Chapter 16- Breakdowns
“Do you plan to keep me a secret forever?” Jax asked one night. We both lay naked, our legs intertwined as he slowly scratched my back. It had been 2 weeks since we’d finally made our relationship official and it still felt surreal. I’d convinced him we needed to lay low for a little while.
I sighed dramatically. “Not forever. Just long enough for everyone to forget you slept with Liv.” His hand stilled on my back.
“I thought we were over that.”
“Well the two of us are but probably not everyone else. I know Olivia and Ella probably aren’t. They are probably mad that you slept with Liv then ghosted.” He’d been dodging Olivia the whole time we’d been together, making up excuses why he couldn’t see her. I’d asked him to. It was probably petty of me but I didn’t want the two of them to talk and I wasn’t sure how to tell her that Jax had chosen me.
“She’s a great person,” he said. I stiffened beside him. “She’s just not for me.” He kissed the top of my head. I knew we’d have to tell her soon. As if reading my mind a text pinged on my phone. I sat up and grabbed it off the nightstand. There were some messages in my group chat.
El: I’m sick of this guys and I need my friends all together. Let’s talk at the bakery after closing time tomorrow.
Adrienne: Agreed, I’ll be there.
There was no answer form Olivia but knowing El she would get her there whether she wanted to or not. I sighed heavily, setting my phone down. It’s not like I could hide, I worked there.
“Well looks like I’m talking to Olivia tomorrow.” Jax sat up on his elbows.
“Probably for the best. Then we can stop hiding out at your house.” He reached out and snagged me around the waist, pulling me right against him. I wriggled my bare butt against him feeling his cock stir at the movement. “Your trying to kill me women,” he groaned in my ear. With a laugh I turned towards him and all thought of Olivia flew out of my head.
“At least it’s would be from pleasure.” I wriggled against him suggestively. His teeth nipped my ear.
“Should we see what the drawer has in store for us today?”
I nodded vigorously. “Oh yes, let’s.”
The morning at the bakery was fairly busy. It left me little time to think about the girls coming in later. I still wasn’t sure how to break the news to Olivia. Jax was right, she was a good person. And she was my friend. Part of me wanted to gloat but the other part felt sad for her.
When the bell chimed right at closing time I looked up to see El. She breezed up to the counter, an easy smile on her face. “Hey Sof, it’s good to see you.”
I smiled back at her. “I’m sorry I haven’t come by. Zane said the honeymoon was great.”
“Ugh don’t remind me! All this cold weather, I’m dying to be back on the beach.” I slid a warm slice of cake in front of her.
“It’s not the beach but chocolate makes everything better.” She grabbed them cake and sat down at a table by the counter.
“It was a real chore getting Liv to agree to come....” she trailed off, sliding a piece of cake into her mouth. I shrugged and busied myself with packing up the left over baked goods. “She’s been a bit upset lately. Seems she thought her and Jax had something and now he’s dodging her. Any ideas?”
I shrugged again, trying and failing to keep the grin off my face. I am a horrible person, I thought to myself. “Just, go easy on her. She has a rough exterior but she’s more fragile than she looks.” I glanced up at El who was looking at me earnestly.
“I’m sorry El, I know this puts you in a bad position. I understand that you’ll always side with your sister.”
El shook her head, smiling gently. “I’m not choosing sides. I want everyone to be happy. If you and Jax make each other happy then great. Personally, I didn’t think he and Liv would make a good match anyway.” She smiled and used her fork to get another big bite of cake. My smile was ear to ear as the door opened and Adrienne walked over to sit across from El.
“Any coffee Sof? I’m freezing!” I poured her a cup and quickly took it to her. “You are the best.” She took a big gulp, shuddering as the hot liquid warmed her from the inside. “So...anyone else nervous for this?”
El chuckled softly as I felt my face heat up. “It’ll be...interesting,” I said, making my way to the case of food and plated up two danishes. One for Adrienne and one for Liv. She couldn’t be too mad if I had her favorite pastry waiting right? I sat down with my friends as we waited for Liv to arrive.
“So El, how’s baby #2 coming along?”
El grinned brightly, only a slight flush creeping over her cheeks. “Well the practice has been fantastic. Zane is very...determined. I’ll keep everyone updated.” We all laughed. My mind instantly imaged a tiny little Jax running around and I felt my gut clench. It was way too soon to be thinking about kids! But the idea of a tanned, dark haired kid with chocolate eyes made my heart melt.
The bells above the door tinkled and each of us looked up. Liv stood just inside the door, her pale blonde hair pulled back in a severe bun and her face looking colorless. I stood quickly and headed to grab her coffee.
“Don’t worry Sofia, I won’t be staying. I just came out of consideration for my sister.” She said sharply as she strode over to give El a quick hug. She looked upset and I felt bad for having had Jax string her along for the past two weeks. Biting my lip I stepped forward with a mug of coffee.
“Please Liv, if I could just have two minutes?” I held the cup out to her.
