Ch16 Lunch Con2
We were all seated at a large dining room table, making small talk. Skirting around the reason for this lunch. Mack didn’t do things for nothing, he had set this up to learn something but I had no idea what.
My curiosity at an all time high, waiting for them to reveal how they had all met. Sienna was seated beside Mack across from Sin and I.
Sin’s arm rested on the back of my chair. Protective.
“So how did you meet?” Mack asked, conversationally.
But I wasn’t fooled. He was digging deeper into my connection with Sin. I looked to Sin unsure of what to say. What if I said something that I wasn’t supposed to? I didn’t know enough about the situation to be able to make the call.
“We met in college,” Sin answered.
I noted that he didn’t elaborate, keeping his answer simple. Not giving much away.
Mack studied me as he leaned back in his chair. “Did he sweep you off your feet?”
I frowned. There had been nothing romantic about our first meeting. It had been lust at first sight, it had burned between us. I had never felt anything like it before.
“She propositioned me for a one night stand.” Sin was blunt. I could tell that Mack’s interest in our relationship was brushing him up the wrong way.
Mack chuckled. “I bet you loved that.”
Sin smiled but there was nothing friendly about it. “She was unlike anyone I had ever met before.” His hand moved to cover my hand on the table. To connect us in some way.
Mack studied the display of affection. It felt like he was scrutinizing us for a weakness he could exploit.
I gave Sin a side look. Unsure of how to navigate the conversation. Our eyes meshed together. Even with Mack watching our chemistry out between us. My heart skipped a beat when I remembered the night we slept together. It was the start of our complicated story.
He could still affect me the same way now, even after all the time we had been together.
“Same,” I murmured, unable to keep a lid on my emotions.
He was a one of a kind. Strong, confident, loyal and best of all mine. I was feeling so emotional, I couldn’t tell if it was the situation or the pregnancy.
“You tamed him,” Mack said, with a note of disapproval.
He made it sound like something to be avoided, not embraced and that was the furtherest thing from the truth.
“I loved him,” I argued without considering I could be riling him up.
It was only once I had said it that I regretted allowing him to push me lose my cool.
“And I always thought the two of you would end up together.”
It took me a moment to realize Mack was talking about Sin and Sienna.
Sin and Sienna shared a cautious look.
“Please excuse my brother Taylor. He has temporarily taken leave of his manners.”
It was then I took a moment to look a little deeper. Through the facade of friendliness I could see the tension in her. She was on edge, like Sin.
I gave a nod, still digesting that Sienna and Sin had been something, even if they weren’t anything now. I didn’t like how it made me feel.
It was only then I took in the other fact that she had revealed. Brother. Mack was Sienna’s brother.
“I had no intention of being rude. It is the truth though,” Mack explained, his eyes trained on me and Sin for our reaction.
I kept my features free of the emotions I was experiencing. I hated how I felt a moment of jealousy at the idea of the two of them together. That had been years ago and it was different now.
Maybe once they had been close, but that wasn’t the case now. Not once had he ever mentioned her to me. But that didn’t totally ease the jealousy that burned in me.
“Did you guys date?” I asked Sin softly, needing some sort of answer.
He shook his head. “We were only ever friends.”
“I could see the way you guys used to look at each other,” Mack argued.
I hated how he was stirring my emotions all over the place with his speculation, rather than fact.
Thinking about Sin with someone else was still so real. It wasn’t that long ago I had believed he had been cheating on me with Sienna. It was still too raw to be brushed aside as the talking of a vindictive person.
“We were just close,” Sienna added.
Sin’s thumb brushed against the back of my hand, reassuring me with his touch.
“Sometimes too close.” Was there a warning in there somewhere? Mack was difficult to read.
“You ever been in love?” My direct question seemed to amuse Mack as he shrugged with a half smile.
“No. It’s not for me.” He shook his head. “I saw what love did to my mother.”
His distaste was clear at the use of the word love.
“You have any siblings?” Mack’s question changed the subject firmly from discussion about love.
I didn’t want to talk about my only living relative but I could tell Mack was the type of person who knew all the answers to the questions he was asking. Perhaps it had to do with building some sort of trust.
I nodded. “I have an older brother.”
I didn’t mention Connor’s name but he probably already knew it.
I held his gaze, refusing to look away. I had nothing to hide.
At the mention of my parents, I was reminded fleetingly the horror of how I had lost them. I swallowed. Since I had discovered I was pregnant I hadn’t really thought about what my child would miss out on. It was something I couldn’t allow myself to think about without feeling sad at what was taken from me.
Not only had their lives been taken, my future with them had been snuffed out as well.
It was more difficult to keep my composure.
I shook my head. “They are dead.”
Mack watched me closely. I wasn’t sure what he was looking for, a sign that I was perhaps being untruthful. Or was he looking for something else?
Surely he knew I would not be stupid enough to lie about
“What’s with all the questions Mack?” Sin asked, interrupting our stare down.
Could he sense Mack’s dislike for me? This guy did not like me one bit, and it didn’t matter that I was with his friend.
“You know me Sin. I like to get to know the people I let into my circle.”
“She’s with me. I trust her with my life.”
Mack studied Sin for a few moments before he smiled and then he directed his gaze to me. “I don’t trust a lot of people. These people.” He looked to his sister and Sin. “I trust them explicitly. But I don’t know you Taylor. Time will tell if I can trust you.”
Sin put his arm around my shoulders.
“Geez you’re a conversation killer Mack,” Sienna admonished jokingly.
It did nothing to ease the tension that hung between Mack and I.
Mack smiled at his sister, with as much affection as he seemed to be able to muster.
My curiosity was peaked. I had more questions and than answers and in my vulnerable state that wasn’t easy to deal with.
The thing was Mack was questioning my loyalty. I didn’t trust Mack at all and I bet Sin’s feelings weren’t far off mine. The only loyalty I had at the table was to the man beside me. I would walk through hell for him.
If Sin needed me to sit through a lunch with the asshole across from me, then I would do it with a smile.
I just hope that there was a way out of whatever Sin had gotten caught up in.
Mack wasn’t the type of guy you crossed and got away with it.
While we ate I began to study the people seated at the table. There was an easiness between Sin and Sienna but none of them shared that same dynamic with Mack. It spoke volumes.
The conversation moved to a lighter subject but Mack’s gaze held mine, like he could read my mirrored dislike and it intrigued him.
I didn’t want to spend a moment more in the guy’s company than absolutely necessary.