Peyton walks around him and I expect her to wave me out, but she sides with Cason. “I don’t want you to leave either, Londyn.”
“We want you to be a part of our new memories, too,” Peyton says, her dark eyes full of honesty and sincerity. How does this woman not hate me?
My gaze slides to Cason, and he’s nodding in agreement. Their kindness, openness and inclusiveness hugs me like a blanket. I want to be a part of this small family more than life itself.
“I’d like to stay,” I say.
Peyton skips toward me. “Good. Now, where’s the eggnog?”
“I’ll get you eggnog,” Cason says. “First there’s this ‘oaf’ thing we need to discuss, and why is everyone calling me names?”
“Probably because you deserve it, Cason,” Peyton says and drags me down the hall. She wraps her arm through mine. “Put my bags in my room will you. Leave the pink one, it has the presents.”
As Cason stands there scratching his head, Peyton and I head to the kitchen for drinks. I go to the fridge and pull out the eggnog. I toss ice into two glasses and pour a generous amount of the delicious alcoholic creamy mixture into both. Her crystal glass clicks on the marble island as I set it down. She quickly picks it up, taps it with mine and smirks at me.
“What?” I ask.
“You and Cason.”
“Oh, it’s not like that,” I say and take a big drink to cover the heat infiltrating my cheeks.
“But you want it to be. I always knew you two belonged together,” she says matter-of-factly. I open my mouth to speak and she continues with, “He’s been a miserable prick, Londyn.”
I laugh at her language, but sober quickly. “Because of me.”
“He hates me.”
She snorts. “Is that what you think?”
I shake my head. “You sound just like him.”
“All I know, girlfriend, is I’ve never seen him look at any woman the way he looks at you. He’s been a prick because you haven’t been in his life. Fate brought you two back together, and this time you guys had better not screw it up.”
My heart tightens. “I never meant to hurt him.”
“I know, and now you two have a second chance.”
A bubble of hope wells up inside me, but I’m afraid to let myself get too excited. “Do you really think so?”
“We have a history, you know that.”
“I know.” She takes a big drink of eggnog and holds her glass out for me to refill it. “Don’t judge me,” she says. “It’s been a bad year.”
“I’m sorry. Is everything okay?”
Instead of answering, her eyes narrow, and she shakes her head. “Everyone deserves a second chance, Londyn. Well, not everyone,” she says with a snarl.
I run my finger over the rim of my glass. “What do you mean?”
She glances over her shoulder, all conspiratorial like. “Do you remember Roman Abbot, Cason’s good friend since college?”
“Yeah, why?” I ask. What the hell did Roman do to make her snarl like that?