Page 30 of Wild Night

Font Size:  

And that was it.

Again, she’d just said yes, assuming he wanted to talk about what had happened after the party face-to-face. It was just like Padraig. He was sensible and kind and not a complete chicken shit, like her. Obviously, he wasn’t angry at her for leaving or upset about what had happened. She could have saved herself a lot of angst if she’d just stuck around the morning after. They could have talked it out, laughed it off, and moved on.

Except…Kelli wasn’t sure she could do any of those things.

She wanted to. Desperately. But…he’d rocked her world. Shaken her to the core. Good sex was pretty rare in her realm of experience.

Great, amazing sex? Unheard of.

Plus, Padraig had been her best friend since kindergarten, and never, not once in all those years, had she looked at him as anything more than the brother she’d never had.

Now…she kept remembering Friday night. The way he’d kissed her, spanked her, held her. It was fucking hot.

But even now, a week out, she couldn’t make the pieces fit. Because Padraig still loved Mia, deeply. He hadn’t gotten over her death and he wasn’t ready to move on.

She knew that because she was his best friend, and in a lot of ways, she felt like she knew him better than she knew herself.

So. No.

Nothing fit here.

She glanced through the plate-glass window and spotted Padraig behind the bar, pouring drinks, talking and laughing with Emmy.

He looked and acted exactly the same.

Meanwhile, she felt as if she was someone completely different, a stranger to herself.

She’d been doing Friday happy hours at the pub for years, but this week…God, this week it was taking everything she had to walk into the place.

“This is Paddy,” she murmured, trying to reassure herself that they could talk this out, make things right.

She couldn’t lose him over this. She wouldn’t.

Steeling herself, she opened the door and walked in, walked right over to the counter and claimed her stool.

Padraig gave her the same sweet, friendly smile he always gave her, the one reserved just for her, and she felt like she could breathe for the first time in days.

“There’s Merida! How was your week, Kell?” he asked.

She glanced from Padraig to Emmy, then back again. He was acting like, well, like Padraig.

So she gave him the same. “A whole week of five-year-olds hopped up on Halloween candy. I’ll let you puzzle out the answer to that.”

He laughed and lifted a wine bottle.

She raised her hand with an unspoken “stop” cue. “God, no.”

Padraig laughed harder. “Yeah. I hear you. Pretty sure it’s going to be a damn long time before I drink again. Maybe years. Maybe never. I’m a little embarrassed.” He glanced at Emmy. “Okay, I’m a lot embarrassed.”

Emmy giggled. “I didn’t say a word.”

“So…it was a rough Saturday?” Kelli asked, trying to figure out how to start the conversation they needed to have. Unfortunately, the pub was quite busy, and it would be tough to pull him aside for a few minutes. She also really didn’t want to talk this out with Emmy there.

That had been another layer to this week’s unending guilt. The fact that Kelli genuinely believed Emmy and Padraig would make a wonderful couple, that she could be the woman to heal her best friend’s shattered heart.

He nodded. “Oh yeah.”

“Rough Friday night too,” Emmy added with a laugh.

Articles you may like