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Authors: Chantal Fernando

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BOOK: Ryder (Resisting Love)
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Saxon was my first love. We started out as friends, and it just grew from there. He was my everything; my best friend, my boyfriend. He was the one person in my life that I could trust and rely on. I went by AJ then, Saxon gave me that nickname and it just stuck. 

When my mother died, in the beginning he was there for me, helping me grieve. She was here one day, and the next she was hit by a drunk driver; never even got the chance to say goodbye. After a while Sax wasn’t around as much, and I found out why fast enough.

I was out getting some groceries when a woman walked up to me. She was pretty, dressed simply in a sundress and sandals.

“Are you AJ?”

I frowned in confusion, wondering who the hell this girl was. “Yes,” I told her, a little hesitantly.

“AJ, as in Sax’s girl?” she asked.

“Yeah... Why do you want to know? Is he okay?” I asked, concerned. Suddenly there were a thousand different scenarios running through my head.

At first I thought she would be bitchy, but she almost looked sad, as if she didn’t want to be the one to tell me this next blow. “My name is Shanora. I don’t want to tell you this, but I have to,” she said, and then took a deep breath. “I slept with Sax a few nights ago. I didn’t know he had a girlfriend until he called out your name during… our time together.”

“What?” I breathed out. I had a fleeting thought that there was no way Sax would do something like that to me. But the look on the girl’s face had me questioning everything. It had me nervous.

“I didn’t want to tell you, but I know what it’s like to be cheated on, and I’m sorry, but you needed to know.” Before I could ask her anything else, she rushed off.

Instead of finishing my shopping, I rushed out of the store, and headed over to Sax’s house. When I pulled up, he was sitting on his top step.  I got out of the car, slamming the door, and he looked up. Noticing the look on my face he came to me right away, but I instantly backed up and held out my hand.

“Don’t fucking touch me,” I hissed violently.

“Baby, what...”

“Is it true? Did you sleep with some girl named Shanora?” I asked, cutting him off.

He put his head down then looked back up, tears in his eyes. “Baby, I’m so sorry, it was a mistake.”

“Well, that mistake just ended us. Stay away from me, Saxon.” I ran back to my car and he chased after me.

“AJ, please, stop. I’m sorry. It won’t ever happen again. I can’t lose you,” he begged.

Before pulling out, I yelled out my rolled down window, “Should have thought about that before you cheated on me!” Big, ugly, fat tears rolled down my face. I lost my mother, and then I’ve lost Sax, the only other person I had left in my life.

I was alone.

All alone.

I drove off, sobbing hysterically. It didn’t take long for Sax to come over to my house, pounding on my door, pleading with me. But I never opened it because I was busy making my own plans. I finished packing all my things and called up a rental company to get my house set up to rent out. Once I knew Sax was gone, I took my bags to my car, locked up the house, and left. I never looked back.

That was about three years ago. Seeing Sax again has hurt me all over again. The fact that he's in a band with Ryder, I don’t know what to do with that. I want to be with Ryder, but apparently being with him means I get my past rubbed in my face every day. What are the chances of this happening? Apparently the universe is out to get me.

 

*****

 

Ryder

Everything's messed up. Sax is missing in action, and Lexi isn’t talking to me. I went over to her apartment and Tee slammed the door in my face; nice to see that family has my back. I know I screwed up, letting Lexi think that maybe I believed some of the stuff Sax was spitting out, but that really isn’t the case. I have no idea what I’m gonna do. I can’t let the band fall apart, years of hard work and friendship, over my personal life. I need to talk to Sax and sort this out.

When he’s not at his house, I check a couple of other places he frequents. Some dodgy looking bar that doesn’t even have a sign, the basketball courts where he plays, and even his mum's house. When all come up empty, I head back to Lexi’s and feel completely stupid when I see Sax’s Harley parked in front of her apartment. Of course he would be here. I can’t help the sliver of fear that runs down my spine. What if Lexi wants him back? I don’t know what I'd do.

I run up the stairs and bang on her apartment door. Tee opens the door, this time letting me in quickly. I walk into the living room and see Sax and Lexi sitting on one of the couches. Sax is talking too quietly, and Lexi is sitting there saying nothing, looking like she wishes she was anywhere else.

