The Not-Outcast

Page 55

But she was for it, judging from how she snuggled into his side.

I slid in and Cheyenne moved over to me. “You okay?”

I didn’t respond. Too much shit was upside down, and I didn’t care who saw us. I lifted her up, sitting her on my lap, and she leaned back against me.

This made the shittastic day a helluva lot better.



I was feeling all warm and toasty, and that was because of Cut.

We stayed at Bresko’s for two hours, and he held me the whole time.

Warm. Toasty. So Cut.

Sasha had been flirting with Hendrix all night, and there was some sadness in her eyes. I dubbed them ‘Chad eyes’ because she only looked that way when he was around or when he was supposed to be around. By the end of the night, I was noticing her ‘Hendrix eyes’ were a whole lot happier. She was giggling, and Sasha never giggled.


This was secret agent-like Sasha. Strip club, no-nonsense business owner Sasha. Giggling was not in her list of abilities until tonight. And she blushed. I never saw that. Melanie blushed. I got flushed sometimes, but that was the extent. Russian-like Sasha, no blush.

The world was officially tipped upside down.

But then there was Melanie.

After the tense talk between Cassie and Melanie, the two were good. They were holding hands, sneaking kisses, and they were laughing at whatever Hendrix was saying.

It was a good night. For me. Not for Cut.

I waited until we got to his house, and we decided on his house because we were already outside the city limits. A quick swing around and we were closer to his place than going into downtown for my apartment. I was also secretly planning on stealing another one of his hockey shirts, and by stealing, I meant to say that I would ask which one I could have because keeping a boyfriend’s shirt—especially a pro-hockey player’s shirt—was every girl’s age-old tradition. That or a never used pair of his boxers.

Heading inside, he waited until I went past to put in the alarm code.

“You want a water or anything?”

I shook my head, biding my time.

His jaw was clenched.

He had held me most of the night, but he was tense, so I knew something was up.

Letting out a sigh, he took my hand and led me upstairs. We went to his second floor, and once in the room, he let go of my hand and went into his closet.

I went to the bathroom, taking my time to do my business and wash up.

When I opened the door, he had a shirt on the bed. “If you wanted to wear that to bed?”

I took it, seeing it was one of his muscle shirts and squeaked on the inside. Of course I’d wear this to bed.

I took off my clothes, leaving my underwear on and pulled on the shirt.

He came back out of the closet, and his eyes darkened when he saw me. “I, uh…I bought a toothbrush for you. It was in the bathroom.”

“I saw it, figured it was for me.”

“Good.” He was only wearing some sweatpants, and they were of the softest material. I’d seen him wear them before, and my hands itched to feel them every time since. I was also itching to feel them because I wanted to take them off of him.

He was standing in the room, half-torn between his thoughts and whatever he was about to do now.

No shirt.


His hair all sticking up and messy.

And those pants riding low over his V…my mouth was watering.

He was so not only an idea to get me through life. Not because of his outsides, but I was just enjoying those right now. A lot.

I really did love Cut at first sight. I’d just been too young to know what to do about it.


“Hmmm?” He blinked, refocusing on me, and those eyes fell to my legs. “God, you’re gorgeous.”

Warm. Toasty. Again.

But I had to focus. He’d been tense for a reason.

“What happened tonight?”

“We lost a game.”


He sat on the edge of the bed, and I moved up behind him. My legs went around him, and I wrapped my arms around his shoulders, looping over the front of him. I propped my chin on his shoulder. “I saw Chad show up. I saw you guys going to the other box for a talk, and he didn’t come back with you.”

His head lowered, resting on my arm, and he reached up to lace his fingers with mine. His thumb started rubbing back and forth over my palm.

“Can we just leave it how it is?”

“You know anything he said won’t hurt me.”

He drew in another breath of air, going rigid.

I moved my legs so they were completely around him, and he hunched forward. I was fully plastered against his back, and his other hand went to my legs. He began running his finger up and down on the underside of my thigh.

Tingles were following in his trail, but I was holding my response back.

I knew that he needed to get this out, whatever it was.


Another sigh. “I might be losing my best friend.”

My eyes closed.

Sadness billowed through me, and I rested my cheek against the back of his shoulder blades. “I’m sorry.”

“I know.” He squeezed my hand a little. “But that’s on him, not you and not me. And honestly, this could’ve come out later down the line.”


“Whatever kind of thought process he’s got inside of him where he couldn’t see you were a fucking person.”

“Oh. That.”

“Yeah. That.”


I didn’t want Chad to hurt anyone I cared about because of me, but it was happening.

“I’m sorry again.”

His hand stopped and then flexed over my thigh. “It’s nothing for you to be sorry about. It’s Chad.”

“You can’t make him think a certain way.”

“It’s a bit more than that. He needs to see you as a person, and he doesn’t. I don’t understand why he doesn’t.”

“I know people think certain ways about people who come from my beginnings, but I can’t explain the reason why they think like that.”

“Yeah.” His back rose and fell again, and he went back to rubbing the inside of my palm against his chest. “We’ll just deal with it, whatever happens.”

There were no words because I couldn’t take away his pain, like he couldn’t take away how I was raised. But I could do other things and I could say other words to maybe replace the hurt. My cheek against his back, I whispered, “You weren’t an idea for me.”

Saying it in person was a whole lot different than saying it over text. He needed to hear me say it tonight.

He sucked in his breath, his hand holding mine in an almost cement grip.

I kept on, “I think I did love you when I saw you.”

I didn’t think. I knew. I know.

“Are you telling me you love me now?”

My hand flexed under his now, and I went rigid, my thighs gripping him hard. And then, my eyes closing as I said it. “Yes.”

Please don’t leave me now.

Please don’t— He twisted, his hands went under my arms and he lifted me clear. He stood, but he was moving us back on the bed. His eyes were hooded and dark, and he didn’t want any more words.

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