Read Until Forever Online

Authors: E. L. Todd

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Romantic, #Romance, #Contemporary

Until Forever (7 page)

BOOK: Until Forever
9.24Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

I looked at Janice and a silent conversation passed between us. It was a very generous offer, but it didn’t surprise me that my sister was willing to do that. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do for me. Personally, I preferred to have it at the house. I think it would be more intimate and meaningful. But this was Janice’s time to shine. She could have whatever she wanted.

“Thanks for the offer,” I said. “We’ll consider it. Actually, Janice will. She gets to choose.”

“I do?” she asked.

“Yep.”

“I can have either one?

“Yep.” I went back to eating my dinner.

“Well, what do you want, Ryan?”

“I’m not falling for that,” I said with a laugh. “It’s your call. I’ll be happy either way.”

Janice was quiet for a moment. “Let’s do it here. It will be lovely.”

Scarlet clapped her hands together excitedly. “That’s wonderful.”

“What?” I asked. “You want to?”

“Yeah.” Her eyes shined bright with the love she had for me. “And I know you do too.”

9

Mike

After a long day of work, I hit the gym then sat on my couch, watching TV while I downed a beer. Laura was coming over later to get nasty so I wanted to save my energy for that.

She was cool, for the most part. She was still stripping, much to my annoyance. Now she was working two jobs, and as a result, she was struggling at the office because she
was half asleep most days. My patience was waning. The last thing I needed was for Ryan to find out she was stripping and I knew about it the whole time but I never told him. I’d be a dead man.

I didn’t tell anyone we were sleeping together because it was no one’s business. And Ryan and Janice couldn’t get mad because their sister was a damn whore. She’d done a lot of things in the bedroom a normal chick wouldn’t do. Someone had obviously burned her like me. That was why we were so much alike.

My phone rang in my pocket so I pulled it out, expecting Laura to send me another nasty pic. She usually took pictures backstage at the club wearing slutty lingerie. It was something for me to look forward to later that night.

But it wasn’t her. Cassandra’s name was
on the screen.

I stared at it, watching it ring over and over. Why the hell was she calling me? What did she want? I should just ignore it but I couldn’t. I kept staring at it. If I picked up, what should I say? I felt paralyzed on my couch, dealing with a phone call I didn’t want. I didn’t want to see her or talk to her ever again, so what could she possibly want to discuss?

I finally unlocked the screen and answered it. “Yo.”
Yo?
Why the hell did I just say that?

“Mike?” She sounded distressed.

“Yours truly.”

“Mike, I’m so sorry to call you but I didn’t know what else to do…”

The hair on the back of my neck stood up. A shot of adrenaline kicked in. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. But…Zander’s outside my apartment and he won’t leave. I don’t know how he figured out where I lived. I would just take care of it myself and beat him senseless, but I have
a feeling that’s exactly what he wants me to do. Once I open the door, he’ll overpower me and get inside…”

Anger surged through my body in a huge wave.
My hands shook and I started to see red. I was about to rip someone’s head off. That fucking piece of shit was going to pay for messing with her. I’d shatter his skull right in the middle of the hallway. I’d feed his brains to a homeless dog.

“Mike?”

“I’m coming.” I hung up then sprinted out of my apartment.

 

When I got inside the elevator, I paced back and forth through the tiny enclosure, my fists tight. I was breathing hard, ready to go ape-shit crazy. My left eyebrow was twitching because I was so insane.

The doors finally opened and I dashed out. I changed into an old t-shirt because I knew it was going to be covered in blood. I didn’t bring a knife or gun because I wanted to strangle this guy with my bare hands.

When I saw him leaning against the wall, facing her apartment, his arms across his chest, my head exploded. I rushed him, my feet thudding heavily on the hard wood floor.

He jerked at the sound and his eyes widened. He dodged out of the way then hit the opposite wall.

“You fucking shit head.” I grabbed him by the neck and slammed his head into the wall.

His eyes saw stars for a moment before he punched me in the gut. I flexed and deflected the blow. He kicked me next but I didn’t notice the pain. I was too livid. I punched him square in the nose and made his head jerk up. The blood squirted out, staining my shirt.