“Lexi?” I say.

 

*****

 

Lexi

“I’m so sorry, AJ, please give me a second chance to make things right,” Sax says. He’s sitting next to me on the couch, his face drawn with sorrow.

“I forgive you, Sax, but we’re not going to happen. You need to move on,” I tell him, not for the first time since he came to talk to me.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever forgive him, but here I am. I don’t like seeing him like this, I think he needs my forgiveness to move on, and I want that for him. Sure, I've been bitter for a while now, but it’s been years and it’s time to move on.

“No AJ, I want you in my life. I knew I had fucked up the minute you left. I looked everywhere for you but…” he trails off. I look over at him. He's a gorgeous man, there's no denying that. His brown spiky hair is without product today, just sticking out haphazardly, and his brown eyes are filled with regret. He's wearing jeans, motorcycle boots, and a black t-shirt. His muscles are impressive, and I’m not gonna lie, I really like the tattoos and piercings. But Saxon Tate is my past, and I am not going back. Ever. 

“I needed you, Sax. I had lost my mother, my world was falling apart. I was lost, and you weren’t there for me. In fact, you were in the arms of another woman. That’s not something you can just say sorry for and expect me to take you back with open arms,” I tell him, exhaling deeply.

“I know, fuck, I know. She meant nothing. Nothing,” he says, rubbing his hand over his head. I glance at his knuckles and frown when I see the initials ‘AJ’ written on the two of his fingers on his right hand, just below the knuckles. He sees where I’m looking and sighs. I swallow heavily.

“Any woman that takes a cheater back is stupid. And I’m not a stupid woman, Sax! What would happen when you went on tour? The trust is gone, you can never get that back.” I hiss at him.

“I love you, AJ,” he whispers to me, his eyes pleading.

“All I can offer you is friendship, Saxon,” I tell him frankly. He looks disappointed, heartbroken even.

“Because of Ryder?” he asks bitterly.

“No, Saxon. It’s because you cheated on me!” I almost yell, losing my temper.

“Yeah and sleeping with one of my best friends is enough of a payback, don’t you think?” he counters.

“Oh my god! I didn’t even know that you knew Ryder! My relationship with him has nothing to do with you, Saxon! I've moved on, and you need to do the same!” I tell him, exasperated.

“You can’t expect me to see the two of you together every day!” he says sharply.

“So what, you want Ryder and me to break up? Are you that selfish you don’t want to see me happy?” I spit out.

“No, I just love you that much!” he says through clenched teeth.

“That’s not love,” I counter bitterly.

“You're mine AJ,” he says. I almost want to squirm under his penetrating gaze.

“I haven’t been yours from the moment you touched another woman!” I yell at him, my eyes narrowed to amber slits.

“She was a distraction! You were out of it, grieving, you wouldn’t even talk to me!” he retorts.

I gape. “That's your excuse? You piece of shit!”

Saxon takes a deep breath, visibly calming himself.

“I know it was my fault, not yours. Okay? But we were each other’s firsts, I can’t say I wasn’t intrigued by the idea of sleeping with another woman,” he admits. Finally some honesty.

“And I hope she was worth it,” I say snidely. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t feel good to say it.

Saxon clenches his fists so tight his knuckles turn white. “It's the biggest regret of my life," he almost whispers.

I have no idea what to say, so I sit there staring at him.

Ryder suddenly walks in, calling out my name.

Saxon and I both look up at him, and I can’t help but admire his thick strong legs in his jeans. The man is built perfectly. He's wearing a long sleeved, thin black T-shirt and his chocolate hair is in a messy disarray. His five o’clock shadow is sexy as hell, too, but his most amazing feature are, of course, those intense stormy gray eyes, which are now narrowed suspiciously.

“What are you doing here, Sax?” he demands.

“Talking to AJ,” Sax drawls lazily.

“Her name is Lexi,” Ryder hisses.

“She'll always be AJ to me,” Saxon replies.

Ryder’s fists clench as he moves his gaze from Saxon to me.

“Is everything okay, Lexi?” he asks, gentling his voice.

