Controller: Chapter 9

Wednesday BriefsWelcome to this week’s Wednesday Briefs.

Enjoy, and enjoy your holidays.

Chapter 9

I wiped the sweat off my face as I sat down the box and looked around the room. How in the world had I managed to gather up this much crap since the beginning of school. I’ll never get all this junk back into my car in May. I slid into a chair to rest for a minute, when a bang came from the doorway. Eli leaned against the doorframe, his knuckles white from trying to hold onto the box his arms were wrapped around.

“Man, I’m sorry. I zoned out. Let me help you.”

Eli braced the huge box against the wall, he shoved his knee under it and flashed a feeble smile. “No problem. I’ve got it. Where do you want the stuff.”

I spun around trying to find a place for Eli to put his load. I spun around a couple of times and then felt like an idiot. Eli sunk slowly lower on the wall as the weight of the box pressed on him.

“Ah, shit, Eli. Sorry. Just put it on the bed.”

Eli shoved himself up and almost fell over when he dropped it on the mattress. “Good Lord, Nate. What’s in there?”

I glanced over and grimaced. “Ah, E. It’s books.”

“Holy shit! Think you could find a bigger box so one person couldn’t pickup the fucker at all?”

“Sorry. These are the only boxes I could find.”

Eli pulled up his shirt to wipe his face and gave me a glimpse of his midsection. I’d never noticed the sexy dark treasure trail that ran over his stomach to disappear into his jeans. Having gawked for too long, I flicked my eyes up and locked eyes with Eli for a second. I thought I saw a smirk. My face started heating up and my eyes dropped to the boxes scattered around the room.

“I think there’s only a couple of more boxes in the trunk and we’re done.”

Eli let out a long sigh then smiled at me. “Okay, let’s go get the rest of your crap. Cause once we’re done I have to wash the stink off before I can go down for dinner.”

“I’ll take you out for dinner. To thank you for helping haul my crap up to the room.”

Eli gave me a shy smile. “Today, I’ll take you up on the meal offer. I’ve lugged enough boxes to work up an appetite.”

I shot him a grin. “How about pizza? The place down in campus town has great pizza.”

“Supreme, with extra pepperoni?” Eli wiggled his dense eyebrows at me.

I couldn’t help but chuckle. “Sure, supreme with extra pepperoni.”

“Okay, apparently I can be bought for the cost of half a pizza.”

We walked back through the living room and Michael was playing Battlefront. We both slowed, then stopped to watch. After a few seconds, he paused the game and glared at us with a cocked eyebrow.

“I don’t like people standing behind me to watch.”

“Jeez, you’re such a jerk, Michael. We were just watching,” said Eli.

“Bug off, pricks.” He sat, refusing to start the game again until we left.

Eli turned to me and shook his head. “I don’t get what Jamie sees in him. At least he’s generally a decent guy.”

I smiled at the mention of Jamie’s name and Eli’s mouth twisted into a frown. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Let’s just get your shit. Good thing you’re under age. Otherwise you would be paying while I get plastered tonight.”

“Why?” I asked.

“It just seems like a perfect day to get shit faced.”

I followed Eli back to my car, wondering what had upset the normally cheerful guy. I finally decided Michael’s attitude had set him off. I didn’t blame him, and Michael was the one sour part of the new living arrangements. But he had to be better than Tony. I chuckled a little to myself, I didn’t tell Tony I was moving out. I just left. I wondered how long it will take for him to figure out I don’t live there any more.

Eli turned to me once we got to the car, his arms crossed and a scowl across his face. I reached out and squeezed Eli’s arm. “Sorry about Michael. He seems like a jerk.”

Eli’s brows shot up and he gave me a surprised look before a sadness crept across his face. “Yeah, some people can be insensitive jerks.”

“Exactly. Let’s get this stuff upstairs and then we can go get some pizza. I’ll even pay for your beer. You just need to order it.”

“Sure, sounds like a plan, Nate.”

We grabbed the last two boxes, this time I made certain to grab the heavy one, and headed back to my room. Jamie had joined Michael and he smiled at me when we walked in.

“Hey, Nate. You and Eli about to get that stuff done?”

“Yeah, this is the last of my junk.”

“Cool, Michael and I were about to go get something to eat. You guys want to come along?”

“Sure! That sounds great.”

Eli shot past me and muttered, “I remembered I’ve got homework. Later.”

If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.

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