Roman (Raleigh Raptors 2) - Page 4

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“You’re going to have to tell me eventually.” My stomach tensed and threatened to flip at the nauseating possibility that this wasn’t the first time he’d left a mark on her.

“I know. Just not tonight.”

I wanted to pry open her mind and steal the answers. I wanted to cajole or even force her to tell me. But I couldn’t take anything from Teagan that she wasn’t willing to give. I never would.

“Okay. Guest room is yours for however long you want it. I’m heading to bed.” I pressed a kiss to her forehead and breathed in the scent of strawberries and whatever that intoxicating perfume was that she loved.

She nodded, and we parted at the top of the stairs, me toward the master bedroom, and her toward the guest room down the hall.

Walt curled up on his ginormous dog bed at the foot of my king-sized monstrosity, and after I cleaned up, I killed the light and climbed into bed, only to stare up at the vaulted ceiling for another hour.

How long had this been going on?

Why the fuck hadn’t she told me?

Why hadn’t I seen it?

What else had I missed?

My thoughts were so loud that I barely heard when Teagan opened my door.

I didn’t pause, think, or hesitate. I simply pulled back the covers as she climbed into bed next to me. Her skin was soft and warm as she tucked in under my arm and rested her head on my chest like we’d done this a million times before—because we had.

I slid my fingers into the thick blonde waves of her hair and gently massaged her head.

“Thank you,” she whispered, her hand splaying over my heart.

“There’s nothing to thank me for. I’m just sorry I didn’t see it. I should have seen it.” I covered her hand with mine and kept making lazy circles with the other.

“Do you still like me?” she asked like we were seven again, getting over our first big fight, which had been caused by her mistakenly thinking that her role as my best friend had been usurped by Tommy Kimball. It hadn’t.

“I still like you,” I promised. “Do you still like me?”

“I always like you,” she whispered.

I pressed a kiss to the top of her head as she drifted off to sleep, but my mind didn’t quiet—not with the moonlight streaming in through the windows, illuminating the harsh fingerprints that marred the smooth, creamy skin of her arm.

If Teagan chose not to press charges, then I’d be face-to-face with that asshole in a matter of weeks. The first full day of training camp was in less than a month.

One punch hadn’t been enough.

2

Teagan

I bolted upright, my heart hammering against my chest so hard I laid my palm over it like that might slow it down. My mind raced, a sense of disorientation tilting my inner axis.

Warm, Egyptian cotton touched my skin instead of immaculate silk.

A fresh, woodsy scent with warm chocolate undertones swirled around me instead of the sharp, tangy lemon scent I was so accustomed to.

The betrayal and rage in Rick’s eyes as he flung the pillbox toward me.

The way his face had shifted from fiery anger to a cold, calculating fury.

The way my spine had barked against the wall.

Memories flashed on repeat behind my eyes, my mind catching up with my body.

I blew out a breath, sinking back against the bed and tossing the blanket over my head.

Roman.

I was at Roman’s—that was his scent drenching the sheets.

Some of the tension uncoiled from my muscles, followed quickly by a wave of shame that curled my insides.

I’d done a damn good job the last year not letting my best friend see how close I was to drowning. Not an easy feat, seeing as I’d known Roman since we were four. We’d grown up together with nothing but a thin wall separating us between our joined houses. He’d always been able to read me with a simple look, but luckily, he’d never seen the silent struggle I’d had since Rick had…changed.

I clenched my eyes shut against the onslaught of memories, the slew of red flags waving in my face, calling me an idiot.

I’d felt trapped, though.

Part of me still felt trapped as if Rick would bust through the door any minute and drag me kicking and screaming back to his home.

A chill raced down my spine at the thought.

“T?” Roman’s voice called after a soft knock on the door. I heard it open and close, my breath tight in my lungs. I could feel Roman there, standing on the side of the bed I’d slept on, likely having a debate on whether he should pull the covers down and wake my ass up—

“I know you’re not asleep,” he said, stopping my train of thought.

I tossed off the blanket. “How did you know?”

He furrowed his brow. “I’ve slept with you enough to know what you sound like, T,” he said, and for some reason, the words made heat rush to my cheeks.


Tags: Samantha Whiskey Raleigh Raptors Romance
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