Everlasting Bonds ( A Reverse Harem Story)

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Chapter 39

POV: Colt


As I sat in a small café waiting for Taylor to arrive, I thought back to last night.

The guys were right.

I needed to sort my shit out with Taylor before I was honest with Lark about how I felt about her. I’d known how I felt since she crashed back into our lives, but I had been terrified to confront that feeling.

If I told her I loved her and she didn’t love me back, I could handle that because being her friend was better than being nothing to her at all. But if I told her I loved her, she felt the same, and then she was ripped from our lives again I don’t think I could handle that.

I barely did the first time.

I had always been protective of her and the guys. Knowing that I couldn’t do anything to stop her kidnapping had eaten away at me for almost a decade. Turning me into someone who kept most people at bay.

But I couldn’t be a coward anymore. Not when she deserved to have someone choose her and be brave and proud to do it.

The sound of stilettos clicking against the hardwood floor brought me back to the present and I looked up to see Taylor striding toward me. Her dress and heels seemed out of place in this comfortable coffee shop. Especially since I was wearing a sweatshirt and jeans.

I greeted her with a kiss on the cheek and her usual coffee order. “Thanks for meeting me this morning”.

“It’s not a problem, and besides we haven’t gotten coffee together in ages”. She sat down on the couch next to me. Our bodies were angled into one another and I was glad that the coffee shop was mostly empty.

“I wanted to talk to you about something actually. This isn’t a date”.

Her brows scrunched together as she processed what I had said. “Okay... what do you want to talk about then?“. She sipped her coffee and gave me an expectant look.

“I would like to stop seeing each other”. Her eyes narrowed on me before she let out a forced laugh.

“Funny Colt. What did you actually want to talk about?”

“I’m serious, Taylor. I don’t want to be in a relationship with you anymore”.

I had seen Taylor angry before. But right now she looked like she could kill me. “Are you fucking kidding me, Colt?“, she seethed. “I have been nothing but accommodating to your odd work hours, I’ve put up with your fucking roommates, I have been perfect. Why are you doing this?“.

Hearing her refer to Luka, Aidan, and Greyson as my ‘roommates’, when she knew I thought of them as my family further proved to me that I was making the right decision.

“I’m doing this because we aren’t right for each other. We want different things, and the truth is I was never going to give you what you wanted. My foot has always been halfway out the door and that’s not fair to you. I’m trying to do the right thing”.

She gave another humorless laugh and when her voice started to rise I was thankful for the second time that we almost had the café to ourselves. “The right thing,” she huffed. “The right thing would have been for you to wake up and realize that I am the best you’ve ever had and the best you are ever going to get. I love you, Colt. Does that seriously mean so little to you?“.

We had never said those words to each other and I couldn’t tell if she meant them or if she just wanted me to second guess my decision. “Taylor, I’m sorry. I don’t want to be with you anymore”.

Shaking her head, she slammed her coffee cup on the table before rising to her full height. “If I walk out this door, we are done”.

“Goodbye, Taylor”. The hard exterior she usually wore faded a little as I saw tears spring to her eyes. Before I could say anything else she walked away from me and out into the morning sun. Putting my head in my hands, I replayed the conversation in my head.

I didn’t regret my decision.

****************************

When I got back to the apartment I was surprised to find that Aidan was the only one there.

“Where did they head off to?“, I asked Aidan who was perched at the kitchen island with an apple in one hand and a book in the other.

“Luka thought the light was good or something and wanted to go take some pictures. He asked Grey to model for him”.

“I’m surprised he didn’t ask you, pretty boy”.

He gave me a dry look before saying, “He did. I just told him no”.

That pulled a healthy laugh from me. One I desperately needed after breaking up with Taylor.

Thinking about earlier this morning brought back the sobering mood I had felt upon arriving.

“You good?“, Aidan asked me. Eyes briefly scanning my face before returning to his book.

“I broke up with Taylor this morning”.

Now I had his full attention. “And how do you feel about that?“.

“Honestly? I feel relieved. In the beginning, I liked being with her. But once we got to know each other I knew that I didn’t want to be with her long term. I should have had the decency to end it right then but I was so lonely I didn’t really care enough about what would have been fair to her”.

Aidan contemplated what I said before setting his book down. “I think I want to break up with Liz too”.

I was surprised to hear some hesitation in his voice. “You think?”

“No... I know that I do. I just feel like a dick. I was using Liz as a replacement for Lark. Every girl I’ve ever been with has just been a replacement for Lark. That’s shitty, and even though I know a big part of why Liz likes me is because of the social credit she gets from dating an athlete, it doesn’t make me feel like any less of an asshole”.

If I was honest with myself, I had done the same thing as Aidan. Although I think we both did it for different reasons.

“You’ll be more of an asshole if you keep stringing her along when you want someone else”, I said firmly.

“Part of me is scared that if I break up with Liz I lose a sure thing. I don’t love her, and I don’t know if I ever will. But I do love Lark and she has the power to break me if she decides that she doesn’t want me someday”.

And there it was. The real reason why Aidan was so hesitant about this.

He was always the wildest out of us four guys. But it was a silent chaos that usually set people on edge. Where I came across cocky or unapproachable, he came across as dangerous.

I think Lark was the only person he ever fully invited into that chaos and he was scared to lose that.

“You have to take this risk, Aidan. Think about the way she looks at you,” I prompted. “Do you really think Lark doesn’t want you back?“.

He sighed and pushed his hair back with both hands before resting his chin in one palm. “Why is it that I can get in the ring and not feel an ounce of fear, but thinking about her not wanting me is sending my head into a tailspin”.

“You’ve never feared pain Aidan”.

He nodded once before a wistful look appeared on his face. “No. I haven’t”. He slid off the chair and turned to leave the kitchen. As he got to the stairs he called over his shoulder, “Call Luka! Tell him to invite her to the club tonight”.

As I grabbed my phone out of my back pocket I let myself start to feel excited.

She was our girl and it’s time we finally stopped being idiots and told her how we felt.

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