Slow Play (The Rules 3) - Page 70

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“She probably won’t take my call.”

“Text her.”

“That’s bogus.”

“How else are you going to talk to her? You’re in Colorado, she’s in California.”

I blow out a harsh breath. “You’re a pain in the ass.”

Gabe chuckles. “You’ll thank me later, I promise.”

“I gotta go,” I mutter, making Gabe laugh a little harder. “Hey, dickwad.”

The laughter stops. “Yeah fuck face?” Gabe asks cheerily.

“I’m going to thank you now,” I say quietly, hoping he understands just how much I appreciate him and his friendship. That he reached out to me when no one else did.

“You’re welcome. Now go figure out how to get yourself out of your mess.”

Later that night I’m sitting in bed, my phone clutched in my hand as I contemplate how to approach her. Talking on the phone won’t cut it. I’m fairly certain she’d ignore my call anyway. But she can’t ignore a text, can she?

She could never reply and that would eat me up inside, but it’s the chance I have to take. At least I could get out what I need to say.

I start texting, hitting the back button countless times, erasing what I type. Rewording it. I need to get this just right and it’s hard. I don’t want to fuck it up. I don’t want to risk losing her.

I can’t.

Laying it all on the line isn’t my style. I don’t say flowery words. I’m not a romantic. I’m straightforward to the point that my words tend to do damage more than good. I don’t even mean to be an asshole most of the time. I just have no filter. I say what I want when I want.

Sounds like an excuse, but it’s true.

With Alexandria, I need to be honest. Open. Real. But not blunt. Never blunt. I’ve done that before and hurt her. So bad I might not get her back.

And I have to get her back.

Determination filling me, I start typing once more, my thumbs flying over the keyboard.

I was out to dinner with Kelli, where we both made a vow we wouldn’t check our phones for the rest of the night. It was tough at first but after a while, I was thankful for it. I’m way too dependent on my phone. And it’s not like anyone is texting me.

It was Kelli’s last night here—she’s leaving tomorrow so we wanted to hang out. Drinks and dinner and shopping. I had no one to buy a gift for so I just tagged along, which was actually a lot more fun. The gift giving pressure was off so I could just enjoy myself.

When we got back to my house I gave Kelli her present from me—a Vuitton cross body purse.

“I absolutely cannot accept this,” she says as she turns the purse this way and that, her mouth hanging open, happiness sparkling in her eyes.

“You absolutely can,” I tell her sincerely. “I want you to have it. You’ve been such a good friend to me.” I confessed to her when she forced me out of the house a few days ago how I sell all my expensive handbags on consignment websites and that I was dwindling down to my last purses. Thankfully most of that money is stashed away in savings for future tuition payments but that lucrative gig was about to dry up.

“You’ve been a good friend too. The best.” She tackle hugs me, holding me close, hopping up and down as she practically shouts in my ear, “Merry Christmas to me, whoo hoo!”

Kelli gives me a basket of fun, girlie goodies like lotion and candles, plus a Starbucks gift card because we seem to live there. We are the epitome of the white girls in our yoga pants lovin’ our PSLs. I don’t even care. I’m embracing the cliché wholeheartedly.

“I need to go,” she tells me after we’re done ooh’ing and aah’ing over our gifts. “I’m going to stay the night at Steven’s.” She actually starts blushing.

“Have fun.” I hug her goodbye fiercely, overwhelmed with a wave of emotion I didn’t expect. I swear I’m going to cry. Ridiculous. “Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas,” she tells me as I walk her toward the front door. Conrad gives her a hug as she leaves and slaps her ass, making her gasp. The guy is confusing as all get out. She shoves him before she walks out the door. “I hope Felisha kicks your ass, Conrad!”

He shuts the door and smiles at me. “She’s so easy to rile up.”

I send him a pointed look. “Better not ever try to slap my butt.”

“Hell, no. Tristan would kick my ass if I ever touched you.” He holds up his hands and backs away from me, headed toward the living room.

My heart pangs when I hear Tristan’s name. We’d gone the past four hours never mentioning him once. Now I hear it and I’m right back at square one. Miserable. Sad.

Missing him.

Offering Conrad a wan smile, I head to my bedroom, shutting and locking the door behind me before I grab my phone off my dresser and check it.

To find I have text messages from the very one I’m trying to forget.

Tristan.

I miss you. I should’ve never left you without saying goodbye and I’m sure you hate me. I can’t blame you. I fuck up all the time. Say the worst things imaginable. Treat everyone like shit yet somehow you still wanted to stick around with me. And I managed to ruin that too.

I’m sorry I didn’t let you explain. I’m sorry I blamed you for what your dad did to my mom. I’m sorry I tried to beat Marc’s ass.

Scratch that I’m not sorry. I should’ve beat Marc’s ass.

I press my fingers against my lips as I laugh. Feel the tears start to fall down my cheeks as I cry.

I wish you would’ve told me what happened with your family but I understand why you didn’t. I’m not comfortable sharing my family secrets either. I don’t open up easily. I’m sure you realized that quick.

But I want to open up to you. I want to share everything with you. I miss you so damn much. I shouldn’t have come here for Christmas. I’d rather be spending it with you.

I’m full on crying now. It’s all I can do lately and it sucks. But at least these are happy tears.

Alexandria where are you?

Alex?

Ali?

Angel?

I wake up to the sound of my phone ringing and I blindly reach out, grasping around on the bedside table until my fingers curl around it and send the damn phone flying onto the floor.

“Fuck,” I mutter as I hang over the side of the bed and grab it. My heart starts to race when I see Alexandria’s name on my screen.

And then it’s gone. The phone goes silent. I missed her call.

“Damn it.” I sit up in bed and hit her number on the missed calls list, waiting anxiously as the phone rings. And rings. And rings.

“Tristan?”

Hearing her voice sends a rush of relief and lust and something else I don’t recognize coursing through me. I sink my head into the pile of pillows behind me and close my eyes, swallowing hard. “Yeah. Hey.”

We’re quiet for a while and I can hear her breathing. I clutch my phone tighter, wishing she were lying next to me. But wishes are for fools and I’m the biggest one out there so I need to be thankful she’s at least talking to me.

“I got your texts,” she finally says.

“And you actually called me instead of texting back?” Shit, was that an asshole thing to say? Probably.


Tags: Monica Murphy The Rules Romance
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