Chapter 9, Dangerous Roommate (Cult of Eros #2, Ongoing Update)

Dangerous Roommate Novel by M. Gaspary Featured Image - Free Chapters
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Here’s chapter 9 of the new book, “Dangerous Roommate.” Enjoy reading. Let me know your thoughts about this chapter in the comment section below.

Stefan waited with a goal in mind. Knowing the man, he was aware of how tight-lipped Frank was. With only thirty days, he had to do something to move faster. He couldn’t just force him to talk. He couldn’t just drug him to spill the beans. He needed him alive and conscious to guide him to where the art piece was. He needed his help to keep this mission going without the police having them on the radar. He had to get easy on him, but that would take so much time. And he didn’t have enough time. That was the problem.

“I have to get closer to him,” he whispered, watching Frank entering the property. Although he looked at home in casual clothes, he was far at ease as he observed the man until he entered the cabin. He was jittery, almost jumping in place.

Thinking what happened earlier was nothing, he was wrong. Then, his eyes caught the shopping bags Frank had in hand. “Oh, you went shopping?” he asked, only to find himself at the wrong spot when Frank refused to speak. But he didn’t mind when he remembered what he’d overheard last time.

It looks like your wife kicked you out.

To his knowledge, Frank had been separated from his wife. So it was odd for him to watch this man buying nice clothes for her when everything between them was over. Was he trying to win her over? Stefan clucked as he thought he would never do that to an ex. An ex was an ex. Period.

As the silent treatment became annoying, he went on tailing Frank wherever he went, only to stop when Frank slammed the door shut. He clucked as he let out his typical dry laugh, shaking his head in disbelief. As odd as the time seemed now, he wanted to know more.

Despite his inhibitions, he couldn’t stop his guilt from swallowing him. It was an uncomfortable feeling, and he hated that. In his line of business, guilt was the least he would care about. Because it would do nothing but pull you down, and he didn’t want that. He had that once, but he had moved on with it. And he swore he would never be involved with something like it ever again.

Much later, Stefan was on the couch when he heard Frank heading downstairs. What’s with him? He thought while watching Frank in his T-shirt and sweatpants do the errands. Since he was on his couch, he barely heard this man talking. It was as if he was nonexistent. When he couldn’t take the prolonged silence, he tilted his head and bit his lower lip to ease with both elbows pressed on the couch.

“Are you still pissed? Is this because of the meeting earlier?” His voice was scissor-sharp. But to his surprise, Frank continued ignoring him. He clucked and jumped off the couch, walking in strides in his direction. His face flushed, and his veins popped on his neck. “Let’s talk frank, Frank! If you’re angry at me, tell me. Scream at me if you want to. You can’t continue doing this to me.”

Frank paused and straightened himself without looking at him. “Why? I’m just being fair.”

“And this is your idea of being fair?” Stefan screamed, feeling even more outraged when he couldn’t get satisfaction from Frank’s collected reaction.

Frank sighed. “Look. You told me I didn’t have a choice. I know that. You’ve provided me with a house to stay in temporarily. And I’m grateful for that, too. Isn’t it right for me to give you a home? If you have problems with clutter, fine. I don’t have problems adjusting to you. I don’t have problems drawing the lines between our personal and professional lives. But what did you do to me in return? You intentionally make my life even more miserable because you think I owe you a lot. Yeah, I know my boundaries. I’m just your roommate anyway. Fine. But all I need from you is a little bit of respect. Isn’t it too much to ask?”

“Are you listening to yourself right now? I don’t need you, but you need me. We both know that.”

“Yeah, you’re right. I need you because you’re so rich that I need your money for my goddamn art. If this is just about my name, I won’t bother. I’d rather pack up my things and leave. But this is for the school, for the people who relied on me, for the students who put their all into this.”

“So, you think I’m not considerate enough? Is that what you’re trying to say?” Stefan asked, anticipating his reply. But when Frank remained silent, he clucked and planted both hands on his waist. He expelled a sigh and was about to say something, only to stop when Frank began to talk.

