Page 70 of I Promise You

“Fine. Okay.” I click off.

“That was Vane,” Dillon says, and it’s not a question.

My eyes avoid his. “He wants to talk.”

“You still talk to him?” His tone is incredulous. “Fuck that.”

“Not by choice. He calls me a lot. I—we didn’t have closure, I guess.”

A deep breath rises in his chest, and he lets it out slowly. His jaw pops. “Let me go with you.”

“Dillon. No. I don’t want drama or you—”

“Punching him?”

I rear back. “No. It’s complicated. We have a history—”

“And you still love him.”

I frown. “Not like that. He won’t give up until he sees me. I know him. He’s been on tour and he…” My words trail off. There’s so much more I could say: We’ve been through hell together, I was with him for years, or that yeah, maybe I need to see him. “You don’t get it because you’ve never been with someone for a long time.”

Hurt flares in his eyes as a long breath leaves his chest. He scoffs. “Right. I’m too young to know how screwed up relationships can get. Doesn’t matter that my own parents couldn’t even stand to be in the same room together while I was growing up. Doesn’t matter that my mom flits from guy to guy, that my dad dumped me. No, that doesn’t count. I don’t know jack. You’re the only one who knows what it feels like to be hurt.” He sticks his hands in his pockets and takes a step away from me. “I’m a womanizer. I’m not good enough. Hell, you don’t even like football. You want to fuck me and move on.”

“Dillon, I didn’t word that right…” I search for more words, but I’m so unsure of where we stand. What are we?

He clearly said I want to fuck you at yoga.

How else am I supposed to take those words?

Last night was incredible, and yeah, I want him again—but it’s terrifying.

I went skydiving once. Jumping out of the plane was exhilarating, freefalling with the blue sky above and the green grass beneath. It felt like flying as I stared adventure straight in the eye, and it was breathtaking. Spending time with Dillon is like that, only instead of a smooth landing, I’m terrified I’m going to crash and burn.

“Dillon—”

“See you around,” he mutters.

Before I can say another word, he stalks away from me.I push Dillon out of my head and focus on the meeting with Vane.

When I pull into the park, he’s already there, leaning against a red Ferrari. My gaze sweeps over him as I get out of my car. Wearing ripped jeans and a tight black distressed shirt, he looks like the rocker he is. His hair is longer, past his shoulders, the black curls sprinkled with copper highlights. There’s a new tattoo, a Day of the Dead skull, on his bicep.

Seeing his beauty is like a slap in the face, yet I know what’s underneath his pretty package.

I wait for the weak feeling that comes when I catch sight of him on TV or hear his music, but…

“Nice car,” I say lightly. Play this cool, Serena.

“Money is mighty fine.” He smiles as he straightens his lean frame and fast-walks to me. Before I can stop him, he gives me a hug. “Baby girl.” He buries his face in my hair. He still smells like pine trees and man. Then, he kisses me before I can turn my cheek, his lips soft. He laughs and gazes down at me with his velvet brown eyes. “Fuck, it’s good to see you.”

“Don’t do that,” I say, untangling myself from his arms.

“Alright, alright. My bad.” He takes my hand, pulling me over to a concrete table under the trees. “Remember this spot? You texted me to meet you here, then told me you were pregnant—”

“And you asked me to marry you.” I sit down, my legs fidgeting. We sat at this very table and talked for four hours that day. I loved him, but underneath I was unsure that he was as committed as I was. He held my hands and painted a glorious picture of us with a family. He told me how perfect it would be. He promised he’d be a good husband.

I believed him.

He drinks me in, amazement on his face, and I shift around, feeling twitchy. He, of course, is relaxed and easy—because he’s gotten what he wants.

“How are you?” I ask.

He pushes hair out of his face. “I miss you like crazy. Every time I sing your song, I wanna cry, baby.”

“Vane…don’t…”

He shrugs, looking away from me. “Right. It’s been a hard year. The tour killed, but it’s a lot of work. Traveling, the schedule, the cramped bus with the guys… It was getting to me. I need to feel free, ya know?”

“Hmm.”

“We’ve got a new manager and a contract with Ecko. They’ve got big plans for us. The fame is cool, but I need space to work on new music. So, I’m back. For you.” His eyes come back to me. “You never gave me a chance to explain or see you, baby. You sent those divorce papers, and I signed them. I wronged you, I cut you deep, but what you saw, that girl—I didn’t even know who she was.”


Tags: Ilsa Madden-Mills Romance
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