Never Gonna Happen - Cynthia Eden
“Don’t even think about it.” Antony Kyle had a warm, charming smile on his face, but his eyes were ice cold.
Antony wasn’t normally the icy type. He could be calculating, he could be clinical, he could be an insane genius when he wanted to be, but…
Sebastian Ridgeway forced a laugh. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Dude, you’re staring way too hard at my sister.”
But Sebastian merely lifted a brow. “It’s her birthday. She was blowing out her candles. Everyone was staring at her.” And, maybe, just maybe…
She was his new favorite thing to look at in the whole world.
“Uh, uh.” Antony side-stepped because—hell, Sebastian had just darted his gaze toward Alyssa again. “Don’t. That’s my one rule, buddy. If we’re doing this partnership together, if we are going to be in this—and we are talking about life-changing events here—then you follow that rule. You take it to heart. You make it your life mantra if you must.”
Sebastian’s stare flickered to the plastic cup in Antony’s hand. “I think you’ve had way too much to drink. I’m not interested in your little sister. Hell, I just met her a couple of days ago.”
Because this was his first time to be invited into the inner circle that was the Kyle world. A world with a big, bustling family. A world of laughter and hugs and a million other things that Sebastian had never known.
Freaking birthday parties. Alyssa had just turned twenty-one. Everyone was celebrating. She was smiling, her plump lips stretching into a wide grin, and her dark eyes gleamed as she turned her head and—
Antony snapped his fingers in front of Sebastian’s face. “Hi, there.”
What in the hell is wrong with me? “Sorry,” Sebastian muttered. “I thought I heard her say my name.”
“Nope. You didn’t. She did not say your name. And here’s the deal. You want this shit to work between us? You want us to blow up the industry and take over the world?”
Yes, yes, he did. He had plans. Goals. He’d been working toward this future—a real, solid future—for years. He wasn’t like Antony. He didn’t have the stable home. The doting mom. The proud dad. Hell, he had no one. No home. He hadn’t even known what a friend was, not until he’d stumbled into Antony—quite literally—a few years before. At first, they’d just been acquaintances who happened to share the same talent with computers. Or, more specifically, the same talent for hacking computers. But as time had slid by, they’d grown closer. Antony wasn’t the trusting sort, and he didn’t usually let people in. Only fair, Sebastian operated the same way.
“If you want all that,” Antony continued in his low voice, “then you just follow my one, simple rule.”
Sebastian swallowed. He knew exactly where this was going.
“You keep your hands off my sister.”
“Not good enough for her, huh?” The words shot out. What was wrong with him? Sebastian put down the plastic cup he’d been holding. What in the hell had Antony’s mom put in the punch?
But was it any surprise that Antony thought that way about him? Sebastian knew what he was. He knew the things he’d done, and suddenly getting a new veneer of polish and sophistication because of his business plans with Antony didn’t wipe away the past—
“Dumbass, don’t say that shit to me. You’re good enough for anything.”
But not her?
“You’re too dangerous for Alyssa.” Antony stepped closer to him. “Alyssa doesn’t know what we really do. She can’t ever know. She is not made for the world you live in.”
He couldn’t see Alyssa any longer.
“And it’s not like you’re going to fall in love with her. You’d break her heart, and then I’d have to try and kick your ass.” A despondent sigh. “Which I wouldn’t be able to do. You’d just kick my ass. There would be a huge fight. There would be drama, and…let’s simply eliminate all that before it happens, shall we?”
I would so kick your ass. Antony was right on that score.
“You’re my best friend,” Antony told him. “So keep your hands off my sister and don’t screw this shit up.”
Sebastian laughed. “I wasn’t planning to put them on her. You have nothing to worry about.”
Antony didn’t laugh. He didn’t even smile.
So much for breaking the tension. “What, man? Do you want it written in blood or something?”
“Fine…I swear…” Where had Alyssa gone? He couldn’t very well crane his head to look for her, at least, not at that exact moment. “I swear,” Sebastian continued