“I’m sorry if I cared too much. After all, I don’t think you even care about anyone. Besides, you’re not an artist. You’re an art dealer. You don’t know how to value me as a person, my presence, or my service. You don’t see me as a human being. You just see me as a valuable object you can pay and sell whenever you want to. Like a prostitute.”

Without waiting for him to say something, Frank turned his back to him and rushed upstairs, heading to his room.

Stefan cursed, rubbing his mouth with his hand.

Laying on his bed, Frank felt bone tired, more so than he could remember feeling. Mostly though, he felt feeling exhausted, but not at this level when he hadn’t done anything but work. Ah, he forgot he also had a side hustle to take care of. That thought made him scoff and rub his face with both hands as he shifted his back from one side to the other, from his back to his stomach, but there was no escape.

He tried to distract himself, chanting mantras in his head, but Stefan’s words kept echoing in his mind. He wanted to ask more questions, though that seemed too pushy. He wanted to understand his reasons, hoping he would be straightforward about it, just as he had always been. If Stefan had told him the weaknesses of the plan rather than leaving him guessing, if Stefan could just have been more open, it would have been better, so he would know the remedies and have taken action than making him feel even more stupid.

All reasons aside, Frank still couldn’t complain. Stefan had been so generous and had been incredibly helpful. Despite his increasing outbursts at work lately, Stefan had been amazing in keeping him on track with what was more important.

But still, it didn’t feel great. Nobody would like the feeling of being roasted for nothing. “Who cares about how I feel?” he whispered, briefly closing his eyes, and was in tears. He looked around his room, and when his eyes caught the cartons stacked around, he winced. He thought if he were to move, where?

Then, his phone buzzed. He took the device from his bedside table and answered the call. It was Gunther.

“Hi,” he said lowly.

“Hey, Frank. I heard you moved out.”

“How did you know?”

“Eunice. She came here today and talked to my wife. She cried and told shit about you.”

“I guess you know how I ended up, right?”

Gunther sighed. “Where are you staying right now?”

“At a friend’s house. I’ll stay here for a while until I figure things out.”

“I’m glad you have a friend like that. It’s rare these days. Anyway, I just want to check on you before I go to work.”

“Thanks, Gun.”

“Take care of yourself,” Gunther said, and when he heard Frank’s hum, he ended the call.

When the call ended, Frank looked more sorrowful than ever as he dragged himself to the edge of the bed. With both hands pressed against his temples, he leaned forward and planted both elbows on his lap to support the weight of his head. For a second, his soft cries became loud, breaking the room’s silence.

Author’s Note:

Thank you so much for spending time reading this chapter. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did when I wrote this part months ago. This chapter, in particular, reminded me of those times when I sat before my desk, seemingly prepared to type in words, but I struggled to keep it up.

It took an external motivation to get it through, and, at that time, the NaNoWriMo event was upcoming. At that time, I thought, “This could be a great opportunity to try and give this a shot one more time. You’d done an excellent job with ‘The Rival,’ so you could do it, Mecyll.”

You know, it’s easier said than done because writing a chapter with a clear intent to finish it requires more than just a skill. Since I started writing fiction, I realized how much this work demands my ability to be naked and the guarantees to answer whether I was mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared to face my fears, conscious or unconscious.

So, being able to write this down meant I managed despite the countless times dancing around with depression and enjoying the roller coaster rides my anxiety provided me.

This is why I don’t know how to thank you for your support, regardless of the scale or contribution size, from sharing my work with others or buying my books. It doesn’t matter because, for me, every small act you show is appreciated.

Again, thank you, and have a great day!

If you like to support my writing life, here’s what you can do:

  1. Get a copy of “The Rival” Uncensored Gay Romance Novel.
  2. Read “Dr. Clay” (Cult of Eros #1)
  3. Check out my latest book, “Non-Native Speakers Only.”
  4. Find more writing tips on my website (i.e., content writing, freelance writing, copywriting, self-publishing, novel writing, and many more!)
  5. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter.

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