Home > Unravel Me (Playing for Keeps #3)(3)

Unravel Me (Playing for Keeps #3)(3)
Author: Becka Mack

“You didn’t, uh, see…I mean, I didn’t, uh…did I—” I clear my throat into my fist “—sleep with anyone last night?”

Jaxon’s brows dip before laughter explodes from his chest. “Dude, how would I know? I wasn’t sitting outside your door. I was busy.”

Right on time, pink nails land on his torso, slipping beneath his shirt. A little blonde peeks around his side, and Jaxon whispers, “Mornin’, baby,” before pressing his lips to hers.

“Call me.” She tucks a piece of paper into his hand, smiles up at me, and kisses my cheek. “Thanks for the party, Aaron.”

“Adam,” I mumble as she walks by. I turn back to Jaxon, lifting my brows at his irritating grin. “You can’t go a single—” My jaw drops, a brunette popping out from behind him. He calls her baby, too, when she leaves him her number. I shake my head. “No.”

He grins wider. “Yes.”

Unbelievably, a third girl with jet black hair steps out, another baby , another number. I’m 99 percent sure he’s only calling them baby because he doesn’t remember their names.

Still, my jaw drops a little lower. “No .”


“My parents sleep there when they visit! That’s a new mattress! I just bought it!”

“It’s been christened for their next visit. Deacon and Bev can thank me later.”

He follows me to my room, telling me about his wild night as I tug on shorts and a T-shirt. That shit goes in one ear and right out the other, and I drop an elbow to my dresser and open my Tinder inbox. The bright red bubble telling me I have ninety-seven waiting messages spikes my blood pressure. I ignore them and navigate to the third one on the list.



Can’t wait to c u tonight *kiss emoji*



The kiss emoji throws me for a loop. We haven’t met in person, so it feels a little forward. Carter says I’m just old fashioned, but I don’t know.



Me too. See you at 7. *smiling emoji*



*kiss emoji* *kiss emoji*



I tuck my phone away, trying not to catastrophize. I’m already regretting tonight’s date, but to be fair, life’s been one dumpster fire after another for the last fifteen months or so.

I look down at Bear. “Food, then hikes?”

He licks his nose and rushes from the room.

Jaxon grins. “Big Macs?”

“Fucking Big Macs.”












“Do you ever take a day off?”

I look at Archie, my coworker, best friend, and roommate. He’s sitting behind the reception desk, wearing blue scrubs with puppies and kittens on them. He’s six feet tall, super broad, and covered in tattoos. The adorable scrubs are forever the highlight of my day.

“I’m not working today.”

“Right. You’re just here on your day off, and you’re definitely not going to spend time with any of the animals.” He cocks a brow. “Volunteering is the same thing as working, Rosie.”

I roll my eyes, signing the visitor check-in. “Has anybody been in to walk Piglet today?”

Archie smiles sadly at the computer screen. “You know the answer to that.”

Of course I do. Piglet is a sixty-five-pound German Shepherd with about the same amount of anxiety as me, which is, according to my entirely blunt and lackadaisical therapist, a fuckton. She needs time, patience, and love; most of those things go out the window with the other volunteers after a few short minutes of trying.

“And that’s why I’m here on my day off,” I tell Archie, heading toward the kennels. “Because Piglet needs someone to show up for her.”

“When are you just going to bring her home?” Archie shouts after me.

“When I have more than three hundred square feet to offer her and can afford to feed her while still feeding myself,” I call back.

We’ve currently got eight dogs here at Wildheart Animal Sanctuary, and according to the log sheet, all of them but Piglet have been walked this morning. Most barely glance up from their beds, content with the attention and exercise they’ve already received today, which makes me happy. But when my eyes land on that black and brown dog huddled in a tight ball in the corner of her kennel, shaking, my heart sinks.

“Hi, sweet girl,” I murmur, crouching down. Her wide brown eyes land on mine, and though they brighten, she stays right where she is, watching me from a safe distance while she whimpers. Because, scared as she is, she wants to come say hello.

Four months ago, I found her tied to the bench out front early one morning. There was a note taped to the front door that said the author was tired of listening to the owner’s poor treatment of the dog. We had to sedate her to get her through the doors, because she was so scared she snapped at anyone who came near. I spent the entire day outside her kennel, reading and talking to her, and have worked my ass off since to build the bond we have today.

With a lot of patience, we learned that despite her extreme fear and hesitancy, she’s such a sweet, friendly girl who loves her snuggles. The kicker is her cage causes a lot of her anxiety; she’s a different girl outside—more carefree, curious, and happy. She just hasn’t found her forever family yet.

I hold up her leash. “Wanna go for a hike, Pig?” Her ears perk, and she cocks her head. I show her my backpack and give it a pat. “I packed lunch.”

Slowly, she climbs to her feet, her legs shaking. Her tail goes between her hind legs as she ambles over, sniffing me through the cage, then the backpack. Her tongue lolls out of her mouth, she stands a little taller, and gives me a soft woof!

“’Atta girl.” I unlock her kennel and scratch behind her ears before slipping her harness on. “Anything for food, huh?”

She licks my ankle, nudges my backpack, and looks at me with hopeful eyes.

“Damnit.” I sigh, opening my bag and giving her one of the cookies she loves so much. “You know how to get me.”

Piglet glues herself to my side as we make our way through the shelter, but the moment we step into the hot Vancouver sunshine, she’s free. She gallops forward three steps and leaps into the air, spinning, her cute dog butt leading the way as her tongue rolls out of her mouth. When she’s back on all paws, she nuzzles my hip and starts leading the way.

Wildheart is nestled into a quiet area of North Vancouver, away from the noise and crowds of downtown. The mountains and sea of green out here are the most spectacular backdrop, and I love riding the bus across the bridge each day, leaving the city behind and walking right into nature.

Like always, our walk leads us somewhere along the bottom of Mount Fromme. There’s a cluster of people farther down the road where the tourists come to hike, but Piglet and I sneak between a small opening at the back of the park, rushing along the narrow dirt trail until we reach the bottom of a set of stairs.

The wooden steps are old and rickety, leading up to our favorite brand of peace and quiet. Piglet has no problem going up, leaping eagerly three steps at a time while I struggle to keep up. It’s coming down later that will be an issue.

Hot Books
» House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
» A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
» From Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash #1)
» A Million Kisses in Your Lifetime
» Deviant King (Royal Elite #1)
» Den of Vipers
» House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2)
» The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #
» Sweet Temptation
» The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)
» Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6)
» Wreck & Ruin
» Steel Princess (Royal Elite #2)
» Twisted Hate (Twisted #3)
» The Play (Briar U Book 3)