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Chapter 22

To say I was pissed was like saying the sky was blue. Pretty damn obvious to those paying attention.

The rat fink bastard had been cheating on me!

Okay, so that was a pretty big assumption on my part, but all the pieces were falling into place. Besides, it had only been two weeks since I ended things. No way was he suddenly that cozy with someone, to the point of framing a picture in his living room, if there hadn’t been a little action on the side before our split.

When I think of everything I had endured, especially in the past few months of our relationship…well I couldn’t help but feel a little angry.

Okay…A lot of angry.

He had the balls to cheat on me after the way he treated me? After the way he spoke to me? After the way he slowly, but surely, had started to break down my self-esteem? After the way he went all Neanderthal at Kade in the hospital all the while knowing that he was keeping a piece on the side?

And to think of all the times I had excused his behavior because I had been stupid enough to believe he was actually being serious and putting in the effort to build his career. The countless times I had defended him to Sam for simply breathing. All that time I had unknowingly turned a blind eye to the fact he had been cheating. I had ignored my instinct and now the proof was sitting here, mocking me in her size-two-easily-five-thousand-dollar Louis Vuitton gown.

And what did I have to show for my time and my troubles?

A few expensive pieces of jewelry, some random piece-of-junk trinkets and the most unimaginative, boring vanilla sex life imaginable. If nothing else, could I have least gotten a good bang for my buck? (Pun totally intended.)

And why in the hell had he called me yesterday, talking about us giving it another chance? Clearly he and the Double Mint Twins had been hooking up. So then why the hell was he so bent out of shape when I told him I didn’t want him back? Unless of course he really was that kind of snake in the grass and he wanted his cake and eat it too? Or in this case, he wanted his cake and vanilla ice cream too. (I really need to get something to eat.)

But he had to be getting some from the porn star on his arm. Hell, she probably could teach him a whole bag of tricks, if she hadn’t already.

So then the question that was begged to be asked, what did he want me for?

Over the past thirty six hours, I had a gun pointed at me (twice!), been shot at (twice!), attacked in the dark, come nose to nose with a dead person, and was now currently standing in the sterile living room of my cheating bastard of an ex-boyfriend in the middle of the night after making the biggest mistake of my life by running off without at least having taken Kade for a test drive when I had the chance.

Add to the list the fact that I was soaked, tired and now hungry as hell.

A good combination this did not make.

Snatching the frame from the display case, I marched over to where Sean was in the process of hanging up the phone and threw the frame at his head.

And since I throw like a girl, I missed.

Instead of hitting him square in the forehead, which I had been aiming for, it bounced off his left shoulder and slammed into the wall behind him with a loud shatter.

“Addison!” he yelled, jumping back suddenly. “What the hell?!”

“What the hell,” I parroted as I stomped around the desk towards him. “I’ll tell you what the hell you cheating rat fink bastard. How the hell could you do that to me? After all the bullshit I put up with, the lame gifts, the lame sex, the obnoxious way you looked down at your nose at everyone around you. How dare you have the little balls to actually cheat on me when less than twenty four hours ago you were begging me to take you back!”

“Addison,” he said, putting his hands up defensively as he I continued to advance on him.

“Don’t talk,” I said as I jabbed a finger into his chest. “Don’t even breath. I’m through listening to your bullshit.” I shook my head and laughed bitterly. “I had always thought you were a real pretentious bastard. I guess I just learned the hard way that I should always follow my instinct.”

“Addison,” he started again.

This time I shut him up with a slap across the face.

(While I do not necessarily condone violence, I have to admit that felt pretty damn good.)

“Let’s get out of here,” I said as I turned back to Sam who stood with her mouth gaping over.

I stomped around the desk and headed back towards the foyer.

“I would rather take my chances with a hit man then stay here,” I spit over my shoulder.

Sam remained quiet, probably still in shock about my sudden onslaught of violent behavior, but she followed me toward the foyer.

Sean called my name, asking me to be reasonable so that we could talk, but I ignored him and hurried my steps.

Once I reached the front door, I gave Sean a final glance over my shoulder. He was trying to tiptoe his way through the path of broken glass and I couldn’t hide my smirk of satisfaction.

