The Soul Mate Page 19

She was like no other woman I’d ever known and if it wasn’t love yet, I was well on my way. She could say what she wanted but her body didn’t lie. She was just as into me as I was into her. She was just scared.

I’d known that from the beginning and I’d pushed too hard. She needed time. Time I hadn’t been giving her.

The drawer had been a stupid idea, but I could make it up to her. I just had to figure out how, and how the fuck to get a hold of some extra patience.

Because I had a feeling I was going to need it. Even if soul mates were a crock of shit, she and I needed our shot.

Chapter Seventeen


“Guess who brought donuts.”

Mandy’s chipper singsong echoed through the front hall of my apartment and I grimaced, groaning to let her know where I was before shoving my pillow over my face.

Lord knew I wasn’t in shape for company—I was barely in shape to be around myself.

Ever since I’d left Mason’s last night, I hadn’t been able to think about anything other than what a complete and total ass I’d been and the sheer, utter terror that had filled my heart as soon as I’d realized what our hot, passionate moment of fun had become.


Not that Mandy would understand.

In her mind, everything was rainbows and puppy dogs and every chance at love ought to be snatched up and savored—at least, that was the only way I could figure she’d gotten married so young. But that was just it. She was married. She didn’t know, couldn’t know, what a risk it was to take a chance on someone nowadays. It was a jungle out here.

A gentle knock sounded on my wooden bedroom door and I croaked for her to come in, though I didn’t bother to drag the pillow from over my face. Distantly, I heard the rustle of her donut bag and caught the savory, sweet smell of my favorite hazelnut latte.

“If that’s what I think it is, you’re a goddess,” I muttered.

“Good morning, Sleeping Beauty.” There was a little thunk and I peeked through the small space between my comforter and pillow to see her setting a tray of drinks on my nightstand before she poked me in the stomach. “It’s ten thirty,” she said with a disapproving click of her tongue.

“So?” I grumbled. “It’s Sunday.”

“Which means you should already have gone on your run and come back by now.”

“I can’t run. I’m pregnant,” I argued.

“You don’t know that,” she shot back with a chuckle. “And besides, I’m pretty sure pregnant people are allowed to run.”

“It’ll wiggle the baby. Or something,” I said stubbornly, pushing the covers off me. Any excuse not to run was just fine by me.

“If your new boyfriend taught you that, then I have some bad news about his credentials as a doctor. Now come on, get up and have a donut with me.”

Grumbling to myself, I propped a few pillows between my back and the headboard, then grabbed for the cup with my name on it.

“Is this caffeine-free?” I asked suspiciously.

“Yup.” Mandy nodded. “Who knows? The caffeine might—what was the medical term you used? Ah, yes. It might ‘wiggle the baby.’ We’d hate to have that happen.” She rolled her eyes, then took her own cup from the cardboard carrier and brought it to her lips.

I took a sip of hazelnut goodness, sighing at the comforting heat before meeting my friend’s questioning gaze.

“So, spill. What’s the real reason you’re still in bed?” she asked.

“Jeez, can’t a girl sleep in every now and then?” I muttered.

“A girl can. Just not you.” Mandy raised her eyebrows. “You didn’t have morning sickness or anything, right?”

I shook my head. “No, no. Nothing like that. I’ve just got a lot on my mind, that’s all.”

“Mason stuff?” Mandy pressed.

“Wow, three seconds after I wake up and I’m already being interrogated.” She waited expectantly and I knew she wasn’t going to get off my back unless I told her, so finally I blurted, “Fine, yes, if you must know. Mason stuff.”

“What happened? He confessed his love?” Mandy asked, taking another nonchalant sip of her coffee.

“What? No.” My cheeks flamed as renewed terror consumed me. “God, what would make you say that?”

“Because that’s always when I find you in bed like this,” Mandy shot back.

“I’ve never done this before,” I said, taking another sip from my cup and glaring at her.

“Haven’t you?” she sniffed. “What about two years ago with that Venezuelan guy…what was his name? Don?”

I rolled my eyes again. “That was nothing. He moved way too fast. Buying me a new computer for my birthday? Who did he think he was, fucking Christian Grey, for crying out loud? Take it easy, am I right?” I asked with a snort.

Mandy frowned. “And Devon from work?”

“That wasn’t even a thing,” I protested. “We went on three dates.”

“Until he told you how gorgeous you were in the moonlight and you wigged out and told him you never wanted to see him again.”

“What?” I scowled at her through narrowed eyes. “Who told you that?” I recalled specifically not detailing that little breakup to her because I knew she’d judge me over it.

Maybe because you deserve her judgment? a little voice in my head whispered. I wanted to fire that damn voice of reason and tell it to get lost.

“He did,” Mandy said. “I was waiting for you to finish your evening rounds and he was on his way out. He stopped and asked me what he’d done to turn you into a psycho.”

A psycho?


“And what did you tell him?” I asked, my stomach feeling queasy.

“That you have a habit of picking guys you can’t get emotionally attached to and he shouldn’t take it personally. You’re just broken inside.” She shrugged as if spilling my personal dirt to the world meant nothing.

“Jesus, Mandy. Tell me how you really feel.”

“I always do. That’s why you keep me around,” she said with a smug smile. “Don’t get me wrong, though. I still love you.”

“Good, because you’re wrong,” I said.

She laughed. “Is that so? So, you’re going to tell me the Mason thing that has you lying in bed like an invalid has nothing to do with the fact that you maybe actually like him and he tried to get close to you?”

“I let him get close to me,” I said. “We…did some stuff that was—”


“Romantic,” I finished.

“Okay, so did he then introduce you to his toenail collection? Or punch you in the face?”

“Well, no…”

“Did he drop to one knee and ask you to marry him? Because that might be rushing things and that I could see,” she said, taking a big bite of a chocolate glazed donut and chewing while she waited for my response.

“Not exactly.” But it was close. “He offered me a drawer.”

“A drawer?”

“Yeah, you know, like to leave stuff at his place or whatever,” I said, trying not to fidget as she stared me down.

“Oh my God. Did you call the police? Get a restraining order?” she demanded, eyes wide in faux shock.

“Okay, okay, I hear it now as I say it out loud. Not that big of a deal,” I admitted, which sent her off into a fit of laughter.

“Not a big deal at all. Especially since you agreed to spend some time with him and slept with him. Which only goes to prove my point that you have commitment issues. After all, you’re lying in your own bed instead of his right now.”

“It’s complicated,” I tried again.

“It’s not. You like him but you’re doing what you always do. You know, I’ve been handling this with kid gloves for a long time now, but considering everything with the baby, I think it’s time for some tough love, kid.”

“Meaning what?” I asked, inwardly cringing at what I knew would come next.

“It’s time to face facts. You are not your mother.”

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