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Chapter Eighteen


Oh, fuck.

What have I done?

Kissing Noah was probably one of the dumbest things I had ever done in my entire life, and the worst part was—I wanted to do it again. If anything, I wanted more.

It felt like I had betrayed my younger self, but why did it feel so good in the moment? Almost...perfect.

“What a mess,” I mumbled to myself, flipping away the covers and getting out of bed.

I started a little later this Saturday morning, so I had plenty of time to relax before I had to get to work. I wouldn’t see Reed as long, since he would be relieved at lunch by Kelly, but starting at 8 AM? I’d rather not.

Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I grabbed my phone and a clean thong, making my way to the bathroom.

You never knew who was awake in the house, so I had put on a robe, walking into the hall.

“Shit,” I cursed when I bumped into Noah’s hard chest, and I almost tumbled backwards to the floor.

How did I know it was Noah? Because of the way he had felt under my fingers yesterday, his scent that filled my nostrils, and how he jumped away immediately when we touched.

“Watch...oh.” He seemed surprised to see me, or even scared. Something, anyway.

Well, this was the perfect moment to clear the air a bit, because I could already tell it was going to be awkward as fuck between us after yesterday. And it was not something I needed right now.

“About last night—”

But he was quicker. “It was nothing. It meant nothing.”

I stared at him wide-eyed, processing what he just said. How was it possible for him to break my heart a second time? How did I even allow him to do it?

For a minute it seemed like he didn’t know where to look, but I didn’t let it distract me. Fuck him then. If that’s the way he’s going to act. Fine.

I stormed past him to the bathroom, making sure my shoulder made hard contact with his arm, and locked the door behind me.

Taking a deep breath, I closed my eyes, calming myself down. There was no way I was going to cry over this man ever again.

I arrived at work about five minutes early for a change, greeting Reed behind the counter as I made my way into the shop.

It was a busy morning, so I hurried towards him, quickly tying my apron around my waist.

“Morning,” he said between orders, and I offered him a smile before stepping towards the next customer.

My stomach ached with nerves, especially when I saw the line only growing longer, but I put on one of my masks, feigning confidence.

“Good morning, sir. What can I get you?”

We managed to serve everyone within reasonable time, and around lunchtime, only two tables were occupied. It was probably the calm before the storm, but it was nice to get a breather.

“I had fun yesterday,” Reed said, clearing the counter and wiping away coffee stains and caramel syrup.

I nodded and pretended that he hadn’t just reminded me of our dinner. All I could think about was that kiss, and everything else I just simply forgot.

Which, Reed didn’t deserve.

“Me, too,” I replied, looking up when the door opened and two familiar faces walked in.

Are you fucking kidding me?

“Hey, Bella,” my brother said softly, trying to look happy and not hungover, but I could see right through him.

He felt horrible and was very, very, lovesick.

“Hey,” I mumbled back, avoiding Noah’s eyes as he looked at me. “How are you feeling?”

Isaac grabbed one of the high chairs and pulled it closer to the counter, plopping onto the seat and leaning forward. “I feel like shit, but mostly because of the alcohol.”

He rubbed the back of his neck and I gave him a comforting tap on the shoulder. “Coffee?”

I watched his eyes scan the menu. “Something with a lot of sugar.”

“Iced coffee then.” I chuckled, shrugging at Reed who had raised his brows at my brother, and the way he looked absolutely defeated.

I tried to ignore the other guy in the room, but I knew it would look weird if I didn’t ask him what he want. Maybe I should throw the coffee in his face?

Ok, no.

I opened my mouth to ask Noah what he wanted, when the door opened again, and Kelly walked in.

She wore big, black sunglasses and her hair was tied in a low bun, accentuating her sharp jawline I could only wish for.

“Hey, Bella. Reed,” she said with a nod, taking off her sunglasses and making her way to the back to put her stuff away.

“That’s my cue,” Reed chirped, untying his apron and shooting me a bright smile. I groaned, jealous of his afternoon off, though I liked working with Kelly too.

I didn’t miss the way Noah stared Reed to death, and neither did Reed, who looked a little scared. I get that.

In the silence that fell after he disappeared in the break room too, I decided to grow a pair and just ask Noah what he wanted to drink. You bet your ass he was going to spend money in here.

“What can I get you?” I asked with my sweetest smile, though on the inside I was screaming in frustration.

Why did he have to look so...good?

The red T-shirt he wore fitted him perfectly, showing off broad shoulders and strong arms. Arms that had held me yesterday when—

“Black coffee with a little...sugar,” he replied, interrupting my intrusive thoughts, and I started to make his and Isaac’s drinks.

Noah took a seat next to Isaac, leaning against the wall behind him with his arms crossed.

“What’s his deal?” Kelly whispered when she joined me, and I frowned up at her.

“What? Who?”

She rolled her eyes, grabbing my chin and turning my head. I could just see Noah look away, but it didn’t make me feel better. Mr. Whiplash was giving me so many mixed signals I might actually explode.

“Oh, It’s nothing.”

Kelly leaned on the counter next to me as I finished Noah’s coffee, keeping her eyes on me with one brow raised. “Ok, who are they anyway?”

I turned to the pair, placing their drinks in front of them. “Kelly, Isaac,” I said, introducing the two, and I took a deep breath before facing Noah. “Kelly, Noah.”

He looked at me, face unreadable and his hair a mess. It looked like he just had sex, and honestly, I wish it was with me.

“Nice to meet you, Kelly,” Isaac said, holding his hand out for Kelly to shake and his face instantly lightening up when she looked at him. Uhm, what was going on?

Kelly looked at my brother, taking him in while chewing her gum. “Yeah.”

She shook his hand quickly and turned around, keeping herself busy with cleaning the counter.

I raised my brows at Isaac, who was still staring at the ice queen, and snipped my fingers in front of his face when after five minutes he still wasn’t done staring.

“What were you saying?” he said confused, pulling his gaze from my co-worker, and looking up at me.

I simply rolled my eyes, chuckling.

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