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fourteen and a half


“Here, we can talk in the living room.” I offered to Jessabel, stepping to the side of the door to allow her entry. She slowly passed by me as she entered the cabin, turning her head ever so slightly to see where Cleo had run off to.

They only met for a second and Cleo already made sure to stake her claim on me, however, Jessabel wasn’t one to just roll over.

Jesus. I know that I can never leave them alone together.

“We miss you at the club, Ezra.” Jessabel gushed as she took a seat on the couch. I remained silent as her feet bumped into Cleo’s shoes on the floor; they had been discarded there the first night she was here. They were bright blue with white laces and clearly not mine nor Kieran’s. With a silent huff, Jessabel kicked them away from her, as if the thought of her touching anything that belonged to Cleo was revolting.

“These last few days have been hectic,” I admitted, sitting in one of the loveseats across from her.

“I bet.” Jess smiled, slowly tucking a strand of her hair behind her ears. Her hair was much longer and much blonder than the last time I had seen her at work, which was little over a week ago. She sweetly smiled at me, and if I had been the guy I was last week, then I would’ve been swooned.

But I had Cleo now. She was all I needed.

Leaning forward a bit more, Jessabel abruptly asked, “Do you ever wish we didn’t end it?” She kept her voice soft and light, as if she was trying to convince me that we didn’t have that falling out the last time she was here. That we weren’t forced to call the cops on her and watch as she was escorted out of the cabin. As if we hadn’t been avoiding each other at work for the last month.

I blinked at her, slowly, as if the audacity of her question was real. Her blue eyes stared me down, and for a moment, I just studied her. Her extremely long blonde hair, where I could just barely pick out where her real hair ended, her blue eyes, which I was sure used to be brown, and the layers of makeup she must’ve slathered on with a paint roller.

Crap. She did all of that to try and entice me.

I met Jessabel when I was twenty two and just started working at the Paradise club. She had already been working there part time for two years, however she basically knew everything about every position, so she ended up training me on bartending and serving. She usually worked at her psychiatrist job on weekdays and the club some weeknights and weekends.

Jessabel has been good at one thing. She knew how to seduce, and how to give me a taste of what she could offer without actually throwing herself at me. It made me want her back then, and we started an open relationship that lasted a little over three months.

Now, seeing what lengths she went to try and appear more attractive only made me more assured in my relationship with Cleo. And, the fact that she felt the need to change her appearance drastically only made her come off as desperate, rather than attractive. At least in my book.

“Jess, you know that I’m with Cleo.” I didn’t want to outright reject her, especially since I knew she could be unpredictable.

“Ezra, you know that I know that you don’t do relationships. That’s why we were so good together, messing around, nothing serious -”

“- you say nothing serious, and that you understand I don’t do relationships, yet you tell others that you’re my girlfriend. What we had was barely intimate.” Cutting her off, I beat the bush directly. For some reason, Jessabel acknowledges that way I am but refuses to understand it. What we had is barely mentionable.

Her nostrils flare, her eyes narrowed into slits, and I briefly glanced down to discover that her fingers were clenched into tight fists.

“We dated for three months -”

“- we fooled around for three months and then I had to have the cops freaking escort you away from the cabin! Do you even remember what happened last time you were here?”

She goes silent, her mouth open in a silent remark. She takes a deep breath and stretches her fingers.

“If your bitch of a sister didn’t overreact and call the fucking cops then everything would’ve been fine!” Her voice sharpened, and she leaned forward in her seat. “Calista has never liked me and jumped at the first chance to get rid of me.”

“She had every right to call the cops on you! Jessabel, you tried to-”

But my remark was cut off by the sound of the bathroom door slamming shut, and the hard patterns of Kieran’s footsteps. He headed into the living room, spared me a glance, before he realized Jessabel was also there. He froze as his smile slowly dripped into a frown.

“What the hell is she doing here?” He grumbled. He continued on his path into the kitchen, not even bothering to wait for a reply.

Do I need to call the cops? Kieran asked through our mindlink.

I’m trying to get rid of her. Give me a sec, I replied.

Get her out of here before Cleo sees.

Too late, they’ve already met.

“Ezra?” Sweetly, Jessabel dragged me from my thoughts. I blinked a few times and avoided looking her directly in the eyes. This conversation was going on way longer than it should be. Kieran was already impatient, and who knows how Cleo was doing.

I cleared my throat before sheepishly muttering, “Jessabel, you need to leave.”

Her blue eyes widened, her glossed lips puckering into a round shape. Her fists were clenched again, yet she kept her voice at that same sweet-as-honey tone. “But, we were just salvaging our relationship, honey -”

Suddenly Kieran was in front of the sofa, cutting Jess off. “ -for the last time, what you two had was an occasional fuck, maybe once every two weeks. The ‘relationship’ you keep referring to never existed.” He hissed, air quoting ‘relationship’.

“If you think you can just toss me aside after using me, you’re wrong.” She stood to her feet, pointing at Kieran. “You’re both wrong. You may think you like the little whore in there,” She jabbed her thumb behind her, where Cleo had gone off to. “But you’re just in denial. We’re supposed to be together, Ezra, and I’m not stopping until you realize that.”

I heard Kieran suck in a deep breath, and I prayed that his sudden surge of anger wouldn’t release his wolf onto her. No matter my dislike for Jessabel, I don’t want to see Kieran go all animal on her.

“Get. The. Fuck. Out.” Kieran’s words were brutal and served as a true threat if ignored. Jess seemed to finally get the message through her thick skull, because she turned towards the front door harshly.

“I’ll get you to realize, Ezra. You’ll see!” She called out, and I didn’t even bother to wait until she was all the way outside to slam the door shut.

“You just had to sleep with the loon, didn’t you?” Kieran grumbled.

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