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The roar of a motorcycle drowned out my words. We both turned toward the noise. King pulled up the gravel drive and parked a shiny black bike next to one of the house pilings. It was the first time I’d seen him drive anything other than his beat-up old truck. He swung off his bike and ripped his helmet off his head, tossing it to the ground as he stomped toward us with furious steps. His brows furrowed, and his fists clenched at his sides. His eyes firmly locked on me as he approached, looking me up and down and then to where Preppy was still holding my hand.

My heart beat in a quick, uneven rhythm as he approached. My palms began to sweat. I plastered a fake smile on my face.

“Where the fuck did you get THAT thing?” King roared, pointing to my dress. His gaze darted back and forth from me to Preppy.

Preppy smiled and released my hand. Once again draping his arm over my shoulders, he tugged me into his side.

King’s eyes widened at the gesture, and I thought for sure he was going to punch one or both of us. Preppy, however, seemed unaffected by King’s mood.

“We’re gonna paint the town red, Boss-Man,” Preppy answered coolly. “How do we look?”

Something in the way he asked made me think he was goading King.

“He bought me the dress,” I added, slightly embarrassed that King obviously didn’t like it. It was strapless and form-fitting. Showing off the curves I’d developed in the days I’d been stuffing my face.

“Fuck no, you’re not. I’ve changed my mind,” King said, staring Preppy dead in the eyes. “You’re gonna get your fucking ass back in the house before I put a fucking bullet in your skull. That’s what you’re going to fucking do.”

“Why not?” I heard myself ask before I had time to register the fact that I had also shook off Preppy and stepped to King. He came forward, too. Our feet touched at the toes. Since I was much shorter than him, I had to look up to meet his disapproving gaze.

“Cause I fucking said so, pup,” King growled, his nostrils flaring.

His usual green eyes were now shining black pools of anger. There was a hardness to his features that suggested this was a fight I’d never be able to win.

That didn’t mean I wasn’t going to try.

“I’m here because I don’t have any other options! I get that you’re fucking mad at me, or that you fucking hate me. I do. But I just wanted to pretend for one fucking night that I’m a normal girl on a normal date in a normal place!”

Just as I turned to head back into the house, King grabbed my elbow and spun me around, he tipped my chin up.

“Stay. Here,” he ordered, his face still hard and angry. “You.” King pointed to Preppy. “A fucking word. Now.”

He gestured with his chin to the house, releasing me as he stormed up the steps and slammed the front door behind him. Preppy looked amused although I’m not sure how he could’ve been with King steaming in such close proximity.

“Sorry, babe,” Preppy said with a knowing smile. “Maybe, another time?” He bounded up the steps, taking them two at a time. I thought about following them in, but I didn’t want to provoke King further.

I spent the next ten minutes stewing on the porch, wondering if they’d killed each other because I hadn’t heard anything inside. The sun had long since set over the trees, so I stayed under the safety of the light of the porch. I soon got tired of standing. My ass had barely touched the bottom step when the front door swung open, and King came bounding out. I jumped up and held onto the railing to keep from falling onto the walkway.

“Let’s go,” King said, holding out a hand to me. Anger still lingered on his face, along with a bit of confusion.

“Go? Go where?” I asked.

“On a date thing.” His brows furrowed again like my question confused him.

“With you?”

King nodded. Since his hand was still extended out to me and I’d made no move to take it, he reached over and grabbed my hand. That’s when I looked at him, I mean really looked at him.

He was freshly showered and smelled like he’d just put on cologne. He wore his usual dark jeans and a tight black t-shirt. His stubble was still there but neatly trimmed. It’s amazing what he’d done in the ten minutes he’d left me outside.

“With me,” he confirmed, slowly raking his eyes over my body. hid gaze burned into me.

“What happened to Preppy?” King stiffened.

“He’s no longer available,” King spat, obviously put off by the question.

“Oh,” I said, looking down at my feet.

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