Home > Too Late

Too Late
Author: Colleen Hoover

SLOAN 1

Chapter One

SLOAN

Warm fingers entwine with mine, pressing my hands deeper into the mattress. My eyelids are too heavy to pry open from the lack of sleep I've had this week. The lack of sleep I've had all month, really.

Hell, this whole damn year.

I moan and attempt to squeeze my legs together, but I can't. There's pressure everywhere. On my chest, against my cheek, between my legs. It takes me a few seconds to pull my mind out of its sleepy haze, but I'm awake enough to know what he's doing.

"Asa," I mumble, irritated. "Get off me."

He thrusts his weight against me repetitively, groaning against my ear, his morning stubble cutting into my cheek. "I'm almost done, babe," he breathes against my neck.

I attempt to pull my hands out from beneath his, but he squeezes them tighter, reminding me that I'm nothing more than a prisoner in my own bed, and he's the warden of the bedroom. Asa has always had a way of making me feel like my body was at his disposal. He's never mean or forceful about it; he's just needy-and I find it really inconvenient.

Like right now.

At six o'clock in the damn morning.

I can guess the time by the sunlight peeking through the crack under the door, and the fact that Asa is just now coming to bed after last night's party. I, however, have to be in class in less than two hours. This isn't how I would have chosen to be pried awake after barely three hours of sleep.

I wrap my legs around his waist and hope he thinks I'm into this. When I act half interested, he gets it over with quicker.

He palms my right breast and I let out the expected moan, just as he begins to shudder. "Fuck," he groans, burying his face in my hair, slowly rocking against me. After several seconds, he collapses on top of me and sighs heavily, then kisses my cheek and rolls onto his side of the bed. He stands up and removes the condom and tosses it into the trashcan, then grabs a bottle of water off the bedside table. He brings the bottle to his lips, raking his eyes over my exposed flesh. His lips pull into a lazy grin. "I love that I'm the only one who's ever been inside that."

He stands confidently naked by the bed, gulping the last of the water. It's hard to accept compliments when they come from someone who refers to your body as a "that."

Despite his good looks, he has his faults. In fact, his looks may be the only thing about him I don't find fault in. He's cocky, quick-tempered, hard to handle sometimes. But he loves me. He loves the hell out of me. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't love him in return. There are so many things I would change about him if I could, but right now he's all I have, so I deal with it. He brought me in when I had nowhere else to go. No one else to turn to. For that reason alone, I put up with him. I have no other choice.

He brings his hand up and wipes his mouth, then tosses the empty bottle into the trashcan. He runs his hand through his thick brown hair and winks at me, then drops back onto the bed and leans in, kissing me softly on the lips. "Goodnight, babe," he says as he rolls onto his back.

"You mean good morning," I say, as I reluctantly pull myself out of bed. My t-shirt is bunched around my waist, so I pull it down and grab some pants and a different shirt. I walk across the hallway to the shower, relieved that one of our countless roommates isn't occupying the only upstairs bathroom.

I check the time on my phone and cringe when I realize I won't even have enough time to stop for coffee. It's the first class of the semester and I already have plans on using it to catch up on sleep. This isn't looking good.

There's no way I can keep this up. Asa never goes to class on a regular basis, yet he always passes with near perfect grades. I'm struggling to keep my head above water, and I didn't miss a single day last semester. Well, in physical form, anyway. Unfortunately we live with so many other people, there's never a quiet moment in the house. I catch myself falling asleep in class more often than not; it's the only time I get peace and quiet. The parties seem to go on all hours of the day and night, regardless of who has class the next day. Weekends have no bearings over weekdays in our house, and rent has no bearing over who lives here.

I don't even know who lives here half the time. Asa owns the house, but he loves being around people, so he likes the revolving door, free-for-all. If I had the means, I'd have my own place in a heartbeat. But I don't. That just means one more year of pure hell before I graduate.

One more year before I'm free.

I pull my shirt over my head and drop it to the floor, then pull the shower curtain back. As soon as I reach down for the nozzle, I scream at the top of my lungs. Passed out in the tub, fully clothed, is our newest full-time roommate, Dalton.

He jerks awake and smashes his forehead into the faucet above his head, yelling in response to my scream. I reach down and grab my shirt just as the door bursts open and Asa rushes in.

"Sloan, are you okay?" he says frantically, spinning me around to check me for injuries. I nod feverishly and point to the tub.

"I'm not okay," Dalton groans, palming his freshly injured forehead. He pulls himself upright and attempts to crawl out of the tub.

Asa looks at me, down at my naked body being covered by the shirt in my hands, then looks back at Dalton. I'm afraid he's about to get the wrong idea, so I start to explain, but he cuts me off with a loud, unexpected burst of laughter.

"Did you do that to him?" he says, pointing at Dalton's head, still laughing.

   
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