“Guess what they say is true,” he said, sliding up to the bar next to me.
I didn’t look his way, but I knew he was talking to me. “And what’s that?”
One minute he was sitting across the bar and staring back at me with a look in his eyes I couldn’t name, and the next he was at my side, the heat from his body burning me even though we weren’t touching.
I felt as though my chest was caving in. Part of me had wanted to see his face so badly it burned, but the other part of me, the new self-conscious part, didn’t want him to see me. I was fat. I had gained so much weight since we had last seen each other. My body and its hormones had lost their ever-loving minds and decided I would be much better suited for a size eighteen than my old size two.
“Sprints is basically full of trash these days.”
His hurtful words struck their intended target … my heart. And I sucked in an injured breath before turning his way. My eyes collided with his and all the warmth that had once lived in his gaze was gone. Instead, there was only cold anger staring back at me.
His face was harder, his eyes stern and his lips tight. He wasn’t thrilled to see me and honestly, I felt the same. The urge to leave was strong, but I was too prideful. Instead, I remained seated and lifted my beer for a casual drink. It was too late to turn and leave. My spine stiffened and I sat up straighter hoping to smooth my fat rolls. Sweat dotted my upper lip and quickly I swiped at it. I was nervous, although, I would have eaten nails before I admitted it.
He wanted to play the asshole. Fine. But I was an adult and I wasn’t about to respond to his bullshit. Instead, I turned away and lifted my beer for another sip as if his words had meant nothing.
“Did you hear me?” he pressed.
“Yep,” I said, popping the P.
What had I ever done to him? He was the one who had pushed me away. The one who had ended our friendship or whatever the hell it was.
He was different inside and out. Cold and callous. His body was leaner, and he was taller.
He moved closer, his familiar scent invading my space, and that, combined with the width of his shoulders, took my breath away. Josh was no longer a nineteen-year-old boy.
He was a man.
All grown up and looking so delicious I wanted to lean in closer and taste him.
He grinned as if he knew what I was thinking before his face disappeared from my view so he could speak directly in my ear.
“You’ve really let yourself go, huh? I guess all those gummy bears finally caught up with you.”
Pain shot through my stomach so intense I felt the need to gag.
My weight. He was talking about my weight. Josh had never been so cruel to anyone. He never teased or bullied.
Who was this man?
“And you’re really an asshole, huh?” I countered.
His remarks were harsher than mine, but I was so shocked by his insult I couldn’t think of anything good enough to match his devastating words.
He pulled back and his grin didn’t reach his eyes. “The biggest.”
I let my eyes drift low until I was looking at the seat of his loose jeans. “Not really,” I said, referring to the size of his cock.
Men hated that shit, and if he was going straight for my weak spot, my weight, then I would do the same.
His grinned slowly disappeared and his eyes lowered, turning into angry slits. “Just because you’ve had an obscene amount of cock in your face, doesn’t mean you’re an expert. And I seem to remember you enjoying it just fine.”
Apparently, my reputation had proceeded.
Jenny Michaels. The town slut who went off to college and slept around.
A rebuttal burned my tongue, but I didn’t spill. Let him think what he wanted. It was none of his business. He had given up that right when he pushed me away.
“I was a nineteen-year-old virgin. What did I know? Anyway, I faked it.”
It had been beautiful, and it killed me to tarnish the moment that had gotten me through so many dark nights.
Again, he leaned closer, his hot breath rushing along the side of my cheek.
“Liar. You came so hard your eyes rolled back in your head. It dripped down my cock like a fucking waterfall.”
I opened my mouth to tell him to go fuck himself, but before I could, a woman I had never seen before came up beside him and poked him in the side.
“Hey, are you ready to go? This place is giving me a headache.”
“Yeah.” He leaned back, pulled out his wallet, and tossed a bill onto the counter to tip the bartender. “See you around, Michaels.”
His use of my last name was impersonal and cold. I hated it.
“Yeah. Hopefully not, Black.”
And then he was gone, leaving me breathless and emotionally exhausted.
I hated him, but I hated myself even more because even though he had struck me in my weak spot and said some of the most hateful things a person had ever said to me, there was a soft spot in my broken heart that still loved Joshua Black.
Jenny Michaels was no longer a small girl.
She had blossomed and filled in, in all the right places. Her body was thicker, her breasts larger, and she had curves that begged me to trail them with my tongue. Words ripe with cruelty spewed from my lips, hurting her the way she had hurt me three years ago, but my body was using a different set of words. Words like …