FLIRT (Dirty Brothers 1) - Page 26

Arms catch me from behind and I struggle. “No, let me go!”

“Rose, stop.” It’s Thomas.

I shove him away from me. “Stop this,” I shout at him.

“I can’t.”

The ground plummets from beneath me and I sway. I might fall down. This was all a ploy. Just another one of the Logans’ games. Get me into bed and break my heart just like Samuel. “You lied.”

He shakes his head. “I didn’t. I told you the bakery wouldn’t be repossessed.”

“You’re a monster!” I scream at him. “You used me. Tricked me into hoping that this could work out so that you could collect your money and ruin my family for good.” There are furious, heartbroken tears streaming down my face now. “I was stupid to think that you had a good heart. I should have known. You’re just as awful as the rest of your family.”

I can see that I’ve hurt him. That he feels it. But then it’s gone, a cool mask in its place. There’s one last crash as the last of the bakery comes tumbling down, and then it’s eerily quiet. There’s a small, cruel smile on his face. “I did say I liked how real you are. Honest to a fault. I guess I should have been honest and not surprised you like this. But since you think so little of me, I’ll go.”

Thomas looks down at his phone and types something. My phone almost immediately buzzes with a text, and then he leaves. He doesn’t look back as he gets in his car and drives away. I try to wipe the tears off my face, but they keep coming. I tried so hard to keep this from happening, and when I couldn’t do it, I trusted him. I should have known. You never trust a Logan. Ever.

I look down on my phone and see the text from him. It’s an address across town. What does that even mean? He said he was going to surprise me. Might as well see what horrifying thing he has in store before the day can get any worse. Get it over with in one swoop.

The closer I get to the address, the more suspicious I become. This is the nice part of town. The part of town that my family could never afford in a million years and that the Logans own most of. The address is a shopping center, and there, on the corner in a prime spot, is another machine. This one lifting a sign onto a marquis that says Lola’s Bakery. I almost crash my car again. I see my dad and my sister standing by the store and park in the first space I can find. I go sprinting across the parking lot and nearly get hit by a couple of cars before I stop panting in front of the building. They both turn to me.

“Isn’t this amazing?” Fiona asks.

“What did you have to do to make this happen?” Dad asks, and I can only stare at them.

I shake my head. “I didn’t do this. I have no idea what’s going on.”

“How is that possible?” Fiona is staring at the store in disbelief. “You were all over this.”

“Thomas came to the bakery yesterday with new paperwork,” my dad says. “He asked if I’d move to this new location so I’d have a better chance at paying off the loan under the new extension they gave me. I wanted to tell you, but they wanted to keep it secret till they could get it set up. But Rose,” my dad looks at me, “I assumed you already knew. Aren’t you and Thomas together? I thought he would have told you.”

Everything clicks into place, and a wave of shame washes over me. Thomas really did keep his word, he made everything perfect. Better than perfect, and he wanted to surprise me. But I jumped the gun. “We were,” I say, “but when I saw the old bakery being demolished, I thought he’d gone back on his word.” I look down at the ground because I can’t meet their eyes. “It doesn’t matter. I said some really terrible things to him, and I don’t think there’s any coming back from that. You don’t have anything to worry about.” I look at Fiona. I lean over and hug my father. “This is really great, Dad. I’m so happy for you. I just need some time.”

“I’ll see you at home,” he says softly. His voice is all compassion, but he can’t hide his happiness, and I don’t want to spoil his day.

I head back to my car, and I have absolutely no idea how to feel. How can everything be so perfect and so ruined at the same time? I hear footsteps behind me and turn. It’s Fiona, running after me. “Rose, wait.”

I stop, but I look away from her. If she’s going to congratulate me on not being with Thomas anymore I’m really not in the mood to hear it. I’m really not.


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