The room was so silent you could here a pin drop. Liv looked at the coffee, then me with wide eyes. It felt like we stood there for hours. Finally she crossed her arms over her chest and cleared her throat. “2 minutes.”
I took a deep breath. “Jax and I are dating,” I spit out, still standing there holding a mug of coffee out to her. Her eyes narrowed. I mentally smacked myself for just bursting out like that. I closed my eyes, taking another deep breath before continuing. “Sorry, I should explain. After the orchestra concert I did something I wasn’t proud of. In my hurt and anger I slept with my best friend. Jax came over to see me the next morning and found out. They got into a fight and everyone said some things we didn’t mean. Jax left angry and hurt. He came to you and...” here I trailed off, unsure how to phrase it.
“Then he came to me as a way of getting back at you for sleeping with some other guy?” Liv asked, her tone full of anger.
I nodded sheepishly, finally lowering the coffee mug to the table. My chest felt lighter now that she knew. I felt the tightness in my face leaving as I stood up taller. Adrienne and El were exchanging odd looks. I studied Olivia’s cold face.
“So I was just a revenge fuck is that right?” My eyes widened realizing how this all sounded.
She held up her hand, stopping my sentence. “Basically he was pissed at you and used me to make you jealous? I meant nothing to him.”
“No please that’s not...”
“Save it Sofia!” Liv snapped harshly. “So now the two of you are together and he’s been avoiding me. Let me guess he’s not man enough to tell me to my face that I meant nothing to him?!” El’s chair shot back as she stood to wrap her arms around her sister.
“Ollie calm down,” she said softly. I noticed tears pooling in Liv’s eyes and I felt my heart sink. She had really cared for Jax and I had just made it seem like she was a meaningless fling until he could get to me. My shoulders sagged and I ran a hand over my face.
“Liv I’m so sorry, we should have talked with you sooner. I shouldn’t have insisted on keeping you in the dark.”
Liv’s eyes grew wider as she looked at me. Even El and Adrienne gave me shocked expressions. “That’s fucking low Sofia. You both owed me an explanation! What did I ever do to you?” Tears were streaming down her face as her body sagged in El’s arms. She was fighting to keep her upright but was quickly loosing. Olivia sank to the floor with a heart wrenching sob. Adrienne quickly ran to her other side, both of them engulfing her in an embrace.
My bottom lip trembled. “N..n...nothing I d..d..didn’t....” I felt warm tears slipping down my face and I quickly wiped them away. Olivia sat on her bottom, her legs splayed our in an uncomfortable w while Adrienne and El hugged her, each whispering words of solace. Their voices drowned out by the sobs filling the room.
Horror engulf me. I felt glued to the spot. I had never seen Olivia lose her cool, not once. Even when we went out for girls nights and drank shot after shot she was always so mature and collected. My heart felt heavy and I knelt down, reaching out for her. El pulled her backwards away from me.
“Just don’t Sofia,” she said roughly. I jerked away as if I’d been burned.
“I’m so sorry. It’s not like that, Jax really did like you just...”
“Not as much as you,” Olivia sobbed through her hands. I swallowed last the lump in my throat. I didn’t want to agree to that. Olivia already felt awful and that was mostly my fault. I was beginning to think I should have let Jax handle this conversation.
“That’s not it Liv I promise. I’m doing this all wrong!” My face felt hot with embarrassment. I’d never meant to hurt Liv. This whole thing had just gotten so out of hand. I’d never stopped to consider what me winning Jax would look like for her. “Please Liv just let me explain...”
El let out an exasperated sigh. “Let’s just let this go for now Sophia. Adrienne help me get Ollie to my car.” Adrienne nodded and together they lifted her up from the floor. Being supported by the two of them she looked so helpless. My eyes burned with tears as the knot in my throat tightened. I watched my friends leave the shop without a word.
I stood there long after they’d driven off. I couldn’t find it in me to move. Tears had dried along my cheeks and my hands were clenched into fists. My feet were hurting but I couldn’t stop seeing the anguish cross Liv’s face as I’d tried to explain what had happened. A light ding sounded from my pocket pulling me from my trance. I pulled my phone out and stared at the screen.
Jax: How’d it go babe? I’ll be off in about 30. Want me to snag chinese and we can talk?
My chest burned with the breath I’d been holding and I let it out with a woosh. Fumbling I texted him back.
Me: I can’t tonight. Let’s talk later.
I couldn’t bring myself to face him. Our two weeks felt so wrong suddenly. Our whole relationship felt wrong. Fresh tears threatening to overtake me. Tucking my phone back into my pocket I set about putting the bakery to rights so I could get everything closed up and get home. Feeling numb to everything I packed up and headed home.
Once I was home I let Rex out to potty and sat on my back steps. I watched the sky darken as I thought about Liv and Jax and Spencer. The people I cared about were hurting and it was all because of me. Burying my face in my hands I let out a few muffled sobs. Rex rested his head gently on my knee as I sat in the cold, thinking about what a horrible person I was.