Something Wonderful Page 59

“Don’t you f**kin’ touch her, Puke!” a voice bellowed. From the corner of my eye, I saw a fist fly into Luke’s face, throwing him against the stool. While Luke was falling, he held onto my blouse, causing me to fall with him. Just before I hit the ground, I felt an arm around my waist, pulling me up and safely into strong arms.

There was no doubt it was Max. I knew that smell, that voice that beckoned my attention, and that firm grip. Not to mention, his unique nickname for Luke. My body easily succumbed to his, sailing me away into a blissful sea of joy. How I had missed his touch, his hold, and his love. I was dissolving rapidly in his arms, realizing all the days, minutes, seconds of missing him that my anger and pride stole from me.

“Jenna,” he murmured, holding on to me tightly as if I would disappear. I could tell he had been drinking more than usual. I understood. He was under a tremendous amount of stress. “Why didn’t you call? I’ve been waiting for you.” His face dug into my hair, breathing me in. “You’re supposed to be my forever. I want to be yours, Jenna. I need you so much, but you left me. You left us.”

Turning to him, I saw the bags under his eyes and the sexy stubble on his face, the stubble I loved to run my fingers over. Though he looked incredibly delicious in my eyes, he looked so worn and broken too. Oh my God! I didn’t know I could affect him this way. I did this to him. I didn’t leave him, but in his heart, he thought I did.

Before I could tell Max I was on my way to his place, Max flew to his left. “Max!” I screamed. Luke had managed to stand and fight back. As Max stumbled to get up, I guarded him with my body. I hated that Luke hurt Max. It felt as if he had done it to me. If Max wasn’t wasted, there would have been no need for my intervention, but I didn’t have to worry for too long. Matthew had been close by and pounded Luke with an even a stronger blow. “Don’t touch my brother, ass**le.”

“What’s going on?” The bartender came around as the customers nearby scrambled for safety.

“Nothing.” Matthew said. “We were just leaving.” Without a word, Matthew threw some cash on the table, grabbed Max’s arm, and started to haul him toward the exit.

Standing there dumbfounded, I looked over my shoulder to see Max slumped over, obeying Matthew’s order with the most hurtful eyes looking back at me. It pained me greatly to see him this way. It hurt even more to realize he was walking out the door thinking I didn’t want him.

Tonight, I saw Max’s vulnerability for the first time. He had always been my rock, the one that held us together, but now he was lost. I didn’t think he needed me, but I had been wrong. I didn’t know our time apart would cause him this much heartache. I finally realized that if he had said the words I had said to him, I would have felt the same. The ball would have been in his court and I would not have gone against his wishes. Going to his place tonight was probably not a good idea, after what just happened here. I would have to wait until tomorrow.

Turning back to Luke, I gave him the most evil look I could. “You bastard. You knew he was behind me.”

“Looks like there’s trouble in paradise,” he gloated, dabbing the blood off his lips with a napkin. “I told you he was no good for you. You’ll come running back to me when they throw his sorry ass in jail.”

I don’t know what came over me, but I had become more aggressive these days. On an impulse, I smacked him hard across his face. The palm of my hand stung like hell, but I didn’t care. It was worth the pain. It wasn’t something I would normally do, but it sure felt good to do it. “That was for Max and the kiss you took without my permission. If you ever come near me again, I’ll call the police and get a restraining order.”

I heard Luke mumble a few words as I walked away. Just before I shut the door behind me, I looked to where Ethan and I had sat. My one connection to a possible witness to help end this lawsuit was gone. He was GONE!

34

LYING ON MY BED wearing Max’s T-shirt, I rubbed the lack of sleep from my eyes. Matthew had texted me to let me know he had taken Max to his place. He suggested I talk to Max the next day, since today they had a long meeting scheduled with his lawyer. It was the longest Saturday of my life and the day had barely begun.

Thinking of my meeting with Ethan again, I grabbed my cell phone from the nightstand and dialed Mr. Shaw’s cell.

“Hello.”

“Hello, Mr. Shaw. This is Jenna Mefferd. I’m so sorry to bother you on a Saturday morning, but I needed to tell you something important that may help Max’s case. To make a long story short, I overheard a rumor that Crystal had done this before. She used to work at Rave Magazine, and I think—”

“Ms. Mefferd. Please don’t say or do anything else that might jeopardize this case. We are fully aware of Crystal’s past. We are working on it. I appreciate your wanting to help, but please let me do my job.”

“Of course, Mr. Shaw, but do you know who that person is?”

“Ms. Mefferd….”

“I know. You can’t disclose that information. I didn’t mean to pry.”

“That’s okay. I assure you, Max is in good hands and I will do everything in my power to stop this from going to court, if possible.”

“I’m sure he is. It’s just that—”

“You’re doing your part by attending our sessions. We’ve covered a lot of ground, and there might not even be a need to meet again. I thought you did much better the last time we met. If all goes well, we won’t be going to court. Of course, if you do find any new information, you are welcome to let me know. Have a nice day.”

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