Chapter 31

Asa follows me out of the bedroom and down the stairs. Dalton is standing at the base of the stares, and I can see the concern in his eyes.

I still don’t trust him.

I walk back into the kitchen and straight to the stove. I pull the noodles off the burner and begin pouring them into the strainer just as a car pulls up in the driveway.


Carter POV

I finish straining the noodles, staring down at my ring the whole time.

It’s not even straight. It’ll be a bch peeling off the super glue and will probably take me days.

The least the id!ot could have done was make sure he glued it on straight. It’s going to drive me crazy.

TOO LATE : CHAPTER 31 – 40. Thingscouplesdo

I make sure not to look at the front door when it opens. I go back to the stove and stir the spaghetti sauce, then check the meatballs in the oven.

Asa is washing blood off his arms at the sink when Carter walks into the kitchen and opens the refrigerator.

“What happened to you?” Carter says.

I can’t make out what Asa says thanks to the pulse still pounding in my ears, but Carter laughs. “You guys win any jackpots?”

I turn around and walk to the sink, catching a glimpse of Carter out of the corner of my eye.

Asa shakes his head and says, “Not a gddmn thing. Not like that jackpot you had wrapped around you Friday night.”

It feels like all the bIood completely leaves my heart. I can’t look at Carter right now. I can’t.

Either Asa is testing me to see if I react to that statement or Carter isn’t at all who I thought he was.

“She was a mtherfking firecracker,” Asa adds. “Good job, man. I was definitely impressed.”

I walk to the oven to check on the meatballs, but only so I can get a glimpse of Carter’s face.

He takes a sip of his beer, not making eye contact with me. “She’s just a friend,” he says.

I have to grip the oven door with all my strength, because it feels like I’m about to crash to the floor.

What girl? When? Friday night was when Carter came to my room and kssed me. How in the world did I not know he was here with someone else?

I feel like more of a fool in this moment than I’ve ever felt dating Asa. At least I’ve always known Asa is an id!ot.

I honestly thought Carter was different.

“A friend my a$s,” Asa says. “Do you hump Dalton against the living room wall like that? Jon? Where I come from, friends don’t do that to friends, my man.”

I pull the meatballs out of the oven and am forced to walk the long way around the island back to the stove, just to avoid either of them seeing the tears in my eyes.

A few seconds later, I feel Asa’s arm slip around my waist. He ksses my neck, and fk if I don’t turn around and plant my mouth on his.

As much as I hate him and as much as I want to cut his thing off for what he just did to me upstairs, this kss isn’t at all about him.

I want Carter to feel what I just felt. Like there’s a huge gash in my chest.

I pull away from Asa. “You’re making it hard to concentrate. You guys get out of the kitchen so I can finish cooking.”

I have no idea how I’m able to speak, because each of my words want to turn to sobs.

I drop all the meatballs into the sauce, and as I’m pouring the noodles in, Dalton walks in the kitchen.

“Christ, Asa. Go take a shower. We’ll all lose our appetite if we have to stare at all that bIood while we eat.”

I use Dalton’s distraction to glance over at Carter. He’s staring right at me, his eyes full of concern.

It’s like he’s trying to tell me a million things right now. He lifts his hand and runs his thumb over his bottom lip.

I don’t twirl my hair around my finger. Instead, I rub my mouth with my middle finger and then turn to face Asa.

He pushes my hair over my shoulder. “You should come shower with me. It’ll be kind of hard to do it one-handed.”

I shake my head. “Later. I have to finish cooking.”

Asa runs his fingers down my arm, sliding them over my hand and over my ring. He turns and walks out of the kitchen.

Dalton follows him. As soon as I’m alone with Carter, he’s rushing across the kitchen toward me. He stops when he reaches me and comes as close as he can without it looking suspicious.

I grip the counter in front of me and don’t look up at him.

“It wasn’t like that, Sloan. I swear. You have to trust me.”

His words come out in a rushed, desperate whisper.

I don’t look at him when I say, “You were making out with another girl?” I slowly turn my head and make eye contact, and I can almost swear he’s about to risk getting caught and pull me to him.

He starts shaking his head. “I wouldn’t do that to you. It wasn’t like that.”


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