Authors: Sasha Marshall
"It's wet," Jimmy tells him.
Johnny looks back at me with something different in his eyes. Something I've never seen before, "It's beautiful, Noe."
I'm drunk so that pisses me off too. He doesn't get to act like he didn't fuck me over. He doesn't get to say I'm beautiful. He lost that along with my friendship. I douse my hand in tequila and step past him. I slap my hand to my face in the drawing and smear it. I smear it beyond recognition and pull the wet paint as far as I can down the wall.
No more beauty.
"That's what you did," I tell him.
"Noely," Jimmy calls my name in a soothing tone.
"You promised," I remind him.
"Keeping that promise,” he reassures me.
Saul enters the mix, ignores the officers' questions by walking right by them, and stands in front of the mural. He stands there for a long time shining a flashlight on each part. When he gets to me, he looks back at me, nods his head, and then turns to the officers.
"I hired them to do the mural,” he tells the officers.
I'm so surprised by his words I choke on my spit.
"It's a beautiful piece, isn't it?" He continues.
"It was until your artist took her hands to it after we arrived," officer one says.
"That's exactly how it's supposed to be right now, son. It doesn't take a genius to interpret the meaning behind each component of the piece. You just have to respect it for what it is, son."
Apparently Saul is a closet philosopher.
The old man turns to Jimmy and me, "Thank you for your hard work. Come by tomorrow around two and I'll pay you. "
With those parting words he walks into the night.
“You're free to go," the officer tells us and drive away moments later.
"Who the fuck was that guy?" Jimmy asks.
"The cops?" Rich asks.
"No the guy who looked like Saul," I burst into laughter.
"Everybody has a story, bro," Ryan smiles.
The guys walk me home. Ryan, Rich, and Jimmy talk shit and laugh the entire trip, but Johnny and I remain silent. He walks beside me and every so often his hand touches mine as his arms slightly swing with his walk.
I thank them for walking me home when we arrive at my building with a wave and a smile.
As I turn around, Ryan grabs me, spins me, and pulls me into a hug. He holds me there with his chin resting on the top of my head.
"We're leaving Saturday morning. Come see us off, Noely baby,” he requests and then releases me.
Rich picks up where he left off, pulling me into his hug and speaks to me in a hushed tone, "The mural is beautiful. Fix your face, yeah?"
"When it's time," I whisper.
"See you Saturday,” he adds before he releases me.
Jimmy scoops me up in his arms, and because he's like eleven feet eight, my feet dangle in the air. As usual, this makes is both chuckle.
"You're a criminal now. Thanks for the bonding time. Best P.I.C. ever, girl. Banksy would be proud of you. "
I throw my head back and laugh at the thought of my favorite artist discovering I'd been caught tonight and escaped jail, "He would, wouldn't he?"
He sets me on my feet, kisses my forehead, and says, "Saturday."
I turn and walk up the steps and as I open the building door Johnny says, "Good Night Noely baby."
I don't turn around, but respond, "Night, Johnny."
I wake up Wednesday in hell. I look around for Lucifer, positive he's in my apartment somewhere. I'm pretty sure I traveled to the depths of the underworld last night. My skin is burning from the fire... Or because I was in the sun all day. My head throbs from mind control to stop the battling demons from attempting to take over my body... Or the tequila. My stomach spasms from the poisonous venom from my brawl with Lucifer himself... Or the hangover.
I bolt from the bed and make it to the loo in the nick of time to hurl organs into the toilet. At least it feels like my organs are creeping up my throat.
"You cannot handle your liquor," Jimmy says from the bathroom door, scaring the shit out of me.
Once the dry heaves pass, I flush, he hands me a wet rag, and then I brush my teeth for ten minutes.
"What are you doing here?" I croak out.
"I'm nursing you back to good health. Spoke to Saul this morning. He pointed out we didn't add our signature to the mural. He wants it done today or he said he's throwing paint thinner on the whole damn thing.
"I'm dying and Saul's an asshole," I respond.
He hands me a glass of water, Advil, and toast. He even smears blackberry jelly on the toast for me because it's my favorite.
He loves me.
"Netflix, water, naps, and then signatures,” he informs me.
