The Not-Outcast

Page 67

Really, truly.

And I went right back to sleep.

“She’s sleeping, so I don’t think we’ll be coming tonight.”


I heard Cut, and I didn’t remember what he was talking about or who he was talking about, but I didn’t want him to cancel anything on my behalf.

I was also seriously glad we were in my apartment. That meant no Chad, but also, my bed, my sheets, my pillows, mine, mine, mine. I did like his place, too. He had a bigger bed. More wrestling area.

I wasn’t feeling up to wrestling right now, though.

“I’ll see you tomorrow. I’m going to watch here.” A pause. “No, it’s good. She needed the sleep. Truth told, I need it, too.”

He hung up after that, and it was starting to come back to me.

I went in reverse.

He locked up for me.

He put me in his vehicle.

He held me, rubbing my face, and I fell asleep.

He and Hendrix had been at Come Our Way.

Me cutting vegetables all day.

Me freaking out.

Me forgetting my meds.

And I remembered that we were supposed to go to Hendrix’s tonight.

My limbs felt like cement was in them, but I called on the force of my racing mind and summoned enough energy to sit upright. Then, I rolled.

Then, I staggered to the bathroom.

Then, I used the bathroom.

Then, I brushed my teeth.

Then, I felt a bit more presentable.

Cut was on the couch with a beer in hand when I came out, my blanket was pulled around me because I was that kind of girl tonight.


“Har, har.”

He laughed, lifting up a pillow beside him, but nope. I had worked on my insecurity and I went and curled in his lap. I no longer had any shame. I was going to embrace this relationship status we had, whatever it was.

He didn’t seem to mind. His arm curled around me, and he lifted me to his other leg so my back was against the couch’s armrest. My feet were on the cushions beside him, and as he picked up the remote, turning it to one of the NHL games that was on, I tipped back to watch him.

Seriously. So hot.

Those chiseled cheekbones. Lips that seemed perfect and wanted me to touch them.

He could scowl and my pants would fall off.

I laughed a little at that last one.

“What are you thinking?”

“You’re so handsome. You’re like the Beauty to my yeast infection.”

He’d been about to take a sip of beer, but stopped almost mid-pour. He swung big eyes toward me. “What?”

I laughed. “I’m joking.” A pause. “Not really.” But I reached up and grabbed his chin and shook it gently. Playfully. “You’re so pretty. You’re so pretty that if you were a unicorn, you’d shit glitter.”

He frowned. “Thank you?”

I was just getting started.

“You’re so pretty that if aliens ever invaded, they’d take one look at you and declare you their cult leader.”

He groaned. “That’s a bad one.”

Just getting started.

“You’re so pretty that the blind guy at Come Our Way asked for your digits.”


“You’re so pretty that I look at you and poof, my brain short-circuits.” I patted the top of my head. “Do you see the steam?”

He laughed, then shook his head. “You wake up funny like this all the time?”

“Only when I’m around someone as beautiful as you.”

He was shaking his head again. “Keep going with the lines and I’ll start saying ’em back. You want that?” His arms tightened.

I froze, but my heart started pounding.

Guys hit on me a lot. Looks wise, I knew I was the ‘hang ten’, but anything past that and fuck no. I was the shark-infested waves. But no. He wasn’t going to scare me that way.

I sat up on my knees, staring down at him. “I can quote you line by line from Night at the Roxbury.”

“Like that scares me.”

“That’s movie one. Anchorman is next.”

“Yeah? Well, here’s my pickup line.” He grabbed me, but I expected him to roll me on my back and him on top. He didn’t. Cut was a lot more direct and simpler than me, and I was having flashbacks to the first night I went home with him because he merely anchored me on his lap. One of his hands slipped inside my pants, my underwear, and he had two fingers inside of me in two seconds.

I died.

He started thrusting.

I was gone.

He won.

“How’s that?”

I groaned, my eyes rolling backwards as his fingers were already doing magical things. “You’re the alien god.”

“Damn straight I’m the alien god.”

Then, he really got busy, and I ceased being able to think or talk for the next hour.



I wasn’t nervous.

I was nervous.

Not freaking out.

I was freaking out.

Okay…on the outside, I looked calm and chill. I was too-cool Cheyenne again.

My insides: I’m the Home Alone dude running around with his arms in the air.

Cut had dropped me off at Come Our Way since he was heading in a little earlier to the rink. Reba lived only a block away, so she said she’d drive my car back for me. And once she came in, we had no time to talk. Dean insisted on a staff meeting. I was guessing my veiled threat filtered through because he made sure we were all okay with what would be happening that day.

Basically, we needed to get everyone cleared out an entire hour earlier, which was going to piss off the regular guys. This was a whole hour argument between Dean and everyone. Everyone included myself, Reba, and Boomer. Gail was rumored to be coming in, too, and when he heard that, Dean backed down. He was scared of Gail, but it wouldn’t push into the time when people would be arriving.

It’s clearly on the invite that people can start arriving at six, but no one arrives to an event at six in the evening. Reba promised that she’d have the volunteers start cleaning the room, but no one would be pushed out an hour earlier.

After that, Dean had catering coming in, and they’d start setting up around six thirty. Boomer was asked to have appetizers on hand to cover those thirty minutes, which Boomer said was fine.

The meeting was ended with Dean asking, “Anything else?”

I felt Reba and Boomer’s gaze on me, and I felt them because I was firmly looking down at my phone. No. Dean didn’t need to know about Cut, about Deek, about Chad (if he showed or not), or— Wait, I had something.


Dean turned to me, his irritation clear. I’d been pushing back on a whole ton more than I usually did. “Yes, Cheyenne?”

“Sasha and Melanie are coming.”

“They’re not—”

“They’re coming.” No arguments, dickhead.

He heard the unspoken message from my tone and said, “They’re coming, I guess. Anyone else?”

I was back to my own internal monologue. Dean didn’t need to know about Natalie, or Hunter, or… I was running out of anyone else I personally knew who could be coming that Dean didn’t need to know about.

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