A light knocking on the front door interrupted the girls as they sat on the couch watching a reality show. Hadley placed her tea mug on the coffee table and dashed to answer it, figuring it was Marcus. Usually he sent a text after leaving the complex letting her know he was on his way only this time he didn’t. The door swung open swiftly, blowing her hair off of her shoulders. Marcus stood on the other side and looked just as good as he did the night before.
Hadley grabbed his hand and pulled him inside. “Hurry and get in here! Close the door will you?” Mystified, he did as she asked and watched her run back to curl up on the couch. Laughing he started to speak. “Commercial, I’ll tell you then.”
Figuring he would be there for awhile, he took off his coat and draped it over one of the chairs near the kitchen. The jackass in him wanted to walk in front of the small television screen to see how both would react, seeing how they were completely engrossed with the action taking place. He sat down on the mismatched chair off to the side and shook his head as he recognized what they were watching. Some god awful show about housewives.
Caitlin piped up first during a segment, “I seriously need to branch out and make new bitchy friends. This is just depressing.”
Hadley reached for the abandoned tea mug and took a sip while still staring at the screen. “Oh my god, I would slap these women if we were friends!”
His eyes darted back and forth between them until the longed-for commercial break finally happened. Hadley looked over at Marcus and laughed at his bewildered expression. “Guilty pleasures are sinful, and yet so delicious.” She was greeted with a heavy rumble of laughter. “I didn’t think you would stop by, you didn’t answer my text.”
It was true, and guilt hit him for a minute. After leaving Pendicon Field, he couldn’t muster the energy to text her back and contemplated just going home rather than stopping by. A bunch of the guys were out partying at a bar in the city but something else drove him away from the celebrations. While on the Kennedy his SUV had other thoughts and soon enough he was pulling off of the expressway at her exit.
“It was crazy tonight, I forgot to check my phone.”
A sly smile spread at her lips as she crawled off of the couch and walked over to him. “I’m sure, congratulations on the win, Marcus. You made number one; that has to feel incredible.” Not as incredible as you
. The thought startled him and he pushed it to the back of his mind for now. Reaching for her, he caught her hip and drew her closer. Hadley giggled softly, dropping her hands to his shoulders before kissing the corner of his mouth. The grip of his fingers tightened, but she wriggled out of his hold on her as the commercial break ended. Marcus’ head fell back against the pillows of the chair. For the next half-hour, Hadley kept sneaking suggestive glances at him and when the show ended he gladly walked over to her and shackled her hands. Caitlin laughed at the two of them as she left for her own room so she could study for the night.
Leaning into him, Hadley wrapped herself around him, running her fingers up along his back. He always smelled so good after a game, everything was fresh and clean. Perfectly crisp. Marcus lowered his head to nuzzle her neck, his fingers pushing strands of hair away so his lips could brush the soft skin.
Shivers rippled down her body like a sneaky fire she never wanted to put out. “Hmm, can we stay at your house tonight?”
With his lips brushing the tender skin, he nipped her collarbone at the request. “Go grab some stuff.”
With an urgency he’d never seen with her before, she pushed away from him and moved to her room where she could pack up a small bag. Taking a few minutes he wandered around and stopped near the refrigerator looking at the calendar they kept under several magnets. Hadley’s chicken-scratch was scattered all over the sheet of paper. He scanned it for the gala’s date and saw that she had an early morning shift but there wasn’t anything else written down. There were a few things like the name of several books and a wine night she hadn’t mentioned before.
“Keeping tabs on me?”
“You have no idea.”
The ride to his condo wasn’t as long or brutal to sit through as he weaved through the city. To his amusement and pleasure, Hadley unhooked her seatbelt and scooted closer to him as he drove. Curling up next to him she rubbed his chest and nibbled the skin on his neck. Her breath was wickedly cool against his hot skin, and when she bit down on his earlobe, he groaned. With a free hand he stroked her thigh and enjoyed the sounds of her choppy breaths, each exhale filled with anticipation.
He nearly picked her up when they parked in the lot and made their way up to his floor. On a rare occasion, one of the other residents would ride the elevators with them putting a quick damper on their mood. Unfortunately for both of them, there was a couple sharing the small space with them then. Marcus kept his hand at her neck and rubbed the skin, setting her insides on fire. Getting inside his condo took more effort than either would ever say out loud. Struggling with getting the key in the lock, Hadley took advantage and stroked Marcus through his dress pants. Almost to the point of sagging against the wall, he finally managed to get the damn key through the lock and growled at her to get inside.
