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|Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2) by Katie Ashley|
I rolled my eyes. “Only you would get excited about that.”
He dove over to cover me with his body. “I could give two shits about the rubbers. It’s what I’m going to do to you when I’m wearing them that I’m excited about.”
He reached in to kiss my neck when I stopped him by gripping his shoulders and pushing him away. “Babe, you can’t start anything up right now. I don’t want to disappoint Abby about lunch.”
Groaning against my collarbone, AJ lifted his head. “She probably wouldn’t mind if we were a little late.”
“But between yesterday at the waterfalls and last night, I’m starting to wonder if I can walk.”
An impish grin curved on his lips. “I like that. It totally compliments my dick.”
“Of course you would. Now go get in the shower. I wanna grab something to drink first. All this sex has dehydrated me.” I nipped at his bottom lip before rising out of the bed.
“Only if you promise to join me after.”
“I will.” When a triumphant look flashed on his face, I shook my head. “But only for a scrub down. I’m not sneaking into Jake and Abby’s late for everyone to rag us about going at each other like rabbits.”
He chuckled. “Whatever.” He threw back the sheet and padded into the bathroom. As I eased into one of the robes from the bathroom, I heard the water turn on in the shower. I was halfway down the ladder when the doorknob on the front door rattled. It was probably Abby coming to make sure we were up and coming to lunch. I landed on the main floor just as the door blew open.
“Hey baby, I’m here,” a dark-haired girl called. When her gaze met mine, I’m sure we were both wearing the same wide-eyed, open mouthed expressions of shock. In one hand, she held an overnight bag and then a key in the other. Realization of who she was crashed so hard over my head that I shuddered and drew my arms around me to stop my shaking. It was the same girl from last night—AJ’s ex-girlfriend, Kylie.
“What are you doing here?” I demanded.
She pursed her glossed lips before replying, “I came to see AJ.”
I felt my fingernails sharpening like claws at my side. “He’s in the shower and not accepting visitors at the moment.”
“Oh.” She shifted on her feet. “This is kinda awkward.”
“It wouldn’t be if you left,” I snapped. Internally I was doing a little victory dance for keeping my Sicilian strength and standing up the bitch. I hadn’t been able to do the same thing with Erin—my ex-friend who cheated with Dev. I had been too emotionally crippled to ever confront her.
Her eyes widened at me. “Look, I didn’t know he was with anyone. He certainly didn’t tell me that last night—just that it wasn’t a good time to talk. So I figured I would come up here to see him.”
My heart clenched in my chest, and I found it hard to breathe. Why wouldn’t AJ have told her he was with me? He had invited me to Eastman’s as his date…he’d even chased after me when I tried to leave. He should have shot her down completely—not let her think there was some window of opportunity. Shaking my head, I replied, “Well, obviously he should have told you he was with me. Just like he is now.”
Although she seemed to cower back a little, the look that flashed in Kylie’s eyes told me she wasn’t backing down completely. “Fine. I can see now is not a good time. I’ll check in with AJ later.” She waved the key in front of my face. “I know where to find him—I always do.”
Grabbing her suitcase, she then headed out the door, slamming it on her way out. “Bitch,” I hissed under my breath. But with Kylie gone, my bravado suddenly depleted, and I was left shaking in the middle of the living room. My knees buckled and almost sunk onto the floor. “No, no, no,” I murmured. This couldn’t be happening to me—not again, not after all I’d been through. AJ couldn’t be playing me…playing me and Kylie. Was he doing both of us at the same time? Leaving me and going to her or spending time with her when he wasn’t with me? Was everything he’d said and done just a lie to keep me in his bed?
Just the thought of how things had changed between us yesterday sent bile rising in my throat. On trembling legs, I streaked over to the kitchen and heaved into the kitchen sink. Turning on the water, I numbly watched the puke go down the drain. The irony wasn’t lost on me that my relationship, or what I thought I’d had with AJ, had just done the same thing symbolically.
After I swiped my hand across my mouth, I turned around to lean back against the sink. He was so smooth and used to having his way with all the ladies he wanted. Why would he want to get serious so soon with someone he barely knew? Especially with someone like me—my insecurities, my abuse, my fear of his cheating. My stomach churned again at the prospect, and I knew I needed to confront him. I had to hear the truth from his own lips.
A strange electricity rocketed through me when I took the first rung on the ladder. Anger replaced my hurt. What the hell had I been thinking that he was any different? That he could truly love me just for me. Dammit, in the end, he was just like Jason and Dev and all the other bastard men out there. He’d claimed he wasn’t trying to play me for a little while.
Once I reached the top of the ladder, I was shaking out of rage, not fear. On my way to the bathroom, I spied the handcuffs on the bed. I snatched them up before stalking into the bathroom. Steam enveloped me, and it took me a moment to make out AJ’s naked back and ass through the glass door.