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|Without Me(Men of Inked #7) by Chelle Bliss|
It was like she had asked me if I wanted coffee. The enormity of the situation was lost on her. If it wasn’t, she didn’t seem to care.
I sat up and rubbed my eyes. “You’re throwing me out?”
“Yes. Get your ass up and leave.”
I shook my head. Maybe I was still dreaming. Yeah, that had to be it.
Reaching down, I pinched my skin and instantly felt the burn.
Totally not sleeping. Fuck me.
I was yesterday’s news and today’s trash.
“Last night meant nothing to you?” I asked as I crawled out of bed and searched for my clothes.
Goddamn it. All of my clothes were in the living room, sitting in a pile by the front door. I’d have to stand here and have this conversation naked.
“Yes. It was nice, but that’s all it could ever be. I don’t have time for anything more. I refuse to see you again. We wouldn’t work. You’re an asshole and I’m emotionally unable to have anything more than a meaningless fuck.”
“You’re a cold bitch, Max. Last night…” I stopped speaking, swallowing hard, in shock at the words that were about to come from my mouth. “Last night was the first time I actually felt something more than just a cheap thrill for someone. We’re different, Max. I want more. For the first time in my goddamn life”—my voice grew louder, to the point that I had started to yell, as I moved toward her—“I want fucking more!”
“I can’t!” she yelped as she backed up, staying out of reach.
“You can’t or you fuckin’ won’t?” I said, not willing to just chalk it all up to a night of fun. I’d had enough of those to know the difference.
“I won’t!” she yelled back, finding her footing. The confident woman I’d met in the bar had come back to life.
“Max.” I reached out to her as my voice grew softer. “Just see me again. Please.” I waited like an idiot.
“No! I can’t. I won’t. Now, get the fuck out. If you don’t go, I’ll call the police,” she spat. Then she stormed toward the bedroom door.
As she opened it, I caught her by the arm and pulled her backward. When she swung, trying to strike me in the face, I captured it in my grip. “Don’t,” I said, staring down at her and holding her captive.
“I can’t!” she yelled, her nostrils flaring. Then her mouth set in a firm line.
“You can. Please, Max. I can be a better person.” I couldn’t believe what she was saying.
“Even if you weren’t an asshole, Anthony, I can’t see you anymore. Get your fucking hands off me. I’ll scream bloody murder and my neighbor will call the police.” Her fiery gaze bore into me.
I released her and lived to fight another day. “Fine. You have it your way—for now. I’m not giving up on you so easily. I’ve never chased. Never!” I yelled as I walked out of her bedroom to find my clothes. After I dressed, I turned and found her watching me. “You’re the first woman I’ve ever met worth chasing.”
She gaped at me, and I swear I could see a tear in her eye, but she hid it well. I was so fucking mad that I didn’t have time to ask.
As I opened the front door, taking a step outside, I finished my statement and gave her a warning. “I’m coming for you. I won’t stop until I get what I want. You haven’t seen how big of an asshole I can be!”
I slammed the door and headed back to the center of Ybor to get my car. Tucking my hands in my pockets, I silently cursed God for being a bigger asshole than I was. Fuck him and fate. Karma was a cunt, and she had come for me, getting the last laugh. The problem with their plan was they hadn’t given me enough credit.
I’d have Max again.
Even if I had to cross the line from asshole to prick, I’d do it.
When I started my car, “Thing for You” by Hinder was playing. I slammed my hand down on the radio, silencing it.
I wouldn’t let her out of my life.
I’d make a plan and do everything I could to infiltrate her life, giving her no other option than to let me in.
Next time, I’d be the one to kick her ass out of bed and give her a taste of her own medicine.
When he left, I slid down the door, crumpled to the floor, and sobbed. Seeing the pain in his eyes tore me apart. Anthony was a breath of fresh air. Carefree and fun loving besides being a wild man in the sack, but I had to kick him out like a piece of trash.
I could easily fall in love with the man. I liked them strong, and he was that and more. Not just physically, but he didn’t take no for an answer. The way he treated my friends and the way he handled me drove me wild.
In the morning, when I opened my eyes and watched him sleep, I knew I had to be cruel. I had forgotten how much I loved waking up to someone. The smell of him still on my skin had me questioning everything I’d decided long ago. I allowed myself to daydream about the future, being with him and calling him mine. He smelled amazing and looked even more beautiful as he slept.
I let my fingers wander across his body, feeling the hardness of his muscles underneath the softness of his skin. The soft snores that fell from his lips made my heart go pitter-patter and I knew I was doomed. All I wanted to do was curl into his side and feel him against my body. It had been ages since I’d let a man make me feel safe. Anthony could be that for me. He could be my rock if I allowed him to.
The problem with that, though, is that it wasn’t fair to him. He couldn’t love me.