He didn’t say anything more to her and walked back to his bedroom. Caught under his spell, Hadley followed him after she took off her boots. Stumbling into the room, she held her breath as he knelt next to the fireplace with his pants undone to ignite the fire. His imposing erection shot heat right to her very core, her own hand was fidgeting with the skin at her neck. Hearing her enter the room, he turned to look and found himself reaching a hand out to her. A sweet smile filled her beautiful face as she went to him. Slowly she sank down onto the floor with him in front of the fireplace, wrapping her arms around his strong neck. She kissed him softly, warmly, a kiss filled with everything. The Hadley he knew was there deep down. Something about her warned him to back off and go slow but not with this, not now. Making love with her was different.
Their tongues mated in a wild orgy that was so wrong and yet still so very right. Tilting his head, he took her deeper into his mouth and was rewarded with a low moan. Releasing their lips, Marcus was hesitant to move but did in order to grab the heavy blanket from the bed and brought it back to the floor. Laying it down, he smiled at Hadley knowing she would understand why he got the blanket. Tonight with the game, her apartment and now the fireplace--it was the perfect place for them. The space in front of the fire was warm; it was a place where they could be just the two of them.
Straddling him, she raked her fingers slowly up his chest only to undo each of the buttons with unbelievable patience. With her mouth, she marked the skin leaving little love bites causing him to break out in gooseflesh. Sweat started to bead at his temples but he refused to move. He distracted himself from the short pants of Hadley’s breath as he trailed a finger along her thighs. Hadley leaned back and licked her lips. Marcus pushed her gently so he could sit up, slowly he lifted her long shirt over her rib cage until she stripped it off. Her breasts were pliant in his hands as he played with the flesh. Arching her back at his touch, he released the hook in the back freeing her. Her hips rocked in his lap as his powerful arousal pulsed below her.
Twisting them, Marcus rolled on top of Hadley and held her legs up against his shoulders to remove her leggings. Short pants escaped her open mouth. With a skill she knew he had all too well, he removed her panties, leaving her naked below him. His eyes raked over her body, and as they roamed she felt as if his hands were stroking her skin instead of his eyes. Covering his arousal, he pressed down to keep control without ending the contact. Hadley bit her lip when Marcus lowered her legs and lay down next to her. Reaching over he stroked her face with the back of his hands before pulling her close for a deep kiss. Her hands were all over him as they lost each other in the kiss, grappling the opening of his pants and thrusting the material down over his hips. Wanting to feel his pulsing manhood, she pressed on his chest to roll out from under him. Above him, she removed his pants leaving him naked. Running a finger down his slick abdomen, she held him quickly and traced the thickest part of him. A guttural sound poured out of him at her touch and she kept on with her exploration. Soft trails along the skin followed by sweet kisses kept his body trembling with need. When he couldn’t take anymore, he rolled back on her and in between her legs.
Boring deep into her eyes, Marcus lifted a brow seductively and slid a finger inside of her, testing how ready she was. Hadley cried out at the sensations swirling around her and rocked her hips to the rhythm of his hand. Pushing deep, his finger was slick from her wetness, and every muscle started to contract as he glided another finger inside and moved faster. With a great cry that came from her belly, Hadley held him tight as an orgasm washed over her.
While she was shaking beneath him, Marcus positioned himself and entered her smoothly. They both groaned together as their bodies mated. Together they moved with leisurely strokes. Their connection was carnal but remained sensuous. As he gripped her thigh to press deeper, he sunk his teeth into the crook of her neck. Normally she would claw his back; now she arched into him, kissing his shoulder. The cords at his neck bunched while his entire body began to shake. Pulling back from her neck, his hips drove hard and he growled out to her, “Fuck.”
His unravel brought a wave of foreign emotions and excitement to ripple through her. Placing her palm against his neck, Hadley looked into Marcus’ eyes as he started to lose control. It was when he hit her hard, they fluttered shut and she gave herself up to those emotions. Wailing out to him, “Marcus!”
Giving in to that sweet release, he plunged once more before fully losing himself inside of her. Hadley cried out, feeling the sweeping rush between them and held him close. Several long minutes passed as he lay above her. The weight was heavy, but nothing in the world could make her push him off. Marcus kissed Hadley’s neck as her legs cradled him, tiny tendrils of hair stuck to her damp skin.
Later she draped herself over his body, enjoying the warmth of the fire and their closeness. With his hand lightly stroking her soft skin, Hadley shivered. Marcus dropped his lips to the top of her head and whispered, “Are you cold?”
