Really? He couldn't just let me get away? I huffed and spun on the heel of my running shoe, missing his chest by millimeters. I could smell his cologne and recognized the scent easily. It was a bottle of Ralph Lauren 'Polo Blue' and it smelled like clean, fresh water mixed with Brody. It was my favorite on him.
"What?" I snapped. I didn't care if I should've been more polite because I sure as hell didn't feel like being nice. It had everything to do with seeing Brody again after all this time and making a complete ass of myself, but it also had to do with how easily he got me riled up.
"Weren't you going to say hi?" he asked, a hurt look on his face. What? He's hurt?
"No, I wasn't. You looked a little preoccupied and I was hoping you wouldn't see me."
Brody sighed and pulled his fingers through his hair. Part of me was relieved because that small action meant he was the one who mussed up his own hair, not that stupid blonde bimbo.
"I knew you were there before we walked in and what you saw with Sienna wasn't at all what you think it was."
I crossed my arms over my chest and stuck my chin out defiantly. "It doesn't matter what I thought, Brody. I know you're with someone else. I was just hoping - " I stopped myself before I said something I would regret. Seeing him with someone else was killing me inside, so much so that I had no idea how I was still keeping it together with him standing so damn close. But I didn't want him to know that I was hurting, I was too proud to let him see that. So I put on a front and pretended that I didn't care at all. The only problem with that was I didn't know what hurt more – seeing him with someone else or pretending that I didn't care.
"Are you with Jeff?" he snapped, trampling all over my thoughts.
I gasped, remembering that it was Brody who I saw standing outside my house last night.
"It was you," I said quietly. "Why were you there?"
"I wanted to see you, so that we could avoid something like this, but when I got there I saw you inside with Jeff and - "
"He's a friend and if he were any more than that it would have nothing to do with you. You have no right to anything in my life anymore." My throat thickened at the last part and I knew it was a partial lie. There was still too much he had a right to know but I just wasn't ready to tell him. I wasn't sure if I would ever be ready. Brody stared at me and I saw the hurt and anger swirling in his brown eyes.
"You know what, I can't do this right now," I said, breaking eye contact. "I apologize if you were offended, but you knew it would be like this when we saw each other. I don't know what more you want from me."
Brody snorted and I looked up to see him glaring. He was about to speak but I stopped him. "You'd better get going," I said, peering around his body. It was a little bigger than I remembered, his arms and chest a little more defined. Malibu Barbie was spiting daggers in my direction with her eyes. "Your girlfriend clearly knows who I am, and doesn't like that you're talking to me."
I turned to leave but Brody's hand wrapped around my upper arm and he pulled me into his chest. My body's reaction was immediate, like it was natural instinct to be that close to him. "I don't give a fuck about her, Demetria. This conversation is far from over."
With that, he turned and left, stalking down the sidewalk. I sucked in a lung full of air as if I'd been deprived of it and walked away on shaky legs. That didn't go nearly as bad as I had expected but it had shaken me enough to wonder if I could handle being around Brody at all.
"Did you have to do that?"
I turned to look at Sienna. Her arms were crossed over her chest and she was scowling. I was still reeling from seeing Demetria again and almost forgot that Sienna was there.
"Do what?" I asked, confused.
"Run after your ex like a dog in heat," she snapped. Irritation swirled in my chest and collided head first with the part of me trying not to put Sienna back on a plane back to Chicago
. Having her here would only complicate things.
"I didn't run after her," I replied harshly. "I had to speak to her."
Sienna huffed and for the first time she looked more like a petulant child, rather than the sophisticated businesswoman I had come to know. I asked myself what I ever saw in her to begin with and the answer was the same as it always was: she filled a space and soothed the constant ache, even if it was temporarily.
"I don't like that."
I resisted the urge to throw my head back and laugh. "I don't care. I told you I'd have to talk to her at some point while I was in town. Now stop pouting like a baby and get over it, Sienna. You have no say in whether or not I speak to her. It would be best if you remember that."
I walked past her, ignoring the glare she threw my way, and walked into the coffee shop. Huntley's aunt, Emma, was standing behind the counter and I knew she'd been watching the encounter. The look in her eyes told me she wasn't at all pleased with me. Little did she know that no one could be more displeased with me than I was with myself. I should have stayed in Chicago, even if it meant missing Grayson's wedding, but the chance to see Demetria after so long was too alluring to pass up.
I STOPPED MY TRUCK outside the old farmhouse that was my home growing up and climbed out. Sienna had been giving me the silent treatment all day and for once the silence didn't bother me. She could stay in my truck for the rest of the afternoon for all I cared. I wasn't exactly looking forward to introducing her to my grandmother anyway. I knew they wouldn't get along. That might've had more to do with the fact that my grandmother adored Demetria and thought no other women would ever be better for me. I didn't disagree, but I couldn't exactly tell Sienna that. I took a walk around the front of the house to the porch and that's when I noticed Demetrias' red Lexus.
"Ah hell," I muttered. "This isn't going to end well." I heard the sound of footsteps behind me and the uneven click of heals on the dirt told me I didn't need to look back to know it was Sienna. She followed me up the porch steps without saying a word and came to stand at my side while I knocked on the door.
"It's open." My grandmothers' voice still sounded the same and hearing it brought a smile to my face. I opened the screen door and walked in, not bothering to make sure that Sienna was following me. When I walked into the living room I found my grandparents in a heated discussion. They both stopped talking as soon as they saw me.
"Brody!" my grandmother, Luanne, gasped and rushed towards me. She wrapped her thin arms around my waist and hugged me. I relaxed and felt the familiar sense of safety the comfort of her arms had always given me as a child. I kissed her grey hair that was tied up in a neat bun and returned her embrace.
"I'm so happy to see you," she whispered. The hitch in her voice made my chest ache. I'd missed her so much and carried so much guilt for leaving them. Luanne Scott was an incredible woman and I could not have asked for a better mother figure.
"I've missed you, Gama," I replied. My grandfather, Clay, cleared his throat and I looked up to find him watching us. His eyes were glossed and he looked thinner and more tired than I'd remembered. My grandmother let me go and wiped her tears. "I'm a silly woman," she sniffled. "I shouldn't be getting all emotional like that." I rubbed her back as my grandfather stepped closer. He pulled me into a strong hug and it took me a moment to return it. I was a little shocked. Clay Scott wasn't an affectionate man, unless it came to my grandmother. But something about the way his big arms engulfed me made me feel like the six year old boy again, the one who had to accept that his parents didn't want him. "Good to have you have you home, son."