As I endlessly gazed in the bathroom mirror. I couldn’t help but smile contently.

I was clean and mud-free.

By the time I blow-dried my hair and looked presentable, Mr. Carter was long gone and the front door was open. Taking a quick peep, I noticed Reece talking to Valentino, who was comfortably situated behind the steering wheel to his beloved vehicle.

“You know, you’re actually such a pussy.”

“Fuck you, I’m not!” Reece gritted. I watched as his eyebrows knotted in frustration and the way his muscles tensed as he clenched and unclenched his fist.

Valentino laughed, “Hit a nerve, have we, lover boy?” He teased, “Naw, is Reece finally unleashing his inner femininity?”

Lover boy? Since when did Valentino call Reece ‘loverboy’?

Even from where I was standing, I could almost feel Reece’s penetrating glare at his best friend, which only caused Valentino to snicker some more. “Jeez. Calm your tits. Stop looking at me like I killed your bitch.”

“You are my bitch.”

“Damn straight I am, mothafucka!”

A chuckle escaped my lips before I could even help it, causing Reece and Valentino’s attention to become directed towards me instantaneously.

“Hey.” I smiled sheepishly, giving them a little wave.

“How long were you standing there?” Reece questioned, his green eyes filled with intense accusation. I blinked, trying to get past how defensive and livid he was acting again. Was this the same guy I just had a water fight with not long ago?

I frowned. “Relax. I just got here.” 

Reece grunted and averted his gaze. Valentino just sat there, looking at Reece with a thwarted expression. I tried looking casual as I examined my nails.

“Besides, it’s not like I’d ever tell anyone about your inner femininity, anyway.”

I peered through my lashes, before completely tilting my head up and shooting him a wicked smirk.

Reece’s face was priceless.

Valentino laughed with me, “Man, I’m definitely going to miss you for the next couple of days, Little C. Life’s not amusing enough without you around now.”

My forehead creased in confusion, “You’re going somewhere?”

Valentino nodded, enthusiastically tapping the steering wheel in a rhythmic beat, “Roadtrip. All five of us are heading off soon.”

“Wait, seriously?”

Valentino pointed towards Reece, “Reece’s championships, remember? The place takes a day and a bit to drive there. And we’ll probably camp out for a few nights then head home.”

“Sounds like fun.” I managed to make out, trying not to sound too disappointed.

Obviously, I failed.

“Wanna come?”

I opened my mouth to reply but a harsh tone beat me to it. “No.” Reece denied, his voice dripping with authority and finality. “She’s not coming.”

I stepped back, almost as if his words had physically hurt me.

Trying not to act too affected, I my hands up in defense mode, “Alright, chill. I wasn’t going to accept his offer anyway. I know when I’m not wanted.” With that I managed to share a quick glance at Valentino before storming inside the house.

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