11. The Bad Guy
“Vanessa, you never told me you had a cute friend?”
I lifted my gaze and caught Alex watching Naz. She was trying hard to pretend like she wasn’t affected by his words but every few seconds, she’d throw a quick glance his way. How the hell did I become the third wheel?
I tried to act like nothing was happening but it was difficult with the amount of flirting going on between them.
“I didn’t think you’d meet to be honest,” I answered with a sigh.
“I’m glad I did,” Naz said, placing down the UNO reverse card, meaning that we went anti-clockwise in Alex’s direction. Instead of bitching about the amount of cards he had to pick up, he smirked and took it like a champ.
Sighing, I glanced around the beach, seeing nobody in particular other than the man a few feet away straddling his bike. This time I had Goliath watching over me. Other than Don, Tennessee and Goliath seemed to take turns as my bodyguard depending on who was busy.
Goliath wore his shades so I couldn’t tell whether or not he was looking our way. Nevertheless, I watched him, unable to keep my curiosity at bay. My interaction with him compared to Tennessee was like night and day. While Tennessee was talkative, warm and an all-around cool person to hang with, Goliath was aloof, brooding and if I’m gonna be honest, quite a jerk.
I came to that conclusion when he was downright rude to me earlier in the morning, making some passing comment about how long I took to get ready. Alex, the son of a bitch, tried not to laugh but it was useless.
“Hey, it’s your turn,” Naz said, nudging my shoulder. I put down my card the second I noticed something—or rather someone—from the corner of my eye. Unable to help myself, I glanced to my side to see Patricia approaching Goliath.
For some strange reason, I wasn’t surprised when Goliath pulled her close for a hard kiss. Standing to my feet, I dust my knees and muttered a somewhat comprehensible ‘brb’ before dashing for the two love birds.
As I got closer, Goliath became aware of my presence. He pulled back slightly, watching me with questioning eyes. Following his gaze, Patricia glanced over her shoulder and shock took over her pretty features.
“Hey, Patricia,” I said, smiling from ear to ear.
“Vanessa!” She beamed, abandoning her boyfriend and threw her arms around me. I welcomed her hug and took a peek at Goliath. His jaw tightened when we locked eyes and as if he’d been caught doing something he shouldn’t, he looked away. I pulled back to get a better look at Patricia.
“We have to catch up after this,” she said with excitement. “How’s college?”
Shrugging, I rolled my eyes. “Hell, but I got used to it.”
“Try going to nursing school,” she countered and we laughed.
“Um,” I said, my eyes darting to from Goliath, to the guys behind me before returning to Patricia’s. “Do you know how to play Uno? I need to ask Goliath some questions and I’m not willing to let Alex win and rub it in my face.”
“Sure!” She said, turning around to give Goliath a quick kiss. I smiled as she scurried off behind me but it all faded when the silence between us grew awkward.
“What’s your problem?”
He snorted. “Why do you care?”
“Because I don’t trust you,” I snapped back, feeling my skin heat with anger. “If you’re going to be my ‘protector’, first of all I need to trust you and I don’t even though Don does.”
“I don’t trust you,”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I don’t trust you with him,” he said and I didn’t need to ask who ‘him’ was. “You think you can come back and act like nothing happened between the two of you?”
I watched him warily, taking a conscious step back. “I don’t understand.”
His dark eyes scanned my face, contemplating on what he would say next. “He’s been a wreck the past few months you’ve been gone. Drinking, skipping Church, avoiding everyone and riding out a state more often than not. Didn’t take a genius to know it got something to do with you.”
Folding my arms, I clenched my jaw and tore my gaze from his glare, watching the sea. “He lied to me.”
Goliath chuckled, causing me to face him once again. He nodded at someone behind me and I glanced over my shoulder to see Alex. He didn’t notice us watching him; he was too caught up in his game of Uno. Something must’ve happened because a loud roar of frustration erupted from him and it looked like he had to pick eight cards. Sighing, I turned to Goliath.
“Seems like you lied to him too,” he muttered in a dry and accusatory tone.
“I don’t know why it’s any of your business,”
“It’s not. You asked if I had a problem and I’m just being honest. I’m letting the two of you work your shit out. That’s me minding my business.”
I couldn’t help it. I got mad. Fiery mad to the point where I wanted to do something reckless. I closed my eyes, breathing deeply before reopening them.
He frowned at me and this time, he was the one to watch me with wary eyes. I must have looked like a lunatic to him but I didn’t care. I already made up my mind about him. Spoiler alert, it wasn’t pretty.
“Have a good day, Goliath,” I said with a smile so sweet I hoped he’d have early stages of tooth decay from just watching me.
Instead of waiting for whatever else he had to say, I spun on my heels, ignoring his eyes on me as I returned to the group. I didn’t have time to argue with him. I didn’t even have time to convince him that I wasn’t the bad guy.
I got the message loud and clear. He didn’t like me? Well, fuck you too Goliath.
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