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18+ Language Mature Content

Too Much Blank Space, Not Enough Vomit - Ch. 4.1

by LordStar


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and mature content.

Rhys walked down the street leading towards the apartments, a coffee in his shaking hand and dark purple bags under his eyes. It wasn't often he splurged money on coffee, but he needed to get something done today. Preferably some art, but anything would do. Anything that would make him feel like he had some semblance of purpose.

He must've been walking with his eyes closed, he was so tired, because just as he made it to the entrance of the building the door swung open and he was jolted, running right into the gentleman exiting the building as he was going in and spilling hot, fresh coffee down the front of them both. He blinked, now wide awake as heat flooded his cheeks.

"I'm so sorry, I - " he stammered as he met the eyes of the man in front of him. He hadn't seen him before, nothing but lean muscle and an impressive, wirey, rustic red beard. The man was wearing a sleeveless tee and black skinny jeans, his long hair pulled into an immaculate bun at the top of his head. Rhys continued to stammer silently, his blush intensifying.

"It's fine," the man said, smiling at him. "Really."

"Um," Rhys pulled himself together. "Do you want to...come upstairs and let me help you clean off?"

The man's smile widened and he opened the door, gesturing for Rhys to lead him inside.

Half an hour later, Rhys leaned back in bed and lit a cigarette, the man sprawled out beside him, both of them naked under the sheets. Rhys exhaled smoke slowly, catching his breath as he stared up at the ceiling.

"That was good," the man said, a bit breathless. Rhys hummed in agreement, listening as the front door of the apartment opened and closed. The man, hearing it too, sat up.

"Your roommate?"

Rhys nodded. "Thanks, again. Uh. I guess I'll see you around?"

The man grinned at him as he pulled on his pants, buttoning them. "Third floor, 301. Come by anytime you want."

He pulled on his shirt and then stepped into his shoes, opening the bedroom door and disappearing. Rhys sat up and began to get dressed, listening as the man and Ethan exchanged a few words. The apartment front door opened and closed again. Rhys pulled on his boxers and an oversized shirt, stepping out into the hallway.

"Who was that?" Ethan asked as soon as Rhys stepped into the kitchen. Rhys got a can of Dr. Pepper from the fridge.

"A friend."

"A friend you've just had sex with?" Ethan didn't look up from where he was mixing cake batter in a large bowl. Rhys shrugged.

"Maybe."

"A friend," Ethan repeated, adding flour. "What's his name, then?"

Rhys stared into the can, silent. Ethan sighed, a sigh Rhys had heard a million times before - the one that meant he was disappointed, but not surprised.

"That's three guys in two weeks, Rhys, Jesus Christ. Did you at least use a condom?"

Rhys groaned, heat flushing up the back of his neck. "We're not having this conversation."

"We are absolutely having this conversation," Ethan set the bowl down on the counter with more force than necessary, piercing his brother with a glare. "You sleep with these guys under my roof, you're damn right I'm going to make sure you're at least being safe about it."

"Yes, we used protection, Jesus."

Ethan was quiet for a moment. "We should still get you tested. And back on birth control." He picked up the bowl of batter, stirring it again. "I'll make you an appointment at the clinic. See if Lip can drive you."

Rhys flushed deeper. "I'll walk."

"You'll get Lip to drive you," Ethan snapped. "Or Leah."

Rhys rolled his eyes. "I don't know why you're all up in my uterus, dude."

"Because I can barely afford you and I as it is," Ethan sighed, "let alone whatever that uterus wants to try and pop out."

"Lovely image," Rhys muttered, turning to leave the kitchen. Ethan tsked.

"Don't think you're getting away that easily. We still need to talk about you sleeping with all these older guys."

Rhys let out a heavy sigh, leaning against the kitchen table. He lit a cigarette. "I don't see why how many guys I sleep with or what their age is matters."

"Because a sixteen year old child doesn't need to be sleeping with our thirty year old neighbor, Rhys!"

Rhys growled. "I'm not a child."

"Child or not, there's still no reason for you to be acting like a slut," Ethan snapped. The air in the room stilled, tension ballooning around them, so thick it could be cut with a dull knife. Rhys made a scoffing noise, crossing his arms.

"I see."

"Rhys, you know that's not what I - "

But Rhys had already disappeared into his room, slamming the door shut behind him. He got dressed quickly, pulling on his jacket and zipping it up before pulling on his jeans. He pulled his hood up and stomped out of the apartment, ignoring Ethan's attempt at protesting.

