Home > Jersey Girl (Sticks & Hearts #1)(3)

Jersey Girl (Sticks & Hearts #1)(3)
Rhonda James

I place the frame back on the shelf and pull out my phone, swiping my thumb across to answer as I settle on the massive sofa.

"Hey, Justin," I answer wearily.

"Hey, babe. I miss you already. I was starting to worry. You never called to let me know you'd arrived safely."

"I know. I'm sorry, but Scotty brought me back to his house and I've just been getting settled. I was going to call." I rest my chin on a knee and aimlessly pick at my toenail polish. I'm not in the mood to have this conversation again.

"Don't worry about it. So, how is Scott? Tell him I said hi. You know what, just let me talk to him." Justin and my brother have known each other since we were little kids growing up in the same neighborhood.

"He's out with Ashley."

"Why would he invite you there if he wasn't going to be home? He shares that house with three other guys, right? Who else is there?"

"Calm down, Justin. I'm here alone. The dorms don't open for three days. Besides, I'm the one who told him to go out. I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself."

He makes it sound as if he's worried about me, but where had his worry been when I'd caught him cheating with my best friend? I broke up with him immediately, but he refuses to let go.

"Justin, you do know we broke up. Right?"

A heavy sigh fills the silence, and I know he's trying not to lose his shit. Justin has a really bad temper, which is great when he's on the ice. Unfortunately, I've been on the receiving end of his wrath, and it wasn't pretty.

"Justin, you knew this is what I wanted," I whisper.

"It's just hard, you know, hearing you say those things. Christ, for two years you've been my girl." There's pain laced in his words, and I get defensive, because he's the one responsible for this pain, and I'm tired of hurting.

"We stopped having sex when I broke up with you," I remind him.

"Doesn't matter. In my heart you'll always be mine. And I'm not ready to let you go."

"Listen, I'll always care for you. You were my first love, and you'll always hold a special place in my heart. But I need this. This isn't easy for me either, Jus—," my voice breaks. None of this has been easy. I care for him. I'm just not in love with him anymore.

"Could have fooled me. I'm sorry, Cassie, but I think you're giving up on us too soon."

"Maybe so, but I'm ready to move on," I answer defiantly.

"This isn't the end of us," he warns.

I let out a shaky breath and steel myself to deliver the final blow. "It's over, Justin. When are you going to accept that you need to let me go?"

"I'll never let you go. Never," he threatens, reminding me why I needed to get away from Minnesota. I hadn't planned on switching schools, but his actions left me no other choice. I needed a clean break. From Justin. From Charlotte. From everything that reminded me of what used to be. Now I just need to move forward.

I hang up, without saying goodbye, and make my way to the bedroom where I'll be spending the next few nights. Letting go of someone you've spent a chunk of your life with isn't easy. Justin and I were friends for years before we started dating. I still remember the first orgasm he ever gave me. We were both virgins, or at least I was. At the time I thought he was as well. Looking back, it seems like so long ago. I have a lot of memories of our time together, and for a long time things were really good.

Until they went bad.

Coming here had been the right thing to do. Time to shake off the past and focus on moving forward. I wasted two years pretending to be someone I wasn't just to make Justin happy. It's time I learn what makes me happy.

CHAPTER TWO

BRANTLEY

It's two in the morning when I stumble into the house and make my way up to my room. I'm exhausted and looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. The house is dead silent, except for the snoring I hear coming from Davis' room. Doing my best to keep quiet, I duck into the bathroom to take a leak before stripping naked and crawling into bed.

I have a king-sized bed, and it's freaking huge. It takes up a good portion of my room, but at my height, I need room to spread out. Slipping between the sheets after being away for ten days feels better than anything I've ever felt. Wait. Scratch that. Feels almost better than anything I've ever felt. There's only one thing I can think of that could top this, and it's been a while since that has happened.

Just thinking about sex makes my dick hard, and I seriously consider rubbing one out, but I really need to get some sleep. I want to get some time in at the gym tomorrow morning, and then I need to meet with coach and talk to him about how things went at camp. I roll over, curling up on one side of the bed, and I'm out before I even have time to reconsider my decision.

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