“That quickly. Sometimes, you just know, and your mom and dad both knew. It was almost as if, the moment they saw each other, their souls had recognized the other as their perfect match.”
“That really sounds crazy,” I murmur, but an image of Kai flashes through my head and how something deep in me knows him and went to him without a fight the moment I saw him. I think about how, every time I have been with him, it has been easy, about how he makes me feel. I shake off that thought, not wanting to feel the pain I feel every time I think about him now. Not right now, when I have the opportunity to learn about my parents.
“Sometimes, you just know,” she repeats. She smiles then pulls out another stack of pictures.
For the rest of the day, I sit on the floor while she sits on the couch, and she shares pictures and stories of my parents with me. By the time she leaves, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. She unconsciously helped mend some of the pieces of my heart back together again.
One Day at a Time
“Where’s Pika?” I ask Aye.
He looks at me, presses his lips tighter together, and then looks back to the TV.
“What does that mean?” I question, confused by that response.
“He’s not here.”
“I obviously know that. He hasn’t been here in two days, but I’m asking you where he is.”
“You’re going to have to speak with Kai about that,” he mutters, not taking his eyes off the TV, knowing damn well there is no way in hell I will be speaking to Kai about anything, let alone where Pika is.
I haven’t talked to Kai since the day he arrived home, and at this point, I’m not sure who has been avoiding whom.
“Guess you don’t want to know that badly,” he mumbles.
I feel my pulse start to pick up when I remember how I met Pika for the first time.
“Is he okay?” I whisper. Pika has become a friend, and the idea of him being hurt doesn’t sit well with me at all.
“He’s fine,” I hear growled, making me jump, turn my head, and look over the back of the couch at Kai.
I feel my stomach drop. I’ve seen Kai angry before, but I have never had that anger directed at me. I shrink down into the couch but can’t break eye contact.
“Aye, go. Myla will be with me for the rest of the day. I’ll call you if you’re needed,” he says, and his eyes never leave mine as his energy pulses against my skin.
“Sure,” Aye says.
I want to tell him not to leave me, but I can’t do anything but stare into the cold eyes that are boring into mine.
As soon as Aye’s gone, Kai runs his hand over his hair then looks at me and shakes his head. Then he looks at me again and growls deep in his throat, “We’re going out.”
“Um…” I mutter under my breath as I watch his chest expand with a deep inhale.
“Be ready in ten minutes.”
“I…” I shake my head. There is no way I will be able to get ready in ten minutes. I’m still wearing my pajamas. It takes me longer than that just to shower.
“Ten minutes,” he repeats then turns around and leaves the room.
I look at the doorway, shake my head, get off the couch, and head to my room. I doubt I can get ready so quickly, but I sure as hell am going to try. Kai has never scared me before, not even a little bit. Even when I’d watched him kill someone, he had never appeared as angry as he did a few moments ago.
I leave the living room and prowl straight to my office, slamming the door behind me. I try to breathe, but it doesn’t cut through the madness that has been building and expanding since our fight, and then seeing her in the kitchen in the middle of the night, with her arms wrapped around another man while he kissed her, even if it was not an intimate kiss, was too much for me to handle.
Every day has been an internal battle of self-control, and the constant weight in my gut and fucking irritant under my skin has not been helping. When I married Myla, I had no idea this was going to happen to me. I didn’t understand what I was feeling when I looked into her eyes when we said our vows to one another. I might not have expected these feelings when I married her, but I have them now, so there is no fucking way I’m going to sit on the sidelines and let someone—who I have known since I was a kid—come in and steal away the woman who belongs to me, a woman I know, if I admitted it to myself, I am falling in love with.
A woman who I know was feeling the same thing I am right now before I left.
I take another breath, and then another. Pika is lucky he is still alive. After what I had seen, I wanted to fucking slaughter him, but I knew that, if I walked into the kitchen and did that, it would only make her believe she was right about me.
It wasn’t like me to sit and wait, but I had to do it. But that didn’t mean I had to let Pika stick around. I sent him away two days ago. He was back on the mainland, helping my other men keep track of Thad and Paulie Jr. When I confronted him about his relationship with Myla, he told me that he had feelings for her. I decked him and he didn’t back down. He even told me that I was a moron for having left her without telling her anything. Then he told me that it didn’t matter how he was feeling about her because she couldn’t see past me, and he didn’t suspect she ever would.
His words gave me a margin of hope of winning Myla back, but I’m not a stupid man. I know that it is going to take work. I know I’m going to have to take it slow. But slow with her feels impossible.
Fuck. The moment I brought her into my home, I had her in my bed, even if I wasn’t sleeping in there with her. I just knew that I wanted her in my space, wanted to know she was in a bed I would share with her eventually. Sleeping with her those few nights her parents were in town also changed things. I have slept with my share of women, but I never felt a connection to any of them. Even just holding Myla eased something within me, brought peace I thought was long gone to my soul.
She was my peace in a world I knew was fucked up beyond most people’s understanding.
I look at the door and let out one last breath. I probably just scared the shit out of her. She is probably running for the hills, but Pika’s name leaving her mouth, the soft tone in her voice from worry over him, had set me off. Even if I know she doesn’t see him as anything more than a friend, I know he doesn’t feel the same.
I also know that Pika is a player. He has a girl in every town he visits, and often two if he is in the mood for that kind of play. Women throw themselves at him, and having Myla around him right now is not a risk I am willing to take.