For some people falling in love was a happy, glowing experience. For Briar Kelly and Arrow Donovan it was more like getting hit by a freight train.
Caring for one another was never an easy feat. They constantly fought to hold their feelings inside, not wanting to jeopardize their friendship. Then, Arrow left for the Marines, and everything changed. Briar was shattered. Arrow was hurt.
While Briar told herself she’d never let another man affect her in such a way, Arrow still remained in the forefront of her mind. For Arrow, his memories of Briar kept him alive in both of his near death experiences. When Arrow’s demons threatened to drag him under, Briar was there, pulling him from the darkness.
“What ifs” keep piling up while resentment and redemption battles continue; will Briar and Arrow be able to find their happily ever after, or will this be one war that Arrow can’t win?
“Do we have a problem?” Killian asked. I chuckled humorlessly. His eyes narrowed and chest puffed up. “If you want to talk to me, we can talk,” Killian began. “You can say whatever you want to say to me, but don’t talk about Briar like that.” He pushed his seat back, ready to stand and what? Fight me? Was he really planning on fighting me? He was big, but I was bigger. He looked furious, but I was beyond that. He wanted to defend Briars honor? Yeah, well, I wanted to keep her from making a mistake with a dickhead she didn’t even know. Why did she want to be with someone like him, when I’ve been there since day one?
Briar was tense in her seat. Each of her muscles pulled taut and ready to spring if Killian or I made a move towards one another.
“We met through my friend at work, Arrow,” Briar answered stiffly.
I took a small sip of my whiskey, knowing that it was affecting my actions and mouth but not willing to stop. I wanted my chest to stop hurting and my mind to move away from Briar.
“When?” I asked.
Killian looked over at Briar, smiling a shit-eating grin. “A little over a week ago,” he answered for her.
“So are you two dating now?” I pointed my glass at Killian and then Briar. My eyes never left hers.
Briar coughed. “Uhm, well… I wouldn’t…” she started to speak.
Killian interrupted her, “Yeah, we’re dating.” He didn’t bother looking at me. Instead he implored for Briar to look at him. She did. I bounced my sight between the two of them. Killian was looking at her quizzically. My guess was that he didn’t know if they were actually dating or not. The bastard was stating his claim on her, for the first time, right in front of me.
A petite, shy smile tugged at Briar’s lips, taking the ends and tipping them upwards just enough to tell us both that yes, she was okay with being exclusive with him. The whiskey became rotten in the depths of my stomach when Killian reached over and took Briar’s hand in his. He rubbed his thumb back and forth over her knuckles looking self-satisfied.
“Briar, can you grab me a beer?” I asked. I pushed my glass to the side. Briar looked at my nearly empty cup.
“You sure you should have another drink?” she asked, worry creasing the middle area between her brows.
“I’m sure,” I stated.
She shook her head, unconvinced, but stood up and went to the refrigerator. I leaned forward, my forearms lying flat on the wooden kitchen table. My hands were balled into tightly clenched fists, and my face was within a few inches of Killian’s.
“You know you’re dating my girl, right?” I asked, my jaw clenching tightly, my knuckles turning white from holding back my fists from meeting his nose.
The asshole didn’t look afraid though. He smiled at me with one of those smiles that widens your entire face and shows off every single one of your top and bottom teeth.
“Your girl, huh?” he laughed. “If she was your girl, I don’t think I’d be here right now. I don’t think she’d be holding my hand. I don’t think she would’ve told me that you were her best friend.” My glare must have echoed my fury, but he didn’t stop. “I think you’re confused man, so let me help you out…” Killian leaned forward in his chair, bringing us even closer. “She. Is. Not. Your girl. From what I’ve heard? She never has been. So, why don’t you back the fuck off,” he bit out the last words.
Bayli Lane didn’t realize how much she loved creating a world from nothing until college. She went to Marian University where she majored in Communications, but in her spare time wrote and read. Her love for reading is what really brought out her desire to create her own novel. After starting loads of stories and not finishing them, she finally decided it was time to put her passion to work. Bayli lives with her husband, Tim, in Indiana where she is probably sitting with a large cup of coffee and her computer,working on her next book.