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“Whatever, Tess. All I know is that I had a happy brother. Then I didn’t.”

A small smile escapes my lips. Unfortunately, Jax catches it.

He shakes his head. “You’re happy he’s in pain. That he’s made all sorts of fucked-up decisions because of you. You know you broke him, right?”

I think for a moment. Am I happy Reed is miserable?

Yes. Yes, I am.

“You two truly are perfect for each other.” He chuckles, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel. “Well, close your eyes and rest up, Tess. I have a feeling you’re going to need it.”

Reaching for one of his strong hands, I tell him, “I’m not scared anymore, Jax. I know I can make it.”

He snorts. “You’re as screwed up as he is, only you’re hiding it better.”

Glaring at him, I snatch my hand back. “You know what, Jax? I have worked hard to get myself together! I exercise and… well, I exercise and that helps.”

A huge grin appears. “Calm down. I didn’t mean to fire you up.” He smirks. “Poor Reed.”

Not being able to help myself, I blurt out, “Is he honestly with Lexi?”

“I don’t know what he’s doing.”

“Bullshit, Jax. You always know. Are they together?” I don’t know why I’m pressing this, knowing I’m going to hate the answer.

“He hasn’t told me anything lately. I do know that our parents have been pressuring him to at least try.”

Crossing my arms, I’m hurt. Caroline and Brad were more like my parents than my mom and dad. “I can’t believe Brad and Caroline would like her!”

He looks at me sheepishly. “They want him to stop sleeping with hookers. And not do blow or ecstasy. If she can keep him away from those distractions, then they’re happy.”

“So, you guys started having sex with prostitutes as soon as he dumped me?” I can’t help the stinging accusation in my tone.

“You dumped him, Tess. He waited for you for almost two years, and you never came back! So, yes after seeing my brother unhappy for two years, I absolutely wanted him to get laid and move on.”

I can’t look at him, so I look at my nails.

Jax reaches for my hand again. “He needed to try to forget you. Unfortunately, it backfired.”

Looking over at him, I ask, “What does that mean?”

He sighs. “It’s only that… he’s different now.”

“Because he’s into sleeping with high-priced whores?”

“Take it easy.”

“Jax, he was the love of my life. He swore to me every day that I was his one and only! And now you say he’s ‘different.’ He does drugs and sleeps with anything that walks. I’d say he’s a little different.”

Jax turns up the air conditioner. “Think about how experienced he is now.” He waggles his eyebrows.

“I don’t find that funny.” I frown at him.

“You’re right. It’s not funny. I’m sorry. It was a dark time for us. We both got caught up in that lifestyle.”

My imagination is starting to run away. Reed kissing older, beautiful women. His strong tan hands touching them. Making them cry out with pleasure. My face burns with humiliation and something else. “Have you guys been tested?”

He smiles and pats my knee. “Yes, Mom, we’ve been tested.”

“Stop it. This isn’t anything to make light of. Just the other day I was reading an article about Super G.” Looking out the window, I’m hurt that Jax seems to be on Reed’s side.

“Super G? What are you talking about?”

“It’s a new strain of gonorrhea that antibiotics don’t work on. You suffer until you die or your dick falls off.” I made that last part up, but it’s still scary.

“Well, rest assured, Tess. The women we paid for were not street hookers.” He keeps his eyes on the road. “They charge thousands of dollars for their pussies. And they get tested constantly. We got tested too. You have to with these women. And to reassure you even more that we don’t have Super G, Reed and I always use condoms.”

“I don’t want to hear any more.” I hold up my hand. “I… I never thought we would be talking about this.” It’s impossible to stop the sting of pain and tears. “Can you turn on some music, please?”

“It’s okay to be angry. But if it makes you feel better, he’s still in love with you. Still obsessed. Are you ready for that? Because as soon as he sees you, he is going to claim you and this time, you’re both adults.”

I can’t acknowledge that his words have made my belly flutter and my heart beat faster. Shrugging I say, “It doesn’t matter anymore. He lied to me, and he committed the ultimate betrayal by sleeping with Lexi. She is worse than any prostitute.”

“We don’t know if he’s fucking her.”

I roll my eyes at him. “I would never take him back.”

“Right.” The smirk returns to his face.