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Selfless (Selfish #3)
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I pull my phone out of my pocket and send a quick text to Milton to tell him to come back and pick me up when I hear the door to her apartment open.
“Ryder.” Ashlyn calls out as the elevator doors start to close.
I look up at her from my phone and hate how sorry those beautiful blue eyes look. Like she knows she just broke my heart. She stands there, that overly large shirt still on, but she added a pair of sweatpants and flip-flops.
With everything I have in me, I manage to pull my eyes away from her and look back down to my phone.
“Wait.” I hear her call out but I make no attempt to stop the doors from closing.
She jumps inside just in time, trying to catch her breath before begging. “Ryder, please. Let me explain,”
“What’s there to explain?” I ask flatly as I place my phone in my pocket and look up to see how many more floors I have to endure with her. The space is closing in on me. The smell of her sweet perfume is enough to knock me off my feet.
She sucks in a deep breath. “I didn’t—”
“You know; it doesn’t matter what you have to say.” I interrupt her. “I get it.” I don’t get it, though. I want to turn to her and ask her why? What had I done wrong? What did Bradley do that he deserves her? But I close my lips.
“You don’t,” she says defensively.
I can’t listen to her voice anymore. “Save it,” I say, still refusing to look at her. I can’t look into those blue eyes or at those soft lips. I can’t look at the face I’ve come to dream about. Saw a future with. All of that is gone now. “I get it, Ashlyn. He’s your best friend. That you fuck.”
“He’s my best friend, but …”
“You guys are different,” I say, interrupting her. There’s nothing she can tell me that she hasn’t already informed me of. “You’ve said that.” I nod once still unable to look at her. I may break. I have to be strong. I’m not some pussy who needs a woman to love them. I fuck them! I’m the male version of her! I’m not gonna beg and plead for her to want me.
I feel her hand reach out to me, and my entire body tenses. Just the thought of her touching him and then me … it’s too much.
The elevator dings, and the mirrored doors slide open and I all but run out of it and through the lobby of the Q’s. I’m not far from the glass front doors when I feel her hand grab my upper arm, and she yanks me to a stop. My muscles tense, but I can’t hold it back anymore. I spin around and harden my eyes as I look down into her blue ones. They’re full of unshed tears, and they piss me off. “Why are you down here, Ashlyn?” I snap, my voice echoing through the large lobby.
She cringes and speaks softly. “I want to apologize.”
I yank my arm free of her hold. “No need to apologize for who you are.”
Her eyes widen in shock at my words, and she wraps her arms around herself. “What does that mean?” she whispers as her eyes search mine as if she’s looking for some kind of sympathy. She won’t find it!
“Just a fuck!” I state carelessly then, without wasting another second, I turn around and walk out the front doors, leaving her standing there holding herself.
I can feel her stare on me, and it just makes me even more pissed! She practically chased me out of her apartment and for what? To tell me that she loves him? That after all this time, she finally realizes Bradley is the guy for her? That she’s sorry she couldn’t love me? No thanks.
I don’t need her to explain that I’ve lost the war. I figured that out all on my own.
“Mr. O’Kane …” Milton greets me. Guess he got my text. “Something wrong?”
“Shut it, Milton!” I snap, making my way to my Cadillac that he has parked curbside.
I get into the back and pull the door shut before he can do it. I keep my face straight ahead even though she wouldn’t be able to see me with the blacked-out windows anyway. I refuse to do it!
I can see Milton out of the corner of my eye as he pauses by my window. I close my eyes and take a deep breath, and I wish I could erase the past three weeks of my life.
I open them when I hear the front driver’s side door open. Milton looks at me through the rearview mirror. His dark eyes look at me as if waiting for me to say something. “Something wrong?” I snap.