“I can’t believe that just happened.” She begins choking on her sobs, and I realize I’m going to have to take the next exit before she pukes everywhere.

“Stay with me, Mia,” I say evenly.

“I can’t.”

“It’s okay. We’re going to be okay.”

She finally turns and looks at me. “You’re not.”

The stiffness in my body is evident, but I won’t admit it—not right now at least. “I’ll be fine.”

“He could’ve killed you, Travis! I’ve never seen him act that way outside of the ring.”

“Well, he didn’t.” I try to sound confident, but we both know had he pinned me down long enough, he certainly could’ve. My entire body is bruising already, and I just hope I’m able to move tomorrow.

I take the exit ahead and pull into a gas station that’s nearly empty. It’s after one in the morning, but the street lamps paint the parking lot in a mysterious orange glow. I can see the fear in her eyes as she stares off into the cloudy night sky.

“I can’t believe that after everything, you’d do all that for me, Travis,” she says moments later. Her voice is soft and sincere, her breathing finally regulating.

I shrug, not really wanting to get into the details of why I interfered. “Men shouldn’t yell at women that way.” As much as she probably deserved it, the moment I heard him raise his voice and get in her face, I snapped. If it’d been any other woman, I probably would’ve done the same thing, but the fact that it’s Drew’s ex, ignoring it wasn’t an option.

She slowly exhales, bowing her head. “I’m such an idiot.”

“Yeah,” I say with a low chuckle, her hand still gripping mine. “You are.”

Her jaw drops as she turns, eyes wide as she chokes out a laugh, too. “You weren’t supposed to agree with me, jerk.”

“Well, I don’t sugarcoat shit. If you’re being a pain in the ass, I’ll tell you.”

She laughs, her shoulders finally relaxing. “That’s actually a quality most girls like about you, I bet.” The look on her face causes me to release my grip, and she releases my hand. Mia and I haven’t spent that much time together, considering Drew went to visit her more than she visited him. Being with her feels awkward, even for me. The mood shifts and I don’t care for how she’s looking at me.

“Most don’t stick around long enough to find out,” I mutter a bit too honestly.

“Why’s that? Not the relationship type?”

I cock a brow. “Are you really one to be asking me that question?”

“What? You think I’m like a horrible person now?”

“I never said that, but given your current situation, you might not be the right person to be talking about relationships with.”

She sighs. “I didn’t cheat on him, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

“I wasn’t thinking anything.”

“I doubt that. I can only imagine the things Drew has said about me.” Her lips turn down, and I can tell she’s in a vulnerable place right now, but she brought this onto herself.

“He loves you,” I say. “He thinks the world of you.”

She nods, avoiding my eye contact.

“Long-distance relationships are hard. I didn’t think it’d be this hard, but with Drew’s crazy work schedule and my school schedule, things just got way more complicated than I imagined they could. Even when he came up to visit me for a weekend, he’d be on his phone all the time checking in at work, or he’d be talking about work.”

She sighs and continues without waiting for me to respond.

“He’s married to his job, and I got lonely, but then when we are together and things are great, it gives me hope that things will stay great until they aren’t again.”

The way she’s rambling on is making my head spin. I don’t talk relationship crap with anyone, so I should get extra credit just for listening to her babble on now.

“Well, maybe it’s best you both make a clean break. Sometimes you have to let go even when it hurts, because you know it’s what’s best.”

“Wow,” she says with a smile, turning toward me. “Who knew Travis King was so poetic?”

I laugh and shake my head. “Don’t tell anyone.”

She flashes a genuine smile, placing her hand on my cheek. “I won’t tell. This secret will be ours. You’re not as bad as you want everyone to think you are.”

My lips turn down. “I don’t know about that.”

She reaches for my hand and squeezes it. “Well, I do.”

Mia stares into my eyes. “You’re just the distraction I need…”

CHAPTER TWO

VIOLA

Present Day

Mia Fucking Montgomery.

What the hell was Travis doing with her? Why the hell were they together? And why was she naked?

All questions I probably won’t get answers to, at least for a while. I want to trust Travis. I want to believe nothing happened between him and Mia, but the circumstances aren’t looking good right now.


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