Page 24 of Alpha's Castle

“Who slept with your mom?” I look over to the door to see Dane’s mom is standing there. Could this get any more embarrassing? Even though I hadn’t done anything wrong I still feel embarrassed.

“Her ex,” Connie fills her in. Tina makes a face of disgust. I wish a hole would open up in the floor and swallow me. Then again, Dane’s place is uber nice, and it would be a shame to have a giant hole in the floor of the living room.

“Dane punched him,” Tina adds. Great. Now Dane’s mom is going to think I’m drama. Or that it follows me wherever I go.

“No, he tripped,” Connie corrects her.

“Right. Tripped.” Thea makes air quotes. I wonder what kind of crap my ex said to Dane. He left some nasty messages on my phone when I wouldn’t call him back. He acts like I was the one who cheated. God, I hope my mom doesn’t show up next. But with the way my luck is going, it wouldn’t surprise me.

“Can you girls get the groceries out of my car for me?” Thea asks Tina and Connie. They nod, heading out the front door. Thea comes over to sit down next to me.

“You all right, sugar?”

“I’m fine. It’s just embarrassing.”

“You have nothing to be embarrassed about. If anyone should be embarrassed it’s him. He let you get away, but I’m guessing he’s seeing he messed up big time and that’s why he’s here.”

That’s never going to happen. Truth is, even before I busted him sleeping with my mom I was ready to call it quits. Sleeping with my mom was just the icing on the cake. I had been relieved in a way.

“I’m more embarrassed about my mom,” I admit. Thea takes my hand.

“I’m sorry you got a mom like her.” She gives my hand a squeeze. “You stick around and I’ll take care of you.” A knot lodges in my throat. I’m an adult, but it would be nice to have someone to lean on sometimes or talk to about girl crap. She’s been so sweet from the moment we met. It feels like I’ve known her longer than a few days. She brings me the kind of comfort that I’ve never known from my real mom.

“What if I want to talk shit about Dane?” I tease her.

“You can talk shit about him if you want.” She laughs. “You get a pass because you’re in love with him.” What? Her words stun me for a moment. I open my mouth and then close it. I’m not in love with Dane. That man drives me utterly insane. Before I can tell her that, Tina and Connie are back with armfuls of groceries. I decide that I’ll tell her later when there’s not so many people around. That’s the reason I don’t say it now. Not because I can’t bring myself to deny it.

“Does Dane even cook?” Tina asks, heading straight for the kitchen. “Oops. Wrong way.” She turns, going the other way. Connie follows her. I don’t think either of them have ever been here before. The house is pretty dang big for a man that lives alone. I love the rustic feel to it. From the outside it looks like a giant modern log cabin.

“My boy can cook.” Thea stands. “What kind of mom would I be if my son couldn’t cook? He’d never land a woman.” She looks over toward me.

“Dane doesn’t have a problem getting women,” Connie says as she comes back into the living room. My stomach sours at her comment. Dane doesn’t seem like the kind that cheats. Then again, I didn’t think Derrick would sleep with my mom. I clearly don’t have a good track record with picking men.

“Yes, lots of women try and get Dane, but none catch his eye.” She looks down at me again. “Until now. He’s breaking his own rules.”

“Rules?”

“He won’t date anyone from town,” Tina says, rolling her eyes.

Relief hits me. I thought I might have to deal with crazy exes too. Connie and Tina are enough for me. That said, I don’t think they are in love with Dane.

Connie told me sorry earlier. That she didn’t know how serious Dane was about dating me. That she wanted to make her boyfriend Mason jealous by hanging out with Dane. That it wouldn’t work if everyone knew he was with me.

“How is Don?” Thea turns to look at Tina.

“How would I know how Don is?” Her cheeks turn a few shades deeper.

“Who is Don?” I ask, wanting in on this small town gossip.

“Don has been in love with Tina since grade school. She won’t give him the time of day because he was always pulling her pigtails.”

I snort a laugh. Going by her blush I think she more than likes Don. I’m starting to think these two use Dane as a safety net because they know he’s safe. That he was never really going to take them up on their offer. They know that clearly.


Tags: Ella Goode Romance
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