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Raging Heart On_ Friends to Lovers Romance

By´╝ÜJordan Marie

CHAPTER 1


KAYLA


“You’re what??!”

I hold the phone away from my ear, wincing. That man can yell.

“Calm down, White. I said, I’m getting married.”

“Who the fuck to? Kayla, if you’re still seeing that bastard Crenshaw after he…”

“I’m not seeing Bobby.”

“Damn it! That was only a month ago. How are you getting married?”

“It’s complicated.”

“Well, it just so happens I seem to have a lot of free time on my hands, so explain it to me.”

“Yeah, right. Football season starts next week. I may not watch that crap, but I keep up with the MVP in last year’s big game.”

“Obviously not enough, or you would know I messed up my fucking shoulder again two weeks ago. I’m out for at least another six weeks.”

“Oh no, White! I’m so sorry. You didn’t tell me! Why didn’t you at least text me?”

“If I had, you would have told me how I shouldn’t have been riding bulls in the off season and trying to conquer two sports. I already had my trainers, general manager and doctor’s harping enough.”

“I’m sorry. I just don’t like knowing you’re taking chances and I panic, worrying something will happen to you. I know you’re an adrenaline junkie, but bull riding is dangerous.”

“Ironic that I got hurt playing football then, right?”

“I’m sorry White. I wish you’d told me. I would have been there.”

“You were dealing with enough, cleaning Crenshaw out of your life… or at least I thought you were. So come on, Kayla, tell me what’s going on.”

“You’re just going to get mad.”

“Tell me,” he growls, and I take a breath to shore up my courage. I’ve been best friends with White Hall Lucas since I was fifteen years old and his brother Green broke my heart. I was all set to go to the prom with Green and he stood me up when his girlfriend Cynthia suddenly wanted him back. Green welcomed her back with open arms, even though the bitch only did it because Tommy Haynes, the star quarterback, hurt his leg and couldn’t dance. Green was kind of an idiot when it came to Cynthia. According to White, he still can be, which is just plain sad.

I’ve come to love the Lucas family—from all of White’s brothers that their mother Ida Sue named after colors in a crayon box, to his sisters who are all named after flowers. And his mother, despite all of her far-out-there ways of naming her kids and her craziness, is one of the sweetest people you ever want to meet. They’re all kind, loving people who make you laugh and open their doors and hearts to you. Above them all, though, is White. White took me to the prom in his brother’s place. He dried my tears as I cried over his brother. He took me fishing and we just sort of began this friendship that’s lasted for fifteen years. A friendship I love. A friendship I hate. Hate because, though White may see me as his best friend—and I am, as he is mine—the truth is… I love him. I’m horribly, desperately, and irrevocably in love with White, and he doesn’t have a clue. I can’t tell him because there’s no way I can ruin our friendship. If he knew how much it has killed me through the years as he went from one woman to the next, it would change the way he sees me, and I can’t let that happen. White isn’t attracted to me. He never has been. He sees me as a buddy and has from day one. It sucks, but I’ve learned to adapt. I’ve had to; it’s the only way I can keep White in my life, and that is the most important thing.

“Kay? Talk to me,” he says, and the concern in his voice is my undoing, just like always.

“I’m lonely, White.”

“What?”

“I’m lonely. I’m not like you. I actually like being with another person. I enjoy quiet nights at home watching television. I like sharing a pizza and watching the big game. I enjoy being with just one person and knowing what to expect from them. I miss it. I’m lonely,” I tell him, wondering if he even realizes that the one person I do that the most with is him. It’s a stupid question, because he doesn’t. He never has understood that we spend more time together than any married couple, which was another reason I accepted Tommy’s proposal. I have to forget White. I have to get a little distance from him. I have to. I can’t keep going on like this.

“Being lonely isn’t a reason to get married, Kay. That’s not a good reason to tie yourself to someone. What if you—?”

“I want children, White.”

“What?” White asks, acting as if he doesn’t believe it, and maybe he doesn’t. He’s never wanted them. He talks all the time about how Green’s child destroyed his brother’s life. I don’t see it that way, but White never understood. “Kay, honey, you have plenty of time to have kids.”

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