"Prince? Seriously, Addy?”
Adaline whipped her head around to turn to look at her brother leaning on the kitchen island, staring at her with a disappointed look.
Adaline rolled her eyes.
“News does travel fast.”
Cole took hold of his crutches and limped towards where she was sitting on the kitchen counter, eating an apple. He took support of the counter before dropping his crutches, Adaline followed his every move.
“When did this happen?”
“Gael’s party,” Adaline rolled her eyes again and then narrowed them at his brother. “How did you get to know?”
Cole chuckled. “There’s this new invention called Instagram, ever heard of it?”
Adaline’s breath hitched. “What’s on Instagram?”
Cole gave her a concerned glance. “I thought you saw it already. The whole video is there, Addy. Your conversation with Michael in the parking lot.”
She bit into her apple. Hard. Jumping down from the counter, she growled at Cole.
“Who the fuck put it there?” Though she had a fairly good idea about the answer.
“That fucking bitch,” Adaline hissed and walked around Cole but he stopped her by quickly grabbing her arm.
“What are you going to do?” He asked her nervously.
Adaline was intimidating, but an angry Adaline was... dangerous.
“This is it. I’m gonna sue her. How dare she? This is a breach of privacy.”
Cole rolled his eyes at his sister.
“Addy, you’re not gonna sue Lana.”
She gave him a cunning smirk and twisted her arm from Cole’s vice grip.
“Watch me.” And then she walked out of the door, drowning Cole’s pleading calls after her.
She walked with confident steps to her garage, unlocked her car with her key and stepped inside. Hitting the gas, Adaline’s mind was filled with thoughts.
Michael. Fucking Lana. Michael. Fucking Prince. Michael.
She knew she was driving rash but Adaline couldn’t care less about hitting a pedestrian. She was angry at a lot of people, but mostly she was angry at herself. She hated the way a single person could make her feel.
Michael was supposed to be a distraction. Distraction from her already shitty life. She had made it pretty clear from the beginning that she wasn’t
looking for anything serious, that she couldn’t commit to anything serious. But she slipped from her morals and let him in.
“Alright Jo, what’s your poison?”
Adaline smiled at the nickname despite herself.
Michael raised his eyebrows, impressed.
“Classy.” He turned to the waiter, “we’ll have Jim Beam. Neat.” The waiter looked at both of them hesitantly. Adaline knew he was debating whether to serve alcohol to underage kids or not. Michael caught on to his nervousness too.
“I know the owner of this place. Tell Mr. Bradshaw that I’m looking forward to his anniversary party next week.” The waiter widened his eyes and then nodded quickly before leaving their table.
Adaline was nervous. She had been to dates before, but they mostly led to sex which were initiated by both the parties. She was sure Michael was the kind of guy who’d wait at least three dates before even kissing her. And he would get too attached.
Adaline had to end it.
She cleared her throat. “So...”
Adaline struggled for words. What would she even say?
I’m sorry I can’t do this. All I was looking for was a good fuck.
You’re too nice for me.
I don’t do relationships.
I’ll ruin you.
She decided to leave the heavy talk for the end of the date. She had been the one to agree in the first place, she should at least give him a good time before rejecting him. So instead Adaline asked him something which was bothering her for some time now.
“Why do you even like me?”
Michael looked at her with an amused expression and Adaline suddenly felt the urge to crawl under the table.
“What do you mean?”
Adaline let out an aggravated breath. “I mean... everyone finds me intimidating. The only time any guy ever asks me out is because he wants me in his bed.” She looked at him staring intensely at her, figuring her out, calculating her thoughts. Adaline did not like it. “Something tells me your intentions are different.”
Michael chuckled. “Let me assure you, Jo. I have full intentions to have you in my bed,” he raised a single eyebrow, “when the time is right.”
Adaline did not like how her heart started beating rapidly at his words. She did not like it at all.
The waiter saved her from replying as he placed a glass of bourbon whiskey in front of her. She quickly drowned the contents.
The rest of the night passed in a blur as they both talked about anything and everything. By the time she was on her third glass of whiskey, Adaline had convinced herself that a second date might not be such a bad idea.
After Michael paid the bill, they both walked together in the breeze of the approaching winter season to their respective cars. Adaline clutched her coat tighter to her body. Michael saw this as an invitation to drape his arm over her shoulder, to keep her warm. Adaline pretended she didn’t notice it.
When they reached their cars, they both turned towards each other. She gave him a small smile.
“I had fun tonight.”
Michael rested his back against his car and gave her a lazy grin. “Yeah?”
Adaline nodded and opened her mouth and closed it again. She finally cleared her throat.
“You didn’t answer my question back there.”
Michael only smiled at her, knowing exactly what she was talking about.
“The reason why I like you, Adaline West,” he moved forward, towards her. Adaline was rooted to her spot. He continued, “is because you are confident.”
They were inches apart now. Adaline didn’t speak. She couldn’t speak.
“And smart.” Their lips were almost touching now. It felt like her heart would explode any second.
“And beautiful.” He touched their lips, very slowly moving his against hers. She mirrored his action instantly and hungrily. He fluttered his eyes close against the feel of her lips.
Then Adaline pulled back.
“I’ll ruin you, Michael King,” she whispered softly. She searched his eyes for hesitation, for second thoughts. But they only showed amusement as he leaned in again.
And Adaline feared for just a second that maybe she’ll be the one to get too attached, before kissing him back.
The beep from her right made Adaline focus on her cell phone kept on the passenger seat. She picked it up and swiped the screen to view the message. Her breath got caught in her throat.
I took care of it.
She knew what he meant, but she parked the car on the side of the road and checked her Instagram, just to be sure. There was no video on Lana’s profile.
Adaline let out an agonised growl and hit the steering wheel with her fist. It took her a few minutes to calm down but when she did, she didn’t think twice before taking a U-turn and driving straight to Michael’s house.