My forehead creases in confusion. I don’t see what’s so clear about that.
“I highly doubt it,” I mutter.
“Jesus, Andi, you’re the dumbest, smartest person I’ve ever met. Just go talk to him.” She gives me a little shove in his direction. “I’ll see you upstairs.” Leaving me, she heads for the elevator.
I take a deep breath. Then, on unsteady legs, I walk toward Carrick.
His eyes stay trained on me the whole time, making me feel exposed and vulnerable, so I wrap my arms around my chest in attempt to shield myself from him.
As I get closer, I hear the soft sound of the Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know?” playing. Coming to a stop at the end of the bar, a few feet from where Carrick is sitting, I see the music is coming from his phone, which is on the bar in front of him, next to a half-empty bottle of Jameson.
The bar is empty aside from us, and the bar itself looks to be closed, yet Carrick is sitting here, drinking.
I guess you can do whatever you want when you’re Carrick Ryan.
“Hi,” I say softly.
He silences the music on his phone. “Hi.” He lets out a long breath. “So, did you have a good night?” His tone is harsh and off, and it instantly gets my back up.
In turn, it makes me answer a little too enthusiastically, “I did. It was brilliant. I had a lot of fun.”
I see a muscle twitch in his jaw. Bringing the glass to his lips, he takes a long drink.
I know my response annoyed him, and instead of making me feel better, it just makes me feel crappy.
“Did you just get back?” I ask, leaning against the bar. I put my clutch on it. Laying my arms on the cool marble, I clasp my hands together.
“No,” he answers tightly. “I got back a few hours ago.”
“What are you doing down here on your own? Can’t you sleep?”
“Something like that.” He drains his glass and immediately fills it back up.
Stilling, I tilt my head to the side, studying him carefully.
Carrick likes to drink as much as the next person, but I’ve never seen him drink like this before. He’s downing Jameson like it’s water.
It’s obvious that he’s angry about something, and I’m getting it loud and clear that, that something is me. He’s pissed off about me leaving with Leandro earlier.
I should feel angry with him for acting this way because he has no right to be mad, but I’m not. I’m just saddened by it.
I hate that we’re still here, still fighting. I just want us to be okay.
“Carrick…are you okay?” I make sure to keep my voice soft, gentle.
“I’m just fucking peachy.”
I run a hand through my hair and take a calming breath. “Look, I know you’re angry with me, and I’m guessing it’s because I went to that party with Leandro.”
Fiery eyes meet mine. I notice how bloodshot they are, how tired he looks.
“I don’t know, Andressa. Is that what this is about? Is there something I should be pissed off about? Please do tell me. Because I’m just fucking dying to hear all about your brilliant night with Silva.”
Anger explodes in me to catatonic levels. He’s been spoiling for a fight from the moment I got here. Well, now, he’s going to get one.
“What the hell is wrong with you? You’re throwing a tantrum because I went to a party with one of your racing rivals! Is that it?”
“I’m not throwing a tantrum. I’m pissed off because I warned—” He cuts off.
“You what?” I take a step around the bar toward him. “Warned Leandro off me. Yeah, I know. He told me.”
He flashes me a furious look. “Silva’s a fucking prick who needs to learn to keep his mouth shut.”
“‘Silva’s a fucking prick.’ God! Do you hear yourself? You sound like a child! The only prick around here is you! Warning him off me. What are we? In school? You had no right to do that!”
He swivels his stool around to face me, his feet hitting the floor. His eyes are wide and livid. “I had every right! Just the same right I had when I asked you not to go to that fucking party with him, but you still went! Were you doing it to piss me off? Because if you were, then it fucking worked!” he roars that last part at me.
It takes me back a step, and I falter for a moment. Then, my gloves go straight back on. “I went because I can! I’m free to do as I please! I don’t have to answer to you! I’m not yours!”
I barely get the chance to register what’s happening before he rushes me. Gripping me by the back of my head, fingers tangled in my hair, he slams his lips down on mine, hard.
There’s only a millisecond of hesitation before I kiss him back. A moan of pleasure works its way up my throat as our tongues touch then tangle together. I can taste the whiskey on him, feel the absolute desperation of his kiss, and it sends me spiraling, switching on a light inside of me that I’m not sure I can turn off. Or if I even want to.
But I have to because he’s with someone else.
God, what am I doing? This isn’t who I am. I don’t do things like this.
I shove him away, using all my might. Stumbling backward, breathing heavily, I press the back of my hand to my lips. I can still feel him there.
“I can’t believe you just did that,” I whisper, hating myself for letting it happen…for how much I wanted it—him.
“It needed doing. You needed to be kissed by me as much as I needed to kiss you. Still fucking do.” The predatory look in his eyes ignites and enrages me.