Lovers of my books The Carrero Series will love this brand new bonus scene.
Universal book links
Book 1 – myBook.to/TheCarreroEffect
Book 2 – myBook.to/CarreroInfluence
Book 3 – myBook.to/CarreroSolution
Book 4 – myBook.to/CarreroHeart1
Book 5 – myBook.to/CarreroHeart2
Jake’s POV – myBook.to/JakesPOV
Just Rose – getBook.at/JustRose
Please note – there is swearing and sexual references, this is not suitable for those under 18 years of age.
Please note – there is swearing and sexual references, this is not suitable for those under 18 years of age.
Read at your own risk!!
I watch Arrick push his food around his plate distractedly, eyes on what he’s doing, yet he just looks completely detached from the here and now. We are in a busy restaurant, the food is good, the company not so much; he has barely said two words the whole time we have been here, and he has had about four beers with dinner. Arrick never drinks excessively, normally, but I guess this just sums up our life of the past three weeks.
I am trying so hard to not let it get to me, to keep a smile on my face, a positive outlook that we can get through this bump in the road of our relationship, but he makes it so hard. I try not to watch him too much as I eat my own food, and give up on small talk. His nods and ‘hmm’ responses make me want to throw my wine glass at him, and I am trying to avoid all forms of nagging or bickering while things between us are a little fragile.
He’s been a vacant, distant nightmare, since I caught him with his face glued to that trampy little bitch, he calls his best friend. I’m glad she’s gone, she has been nothing but an eternal thorn in my side for two years of our life together, always there, like a third wheel, monopolising his attentions and getting between us; but Arrick being Arrick, you can’t say anything about it, criticise their friendship in any way. You can never criticise Sophie, for all that is holy, it is the one topic that makes the dick side of Arrick come out to play.
He doesn’t like clingy or jealous girls, abhors them….that is unless it’s her; she is both. A jealous and immature, clingy little girl, that I really never thought would ever have a chance of being the whore who entrapped him with sex.
It completely hit me from the left side, last thing I ever expected. She always seemed so much like an annoying bratty sister to him; and the way he was with her, the affections which drove me crazy, the little in jokes and touchy feely between them. I hated it, but I never thought it was something I should worry about . I never thought that he would be capable of cheating on me at all, never with her. He isn’t the type, and I guess I can’t really blame him for looking for sexual gratification in some slut that was only too willing to give. It’s been obvious for a long time that her puppy eyes for him were never innocent.
I don’t really like sex, and he does. It’s not that he isn’t good at it, it’s just I don’t happen to like it at all, and even though he has given me more than my fair share of orgasms – I just do not hunger for it the way he does. I hate the messiness, the awkwardness, having him face to face and wanting to make out and lay hands on me in really inappropriate places. I always thought that I would get married before I ever had sex with anyone, after all that is how I was raised, but then I had a teen boyfriend who pushed me into it too, and it was just ruined for me, for an eternity. Sex still feels a little bit sinful when we have it, and I am holding out hope that after we get married I will lose the guilt and maybe enjoy it a little bit more.
Arrick used to get a little bit dominant, in the beginning of our relationship, sex was all he seemed to think about, drunk usually, as he seemed to party a lot more back then. I just felt pressured to play along, act like I liked it rougher, harder, constant. I didn’t. I would rather read a book, bake a cake, or clean my apartment. Over the years he just seemed to accept that I wasn’t really into it, and as long as I gave him sex every so often, in bed, with him on top, then we just never brought it up again. I preferred it that way and I learned how to push it along to make him finish quicker.
I can’t say I blame him then, that he wanted to screw her. He clearly misses that part of our relationship, the more adventurous sex, and I will be willing to revisit it when we start to get physical again. Right now, we seem to just be plodding along. It’s like he’s here, but he’s not, and even though I am the one who has the right to be upset and angry, I feel like I am walking on eggshells with him instead. He hasn’t attempted to kiss me, let alone have sex, for almost two months. Maybe longer, I lost count when we first hit a rough patch, and I cannot remember the last time he just kissed me, with some meaning.
‘Are you done? Can we go?’ Arrick snaps my attention up, and I realise he’s downed his beer, thrown his fork messily, on top of his left over food, and is already putting his coat on. He hasn’t even given me time to finish, or even seems to acknowledge that I have not done eating. I look at him coolly and bite down the irritated urge to frown at him. This is exactly the crappy attitude from him lately that irks me so much. He is the one who should be grovelling to me.
‘No, I wasn’t’ I smile brightly, paste on my happy face, the one which says everything is going to be okay, and try not to let him get to me. I should be used to this side of him, it’s predominant most of the time. Closed up, internalised and emotionally blank. It’s worse than it ever used to be, but he’s always had this way about him. It’s one of the things I always liked. That he wasn’t overly emotional or needy as a man, didn’t paw at me excessively, he didn’t burden me with his problems. He just takes care of them.
‘I want to go. Stay if you want.’ He looks over my head at nothing, then glances down as he lifts his cell and I catch him scanning the screen with that infuriating frown on his face. He does this about a hundred times a day, since he made her leave, and he doesn’t know I am aware of it, but I am. It drives me insane. Always checking his god damn cell, obsessively, always looking disappointed when he picks it up. He’s so transparent in that moment and it riles a rage in me that’s burning hot.
Why can’t he just forget about her? Let it go? Why can’t he focus on the fact that he should be making me forgive him?