And that's how I spend the next eight hours. I nap on the couch, drink my weight in water, and eat takeout. At nine I shower and dress.
We gather a few supplies and walk to Saul's Bar. I draw my signature on the bottom of the black stage, and Jimmy tags the opposite end of it.
We stand back and look at our masterpiece.
"He couldn't let it go."
"I'm not operating on all cylinders," I respond.
He waves his arm towards the right side of the mural. I shine my light on the area and.... Motherfucker!
"He had no fucking right!" I yell.
"It's not funny!" I yell at him.
"Yes, it is. Besides, he did a jam up job fixing your face. You're a fox."
I punch him in the shoulder and turn on my heels.
"Where are you going?" He asks from the alleyway.
"To get my paint!" I lie.
Jimmy cackles behind me.
I march two blocks to Johnny's apartment. I can't believe he fucked with my art. Well, it's mine and Jimmy's, art. The point is I can't just walk into the Louvre and paint a fucking mustache on Mona Lisa's face!
"Noely?" I hear my name as I approach his building.
I turn around to find him behind me, quickly approaching.
"Fuck you, Rome."
He stops dead in his tracks, pushes a hand through the hair on the top of his head, and sighs.
"I know I deserve a lot of those, but you want to enlighten me on what this particular one is for?" He asks.
"I saw the mural. Your tag is on it."
His jaw flexes, "I'm not apologizing for that one."
Then the asshole walks around me and into his building, which only serves to piss me off even more.
I follow behind and jump into the elevator with him. He looks up with surprise in his eyes.
"It wasn't yours to fix!" With both hands, I push into his chest, forcing him a step back.
"It wasn't your art!" I push again.
"It wasn't ready to be fixed!" My hands dive into his chest once more.
"That once again wasn't your decision to make!"
I try to push him again, but he grabs both my wrists, spins me around, and pins me in the corner. His face is close as his eyes search mine.
"It was mine to fix,” he grinds out between clenched teeth.
"No, it wasn't," I throw back.
"Too god damn beautiful to have a smeared face. You've been one of us a long time. Just as long as anyone else in our crew, you earned your fucking place on that mural. But I'm glad you smeared it, because you didn't do you justice on that wall."
I open my mouth to say something and then close it at a loss for words. My anger still boiling at the surface, but his words tug at my heart strings.
Before I can muster a decent response he crashes into me. His tongue dives into my mouth like he hasn't touched a woman in years and is starving for it. I kiss him back with the same amount of energy. His hands tangle in my hair and I push one of my hands through the long blonde hair on top.
The elevator chimes and Johnny hoists me off the floor, places a firm hand on my ass, and locks my legs around his waist. He walks through his hallway without breaking the kiss or his hold on my hair.
My back lands against the door and his hand leaves my ass to dig his key out of his pocket. He breaks the kiss long enough to open the door and then slam it with his foot. Then he's back on me and we're moving to his bedroom. He sets me on my feet and in a frenzied craze we clumsily pull each other’s clothes off and reattach at the mouth.
Fuck the man can kiss. It might not be a big deal to some people, but I've had a man stick his tongue in my mouth and move it stiffly from side-to-side. A great kiss is the prelude to the good stuff.
He picks me up and throws me on the bed, which is... Hot as fuck. Maybe I'll get porn star sex this time. His hand opens his night stand, he pulls out a condom, and has it on in record time.
Johnny crawls between my legs, hooks his hands around my hips and jerks my body toward him. He thrusts inside of me with no warning and I almost come unglued.
He wastes no time getting into porn star mode, and I swear on everything holy the girl’s stories were right all these years. He fucks and bucks like a god damn stallion. His hand slides underneath my head and he grabs a handful of hair before he pulls it hard.
"I'm not sorry about the mural,” he says.
"It wasn't your fucking place," I respond and bite down on his lip.
"You never used to get mad, but you're fucking hot when you're pissed. I like it. I want to fucking spank your bare ass sometimes. You drive me insane,” he grits out.
"You fucking know everything don't you? You're such an asshole!"
With that he pulls out, flips me over like a rag doll, and forcefully pulls my ass in the air.
