Rival Page 50

She left with him? Hell, no.

Without so much as a good-bye, I headed out of the bar and through the door. Coming out to the sidewalk, I stopped and twisted my head to the left and right.

Where the hell was she?

Oxygen flooded in and out of my lungs in heavy breaths.

To the left was nothing but darkness. To the right was the strip of college bars where he would’ve taken her.

I turned left first. Aidan wasn’t a creeper. I had no reason to suspect that he’d lure her somewhere quiet and try anything, but it felt like the better option to make sure before I searched the populated and somewhat safer public bars.

I pounded the pavement, the town getting quieter the farther I walked.

Son of a bitch.

I was going to find her, punch him, and then fix Tate’s car, so Fallon could get the hell out of town. Tonight.

I messed with her on the dance floor, kissed her almost beyond my own control, and then thought she’d stay invisible and quiet?

Why didn’t I just let her leave this afternoon like she wanted?

In the three or so months since I’d last seen her, I’d been doing fine. Sure I wasn’t happy, but like before, I got over the separation and moved on with my life. However dull it was.

Now, she had me chasing her down and in knots.

I was Madoc Caruthers. I don’t get mad, and I don’t chase women that don’t want to be chased.

But I couldn’t let her go with him. That wasn’t happening.

The sharp glow from the streetlights illuminated the whole area, and so far I’d seen no one resembling Fallon. A few couples here and there. Some drunk students stumbling around together.

Stopping at a corner I looked left again and let out a breath, finally spotting her. Her legs moved briskly, and she disappeared under the shadow of trees, shielding the moon’s light. But I knew it was her. That damned ripped shirt.

Digging in my heels, I walked as fire and anger urged my legs forward. I wanted to run. To race up behind her, throw her over my shoulder, and take her home.

My voice was deep and bitter as I shouted. “Where are you going?”

She spun around, stopping and scowling at me. “You followed me?” she accused.

I ignored the question. “Where are you going?” I asked again.

Her lips twisted up, enough to know she was done with me for the night and was not cooperating.

But then . . . she turned her lips up in a sinister smile and looked me up and down.

“For someone that hates me,” she started as she looked at me with heat in her eyes, “you are awfully concerned about my comings and goings.” She dragged a delicate hand down her neck, over her breast, continuing down to rest on the inside of her turned-out thigh.

Holy shit.

My eyes had a mind of their own. They just followed.

She smirked as if she’d just won, and I blinked, trying to drag my gaze away from where her hand rested. Turning back around, she walked even faster as she continued down the sidewalk toward wherever she was going.

That’s when it occurred to me that she was alone.

“Where’s Aidan?” I shouted, but she ignored me, steering into the dim park.

Running after her this time, I tore off my light blue button-down and threw it across her arm.

“For Christ’s sake, Fallon, it’s cold and dark. Take the shirt.” I shook it at her, but took it away when she continued to ignore me.

I stuck my tongue between my teeth to keep from grinding them. “You can’t walk through a park alone,” I barked. “Where’s Aidan?”

“Why would I know where Aidan is?”

“Because . . .” I trailed off, blinking long and hard.

Fuckin’ Tate.

Realizing I’d been set up, and even more aggravated that Tate allowed Fallon to walk through town by herself in the dark, I exhaled deeply through my nose.

Of course, Tate probably assumed I’d run after Fallon, anyway.

“Well, looks like I got played. I was under the impression you left a bar with a complete stranger.”

“Yeah, that would be so like me, wouldn’t it?” The resentment in her comeback was thick.

“Yeah, well, you looked comfortable with him on the dance floor.” I struggled to maintain pace and still look cool. She was almost speed-walking.

“Yeah, just like you with the brunette?” she said over her shoulder. “Am I complaining, Madoc? Nope, because I don’t care.”

Bitch.

“Hey.” I brushed off the sting of her words with a casual smile. “I moved on. It wasn’t hard. Just like you did in Chicago, I’m sure.” I swerved in her path and cut her off, staring down at her as she tightened every muscle in her face. “With as easily as you open your legs for me,” I continued, “I’m sure you’re having a great time in college.”

Her eyes flared, and she slammed her hands into my chest, but I barely stumbled. “Ugh!” she growled. Her green jewels fired in anger, and her hair fanned around her face in a wild storm.

“Come on,” I challenged, breaking into a laugh. “You know I like it when you fight me. It gets you hot, and I get laid.”

Her fingers balled up, and I saw her hand coming before she probably even knew what she was doing. Her tight fist landed right across my jaw, hitting the corner of my mouth, and I didn’t even try to stop it. I loved Fallon’s fight. I always did.

The sharp ache in my face spread across my chin, and I pursed my lips, sucking and swallowing the blood from the cut on the inside of my mouth.

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