‘I’m coming now.’ I answer with a tighter tone, then have to scold myself for losing my cool with him. This isn’t the way to mend things, by being short with him, by being snappy. He hates that, he is more than likely to just walk off and leave me here, and put me down to being moody. He has very little patience with moods.
I get up to follow, annoyed that for once he doesn’t pull my chair out or help me with my coat, he just throws money on the table and turns to leave. I feel my temper flare at this complete lack of manners. He normally has impeccable manners and I look around at other diners, to see if anyone notices how blatantly rude he is being. I sigh with relief at the lack of eyes aimed our way and follow him with my bag and coat at speed, to catch up.
‘Where too now?’ I press, as I come level with him and crunch my hands into fists when I see him scrolling his cell again, looking at his call list. The knot of anger and upset deep down , moving up my chest, and for the first time I just want to shake him. I can’t stand this anymore. I bite my tongue and keep my mouth shout.
‘Home for you…I am meeting Nate for a late night training session.’
He doesn’t look my way, doesn’t even ask if that is okay, or if I even want to go home. Just his decision and I am being palmed off again. He has done this almost every time I see him for the last months. Short time together, where he barley speaks about anything much, and then he drops me off so he can go meet his trainer or his brother, or anyone else that is not me. I am getting beyond fed up with this, and I have barley been in his apartment for weeks. I feel like crying, but I don’t. I bottle it up and remind myself that this is just a phase.
A little bump in the road, an adjustment period. Time for him to forget that hussy and what she has done to his head.
Sophie really has done a number on him. I don’t get it at all, what he saw in her. She was a high maintenance, spoiled child, who tantrummed and stropped, who always demanded her own way and made life a strain. It’s like she weaved a magical spell over him, whenever she was around, and he only ever saw her. Trying to compete with it was futile, the way all his attention would be for her only, the way he changed when she was around; immature, playful, irritating, and lost some of the cool control. I hated all of it. I like that he’s responsible, sensible, quiet and respected. I like that people look up to him and he has a name in business, if only he would stop dipping into that awful fighting scene he likes so much and just focus on being more like his brother.
Jake has it sorted out; marriage, children, work. A nice house in the Hampton’s. I can see us having all that too.
‘I think I may stay with you tonight.’ I say bravely as he ushers me out into the cool night air and puts his hand up to hail a cab. He doesn’t look my way, so I continue, holding my breath.
‘We could maybe try and rekindle some intimacy.’ I watch him for a change in his demeanour, but it’s like I haven’t said a word. He has never turned down sex, not once in the last two years when I offered it.
‘I’m not feeling great, I want to just go to training and go home to sleep. I’ll call you tomorrow.’ He looks at me fleetingly, not really even trying to sound apologetic, and goes back to hailing a cab, it makes me feel like stomping my foot.
Why am I the one who is trying so hard?
‘Stop it.’ I snap at him, it comes out of nowhere and my voice waivers. I have had enough of this behaviour, this eternal distance and lack of effort on his part. Does he forget what he did? What he’s doing to me? I have tried to ignore all of it, to move on, but he’s just not trying to meet me halfway.
‘Stop pushing me away…. You make me feel so unwanted.’ I start to cry and try to fight it. Hating that I am making a spectacle of myself in front of him, and grab for a tissue in my handbag. Arrick sighs and drops his hand from trying to hail a cab on the busy sidewalk. He comes to me and pulls me in for a hug, a loose embrace and cradles my head against his chest. Patting me on the back lightly. It’s the first real contact we have had in weeks, and it just feels forced.
‘I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be an ass hole. I’m just not myself right now, and things at work have been tough lately.’ He sounds genuine, but I know it’s not entirely true. I heard him on his cell to Jake, and Nathan, many a time in the past couple of weeks. He’s zoning out on them as much as he is with me, and everyone seems to be annoyed at his lack of engagement lately. His head isn’t with any of us.
I refuse to believe that she has this effect on him. It’s just a phase, a little bubble of depression that he will get through. I want to believe it’s guilt, for what he has done to us. I won’t let her take credit for this zombie state he is existing in. She doesn’t deserve this much of him. he’s mine and mine alone and he chose me. He’s here with me. I won.
I pull back and look up at him, testing the waters, I rise up on tiptoes and kiss him. Lips meet for a second, so familiar, a kiss I used to love so much, but he just tenses, gives me a chaste response and pulls away, his arms dropping around me as he puts distance between us.
‘I’ll get a cab… I really am tired, Tash.’ He dodges eye contact and goes back to hailing a cab for us. Looking relieved when one pulls into the kerb for us. I go to get in, but he pauses me with a hand on my arm as he opens the door.
‘You take this…… I need some air, and the walk will do me good. I’ll be better. I promise.’ He looks at me so regretfully, a hint of guilt shining through and I cannot do anything except nod. I want to believe, trust him again. I want so desperately for this to work. I don’t argue, I don’t complain, I never do. I lean up and kiss him on the cheek, smooth his jacket down and get into the cab. He shuts the door on me before I get a chance to say anything and we pull away from the sidewalk quickly.
I watch him as we leave him, turning in my seat to look behind me and he has already started to head away from where we parted. He looks so lost in that moment, head down and hands pushed into his pockets. I feel my heart break with the sad sight of him and pray I have enough strength to get us back from this. I don’t ever want to lose him.
I love him.