He plunges in again.
"Fuck!" I shout.
"You always have such a hard time letting people care for you. Stop that shit!" He says between thrusts. "I'm tired of it Noely... And I'm fucking dying."
His voice cracks and he stops moving, but remains inside of me. After moments of silence, he leans his body over my back and wraps his arms around my stomach. He places kisses on my upper back.
"Fuck, I'm sorry, Noely baby." He kisses my shoulders and remains still inside of me. "I'm so sorry." His voice so full of emotion, it sounds like he's close to tears. "Please stop shutting me out. I know I fucked up. I won't do it again." He rests his face against my back. "You're killing me with the distance and silent treatment. It's fucking killing me."
I want to forgive him so badly. I really do, but I'm not ready. My name is out there for the world to see so the guys could get a slap on the wrist for their assault charges. Nobody asked me before they leaked my name and it never would've happened if he'd kept his mouth shut. I lost a job I loved, a job I was great at because of him.
I'm not ready to forgive or forget.
The thought to pull away from him and get the hell out of his apartment finishes crossing my mind when he moves inside of me again. It's selfish, but I won't leave this if he's going to finish.
"I'll give you this,” he whispers as if he read my mind.
He moves with purpose, but it's slow and damn if it isn't emotional. I never understood chicks who said they cried during sex, but maybe I'm starting to catch on.
I won't cry though. I swallow the urge down and focus on his hands, his lips, and the amazing feeling between my legs. His hand reaches around and rubs against my clit, creating more friction than I can handle. He pulls us up on our knees and from this angle he can reach around better and it's my undoing.
"There..." is all I get out before my world explodes in bright colors and my body surges with adrenaline and pure fucking ecstasy.
I lean my head back on his shoulder and let go.
"I'm with you,” he says and then pulses inside of me.
I can feel his heart beating against my back and the rapid inhale and exhale of air. Sweat drips down his chest and my back.
Johnny pulls out and guides me down to the bed, but I keep my head turned away from him.
We shouldn't have done this again.
Fingertips feather over my spine and every so often he leans down and places a kiss on my shoulder.
As he leans down and presses his lips to my shoulder one last time he whispers against my ear, "How am I supposed to ever turn back from this, Noles?"
The regret and confusing feelings I've been fighting rushes through me swiftly and with such great intensity I choke on a cry.
"Noely,” he says my name so softly and with such reverence.
"No," I choke out and spring from the bed.
I frantically search for my clothes as Johnny comes up from his bed.
"Don't do this Noely,” he begs.
"We can't do this again," I tell him as I step into my panties.
"Noely, don't leave like this."
"I'm still fucking pissed at you! You can stick your dick in me a hundred times and it won't change a damn thing!"
I slip my jeans on and then hook my bra.
He grabs my wrist and stills me from picking up my shirt, "You got it in your head that you're just another one of those groupie bitches I fuck with after the show! News flash, babe, we haven't been at a show either time. If you can't figure that out, then I don't know how else to explain it to you. But just so we're clear, I'd take you home every night of the week over ANY of them!" He ends with his voice nearing a yell.
I yank my wrist away, "Flattery doesn't fix what you did. You have no idea how bad you've really fucked things up for me by doing the one thing I told you I didn't want."
His face softens, "Then tell me."
I pull my shirt over my head and slip my feet into my shoes.
"If you don't tell me I don't know, Noe."
I head towards the door.
"Don't send me out there without you like this, " he implores. "I won't make it out there if I leave with us like this."
I spin around, "Don't leave you like this?!! Are you fucking kidding me?!! You, you, you! It always comes back to you! You fucked me and left me! Then you didn't call!"
He attempts to interrupt, "I can explain..."
"Would you shut the hell up? The time for explaining has passed. You told practically everyone I know what Tony did to me. You knew how ashamed I was and you told them anyways, because that's what you wanted. Then you let your manager leak not only the story, but my name to the press to gain sympathy for you, not me. Then you got me fired because of the fucking story about your arrests! You did all that! So I'm really fucking sorry if I am leaving you in a pinch, but I've got bigger things on my plate than how you feel. I have to find a fucking job now!"