Roommate Wars: Chapter 33


I woke to soft curves and Elise’s buttercream and fruit scent. I’d have to find her shampoo and start soaping my body with it so I could smell her all day.

I stretched and rubbed sleep from my eyes, then glanced down at the warm woman beside me.

Not beside—entwined with me like a pretzel.

Elise’s leg was flung over the top of my thighs, one arm was tucked under the arch of my back, the other was over my stomach, and her face was pressed to my pec.

We must have slept like this all night, because my stomach was hot from where her arm rested.

I stayed like that for a while, thinking about last night. Probably the best night of my life. I’d wanted to ask Elise to continue living with me, but it was clear she wasn’t ready for that. I’d have to settle for her moving out and then dating like normal new couples.

Sounds filtered back from the front of the apartment, as though someone were in the house. My body tensed. The fuck?

Female laughter trilled, and I sensed Elise wake beside me.

She lifted her head. One side of her cheek was bright red from being plastered to my chest. “Who’s here?”

“Elise!” came a woman’s voice I didn’t recognize.

Elise sprang naked from the bed and almost fell over. “Holy shit!”

I sat up and reached for my boxers. “What’s going on?”

She pulled on the boxers she’d worn last night and dove for the long-sleeved tee I’d tossed across the room in my exuberance to remove it. “My mother!”

I’d never met a woman’s mother before, and this was one I wanted to impress. My throat went dry. “Did you just say your mother is here?”

“Jackson, get it together. She’s walking down the hallway!”

“Shit.” I couldn’t find my shirt, so I lunged for a new one from the closet while Elise opened the bedroom door, hair sticking up every which way. But it was too late.

I stepped outside my bedroom behind Elise and was confronted by two ladies of middling years staring at us.

“Mom,” Elise said. “What are you doing here?”

Elise and Max’s mothers gave us a moment to brush our teeth, but the cat was out of the bag. Elise had combed her hair and put it in a ponytail, but other than that, we’d been caught red-handed and were wearing what we’d worn to bed.

I made coffee and dragged two dining chairs into the living room, where the four of us sat on or around the couch.

Brenda, Elise’s mother, looked between us. “Elise?”

Elise squeezed my fingers so tight they were turning purple. “Mom, you know Jack, Sophia’s old roommate… He’s my boyfriend now.”

“Boyfriend? And he was my old roommate too,” her mother said. “Hello again, Jack. Apologies for the uninvited visit.” She turned to Elise. “Sophia gave me the updated key code and said it would be fine to swing by, but I think I’ll knock next time.”

Elise leaving via the fire escape after our first hookup and now a passionate night busted by mothers—we never did anything the normal way.

Brenda had lived with me and Sophia while her home was being repaired several months ago, but this was the first time I’d seen her since Elise and I started dating. And I was in my boxers after defiling her daughter all night. My God, this was the worst meeting of the parents in history. “Brenda, it’s good to see you.”

Elise smiled at Kitty nervously. “We’ve never officially met, Kitty, but I’ve heard a lot about you from my sister.”

Kitty greeted Elise, then turned to me. “Jack.” She grinned. “I see you’re in good health.” She scanned me up and down as though she knew exactly what Elise and I had been up to all night.

“It’s been a while,” I said. “I take it Karl is well?”

The awkward small talk continued for a few more minutes until Brenda finally stood. “Well, we better be off.”

“We’ll be late for yoga,” Kitty clarified and tapped her Cartier watch. “Chop, chop,” she said to Brenda.

Elise stood, frowning at her mother’s outfit. “Mom, you can’t go in your muumuu dress.”

Brenda pulled up the hem of her flowy, floral dress and revealed women’s leggings. “I came prepared.”

Elise scratched her head. “I thought you didn’t go to conventional stores.” Apparently, Elise and Sophia’s mom preferred secondhand, whether it be clothing in Brenda’s case or fine art in Kitty’s.

Brenda put her hand on her hip and lifted her chin. “I bought them.”

“I’m impressed.” Elise turned to Kitty and smiled. “Thank you for bringing her into this decade.”

Kitty simpered. “Your mother has iconic taste, but some things must be updated, and sportswear is one of them.”

Brenda looped her arm through Kitty’s, and they happily made their way to the front door. But not before Elise’s mother stopped and looked back. “I take it you’ll be living with Jack for a while?” Her brow quirked suggestively, and I mentally cringed.

Ribbed over sex by the woman’s mother. My God, make it stop.

“Actually…” Elise glanced nervously at me. “I’m moving out. I’ll text you my new location.”

I swiveled my head to Elise. This was news. She hadn’t said anything about finding an apartment, and I’d wanted to talk to her about that.

The moms looked curious but didn’t question it. And then they were gone.

Elise grabbed her head and groaned. “That was the worst!”


Then her gaze zeroed in on the microwave clock, as though she were just now realizing something. “Shit! I’m late.”

She was about to run off when I grabbed her hand. “Slow down, Hot Stuff. Where are you going?”

“I’m supposed to meet Sophia at the shop, and she’s probably already on her way. I’ll call you later.” She reached up and kissed me hard on the lips, then rushed down the hall.

“Will you be back before dark?” I called and followed her back. “I have something I want to show you.”

She stopped outside her door, her look coy. “That sounds mysterious.”

“It’s a surprise.”


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