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Anguished (Crimson Elite #2)
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It wasn’t meant to be this way—she shouldn’t have fallen for my brother and left me for him. But she did. And now I’m left to pick up the pieces of my shattered, broken heart. And to top it off, they want me to come to their wedding. Do they think I’m a pushover? Do they think of me as a joke?
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My head hangs low as I listen to them speak as if it doesn’t affect me. My ex-girlfriend, the one I wanted to marry, is now sitting across from me. But she isn’t here in my family home with me, no. She smiles at my mother as she taps her shoulder then looks over at me. I cringe because she caught me staring when I try my hardest not to let her get to me. The problem is she’s deep within my skin, and I can’t replace her. No matter how hard I try.
“Echo,” my mother says.
I look up at her and see pity in her eyes. It’s one of the reasons I avoid days like this and prefer to spend time at Creed’s mother’s house. There I don’t feel scrutinized, looked upon with worry or hurt. Here, I get every damn feeling and then more. It hurts, but mostly it pisses me off. I drink my beer in one long swig before standing, not caring what my mother wants to say. Guaranteed it will be something I don’t want to listen to, anyway. It was my fault. I should have paid more attention. How did I not see it coming? Shaking my head, I open the fridge. Their voices become louder like it reverberates through my mind. My name being whispered on their lips like they don’t realize I can hear them. Well, I fucking can that’s for sure.
“He just doesn’t know any better. I mean, what is it that he even does?”
They don’t know because they have never cared to ask. They know I work, and that’s the extent of their knowledge. Assholes, the lot of them. Shutting the fridge, instead, I reach for my father’s top-shelf whiskey, I pull it down not even taking the trouble to grab a glass. I intend to drink as much as humanly possible to drown out their voices if I have to be here tonight, which believe me is the last place I want to be.
“He’ll come around.”
I snort at that comment. Come around! Like a hole in my fucking head will I come around.
Shoot me now.
Taking another long swig, I put the bottle back just before my father walks into the room. He looks to me then walks over opening the cabinet to see what I was doing.
“Really, Echo? That whiskey is aged. Couldn’t you have stuck with something that doesn’t cost me the price of my car?”
I snort back at him reaching for another beer from the fridge before making my way out to the dungeon in fucking hell. All eyes fall on me.
My father walks up behind me. “He was drinking my damn whiskey this time. Going to have to start locking shit away when he’s here.”
My eyes look up to find her watching me. There’s shame in her eyes. Did I always drink this much? Maybe not. But she’s one of the reasons I do now.
I raise my beer bottle to her, her eyes go wide before I take another drink.
“Echo, we do need to talk.”
I shake my head. I don’t want to talk. Fuck that! All they ever say to me when I’m here is shit like… ‘Echo, you drink too much,’ ‘Echo, can’t you see reason,’ ‘Echo, it was bound to happen.’ For fuck’s sake that shit makes me drink—more. Just once I’d like them on my side, raising their glasses to me.
Fuck them all.
“Echo.” This time she says my name, it falls away from her lips like honey, and I think back to how she used to scream my name when I fucked her in every room and the way she would cry for more.
Does she cry at him for more? I doubt it.
Shaking my head, I rid those evil thoughts from my brain. Instead, I mutter words that make everyone go silent, “Last time you said my name like that I had you up against the wall with my cock buried deep inside you.”
My brother Mike stands abruptly from the table pushing it with his legs as he does. I smirk knowing I’ve finally made him angry. His composed facade is busted—he isn’t as straight and narrow as they think he is. Looking up at him he stops, shakes his head, blinks a few times then sits back down. I watch as her now wide eyes turn to him, and she rests her hand on his shoulder to calm him down.
Perfect. Happy. Fucking couple.
Even if I still love her, I can see her for what she is, an asshole.
His jaw clenches hard, and my mother’s hand touches his shoulder to reassure him that I, of course, was in the wrong as usual. I start laughing at the absurdity of the situation because if you think about it long enough, it is quite ridiculous. Whose fucking life does this kind of shit happen to? It must only be in the movies because this is crazy, totally fucking crazy.