My knuckles turn white as my grip tightens around the steering wheel. Jessie continues to fiddle with her phone, and the two of us remain silent as we travel back to the condo.
"I thought the whole purpose of us taking the same vehicle was to talk before seeing Elliot," I venture quietly.
Jessie slips her phone back into her pocket and out of the corner of my eye I see her biting her lip. I hate to see her upset or struggling. The last thing I want to do is add stress to her life, but I can't go into this situation unarmed.
"I know," Jessie murmurs as she gazes out the window. "I guess I just don't know what to say."
Say you'll stay with me.
I nod my head once and focus on the road. Very few cars are out this time of night, and I try to take a few deep breaths to calm my nerves. I knew sleeping with Jessie would change my feelings for her. But up until this morning, I had no idea just how much they would change.
The thought of her kissing another man, let alone touching one, has my blood boiling. And I've come to terms with the fact that I want her all to myself. And not that it's important, but for being a virgin, Jessie gave me the best sex I've ever had. I'm talking the mind-blowing sex you think is only possible in your dreams.
And now - what? I have to give her up? To my brother?!
I huff out a loud sigh making Jessie's focus turn to me.
"You ok?" she asks hesitantly.
"Yea. Just thinking."
"Care to share?"
I frown. Sure, Jess. I'll share. I slept with my brother's girlfriend and now I'm crazy about her. How's that for sharing?
But instead I just shake my head and silence once again reigns throughout my vehicle. When I pull up to the condo, a nervous sweat breaks out across my forehead. All I want to do is reverse out of the driveway and take Jessie away so no one else can have her.
"So…what's the plan?" Jessie asks as she unbuckles her seat belt.
I shrug and do my best not to break down and cry. God, what's happening to me?
"I won't tell if you won't," I respond keeping my voice casual.
A look of hurt captures Jessie's features, but she recovers quickly. I want her to fight for me - at least a little. But when she nods her head in agreement I know that's not going to happen. She sighs and opens the door.
"For what it's worth, Hunter," Jessie says softly. "I'm glad you were my first."
By the time I get back to the condo, the morning sun is peeking its head above the horizon. I rub my tired eyes as I pull my car into the driveway. After dropping Jessie off a few hours ago, I decided to just go back to Claws. My staff needed the help and the last thing I wanted to see was the happy couple being reunited.
I did all I could to drag out closing down my bar. But even afterwards I still didn't want to come home. So I decided to take a drive. I wasted almost an entire tank of gas just aimlessly driving around town.
Lame, I know.
I did it to try and get my mind off of Jessie. But after four hours, forty-seven minutes, and ten seconds of cruising around….I've realized that's just not going to happen.
When I walk inside the condo, I'm surprised to see Kevin is up watching early morning ESPN. When he sees me his body tenses on the couch, but he manages to nod his head in my direction. I nod back and walk to the kitchen. I pull a beer out of the fridge and crack it open. I tip my head back and guzzle down its contents before reaching for another one.
"Well I'll be damned," Kevin's voice snaps from behind me.
I crane my neck back, my second beer tightly grasped in my right hand. I open it and hold eye contact with him as I gulp it down. When I'm finished I toss the empty beer can into the trash and reach for a third.
"Did you need something?" I ask coldly.
"You've got it bad for her, huh?" Kevin asks me, folding his arms across his chest.
"That's none of your damn business."
"Did you fuck her?"
My body turns rigid at Kevin's question, my eyes narrowing to slits.
"That's none of your business either," I say, my voice just above a whisper.
Kevin's eyes widen at my response and he lets out a humorless chuckle.
"I can't believe it! You must be as much of a lady killer as they say you are. I was with the bitch for almost two years and couldn't get her to put out. And then you come along and BAM! You get that pussy fast as hell."
My jaw tenses at Kevin's words and my arms begin to tremble at my sides. Fury winks in and out of my vision, and I know if I don't calm down I'm going to end up doing something I'll regret. I turn my angry gaze to Kevin and immediately his calm face becomes worried.
Kevin holds his hands up in the air, waving them back and forth as if I'm a raging bull he's trying to distract.
"Listen - I - I didn't mean it like that," Kevin says trying to back-track.
I take a single step in his direction.
"You talk about Jessie like that ever again," I say, my voice quivering with rage, "And I will beat the Shit. Out. Of. You. Understand?"
Kevin's face pales and he jumps aside as I storm past him. I start moving toward the staircase, and that's when I hear Kevin mumble something under his breath that pushes me past the point of return.
