Totally Tormented
Author:Lucy Covington

“Yeah. You said we don’t know anything about each other, so let’s go. What’s your favorite movie?”


I thought about it. “Dead Poet’s Society.”


He rolled his eyes. “Depressing.”


“It isn’t!”


“The teacher gets fired at the end, and a dude commits suicide!”


“Yeah, but it’s about facing your fears. The part where Ethan Hawke gets up on his chair at the end is super inspiring.”


“You probably just like it because Ethan Hawke is in it,” he grumbled.


“Eww, no,” I said. “I don’t like that look. I’m more of a Channing Tatum kind of girl.”


“Channing Tatum.” He shook his head. “I’ll fuck that dude up.”


I rolled my eyes. “Favorite food?”


“Lasagna. You?”


“Ice cream. Rocky Road,” I clarified.


“Not frozen yogurt like you were having with Adam?”


“No. Not frozen yogurt like I was having with Adam. In fact, I kind of hate frozen yogurt.”




His hand was on my leg now, his thumb making little circles on my skin. I shivered.


“Wanna get under the covers?” he asked.


I nodded.


He reached over and shut off the light, and we climbed under his comforter. His room was starting to become familiar. I was beginning to feel more at home here than I did in my own dorm.


“Hey,” I said, suddenly remembering. “Where’s Gilbert?”


“Gilbert’s gone.”


“Oh. Is he… I mean, did he…?”


“I don’t know where he went.” He took a deep breath. “He was gone when I got back to the apartment. He disappears a lot, Gil. I used to try to chase him around, but it never worked.”




“Still do have to chase him around sometimes, obviously. But in the end, I know he’s going to go off and do whatever he wants.”


There was a silence. I wasn’t quite sure what to say.


“Favorite color?” he asked.


“Purple. You?”




“Of course.” There was another silence, and for a moment, I just lay there and listened to him breathing. His hand was still on my leg, but now the circles were becoming slower and lazier.


I turned over, and he pulled me close, spooning me. He pushed my hair off my neck and rested his chin on my shoulder. “You comfy?” he murmured into my neck.




His arms tightened around me. And maybe it was because I knew he was going to be falling asleep soon, or maybe it was because it was dark and I couldn’t see him.


But I decided to ask him one more question.


“Have you ever been in love?”


I felt his body tense. “No.” He hesitated, like maybe he was going to say something else. But then, a second later, he said, “You?”


“No.” I waited for him to ask me something else, to press me, to ask me if I ever wanted to be. But he didn’t.


And after a moment, his breathing grew deeper and more even, and I knew he was asleep. And after another moment, so was I.




When I woke up, Justin was already awake.


He was stroking my hair and flipping through the channels.


“Finally,” he teased. “I thought you’d never wake up.”


“How long have you been awake?” I was suddenly panicked, not knowing how long he’d been watching me sleep. Was I drooling?


“Not that long. Only a few minutes.” He turned off the TV and rolled over. He winced.


“What’s wrong?” I asked automatically.




“Justin, if you’re –”


“It’s nothing,” he said. “I’m just sore, that’s all.” He flipped onto his stomach.


“I probably just need to ice my back.” He turned his head and glanced at me. “Or you could give me a massage.” He wiggled his eyebrows up and down, and I rolled my eyes.


But inside, I was giddy. I would take an excuse I could to touch him.


I reached out and started to rub his shoulders.


“Unh-huh.” He shook his head. “Get on top of me.”




“Get on top of me. On my back.”


“I’ll hurt you.”


He scoffed at the idea. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”


I swallowed and then climbed on top of him, straddling his back. I wasn’t wearing anything under his t-shirt, and so I pulled it down as best I could. He had sweatpants on, so it wasn’t like we would have been skin to skin, but still.


I started at his shoulders, kneading my palms into his skin. His muscles were tense, and I hated that someone had done that to him. I wondered again if I should say something about his new gym maybe not being the best place for him. But it really wasn’t any of my business.


I stroked him, moving to his neck and letting my hands linger over the place where his hair met his skin. I ran my fingers through his hair, scratching his scalp gently.


He let out a sigh of pleasure.


My hands dropped to his back and after a few minutes, I could feel his muscles loosening.


Suddenly, he turned over, grabbing my wrists to keep me from falling off of him.


“Justin!” I gasped. But he held me tight.


“Time to do my chest,” he said, his eyes twinkling.


“No way.” I tried to move, but he held me close.


“Why not?” he teased. “You afraid?”


“Of what?”