Long and Short excerpts—
“Oh, please,” she said, giving me an eye roll. “I don’t think that’s possible even if you tried. And clearly he doesn’t care,” she murmured, with one eyebrow raised.
I could feel someone behind me before I even turned. I stifled a groan as I twisted around, and saw a guy grinning back at me. This had been one of the main reasons I didn’t want to go out. I wasn’t looking to be hit on or seen as a piece of ass by a bunch of horny guys looking for a random hookup. And this guy would probably be one of the last I would pick if I were interested.
If Teddy had a clone, this guy was it. Yeah, he didn’t look exactly like his twin; his hair wasn’t a shaggy blond mess like Teddy’s, but he had sort of the whole rocker look going on with his ripped jeans, tight black band t-shirt, and both arms covered in sleeves of tattoos.
No, what really reminded me of Teddy was the cocky ego that I could sense before he even talked, like he had picked me as his prey and knew he would win his prize. Well, I guess I was going to have to squash that little dream. “You look like you could use another drink. Mind if I buy you one?”
“Actually I do,” I replied, shifting back around in my seat to face the bar. He slid into the empty seat next to me, clearly ignoring my subtle “get lost” tactic.
“Aw, c’mon. Can you at least give a guy a chance?” He signaled to the bartender who placed another drink in front of me. “What’s your name, pretty girl?”
I snorted before taking another drink, and continued to ignore him, but he didn’t seem to get the hint because he kept inching closer to me, invading my personal space. “Al-right, you must be one of those quiet ones. I like the quiet ones, they’re normally the wildest.” His lips were right next to my ear as he whispered the last part. I finally turned towards him, his brown eyes glittering with amusement.
“Or maybe you’re just annoying as hell, and I really don’t want to talk to you. Ever think of that?” I popped a cherry in my mouth, hoping he would just go away, but instead he let out a low laugh.
“Feisty too, huh? I think I like you, blondie. Think maybe you wanna get out of here? I know this little place downtown that has some good music, actually I play there some—”
I turned towards him quickly, putting my best bitch face on. I hadn’t really used it much before, but now I was getting a lot of use out of it. “Ugh, hell no. If I wasn’t clear enough before, I definitely will be now. There is no way this is happening.”
I waved my hand at him, and thankfully, this time he stood up, looking a bit dejected, and shuffled back towards the table that he had come from. I hated to squash anyone like that, but at the mention of him possibly being a musician of any sort, I couldn’t consider even talking to him. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, and never, ever, wearing it again.
I checked my makeup one last time in the hallway mirror before I shut the door behind myself, fluffing my loosely curled hair. I felt professional and confident, for what was pretty much my first real job interview ever. Luckily, Remy left me her car since I had returned my rental after a few days of having it.
“Ally?” I heard that all too familiar voice as I rounded the corner to the parking lot, and I instantly stiffened, wanting to do nothing more than to turn right around and lock myself in the apartment. But I couldn’t get there fast enough.
I felt his hand land on my shoulder just as I tried to twist away. I reluctantly turned around, meeting those brown eyes that I thought I knew so well. Now all he looked like was a stranger.
“What are you doing here, Teddy?” I crossed my arms tightly over my chest, trying to look anywhere but straight at him.
“We’re just a couple of towns over, Al, you know that. It took me a while, but I tracked you down when you returned the rental. Why haven’t you answered any of my calls? I was worried as hell about you.” He reached out to brush his thumb across my cheek, but I quickly knocked his hand away.
Why had I used his dumb credit card for that rental car? I didn’t realize he was going to pull out some detective moves to track me down.
“Really? You were worried about me? That sounds awfully strange coming from someone who wasn’t so concerned about me when they were in bed with another girl.”
He let out a loud groan and moved a step closer, sucking in his lip ring as he did. “Al, you’re still my wife, and I’m always going to worry about you. That meant nothing; it was a lapse in judgment, nothing else. I swear.”
