Page 12

Unexpected Love Story (Love 2) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:50:44

“But I love her,” I repeat, not saying it in the past tense because I love her. I fucking love her.

“People do crazy things for love,” Walker points out as I nod my head, walking to my plain closet to pull out a pair of jeans and slide them on.

“Today, I love her, and tomorrow, I’ll love her a little less,” I tell myself. Walker nods and turns around. Walking out of the room, he leaves me looking around the bedroom at décor I didn’t even choose. The custom canvas headboard, the mirrored side tables I wasn’t even allowed to breathe on. I make a note to call the decorator tomorrow and have her change them. I thank fuck we never slept in the bed, or I would get rid of that, too. No way in fuck would I sleep in the bed after she fucked me over the way she did.

“Gabriel.” I hear Walker yell from downstairs. I walk out of the bedroom and look over the railing. “We have incoming,” he says right before the doorbell rings, and I hear voices coming into the house.

“Are we burning this shit down?” Brody asks. He’s followed by Darla, who puts her hands on her hips.

“We are most certainly not burning anything.” She looks up at me. “How are you doing, sweetie?”

“You will not fucking call him sweetie, Darla,” Brody growls from beside her five-foot body. His six-foot-five frame making him even bigger. She walks over to him, reaching him mid-chest. “No,” he says, putting his hands around her waist and bending down in half, “not a fucking chance. He has a name, so use it.”

“I love only you.” She laughs into his chest. “Gabe”—she looks up—“are you doing okay?”

I don’t have a chance to answer her because more voices fill the room. This time, it’s Grandma and my mother. “Okay.” Grams puts her sunglasses on her head. “Let’s get everything that isn’t Gabriel’s and pack that shit up.”

I stand, looking down at my family, not saying a word. “We started in the bedroom,” Walker says. “Well, he started in the bedroom.” He points upstairs. “It’s a massacre.”

The women gasp and look up. “Did you touch the shoes?” Darla dares to ask, almost as if I told her I killed a puppy.

“All of them,” Walker confirms, and Darla puts her hand over her mouth. “Every single one destroyed.”

“You didn’t,” Darla asks in a whisper, and I think I see tears forming in her eyes. “Even the Manolo Mary Janes?”

“How the fuck am I even supposed to know what that is?” I ask, putting my hands on my hips.

“I would have bought those from you,” she says, and then Brody comes back with a roar.

“Over my dead body would you wear that woman’s shoes.”

“It’s a shoe,” Darla says.

“Then buy your own fucking shoes.” He crosses his arms over his chest, and the fact his beard is long and so is his hair makes him look almost like a barbarian.

“Those shoes are nine hundred dollars!” She puts her hands on her hips, and then Brody’s head whips up to look at me.

“You bought her nine-hundred-dollar shoes?”

“I was in love with her,” I counter. “Can we focus on the fact that I was left at the fucking altar yesterday, and I’m hurt?” I try to pull the sympathy card, and it only works for the girls while Brody just glares at me. “What?”

He points at me and mouths, “That’s fucked up.” Even though I didn’t think I would ever smile again, that makes me crack a smile. I didn’t think I would ever have a reason to smile again. But now, looking down at my family who showed up to protect me from the storm, I have to have faith that tomorrow will be a better day. At least, I hope so!

“You sure about this?” Blake asks from beside me when he finally turns off the truck. I look around at the houses that line the street, nodding.

It’s been three weeks since Eric died; two weeks since his brothers came to the house and ‘claimed’ all his belongings. Two weeks since Hailey was served with papers demanding she cease and desist slandering Eric by insisting he married her.

As if she could forget she married him, that she loved him, that for that one minute, he wasn’t really hers.

I get out of the truck, looking at the little gray house with flowers lining the walkway. The brown door with the hanging ‘Welcome’ sign. I look down at my feet, take a big deep breath, and then walk toward the house, Blake right behind me. I put one foot in front of the other until I get to the porch and reach out, ringing the doorbell. The sound can be heard from the open windows upstairs.