I knew it was over between Sienna and me a good 24 hours before shit really hit the fan. Before tonight. Guess you can call it an ass**le’s intuition or the fact that Sam, my ex, reared her greedy head way too f**king early. I’ve realized that there would be nothing for me and Sienna when Atlanta ended since the day we got here, and yet knowing how things would go still didn’t stop me from taking her. From making good on the promise I made to her two years ago. I’ve finally claimed her—owned her—and now I’m going to have to let her go.
No, that’s not right. I’m going to have to make her go. There’s no goddamn chance Red will leave me willingly, not even after that crazy bitch Sam just threatened her. There’s only one way I’ll be able to make Sienna leave me, and I already hate myself for it.
I’ll have to tear her down. Make her see me as the shithead she should’ve never fallen in love with.
Leaning my shoulder against the wall outside the bathroom Sienna disappeared inside of a few minutes ago, I wait for her, ignoring the sound of the guitar coming from the birthday party happening down the hallway. There’s a fire in my chest, but I choose to ignore that too. I shouldn’t have come here. I clench my hands into tight fists. I shouldn’t have brought her here. Sam’s been bent on finding out who Sienna is, and if there’s one thing my ex was ever good at, it was figuring shit out.
I shouldn’t have been so selfish.
But I am. Where Sienna’s concerned, I always have been. Always will be.
The bathroom door swings open, banging hard against the nightclub’s wall. As she stumbles out into the hallway, looking dazed—one of the worst types of pain I’ve ever known starts to eat through my stomach. It almost matches what I felt four years ago, but not completely. That pain was for an entirely different reason.
And the reason behind that pain had been my undoing.
Sienna walks in my direction, staring at the carpeted floor and running her hands up and down the sides of her black lace dress. Just a couple hours ago I had that dressed shoved up around her hips as I f**ked her. After she’s gone, that memory will stick with me. Maybe, if I focus real goddamn hard on it, it’ll keep the fact that I had to screw her over out of my mind.
When Sienna nearly collides into me, she stiffens. My muscles go taut, and I find myself clenching my hands so I won’t touch her. I’ve touched her enough. When this is all over, and I’ve convinced myself I’ve gotten her out of my system, I won’t forget the way she felt.
I won’t forget the way she made me feel.
Pushing a few pieces of her red hair away from her flushed forehead, she looks up at me with narrowed blue eyes. “I’m ready to go.”
Like her eyes, her voice is so cold that, for a second, I stand still studying her, wondering what the f**k Sam has told her. Fear claws through my ribcage. It’s a bitter reminder of why I’ve avoided falling in love for so long. The thought of Sam ruining me was crippling enough that there was no need to add love into the mix so it could bend me over and f**k me.
Sienna crosses her bare arms tightly over her chest, and her tits come close to spilling out of that dress. The part of me that needs to possess her, to protect her, nearly kicks in, but I inhale deeply through my nostrils and keep myself from telling her to cover up.
“I’m ready to go,” she repeats from between gritted teeth. When her expression doesn’t change, and I know without a doubt Sam hasn’t told her much of anything, I jerk my head in a nod to the entrance of the nightclub.
“Car’s already waiting.”
I don’t stop and tell Cilla goodbye before I leave. She’ll immediately notice that I’m gone, but she’s the last thing on my mind right now because Sienna is still here. And she’s so close to disappearing from my life again.
There’s not a word between Sienna and me as our driver takes us back to the Four Seasons. We’re still quiet as hell even as we enter the lobby and take the elevator up to our suite. But the moment we enter our room, she hurls her purse across the room to where it spills out on the couch. Then she faces me.
I know that if I don’t take this situation into my hands, I’m going to lose it, too.
“Sit down,” I order, trying to keep my throat from tightening. She starts to question me, like she always does, but I jerk my head to the couch again. “Sit down.”
She follows my directions, her movements just as numb as they’d been after Sam confronted her in the club, and my chest seizes up. I don’t want to do this shit. This is the last thing I’ve ever wanted to do, and being in this room with her is just making it worse. I need to end things now so I can get her out of my life before she gets hurt. I owe her that much, even if I’m burned to a crisp in the process.
“I f**ked up—“ I begin, but the words fail me. What am I supposed to say? I f**ked up by using you. Fucked up by bringing you here.
I f**ked up by falling in love with you.
She starts crying. Quiet, bitter as hell tears, and I know she doesn’t want to hear any of my shit. But I go forward with it anyway.
As we go back and forth for the next few minutes, I keep from looking into her blue eyes—I can take just about anything she says to me, but I can’t take that. I keep myself detached, not showing her an ounce of emotion. And finally, when I know we’re both at the point of breaking, I clear my throat.
“You’ve got to go,” I say. She says something in response, but my ears are ringing so bad I can’t comprehend what the hell that is. “I’m dismissing you,” I continue, my voice sounding bored, cold. She flinches and hugs herself close. “You’ve fulfilled the terms of our contract.”