Home > Unbreak My Heart (Unbreak My Heart #1)

Unbreak My Heart (Unbreak My Heart #1)
Author: Nicole Jacquelyn



Prologue

Shane

 


Why are we going to this shit again?” I asked my wife as she messed with her makeup in the passenger-side mirror.

“Because it’s important to your cousin.”

“She’s not my cousin,” I reminded her, switching lanes.

“Fine. It’s important to Kate,” she answered, losing patience. “I don’t understand why you’re being a dick about it.”

“How often do we get out of the house with no kids, Rach? Rarely. I’d rather not spend our one night alone at some fucking coffeehouse filled with eighteen-year-olds.”

“Damn, you’re on a roll tonight,” she murmured in annoyance. “Kate asked me to this thing weeks ago. I didn’t know you’d be home.”

“Right, plans change.”

“I promised I’d go! I drop everything for you every time you come back from deployment. You know I do. I can’t believe you’re acting like a jackass because of one night that I had plans I couldn’t change.”

“I highly doubt Kate wants me here,” I mumbled back, pulling into the little parking lot that was already filled with cars. “She’s going to hate it when I see her crash and burn.”

I hopped out of the car and walked around the hood to help Rachel out of the car. I never understood why she insisted on wearing high-as-fuck heels while she was pregnant—it made me nervous. She looked hot as hell, but one day she was going to fall and I was terrified I wouldn’t be there to catch her.

“You really have no idea, do you?” she said, laughing, as I took her hand and pulled her gently out of her seat. “How in God’s name did you grow up together and you still know so little about Kate?”

“You know I didn’t grow up with her.” I slammed the door shut and walked her slowly toward the small building. “I moved in when I was seventeen and left town when I was nineteen. She’s not family, for Christ’s sake. She’s the spoiled, weird niece of the people who took me in for a very short period of time.”

Rachel stopped short at the annoyance in my voice. “She’s my best friend. My only friend. And she freaking introduced us, in case you’ve forgotten.”

“Not on purpose.”

“What’s that supposed to mean? What wasn’t on purpose?”

“She was pissed as hell when we got together.”

“No, she wasn’t,” Rachel argued. “What are you talking about?”

“Never mind. It’s not important.”

“Can you please, please, just be nice and not act like you’re being tortured when we get in there? I don’t know what your deal is with her—”

“I don’t have a deal with her, I just wanted to take my gorgeous wife out to dinner tonight, and instead we’re going to watch her friend sing for a bunch of teenagers. Not exactly what I was hoping for.”

I reached out to cup her cheek in my palm and rubbed the skin below her lips with my finger. I wanted to kiss her, but after all the lipstick she’d applied in the car, I knew she wouldn’t thank me for it.

“We’ll go somewhere else afterward, okay? I think she’s on first, so we won’t be here long,” she assured me with a small smile, her eyes going soft. She knew I wanted to kiss her; my hand on her face was a familiar gesture.

“Okay, baby.” I leaned in and kissed the tip of her nose gently. “You look beautiful. Did I tell you that yet?”

“Nope.”

“Well, you do.”

She smiled and started walking toward the building again, and I brushed my fingers through the short hair on the back of my head.

It wasn’t that I disliked Kate. Quite the opposite, actually. When we were kids, we’d been friends, and I’d thought she was funny as hell. She had a quirky, sometimes weird sense of humor, and she’d been the most genuinely kind person I’d ever met. But for some reason, all those years ago, she’d suddenly focused in on me, and the attention had made me uncomfortable.

I wasn’t into her, and her crush had made me feel weird, uncomfortable in my own skin. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but shit, she just didn’t do it for me. She was too clean-cut, too naive and trusting. Even then, I’d been more attracted to women who were a little harder, a little darker, than the girl who still had posters of fairies on her walls at seventeen.

So I began avoiding her as much as I could until she’d brought home a girl wearing red lipstick and covered in tattoos after her first semester in college. I’d ignored the way Kate had watched me with sad eyes as I’d monopolized her friend’s time and completely disregarded her hurt feelings. I’d never liked Kate that way, and I hadn’t seen anything wrong with going after her new friend.

I’d ended up married to her roommate, and from then on I’d acted like Kate and I had never been friends. It was easier that way.

“Come on, baby,” Rachel called, pulling me into the darkened coffeehouse. “I see a table, and my feet are killing me.”

Why the fuck did she insist on wearing those damn shoes?

“Can I get you anything to drink?” a small waitress asked us. Like, really small. She was barely taller than the bistro table we were sitting at.

“Can I get a green tea, please?” Rachel asked.

“Sure! The green we’ve got is incredible. When are you due?”

“Not for a while.”

“Well, congratulations!”

“Black coffee,” I ordered when the friendly waitress finally looked my way. Her smile fell, and I realized my words had come out shorter than I’d intended.

“Sure thing!” she chirped with a tight smile before walking away.

“Seriously, Shane?” Rachel growled in annoyance.

“What?” I knew exactly what. I’d been a jackass, but I wasn’t about to explain that the crowded coffeehouse was making me sweat. People were laughing loudly, jostling and bumping into each other around the room, and I couldn’t see the exits from where we sat.

“Hey, San Diego,” a familiar voice called out over the speakers. “How you guys doing tonight?”

The room filled with cheers, and Rachel’s face lit up as she looked past me toward the stage.

“Aren’t you sweet?” Kate rasped with a short chuckle. “I dig you guys, too.”

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