“No,” he says firmly.
“I don’t know if she’s driving tonight, and if she is, I’ll need to drive her car. I don’t want mine parked at the bar overnight. Come with me and drive it home.”
“I have no idea what any of that means. But what if this she didn’t drive and you need to give this person a ride home? Your car only holds two.”
“Then you can take a car service home.”
“No.” This time his answer has anger on the end of it. “You know I don’t like people seeing me.”
It’s then I look up at my brother and take in the scar down one side of his face and over his jaw. It’s been two years since his accident, but to him, it might as well have been last week. His scar is still pink and healing, but I don’t think it’s as bad as he’s built it up in his head. Even now he’s wearing dark jeans and a dark hoodie, and he’s let his hair grow long to cover it as much as he can. He even grew a beard to try and cover it, but it’s too pronounced to hide.
He looks like he’s trying to blend into the shadows as much as possible, and I hate seeing him like this. He wasn’t always this way. He used to be the life of the party, and I was the asshole. Now he’s giving me a run for my money on being the brooding alpha.
“Okay, then I’ll get a car service home. Just drive me to the bar, will you?” He presses his lips together and looks out the window. “Please,” I say, and after a second he lets out a long breath.
Grabbing my keys, we exit my house and get into the car. I would let him drive, but I’m worried he won’t drive fast enough, and I’ve got to get to this bar before Valerie does.
It doesn’t take long before I see Pretty in Pink up ahead, and I begin scanning the parking lot for her car. When I see the empty white sedan parked right up front, I growl. I’m too late, and she’s already gone inside.
“Give me five minutes,'' I say. “I want to make sure she doesn’t try and run.”
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Donovan asks me, and I roll my eyes.
“Obviously not,” I answer before I get out of the car and head inside the bar.
The place has been updated since the last time I was in here for drinks with one of my clients. He was going through a messy divorce, and I worried about him drinking alone. Before it was kind of run-down and nothing special, but now the place is packed and looks like it’s been totally updated. The space is modern and sexy, and I’m even angrier Valerie is in here half naked.
“But we just got here,” I hear someone close to the bar say and then something that sounds like a foot stomp.
Moving through the crowd, I keep looking until I spot one of Valerie’s friends at the bar with a guy holding her against him. “Fuck.”
When I get closer, I see she’s wearing a white veil covered in neon dicks and she must have been the one stomping her foot. There’s a man holding her, shaking his head.
“It’s not happening, Julie. Say goodnight to your friends.”
For a second, I think about stopping him from grabbing her, but I see her try to hide a smile. “It’s my bachelorette night. You can’t make me go home early.”
“I can and I will. You’re not single, so it’s not your last night of freedom. Sorry, babe, but you’ve been my bride since the first time you smiled at me. You’re not celebrating anything but being my wife, and you’re sure as fuck not doing it at a bar half dressed.”
“This is a full dress, thank you very much!” She wiggles in his arms, but she’s not actually trying to get away from him. “Look at Val! She’s the one practically naked.”
She points over her shoulder, and it’s then I see Valerie at the bar, surrounded by men staring at her. “Over my dead body,” I say as I leave the couple to work out what they’re doing tonight.
I have to push my way through, but I’m like a bull in a china shop, and I don’t give a fuck what’s in my way. I go right up to Valerie and use my big chest to push her against the railing of the bar. Her look of shock only grows as I place my hands on either side of the bar, imprisoning her with my body.
“Excuse me?” the guy behind me says, and Valerie's eyes flicker over to him.
“Tell him goodbye, Val,” I say through clenched teeth.
“Umm…” She hesitates, and I see red.