“Fuck,” he says again.
“We can’t act on this,” I tell him. “She needs to know she can count on us. She needs to know she’s safe, and supported.”
“She doesn’t need pandering to, she needs discipline. She needs to feel part of something, and to feel part of something she needs to know there are ground rules.”
I sigh. “Jack, it’s not that simple. Carrie has behavioural issues, she’s been let down by the system and –”
He shakes his head. “She pushes away everyone that gives a shit about her. She tests people and they always fail. They fail because they refuse to stand their ground and pull her up on her bullshit. They expect her to behave like a fucking nightmare so she does. But not in my house. Not with me.”
“You’ve known her a couple of weeks,” I tell him.
“And you’ve been working with her five months and she speaks to you like you’re a piece of shit.”
His observation smarts. “What’s your point?”
He shifts in his seat. “My point is that your approach isn’t working, not with her. If we’re going to get her through whatever crap she’s got going on in that pretty head of hers, we need a united front. She needs to know that she can’t just throw her fucking toys out of the pram without consequences.”
“And you plan to do that by fucking her? Is that what you’re saying?” My tone is more brutal than I intend.
“I’m not saying anything about fucking the girl, Mike. I’m just making an observation. Whether I fuck her or not is incidental.”
He nods. “Yeah, incidental. One of us is going to end up fucking the girl. Now or in six fucking months, it doesn’t matter. The question is, how do we make sure this situation works in a way that doesn’t fuck one, two or all fucking three of us right up.” He pauses. “We’ve been friends a long time, Mike. Never has a girl come between us so far, I don’t want it to start now.”
My laugh is low and mainly for my benefit. “You’ve never been interested in a girl long enough for her to come between us, what makes you think Carrie is going to be any different?”
“Because I think I’m falling in love with her,” he says, and my heart fucking stops. “When I said I’m falling for her, I meant it, Mike. I mean I’m falling for her hard.”
“And I’ve already fallen,” I tell him. “Hard.”
He nods. “So what do we do now? Where the fuck do we go from here?”
I shake my head. Sigh, then take a breath.
“I have no fucking idea.”CarrieI hear Jack’s car pull away and it breaks my heart.
He’s running from me.
He’s running because he doesn’t want me. He’s running because I made a stupid fucking mistake and showed him my tits and he hated them.
He hates me.
I try to calm myself down because things never end well when I get freaked out. I try to tell myself that I didn’t just fuck up so bad that I have to leave this place. That Jack isn’t like the others.
They let me stay because they had to, because I was a kid and they were obliged to care for me. Jack let me stay because he wanted to, and he hasn’t kicked me out yet, not even when he thought I was being a lazy bum all day.
Maybe he won’t throw me out for showing him my tits either.
I take a shower to get rid of the mud, and hope I can wash the embarrassment off with it. My plans for a passionate encounter in the kitchen seem so fucking silly now. He didn’t even touch me.
I thought he wanted to, but he couldn’t have. Not someone like Jack.
Jack’s the kind of guy to go for what he wants, I know him well enough to know that. And he didn’t.
He couldn’t drive away fast enough.
The more I think about it the angrier I feel. Two guys and neither of them want me. And why?
Am I hideous? Am I too fucked up for them to want to touch with a bargepole?
Eddie Stevens didn’t seem like that.
Bill didn’t seem like that.
Neither did Luke, or Eli.
They all wanted to fuck me.
They may not have wanted me, but they wanted my pussy.
But not Jack or Michael.
I guess my pussy just isn’t good enough for Jack or Michael, no matter what I do.
No matter if I spend all fucking week trying to prove to the both of them that I really can be good and work hard. No matter if I show Jack a hundred fucking pictures of how hard I work, it doesn’t matter.
They still don’t think I’m good enough.
I feel the anger brewing. Stupid anger that makes me act like a crazy bitch. Stupid anger that protects me against getting hurt and upset and pushed away.