Conflicted Love

Page 1

Prologue

Trip

“Scotch on the rocks,” I told the bartender before turning back to the party. Doing a quick sweep of the room, I took in all the crap hanging from the ceiling, streamers, paper bells and bird-shaped shit. The confetti and champagne glasses were strewn across every surface. It looked like cupid had walked in and puked on the place. The lovey-dovey shit was for the birds.

My eyes fell on Mace and Scarlett holding each other on the dance floor. Scarlett looking up at Mace like he’d hung the stars and moon. Mace looking down at her like she was God’s gift made just for him. The way they were with each other made me wanna poke my eyeballs out with a fork. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy for them. There weren’t two people I knew who deserved to be as happy as those two were, but the thought of being with one person for the rest of my life made me nauseous and claustrophobic.

Turning back to the bar, I picked up my glass and downed it in one hit. I’d need a good bit of booze to get me through the night, to deal with all the sweet-cutesy crap.

I scanned the room, again my gaze landing on Teeny sitting quietly on her own in a corner, smiling sadly at the happily engaged couple. As somber as she looked, she was still a knock out, and she still wasn’t speaking to me. Not nicely anyway. One night of stupid, drunken decisions and I’d royally screwed up years of carefully constructed friendship.

I was an ass**le, but I’d warned her I was. In all fairness, I’d been upfront about my one night rule before I took advantage of a liquor-fueled situation. Still, I felt like I’d screwed shit up. Teen looked at me like she wanted to do bodily harm; gone was her usual happy-go-lucky sweet smile.

Mace and Scar broke away from their lip lock as Teeny stood up and made her way in my direction toward the bar. My eyes instantly dropped to her swelling cle**age and rounded hips. I’d never wanted to bang a chick more than once in my life; it was confusing. On one hand, I figured it was because she was in my life so much. I mean, of course, I would want more; she was without a doubt the best lay I’d had, not to mention she was a great girl. On the other hand, perhaps I was just turning into a pu**y.

Mace’s voice behind me drew me out of my thoughts “You gonna stare all night or do something about it?” he asked as he clapped me on the shoulder, leaned over the bar and ordered a beer.

My eyes still trained to Teeny’s short green dress. The shoes she was wearing made her legs look unbelievably long. Shrugging my shoulders was the only answer I had for Mace. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do about the whole cockeyed situation.

“You look really happy. You’re one damn lucky bastard that woman said yes to your stupid ass,” I told him with a smile. “Though I still don’t understand why you’d wanna be all wifed-up.”

“Happy doesn’t even scratch the surface; Scar’s everything I’ll ever need. You’ll get it one day, little brother.” His face went from the soft expression he held when talking about Scar to a small smile. “Probably the day you can put your dick away for five minutes and look at what’s in front of you,” he answered looking toward an approaching Teeny.

“Don’t you f**kin’ start too; you sound like Ma. Teeny can’t stand me. Besides, I like my dick outta my pants; it finds all kinds of fun shit to do.”

“Who said I was talking about Teeny?” Mace smirked, adjusted his arm in his sling and took a step off to the side leaning against the bar facing the party. No doubt looking for Scar— those two were practically attached at the hip.

I ordered another scotch and a vodka tonic, and pushed it in front of Teen as she stepped up to the bar. She looked down at it and sniffed. A look of disgust crossed her pretty face as she pushed the glass aside. “Can I have a ginger ale please?” she asked the bartender.

Sick of her testy attitude, I called her on it. “What the f**k did I do to you?”

She turned toward me, her face hardening and sneered, “You’ve done enough!”

“Oh, Princess, I haven’t even started on what I want to do to you,” I told her, the honest answer leaving my mouth before my brain could filter it. Her face crumpled and she turned and raced toward the restrooms.

Fuck this shit.

I was gonna find out what her problem was with me if it killed me. I downed the last of my drink and pushed off from the bar. “Hold up, bud, I’ll walk with you. Scar’s takin’ too long.”

With a nod, we both made our way across the busy room avoiding grabby aunties as we went.

The moment I stepped around the corner into the long walkway, I came to an abrupt halt. A mixture of emotions hit me all at once; jealousy, anger, protectiveness and something that made my chest tight.

Scar’s voice drifted to my ears, “The stress isn’t good for the baby, sweetie. You need to tell him.”

Teeny stood there, her back to us, Scarlett holding the tops of her arms. The second Scar lifted her gaze, her eyes flicked around and a whispered, “Oh shit!” escaped her lips.

Teeny spun around with an audible gasp, tears marking her face. Her hand went to her stomach along with my gaze.

WHAT THE FUCK!

I hesitated to move closer; annoyed she hadn’t felt like she could tell me. I mean, she wasn’t seeing anyone but the dude who knocked her up; I’d already decide that he’d better step up and help her, or I’d beat the crap outta him. A shadow of anger at the thought of her being in somebody else’s bed, having somebody else’s hands on her body, those lips around somebody else’s—I shook my head to clear my shitty and confusing train of thought.

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