He tried to move down the hallway, heading to the stairwell, but I tripped him then grabbed him by the ankle, dragging him back. I started laughing maniacally, high-pitched, and full of pleasure and joy. I never stopped thinking about the way he hurt Cassandra in that alleyway. I never forgot the bruises and cuts on her face. And I would never forget it. “I’m going to enjoy this so fucking much.” I stomped on his hand, breaking two fingers.

He screamed as they bent in an odd way.

“Fucking pussy.” I grabbed his head and slammed his face into the wood. “I’m going to kill you. Your last moments will be as a damn pussy. You think hurting a woman makes you strong? Well, I’m about to remind you how weak and pathetic you are.”

Cassandra opened the door to her apartment and covered her face when she saw all the blood. It was smeared against the floor from his desperate fingertips.
Zander tried to scramble away but I stepped on his broken fingers again.


Ahhh!” He screamed loud enough to break my eardrum.

“Mike, stop,” Cassandra said.

“No way,” I said with a laugh. “This is way too much fun.” I kicked him hard in the ribs, making him moan in anguish.

“You’re going to kill him,” she hissed.

“That’s the point,” I said with another laugh.

“Mike, stop,” she said firmly. “He gets it.”

I turned to her, giving her a glare full of hatred. “He gets it? I’m going to kill him? What the hell do you think I rushed over here for? To politely ask him to leave you alone? Forget it.”

Zander made a run for it while I spoke to Cassandra, dashing to the fire escape. I moved to chase after him but Cassandra grabbed me.

“Let him go.”

I twisted out of her grasp but didn’t pursue him.

“I don’t want you to get into any legal trouble, Mike.”

“You think I care about that?” I spat.

“You don’t deserve any trouble because of me,” she said quietly.

I put my hands on my hips and caught my breath. “Are you okay?” Now that the danger was over, I stared at her face, seeing the features I stared at so many times. With an empty heart that lacked love or empathy, I felt nothing. She was just some woman who broke my heart.

“I’m fine.”

I massaged my knuckles, feeling the ache. “Why was he here?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t taken anyone back to my apartment, not even Zeal. He probably found out we weren’t together anymore and hunted me down.”

“Pussy,” I muttered.

We stood there awkwardly. There wasn’t much left to say. I didn’t belong here.

“Thank you for coming,” she whispered. She looked at me with eyes full of emotion. I recognized the look. I’d seen it so many times.

“You can call me for anything.” I looked at the wall because I didn’t want to see her face anymore.

“I didn’t meant to bother you…”

“It’s fine,” I said immediately. I looked down at my shirt and saw the blood. “Well, I should go.”

She didn’t say anything.

“If you don’t feel comfortable staying here, I can get you another place.”

“No. I’m not going to run,” she said simply. “I refuse to live in fear.”

“Will you be okay here tonight?”

A slight smile formed on her lips. “I think you scared him off pretty good.”

“If he’s smart, he won’t come back, “I said darkly.

Silence descended again.

“Bye,” I said. I turned away.

“Mike?”

“Hmm?” I looked at her, just wanting to leave.

“I miss you.” Her eyes were heavy with emotion. I saw the moisture build up.

I couldn’t do this. She already snapped my heart in half like a piece of firewood. And now she was pulling this shit again. Did she want to get laid again? Well, I wasn’t interested. Wordlessly, I walked down the hallway and disappeared. I wasn’t an idiot that could be strung along like a chump. I didn’t have any emotions to entice. I was done with her, over her, and I didn’t feel anything for her. But it still pissed me off that she tried to pull another stunt. I headed back to my apartment so I could get laid, not thinking about the blonde that broke my heart permanently.

 

“When the hell are you going to quit?” I asked after another night of good sex.

“Soon.” She pulled her clothes on, hiding her pierced navel.

“When the fuck is soon?” I lay on the bed, still naked.

“I have to put my two weeks in.”

“Strip clubs actually implore those rules?”

“I’d prefer not to burn any bridges,” she said as she adjusted her bra.

“You’re going to get caught. I know it.”

“Unless one of the guys comes into the strip club, we’re good.”

“Ryan might. His bachelor party is happening soon.”