“Saxon was just leaving,” I say, nodding. I can see Sax frown at me from the corner of my eye, but things between Sax and me are over. Apologies, years too late, aren’t going to help anything. Saxon was my first love, and I will always have feelings for him, but I know that he isn’t going to be a part of my future, at least as anything more than a friend. Saxon stands up and I’m surprised when Ryder tells me he's going to walk Sax outside. I inhale deeply and bury my face into the couch.

 

*****

 

Chapter 13

 

Ryder

“We need to be cool, Sax, we can’t let the band pay for this drama between us,” I tell Sax.

“Yeah? Easy for you, you get the girl,“ he says to himself, grabbing his helmet.

I ignore his comment. “Are we gonna be okay?” I ask frankly.

“I don’t know, Ryder,” is his infuriating reply. “I can’t stand to watch you with the girl I love, and I’m sorry, but I can’t pretend that I’m going to be okay with that shit.”

“So what? You want me to break up with Lexi for you? For the band?” I ask him, my fists clenching with the thought. I don’t think I could ever give up Lexi. I
won't
give up Lexi.

“The fact that you even ask that makes me know that you don’t deserve her. I would give up this band in a minute for Lexi,” he says as he puts his helmet on. And as he rides off, I feel like punching something. Preferably Saxon’s head.

 

*****

 

Lexi

Ryder comes back inside and sits next to me. I made a decision while he was outside. The hardest, most selfless decision I have ever made.

I realized that I was going to have to give up Ryder.

I was coming between him and his dream, and I couldn’t let that happen. Ryder would resent me if he was stuck here with me working a nine to five, while his band made it big. I'd never hold him back like that. Sax made it clear he wasn’t going to be okay with Ryder and me being together, and I really have no other options. And when Ryder starts touring, who knows how our relationship would fair? He could find someone else, and I would be lonely and wondering what he was up to.

“I think we should break up, Ryder,” I blurt out, setting my shoulders.

“What? Because of Saxon?” he asks in a rough tone.

“Yes, he's a part of it, but it’s just not gonna work out. Okay?” I tell him bluntly. Ryder stares at me in silence for a few moments before nodding with realization.

“You’re not gonna fight for us. You’re just gonna take the easy way out. Let me tell you something, Lexi, anything worth having you need to fight for. Nothing this amazing comes without a fight.  And I was going to fight for you, for us, until the very end. But I can’t do that if you aren’t willing to do the same.”

Saying that that, he gets up and leaves.

I burst into tears.

 

*****

 

A week later, I know I've made a huge mistake. I want to fight. I’m ready and willing. Over the past few days I've been miserable. Nothing Tee tried to do could cheer me up, and I can tell she's starting to worry. I've tried to call Ryder a few times, but he didn’t answer; he's obviously still mad at me. The only way I'm going to be able to talk to him is to go and see him.

I run up the stairs to Ryder’s apartment, eager to see him, but slow down when I hear voices coming from his front door.

“I think we should give this a go, Ryder, don’t you?” a woman’s voice purrs. The hairs on the nape of my neck stand on end. I listen intently, and I hear Ryder sigh. I can just imagine him rubbing the back of his neck with those long slender fingers of his. Musician’s hands. My heart breaks as I realize he's actually considering this. He possibly wants to be with this woman. What was I to him?

 

*****

 

 

 

Chapter 14

 

Ryder

“I think we should give this a go, Ryder, don’t you?” Nikki says huskily.

“I guess we could give us a try, or we will always be wondering what if,” I find myself thinking out loud.

But… Lexi. Lexi brings complications. Lexi herself is complicated. She's a threat to everything I have worked towards because of her past with Sax. Lexi can bring down the band, put a stop to my dreams. Lexi is our band's Yoko Ono. I feel so much for Lexi, but am I willing to sacrifice my hope, my dreams, and my career for her? For someone who isn’t even willing to fight back for me?

Before I can say anything else Nikki makes the decision for me and puts her lips on mine. The woman has always been forward, but with me she was never the one to take the lead, it’s always been me, so this is a new experience for us. I think she really wants to see where this can lead. I hear a gasp and my head snaps towards the staircase where I see the back of a retreating Lexi. I’d recognize that honey blonde hair anywhere. Fuck. I don’t want to hurt her. Ever. I love Lexi. I flinch as I realize the truth of what she just saw. This is a cluster fuck.

BOOK: Ryder (Resisting Love)
6.24Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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