The hair tickled his nose when she shifted to look at him. “Not at all.”
Out of habit he raked a thumb near the slope of her breast, bringing a soft hum of pleasure. “Do you know what you’re doing Friday night?”
“I think I have to work in the morning. Why?”
Marcus shifted to the side so that he could look at Hadley as they talked. Her fingers caressed the skin under his arm, causing ripples of memory loss. “There’s going to be a party up in Rockford to celebrate our season.” He traced her jaw with his thumb. “Would you be my date?”
“Is this an everybody kind of thing?”
Knowing what she meant, he smiled at her. “Sam and Gabe will be there, same with the rest of the team.”
“That’s why you were looking at my calendar.”
She was greeted with a devils grin. “Yeah. What do you say?”
Hadley thought it over but knew her answer even before she told him she would go. A day or somewhere that she couldn’t pinpoint, he had cracked through her guarded exterior; because of that she would do anything for him. They didn’t talk much about the gala for the rest of the night. Being together in their little nook was far too special to disregard. In between light dozes, they would tenderly kiss each other and then claim their bodies for more.
The week breezed by as Hadley anticipated going to the Cougars’ formal gala. The coffee shop had been a complete mess when several of her co-workers had called in sick, so she had been asked to pick up a few extra shifts. While it was nice to get extra money in a paycheck, it wasn’t so great when she often fell asleep without putting paints away or talking to Marcus, though he wouldn’t say anything to her and gladly let her pass out in his bed when she was there. After he invited her to the event, she immediately phoned Sam, who wasn’t surprised to hear that she would attend. The two talked about dresses to wear and when they would meet up in the event space. Before she knew it, she was opening the door for Marcus as he came to pick her up.
Standing in front of her, he looked incredible, and as comfortable if he had been wearing jeans. He was dressed in a fitted black suit, the wider black tie silhouetted by a classic white button up shirt. What really stood out was the gold handkerchief that peeked out of the breast pocket; it screamed elegance and masculinity. His typically mussed blonde bed hair was styled into a short sexy peak. A drop dead grin snapped all thoughts back into her body and she invited him in.
“We don’t have that much time, are you ready?”
All she could do was nod, the air thick and filled with anticipation. For the event, she had found a strapless mini dress at one of the local boutiques in Wicker Park. The tanned silky fabric angled down from above her right breast and fell just shy of her knees. A light trail of gray traveled down one side accenting the way the material bunched in the chest. Marcus expected to see straightened locks, and nearly dropped his jaw taking in the light waves that was held in a messy bun at the nape of her thin neck.
Slipping on a coat, she noticed that one of his hands was behind his back. For a change, she was several inches taller with the high heels and leaned into him. “What are you hiding?”
Casting a wicked grin, Marcus stepped back. A hand extended up with a gardenia for her hair. It took Hadley a minute to register why he had brought the flower, and then she remembered a day long ago when they were out at a bar. He joked about her apparent style that stood out from others and would be surprised if she didn’t do something to a casual dress. Hadley had laughed him off saying that casual would be in the form of adding a flower somewhere. Warmth spread through her as he dropped a kiss to the corner of her mouth while sliding the stem behind her ear. Laughing at the placement, she quickly moved the flower so that it accented the bun.
On the drive out to Rockford, Marcus nearly crashed the SUV when he felt Hadley’s hand creep into his own. She brought their laced fingers to rest on her thigh while they sat in comfortable silence for the majority of the drive. His body ached from the personal pressures he had been putting on himself beyond the standard practices and accepted the relaxed mood. Even though the Cougars had the week off from a game, not a single member of the coaching staff nor the team took it lightly. Game film was studied on a daily basis after each practice, they all lifted weights and hit the field to keep their bodies buzzing and ready.
The entranceway to Verdi Hall was boasting crimson and grey streamers. The paths leading to the reception gallery were decorated with twinkle lights. Marcus held Hadley’s hand as they walked through the masses of people to get inside. The freshly waxed wooden floor gleamed from the low lights above and would surely be dull by the end of the night. Tables overflowing with floral arrangements filled the room. Several of his teammates were scattered throughout the room, giving greetings or holding jubilant conversations. Hadley’s eyes were giant pools of wonder and curiosity as they moved across the floor. She heard a low mumbling from her side and realized that Marcus was speaking; through the excitement she was temporarily deaf. For a person who had always been self-assured in every way, she was way out of her comfort zones. Knowing she had already met several of Marcus’ teammates, she still felt an overwhelming ripple course through her. Instinctively she tried to look through the crowd to find Sam, but realized it was a lost hope for now. Looking out into the group like driving through a serious fog bank. Her line of vision was limited. Following his gaze, she realized that Marcus was taking her to a group she knew all too well.
