Gamble nodded, and a knowing look entered his eyes. “You really have a thing for her, don’t you?”
I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t know what to say. Shit, I was a split second from passing out.
Instead of leaping across the rug between us to strangle me with his bare hands, though, Gamble let a sly smirk spread across his face and he shook his finger. “I knew it! I knew the moment I caught you drawing her name the other day. Designing a tattoo for Quinn, my ass. You want his woman.”
I pulled back in surprise, not expecting him to say that. “Excuse me?”
He just kept nodding as if he was so sure he was right. “Yeah, I knew something was up when you let her move in with you guys after you wouldn’t even let Cora stay overnight.”
Growling, I muttered, “I didn’t let that whore stay overnight with Hamilton because I hated her fucking bitch guts and I was afraid she’d try to crawl out of his bed one night and right into mine. I don’t have to worry about that with Blondie. She actually has morals.”
“Wow, you’ve fallen hard for her, haven’t you?” Gamble shook his head as if amazed. “I never thought I’d see the day. Ten’s in love.”
“I am not!” I snorted and shook my head. “You’re fucking crazy.”
“Don’t worry.” The bastard’s grin just wouldn’t die. “I won’t tell Quinn.”
“Whatever.” I rolled my eyes and decided to just ignore him. Except that didn’t work, so I exploded. “You won’t tell him because there’s nothing to tell. You’re completely fucking wrong. I am not into Blondie.” My gaze slid to his hand still holding that necklace captive, and I had to curl my fingers into fists to keep from diving at him and taking it back.
It belonged to my midnight visitor, to Caroline. I didn’t want him touching it.
“I knew something was off about you lately,” he murmured, nodded his head. “You haven’t been as annoying and crude as your usual self. I should’ve known a woman was involved.”
Well, he was close. Just not close enough. “You’re delusional, man.” Pissed that I wasn’t getting her necklace back, I stood and slung one strap of my book bag over my shoulder. Then I tossed the last of my sandwich in a nearby trash can. “I’m not going to sit here and listen to this shit. I don’t want Blondie. I have no plans of stealing Ham’s woman. And I have been as perfectly crude and annoying as usual.” To prove that last part true, I kicked his foot as I passed him and leaned in to call him the dirtiest, most offensive thing I could think of.
And then I was out of there.
But as soon as I stepped into the April air, I felt even more claustrophobic than I had inside. The panic crowding my chest sucked the oxygen straight from my lungs, until I was nearly gasping for breath. I turned in a slow circle, trying to focus on the blurry images of buildings and trees around me. But I just felt like passing out.
Blindly, I pulled my phone from my pocket, and then I drew in a few deep breaths before I could concentrate enough to focus. After scrolling through the contact list, I shook my head, mystified. I still had Caroline’s number in my address book, and it was a different number than Midnight Visitor’s.
See, they couldn’t be the same person.
Caroline had just gone into my room at some point and dropped her necklace, and that was all. Not that I knew what the hell she would’ve been doing in my room in the first place, but it was plausible...except I’d felt it on Midnight Visitor last night and even asked her about it. And she hadn’t told me about its importance because, Jesus, it’d been a gift from her brother, my best goddamn friend on earth.
Oh, fuck. My vision went black around the edges as I took in the possibility that it really had been Caroline. Stone hard, my dick twitched in my pants, and my skin buzzed with awareness.
Had I fucked Caroline?
The best sex of my life. The way she’d called me Oren. The way she’d sparred with me and gotten into my head.
Jesus, I was so stupid. No one got under my skin the way she did. Why had I even entertained the notion that two different women could affect me the same exact way?
Probably because I’d wanted to believe she was someone else, someone I could actually be with.
I buried my face into my hands and concentrated on breathing. But my body was on fire, I was afraid I might come in my pants. I needed answers, more answers, good solid answers, or I was going to drive myself insane.
Logging into my phone again, I texted Midnight Visitor. Tonight.