Panic started to take hold. He felt gutted that he’d hurt her, and he wanted to comfort her, but at the same time he needed to stand up for what he believed. He couldn’t let his love for her make him a weak pushover. “I didn’t mean to. But now you know for damn sure that it doesn’t mean anything. You have to accept that. Accept it, Rain, please. I don’t want any woman to dictate how I do my job or how I live my life. Not even you. That’s not what a relationship is about.”

Just like that a wave of coldness seemed to seep through Rain. She shivered before him and her words came out like shards of ice. “Get out of my flat and out of my life. Don’t come back.”


Three days.

Three shitty, goddamn awful days.

That’s how long it had been since Rain threw him out of her flat.

Craig still couldn’t wrap his head around it . . . how much it hurt that she didn’t trust him.

He’d picked up his phone so many times over the last seventy-two hours, wanting to call her, to hear her voice, to sort this mess out. But his pride and hurt stopped him.

He was the walking wounded and it turned out he was a bit of a grumpy bastard when he was crossed in love.

“Just call her already,” Joss had snapped at him at the bar when he’d been short with her.

“Mind your own business,” he’d snapped back.


“I’m letting your attitude go since I remember being a bit of bitch when Braden and I were going through some stuff. But I’ll only take so much crap, Craig. Sort your shit out or leave it at home.”

Leave it at home.

Those words led him exactly to that—to his mum, whose phone calls he’d been ignoring for the past few days too.

“I’ve been worried¸” she said as soon as he stepped through her door.

“I’m sorry.” He pulled her in for a hug, and she seemed startled before hugging him back.

“I’m worried,” she repeated softly. “What’s going on?”

He released his hold on her and sighed wearily. “Coffee first?”

Sitting in his mum’s kitchen, Craig watched as she made them coffee, her gaze darting to him in concern. Finally she sat down at the table beside him.

“Did something happen between you and Rain?”

The question brought on a sudden but familiar panic. Every time he let himself think he’d never see Rain again, he felt like his chest was caving in. “We broke up.” He somehow managed to say the words.

His mum covered his hand with hers. “What happened?”

And so he told her everything, needing her comfort and consolation.

To his surprise that’s not what he got.

She scowled at him instead. “You stubborn, stubborn boy.”

Anger shot through him. “What?”

His mum pulled away from the table to stand up and pace, like she always did when she was agitated. “Relationships are about compromise, Craig! I can’t believe you find someone, you’re the absolute happiest I’ve ever seen you, Mags said Rain was wonderful, and you go and blow it by being an arrogant idiot!”

Craig sat in stunned silence.

She wasn’t finished either. Leaning her hands on the table, she brought her face close to his. “Rule number one in a monogamous relationship: You never flirt with another woman, especially in front of your current woman. There are no exceptions to this rule.”

“Mum, my tips—”

“Your tips can take a flying jump out of the window! Are you really telling me that tips are more important than the woman you love?”

He flushed hot with frustration. “It’s not about the tips. It’s about the principle of the thing.”

“Rain might be overly romantic, I don’t know. But asking you to respect her enough not to flirt with someone in front of her isn’t being overly romantic. It’s what most women would ask of you. It’s what I asked of your dad when we first started seeing each other and he was playing it cool. He’d never dated just one woman before. Never got serious. I told him it was me and only me or nothing at all. He swallowed his damn pride and got serious with me. And you . . . you are going to swallow your damn pride and beg and grovel until that girl takes you back. Or do you not love her after all?”

Panic set in immediately as he digested her words. He’d been so convinced that Rain was being overly sensitive that it never even occurred to him he was the one in the wrong. “I don’t know if she’ll take me back.”

“You won’t know until you try.”


I missed him. I missed him and I ached all over with it. When I thought I’d lost Darcy forever I’d felt this kind of gnawing feeling of powerlessness in my gut, my chest, even in the muscles in my jaw. Now I felt that way again, except this time that pain was spiced with a burning longing.

And I hated him for it.

But I hated him because I really loved him.

It was my own fault, I decided. I knew from the moment I met him that Craig Lanaghan was the biggest flirt to grace God’s green earth. He was heartbreak waiting to happen. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! Yet I’d walked into his open arms with a smile and practically set him up to disappoint me.

Where had all my promises to myself gone? They’d been so easily swept aside, and for what? Orgasms?

No. That wasn’t fair. Craig had given me more than that. He’d made me laugh, he listened, he was easier to be around than anyone I’d ever met, and he’d made me feel special for a time. Until he stopped, that is.

I winced, staring at my phone screen. It told me I had three missed calls from Craig.

The familiar burn of unshed tears stung my eyes. “Goddamnit!” I hissed and pressed the heels of my hands into my eyes. I’d cried for almost forty-eight hours non-stop and I was more than sick of it.

I was stronger than this. I was. But it would help if Craig would just stay out of my life completely from now on. I didn’t know why he was calling. Possibly because he’d left some clothes at my flat. I was going to get his stuff back to him, however, I’d planned to do it when I could face him without wanting to burst into tears.

“Leave me alone,” I whispered at my phone when it started to ring again.

I could just pick it up and see what the hell he wanted, I supposed, but again, I was afraid my voice would crack on a sob as soon as I heard his familiar voice.

The buzzer to my flat went off and I tensed in my chair.

The phone calls and now the buzzer? No one buzzed up to my flat during the day on a weekday. The very small handful of friends I had worked weekdays, and anyhow, I couldn’t imagine I was very popular with them these days since I’d broken the cardinal rule of friendship and let myself become so immersed in Craig I’d barely been in touch with them.

The only person it could be at my door . . . I looked at my phone. Surely he wouldn’t just turn up like that.

However, this was Craig after all. When he wanted something he didn’t back down. I had to wonder what the hell he still wanted from me.

My phone started ringing in conjunction with my buzzer.

I found myself getting more and more uptight, not knowing what was the best thing to do. My toes curled inside my socks in agitation.

And then the buzzer and the phone stopped.

Most Popular