“Teddy, I don’t want to hear it.” I shoved past him, but I could feel that he was still following closely behind me. “I have somewhere to be, and I can’t be late. Just go back to your tour, and forget about me, because we’re done. There is no us, and there’s no going back.”
“Ally, you don’t mean that.” He grabbed onto the car door before I could slam it in his face and crouched down so we were face to face. His hand reached up to grip my chin and this time I didn’t twist away fast enough.
It was taking everything inside of me not to just give in. To forget everything that had happened, and start fresh. But I knew that there was no way in hell I could do that, because I would just be setting myself up to get hurt all over again.
“Please, Al, just one more chance. I swear I won’t mess this up.”
I swallowed over the thick lump in my throat, looking him straight in the eyes, to say that one word I still hadn’t been able to utter. “No, Teddy. It’s not going to happen. I want a divorce, and I want you to leave me alone. Is that really so much to ask after… after everything?”
“Oh, come on, Mom. I deserve to have a little bit of fun, and it’s not every day that you’re here. By the way, do you already have a trip planned to come back? Maybe this time you could bring the kids.”
“I wish, but I have to go back to reality, unlike some people. When are you coming back to Indiana is the real question? And when are you going to start taking care of….”
She trailed off; probably because of the death stare I was giving her, and pursed her lips at me. “I’m sorry to be a bitch, Al, but you can’t keep avoiding the topic. I know it’s hard to deal with, but I can also tell you want to move on with your life. You need a clean break, but I think Teddy’s going to make it hard for you, especially—” She was interrupted by Chase who planted a hand over her mouth and narrowed his eyes at her, giving a sharp shake of his head.
“First, I think we need a shot.” My eyebrows rose as he gave the waitress our drink order. She lingered for a second longer, obviously hoping that Teddy would pay her some kind of attention, but it stayed trained on me all night.
That was something I wasn’t used to with Teddy anymore. Sure, when we were first married, I seemed to be his life, but after the band started to take off, I sort of took the backseat. It had definitely been something that I had to get used to, and after a while, I just assumed it was a part of the lifestyle.
“Are you trying to get me liquored up or something?” I sat up straight in my chair when one of his fingers hooked a stray piece of hair and pushed it behind my ear. The buzz that I had going on earlier started to wear off, and I knew I really didn’t need to cloud my judgment when I was around Teddy.
“I don’t need to get you liquored up, Ally-Cat. I just figured we could use something to drink. Unless that is, you don’t think you can handle it.”
Oh, he was such an ass.
“Are you watching me sleep?” he asked in a husky voice, not yet opening his eyes, but his lips twisted into a smirk, flashing a dimple at me. I loved those things.
“Yup, I am.” I giggled when his hand shot out, and he grabbed around my waist, pulling me on top of him. I straddled his body, giving a little wiggle, and his eyes finally popped open.
“Don’t even think about it,” he said, digging his fingers into my hips to lift me up slightly. He pointed a finger down to the tent that had appeared in his shorts and shook his head. “This stays in there as long as we’re at your parents’ house. I don’t need your dad kicking my ass out of his house for doing very naughty things with his daughter.” I pouted my lips at him and swung my legs around to the edge of the bed. “Even though I really want to.”
I felt overwhelmed, to say the least, and I’m pretty sure Kara could tell because she was still giving me that smile that I wanted to wipe right off of her face. If anything, I was going to prove Kara wrong. I could do this. Now, I just needed to figure out exactly how, and if Ally would do it with me.
“Yeah.” I rubbed a hand across the stubble on my face, wishing I had time to stop back at home before picking her up. “I have a few errands to run though, so if you need me, just give me a call.” I patted him on the back, leaning close to his ear so only he could hear me. “And try to keep your eyes on Kim’s face.” He turned a bright shade of red as I smirked at him and exited through the front entrance.
I couldn’t blame the guy. It was hard to control yourself sometimes, especially if he was really interested in Kim. Ally and I only let things get out of hand at work one time, that night in my office, and it had been one of the best nights of my life. Every time I was sitting behind my desk, I could picture her laid out over it. It was hard to get any work done sometimes if I let my mind drift too far.