Partial Claim

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-3-

By the time the weekend rolled around I was thankful. Kaine had accepted the request I had put in, meaning that Tristan was coming home and would be here by Sunday night, so Jess thought. I had set it up so the boys would be coming home late tonight. Meaning that our girls night got moved to tonight so she could spend her week of holidays in bed with her man. Little did she know, her week with her man would be starting tonight when he met us at the bar.

She was happy to move girls night to tonight especially after I told her what had happened Tuesday after work in the elevator. She was angry with her cousin, beyond angry. I told her she could make it up to me by taking me for drinks Friday night. So here we were, at the local dance club at eleven o’clock at night.

“Let’s go dance!” Jess yelled beside me, grabbing my hand and trying to pull me towards the dance floor.

“One more shot!” I yelled back, taking the clear shot glass off the bar and handing her one, before moving back to collect mine. She smiled at me, before she tipped hers back and let the liquid slide down her throat. I followed suit, letting out a soft hiss as the vodka burned on its way down. I put the glasses back on the bar and let her pull me out to the dance floor.

The alcohol moved through our systems. My mind let go of all thoughts, allowing my body to relax and move to the beat of the music around us. Jess and I moved, our bodies pressed against each others moving and grinding. I opened my eyes, feeling another watching me. I looked over Jessica’s shoulder and spotted the person that we had been waiting for. I kept moving against her, her eyes closed as she let herself fall deeper into the music.

Tristan moved towards us, his large six-foot frame was easy to follow as he moved towards us. He was watching Jess like she was prey. He watched the way her body moved against mine, his eyes flashing with heat as he got closer spying the short skin-tight red dress that was wrapped around her body. He came up behind her, his chest pressing against her back, pinning her between us. I felt her stiffen against me, surprised by the sudden large body pressed against hers.

Tristan leaned down and whispered something in her ear. Her eyes widened, a large smile spreading across her face. I stepped back from them allowing her room to turn and face him. She did the second she had a chance. She wrapped her arms around him, her mouth instantly finding his. Her fingers moved through his dark hair, gripping and pulling on it as she tried to pull him closer to her.

I smiled as I watched the two of them.

“Take him home Jess.” I yelled beside them. “I’ll see you in a week.”

She looked at me, her eyes wide. “Are you sure? This is girls night!”

I shook my head. “No, this isn’t girls night. This was set you up to see your man night!” I smiled.

“You knew!” She poked me in the side, laughing as she looked back up at her mate.

“Take her home, Tristan!” I smiled at the both of them before I slipped off the dance floor and made my way back to the bar.

I leaned against the bar waiting for the bartender to notice me.

“What can I get ya, love?” He said.

“Gin and tonic and a side shot of whatever you think would be good.” I winked. He smirked, nodding his head.

“You sure you need another drink?” A voice came up from behind me. I turned, my eyes glaring.

“Yes, I do but I don’t see how that’s any of your concern.” I snapped at Daniel.

“Just trying to look out for you Liv. You seem like you’ve already had a lot to drink.” He shrugged his shoulders.

“Here you go, Love.” The bartender's voice met my ears. I looked back at him and smiled taking my drinks.

“Thank you! What do I owe you?” I asked, smiling at him.

“It’s on the house.” He winked.

I reached out and took the shot. I smiled, licking my lips as the mint flavour tickled my tongue.

“I’m Liv.” I reached out to shake his hand.

“Jake.” He replied shaking my hand.

“When are you done?” I asked.

“Here till close.” He shrugged.

“Great, how about you meet me out front when you’re done and we continue this party.” I leaned over the bar and reached for the pen tucked behind his ear. I grabbed his arm and wrote my number on it. Just as I was finishing the last few digits of my number, the pen was yanked out of my hand.

“Hey, what the hell!” I turned back around. Daniel still stood behind me, a look of anger was on his face.

“Are you kidding me?” He yelled, his voice carrying over the music.

“What?” I snapped. “I gave him my number, it’s not any of your fucking business, Daniel.” I stepped towards him, shoving him back a little. “What part of I don’t want to be with you do you not understand? It’s been over a year for gods sake!”

Daniel was about to argue with me but I saw his body stiffen, I instantly knew why. I looked over Daniel’s shoulder and my eyes met Kaine’s. I narrowed them, my eyes travelled over his body. He wore a pair of dark jeans, with a casual black t-shirt. The cotton hugged each part of his body and I wasn’t the only person in the room to notice.

