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Chasing Forever(Chasing Series #4)

By:Pamela Ann

Lucy

Rome


Basking out on the veranda with Blake Sienna, Chad and Toby, we were enjoying our late afternoon siesta after we'd returned, peckish and thirsty, from shopping in the Piazza di Spagna and Via del Babuino. We had enjoyed some peach Bellini's while the men enjoyed their alcoholic drinks as we shared the mini pastries, olives, cold cuts and assorted cheeses that were always right before us.

"Paris and Rome are like fashion orgasms for the gays. I think I've shopped myself to exhaustion. If I see one more Armani, I'm going to keel over and die." Chad sighed, exhausted. "But then again, if it looked good on me, I'd die wearing it. I'm going down hot, that's all I'm saying."

"Don't forget the hot men!" I chirped, remembering the sizzling encounters we'd had earlier.

Toby snorted and slammed his glass down, head shaking in disbelief.

Chad looked at him then at me. "Why aren't you two speaking or looking at each other?" Chad pointed at me and then at Toby, swishing his finger back and forth, suspicious. "You guys want some shots to loosen the tubes or what?" He grinned evilly, wicked thoughts etched in his dark eyes.

I stilled, hoping he would shut it before things went out of control. All morning I had tried to forget, but I just couldn't for the life of me believe what had happened last night.

I gave Chad a nasty look while he started laughing his butt off then slid a shot towards me and another towards Toby. "Heavy sexual vibes going on, that's all."

Toby shook his head, staring at the shot in front of him before he took it in one slug. "I suppose it's my fault. I kissed her yesterday."

Blasted fuck. Why did he have to brazenly announce something so personal?

I groaned, covering my face. "Shut up!"

Toby flinched, looking offended at my reaction. "Well, why don't we just have it out here, shall we, Lucy? After all, we are amongst friends."

All air left me as I stared at him with horror. "You wouldn't dare!" I spat back.

Our eyes battled while his nose flared, and he contemplated what to do next. When his lips pressed together, looking determined, I knew he was going for the kill.

Toby stood up, towering over us with his eyes flashing everything he was going through, baring it all out in the open. "Fine. I'm a twit! I'm a pig. I'm a bloody, fucking adulterer because I fucking had sex with you last night! I'm not going to apologize because I fucking loved every second of it. There wouldn't have been a difference anyway because I've cheated on my wife on a daily basis; looking at videos and pictures of you-of us. From the second our eyes met to our first kiss, it's you that I've loved." He looked away, mellowing down. "It was supposed to be you on the altar with me, Luce. It was supposed to be you and me forever, remember?"

This was too much. "Stop, please …  I can't handle this," I begged, attempting to hold it all in while my eyes started to gloss with tears.

Sienna tried to reach out and soothe me, yet nothing was helping because, apparently, he wasn't done yet.

"It's true …  I love you. Just say the word and I'll divorce Amelia straight away. I haven't consummated the marriage because …  the thought of her as my wife repulsed me." He paused, composing himself. "I know this is a lot, especially since I have a kid on the way, but I'm fucking dying here, Lucy. When will you stop punishing me for what my family said to you and end my agony?"

"I don't know." I looked away, feeling uncertain.

"Okay. I'm walking away. I'm going to throw everything-every memento I have that reminds me of you-out. All I need to hear is for you to tell me that you don't love me."

He had the audacity to throw ultimatums? I was beyond incensed. "Easy. I don't love you!"

He painfully swallowed, sighed and toyed with his empty shot glass before he nodded, lips pressed together. "Mate, you know I'd be here for you, but I hope you understand that I have to leave right now," he directed at Blake then started to retreat towards the villa.

What? He just walked away after all that rubbish?

"Where the hell do you think you're going?" I stood up, yelling at the top of my lungs.

Not looking back, he yelled, "Home," and continued walking.

Bastard.

Clenching both of my hands, I groaned before I shot back, "London?"

"Spain," he responded before completely disappearing inside.

Still staring after him, I was rendered speechless. I was livid, shaking with rage, my tears unstoppable as I slowly sat back down, looking perplexed.   





 

Chad instantly came towards me, holding me close.

"I had sex with him last night. When he kissed me, I forgot the fact that he was married," I managed to say, sobbing.

