Real (Real, #1)(10)

She wants to go this route? Keep up the charade that she doesn’t want me despite her f*cking unbelievable body announcing otherwise. I can play this like nobody’s business. Run circles around her. I shake my head at her and take a step closer.

Needing to be closer.

She lowers her eyes under my intense scrutiny. “I hope you’re enjoying yourself because it’s quite a show you’re putting on here.” I reach out and force her chin up so she has no other option but to look me in the eyes. “I don’t like games, Rylee,” I warn, my blood thundering through my veins from being so close to her. “… and I won’t tolerate them played on me.”

The air thickens between us. My breath quickens. My fingers itch to touch.

To possess.

To claim.

She’s just as f*cking affected as I am. I know it. Can see it. Fuck me. The woman turns me inside out, and I can see the moment she tries to deny what’s humming between us right now. She takes a slow, calculated breath and steps toward me. “Well, thanks for the update.” She slaps her hand to my chest and leans into me, her lips right at my ear.

My senses riot. My restraint tested. The woman needs to back away right now or I’ll take her right here on the damn floor. No holds barred.

“I’ll let you in on a little something as well, Ace. I don’t like being made to feel like sloppy seconds to your blonde bevy of babes.” Her voice tickles my skin. And she continues to tease as she takes a step back, that smile on her face tempting me to just take without asking. “You’re developing a pattern of wanting me right after you’ve been with another. That’s a habit you’re going to need to break or nothing else is going to happen here.” She gestures back and forth between us, my mind wandering to exactly what else she can do with that perfectly manicured hand. “… That’s if I want it to at all.”

She smirks at me as she retreats a step. That smirk that I’d like to f*ck into submission until she’s screaming out my name. And I’ve had enough of this banter. Desire’s so strong in me that my balls ache. I’m just about to act on it. To take without asking when I hear “Colt, baby?” followed by a hand sliding up my torso to display ownership. I tense when all I really want to do is shrug Raquel off of me like a hot f*cking coal.

The look on Rylee’s face—her complete disdain for Raquel—I completely understand. I feel the same way at this exact moment. But what gets me more than anything is the flash of hurt that lingers in those violet eyes a moment too long.

Fuck! I knew it.

She wants this just as bad as I do. There’s nothing I can do right now and not look like a dick. Drop Raquel and go after Rylee or leave Rylee after the game I just played and walk away with Raquel. I do the only thing I can do when all my mind and hands want to do is grab Rylee against me and taste her mouth. Sample her body.

I toss back the rest of my drink, the burn of the alcohol not even registering. When I look back toward Rylee, she’s saying something to her friend and then picks up her purse. She turns back to face me and my chest tightens. That defiance I find arousing is evident in her posture, but her eyes reflect a myriad of contradictions.

I hate you.

I want you.

How could you?

I should’ve known.

You’re going to break my heart, aren’t you?

Your choice: me or her.

I clench my jaw. Having answers to all of them. And none of them. She just looks at me one more time, a quiet resignation in her face, and then she turns and pushes her way through the crowd of people. Getting away from me as fast as she can.

I’d run too, sweetheart. That’s nothing compared to the poison inside of me.

I look down at the empty glass in my hand while Raquel tugs on my arm, urging me to follow her. I resist the desire to huck it against the wall and hear the crash as the glass splinters into a thousand tiny f*cking pieces.

What the f*ck are you doing, Donavan? Since when do you care what people think? Fucking voodoo *, man. That’s got to be it. Got to be the only reason I want to chase the one thing I’ve never wanted. Never cared to.

Until now.

Fuckin’ A.

I look up and meet the blonde friend’s eyes. She just arches her eyebrow at me as if to say “You f*cking idiot.” And she’s right. I am.

I look over to Raquel. And feel nothing. Absolutely nothing. No buzz. No charge. No ache to take.

I look into the mass of people where Rylee left and I catch a glimpse of her head as she weaves through the crowd. My chest tightens. My fingers rub together. My body craves. And the need humming through me is so strong, all I can do is shake my head at Raquel. My eyes telling her the only words that need to be said.

And then I walk away.

There’s not even a choice to be made.

It was made for me. The moment she fell out of that damn storage closet and into my life.

Fucking Rylee.

Fucking voodoo *.

The two thoughts are on repeat in my head as I push through the crowd to try and find where in the hell she went.

I’m annoyed I can’t find her. Pissed because Colton Donavan does not chase and f*ck if this woman hasn’t had me on the run since the get-go.

It’s easy to tell myself to let her go. Fuck the hassle. So why can’t I?

I scan the crowd and through a break I see her at the bar. I push through, tell myself I’m chasing because of the challenge and from the need to show her that she wants this … even if it’s just because she’s so goddamn nonchalant about rejecting me.

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