Exclusive Excerpt from The Hunt
byJ .M. Dabney & Davidson King
After Ray left I found myself in desperate need to keep myself busy. My mind was my own worst enemy. Why would I think Ray would want to have sex with me? Kissing was one thing, but to see me naked? I couldn’t blame him for backing off.
Growing up kids at school called me In-The-Way-Shay because I was always so knobby and knocked things over. My mom told me I often reminded her of a giraffe. While that may not seem like an insult, it was.
Under Ray’s kitchen sink I was surprised not only to actually find cleaning supplies, but they were unopened. He was either the laziest, slobbiest person ever or he really was never here.
There weren’t any dishes in the sink, so I went about spraying down the counters, sink, all the appliances. When I was happy that the sheen of dust was gone, I went to working on the floors. While I cleaned, my mind raced to scenarios. Ray was nice, he didn’t outright say I wasn’t his type or that he thought I was weird. But I knew. Guys who fucked me did it in the back of clubs and with the lights off. Men like Ray never even looked at me twice. I wasn’t as beautiful as Francis was, but I wasn’t so ugly no one touched me. There was just that moment right after orgasm the other guy looked disgusted.
I don’t know why I flirted. Ugh! The more upset I got with myself the cleaner Ray’s house got. The musty, stagnant odor that once filled the air was replaced with lemon and lavender.
I meant it when I said I trusted Ray, I did. There was an honesty to him, a gritty, raw honesty. He kept people safe. It didn’t matter he said his past was shady. Who he was now was a good person. I was so conflicted.
I was in the room Ray assigned me tucking in the clean sheets when I heard the front door.
“Andy?” Ray shouted.
I didn’t answer, just went toward him. As I got closer, I heard him mumbling.
“Did he polish the legs of the couch, too? Jesus, I didn’t know that was a black entertainment system, I thought it was brown.”
“I was just as shocked,” I said smiling, when he jumped at the sound of my voice.
He turned and the expression on his face had me laughing. He just stared at me, but after a few seconds he chuckled.
“You didn’t have to do this, Andy.” He walked past me and placed a couple bags on the clean table. “Wow, in here, too?”
“I really did have to, Ray. It’s healthier this way and it smells good.” I sniffed dramatically earning another chuckle.
“I just have a couple more bags in the car, I’ll be right back.”
I began unpacking the bags while Ray brought the others in. He had a lot of pasta, two steaks, hot dogs, burger patties, basically bachelor food. If it wasn’t for Augustine’s, I would never have learned how to cook. There were a few things missing from some recipes I knew, but maybe I could make this work.