Because of Low (Chapter Twelve)
I hadn't thought through what I was going to say to Cage.
When I'd seen Will ow walking toward Cage's room my insides had clinched. I couldn't let her go crawl up in his bed. Jealousy was ugly and I had it bad where their relationship was concerned.
Standing at my bedroom door with my morning dose of caffeine I watched her sleep. She was right in the middle of my queen size bed curled up into a little ball. All I could see was all that hair spread out on my pillows. It reminded me of flames. I'd always loved to watch fires. And I was pretty damn sure I'd always love to watch Will ow sleep. Knowing when she woke up she'd be warm from my sheets and dressing in my room made the fight I was going to have on my hands as soon as Cage got home worth it.
There was a possibility he'd get so angry he'd kick me out.
But then I was banking on the fact Will ow would threaten to leave with me and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt Cage wouldn't let that happen. He may be upset but he wouldn't lose her. He'd put up with whatever she forced him to put up with in order to keep her close. I didn't get their relationship at all. One minute he reminded me of a pussy whipped guy around her and the next he acted like her damn brother. I didn't like it. He wasn't her brother. I wanted him to back off. He didn't cherish how special she was. I did.
Low began to stretch out her legs and a soft moan drifted from the bed. I watched fascinated as she raised her arms up over her head and finally her face peeked out from under the covers. Her small little manicured hands came down to rub her eyes and she yawned before finally opening her eyes and meeting my gaze. A slow sleepy smile spread across her face. I wasn't going to be able to sleep on the couch for long. Of this I was absolutely positive.
"Morning," I said pushing off from the door frame I'd been propped up against and making my way to the bed. She sat up and leaned back against the headboard.
"Good morning," came her reply, her voice still groggy from sleep.
I sat down on the edge of the bed.
Grinning she nodded and reached over and took my coffee.
I watched as she put the rim to her lips on the cup and took a drink.
"You like it black?"
She shrugged, "I prefer sugar and cream but you made it look so good I thought I'd take a sip."
"And was it as good as I made it look?" She scrunched her nose, "Nope."
Chuckling I took my cup back, "I'll go make you a cup the way you like it."
I started to get up and her hand grabbed my arm stopping me.
"Wait, um… we need to talk about Cage before he gets here."
I didn't want to talk about Cage. I was going to handle it.
"I'm going to talk to Cage."
She shook her head, "No, I don't think that's a good idea. I need to get him alone and talk to him. He'll get angry at you and possibly hit you. He won't hurt me. He'll listen to me. I can make him understand."
The idea of Will ow and Cage holed up in his bedroom for any length of time bothered me. I wasn't going to let her do this alone. I covered the hand she had on my arm with my free hand.
"Low, I started this. I didn't stay away when Cage warned me to. He's my roommate and I owe it to him to explain this.
I'll get him to listen to me. And if he throws a punch I can handle him. Just because I didn't grow up in a difficult neighborhood doesn't mean I don't know how to defend myself."
Nibbling her bottom lip nervously she reached up and ran her fingers through her tangled wild mass of hair. She didn't want to argue with me. I could see it in her worried expression. I stood up then bent over and slipped my finger under her chin tilting her face up to look at me.
"Trust me," I pleaded then pressed my lips against hers before straightening up and leaving the room. Hopefully she'd be in the shower when Cage got home. I'd prefer her not to be here when I talked to him.
I desperately needed a shower but I needed to be dressed and ready when Cage walked in the door. Picking up my phone to check the time I knew he'd be here soon. Cage wasn't one to hang around the morning after.
Opening my suitcase I grabbed a pair of shorts and my vintage Guns & Roses 1987 Banned Rape t-shirt. I had a thing for vintage concert t-shirts. Whenever I came across one at a thrift store I'd get all giddy. This one wasn't a thrift store find though. It was one Cage had bought for me off Ebay for my birthday last year. I wanted to help ease his anger. I figured my wearing this shirt might help. I quickly brushed my hair then pulled it to the side and braided it.
