Page 57

"Because I'm in love with you, Rory."

Yeah, he was a f**king moron.

Chapter 28

"Get off of me."

"Rory, I-"

"Get the hell off of me, Connor!" she snapped, pushing at his shoulders, ignoring the sharp pain shooting through her broken arm as anger and desperation rushed through her, demanding that she put space between them.

"Baby, relax," Connor said soothingly as he slowly pulled out of her. If she wasn't so close to a nervous breakdown, she'd probably be crying in frustration at the loss. She was going to lose it and she wanted to get away from him when it happened, afraid that she would truly kill the bastard this time.

They'd both done some horrible things to each other over the years, but this.....this was crossing the line. This was sick, vicious and low even for Connor. If she wasn't so damn sure that she was falling for the bastard, she would have laughed off his declaration of love, shoved him off and walked away without a second thought. Instead, she was trapped beneath him, struggling against the need to act like a girl and cry as she screamed and slapped him for this sick joke.

"I love you, Rory," he said softly as he gently caressed her cheek with the back of his knuckles as he gazed down at her, a small smile touching his lips that just went to piss her off even more.

"Stop," she begged, trying to push him away, but the damn man refused to move.

"Rory, I-"

"If you say that you love me one more time, I swear to God that I will kill you with my bare hands," she said evenly as she shoved at his shoulders one more time and this time, with a small groan, he moved away from her.

She didn't waste any time in getting off the bed and going to the bathroom to find her clothes. As she yanked on her shirt, she mentally berated herself for being so stupid. She should have never slept with him, never mind going along with this deal. She'd been an idiot to think that she could handle Connor. She'd never been able to before and she didn't know why she thought that she could handle him now.

God, she was such a fool. The moment that she realized that she was feeling something for the bastard, she should have called off this ridiculous deal of theirs and figured out another way to get her suites. Instead, she used excuse after excuse to give and take what she wanted and now she was paying for it. She'd had her heart broken by several men before, how could she not?

They treated her like a f**k buddy, someone that they wanted to get off with. When they became bored or something better came along, they moved on, leaving her feeling worthless. As much as it hurt to be treated like crap it didn't even begin to compare to what it felt like to have her heart broken by Connor.

"We need to talk," Connor said, coming up behind her just as she finished pulling her jeans on, and wrapped his arms around her.

"Get your goddamn hands off of me, Connor!"

"No, we need to talk," he said, tightening his hold, but not enough to hurt her, when she tried to pull away.

"The deals over, Connor! I'm done! You finally won, okay? You won!" she cried, struggling against his hold with everything that she had, but he refused to let go even as she kicked, rammed her elbow into his side and thrashed in his arms as the first tear rolled down her cheek. She didn't want him to see her cry, refused to let him know just how badly he'd hurt her.

"The deal doesn't matter, Rory. The suites are yours," he rushed out on a grunt when she managed to turn slightly to the left and slammed her elbow in his stomach, desperate to get away from him.

"I don't want them!" she screamed, hating herself when a sob broke through.

"Baby, please calm down," Connor pleaded, tightening his hold on her.

"Let me go!"

"Not until you hear me out."

"I don't want to hear you out, you lying, life ruining bastard! I hate you, you ass**le!" she barely managed to get out through the sobs.

For a moment he didn't say anything and she was thankful for that, but even happier when he finally released her. She quickly stepped away from him and headed for the bathroom door and her escape when his next words stopped her short.

"I'm sorry about that night, Rory. I'm sorry for so many f**king things," he said, his voice hoarse.

"You shouldn't have come that night," she said tightly, forcing herself to face him.

"I regret a lot of things about that night, but I don't regret that," he said, meeting her glare with a hard look of his own.

"You ruined my life that night," she said quietly, not bothering to wipe the tears away as they streamed down her cheeks.

"I know."

"If you hadn't come that night-"

"You would have had to deal with something far worse than losing your scholarship, Rory," Connor said, cutting her off.

Frowning, she asked, "What the hell are you talking about?"

For a moment he only looked at her and just when she thought that she was finally about to get her answers after all of these years, he shook his head and moved to step past her. "Ask your brothers."

No, he was not about to do this to her on top of everything else. They were going to finish this tonight.

"I'm asking you, Connor," she said, stepping in front of him and blocking his path.

"It would be better if it came from one of your brothers," he said, trying to step past her, but she was done playing this game with him.

"It would be better if it came from you and while you're at it, you can tell me why you followed me up there in the first place," she demanded, making it clear that she wasn't moving until he finally gave her the answers that she'd been waiting years for.

"Are you sure that you want to hear this?" he asked, resting his hip against the sink counter as he waited.

"Yes," she said with absolutely no hesitation. She desperately wanted to know what happened that night, why he was there and why he couldn't just leave her the hell -

"I came up there to talk to you about something, but when I got there you were already the life of the party. For weeks, months really, I'd been trying to work up the courage to talk to you, but the moment that I saw you, I lost my nerve," he admitted with a small rueful smile.

"What did you come to talk to me about?" she found herself asking as she leaned back against the door.

"I sat back, not sure what to do," he said, continuing with his story and for the moment she allowed it. "I hung back for a few hours, trying to work up the nerve to approach you," he explained, surprising her. Since when was he nervous about approaching her?

"Just when I decided to put it off, I saw you stumble across the dance floor. It was more than obvious that you were drunk. The guy that you were with definitely figured that out," Connor ground out, suddenly looking pissed. "I hung out for another minute, hoping that your brothers would step in, but none of them did. So, when the ass**le dragged you, stumbling and giggling out the backdoor, I followed."

"I don't really remember any of this," she admitted, frowning as she struggled to remember something, anything about that part of the night, but it was useless.

"I'm not surprised, Rory. You were pretty wasted by that point. You couldn't even walk without help," Connor explained as she noticed for the first time since this whole thing started that he'd pulled on a pair of jeans, but left them unbuttoned, that along with his casual pose and mussed hair made him look sweet and sexy. He certainly didn't look like a life ruining bastard or someone who enjoyed screwing around with someone's heart.