Let's Get Textual (Page 11)

“I…I don’t have words, Zach. Thank you. That was…kind. Slightly creepy, but kind.”

“Anything for you, Delia.”

The way he says it…the words slide over me. I don’t think he means them any way other than friendly, but I’d be lying if I said they didn’t make me feel all sorts of tingly.

“How are you liking the show so far?” I ask, changing the subject.

Grabbing my wings, I place them on the living room table and head into the kitchen for a fresh drink and a fork.

“I didn’t anticipate the show being so…weird.”

“We’re only on the second episode.”

“I have no f*****g clue what’s going on—that makes it weird.”

My hand grips the fridge tighter at his coarse language. The way he growls, his words, how deep his voice is…it’s hot.

“Can’t argue there.” I put the phone on speaker, not about to try to balance that while opening this bottle of wine. “How’s Marshmallow?”

“He’s fine, sleeping on my pillow right now. What are you doing, Delia? It sounds like someone is ransacking the place.”

“For your information, smartass, I’m getting a drink.”

“You’re so…noisy about it.”

I mock his tone. “You’re so…rude about it.”

“I’m quite enjoying this friendship that’s blossoming here. You calling me names, me giving you insurmountable amounts of s**t.”

“Oh, yes, very enjoyable.”

“You couldn’t even say that with a straight face. I heard the smile in your words.”

He’s right. Screw him for being right.

“Whatever. Are we watching more of the show?”

“Do you think I could walk away now?”

“Never.”

“Want to…I don’t know, talk over the phone?”

I gulp, and it’s loud. There’s no way he doesn’t hear it. “Um…sure?”

“Why is that a question?”

“Doesn’t this make you nervous?”

“I bought you dinner, Delia. We’re past the nerves stage. We’re two friends enjoying a show together, eating hot wings—or in your case, wimpy wings.”

“Did you just mock my taste in wings?”

“Am I wrong?” he questions.

“I…YES! Those things are spicy!”

“To who? A toddler?”

“You’re mean, Zach.”

“And you enjoy it, Delia.”

He’s right.

Again.

“So, are we hanging up and hitting play, or what?”

“Oh, no. You’re not going anywhere now. You’re the one who took this from texting to phone calls. It’s on, baby.”

I don’t know why, especially since I cannot stand the nickname, but I swear my heart beats faster when he calls me baby.

“You want to listen to me chew? Is that a kinky fetish of yours, Zach?”

“No? What? I’ll be listening to the show, and maybe your obnoxious interjections.”

“I am known for those,” I agree.

“See? I know you so well already.”

“You don’t know jack s**t.”

“I know we live in the same city…”

His voice trails off, and I hate the way it makes me scoot to the edge of the couch, the way it causes my pulse to pick up speed, and I really cannot stand the way I grip the phone tighter, like his words are a cliff and I’m hanging on the edge of each one.

“We do,” I confirm.

“See, that’s something. I also know you like hot wings and have a thing for freaky television shows, and you’re crushing on the wolf kid.”

“You’re so annoying.”

“Uh huh. Keep telling yourself that, Delia.”

“I’m hitting play. You in or what?”

He chuckles, and I love the way it sounds. “Oh, I’m in.”

We hit play at the same time. The next few minutes are silent as we eat and watch the insanity unfold on the screen.

I can hear shuffling on the other end of the line, but don’t think much of it—well, not until I hear the mumbling.

“Where the f**k is my extra ranch?” I snicker at the irritation I hear in his voice. “Did those assmunches not send it?” Assmunches? “Well son of a…”

I can’t help it—a laugh escapes, and I’m certain he heard it.

“I’m guessing you heard all that?”

“It’s not like you were trying to be quiet.”

“They didn’t send my extra ranch. That’s enough to yell about.”

“You’re incredibly serious about your ranch.”

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“One of these days, Delia, I’ll show you how serious I am.”

“Do we need to pause so you can grab some?”

“Nah, I’ll live. Let’s keep watching. This s**t is getting more and more weird.”

The silence resumes.

It’s about fifteen minutes before I hear anything else from Zach, and I almost forget we’re on the phone.

“I’m heading out, bro.” A deep voice comes booming through my speaker; it must be the roommate who caused this whole mix-up to happen. “You sure about your epic Friday night plans?”

“Netflix and chill,” Zach says to him.

“Are you going to touch your dick the entire night? On the couch? Because other people sit there too, ya know. Don’t be uncouth. It’s not cool, man.”

“I’m not touching my dick.”

“But are you thinking about touching your dick?” I hear the other guy in the room snap his fingers. “Ah ha! Hesitation! You were thinking about touching your dick.”

“Oh my god. This could not possibly be more awkward,” Zach mumbles.

“I don’t know, I think it could be worse,” I tell him.

“Shut up,” he responds to me…I think.

“No, you shut up. You’re the one who ditched us tonight,” his friend chimes in.

I snicker and hear Zach groan.

“I didn’t ditch you, Robbie.”

“You did. You ditched us for your dick.”

“I am not touching my dick!”

I have a feeling that last statement was for Robbie and me.

“Not right now, but you’re going to. I live with you—I know things about you.”

Another groan from Zach. “This is the most awkward moment of my life.”

“Does he not know I’m here?” I question. Zach doesn’t answer, and I’m assuming his buddy has no clue we’re on the phone.

“Robbie, please, I am begging you to leave already…”

“Why? Am I embarrassing you? Why are your cheeks so red?”

I can hear the ticking from here…

“Because I am on the phone with a woman, you moron!” Zach explodes like a bomb. “I have my Bluetooth in because we’re trying to watch a show.”

I can imagine him sitting there, red-faced and waving his arms around in desperation, and the image is enough for me to laugh hysterically.

“Knock it off!”

“Knock what off?” Robbie questions.

“Not you, her!”

I laugh harder and Zach growls in my ear.

“Are you watching the show, like, together?”

“Yes!”

“Aw, that’s the cutest, pussiest s**t I have ever heard—ow! Stop throwing things!” Robbie yells. “Whatever. I’m outie. Don’t wait up, b***h.”

A door clicks closed in the background and an exasperated sigh slips through Zach’s lips. “Can we hit play yet?”

“Yeah, Zach, we can hit play, but can I ask you something first?”

“Shoot.”

“Are you really touching your dick?”

Zach mutters a “Dammit, Delia” before saying, “I’m hitting play.”

I wake up to Netflix judging me, asking if I’m still watching Hemlock Grove.

Oh crap! Zach!

I scramble to find my phone, wondering how long I’ve been passed out on the couch. It’s after one, which means I’ve been asleep for at least two hours now.

There’s a text waiting for me.

Zach: Did we get disconnected?

Another text, twenty minutes later.

Zach: I think you fell asleep on me. I’m hitting the sack myself. Thanks for a fun evening. Good night, Delia.

“Why are you sitting in a dark room smiling at one in the morning?”

Zoe is standing in the doorway, her face flushed, wearing a smile of her own.

“Why are you only now coming home, at one in the morning?”

Her cheeks flame red. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Uh huh. So Shep’s as talented as they say?”

Her lips tip up into a smile, though there’s something different about it. It’s not an I-just-had-great-sex smile. It’s…more, but I can’t place my finger on it.

“Right, well, I’m headed to bed. I have an early shift tomorrow. Night, D.”

“Night,” I echo.

Finally dragging myself off the couch and to my bedroom, I brush my teeth and wash my face before crawling into bed.

Before I turn out the lights, I shoot Zach a quick text.

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