizzy.

 

He readjusted the frying pan on the burner, then turned on the heat. I tried not to think of it as a metaphor.

 

“Now put some butter in that pan, Pip,” he said.

 

I cut off a small slab and dropped it in.

 

“More.”

 

I did as I was told.

 

He got to work whisking the eggs and then poured them into the pan.

 

“Now stir,” he instructed. “And don’t stop.”

 

He started laying bacon into another pan, and after a moment, the sound of sizzling filled the air followed by the salty scent of frying meat.

 

We worked in silence for a few moments, and I tried not to look over at him. It was so surprising, the fact that he could cook. Just when I thought I had him figured out, he did something that made me realize I didn’t know anything about him.

 

“You’re not stirring,” he said.

 

“Oh.” I looked down. He was right. I’d stopped stirring the eggs.

 

He moved behind me, his arms enveloping my waist. He put his hand gently on mine and guided the spatula. “See? You have to keep moving them, or they get stuck to the bottom.”

 

“Yeah,” I said, just barely getting the words out. “Thanks.”

 

Goosebumps had broken out on my arms. I was so aware of just... him.

 

Everything about him. The way his body felt against mine, the way his hair flopped over his forehead, the tiny bit of stubble on his face.

 

I’d used to think that the girls who’d had tons of sex in high school had no self-control. But I was beginning to think that if they’d felt the way I did when Justin was near me, then I couldn’t blame them.

 

He stood there for a few seconds longer than necessary, his hand on mine.

 

“Got it now?” he breathed into my ear.

 

“Yeah,” I said. “I got it.”

 

I turned around, but he didn’t move. Now we were standing there, my back up against the stove, his arms around me, effectively pinning me in.

 

The air crackled with electricity, and my stomach fizzed with anticipation.