Score one for Addison...finally.

“Addison, let me explain,” I could hear Sean saying behind me, closer this time.

“There’s nothing to explain,” I snapped. “I think the fact I’m willing to take my chances with a hit man versus staying here and listening to your random bullshit excuse should speak volumes.”

I grabbed the door handle and yanked hard, falling back a few steps because the door unexpectedly remained firmly shut.

Mental forehead slap.

With a sigh of frustration, I quickly unlocked the deadbolt and made a second attempt at a dramatic exit, if there is such a thing as a second dramatic exit.

I rushed through the front door, Sam close on my heels. I had already given in to one violent outburst today. I knew if Sean got close enough, that little outburst was going to turn into a full on tantrum and I refused to be responsible for anything I was liable to do because I was under duress. (Yeah, that sounded like a good defense.)

Sam and I made it about three feet out the door when the sky lit up like the Fourth of July.

Well, maybe more like Pearl Harbor.

One second we were hurrying out to the car and the next we were being thrown back five feet thanks to an insanely loud KABOOM and flashing lights.

My head slammed back into the concrete and my newly heeled head suffered another devastating blow. My body instantly ached, my ears started ringing, and I knew without even looking that I had probably reopened the freshly healed gash on the back of my head.

Small debris fell from the sky, some of which came down with a heavy clang as it landed just a few inches from my head.

I did a quick inventory, moving everything from my fingers to my toes in an effort to make sure that all my body parts were fully intact and in working order. Outside of the new headache I was now sporting, and the fact I could neither see nor hear, everything else seemed to be okay.

I looked around slowly, coughing from smoke inhalation. My vision was still spotty from the sudden eruption of light so I got on my hands and knees and started crawling around looking for Sam.

Thankfully I found her only a few feet from me and beyond a few minor scratches, she appeared to be okay.

Her face was covered in black ash, and her clothes were singed from the close proximity to the explosion. Based on how she was holding her head it was likely she also had slammed it on the ground, but I didn’t see any gushing blood. (Thank God, because passing out was not something I needed to be dealing with at this moment in time).

“Are you alright?” I asked quietly.

At least it sounded quiet to me though I was pretty damn certain I was yelling.

She nodded slowly.

She said something, but thanks to the ringing in my ears, I couldn’t make out what she was saying.

“What happened,” I finally heard her yell the second time.

I shook my head (big mistake) and looked around.

“I have no idea,” I answered, turning back toward the area of the explosion.

What I saw horrified me, and I scrambled to stand up quickly, grabbing Sam’s arm and pulling her up with me.

I pushed her back towards the house where a few of the front windows had shattered with the explosion and the front door now hung off of one hinge. I didn’t see Sean, but based on the picture I was quickly putting together of what just happened that was probably a good sign.

Yup, no bits and/or pieces of Sean was definitely a good sign.

I pushed Sam through the front door and tried slamming it behind me.

Thanks to the fact it was hanging off of one hinge it didn’t close easily, but my mysterious superhuman strength seemed to have returned and I was able to quickly shove it in place and throw on the deadbolt.

I turned back to Sam and tripped.

I landed with a resounding “Oomph” but fortunately for me, my fall was padded since I landed on Sean.

He was sprawled out on the foyer floor. Clearly he had been knocked back by the explosion like we had, but he seemed to have fared better since he had been father back at the time.

He groaned and opened his eyes slowly, looking around in question.

“Get up,” I said as I scrambled off of him. “We need to get out of here.”

“What the hell was that?” he asked in a groggy voice as he sat up and blinked a few times.

“Change of plans,” I said, grabbing his arm and hefting him up. “We need to get out of here now.”

Sean stood up on shaky legs and looked around in confusion. Sam stood beside me, a look of pure hysteria all over her usually calm face.

“What the hell happened?” he asked, taking inventory of his now obliterated front foyer.

“Which story version would you like?” I asked, grabbing both his and Sam’s arms as I yanked them toward the kitchen, located conveniently in the back of the house. “The long version or the really short version?”

“Short,” he replied as he tripped suddenly.

“It’s quiet simple,” I said, pushing both Sean and Sam ahead of me as we reached the kitchen. “Our car just went KABOOM.”

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