Three months earlier . . .
“I’ll be there in about an hour. Hey, I need to buy a gag gift for Curt’s wedding this weekend. Is there any type of novelty or adult toy shops in this town?” I ask Rhys, as I finish washing the cup I was just drinking out of. “I haven’t had a chance to really explore since the move.”
My eyes scan my apartment and I let out a sigh when I realize just how much unpacking I have left to do. Moving sucks, especially when it’s from one state to another. With it being a personal and not a company move, I had to do it all myself. Checking out all the town had to offer was probably going to be sometime next week after I return from performing my best man duties.
“Only one I know of is Dirty Players. That’s where I met Macy; she worked there until she got her publishing deal,” Rhys chuckles. “It isn’t exactly a classy place, but it isn’t the worst place I’ve seen that sells shit like that.”
“Wait. You met Macy . . . your wife . . . while she worked at a porn store? And you let her keep working there after you started dating her?”
This shocks me. Macy’s a beautiful, shy redhead that writes young adult novels, and Rhys is an over-protective, tattooed financial advisor. The combo shouldn’t go together, but they do. However, I can’t imagine her working at a place like that. Her profession isn't the only reason I'm surprised, the overbearing husband she has is much higher on the list.
“And here I thought you knew the real me. Seriously, do you really think I didn’t do whatever I could to change that shit?”
There’s no holding back the chuckle that leaves me when he finishes his question.
He’s right, I should’ve known better.
Placing the phone on speaker and sitting it down on the table, I begin to put on my shoes while Rhys continues telling me his story about how he stalked Macy and what he did to get her out of the store.
“Why not just kidnap her instead of going through Kassidy?”
“Man, you have a lot to learn before you get a woman. I know your parents weren’t . . .” I scowl down at the phone as I finish making sure I have everything I need for our meeting.
My parents were fuck ups.
Plain and simple.
They weren't drug addicts or abusive, well physically, anyway. They just didn’t care about me. Oh they made sure my basic needs were met. I had clothes, food, shelter. I just didn’t have much interaction with them. It’s like they are sheep and just follow what is expected of them from society.
I know deep down there are worse ways that a child could grow up. The things I’ve seen when I was an agent showed me that much. But it doesn’t take away that being raised like that fucks with your head.
Makes you think you’re a nobody.
It’s what originally drove me to the FBI.
I wanted to make a difference. To maybe save a child from going through that. To show my parents that I was someone. To show myself that I wasn’t a nobody.
What better way to do that than work for an agency that did everything they could to keep our country free of crime.
Over the years, I did just that. Busted my ass to make a name of myself in the agency. However, as I got older I changed. Over time, the thought of not having someone to come home to started to fuck with my head. As fellow agents found their partners in life, I yearned for something similar. With each announcement of engagement, each invite to a wedding, and each pink or blue cigar that was handed to me I started to hate my job. Jealousy ate at me that I didn’t have what they had.
But it was Curt falling for Angela that finally broke me. Had me quitting the agency.
I want what he has. What Rhys has.
I'm ready to find the one thing that I’ve wanted all my life. That my inner child has wanted. Something that everyone wants.
And that is to find someone to actually share life with and not just live it.
“Listen,” his voice draws me back to the conversation as I begin walking toward my truck. “As much as that would’ve been what I wanted to do, I knew I couldn’t. Macy needed to be independent. To feel like she’s still in control of something in her life. There’s no handouts for her. She wouldn’t have that. When she told me her dream was to be an author . . . two things went through my mind. One, this could be a way I could get her out of that damn store. And two, which is the most important one of the two,” he pauses and takes a deep breath. “The caveman inside me knew he could help make her dream come true. I’ll do anything to give my woman whatever she truly wants. Contacting Kassidy was a way to show her that I could take care of her in any way she may ever need, want or desire. That, in the end and even with her dreams, I’m all she'll ever need. Me and any babies I have with her.”
“That’s pretty deep, man. You sure you don’t have a vagina?” I joke, but honestly, as he explains his thoughts, something deep in me begins to burn.
“I don’t give a fuck if it sounded flowery. I’ll never deny my love for Macy and my kids. And if that love turns me into a vagina . . . then fucking so be it.”
“Alright, alright don’t get your pretty panties in a twist,” I chuckle then start my truck. “Let me get the fuck off of here. See you in a few.”
“Yep,” is his only response before he hangs up.
After entering the address for Dirty Players into the navigation, I re-play what Rhys said.
As his words repeat inside my head, the fire starts to engulf into flames.
What would it be like to love someone that deep?
To put their dreams before yours?
Would that fire or need burn out over time?
Or does it burn brighter?
Rhys and Curt are both laid back men focused on their careers. Protective over their friends and family. However, after meeting their girls, they seem to have gotten worse with their over protectiveness. As time went on . . . they're now so over the top, at times I cringe and feel sorry for their wives. I can’t understand why at times they put up with their husbands.
Realization hits me that I just answered my last question.
It burns brighter.
But what about the other two questions?
Putting my vehicle in park after pulling into the store parking lot, my hand squeezes the wheel tighter as jealousy flows through me. I won’t know those answers until I find my girl. The image of Rhys and Curt with their wife’s flash through my head again, and I squeeze my eyes shut for a moment, trying to get my anger and green-eyed monster under control.
Yes, I want what they have. I want to love someone that deep that it drives me to be the best man there ever was.
I just need to get settled into my new life first.
Climbing out of the truck, I head to the door of the store and can’t help but chuckle.
Lord help the girl after that. When I find her . . . nothing will stop me from making her mine.