Chapter 18

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9am came and went.

My phone rang a total of four times and went unanswered.

I knew it was him calling. I knew and that's precisely why I never picked up.

Charlotte was overjoyed when I told her I'd be staying with her for the next few days until I left for my birthday weekend with Layla. I was overjoyed that I'd be saving some much needed money by not having to send Charlotte to Daycare for the next few days now that I was effectively unemployed once again.

I'd start up the job search once I got back from the minor but much needed weekend getaway.

For now, I needed to process.

I needed to process how, after every careful step I took and every barrier I set in place, I still found myself falling in tune with the same pattern of men my mother deemed worthy enough to let destroy her life and children's lives.

My judgement of people was usually dead on. I'd made it a point in my life to be able to recognize the signs of a Class A Prick the moment my dad left my mom almost four years ago.

That's why I was so thrown off and enraged at Dominic. Not only did he use me and lie to me, but he tricked me.

Being fooled over by anyone feels like a swift kick in the balls. But being fooled by someone you dared to let in, by someone you were beginning to trust; that's a wound that irreparable by even the strongest of bandages.

"Do you have a four?"

"Go fish!"

Grumbling profanities under my breath, I reached out and grabbed yet another card from the pile.

"Your turn, Bugs."

Before Charlotte could get out her question, there was a pounding on the front door.

Both Charlotte and I shared a confused look as to who it could be as I pushed myself from the living room floor and made my way to answer the door.

If only someone had tackled me to the ground before I actually opened the door.

In the second my eyes landed on his, my mood crashed and burned as a fury and betrayal began to boil underneath my skin.

Exacting, stone grey eyes found mine, crawling with exasperation, anger, and with what seemed to be a tint of... relief?

"Who is it, Katty?" I heard Charlotte call from the living room as she made her way towards us to sate her own curiosity of who the unexpected intruder was.

"It's no one. Go sit back down, Charlotte." But of course, as most five years olds, she didn't listen.

She propped herself right by my side, her head craning up and her chocolate brown eyes widening as she landed her stare on Dominic's imposing body. Dominic looked neither friendly, nor kind as he stood in our door way, blocking most of the sunlight from breaking through into our house by his broad frame and sullen aura.

As Charlotte came into view, Dominic's eyes dropped from mine to hers. I felt Charlotte flinch into my side as Dominic looked to her, his blistering attitude dimming slightly as he witnessed her movement.

"Katty, is he your new boyfriend?" Charlotte inquired in the meekest of voices.

Kids say the darnedest things, don't they?

"No, Bugs, he is most certainly not my new boyfriend." My hardened stare pierced through Dominic's as his gaze popped up to mine. "Not even close."

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