I leave her with Storm, thundering out of the building to the boxing gym where I know a punching bag sits with my name on it. I kick off my boots and pull my shirt off. I don’t even bother wrapping my hands before unleashing all my anger and anguish upon the bag now that sex is firmly off the tables for me.
Since I hit puberty, I’ve walked around with a permanent hard-on because of Carley.
I remember the night Jase and I became virgins no longer. We got wasted one night at a party after we got into a fight with Carley and Lachlan over Weston freshman year. We both woke up passed out with naked girls on the floor of a rich kid’s pool house. When Ran and Weston found us the next morning, they threw us in the pool along with our clothes. We made Carley cry that night because neither of us would answer our phones.
Lachlan held her all night at the loft.
That was an awful morning, walking into the loft in nothing but borrowed boxers to find Carley’s eyes red and puffy because we were jerks.
Later that night, Ran tied us to a post in his barn and zapped us repeatedly with a cattle prod. I swear he had the thing just to punish us for being idiots. We deserved it that night too. Lachlan and Weston took turns with Ran that night, zapping us once every hour. They didn’t do it to be cruel, just to prove a point, so it’s not like we hurt at all in the process. We learned our lesson. We made damn certain we answered all her calls and that we didn’t walk away from Carley in anger after that.
That is until I just did today. What am I thinking? That’s the problem, I’m not. Carley showed up back into my life and I’m already wrecking things.
Sure enough, here comes Weston and Lachlan standing juxtaposed in front of me.
“Jase is in class with Carley. What happened?” Weston holds the bag as I continue to punch. In the meantime, Lachlan removes all his clothing but his tattered paint-stained jeans.
“I got angry over something stupid,” I spit. I hit the bag twice as hard. I’m disappointed in myself.
“Either spill it now or on the mats,” Lachlan says giving me a sideways smirk as he wraps his hands. I snort then let Weston wrap my bleeding fists.
I met Lachlan on the mats. We have one rule when we fight, not the face. I tackle him to the ground, jabbing my fists into Lachlan’s rib cage. He twists, bucking me off of him. I roll onto the mat and then flip up onto my feet. He kicks me in the ribs.
“Spill Ashley. No more secrets,” Lachlan growls at me.
I kick back at him, but he dodges. We circle each other. I run toward him, attempting to tackle him again, but he kicks me in the stomach.
“Carley thinks I’ll hurt her, not physically though. She still knows I’d never lay a hand on her,” I wheeze out doubled over.
“You were screwing a girl in front of her man. That’s a betrayal,” Lachlan huffs out. Sweat is coating both our bodies already.
I grunt, moving in close enough to kick Lachlan in the thigh. He brings an elbow down on the back of my neck, driving me to the ground instead.
“I didn’t know I was hers. She used to just ignore me, then lecture me later after getting my rear beat by Jase,” I groan. The sad part is, the physical pain is a welcome respite to my warring emotions of anger, betrayal, and disappointment.
“Something happened to her enough to change her. I don’t know what, but that Storm guy had something to do with it,” Weston pipes up from the sidelines.
Storm. I want to rearrange his face instead fighting my brother.
I grunt again. “You going to get in with us?” I ask Weston.
He laughs. “Yeah right! I’m not risking Fox’s wrath over pulling my stitches.
I flinch because that doctor is the boogie man, I swear. He is one crazy artic bastard of a man that I wouldn’t want to be in the crosshairs of either. “I’ll get in, but I’m blaming you.”
While I’m distracted blindly throwing punches to keep Lachlan away from me by the thought of Fox, I get a foot to my rear delivered by Lachlan to put me flat on my face. I don’t move, just lay on my stomach panting.
He sits down in front of me, and Weston joins him.
My thoughts circle back to Carley, like always. “Why would she ever think I could hurt her? Flirting with some girl to get her angry or acting like I’m going to have sex with some girl to get a rise out of her, sure.” I mumble into the mat before sitting up to face my brothers. “I love seeing that fire in her eyes when she is angry, but I would never hurt her. I’ll gladly break my nose if she cried because of me again.”
Lachlan and Weston jerk a nod at me. They get it, they remember that night. “Please tell me she didn’t cry when I walked off. If she did, just break my nose right now,” I groan.
The two exchange a look with one another. “Nah man, but she was confused.” Lachlan runs a hand threw his golden blonde hair.
I guess I’m going to apologize for being a jerk.
“We don’t know where she has been or what she has been through. At the same time, she doesn’t know the hell we’ve been through.” Weston is the voice of reason as always.
“She is different. She proved that at lunch,” I agree with Weston. None of them are the same since the day Carley disappeared from lives.
The one thing that never changed for any of us is that she is it for us, none of us want another woman the way we do Carley. She is our beginning and our end.
We are in love with her and have been since junior high. Lachlan and Jase were Carson’s best friends. Ransom was Carley’s leashed dog in those times.