The Prince and the Pawn (When Rivals Play #4) - B.B.Reid Page 0,1

me…are you sorry for that, too?”

It took a long time for him to answer, long enough for hope to creep its way back in and long enough for Vaughn to crush it with a single word. “Yes.”

“Why should I believe you?” I asked anyway. It was weird, wasn’t it? Odd that I could argue his point after catching him with his pants down and his dick inside—I dug my fingernails into the wood, ignoring the pain. It was more than weird. It was pathetic.

Vaughn sighed, and my guess was because I wouldn’t take the hint he was waving around on a sign the size of a billboard with flashing lights so bright they blinded. Maybe I was still too head over heels to see it. He might not have meant it when he said he loved me, but I had. Love didn’t just fade the moment the other pushed the big red “abort” button. Instead, you’re left standing alone in the place that had once been your Eden and was now your own personal hell.

“I’m bored, Tyra. I don’t know how else to put it.”

“So, you put it inside of that bitch instead?” My voice had become granite, and if I weren’t clinging to this fucking beam as if it were a life raft, I would have patted myself on the back. I felt him closing in—felt his warmth, the strength of his muscles, and even the rhythm of his heart as if he’d taken me in his arms and made it all better.

If only he would.

I pressed my fists against the wood.

“Look at me,” he demanded as if he had the right.

I shook my head, denying him. I was afraid that if I did look at him, I’d see that his heart was no longer mine. A moment later, I felt his hands on my shoulders, gently turning me to face him.

“I made a mistake,” he said once he’d captured my gaze.

I knew he wasn’t talking about tonight. Just as my heart, on its last desperate stitch, begin to splinter, I felt the telling tap of his finger on my shoulder. It was subtle, like a phantom touch, only it was very much real. Immediately, I started to melt into the comfort of his strong arms. The demand to know why he was doing this was poised on my lips when I felt the bite of his fingers keeping me at bay.

His rejection rippled through me, and I no longer cared about his reasons. I closed my eyes, hating him, and wondering how many times I’d have to disgrace myself. How many before I accepted that this was real?

Vaughn and I were over.

But then…how could something that never truly started end?

While Vaughn had been sure to remind me that we weren’t exclusive, he’d often forgotten that fact himself. Once he’d sunk his teeth into me, it became a full-time job scaring off the guys at our school, and when he wasn’t savagely defending his territory, he was attending to my every need. There’d been no time or desire for anyone else.

Until now.

Pushing him away, I forced my spine to straighten. “It took you a year to figure that out?”

Callously, he shrugged, and I realized the glow that usually shone from his green eyes was gone. The wind ruffled his light-brown hair as the ache to run my fingers through it—as I had many times before—was greater than the pain in my chest.

“I was looking for something different, and until now, you provided that.”

“You mean up until I let you—” I choked on the words caught in my throat. God, why had I given him so much? I’d waited a year, and still, it wasn’t enough. Swallowing past the lump, I tried again. “Until I let you fuck me.”

His eyes quickly narrowed. “Let’s not forget,” he said slowly and with a touch of cruelty, “you begged me not to stop.”

“I thought maybe—” I stopped, wondering if it was wise to admit just how stupid I’d been. Vaughn’s eyebrow perked, daring me to continue. “I thought maybe you’d change your mind.” Summer’s end had been rapidly approaching, and I’d never been more desperate. I believed in the idea of soulmates, and from the moment Vaughn first kissed me, I knew he was mine. That kiss was the reason I stopped fighting his pursuit at the start of my senior year.

Vaughn obviously didn’t feel the same, judging by the way his body stiffened and nostrils flared at my confession. “You mean you