“I’m not sure your girlfriend would agree,” I bite back.
“She’s not my girlfriend.”
“No? Well, that’s not what she tells anyone who’ll listen, and she’s here, sleeping in your bed, so I’d say she’s as close to being your girlfriend as it gets!”
He squeezes his eyes shut, his jaw clenched with obvious annoyance. “I’ll say this one more fucking time. She is not my girlfriend.” His eyes flick open, and he pins me with his stare. “Never was, and whatever the fuck she was before, she isn’t anymore because I ended it.”
That takes me back a step. “You ended it? Why?”
Sighing, he looks to the floor. When he looks back up, I meet his eyes and see the blatant unease in them.
“Because of you.”
My heart putters to a stop.
“Yes…you.” The way he’s looking at me, the softness in his eyes, is touching me like a warm caress.
“Sienna was a mistake that had gone on for long enough, and I realized that tonight in La Rascasse…when you said what you said about her being here.”
I know where he’s going to go with this, so I try to distract him away from what he’s going to say because I can’t go there with him right now.
“Is Sienna okay?”
He raises a brow. He knows I couldn’t give two shits whether she’s okay or not. But still he answers, “I’m sure she’s fine. It’s not like she actually gives a shit about me. All Sienna wanted me for was what I represent, what I could give her—visibility outside of the UK. She’s more upset at losing that than me.”
How can he even think that? How could anyone have Carrick and recover from losing him? It’s not possible.
I know I couldn’t—hence, the reason I find myself in the position I’m in.
I take a step back to him. “Are you okay?”
His eyes lift, holding mine. “No. But not for the reason you’re thinking.”
“And what reason am I thinking?” My voice is jumpy, all over the place. Just like my mind.
“That I’m down here, drowning my sorrows over Sienna. But you’re wrong. I couldn’t give a shit about her. I was just using her as much as she was using me.” He drives a hand through his hair, disharmony pulling down his gaze. “I stayed down here because I needed to see you. I needed to know that you came back, that you didn’t go with him to his…hotel.”
He looks like he’s in pain, and I feel it like it’s my own.
“You know I wouldn’t do that,” I say softly.
His eyes lift, searing into mine. “Just the thought of him even touching you…” His hand goes to the back of his head, pulling on his hair.
“Nothing happened, Carrick. We partied. He gave me his number and asked me to call him, but that’s it.”
His brows pull together, uneasiness lining his face. “And…are you going to call him?”
I take another small step toward him. It’s like I’m being pulled to him on an invisible thread. “Because I don’t want him.”
The agony disappears from his eyes as a heat enters them. “Who do you want, Andressa?”
Panic swallows up my words. “Carrick…I…”
The air between us is too thick, too much, and I can’t breathe properly. I’m so confused. I know what’s right, what I should say, but I can’t seem to find the will to do what’s right.
All I can see is him.
He clouds my vision, like steam on a mirror, and no matter how much I clear it away, he still comes back.
Reaching out, he wraps his hand around my wrist, pulling me to him, and I let him.
He presses his forehead to mine, cupping my cheeks in his palms, and I feel a sense of peace that I haven’t felt since Barcelona.
“Right before you left the bar with Silva, what you said about not wanting Sienna here, I knew right then that I’d fucked up.” He strokes my cheek with his thumb. “You were just so unaffected in Barcelona. When you stood there and told me that it was just a one-time thing, I believed you, and it hurt like a bitch. I wanted you to think that I didn’t care, too. So, I let her come here because I wanted you to think I was past it, past you…but I’m not.”
I don’t know why, but instead of making me feel better, that angers me.
“So, you brought another woman here to make me think that you don’t care about me when you do. That’s some fucked-up logic, Carrick.”
I pull away from his hold, but he grabs me before I can get anywhere. Yanking me against him, he holds me with my back pressed to his chest, an arm banded around my waist, the other pressed over my breasts. My heart is banging against my rib cage.
“I never claimed to be a fucking genius,” he hisses, his lips at my ear. “Do you know how hard it’s been for me to be around you and not be able to touch you in the way I want? It’s been driving me crazy.”
“So, you fuck Sienna to make yourself feel better. Nice.”
“I’m sorry. I screwed up, and I’m sorry. You rejected me, and I…reacted badly.”
He rests his forehead against the back of my head. I can feel his breath blowing through my hair onto my neck, driving me crazy.
“Do you know what I thought of every time I fucked her?”