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The Ex Games 2 (The Ex Games #2)

By:J. S. Cooper

The Ex Games 2 (The Ex Games #2)
Author: J. S. Cooper

Chapter 1

My hands gripped the table as Priscilla left the room. I stared at her retreating back with hate. I knew she was going to be a bitch as soon as I had seen her and now, now I knew I had been right. Her words kept spinning in my head, fiancée, fiancée, fiancée. Brandon had a fiancée? I wanted to slap myself for being so stupid, so young and naïve still. I couldn't believe I had actually believed he had been referencing me when he talked about not living alone for much longer. I wanted to laugh and to cry at the same time. Idiot! I was an idiot. And all I wanted to do was run out of the building and never come back.

I knew as soon as he reentered the room, because the hairs on the back of my neck stood to attention and my body froze as if sensing some impending attack. He slid into the seat next to me and I felt his hand on my shoulder.

"Don't touch me." I glared at him.

"That's a first." He raised an eyebrow at me, mocking me with his gaze.

"You have a fiancée." I tried to sound calm and not as if I was about to lose it.

"And that's a fact?"

"According to Priscilla, it is." I studied his face hoping to God that she had been wrong.

"What did I tell you about listening to other people?" He sat back and gazed into my eyes, and I couldn't stop myself from searching for the answers in the bottomless blue ocean that was his soul. "Remember, Katie. What did I tell you the last time someone told you something about me?" His tone was soothing and for a moment it as if he were my Brandon again, the man I loved, and more importantly the man who loved me. As I stared into his eyes, I remembered the day he had told me to not listen to other people.

"What's wrong, poppet?" Brandon stared at me curled up on the couch, crying, and walked over to me quickly.

"Nothing," I gulped, blowing my nose on my sleeve. I looked up through wet eyelashes and tried to smile. "Are those for me?"

"Yes," he nodded as he frowned. "A guy was selling roses on the street so I got you some. I'm sorry I'm home a bit late tonight, work has been crazy."

"It's okay." I turned my face away from his as tears threatened to fall again.

"Katie, my love. What's wrong?" He sat on the couch and pulled my face towards him. "And don't tell me nothing, I can see from your tears that you've been crying."

"Are you cheating on me?" I whispered, barely able to get the words out.

"What?" He had an incredulous look on his face and I stared into his eyes to see if he looked guilty.

"Are you seeing another woman?" I bit my lower lip and played with the bottom of my shirt.

"What are you talking about, Katie?" He shook his head. "Where is this coming from?"

"I got a phone call." I sobbed now, unable to hold it in. "Some lady told me that you were going to be late home tonight because you were going to be fucking her."

"What?" He looked at me in confusion and I wondered if he had ever taken acting classes. "When did this happen? And do you have her number?"

"You don't have caller ID on the home phone." I sobbed. "And star 69 didn't work."

"Oh, she called the landline?" He sighed. "Not your cell?"

"Yes," I nodded as he pulled out a handkerchief and wiped the tears away from my eyes.

"Oh, Katie." He pulled my chin up to look at him. "I'm not cheating on you. I would never cheat on you. I love you."

"So who was that woman?" I still looked at him accusingly, though my tears were starting to dry up.

"Most probably one of my exes." He sighed and shook his head in thought. "You know I've not been a monk. I've dated a lot of women in my life. And many of them wanted more than sex."

"So why didn't you give it to them?" I retorted, jealousy tearing through my soul as I thought about him with other women.

"Because none of them meant anything to me." His eyes pierced into mine and he just stared at me for what seemed like hours. Finally he spoke again. "You have to know that none of them meant anything to me."

"But you were engaged once." I bit my lower lip, unable to stop myself from bringing up that last point. I wanted to be his everything. The only one he'd ever loved, but he'd been engaged before and I couldn't ignore that. "You must have loved her if you wanted to marry her."

"I was young." He sighed and caressed my cheek. "I was 19 and thought the world began and ended with Maria."

I blanched at his words and he grabbed my hands. "But it didn't. I was wrong. When we're young we think that love is this big grand emotion that will consume us for the rest of our lives. That's what young love is. That's first love. That's why it feels so good and hurts so bad."

"Do you miss her?"

"No." He shook his head and laughed. "Do you miss your first love?"

"No." I whispered slowly and closed my eyes. How could I tell him that he was my first love?

"Then you know what I mean, Katie. When we were 18 and starting college, we thought the world was at our feet and the person we dated would be the one forever. We don't even know who we are then. When I dated Maria, I thought I wanted to be an artist." He laughed. "And you know I can't draw or paint for shit."

"You're not that bad." I lied.

"I'm worse than bad." He chuckled and leaned forward to kiss me. "I proposed to Maria because I thought that was what I was supposed to do to keep her by my side when she expressed an interest in a study abroad program."


"It worked." He kissed my cheek. "But boy, was it a mistake. I regretted it the moment the new semester started and she was nagging me to do this and that."

"But you wanted to be with her."

"My heart and the dream in my head thought I wanted to be with her. I wanted to get a relationship right. My dad, well, he's never been a stable one-woman man. I wanted to be different from him."