"It's just good timing," Kevin mutters under his breath. "The only reason you got a fuck out of her was because Kelly died."
"That's it," I growl and throw my beer can to the side.
I spin on my heels and when Kevin sees me approach he holds his hands up in surrender. But that's not going to help him now. I grab hold of Kevin's shirt collar, dragging him to the back patio so his screams will be silenced.
As soon as the door is closed behind me, I shove him to the ground. He grunts as his back hits the wood. Immediately I pin him down, making sure his arms are safely tucked beneath my knees.
"Please. God, please no," Kevin whimpers as my hand comes down on him for the first punch.
The feeling of soft flesh and warm blood connect with my knuckles and I wind up for another punch. This time I hit him square on the nose and a satisfying crunch erupts beneath my fist. It only takes two more hits before Kevin's struggling ceases, and his unconscious body relaxes to the ground.
Shaking and breathless, I lift myself off of him, wiping my bloody knuckles off on the leg of my pants.
"Say something about Jessie or Kelly again," I say to Kevin even though I know he can't hear me, "And the next time I won't stop until you're dead."
"Hunter? Hunter, bro, wake up!"
I pry my eyes open and take a few seconds to adjust to my surroundings. I must have passed out on the couch after my little….escapade with Kevin. Elliot's familiar face comes into focus as I wipe my hand down the side of my face. He smiles at me but when his eyes travel down to my hand, he frowns.
"What the hell did you do to your hand?"
I shrug and pull myself into a sitting position. "Bit of a scuffle last night. Nothing too big."
Elliot nods and then pulls me into an awkward hug. My stomach drops when my nose catches the familiar sweet scent of Jessie emitting from his clothing. I try breathing from my mouth but it's no use.
"Jessie said you dropped her off yesterday - why didn't you come in and at least say hi?" Elliot asks with a hint of hurt.
"I had to go back to work."
"Oh. Well….it's good to see you again. And hey - good news! I don't have to go anywhere for at least a year for law school. That's great, right?"
Elliot frowns and his friendly demeanor quickly vanishes.
"Ok. What's going on?"
"Nothing," I say with a shrug. "I'm just tired."
"Like hell it's nothing. I haven't seen you in almost a month. I thought if anyone would be excited to see me, it'd be you. And yet here I am and you seem pissed at me."
I sigh and grit my teeth. "I'm not mad at you bro. Just tired is all. It's been a stressful month while you've been gone."
Elliot's expression changes instantaneously. "I know. And I'm sorry I wasn't here to help with everything, Hunter. I mean that."
Before I have time to respond, Jessie's blonde hair comes into view and I suck in a breath when her gorgeous body timidly makes its way toward the two of us. Her small boy shorts hug her curves and my baggy t-shirt covers her torso. Seeing her in my shirt makes me ache.
Elliot turns his gaze and he puts on a bright smile, extending his arms out for Jessie. Her eyes are on me for a split second before she tears her focus back to Elliot. She forces a smile onto her face and walks into his open arms. I look away when his hands move across her hips and his lips start traveling up her neck.
"God, I've missed you," I hear him whisper.
Even though I'm doing my best not to look at them, I can tell Jessie knows I'm listening. I wait for her to tell Elliot she misses him too. I try to move away but my body seems glued in place. Ah well. Maybe if I hear her say she misses him out loud, I can finally get over my obsession with her. Or whatever the hell it is.
But Elliot isn't patient enough for Jessie's response. Instead his lips find hers and his hands draw up to both sides of her face. Her eyes close as Elliot's kiss deepens and all the while I watch them…feeling like a complete fool.
When Elliot drops his hands to her waist and pulls her in, that's when I stand from the couch. I didn't know how I'd react to seeing Elliot and Jessie together. But I certainly didn't expect this. Because all I want to do right now is rip them apart, beat the shit out of my brother, and take Jessie away so no one else can have her.
I clear my throat and Jessie opens her eyes, her lips already beginning to swell from Elliot's hard kisses. The guilty look spread across her face has little effect on me. She has to know this is killing me. And it's one thing to do it. But to do it right in front of my face?
My jaw tightens and I have to swallow down a lump of tears before saying the one thing I never wanted to say.
"I'm moving out."
A/N: My cuties!!!! Thank you for reading! What did you think? Also, I'm at a point now where things are doing to start winding down. (Don't worry, quite a few chapters left!) So, I am actually looking for suggestions from all of YOU as to what you want to see happen! Thank you all so much for reading and commenting! Oh - and sorry Rex was not in this chapter. This ended up being longer than I'd planned so don't worry - he'll be in the next I promise!!! XD