He flung the exit door open, taking the stairs two at a time until he pushed his way outside. He began down the street, not really paying attention to where he was going. It had started to rain while he was inside, fat drops falling and splatting on the pavement, puncturing his jacket like thrown pebbles. He lit a cigarette, desperate to burn off this angry energy, wanting to cry and scream at the same time. It got like this sometimes, where one little thing set off a million others, where everything that had been building up suddenly bubbled over, suddenly clawed at the inside of his skeleton in its desperate need to escape. He couldn't breathe, his lungs stuttering like a failed engine, the city around him suddenly suffocating. He darted down a side alley, leaning his back against a brick wall as he struggled to catch his breath. He had to calm down.

When his breathing had slowed to long, shaky inhales, he stood from where he had been leaning with his hands on his knees, raking his hair out of his face. He didn't know when he had started crying, but he wiped the tears from his cheeks silently, resisting the urge to sniffle. He didn't want to go home and he didn't want to go to Lip's, either. He felt so utterly lost.

After a moment of contemplation, he began walking down Bowen Street until he took a left onto Rosebriar Street. Letting his feet carry him almost without thought, he walked until he stood in front of the large, marble building. He stared up at it for a few moments before walking inside.


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20 Reviews


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Reviews: 20

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Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:46 pm
AtlasW wrote a review...



Hi, Ollie! Shane here for that review you requested. As I've said, I've been following this work for a while, and I've really enjoyed it. Let's get to it!

Overall Thoughts
Like Biscuits said, I feel like the plot in this chapter doesn't really advance until near the end, almost like a filler chapter. We already know that Rhys tends to sleep with older guys, that isn't anything new. But in the last few paragraphs, after Ethan insults Rhys, the action tends to move along a bit.

Your descriptive language is fabulous. I could really get a sense of what was going on and what things and people looked and sounded like. Your descriptions of what's going on in Rhys' head, his thoughts, are wonderful, too. They're definitely a strong suit of yours.

Grammar/Punctuation

The apartment's front door opened and closed again.


Other
I feel like the bit with Rhys and the man progressed a bit fast, but I realize you can only get so descriptive with scenes like that.

In the end of the last paragraph, you mention a large marble building. I was a little confused as to what this building was, and while you certainly don't have to do so (all of the things I mentioned in this review are merely suggestions), perhaps consider mentioning what this building is.


Like I said at the beginning of this review, I've really enjoyed Vomit thus far, and I am looking forward to reviewing Chapter 4.2!

Yours,
Shane




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Thu May 02, 2019 9:52 pm
DougalOfBiscuits wrote a review...



Hey Oli, let's get started!

Nit-picks:

"I'm so sorry, I - " he stammered as he met the eyes of the man in front of him. He hadn't seen him before, nothing but lean muscle and an impressive, wirey, rustic red beard.

It's a wee bit unclear why he would have met him, because I didn't realise you meant the apartment building at first.

Letting his feet carry him almost without thought, he walked until he stood in front of the large, marble building.

Hmmmmm... So I realise that this is only part of a chapter, but it might be worth dropping whatever this building is at this point? Like, I think it would fit the rhythm of the chapter well enough if the reveal was here. It's maybe not that big a deal, just an option I think you could take.

Overall:

I saw you talking about Rhys being pregnant in a wfp and now I'm terrified O.O But I shall put that to the side for one moment.

So, the thing I was going to bring up was plot advancement. Sleeping with an older man is clearly not a new development for Rhys, so this feels kind of like setting the scene, which has already been well set and we're ready for the plot of the novel. Then the last paragraph happened, and some plot development was introduced. I think that's why I would like for the reveal to be here, so that I can get a concrete idea of what the story is going to be about, because I'm ready for that by this point. I thought maybe the plot of the story was going to be the introduction of Leah, but that would have required this chapter to follow on along that theme.

Your description of the chaos in Rhys's mind is excellent, as always. You're really good at making me take notice of things and not just digest things so i can get onto the next thing so i can finish and write my review :P

I have a vague feeling that things moved too fast with the man, but I also get the feeling Rhys could have been getting some sort of signal and it might have been too heavy-handed to outline that, so I'd wait and see if anyone else picks up on that.

Hope this helps,
Biscuits :)





I was promis'd on a time, To have a reason for my rhyme: From that time unto this season, I receiv'd nor rhyme nor reason.
— Edmund Spenser