For what? For kissing me? Kissing her? For having sex with her? For being the world’s biggest arsehole?
A sharp shot of anger pulses through me. I delete the message and throw my phone into my bag.
I lift my eyes to see Uncle John standing by my seat.
“Mmhmm. I’m good. Just tired.” I force a smile.
He takes the seat next to me. “I hear you. I think I’m getting too old for all this traveling.”
“Never.” I look at him, smiling. “You wouldn’t know what to do if you stopped. You love it.”
“Sure I do.” He gives me a wink. “But I’m still getting old.”
“Well, to me, you still look the same as you did when I was a girl.” I curl my hand around his arm and rest my head against his shoulder.
“I’m glad you’re here.”
“Yeah, me, too.”
“Like old times.” He lets out a long breath. “You’ve been spending a lot of time with Carrick.”
And there it is.
I lift my head and meet his eyes. “And?”
“And I want to make sure that you’re okay.”
He stares at me, and I feel like he can see right through me. He’s always been able to know when something is going on with me.
“I’m fine. Carrick and I are just friends.”
“I’m sure you think that. But does he?”
I think back to yesterday. “Yeah, he does.”
Another long stare, and then he seems to settle on it. “I just worry about you, kiddo.”
“I know you do, and I appreciate it, but everything’s fine. I promise.”
Except it’s not.
He lets out a long breath. “Even though I see you every day, I feel like I’ve barely spent any time with you since you arrived.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean. But I get it. We’re all busy. You are more than most.”
Uncle John is always working past the clock.
“Yeah, well, I want to spend some time with my girl. When we get to the hotel, you wanna have dinner with me? Or are you too tired?”
Smiling, I say, “I’m never too tired to have dinner with you.”
I’m sleeping when the knocking on the door starts.
I had dinner with Uncle John and then came straight up to bed as I was shattered.
Petra isn’t here. She was flying back to the UK for a week as there’s some catering thing to be done back home, and then she’s coming out. I can’t wait until she gets here. I could do with some female company right now.
So, I’m alone in my hotel room with someone knocking on the door.
Stumbling out of bed, I flick on the light, blinding myself in the process. Glancing at the clock, I see that it’s five a.m.
Approaching the door, I look through the peephole.
Shit. What’s he doing here?
I thought he was still in China. I’m sure he had some press things to do before coming to Bahrain.
But he’s here, meaning he couldn’t have left much longer after I did.
On a deep breath, I open the door.
“Hey.” His eyes flicker to my bare legs before lifting to my face.
I’m wearing pajama shorts and a T-shirt. And now I’m remembering that I also don’t have a bra on.
I fold my arms over my chest. “What are you doing here? I thought you were still in China.”
Staring at him, I notice his eyes look bloodshot and glazed. Has he been drinking?
“I came early. Private jet,” he explains.
“Well, that’s great, Carrick, but it’s ridiculous o’clock in the morning, and I was sleeping.”
“Sorry, I just…” He scrubs his hand over his face. “I wanted to talk to you.”
I wanted to talk the other night, but you were too busy screwing some other woman to talk to me.
“Well, couldn’t you have waited until a reasonable hour?”
I’m being a bitch because I’m hurt.
Hurt that he slept with someone. Hurt that he replaced me.
But most of all, I’m hurt because he thinks that I’m nobody.
Those words keep ringing in my ears. And they shred me to pieces every single time.
I thought I was something to him. I thought I was his friend.
“No, I couldn’t wait.” His voice is as firm as his stare.
So, I give him a pissed off look back, and I let out an exaggerated sigh. “Well, what exactly is it that you want?”
He leans his shoulder against the doorframe, putting him closer to me, and I instantly smell the whiskey on him.
He has been drinking.
I don’t know why, but that just pisses me off even more, fueling the hurt and ire in my belly. “You’ve been drinking?”
He gives me an awkward look. “A little. On the flight.” He lets out a sigh. “Look, Andressa, I just—”
“How did you know what room I’m staying in?” I cut him off, the thought out of my mouth the second my brain thinks it.
Discomfort flickers through his eyes. Then, he straightens to his full height, his arms coming across his chest, confidence filling his gaze. “Do you really want the answer to that?”
I stand up straight, mirroring him. “Yeah, I really bloody do.”
Putting his hands on the doorframe, he cockily leans forward. “Because I’m Carrick fucking Ryan, and I have a fuckload of money. Those two things can buy me pretty much anything I want, including the number of the hotel room that you’re staying in.”