“Yes, I care about her, and I care about Lucie. She’s a friend of mine, and that’s what friends do.”
“Friends? I saw the way you looked at her. That looked like more than friends to me.”
“No, Luke. You saw what you wanted to see. Lucie and I are friends. That’s it. That’s all it ever will be.” Cole’s tone had cooled considerably.
Was that true? Had Luke projected his own thoughts on Cole? Had he tried to find something to explain the wedge he’d inserted between them all on his own? Yes, damn it. That’s exactly what he had done. The same thing he had done with Sierra…
She was leaving.
“You’re full of shit.” Luke said, his voice coming out as a choked whisper. He wasn’t sure if he was talking to himself or to Cole. All of the adrenaline drained from his body as he leaned against the wall thankful there was something to hold him up.
“The only woman I care about, the only one I have ever cared about is Sierra. Cole stated solemnly. “But she’s not the only person I care about.”
Luke stared into the depths of Cole’s eyes, seeing something he’d always known was there, but something he hoped he’d been wrong about. Something he’d refused to acknowledge.
“It’s always been about you.” Defeat tinged Cole’s words and Luke felt a hard tug on his heart.
What had he done?
Sierra’s sharp intake of breath told Luke she was still there. He didn’t look away from Cole. He couldn’t. The man’s admission had stunned him. Ok, so maybe he’d had an idea of how Cole felt about him, but the denial he’d shrouded himself in didn’t allow him to dwell on it. And now… now he didn’t know what the hell he was supposed to do.
“Obviously not nearly as much as you say. I know you were with her in Vegas. When I left.” Luke said, not sure what the accusation meant at this point. Up until today, Luke had wondered if Cole and Sierra had gotten together. Hell, he had actually hoped they had at one point. But now he was certain of it. And by the looks of it, there was more between these two than just sex.
“I was. I’ve never denied it. She needed me and damn it, I needed her.” Cole admitted, and the red haze began to cloud Luke’s vision once more. The feeling was anomalous, considering the types of relationships, or lack thereof, that Cole and Luke had once engaged in. Luke wasn’t used to this possessiveness that overcame him; the desire to have Sierra all to himself defied logic.
“Christ, Luke! What the hell did you expect me to do?” Cole asked, pacing the open area, not looking at Sierra. “You walked out on us – um… her. She needed someone to comfort her.”
Luke looked at Cole. Really looked at him. The little slip of the tongue wasn’t lost on him, but for the life of him, he didn’t know what to say. Yes, Luke overreacted in Vegas. Yes, he walked out on Sierra. And yes, God help him, he walked out on Cole… numerous times. What did that mean for them? Did he want it to mean more? Did it mean more?
“But you fell for her, didn’t you?” Luke asked, not wanting to hear the answer, but needing to just the same. Cole’s penetrating gaze rooted Luke in place. He had. Cole had fallen for Sierra, the same way Luke had. Only Cole managed to stay away from her, at least for a little while. “You love her.”
Cole didn’t answer, and the silence told Luke everything he needed to know.
“Do you love him?” Luke asked, turning to Sierra. He was on the verge of having a breakdown and her response could very well send him over the edge.
Chapter Twenty Seven
Sierra didn’t know how to answer the question.
If she told the truth, she would hurt Luke. Although the truth was much more complicated than just how much she cared for Cole. She was in love with Luke, was pretty sure she had been all along. But how did she explain that?
“I love you both.” Well, that was easy. Sierra’s gaze didn’t waver from Luke’s as she waited for his response. The words had tumbled out of her mouth before she had thought better of them. “But that doesn’t change anything.”
“What do you mean it doesn’t change anything?” This time Cole was the one to speak up. “It changes everything.”
“No. It doesn’t.” Sierra argued, turning back to her bedroom. She’d attempted to sneak away a few minutes ago so she could get dressed, but the turn in conversation had kept her rooted in place.
Why was it that Luke’s grumbling voice had the power to stop her in her tracks? She needed to get away from here. And not just to her bedroom. No, she needed to put some miles between them or she wasn’t going to stand a chance of getting over Luke McCoy. But no… her perfidious body chose to stop before she made it out of the room.