“I can’t see him doing that,” she dismissed.

“Shows how much you know.” I pulled on basketball shorts and a t-shirt.

“You haven’t told anyone about us, right?”

“No. My business is my own.”

“Good.”

“You embarrassed of me?” I teased.

“No. But I don’t want to deal with my sister yelling at me.”

“I don’t see why she would.” I checked my phone then headed to the door, ready to walk her out.

“She likes to get mad at me for stuff she’s equally guilty of.” She rolled her eyes. “I know my sister has slept around a lot. So when I do the same thing, I’m in need of help or guidance. Whatever.”

“She just cares about you. Believe me, I wouldn’t want my sister sleeping with an asshole like me either.”

“You’re not an asshole,” she said immediately.

“I sleep with you and use you over and over. I don’t even take you home. I even told you to your face that I didn’t give a shit about you. Yes, that makes me an asshole.”

“You gave me a job and you’re trying to get me out of the strip club. You’ve been honest with me from the very beginning about what you want and need. And if I asked you to walk me home, you would.” She stared at me triumphantly.

I didn’t have rebuttal against that. I opened the door. “Good night.”

“Night.” She pulled her jacket on then headed out.

When she was gone, I shut the door then lay on my couch, watching a late night talk show. Cassandra and I used to watch these together, but now I didn’t think of her. I was a terminal bachelor. And I was okay with that. No relationships meant no heartbreak. I could get on board with that.

My phone rang and I sighed in annoyance. I was going to order a pizza and eat it on the couch like I did most nights. When I saw Cassandra’s name, I immediately feared for the worst. If that guy
was bothering her again, I’d kill him this time. Actually kill him. It didn’t matter if it was Cassandra. Any guy harassing a girl like that should be murdered.

I took the call. “Is he at your apartment again?”

Her voice came out quiet. “No.”

Then why was she calling me…? “Are you okay?”

“No”
              “Um…then what the hell do you want?”

“Have dinner with me tonight.”

What the fuck? Dinner?
“I already ate.”

“It’s six. No you didn’t.”

It irritated me that she still remembered my habits. It’d been almost three months since we broken up. I’d forgotten her. She’d be smart to forget me. “I have no interest in spending time with you. I can barely tolerate you as it is. Don’t call me unless you need something.” My voice was cold like steel.

“Mike, please.”

“Why?” I snapped. “I don’t owe you shit.”

“Just please meet me. I can come to your apartment if you prefer.”

“No. I don’t want you anywhere near my home.” This was my safe haven. There was nothing here that reminded me of her. Nothing elicited unwanted thoughts of the girls who choked the life out of me.

“Then can we meet somewhere?” Her voice retained her depression.

“I really don’t want to see you. I can’t stress that enough.” I knew I was being a total jerk but I didn’t care.

“Mike, I asked you nicely.”

“So?” I barked.

“I’ll be at
Shelly’s
in half an hour. I hope to see you there.”

“I’m not going to show up.”

“I guess I’ll wait and hope.” She hung up.

I heard the line go dead then I lowered it from my ear. I was irritated that she expected me to show. Fuck
no, I wasn’t going to do it. I had nothing to say to her, and I didn’t have the patience to listen to her voice.

I sat on the couch and watched TV. Unconsciously, I kept eyeing the clock, knowing she was sitting in a restaurant alone, waiting for
me. I didn’t know how long she’d wait, maybe until closing. I didn’t move from my spot on the couch.

Finally, I cursed in frustration then left my apartment.

 

I walked inside then immediately noticed her blonde hair. It was still golden like the sun. She met my gaze but didn’t react. There was no triumph or joy. I came to the table then slid into the booth. She was drinking an ice water.

“Thanks for coming,” she said quietly.

I leaned back and stared her down. “What do you want?”

She didn’t flinch at my hostility. It was like she expected it. “I wanted to talk.”

BOOK: Until Forever
9.24Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble
Stone Cold Lover by Christine Warren
Coming Up Roses by Duncan, Alice
Sin noticias de Gurb by Eduardo Mendoza
Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis
Paula & Her Professor by Charles Graham
Fenway 1912 by Glenn Stout
The Sacred River by Wendy Wallace