I feel as though Ive been shot in the chest again, only this time instead of a bullet piercing my chest cavity it was Carleys words. I wouldn do anything physically to her without her consent and enjoyment, so she is right about that.
But does she think I would abuse her mentally or emotionally on purpose? I mean, yes, I guess, I do things to make her angry on purpose but thats it. I don ever want to make her cry again.
I can do this. How could she think that? Is this what betrayal feels like? Screw this!
The urge to pound something or someone is too strong right now, so I leave her with Storm, quickly thundering out of the building and into my 1985 car in solid black that I rebuilt myself. Its the first car I ever rebuilt so its the one Im most attached to.
I drive to the boxing gym we own. There is a punching bag with my name on it.
When I arrive I don bother to change into shorts, instead, I kick off my boots and pull off my shirt. I didn wrap my hands either before unleashing my frustration and anguish upon the bag now that sex is firmly off the table for me.
Ever since I hit puberty Ive walked around with a permanent hard-on for that girl.
I remember the night Jase and I was no longer virgins. We got wasted one night at a party after we got into an intense argument with Carley and Lachlan over Weston joining our freshman year.
Jase and I woke up passed out with the naked girls on the floor of some rich kids pool house. When we found our clothes and got dressed, Ransom and Weston were waiting on us. Those two pushed us into the pool before making us ride back to Carson and Carleys place soaking wet.
When we go to the barn loft in the boxers we borrowed from Carson, we saw Carley with red puffy eyes. We then learned Lachlan held Carley all night while she cried over us not answering her phone calls. Our phones were dead.
We apologized profusely to her for acting like jerks. Of course, the other guys didn forgive us as easily as she did.
We paid later that night by being tied to a post in the barn when Carley went to bed and zapped repeatedly with a cattle prod. We deserved it. We deserved being zapped every five minutes by Lachlan, Ransom, Carson, and Weston taking turns for over an hour.
They weren being cruel; they were just proving a point. You don get angry and run out on Carley in the middle of an argument. You do not do something to make her cry because you were being an idiot in your anger. The zapping didn cause any damage to us, and we learned our lesson. After that, we answered all of Carleys calls regardless of what was going on around us and we didn leave when got angry, we talked it over instead.
I forgot all about that until today. What am I thinking? Thats the problem though, Im not thinking. Carley just showed back up in my life and Im already wrecking things.
Sure enough, here comes Weston and Lachlan standing juxtaposed in front of me. Yep. Im in trouble with my friends.
”Jase is in class with Carley. What happened? ” Weston asks holding the bag as I continue to punch it.
In the meantime, Lachlan removes all his clothing except for his tattered paint-stained jeans.
”I got mad over something stupid, ” I spit out between hits. Pounding the bag as hard as I can now that there is no chance of it swinging.
”Either spill it now or on the mats, ” Lachlan says giving me a half smile when he wraps his hands.
I stop hitting the bag with a snort. I let Weston wrap my bleeding knuckles. Then get in the ring with Lachlan.
We have one rule when we fight, not the face.
I tackle Lachlan to the mat, jabbing my fists into his rib cage.
He twists, bucking me off of him, so I roll onto the mat and then flip up onto my feet only to be kicked in the sternum.
”Spill Ashley. No secrets, ” he growls at me.
I kick back him, but it doesn connect. We instead circle each before Ive had enough. I steamroll towards him, attempting to tackle him, but he lands a kick to my solar plexus.
”Carley thinks Ill hurt her, not physically though. She still knows Id never lay a hand on her, ” I wheeze out doubled over.
”You were having public sex with a girl in front of her man. Thats a betrayal, ” Lachlan huffs out.
Sweat is coating both our bodies already.
I grunt in reply to him. I move close enough to kick Lachlan in the thigh, but he brings an elbow down on the back of my neck, driving me to the ground instead.
Lachlan is better at hand-to-hand combat than I am. I prefer to be behind the wheel of the getaway car.
I lay there on the ground huffing for a minute before standing with my hands behind my head to catch my breath.
”I didn know I was hers. She used to ignore me and then lecture me later after getting beat by you guys, ” I groan. The sadistic part of that is, I like the pain. Pain is euphoric to me and a welcome respite to dealing with my emotions.
”Something happened to her enough to change her. I don know what, but that Storm guy has something to do with it, ” Weston pipes up from the sidelines.
Storm. I want to rearrange his face right now instead of fighting with Lachlan.
I grunt again in reply. ”You going to get in with us? ” I ask Weston.
He laughs. ”Yeah right! Im not risking Foxs wrath over pulling my stitches. ”
I flinch because that doctor is the boogie man, I swear. He is one terrifying artic bastard of a man that I wouldn want to be in the crosshairs of either.
”Ill get in, ” he says, ”but Im blaming you if my stitches get pulled out. ”
”Nope. Thats okay, ” I say shaking my head at him. ”Im not getting stabbed with a kunai knife only to get stitched up without anesthetic because I fought you and you pulled your stitches. ”
Weston laughs while Lachlan and I go back to sparring.
While Im distracted by the thought of Fox, Im blindly throwing punches at Lachlan to keep him away from me. I don notice Lachlan ducking away from me and delivering a kick to my rear end that sends me face-first to the mat. I don move just lay on my stomach panting.
Lachlan sits down in front of me, and Weston joins him.
My thoughts circle back to Carley, like always. ”I love seeing this fire in her eyes when she is infuriated with me. I don want to make her cry, ” I groan sitting up to look at my friends while voicing my thoughts.
”Please tell me I didn make her cry when I stormed away. If she did, just break my nose now, ” plead with them.
They exchange a look with one another in silent communication before Lachlan speaks up. ”Nah man, but she was confused, ” he says running his colorful tattooed hand threw his golden blonde hair.
I guess Im going to have to apologize to her for being a jerk at some point.
”We don know where she has been or what she has been through. At the same time, she doesn know the hell weve been through, ” Weston says, always the voice of reason.
”She is different. She proved that at lunch, ” I agree with Weston. None of us are the same boys we were before Carly disappeared from our lives.
One thing that has never changed for any of us is that she is our end game. Weve all been in love with her since junior high. She is our beginning and our end. She is it for us, the only woman any of us has ever wanted. None of us have ever wanted another woman the way we do Carley.
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