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Home > Jagged (Colorado Mountain #5)(22)

Jagged (Colorado Mountain #5)(22)
Author: Kristen Ashley

I didn’t have time to ask him to confirm, not that I could speak at that moment anyway. He came my way and I had to jump to the side to avoid him bowling me over.

He disappeared down the hall to the master bedroom.

“What the hell?” I whispered.

Okay, so that was humiliating.

Why Ham would be pissed about it, seriously pissed, pissed enough to bring it up, which he shouldn’t have—he should have never said a word—and lay down the law about it, was beyond me.

He told me straight up he didn’t want my body. We were roommates. We had been for over a month and he gave no indication whatsoever he wanted anything more or was even nostalgic for what we once had.

Until just then with what he said but it was said in anger so he probably said it just to be a dick.

I stared down the hall as my thoughts came into order.

He couldn’t tell me when I could or could not touch myself.

That was insane.

And why was he mad about it? He wasn’t a prude. Far from it. He’d helped me do what I just did to spectacular results more than once. And I’d participated and watched as he’d done the same to himself.

“What the hell?” I hissed.

Suddenly, I wasn’t mortified.

I was mad.

I stomped to my room and decided his penalty for being an ass**le was my getting into the shower at the same time as he got into his. I was quick in the shower but he could stay in there a year. I didn’t know what he did in there but he took the longest showers of any man I knew.

And our hot water heater wasn’t that big.

“So there, dickhead,” I muttered to the shower spray.

Then I got ready and took my time. Blowing out my blonde hair with a roller brush, I used blasts of heat on my hair with the roller tight so it had big soft curls and flippy waves. Giving my makeup that tad bit of extra attention. Dressing for work, which was where I was going after I somehow whittled away the day, because once I left the condo, I wasn’t coming back until I’d calmed down. All of this was done in what I considered was an heroic attempt at not committing murder.

I was dressed, jacket on, purse on my shoulder, and ready to go but I made one stop.

Back at the kitchen where Ham was.

He was at the counter again, and he again had his head turned to me, face wearing a scowl.

“I’m in the shower after a run, babe, do me a f**kin’ favor and don’t jump in yours,” he growled.

“Kiss my ass,” I retorted.

His eyes narrowed dangerously.

I ignored that and kept going.

“FYI, bruiser, you can’t tell me when to touch myself. I may not be able to go halfsies but you told me yourself this is my pad, my home, and I’ll touch myself whenever I want in my pad that’s my home and if you walk in on me, I’ll throw my vibrator at you.”

On that somewhat pathetic parting shot that still managed to make me feel better, I turned on my boot and stomped out of the condo.

* * *

“Oh my God, that’s crazy,” Becca breathed.

I had chosen to whittle away my Saturday with my girls Becca, Mindy, and Nina.

Becca was a pretty brunette who used to work at The Dog but moved to waitressing at The Drake because her live-in boyfriend, Josh, was a musician who did acoustic nights there and she liked to be there when he played.

Mindy was tall, very pretty, with curly strawberry-blonde hair. She’d also worked at The Dog once upon a time but now she worked as a counselor at a rape crisis center while going to school to be a social worker. She was almost done. She was graduating next year.

Nina was a bit older than all of us, blonde, exceptionally pretty, and she dressed like a model. She was an attorney and married to Holden “Max” Maxwell. I’d met her yonks ago when she first came to Gnaw Bone for a vacation and visited my shop to buy some earrings made by my other girlfriend Jenna. We didn’t become friends until after she was kidnapped, nearly shot on the side of a mountain, went back to England to sort stuff there, and officially came home to Gnaw Bone to start her life with Max.

Looking at them as we sat at a table outside at the riverside café in town drinking coffees, I thought they looked like Charlie’s Angels, except without jobs as private detectives with a mysterious boss and the Pinto.

I’d just told them what happened with Ham earlier.

“That’s scary,” Mindy added.

“It’s not scary. It’s crazy,” Becca replied.

“It’s scary crazy and crazy scary,” Mindy stated.

Neither of them was wrong but Mindy was more right.

Becca’s horrified eyes suddenly lit and she sent a grin my way. “Though, it’s pretty funny, the part where you told him you were going to throw your vibrator at him.”

I was glad she thought that was funny since I thought it was lame.

It hit me Nina wasn’t saying anything so I looked to her to see her studying me closely.

“What?” I asked.

“You need to flirt,” she answered.

“What?” I asked again, but it was higher pitched this time.

Nina put her mug down on the table and sat back, still studying me.

Then she said, “Honey, I get your thing of swearing off men, focusing on getting stuff sorted because you need to do that. You need to take care of you, and you’re right, a man in that mix right now would probably not be a good thing.”

She’d said “probably.”

And, incidentally, Nina was half English and she had the kick-ass accent to prove it. So even if she said scary stuff, it came out cool.

“Okay,” I replied cautiously.

“But that doesn’t mean you should cut yourself off from having fun, forget you’re a girl and the good parts that come with that. So you should have fun and flirt,” she stated.

“I’m not flirting with Ham,” I returned.

“I’m not talking about him,” she said. “You work at The Dog. With your pretty face, fabulous hair, and fantastic figure, I bet there are tons of guys who would love to flirt with you.”

“Tips’ll get better, I know that as fact,” Becca put in.

I heard Becca but I was too busy trying to figure out what Nina was saying that she wasn’t exactly saying.

“I’m not sure how that will help me deal with what happened with Ham today, Neens,” I pointed out.

“You’re focused on getting your life in order, so determined you’re forgetting to have fun, and further, you’re mired down in the history you have with your roommate,” she replied and leaned toward me. “Things are better, Zara. You’ve landed on your feet. You have a good job. You’re making decent money. It’s time to let your hair down, have fun, remember you’re pretty and you can turn a man’s eye. Enjoy that. You’re young and you should. You shouldn’t miss a moment of feeling that feeling if you can. And if you do, if you remember to enjoy life a little bit and stop thinking all the time about how bad it’s been, your mind might clear of some of the things bogging it down and you can move on. Including move on from being hung up on a man you can’t have.”

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