When Mia and I met, I felt it instantly. I felt the pull, the rush, the need to speak to her. She had this energy around her that just spoke to me. On top of her being gorgeous, I thought we had a lot in common. The harder I fell, the stronger the hold she had on me became. I’d dated in high school and college, but it never led to anything serious. Not until Mia.

That was over three years ago.

Things have changed between us since then, and I can’t pinpoint exactly when they did, but it’s as if I’ve just woken up and realized all the bullshit she’s put me through and how toxic our relationship became over the last few years. I wanted to believe she’d change, that we could make it work, and our relationship become what it was before, but once she gave me an ultimatum of not living with Courtney anymore, that’s when something inside clicked. I hadn’t realized it right away, but after taking the time to think about it and what she was asking me to give up, Mia was no longer the person I could see spending the rest of my life with and that was a big slap in the face for me. I had made excuses for her behavior in the past, but I won’t do that any longer. I can’t.

For the first time in three years, I’m finally seeing things as they really are.

Being at the gym helped unclutter my mind, but no matter how many weights I lift or repetitions I do, it does nothing to take away the nerves of seeing Courtney today. She needs to know how sorry I am for even considering her moving out and what a jackass I am for even letting Mia put the thought in my head. We haven’t had a chance to really talk about it yet with the wedding, and I’m not sure how much of the conversation she really heard, but it’s been bothering me. Randomly, I think about the look on Court’s face as Mia acted out.

I wish Travis were home, although I know he’s having the time of his life in London with Viola right now. He wasn’t Mia’s number one fan either, but he’s a good listener and is good at giving sound advice, even when it’s advice I don’t want to hear.

After this past week with no Mia, no drama, no anxiety—I feel free. She put this hold on me for so long that I forgot what it felt like to feel this way.

Once I return home from the gym, I hop in the shower and think about how I will apologize to Courtney for all the drama Mia brought between us. I know she was hurt by Mia’s comments even if she didn’t show it. It was a dick move for me to even say I’d think about it. Courtney is one of those people that come into your life with no expectations, no agenda, and no idea of how they’re going to change your life by just being present. She’s been distant, and just the thought of losing her as my best friend makes me sick to my stomach.

Once I’ve fully processed what I plan to say to her, I turn off the water and step out of the shower. As I’m drying off, I hear movement in the house, and I begin wondering if Courtney is home from work early.

Wrapping the towel around my waist and slicking my hair back, I walk down the hallway and see grocery bags on top of the dining table. Courtney should still be at work, nevertheless, have time to go shopping.

When I round the corner and turn into the kitchen, it’s not Courtney I see.

“What are you doing here?” I ask, pissed Mia just walked in and made herself at home in my house. I almost forgot I had given her a key because she rarely used it.

“Hi, darling,” she says in an overly sweet tone. She walks over to me and places a hand on my cheek. “You look good. I missed you.”

“Cut the bullshit, Mia. What are you doing here?” I jerk my face away from her.

She drops her hand but continues smiling. “I’m making you dinner tonight. Thought you could use a home-cooked meal after your long rotation.”

“What the hell are you talking about? We aren’t together. You don’t just get to come into my house whenever you want and pretend nothing happened.” I hold my stance, crossing my arms over my bare chest, and tightening my lips. She needs to go. I cannot deal with her today.

“Oh, Drew…” she says as if I said something hilarious, shaking her head at me. “That was just a little fight. You know we can’t stay apart. We’ve both been stubborn, and it’s time for us to move on.”

Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic
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