Chapter 3

Ashlyn


“Mom, I’m fine. It’s just a few stitches. Dr. Woods assured me I’ll be up and about in just a few days.” I put my cell on speaker and set it next to me on the bed as Dillon grabs the pillow on the other side of me. Leo, who isn’t happy about having his sleep interrupted, stands and hisses, batting his paw in his direction. Placing the pillow carefully under my foot, he reaches over my legs and runs his hand down Leo’s hairless back.

We got home from the hospital a little less than an hour ago, and when we got back to my house, Dillon deposited me on the couch while he and Jax cleaned up. While they were cleaning, I could hear them talking but couldn’t make out much of anything, which was annoying, since I knew they were talking about me. Jax was still mad when he left, but there was nothing I could do about that.

“Maybe we should come home,” Mom says, cutting into my thoughts.

“No!” I shout then lower my tone. “That’s not necessary.” I lean back against the headboard, taking the remote from Dillon when he hands it to me. I don’t know if my karma is taking a turn for the better, but my parents’ trip to Florida couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Fine, I’ll send a message to Jax and let him know I expect him to look out for you while we’re away,” she says, and I pray that if she talks to him he keeps his mouth closed. I told him before he left, after helping Dillon clean up the mess in my room, that if he said one word to Mom or Dad about Dillon and I, I would never talk to him again and I meant that.

“I’m here with Ashlyn,” Dillon says, and I feel my eyes widen before narrowing on him as he shrugs, picking up his bag from the floor and setting it on the end of the bed.

“Dillon’s there with you?” Mom whispers, and I let my head fall back as my eyes squeeze tight.

“He’s here,” I confirm with a sigh, since I obviously can’t say he’s not.

“Is there anything you want to tell me?” she questions softly. “I mean, you two were just in Vegas together, and now he’s at your house?”

“Um.” I feel my stomach twist. I don’t want to lie about this to her, but I know the truth will have her and my dad on a plane back to Tennessee within hours.

“Ash and I are seeing each other,” Dillon cuts in rudely, and I swear if I had the ability to get out of bed, I would kick his ass. Instead, I open my eyes back up and glare at him.

“Did… did he just say you two are seeing each other?” Mom whispers, apparently losing the ability to speak above that decibel.

“Sorry, Mom, hold on a second.” I hit mute and glare at Dillon, holding up my hand. “Do not say anything else.”

“I’m not hiding us from them, or from anyone,” he replies, not even looking up from his bag as he digs through it.

“I’m not hiding us,” I lie, and his head lifts. His eyes meet mine, narrowing, making me fight the urge to squirm. “I don’t want to tell them about us over the phone.”

“Fine.” He shrugs, but he doesn’t look fine. In fact, he looks pissed.

“Fine,” I mutter back.

Shaking his head, he lifts his hands over his shoulders, pulls off his shirt, and then kicks off his sneakers and shorts before he heads for the bathroom naked, without another glance to where I’m seated.

“You’re really flipping annoying!” I yell, hearing the shower turn on. Gaining no reply in return, I take my phone off mute. “Sorry about that, Mom.”

“So…”

My bottom lip goes between my teeth, and I grumble, “Yes, we’re dating.”

“Honey—” I look at the phone to make sure I didn’t lose the call when she doesn’t say more.

“Mom?”

“You know I adore Dillon, but this is not okay. He’s engaged to another woman,” she murmurs, and I roll my eyes toward the ceiling, letting out a long, frustrated breath.

“He’s not with her. He hasn’t been for a while.”

“Are you sure?”

God, I hope so. Otherwise, Dillon is going to die a very tragic death, I think, running my fingers over Leo’s head when he presses against my side.

“I’ll explain everything when you’re home,” I mutter, leaving out the fact I plan on getting her drunk before I tell her, in hopes she doesn’t remember anything the next day.

“Okay, honey, I trust you.”

Shit.

“Mom.” I fake yawn. “My pain pill is starting to kick in. I’m going to take a nap. I love you, and tell Dad I love him.”

“I will,” she agrees softly. “Love you.”

Hitting end on the call, I stare at the bathroom and listen to the shower while I wait for Dillon to reappear. I feel like he’s made it perfectly clear that he wants everyone to know about us, but what about his family? I’ve never even heard him mention them. Hearing the water turn off, I watch him step out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around his waist a minute later. I lose my train of thought for a moment as I watch him put on a pair of gray boxers and walk across the room to my closet, sliding open the mirrored doors, where he stored some of his clothes last night.

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