“You...know?” I finally found the words to rasp. I glanced from between him to a flushing, guiltily cringing Blondie. Well, shit. They both knew. “How long have you guys known?”
Ham sighed and rubbed a spot on the center of his forehead. “Since Saturday,” he admitted.
Again, I could only stare. Unable to believe him, I glanced at his woman for confirmation. She gulped and nodded.
“What the hell?” I exploded. “How could you two know before I knew?”
Blondie shifted closer to Ham and began to wring her hands as she confessed. “Caroline. She, uh, she confided in me.”
“Well...fuck.” I set my hands on my hips and stared up at the sky where odd-shaped clouds drifted overhead. For a moment, I was transported to my childhood when my sister and I would lie on our backs in the grass and think up dirty images we saw in the clouds. Yeah, I was troubled enough that I almost settled for memories of her rather than dealing with my two know-everything roommates. But shit, the pain that came with those memories chased me back to the present.
I shook my head and glared at Ham. “And you never thought to tell me who was sneaking into my room? Jesus, man. I was fucking betraying Gamble, and I had no idea.”
Saying that felt like a lie though, because okay, I’d had an idea, but I hadn’t known.
Fuck. The sudden taste of bile at the back of my throat made me swallow hard.
“It’d already happened by the time I found out,” Hamilton told me. “What would telling you have accomplished?”
Was he freaking serious? “It would’ve kept me from doing it again, maybe.”
“Are you sure?” He lifted an eyebrow. “You know now, and it’s...not going to keep you from going back for more, now is it?”
“Shut up.” I scowled at both him and his woman. “It’s too late now. We’ve already...” Shit, I didn’t know what we’d already done. But there was no way we could just...stop it just because it was wrong to keep it from Gamble. That point had passed too many kisses and orgasms ago. We were already set and aimed straight toward our collision course with fate.
“Do you remember when Noel thought I was doing something with Caroline and he went for my throat?” Ham asked out of the blue, his voice soft and almost apologetic.
I snorted. “How could I forget?” It had proved to me that Gam would never think I was good enough for her if he didn’t even think my flawless roommate was worthy of her.
“Yeah, well, when he apologized to me for overreacting, he said it wasn’t because he thought I wasn’t good enough for her but because he thought I was sneaking around with her. He said someone else had done that to her, had treated her like she wasn’t the type to date openly, and Noel thought she deserved better than that. He was mad because he thought I’d been keeping her a secret.”
Shame bore down on me with a vengeance. My roommate was standing there telling me I was no better than that fucker from Caroline’s hometown who’d used her and left her pregnant and alone, and I had to agree with him.
“Well, she does deserve better than becoming someone’s secret,” I said, my voice all raspy with regret. But shit. I hissed, “Why didn’t you tell me about this conversation before?”
“Would it have made a difference?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe.” But it was too fucking late now. He’d already think I’d been sneaking her around if I told him now, because I’d already been fucking sneaking her around.
I wiped my quivering hands over my face. “Doesn’t matter. Like I said, it’s too late. Thanks so much for your fucking help.”
I strode away from them in a bundle of broiling nerves. It was then I fully realized just how badly this was going to end. And I started to panic.
I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t I just cut ties with her then if I was so worried about Gamble? Well, why don’t you ask a smoker why they don’t just stop smoking, an alcoholic why they don’t just stop drinking, a book lover why they don’t just stop reading? And fuck you for thinking an addiction was even remotely easy to quit. I was addicted to this girl. I wasn’t anywhere near ready to give her up.
And thus started the true turmoil.
So, stabbing my best friend in the back sucked ass, but finally having Caroline after months of wanting her…that was fucking heaven.
On day six of our week-long agreement, she rested her cheek against my shoulder, pressed her damp breasts to my side and started drawing patterns on my chest before saying, “So tomorrow’s our last night together, huh?”