“You’re gonna make my girl jealous. No shots tonight!” Jamal Wallace pulled Hadley away from Marcus and into his arms for a big hug before twirling her around in a playful manner.
Laughing, she said. “Oh please! I don’t know, shots may be needed. It’s still early.” Jamal’s own laugh boomed within the confines of their group at her teasing remark. Until just then, she had been swimming in a sea of nerves.
A lot of the guys began introducing Hadley to their girlfriends and dates for the evening; Marcus knew everyone for the most part and made small talk on the side. One by one she learned a little more about each of them. Something that made her speechless for the first time, was that for all of Jamal’s trash talk about everything, he was nothing but comforting to his longtime girlfriend Sheree. Sheree stayed in Texas because of the house they shared, and would be in town through the playoffs. It didn’t surprise Hadley to see Fabian with a young woman clinging to each of his arms. Joey Seton walked over with a sports model that took everyone’s breath away.
Marcus leaned down and whispered to her. “It’s kind of a lot to take in.”
“A little bit, yeah.”
“I’m getting a beer, do you want something?”
“A shot of tequila.”
The corner of his mouth kicked up. “How about a wine glass filled with tequila?”
The laugh that escaped her lips interrupted the group surrounding them and brought all attention to them. No matter where he was, the shameless nature in him always made an appearance. “Wine would be fine.”
When he came back, Marcus stood next to Hadley but the intimacy they had shared driving over in his SUV stayed there. Not once did he reach for her hand nor did he wrap an arm around her shoulder, as she had gotten used to. In the corner of her eye, she saw Gabe and Samantha walk in and turned to Marcus, letting him know she was going to talk to Sam for a bit. He didn’t say much other than nod, which she found strange. Making her way across the floor, she was greeted with a low whistle from Gabe.
Extending his hand out to her, Gabe pulled her in for a hug, something that she was beginning to get used to; all of the constant embraces. “You look beautiful, Hadley. Glad you could make it.”
“Thank you kindly.”
“She gets beautiful and I get nice.”
Gabe dropped his lips to Samantha and spoke lightly, “you get a whole lot more than that and you know it.” Nodding, she kissed him back.
Their love was so apparent it made Hadley look away until they separated. Samantha beamed at her as she took in the flower resting in her bun. The women shared excitement over their dresses and the room before turning to face the entire crowd. Gabe kissed his fiancée again before making the rounds on the floor leaving the two alone. It was Samantha who spoke first. “So, this has been going on long enough. How’s life in the NFL, Hadley?”
“You tell me, Sam. You’re marrying into it.” Hadley spoke in between gentle laughs.
“Oh no, I’ve kept quiet about this but now it’s time to speak up.”
With a great deal of reluctance and a slight roll of her eyes, she finally opened up to her friend. “I will admit that yes, we have been seeing each other.”
“Hadley, you’re at a team function. It has to be serious. Gabe brought me to a dinner at the beginning of our relationship. Look at us now.”
“There’s no need to get ahead of anything, Sam. We’ve been hanging out a lot lately and haven’t talked about it yet. Talked about it
. God, listen to me!”
Samantha laughed at Hadley as she stammered over what to say. “Whatever you guys are—it brought you here tonight, and I am so happy.”
“So you can mock me?”
“No, so I can have someone to talk to!”
“How does this work? Or did I cross that duct tape line in a room between kids and adults?”
“There isn’t a line, Had. You should go where you really want to go.”
With a wistful look over at Marcus, she stayed with Samantha for some time while they caught up. The DJ was playing a mix of songs from country to hip hop, bringing a wide range of people to the dance floor. Hadley found herself getting caught in conversations with Sam and several of the other coaches’ spouses while catching glances at Marcus as he moved from one group to the next. Occasionally he would look over at her and return a smile. When Gabe came back to Samantha to steal her for a while, she decided enough was enough and she would stop hiding from Marcus and go be with him. But use the washroom first.
Pacing herself throughout the night, she drank a few too many glasses of water that went right through her. Luckily the stalls were open and she was able to get in without waiting for too long. Right as she was readjusting her dress, a group of girls came into the washroom. When she was unlatching the lock, they started to talk.
“Cameron and Marcus look good tonight.”
