“Can we please talk?” she pleads, looking up at Dillon, and my stomach fills with all the anger I’ve been holding back.

“Why are you here?” he asks as Parker releases me and goes to stand next to him, crossing his arms over his chest.


“I… I tried to see you yesterday. Did Ashley give you my message?” she prompts, and I grit my teeth, knowing for a fact she’s very aware my name is not Ashley.

“Are you serious? Are you so desperate to see him that you came all the way to Tennessee?” I question as I shoulder my way between the two guys blocking the door, and she looks at me.

“I don’t want to be rude, but this is family business,” she murmurs, looking contrite, and my hands ball into fists so I don’t reach out and strangle her.

“Baby,” Dillon says gently, wrapping his arm around my waist.

I turn my glare on him, daring him to say something, and then move my eyes back to her and narrow them further. “I’m his wife. That makes me the definition of family.” I point at myself, and her eyes fill with spite before she hides it with pity.

“He didn’t even give you his mom’s ring,” she says. Dillon and Parker growl, “What the fuck?” at the same time.

“You’re right. He didn’t, but I don’t see it on your finger, either,” I hiss, lunging for her, but Dillon’s arms band around my waist before I can reach her.

“Baby, calm down,” he rumbles, but I ignore him and attempt to pull myself from his grasp to get my hands on her.

“Get her the fuck out of here,” Dillon barks at Parker, who quickly ushers Isla down the steps to her car as I fight against his hold. So pissed that my vision has turned red and no amount of self-control will be able to change it. “Calm the fuck down.”

“No!” I buck against him, pissed at myself for acting like a deranged, jealous wife, and pissed at him for having anything to do with her. I’m not this person. I’m not someone who gets jealous and acts crazy… or I wasn’t until him. Sagging against his chest, I close my eyes, feeling defeated and humiliated. “Let me go.” His arms tighten and his mouth drops to my ear.

“I’m not ever fucking letting you go.”

“Please,” I whisper, feeling tears burn the back of my eyes. I’m not this woman, and I don’t want to be her. “Please, just let me go,” I murmur, and he must hear the desperation in my tone, because his arms loosen enough for me to get away.

Stepping back from him, I pull in a breath then turn to face him. “Baby.” He reaches for me, but I take another step away from him.

“I…” I shake my head as tears sting my nose. Shutting my eyes tightly, I only open them back up once I know I’ve fought them back.

“What the fuck was that?” Parker slams the door, making me jump, and I look at him, feeling my cheeks heat in embarrassment. I can’t believe I acted the way I did in front of him. I can’t believe he just saw me at my worst.

“I’ll talk to you about it in a minute. Go check on Cara and the boys. I need to talk to Ash.”

“Fine, but you better tell me what the fuck is going on,” he warns before storming off toward the kitchen, and my eyes follow his retreating back.

“Come here,” Dillon calls, and my eyes go to his and I jerk my head from left to right.

I… I need some ti—” I begin quietly, and his jaw clenches as he cuts me off.

“I’m not letting you go.”

“You guys go to the zoo. I just need some time alone.”

“You don’t need time alone,” he denies, and my stomach twists.

“I do. This… you… God! I don’t even know the person I just was,” I cry, and he takes a step closer to me, but I move before he can touch me. “Please, I’m begging you. Just give me some time to think.” I hold up my hand to ward him off, and his eyes drop to my outstretched palm.

“Goddammit. Let me hold you!” he roars, and I cringe, feeling my shoulders sag.

“I think we both need some time to think. Some time to calm down,” I whisper, and his eyes close then open and pin me in place.

“If you’re not here when I get back and I have to come find you, I’m going to be pissed,” he snarls, then turns and storms off, leaving me shaken.

Chapter 10

Dillon

“Talk to me.”

Looking at my brother, I feel my teeth grind together. “I don’t even know where to fucking start,” I mutter, leaning against the fence in front of me, not seeing the boys and Cara feeding the animals inside the pen. My mind is consumed with Ashlyn and the look I saw on her face before I left her standing in the foyer.

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