He should’ve known he was in trouble the moment he heard that sweet laugh. Normally, something that sweet would’ve annoyed his bitter ass. Instead, he was drawn to it—to her—like he hadn’t been drawn to anything in too long.
He should’ve run the moment he found out she was just eighteen. Normally, he steered clear of girls that young and their drama. Instead, he succumbed to the unrelenting draw.
He should’ve been relieved when she admitted she was in no way ready for anything exclusive and serious. Normally, he’d be all for that. Instead, the thought of her not being exclusively his infuriated him.
Except nothing was normal about how alarmingly fast she’d brought him to his knees. In all his twenty-five years, not a single girl had ever done that.
Not Even Close.
But she’s still just eighteen and she still isn’t exclusively his. With his past making him so cynical it’s not a matter of if he’ll eventually blow but how badly.
NOT EVEN CLOSE is a New Generation series featuring the offspring of couples from my previous series. Release date to be announced SOON
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Rolling the kink he’d been feeling in his neck ever since seeing her at the restaurant yesterday, Byron walked into the gym with a purpose. As much as his head kept telling him to move the fuck on and stop dwelling on this shit, a part of him was holding out and it was making him crazy. So, she clearly hadn’t felt as besotted with him as he’d been to her. But the fact remained she still hadn’t responded to his last text. If this really was her thing to be dating multiple people at once then wouldn’t her MO have been to respond with at least an, okay, maybe another day? They’d been glued to their phones going back and forth all day every day for the past week. Now he makes one comment about spending time with another female and she disappears? Something wasn’t adding up. Not that he was hoping she’d reach out. He still didn’t trust himself not to snap and he didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of confirming just how much more she’d already begun to mean to him than he did to her.
Nine did a double take when he saw him and started toward him. “Hey man, you talked to your brother today?”
“No, not today.” Byron glanced down at his phone just in case he’d missed a call or text from him. “Why? What’s going on?”
“Nothing I just tried calling him earlier to ask about the part for that Cadillac. He said he knew a guy last week, but it’s been one thing after another and I’m having a hell of a time trying to land just the right piece. I had to come down to talk to Abel about a job I’m working on for him so I was hoping I might run into Beast.”
They stood there in the middle of the gym discussing the car Nine was talking about. They’d been at it for a few minutes when he heard it. That unmistakable giggle, then an all-out laugh. It’d only been a day since he’d been witness to the nauseating sight of her kissing another guy, and already his reaction to hearing the laughter had changed. It didn’t do what it normally did to him. Instead, it almost infuriated him. Turning around to the direction it was coming from, his eyes zoomed onto her as she latched both arms around the guy she was walking with and continued to laugh.
“I am not!” she laughed leaning into him.
This guy was a new one. Not the meathead he’d seen her here with before. Though he hadn’t actually gotten a good look at the one she’d been kissing yesterday, he wouldn’t be surprised if that was a different guy too. He watched as the dude she was with now rolled his eyes but laughed shaking his head.
Byron’s feet were already moving before he could even think on it. With every heavy step he took, Byron reminded himself to keep his cool. He just needed to get what’d been on his mind all fucking day yesterday and today off his chest, but it’d be done without cussing or making a scene. He could do this.
Within seconds, he was in front of them blocking them from continuing to walk. Her reaction to his blocking her from walking was as expected, a bit startled. But also, and infuriatingly somewhat confused. As if she hadn’t a clue why he might be standing there looking ready to spit. “I know you said you had friends but just how many of them? I was last week, there was King Taco dude yesterday, and now this?”
Byron glared at the guy whose brows had begun to furrow in question now too. He looked as young as her—maybe younger. But of course, given her stature he towered over her at nearly Byron’s height. As if sensing how ugly this was about to get, she placed her hand on the guy’s shoulder. Instead of diffusing the situation, it only heightened the tension because the dude looked ready to get in Byron’s face now. Clenching his fists, Byron stared him down with even more conviction, silently imploring the stupid fuck to make a move.
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