The sound of a purse hitting the countertop filled the small washroom. “Yeah they do. Cameron was out at Juxtapose
last night and told me to meet him here.”
Her fingers stalled on the lock. She had known that she would come face to face with Marcus’ devotees sooner or later; she just hoped that it wouldn’t have been that night. She knew he got hounded, but seeing really was believing for her. Whenever she met up with him out and about, people kept their distance. Every now and again, someone would come up to their table or talk to them at the bar. Not since they had been talking did she recall a time where she had seen him mingle with women. Of course he talked to anyone that came by, but holding an actual conversation was something he kept for her. Or maybe he had and she wasn’t paying attention because it wasn’t her place.
The girls continued to talk near the mirrors, the annoying clacking of their gum sounded like nails down a chalk board. “Well I saw Marcus at Bandidos
and he didn’t say anything about bringing anyone tonight.”
“That girl who was standing by him is probably with the staff. Did you see her talking to other women by the coaches?”
“No.” The owner of the voice was preoccupied with the contents of her purse.
“She was, besides he’s been all over tonight talking to everyone. That doesn’t mean he’s here with her.”
Bile turned in her stomach. Hadley and Marcus had talked every night that week and he never mentioned anything about being out at the bar. They had spent three nights together and still not a word. All that he told her was that he had gone over and met with Gabe for a little bit the other night and then he sent a text to her late last night. Racking her brain, all it said was that he was headed home. She sank down on the toilet seat and waited for the girls to leave the washroom.
Drawing a deep breath, she tried to sort things out. Her mind moved in a million different directions trying to dissect the conversation that had just taken place. She knew deep down that he wasn’t the type of guy to play those kinds of games. He had a good poker face, but it was all bullshit. But there was still something that bothered her. Stepping out she walked numbly to the sink before standing in front of the mirrors looking herself over. He was
here with someone, and she was that someone. He wouldn’t have asked her if he didn’t want her with him, not one of those other girls. After the end of a Division game, it was her apartment he came to. Frustration burned in her gut for feeling any doubt for him and herself for thinking differently. Nodding at the reflection, she knew she was right. It was time to stop fighting her feelings for him and just let them be, even if it meant pissing off a few others who were at the function.
Marcus watched the back of the reception room where he’d seen Hadley disappear. He gave himself a mental kick in the balls for not going over to her while she and Samantha talked but figured she needed a little space. It wasn’t every day she was surrounded by a group. Even if they were a bunch of teddy bears underneath their padding, the gridiron was still intimidating. He chatted with a few people in the group until he felt the warmth of her hand at his back. One of his teammates hooted at a joke and he took great pleasure listening as Hadley chimed in, adding more humor. What took the breath out of him was when she again reached for his hand that night and held tight.
Almost as if she was waiting for him to look down first, she lifted her face up to his. Their eyes locked for a solid moment before she turned back to the group. Even in mid-conversation she would casually glance around the room looking out for any girl who was trying to make a move on Marcus. Several beauties had joined their somewhat large group but he paid no attention. He caught her wandering eyes a few times and lifted a curious brow at her, but she was too preoccupied to notice. It was well after midnight before they left and headed back to his condo in the city.
The pain in Hadley’s feet caused her to shuck the shoes off the minute they walked in the door, Marcus loosened the tie at his neck. The lateness of the hour brought extra gruffness to his voice. “Have fun tonight?”
“Oh yes. I admit at first it was daunting but after awhile it all felt fine.”
“It’s different meeting out at a bar or having dinner with a few of the guys. Putting everyone together in a room is like witnessing a train wreck.”
Nodding, she moved over to the couch to rub out her sore feet. Sitting on the opposite side of the couch he propped his feet up on the coffee table and watched her curiously. “Everything okay?”
“Mmm hmm. It’s just late.”
Rubbing the back of his head, he watched her intently, knowing she was thinking about something else entirely. “What’s really going on over there?”
She gave a nervous laugh he’d never heard before. Dropping her feet she looked up at him. “Nothing, why?”
He shrugged. “You’ve been acting funny. I’m curious.”
“No I haven’t, where is this coming from?”
“Now I want to know. What are you talking about?”
“It’s just that tonight, I don’t know, you seemed off for a bit.”
“Um, okay. The last thing I remember was that we had a nice evening. When did that change? Jesus, Marcus.”
“Forget I said anything, it was a good night.”
Curling her legs up and under her, she shifted, annoyance brimming in her voice. “No, I want to know what you meant by that.”
