Angie sat in her car in the Maxwell gym parking lot, watching for Lyra to leave. She knew there was a big title fight coming up and all her time would be taken with training. That meant Dante would be alone. Soon enough, she saw a dark head of sweaty curls make her way out of the gym. It was Lyra. She was deep in conversation with Cherry and totally oblivious to the blond stalking her boyfriend. As the two women pulled out, Angie went in. She made her way to the back where the offices were. That’s where she’d find Dante. She found him hunched over a laptop, totally engrossed in what he was doing. He didn’t hear her come in. Only when he heard the click of the lock did he look up.
“Jesus Angie,” he sighed. “This is getting ridiculous. Am I going to have to get a restraining order against you?” Angie just smiled and sashayed over to his desk.
“You know you love it, Dante,” she purred. “You like being chased. Did your girlfriend like my little gift?”
“Oh yeah, we got a big laugh,” he sneered. “She spotted they were fake right away.” Angie’s seductive smile fell a little. Dante rose menacingly from behind his desk, drawing himself up to his full height. “I’m pretty sure we’ve got enough evidence against you now to have you arrested for stalking. Maybe a few months behind bars will get it through your head I don’t want you.” Angie was confused. Stalking? She wasn’t stalking. She was simply trying to stake her claim on her man.
“I’m not stalking you, Dante,” she said. “I don’t understand why you are being this way. You want me. I know you do. I can see it in your eyes every time I look at you. You fucked my brains out and called me your girl. Then you push me away and start up with that bloody Yank, throwing her in my face.” Her chin was quivering and the emotions were building in her voice. “I forgive you. For everything. I just want you back, baby.”
“You are seriously deranged, woman!” Dante exploded. “I fucked you over a year ago when I was pissed out of my head. I barely remember that night and I sure as hell didn’t call you my girl.” He rounded the desk to tower over her. Angie shrunk back, big tears falling from her eyes. “What you see when I look at you is regret, Angie. I regret sleeping with you. I regret every single second I’ve had to spend in your presence because all you’ve brought me is misery.”
“No, baby, don’t say that!” She launched herself at Dante, laying her hands on his hard chest. He grabbed her wrists and held her away from him. “Baby please! Let’s just go somewhere and be together. I can make you so happy.” He shoved her away and unlocked the door, opening it.
“There is no way in hell that will ever happen, Angie. You need help! You have gone mental over me. I have the woman I want and if I have my way, she’ll stay my woman for the rest our lives. I’m going to marry Lyra and make babies with her. She’s all I’ve ever imagined my woman would be and so much more.” He grabbed Angie’s shoulders and lightly shook her. “I need you to understand that, Angie. You and I are never going to happen.” He dropped his hands and walked out of the office. Angie followed, wailing great sobs behind him.
“Don’t do this, Dante! I love you!” she screamed. She was so blinded by her own feelings she didn’t care she was in the middle of a gym full of people. Grabbing his arm, she tried to stop him from walking away from her. He jerked his arm away, turning on her once again.
“ENOUGH!” His deep voice echoed through the gym, silencing all the activity. Angie jumped at the sound of it. “I cannot make this any more clear. I. DO. NOT. WANT. YOU! There is no us and there never will be. Whatever you think happened between us is all in your head. The only thing that ever did was a quick one night drunken fuck and God do I wish I’d never done that! GET OUT!” Angie shrieked, grabbing handfuls of her hair and sinking to the floor on her knees. A soft hand settled on her shoulder. It was Cherry.
“You can’t keep doing this to yourself, sweetheart. My brother is in love with Lyra.” She knelt beside Angie, turning her face to meet her eyes. “You have to move on. I know it hurts and you feel like you want to die but it will get better. You will find a wonderful man who will cherish you for who you are. You won’t have to chase him or beg him to be with you. He will love only you, want only you. You just have to believe that and believe you are worth that.” Cherry’s words were wise beyond her young years. Her voice was gentle as she spoke, her actions kind and accepting. “Let me help you to your car,” she said softly to the crying woman.
Dante stood in awe of his little sister. Smiling softly, he offered a hand to Angie. “My sister is right, Angie. There is a good man out there for you. He just isn’t me.” Angie was numb. The tears had stopped and she stood shakily, trying to understand everything that had happened. Had everything she thought that happened between her and Dante really all been in her head? How did she let herself get so far down to believe lies she concocted, lies that were so believable she even fooled herself? Slowly she raised her head. There was no judgment in Dante’s eyes, no hatred or rage. Just gentle understanding. There was no love or lust either. It was at that moment she realized the depth of the hole she’d dug for herself.
“Angie,” a distinctly American voice sounded behind Dante. It was Lyra. She wasn’t glaring at her or threatening her. There was no pity in her eyes, only empathy. “How about we go for a coffee or tea or whatever Brits drink when they’re upset?” Lyra gave her a gentle smile and held out her hand.
“H-how are you so nice?” Angie’s voice stuttered a bit, still thick with emotion. “I have been such an evil bitch, trying to destroy your relationship. I don’t understand.” Lyra gripped her trembling hand.
“Because everyone deserves a little understanding,” was all she said. “I’d really like to understand, Angie. You game?” Cherry squeezed her shoulder, giving her a soft smile. Angie agreed and the two women escorted her out. Looking over her shoulder one last time at Dante, she sighed and let herself be taken to Cherry’s car. They drove to a small café the next street over and settled at a table outside with their drinks. They all sat in silence for a bit, enjoying the cool breeze and the sun on their skin.
“I can’t believe it,” Angie whispered. She looked at Lyra, her eyes overflowing with sorrow and embarrassment. “I’m so sorry, Lyra.”
“Want to talk about it?” That surprised Angie but she was glad to hear those words.
“Yeah, I think I do.” Taking a deep breath, she began to talk.