HOPELESS FOR YOU Online Page 0,1

do." Like scratch my nails down a blackboard.

Thankfully, she took the hint more gracefully than others and started tracking down her scattered clothes.

I opened my bedroom window and flicked the ashes from my smoke outside while I waited for her. I checked my phone and saw a message from my brother Jed. He was going to be late to the gym today. Just as well.

When the girl finished dressing, I ushered her to the door. I tried to grab her elbow but she pulled away.

I gave her a sour look. "Look, I'm really sorry but I need my space and there's just no room in my life for anyone else right now."

"Whatever." I got her into the hall outside my apartment but before I could shut the door she spun and shoved one of her pumps in the doorjamb. "Can I have a smoke?"

I gave her a cig and lit it up for her. Least I could do.

"Thanks for the fuck," she said.

I couldn't meet her eyes. "Yeah." Finally, she let me shut the door and I threw the lock.

I leaned my forehead on the jamb. What a relief. I promised right there that I wouldn't do this to myself ever again, yet I knew that by the time next Saturday rolled around the promise would be forgotten.

Except I wouldn't be in the city anymore. Not next Saturday or the entire summer of Saturdays after it.

Thank God.

I heard Blaine moving around on his side of the apartment. With a sigh, I plodded to the kitchen and doused my smoke in the sink. I tossed three spoonfuls of instant coffee in a couple of mugs of water and microwaved the batch. My morning ritual was surprisingly relaxing.

By the time Blaine dragged himself into the kitchen, I'd managed to banish my self-loathing. I wasn't going to let some girl ruin my Sunday.

"You know I hate it when you smoke in here," Blaine said. "I can smell that crap from my room."

"Yeah?" I sipped my coffee. "Secondhand smoke's good for you."

Blaine scowled. "Since when?"

I smirked. "Since you decided to quit without asking me."

"Right. Well, I'm not going to start again anytime soon. Smoking's good for you? Next you're going to tell me that sleeping with bar hos makes you live longer."

"It does."

"Yeah, I figured as much," Blaine said. "Well, speaking of hos, how was she, anyway?"

I met his eyes defiantly. "She did what she came here to do."

"You don't remember a thing, do you?" Blaine smiled knowingly. He picked up one of the mugs, took a sip, and grimaced at the taste. "Is this coffee? Or juice squeezed from your jock strap?"

"Funny." I drank my own tasteless swill, grateful for the flush of caffeine it sent through my system. "Coming to the gym with me and Jed today?"

"Wouldn't miss it," Blaine said. "But won't Jed be long gone by now?"

"Nope. He sent a text. He's running late. Probably got laid, unlike some dude I know named Blaine."

He lowered his eyes and stared into his coffee. "Yeah, yeah."

"Been a few months now, hasn't it?"

His jaw tightened. "No comment."

Blaine was still getting over the last chick he dated and I knew better than to tease him too much about it so I just shrugged and rinsed out my cup.

I headed back to my room, looked around until I found a hoodie, and fetched my gym bag.

"Dibs on the wheel!" Blaine beat me to the front door by a few seconds and snatched up the keys to the Jeep we co-owned.

I shrugged. "She's all yours."

I sat in the Jeep and watched the city go by. I almost wished we were leaving the glass condos and asphalt roads behind today. I liked Vancouver well enough but I'd been in the city all winter. Too long. It was starting to feel claustrophobic.

Just one more week, I reminded myself.

Blaine pulled into the packed parking lot of the gym and hunted around for a good five minutes before finding a spot. Then we waltzed into the gym like we owned the place.

After changing, I stopped by the fountain for a sip of water.

"Are you a football player?" someone said behind me.

I chuckled softly and turned around to look at the girl. She was about my age, and pretty, though she looked a bit geeky in those oversized glasses. "No. Appreciate the compliment though."

"I like your tattoos," she said.

I couldn't hide a smirk. Some girls made it so easy.

I turned on the charm. "Thanks." So much for my promise.

"Any tips for