I sat on the couch in my sweatpants, vaguely remembering the last conversation I’d had with Heath.
It seemed like all we ever talked about was Cassini.
I couldn’t recall what I’d said to him.
The elevator beeped before the doors opened. Heath stepped into my apartment in jeans and a t-shirt. He stared at me on the couch as he came closer, wearing that look of pity on his face.
“Stop looking at me like that.”
“Like you think I’m pathetic.”
“Well, I do think you’re pathetic.”
I raised an eyebrow. “There’s a gun under my table. You want me to grab it?”
“Depends. Are you sober enough to shoot straight?”
He chuckled. “You’re actually sober. Can’t remember the last time that happened.”
“Neither can I.” I’d kill for a drink in my hand.
“I’m glad you laid off.”
“It was interrupting my work.”
Heath looked disappointed. “And that’s all that matters to you?”
“I’m not a very good king if I’m too drunk to kill.”
“I’m guessing you don’t remember our last conversations.”
“Just bits and pieces…”
He lowered himself to the coffee table and took a seat across from me. “I called Cassini today.”
My eyes narrowed on his face, betrayed that he’d crossed the line. “You did what?”
“You heard what I said. I called her and told her you’re a mess.”[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
I gripped my skull then dragged my hands down my face. “You cunt.”
Heath ignored the insult. “She said she didn’t care if you were hurting. You hurt her so much that anything you feel, she feels a million times worse. She’s not waiting around for you.”
That didn’t surprise me.
“So, it’s now or never. You need to do something or lose her forever.”
“She said that?” I asked, surprised she would give an ultimatum.
“No. But she’s going on a date tonight.”
His words sank deep into my skin until they hit my bloodstream. The pain circulated until it reached my heart, and that’s when I felt the unbearable agony. Shards of glass pierced all my organs so I couldn’t breathe. All the muscles in my body tightened in preparation for that battle that wouldn’t take place. I couldn’t sleep with anyone because I was still in love with one woman. The idea of her sleeping in some guy’s bed tonight didn’t just make me jealous. It made me insane. She wasn’t mine to claim, but I didn’t want anyone else to have her.
My brother continued to stare. “You alright, man?”
I said nothing, my jaw clenched so tight, my teeth hurt.
“I’ll take that as a no…”
I rose to my feet, unable to sit still because the adrenaline was too strong. “Who is he?”
“I don’t know. He’s a friend of her brother’s.”
So, Case set her up. And that meant he approved of the guy. He was probably a good-looking guy with a good job, a guy who would treat her right. So, if she liked him, it could actually go somewhere. “Name?”
I paced the length of the living room. “Where are they going?”
“Again, I don’t know.”
I marched down the hallway, changed my clothes, and then returned. I grabbed my phone and keys.
Heath rose to his feet. “What the hell are you doing?”
“Whoa, hold on.” He blocked my path to the elevator. “I didn’t tell you that so you could march down there like a caveman and ruin her date. Don’t be an asshole. You said you didn’t want her, so she moved on.”
I slammed my fist into my chest. “She’s my woman.”
“She was your woman. You dumped her, remember?”
“That’s not how she described it. Balto, leave the girl alone. Unless you’re going to finally get your shit together and be what she wants, don’t interfere. I know you’re an asshole, but if you sabotage every date she ever has just because you don’t like it, you’ll be lower than dirt. I won’t even like you.”
I moved around him and got into the elevator. “That’s fine. I don’t like me either.”
Finding her was easy because of the chip I’d implanted in her ankle. I narrowed down her location to the outdoor patio of a French bistro.
It was a short drive away, less than ten minutes. The entire way, I imagined what I would say to her. When I saw her sitting across from some guy, would I immediately punch him in the face? Would that just piss her off?
Then what would I do?
What would I say to her?
Even if I wanted to give her everything she asked for, was ruining her date the best way to go about it?
It really did make me an asshole.
I didn’t want her to sleep with him. I didn’t want another man to be inside her. I could text her and tell her not to go through with it, but again, that made me such an asshole. And she might sleep with him just to spite me.
I was worked up because I still loved this woman, loved her more in her absence than her presence, but I wasn’t thinking clearly at the moment. I was pumped up on adrenaline and rage. This was a really stupid idea.