Beat of the Heart


Page 52






Grabbing her suitcase, she then headed out the door, slamming it on her way out. "Bitch," I hissed under my breath. But with Kylie gone, my bravado suddenly depleted, and I was left shaking in the middle of the living room. My knees buckled and almost sunk onto the floor. "No, no, no," I murmured. This couldn't be happening to me-not again, not after all I'd been through. AJ couldn't be playing me…playing me and Kylie. Was he doing both of us at the same time? Leaving me and going to her or spending time with her when he wasn't with me? Was everything he'd said and done just a lie to keep me in his bed?

Just the thought of how things had changed between us yesterday sent bile rising in my throat. On trembling legs, I streaked over to the kitchen and heaved into the kitchen sink. Turning on the water, I numbly watched the puke go down the drain. The irony wasn't lost on me that my relationship, or what I thought I'd had with AJ, had just done the same thing symbolically.

After I swiped my hand across my mouth, I turned around to lean back against the sink. He was so smooth and used to having his way with all the ladies he wanted. Why would he want to get serious so soon with someone he barely knew? Especially with someone like me-my insecurities, my abuse, my fear of his cheating. My stomach churned again at the prospect, and I knew I needed to confront him. I had to hear the truth from his own lips.

A strange electricity rocketed through me when I took the first rung on the ladder. Anger replaced my hurt. What the hell had I been thinking that he was any different? That he could truly love me just for me. Dammit, in the end, he was just like Jason and Dev and all the other bastard men out there. He'd claimed he wasn't trying to play me for a little while.

Once I reached the top of the ladder, I was shaking out of rage, not fear. On my way to the bathroom, I spied the handcuffs on the bed. I snatched them up before stalking into the bathroom. Steam enveloped me, and it took me a moment to make out AJ's naked back and ass through the glass door.

He glanced over his shoulder and grinned. "Come on in, amorcito mio. The water is just right to warm you up-in more ways than one."

Fucking Bastard, I screamed in my mind. Twirling the handcuffs on my finger, I leaned back against the door frame. "So you were serious when you said you hadn't brought girls to Jake's house before?"

"That's right. Jake wouldn't allow it. Besides you're special, and I meant it." My heart shattered a little more at his words, but I kept my up with my wrath induced veneer. With a sexy grin, AJ crooked his finger at me. "Now get your sexy S&M ass in here with those handcuffs. I know you said we don't have a lot of time, but I guarantee I can make you come so hard you'll scream in under two minutes. Then, you can see how fast I can come. We'll make it a little game."

I stepped to the edge of the shower, flicking open the handcuffs. AJ opened the door for me. "So you like playing games, do you?"

"Oh hell, yes."

Reaching forward, I grasped his wet hand in mine. "You seem to play a pretty good game when it comes to ladies' hearts."

"I hope to have stolen yours," he said, with a wink.

The click of the handcuffs closing on AJ's wrist echoed through the shower stall. "No, but I'm pretty sure you broke it ."

AJ's dark brows furrowed. "Mia, what's wrong?"

"You lied to me," I whispered.

"What are-"

"You just said that you never brought women here."

"I know. It's the truth."

"Hmm, that's funny because that ex of yours, the one who was all hugged up with you last night, just showed up to fuck you. Either she has your dick on GPS, or she knew to come here because you invited her." I gave him a rueful smile. "I guess juggling all your booty calls got a little confusing, huh?"

AJ's tanned features paled. He held up his free hand. "Mia, wait, I can explain-"

I shook my head furiously back and forth. "How could you do this to me? I let you in after swearing I wouldn't. I let you see the hell I'd been through…" My voice choked off. Dammit, I did not want to cry in front of him. "The hell I'm still in, and then you betray me like this?"

"I swear to God, Mia, I didn't know Kylie was coming."

"She had a fucking key, AJ!" I screamed.

"That's because she's Lily's sister. I didn't give it to her, I swear. She must've talked to Lily and realized that the guys and I were up here."

"Lily would have told her I was with you."

AJ grunted in frustration. "Maybe she just heard that the guys were all up here and decided to come. I don't know the fucking particulars, Mia. Go up and ask Lily yourself. What I do know is I sure as hell didn't invite her."

"So what, she just happened to waltz into Jake's house and steal a key?"

"She wouldn't have to. She's been up here with Lily and the kids before. She'd know where he hid it."

"You're a fucking liar!" I hissed, before clamping down the other cuff onto the shower head.

AJ's eyes widened before he jerked his hand back and forth. "Mia, what the fuck are you doing?" When I didn't respond, he cried, "You can't leave me like this!"

"Oh, I'm sure you won't have to wait long. If it's not Kylie, then some other scheduled piece of ass will show up soon, and you'll be out in a jiffy."

"Please don't do this. I'm telling you the truth."

Grabbing my makeup bag, I swept all my stuff off the counter and into the bag. Ignoring his constant pleading to uncuff him, my eyes swept around the bathroom to make sure I wasn't leaving anything. When I started out the door, his words froze me. "Mia, I…I love you. Please don't do this."

Tears blurred my eyes, causing my vision to cloud. Glancing over my shoulder at him, I gave him a sad smile. "Yeah, well, sometimes love just isn't enough."

And with that, I slammed the bathroom door.

16

I jumped with the harsh slamming of the bathroom door. Closing my eyes, I banged my head back against the tile. How the fuck had everything gone so wrong? As pissed as I was with Mia for leaving me in the situation I was in, my chest constricted at the thought that she had left me, especially over some stupid misunderstanding. With her being so erratic and quick to react, I didn't know how in the hell I could make this right. Part of me wondered if I should even bother trying. I didn't know if I could deal with having a trigger, or handcuff, happy girlfriend. But my mind kept going back to yesterday and last night and how things had changed between us. Mia had made me feel more than any woman had in the past. Could I really just walk away from that?







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