[If this is your first encounter with Oasis, you should start at the beginning. And to answer the question from last chapter’s comments, my goal is to get chapters out on Fridays before 9 a.m. mountain time. It doesn’t always work out that way. Like today, for instance. I had to shovel snow again.]
Who’s going to know?
Lily pushed closer and her lips brushed against mine. “Come on. We both want it.”
With everything else that’s happened, I deserve a little tenderness. I deserve a little…
She closed her enchanting eyes.
I took a deep breath.
She raised up on her toes.
A wave of sanity washed over me and I put my hands on her hips. “I’m sorry.”
I pushed her gently.
Her eyes popped open.
I looked at her beautiful young face. “I can’t do this.”
She sucked in a breath and gave me a questioning look.
I kept her gaze and stood silent.
Her lower lip started to quiver.
I could only guess at what was going on inside her head. Was it anger? Was it embarrassment? Was it shock?
I took a step back. “It’s just not right.”
Tears welled up in her eyes. “Don’t you… want me?”
I didn’t know if she was putting on an act or if she really meant it. The one thing I did know is this, if I stayed in that room with her, I would end up doing something that I would regret. I had to leave.
She shook her head an took a small step forward. “Please don’t let me be alone.”
I side stepped her and headed for the door.
Her voice shook. She looked like she was on the verge of having a breakdown. “Corbin, please. Aren’t I good enough? Aren’t I pretty enough?”
I stopped and did a half turn back, being careful not to look at her.
Part of me wanted to go back and say something comforting. I opened my mouth but couldn’t come up the right words, so I turned back, opened the door and left.
The hall was dark and hot. A camping lantern hung on a light fixture in the approximate middle of the hall provided the only light.
I stood still for a minute, listening for signs of commotion in my room.
There were none. No sobbing, no yelling, no throwing things, nothing.
What is she doing in there?
A noise from the close stairwell caught my attention. Loud voices talking and laughing.
I watched as Richard and his buddies burst through the door. One of them had an old-style oil lamp.
Oh, no. What are they doing here? Maybe they’re just going to their rooms.
I knew they’d never just go on by and leave me alone. I walked their way and just hoped that Lily would stay put for a minute.
They noticed me and stopped laughing.
“Corbin? What are you doing out here?”
“Couldn’t sleep. You?”
Richard smiled. “Just heading to bed. Look, I’ve been meaning to talk to you.”
What happened to all that ‘messed with the wrong lawyer’ crap? Something wasn’t right.
I tried to get a good look at the faces of his friends and get some idea of what was going on.
“OK, what’s up?”
Richard kept a crooked smile on his face and started in on what seemed like a prepared speech. “I just wanted to say I’m sorry for what happened this morning. I know it was uncalled for. As you know, life has been more than stressful this past week or so, and we’re all on a short fuse…”
His voice didn’t sound perfectly honest, and the smile on his fat face simply oozed “fake.”
What is he getting at?
I really wanted to turn back and make sure my room door was staying closed. Not that there’d really be anything I could do if Lily came out right now.
These idiots would just jump to conclusions again, and that’d be it. I’d suffer the consequences for something I didn’t even do. I would most likely be put back out on the street.
I was tired of being alone. Why couldn’t I just fit in somewhere?
“…and Corbin, are you OK? You don’t look so good. What are you worried about?”
His false concern just made me madder. He looked like a pig and sounded like a weasel.
I wanted to punch the smirk right off his face.
I looked him in the eye and shrugged. “Nothing.”
“I understand if you don’t want to talk to me about it, but the concern is written all over your face. It’s clearly something.”
His friends all nodded and chimed in agreements.
When is he going to just leave?
I decided to prod things along. “Well, don’t let me keep you guys. I’ll see you around.”
“I suppose you will. We’ll talk more tomorrow. Come on guys.”
The lawyer herd shuffled off down the hall.
Can’t they move any faster?
They passed my room.
I breathed a small sigh of relief.
I had relaxed too quickly.
The handle turned and the door to my room pulled open.
My stomach dropped. Crap.
The whole group turned to look in.
A couple of them looked back toward me.
I thought I saw one of them look down at my pants.
None of them looked pleased.
Lily stepped into the hall.
The blood ran from my face when I saw how she was dressed.
Lily still had on the boxers, but she was now wearing the top half to the scrubs whose bottoms I had on.
“Hi, guys.” She waved to the group and walked straight to me.
Something in my head told me to run away, but I knew it wouldn’t help. It’s too late.
She raised up on her toes and kissed me on the cheek. “Thanks for, uh,” she giggled and glanced back at Richard and friends, “You know, for everything. I’ll see you tomorrow, sweetie.”
She took a backward step and gave me a haughty you-shouldn’t-have-messed-with-me look.
Will it be back to the streets for Corbin? Keep reading to find out.
Again, if you’re on Facebook and you enjoy Oasis, please become a fan of the Oasis Facebook page.
And to everybody: thanks for reading.