“Fine. When you came back to the group you were acting different.”
“I can’t have a good time with you and the rest of your teammates?”
“That’s not what I said; don’t put words in my mouth. I just noticed a change towards the end that’s all.”
“Was that before or after you stayed with the guys instead of talking to Sam with me?”
“I thought you might want a break from it all.”
She scoffed, “A break? She’s my friend, Marcus. Yours too, you could have come over.”
“I talked to her and Gabe later. Why don’t you come right out and say what’s really on your mind because this is a helluva a lot more than me coming over to see Sam.”
“Okay. Where were you last night?”
“What the hell does last night have to do with anything?”
“It may not mean anything, answer the question.”
“At home. I met up with a few of the guys for a round of drinks first.”
“Why didn’t you say anything in your text?” Her voice was filled with accusation.
“It was late and you didn’t ask!”
“Hadley, be straight with me. What the hell?”
With her body shaking, she looked at him square in the face and spoke without thinking. “I found out you were at the Bandidos
from some girls in the bathroom. They were gossiping about talking with you last night. I need to know, Marcus, what is it you are doing with me.”
He stared at her as if he misheard what she had said then. “I can’t fucking believe you’d even ask that! Of all the people, I thought you were better than that. Going to charities and public functions is a part of what I have to do. Sitting in a bar with my teammates was something I did to make up for choosing to be with my girlfriend after a Division win instead of being with them. I don’t like half the people who throw themselves at me, but I have to save face and play nice.” Girlfriend.
Had she heard him right? “When you came back to the group, your claws came out. I didn’t know why you grabbed my hand but I can see it now. I would have liked to think my girlfriend thought better of me. I don’t give a fuck who else comes up to me, Hadley. You were the prettiest in the room, and you were with me.” Twice!
He’d said it twice. Hadley took staggering breaths trying to comprehend what he was saying. “Marcus…I…didn’t know.”
“Of course you didn’t. You made up your mind from whatever bullshit some girl said in the toilet.” He barked angrily.
“No, I mean I didn’t know that’s how you felt about…me.”
“There’s nobody else, Hadley.”
“…it’s just that, we never talked about it and I….”her tough girl attitude fell to pieces on the floor. He answered her as her voice trailed.
“Don’t see me as your boyfriend.”
“I get it. So all of this was for nothing then?”
“Not nothing, no, Marcus.”
“Grab your stuff, I’ll drop you off at your apartment.” Leaving the front room, he went by the door to put his shoes back on.
When he came back into the room, she saw such raw uncertainty in his features and didn’t want to think how she looked. “Please, Marcus. Can we talk about this?”
“Talk about what? You aren’t serious about me so what’s there to talk about?” God she was serious about him and wanted to tell him that but like everything else in her life she held back and ran from her feelings. He was right, for a minute there that night she had thought the worst of him and should have never thought anything less than what he had been giving her. She stood mute next to him trying to speak up. “You can’t even answer a simple question because you’re afraid.”
Out of instinct she relied on her quick defenses. “I’m not afraid of anything!”
“Then answer me. Instead of dealing you drop everything and get away. Isn’t that what you did in Seattle when you moved here? And now this.”
“I’m not running, Marcus!”
“I’ll believe that when you stop and admit to yourself that we are something important to you and stick around.”
“You have some nerve! You don’t know anything at all! I left Seattle because it was too hard to stay and wanted to start over. I don’t have to justify that with anyone.”
“No you don’t, but maybe you should come to grips with it for your own sake. I didn’t push putting a label on this because I knew you’d run fast and far.”
“I don’t have to listen to your crap. Save your gas for someone else, I’ll catch a cab.”
“If you walk out, I’m not following you!”
“I’m not asking you to, Marcus!” Reaching for her bag, she opened the door and looked over her shoulder at him. In a voice that chilled his bones, she whispered. “I was serious about you, believe me or not, I was.” With a whoosh, she slammed the door behind her and left his condo.
Marcus stood there staring at the back of the door before slumping down on the couch. An ache inside craved whiskey to numb out his anger but he wouldn’t cave. He didn’t do anything wrong with her. Quickly seeing the major tactical mistake of never discussing their relationship, that was the only thing that stood between them. She made it more than clear that she didn’t trust him, and that was on her. Anger washed over him as he sat on the couch, his fingers pinching the bridge of his nose. For once in his life, he didn’t know what the hell to do.
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<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/love-stories/running-into-coverage-ch55.aspx">Running into Coverage Ch.5.5</a>