Home > Model Behavior (Wrecked Roommates, #1)(10)

Model Behavior (Wrecked Roommates, #1)(10)
Author: Kelsie Rae

I squeeze my eyes shut. “And you think five in the morning is the best time to do that? I’m already pissed at you––”


“No. I’m done listening. I’ve put up with…” My voice cracks. An image of the blonde bimbo rears its ugly head in the back of my mind.

“Look, I’m sorry, okay? I really am. I’m an asshole, and I deserve being in the doghouse, but you have to forgive me at some point, babe. I made a mistake. It won’t happen again.”

Licking my lips, I take a deep breath. “I want to break up, Ian.”


It’s the way he says it that nearly breaks me.

“Please,” I beg. “You don’t love me anymore. Just let me go.”

“No,” he repeats without a shred of sympathy. His stubbornness takes hold until the man I fell in love with is swallowed up by an arrogant asshole who doesn’t care about me. Only himself.

A tear slips past my defenses then runs down my temple and into my messy hair as I continue staring at the ceiling above me. “I don’t want to be with you anymore, Ian.”

“How can you say that? We love each other––”

“If you loved me, you wouldn’t have slept with someone else. I just want to pick up my stuff and start over. Please?”

“You know I can’t do that, babe. You’re my ride or die. I need you. My family needs you.”

I squeeze my eyes shut and try to control my breathing, though it’s a losing battle. My chest rises and falls in short spurts, my heart beating faster and out of rhythm until I feel like I’ve run a marathon.

“I don’t want to be your ride or die anymore. You screwed that up by sleeping with someone else.”

“Where are you?” he demands.

“Doesn’t matter.”

“Tell me.”

“I have to go.”


I hit the end button before I can talk myself out of it, then curl onto my side and pull my knees up to my chest into the fetal position.

I hate him.

I hate him. I hate him. I hate him.

Attempting to stave off a panic attack, I focus on my breathing.





It’s okay.

It’s going to be okay.

He’s just a guy. An asshole of a guy that I gave myself to when I was too young to know better. And even though I can’t really remember a time without him, I can turn over a new leaf, and I’ll be okay. Eventually.

With the knowledge that there’s no chance I’m going to be able to fall back asleep after a conversation like that, I head to the bathroom and change into my clothes from yesterday.

The men’s large T-shirt mocks me as I fold it carefully while appreciating the soft material between my fingertips. It really is a nice shirt. One with memories attached to it, though I’m not privy to what they are. I can just tell, and I would love to dive into those memories with a bottle of wine instead of drowning in my own that are much less sweet and so much more damaged.

Sighing, I take the shirt back into my room and set it on the edge of the mattress while ignoring my conscience that’s telling me to leave it in the hallway by River’s closed door. Besides, I might need it another night or two until I can figure out what to do about my stuff, right? I might as well keep it. Then I’ll give it back to River later. Not a big deal.

I roll my eyes, hating the need to justify my possessiveness over something that doesn’t belong to me while simultaneously hating the possibility of giving it back to its original owner when I haven’t slept that well in months.

It’s not just the shirt, though, I tell myself. It’s the bed. And the room. And the house. And the knowledge that my big, overprotective brother is just down the hall too. He’s ready to fight any demons that come knocking at his front door. Including Ian.

The stairs creak as I creep down them as quietly as I can. The sound makes me cringe before I reach the front door and open it carefully. Satisfied I haven’t bothered anyone, I tuck my hands into my front pockets then walk down the street. The morning mist brings a chill to my bare arms, but I kind of love how awake it makes me feel. Like a rush of adrenaline is spiking through my veins until my casual walk turns into a full-on sprint down the empty street. Chucks pounding against the concrete. Wind rushing through my messy waves. And a promise that whispers in the gentle breeze.

I’m going to get through this. I have to.

My lungs burn with exhaustion, but the endorphins give me the high I’m desperate for, and I cling to the hope that it’s going to be okay.

I’m going to be okay.

I just don’t know how yet.

Resting my hands on the top of my head, I catch my breath while eyeing the grocery store across the street. My hand slips into my back pocket and toys with a folded up ten-dollar bill. Now that I’ve burned off my adrenaline, I’d kill for a coffee. I should probably check to see if they’re hiring while I’m here too. Since, ya know, working in a grocery store is exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life. But at least it’s something.

The road is practically empty, and so is the parking lot. Only a handful of cars are scattered throughout it as I jog casually toward the entrance then head straight for the beverage aisle.

Rocking back on my heels, I peruse the options in search of a bottled iced coffee or something when a vaguely familiar voice interrupts, “Reese?”

I turn and cringe as soon as I recognize the voice’s owner. “Gibbs? Uh…hey.”

My fingers run through my tangled hair on their own accord, attempting to fix the mess that my run created, but it’s hopeless. I’d bet a thousand bucks that I look like a wreck right now, and there’s nothing I can do to cover it up.

As if he can read my mind, Gibbs laughs. “Hey. No judgment here. I just got off an eight-hour shift that ended with jello shots and a bachelorette party.”

“That sounds promising,” I quip before dropping my hands to my sides.

“You have no idea.” He shudders.

“So uh…” I cringe, wanting to kick myself for opening my mouth when I know that it’s going to come out anyway. “I should probably apologize for my neanderthal brother. I don’t know what he said to you, but I can take a guess, and it probably wasn’t pretty.”

Gibbs chuckles dryly before grabbing the back of his neck and squeezing. “Yeah…I don’t think it’d be too far of a stretch for you to figure it out.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. Like I said before, Milo and I have known each other for a hell of a long time, but he was right to set a few boundaries. If I had a sister, I sure as hell wouldn’t want her talking to a guy like me.”

“But that’s not my brother’s call to make,” I argue.

“No, but it is mine. So, let’s start over, shall we? As friends,” he iterates. “I’m Gibson…Gibbs. Nice to meet you.”

“Reese,” I reply with an accepting smile. Let’s be honest. I’m not looking for anything romantic either. But I could definitely use a friend.

“Nice to meet you. Now that we’ve gotten the pleasantries out of the way, what’re you doing here at the asscrack of dawn?”

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