Huffing I turned back to the bartender. He was cracking a beer for someone beside me. I smiled at him before telling him to call me. I turned away from the bartender, and Daniel and made my way towards the exit. Daniel had ruined the mood, and I sure as hell wasn’t staying in a building where Kaine was. I had enough experience with alcohol and Kaine that I knew when it was time to leave, no matter how many drinks I had in my system.

I stepped out into the cold air, I took in a deep breath of the fresh air. I hugged my arms around my sweaty body and looked up and down the busy street, trying to find a cab that was free.

“I called Greg.” Kaine’s voice came from behind me.

I sighed, and looked up at the dark sky before I turned to look at him. “Why? It’s the weekend Kaine, Mr. Marshall has the weekends off. I can get a cab.”

“You will not take a cab home.” He looked down at me. “Greg will get you home safe.”

“Why are you here?” I shook my head, folding my arms over my chest. Kaine’s eyes followed my movement, his eyes staying on my breasts a moment longer than what would have been deemed appropriate.

“I have a company to run.”

“No, I mean, why are you here outside with me?”

He stood there staring at me, his golden-brown eyes searching my face.

“Forget it.” I turned away from him and flagged down a cab. I got into the vehicle before it had even come to a complete stop.

“Livy.” His hand reached out and stopped the door from closing. He quickly slid into the seat beside me.

“What the hell are you doing?” I snapped.

“Where to?” The cab driver called from the front. Kaine looked up at him before he quickly rhymed off an address.

I stared at him. “I’m not going back to your place. Take me home.”

“My place is closer. It’s fine.” His voice was low, warning me to accept it. He pulled out his phone and made a quick call to Mr. Marshall telling him not to worry about coming.

This motherfucker.

“It’s not fine. I want to go home, I want to be away from you. Far away from you.” I poked his chest as I spoke.

He reached up and grabbed my hand. He threaded his fingers through mine and held them down across his lap as he hung up the phone. I glared at him, trying to pull my hand away.

“Relax, Livy.” He looked at me, his eyes moving across my face.

I felt my cheeks heat, my tiger purred beneath my skin, happy for the attention not only from him but his cat too. I pushed her back down, and turned away from him, leaving my hand in his until we pulled up to his house. Kaine tossed the driver a few bills and pulled me from the cab. I dropped my hand from his the second I got out of the cab. He put his hand against my back and led me up the steps and into his small brick home.

I watched as he walked into his kitchen, I looked around the place. Nothing had changed. The walls were still the same gray-blue, his couch was the same brown leather couch. The same painting hung over his fireplace. It was all the same. The look, the smell, all of it exactly how it was five years ago when I had come to talk to him after the Christmas party. The only thing that changed, he was actually in the building this time.

He walked back out of the kitchen with a glass of water in his hand. He passed it to me.

“Take this.” He said dropping Tylenol into my free hand.

As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I was thankful. The water and Tylenol were much needed. I plopped the pills into my mouth and chased them down with a gulp of water.

“Come on. You can sleep in the bed.” Before I could protest he added, “I’ll stay in the living room. It’s fine, Livy. It’ll be better that way.”

Why did he care about me now? I thought as I watched him.

I followed him up the stairs, watching his backside with appreciation as we made our way down the hall towards his room. He pushed open the door and let me step inside. I felt him slip past me, he pulled open a drawer and pulled out a large shirt for me to put on and a pair of gym shorts.

“Here.” He tossed them on the bed. “You can wear these, it’ll be comfier than your dress.” His eyes moved over my body.

I looked down at myself. He had a point. My dress was short and tight, similar to the one Jess wore earlier except it was black instead of red.

“Thanks.” I moved towards the bed and picked up the clothing. My eyes moved to him before they moved back over the room. My eyes landed on a frame that sat on his bedside table. I felt myself stiffen at the sight of it.

“Why do you have that?” I moved towards the stand. I dropped the clothing back down to the mattress and reached for the framed photo on his stand. I looked down at it. It was a photo from when we were in high school. I was on his back, smiling over his shoulder, his face was turned slightly towards mine a large smile spread across his face. Jess was pinned under his arm, laughing at herself and the two of us.

“Why do you have this?” I looked up at Kaine. He was staring at me, his face blank, his mouth unmoving in an explanation. “Kaine,” I said.

“It’s a fun memory.” He shrugged as if that explained enough before he moved towards the open door.

“You kissed me just after this photo was taken,” I said. “That was the first time you had kissed me in front of anyone.” I looked down at the smiling group.

“I know.” He said from the door. I looked back up at him. “Goodnight Livy.” He gave me a small smile before he stepped into the hallway, closing the door behind him.

I let out a deep sigh.

“What the fuck are you doing?” I said to myself as I fell back onto the bed.

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