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18+ Language Mature Content

Too Much Blank Space, Not Enough Vomit - Ch. 8.2

by LordStar


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

Rhys and Leah watched as the metal elevator doors opened and then they stepped inside. Lip was standing in the corner - he and Rhys locked eyes for only a second before looking away, sharp tension stretching between them. Rhys stood as far as he could away from Lip, arms crossed over his chest. Lip stared up at the number above the elevator door.

"Hold the elevator!"

Leah stuck her foot out just in time to stop the elevator from closing. It slid open again to reveal the bearded man from 301. Rhys glanced up at him and then flushed deeply, staring at his feet again. The bearded man only smiled at him as he got onto the elevator.

"Hey there," he murmured to Rhys, who only flushed darker. "Ready for round two?"

Lip snorted, not taking his eyes off of the number as it began to go up sequentially. Rhys wanted to elbow the man in the ribs.

"Not now," he said, and would've called the man by his name if he knew it. The man smirked.

"Turner," he said, extending his hand. Rhys shook it shyly.

"Rhys," he responded, not meeting Turner's eye. He could feel Leah staring at him and the judgement radiating off of Lip.

"Anyway," Turner said as they reached the third floor, flashing Rhys another smile. "Come by for tea sometime, okay?"

He stepped off the elevator. The second the doors closed, Leah turned to Rhys with an arched eyebrow.

"You slept with a guy that lives in your building? And you didn't even know his name?"

"Surprised?" Lip muttered, and Rhys threw him a glare as the elevator doors opened. He and Leah stepped out onto the fourth floor, leaving Lip alone on his ascent to the fifth floor.

"What's up with the guy in the elevator?" Leah asked as they walked towards 404. Rhys rolled his eyes.

"Yes, yes, I slept with a guy who's name I didn't know - "

"No, the other guy," Leah clarified, following him into the apartment. Ethan was making Chef Boyardee pizza for dinner.

"Lip," Rhys muttered in reply, shutting the front door behind them.

"And he's mad at you because?"

"Nothing," Rhys got a can of Dr. Pepper from the fridge.

"What happened?" Ethan asked, looking up from where he was laying pepperonis on the dough. Leah put her purse on the kitchen table.

"Rhys' ex boyfriend and his one night stand were in the same elevator as we were on the way up."

"He's not my ex boyfriend," Rhys snapped. "He's not anything."

"He seemed pretty salty about you sleeping with that Turner guy," Leah pointed out, moving to help Ethan with the pizzas.

"It's none of his business." Rhys took a drink of Dr. Pepper and lit a cigarette. He retreated to his bedroom, leaving the door open as he put on a vinyl and reclined in his desk chair. He picked up his journal and began to write about the meeting and what he had said - a few pages worth of contemplating existence and what he was doing with his life. He couldn't stop thinking about Lip and Turner, feeling conflicted. Turner seemed nice, but the fact that Lip was angry at him for sleeping with another person made Rhys annoyed. Why did Lip care what he did? He had made it clear that he didn't reciprocate Rhys' feelings for him.

He stared up at the ceiling, chain smoking until dinner was ready.


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Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:27 pm
DougalOfBiscuits wrote a review...



Oops, I didn't notice this was up. Let's remedy my lack of review!

Nit-picks:

"You slept with a guy that lives in your building? And you didn't even know his name?"

I think this might have come up before but I'm quite surprised by Leah shaming Rhys like this. Everyone seems to be shaming him for sex like constantly. Could you maybe give context about where he's from? Like, the social attitudes in particular. Is he from a small town in the mid-west, or more of a city? If you've already done this a while back and I've forgotten, apologies (that sometimes happens with yws because it's so long between reading chapters). For the record though this doesn't apply to Lip, who's clearly shaming in order to annoy Rhys because he's mad at him.

He couldn't stop thinking about Lip and Turner, feeling conflicted. Turner seemed nice, but the fact that Lip was angry at him for sleeping with another person made Rhys annoyed.

I think this needs tightened up a bit. I think it's that "conflicted" suggests he has mixed feelings about a single thing, whereas he's actually got quite clear feelings about two things, he just has both of those thoughts to contend with at once. I think it would make more sense if it was like "his mood was conflicted", except nice sounding and in a sentence. I realise this is suuuper nit-picky though and it might even be subjective.

Overall:

I think it's good to reintroduce the guy Turner, and actually move events forward by giving him a name and having him extend the invitation for tea. It means there's one less thing brought up then quickly resolved. I think maybe this should have happened a bit earlier on, maybe on the way to or from the clinic, or to or from the gallery, just so that the plot thread doesn't lose its momentum. Having this interact with Lip is also really useful, and I'm starting to see the plot threads all draw together.

I think it's a little odd having this be part 2 of the chapter with the meeting. That was probably your most momentous scene yet, and the relatively low stakes here make me think that either you should start a new chapter, or this should have started on the way to the clinic. I think it even could have, and then you could factor the events of this chapter into what Rhys is thinking about in the meeting, which would mean that the drawing together of the plot threads would mount into the climactic turning point of the meeting.

Hope this helps,
Biscuits :)





Who knew paper and ink could be so vicious.
— Kathryn Stockett, The Help