The Not-Outcast

Page 20

I loved when Melanie was like this. I had to do nothing except slip into Happy Cheyenne-Land, and right now, I was so down for that.

Melanie’s eyes were hawk-like on Sasha. “Spill it, honey. We need to know.”

Sasha flicked her eyes to the ceiling, but groaned, reaching up and rubbing at her forehead. “I don’t want to.” She slumped down in her chair. “It’s embarrassing and stupid.”

Now my interest was really piqued. I leaned forward, a hand curved around her seat. “Whoa. What’s going on?” Wait. I frowned. “Is this about my brother?”

“Bro—” Melanie did a double-take, her frown landing on both of us if that were even possible. “Brother?! What?”

I answered at the same time as Sasha.

“He’s not really my brother. His mom is my dad’s ex-wife.”

“Fine. I slept with him in college, and again last Friday night.”

Melanie’s eyebrows both skyrocketed. “What?!”

And me again, “But Chad and I have a half-brother in common, so we’re kind of, but not really like, siblings. I don’t think it’s a thing. I’m not tight with anyone in my family, so it doesn’t bother me.”

Sasha groaned again. “That’s why it’s a problem. I feel like a traitor to you.”


She looked up from her spot to me, tipping her head upward. “Do you hate me? I slept with him again last night. And maybe the night before.”

My eyes bugged, but they really bugged out after the second time. “Two nights?” I whispered. “In a row?”

Melanie’s mouth was clamped shut, but she squeaked out, “So this is serious?”

We both shot her a look.



“I hope not.”

I twisted back to Sasha. “Really?” Because the way she said that, it was like it could be. And whoa. I was expecting a fly-by from my brother. He had demolished her in college. Sasha didn’t like talking about it, then or now, and I’d been quiet. I’d been waiting knowing what happened, but hearing they slept together twice… I was hoping I didn’t need to pick up the pieces again.

Sasha clamped her mouth tight, but she mumbled, and that was so not a Sasha thing to do, “Ireallymightlikehimand…” She groaned again, swearing under her breath before sitting upright in her seat. “Fuck it.” She moved to face me. “Chad wants to keep seeing me. I want to keep seeing him, but you’re my girl. If you say no, the dude’s gone. I will never lose my friendship with you over some dick.”



I loved my girl.

I was almost crying here. “Date him. Love him,” I was gushing. “Marry him. Have his babies. But if he hurts you, I will let Melanie run him over with a car.”

I gave her a look. I remembered how he hurt her in college.

She saw the look and read it right, a resigned look coming over her as she nodded. “I gotcha.”

Melanie laughed. “You okay, Shy?”

Oh yes. I nodded. I was finding my Zen place tonight. I’d need it for Bresko’s. The place was hard on me, so I was reinforcing my Happy Walls.

Sasha grinned, shooting her a look. “She’s in Happy Cheyenne-Land. Don’t you see it?”

I was. I almost held up my hands and touched my fingers to my thumbs in a whole Zen-pose.

Nothing was getting to me tonight. I wasn’t going to let it happen. These were our roles. If one was hurting, one of us was stern and took on the mama-bear role. The other brought out the happy and laughter. Melanie was dressed for stern mama, so I had no choice but to go this route.

Honestly, though, I was usually this role.

“Girl’s checked out.”

I wasn’t checked out. I was so checked in, so much so that it looked like I was checked out. Both knew me. Both understood, and Melanie went back to asking, “How much do you need to talk about it?”

“None now that I know our girl is fine that I’m boning her Not-Brother.”

A cheeky grin and a thumbs up from me. Everyone deserved to be boned. Now, when I saw Chad—and I would see Chad whether he wanted to see me or not—he and I would have a different type of relationship.

Melanie’s eyes were knowing as she murmured, “You really like him, huh?”

Sasha sighed again, glancing out her window. “He’s grumpy. He can be a dick, but I want that dick so bad, and I have no clue why.” She looked at me. “I’ll toss him once I stop thirsting for his dick. I promise. But I’ve been thirsty since that night back in college, so…”

Melanie didn’t know all the details about their history in college.

I’d be filling her in on that later because that was the real gauge of how much she was in love right now.

Melanie was grinning, watching me. “So, who’s at the Cum Palace tomorrow?”

I’d stopped snorting at Melanie’s own title for our kitchen long ago. “The second half of the Mustangs’ hockey team.”

Sasha whirled around in her seat, her eyes big and now fully knowing at me. She knew.

“Is their PT girl going to be there?”

Sasha was distracted at that, looking back at Melanie. Her eyebrows twitched, morphing into a pinch, but they cleared when she turned back to me. Yeah, Sasha was all good now.

“Was he there today?”

I coughed.

Melanie didn’t know about him.

Melanie asked, “He?”


She turned to me. “Who is he?”

Sasha answered, and apparently she had no problem throwing me under the bus. Fine with me. I was going to do the same with her about Chad from college, too. She said, “Cut Ryder.”

“The dude you slept with Friday night?” She shared that frown with both of us. “You both got fucking lucky that night. Where the hell was I? We were all at the same damn party. I got a number, and we’ve hung out a bit, but not what you two did. I want more.”

And immediately, both Sasha and I raised our hands in the air, palms and fingers spread out in cheer-mode. The ‘fuck’ word had entered the night. It’d be in every third sentence from Melanie after this.

She scowled. “Fuck’s sake.”

See again.

Sasha and I started laughing.

“You two are fucking annoying.”

Full-out laughter now.

Melanie growled, but the pager lit up, and she grabbed for it. “About time, when you both start cheering me on with my fucking language after I have to about rail you both to get one fucking word about your sex lives. You both got boned and left me high and fucking dry, literally.” She was getting out of the vehicle, muttering to herself.

Sasha and I got out on the other side, and we heard her grumbling as the doors were shut, locked, and she met us around the back. She pointed the flashing pager at us. “And don’t you two fucks think I don’t know that there’s more to both your stories. I’m not stupid, you morons.” After that, she marched to Bresko’s entrance.

Sasha walked with me, and after her third sigh for the night, she linked our elbows and drew next to me. Her hip bumped mine, but she held me tight. She inclined her head. “Are you sure you’re sure?”

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