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Always Been Mine (The Moreno Brothers #2)

By:Elizabeth Reyes

Always Been Mine (The Moreno Brothers #2)
Author: Elizabeth Reyes





Prologue

Valerie still couldn't believe she'd actually stooped to spying. Even with everything Alex Moreno had put her through, she was furious it had come to this. She switched the channel on the car radio and glanced at her watch. 9:45 pm. Her fingers tapped the steering wheel. With a deep breath, she stared at his empty driveway. Where the hell was he?

For as long as she'd known Alex, their relationship had been complicated. This past month and a half had been the exception. They'd been inseparable and things finally began to feel serious. She'd practically lived at his place the past two weeks. A few times, she thought he hinted that she should.

When she finally returned home on Sunday, he stopped calling and returning her calls. Just like all the other times, he disappeared on her again. An entire month of calls just before bed, then first thing in the morning, then two weeks of, "Don't go, stay with me." Then nothing for four days? Was he kidding?

All the other times he'd done this, she'd let it go. He'd always reappear eventually with some lame excuse, and like a sick little puppy she was so ready to jump back in his arms. Well, not anymore.

She should have done this a long time ago. Valerie fidgeted in her seat, rubbing her hands over her thighs. Her head told her she'd better be ready. The truth was coming out tonight one way or another. The truth she'd known all along but she couldn't bring herself to face. Deep inside she'd always known Alex Moreno was not a one woman man. She'd lusted over him all through high school. Even then she'd known he was way out of her league. As the gorgeous high school jock he had girls all over him. He'd gone out with her just for fun and she was okay with that. As the years passed, he stayed in her life off and on. But he never stuck around for too long

She accepted it. All this time she told herself it was because she was too busy with her education and career to get too caught up in anything too serious. The real reason was always in the back of her mind. Just the thought of pushing too hard and losing what little relationship she did have with him scared her more than she'd ever admit. She tried many times in the past to make a clean break from him but she was never strong enough to stick with it.

Well, she had to be strong now. She couldn't take it anymore. Not after the month and a half they'd just had. The pain of wondering where he was and who he was with finally out weighed the fear of learning the truth and ending things for good. She owed it to herself to find out once and for all, if his heart was as invested in this as hers or if this was all just a game, a game he'd continue to play for as long as she'd allow it.

Even with her head telling her to expect the worst, that she would finally get the closure she needed to walk away for good, her heart was still holding out hope that there was a compelling explanation. That he did feel for her what she'd always felt for him.

Valerie glanced around the dash of her roommate's car. They'd swapped cars all week so that he wouldn't recognize her sitting up the street. All week she chickened out in hopes that she'd hear from him and she wouldn't have to go through with this. It was Thursday now, and all she'd got so far was a couple of pity texts saying he was crazy busy and he'd call her soon.

Headlights brightened the dark street. Valerie sunk in her seat. Alex's truck drove by the car where she hunched down undetected. She sunk so low she wasn't able to see if he was alone or not.

Scooting up just high enough so her eyes were over the dash she saw him walking around his truck and toward his front door. Alone.

A glimmer of hope danced in her heart. Maybe he was just busy. She sat up once he'd gone inside and stared at her phone. He was home now, done for the day. So, why wasn't he calling her? Could these past six weeks really have been all in her head? Had she just imagined his increased affection? She couldn't be that delusional. Could she?

He said he cared for her. That he couldn't stop thinking about her. How could he go four whole days without so much as calling her? Didn't he miss her, damn it?

The street lit up again as another car drove closer. It slowed as it passed her and then stopped in front of Alex's house. Valerie held her breath. The door opened and out came a pair of long legs. Attached to the legs, a girl in her early twenties in short shorts and a snug tank that read UCSD climbed out. Valerie watched as the girl opened the trunk and pulled out what was too big to be a purse.

Her breath hitched. Every time she came over lately, Alex had been insistent that she bring an overnight bag. The bastard!

Valerie could feel her blood pressure spike, her chest constrict. This was it, proof of what she'd known all along and no two ways around it. She watched as the girl swung her long dark hair over her shoulder and made her way up Alex's walk. Valerie's eyes stayed glued to her. Her pulse throbbed in her ears. She blinked away the tears that blurred her vision.

Alex was at the door before the girl even got there. He was waiting for her! Valerie felt her heart shatter. She'd known it all along and yet she was in no way prepared for the acute sting of it. She squeezed her eyes just as Alex placed his hand on the girl's shoulder. She couldn't bear to watch.

Valerie opened her eyes in time to see the door close behind the girl. She let out a shuddering breath. Her mind raced, considering the best way to handle this. The hot tears streamed down her cheeks. Even though she'd thought of the possibilities, she'd never actually planned what she'd do if she caught him so red-handed.

She picked up the phone and called him. Of course, the call went to voicemail. Hearing his voice in his greeting only enraged her further.

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