Blake looked at me, frowning with concern, as if he was in pain, too. "Lucy, I adore you, but you're too thick-headed sometimes. If Toby goes back to her and really tries to make this marriage work, you'd be in a shambles. Is that what you want?"

Instead of responding, I cried harder, knowing the weight of his words. Hell. This was pure Hell.

Out of nowhere, Chad slapped my cheek, catching me off guard as all I could do was stare at him. Horrified.

"GET YOUR ASS MOVING AND GET YOUR MAN BACK! GO!" he screeched into my face.

My cries stopped, halting amidst my shock with my mouth hanging ajar, my eyes unblinking.

Chad looked mad as he placed his hands on the side of my hips before he lifted me to stand on my feet. "GO!" he screamed into my face like a bloody Sergeant.

Huffing, I snapped out of my funk before I started marching indoors. "You're going to pay for that!" I managed to throw back at Chad, walking ahead.

"It was my pleasure!" he called after me, laughing.

I wasn't sure if Chad's brazenness offended or warmed me, however I knew I had to settle things with the determined man inside.

Bracing myself, I strode inside the villa, towards his bedroom.





Last night …

I could feel the weight of his stare-heated, angry, impassioned … and defeated. Those crystal blues zoned in on me as if there was no one around-as if we weren't surrounded by three of our closest friends. His eyes told me what I didn't want to see. What I surely didn't need to feel.

He should know better, but apparently, the idea hadn't come across in his drunken brilliantness.

Sipping my wine slowly, I tried to listen to what my friend, Chad, was saying, but I failed utterly. I couldn't for the life of me focus on anything. As much as I tried to avoid his severe stare, he was somehow getting through to me. As always.

This was how it was between us. We shared this uncanny ability of knowing each other's feelings without muttering a word about it. Back in the day, it was one of the things that I had loved between us, yet that was all in the past-back at a time where things were pure and unsullied, surely not something that had carried over to this present day.

What was his purpose anyway? This was our first night in Rome and he was willing to spoil it for Sienna and Blake, our main reason for being here in the first place.

I couldn't break now. My pride had saved me thus far, and it was certainly going to protect me over the coming days, breathing and living around him on a daily basis. God or some other miraculous super power could only help protect my sanity.

Hoping was one thing; dealing with it in this instance was another.

"For the love of God! Stop staring at me." I finally flashed him a seething, hateful glare before I got up and huffed, leaving in haste. I was sure the rest of my friends, especially Sienna, were shocked at my sudden, explosive reaction. She must have thought I was the sanest one amongst all of us, however she was wrong. The inner thoughts were chaotic. Wretched. Bitter. But most of all, irrevocably heartbroken.

It was true. I might deny it to the rest of humanity, yet deep inside, the turmoil my mind and heart were going though was endless. Acting like a pompous bitch was the only defense mechanism that helped me get through this shit storm of a mess.

It had been four months now of enduring this vile, gut-wrenching pain after seeing him this past Christmas in Courchevel, France with another woman dangling on his arm.

I had never been the same again. It had been a wake-up call. A slap to the face. He might just as well have stomped my wretched heart with his heel because it sure felt like that. The lacerating pain I had suffered during that holiday …  I would not, could not, ever forget.

Love was a blasted, prickly fool. Why had it chosen me?

I never wanted it to end-I wasn't ready to let him go, but I knew I had to. I didn't want to be the reason that would cause a rift in his family. Had I been selfish, things would've turned out differently.

Wishful thinking was a thing I loathed more than anything.

Back inside the villa, I was navigating around the vast hallways, striding towards my room while I kept reminding myself of the reason why I couldn't succumb to his blatant display of emotion. Shutting myself inside my bedroom, I sat on the bed, feeling bereft-unbalanced-even though my surroundings portrayed calm elegance.

Seraphina, our host and Blake's wonderful aunt, had decadent taste in décor. My room had been designed in modern Romanesque architecture with a lot of ivory, beige and different shades of earth colors. Add the hints of gold in the furnishings and it completed the space; giving it a nice, relaxing ambiance.   





 

I probably just needed a moment to take the heat off my body, hoping my boiling blood would settle down and calm my senses. Being around him-seeing him laughing and smiling amongst our friends, our close-knit circle-just brought back great, old memories I'd had with him. After all, two years of bliss was a long time to be with someone.

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