Until I could wash it, this would have to do.
The moment I opened the bedroom door I heard the key jingle in the lock. My nerves hit an all time high as the door swung open and in sauntered Cage looking incredibly hung over. His eyes met mine and he started to grin but the grin fell almost immediately. I was standing in Marcus's doorway. It wasn't a detail Cage had missed.
"Good morning Cage," I said forcing a smile. His bloodshot eyes shifted from me and found Marcus walking out of the kitchen with my cup of coffee.
"Morning," Marcus nodded to Cage as he passed him and brought me my coffee. I quickly took it from his hands, for fear Cage may suddenly lung at Marcus and burn him with my coffee. I kept my eyes on Cage. If he made any sudden moves I was going to stop him.
"Low, what the fuck?"
I cringed at the angry growl in his tone.
Stepping past Marcus I placed myself in front of him knowing Cage wouldn't hurt me to get to him.
"Cage you and I need to talk. Please, don't do anything drastic. I'll leave if you force me to." The hurt that flashed in his blue eyes stung. I didn't like hurting him. Other than Larissa, Cage was the only other person I'd ever loved. Hurting Cage was like hurting myself.
His throat constricted and his angry glare flashed at Marcus.
"You couldn't stay out of her damn panties could you Marcus? I warned you she was mine."
Marcus tensed behind me and started to move and I followed him. I was not letting him get near Cage without me as a buffer. His hands clasped my shoulders. I waited for him to try to move me but he didn't.
"I haven't been in her panties Cage. You know Low better than that. Watch what you say."
Cage took a step toward us and his fist clenched and unclenched reflexively his eyes never leaving Marcus.
"You don't fucking KNOW her! You're a damn pretty boy with his daddy's money. You'll use her and walk away. She can't handle that. Why couldn't you have just backed the helloff like I warned you?"
Marcus moved me to the side this time.
"You know nothing about me. From the moment I graduated from high school I haven't used one red cent of my father's money. I make my own way. And I would never hurt her. You expect her to sit by and wait on you to stop screwing your way through the damn State of Alabama. That's insane and selfish Cage. If you care about her at all you'll let her make her own choices."
Marcus never yelled but his voice was hard and at times lethal sounding. I sat my cup down on the table and prepared to jump between them if Cage made any sudden moves.
"I take care of her. Ask her! I've never let her down. I'm the one who has dried her tears and picked up the pieces when her sorry ass sister continues to break her heart.
Since she was a little girl it has been ME whose helped her through everything. So don't tell me how to show her I love her. Don't you dare tell me I'm fucking selfish." Marcus sighed and shook his head. I knew he didn't understand Cage's perspective. But I did.
"I get that you've always been the one there for her. I do. But you have a life Cage. You go out with girls all the time. Why do you expect Low to just sit and wait on you? Why can't she make her own choices?"
Cage's angry glare finally left Marcus and his focus shifted to me. The betrayal in his eyes almost undid me. The snarl left his face and a concerned frown took its place.
"Is this what you want baby?"
I nodded feeling the tears fill my eyes.
"Okay. If you want to do this thing with Marcus then fine. I'll take it and deal with it. But when he hurts you. When he lets you down, I'll be here. My arms are always open for you to run into. I want you happy and if you think this asshole will make you happy then fine. You need to live a little too. I can't protect you from everything," his gaze shifted back to Marcus, "but I can be here to hold you when he breaks your heart."
Marcus may not like it but I didn't care. Cage was going to accept this. He really would do anything to make me happy.
I went to him and hugged him tightly.
"Thank you," I whispered in his ear.
His forehead touched my shoulder and he squeezed me tightly. "If he hurts you I'll kill him," his words were for my ears only. I didn't doubt him but I knew Marcus would never hurt me. He was one of the good guys.
"He won't," I assured him.
Cage let out a sigh and kissed my temple, "Yes baby, he will."
Then he let me go and turned and walked to his bedroom without looking back. Once his door closed I let out the breath I'd been holding and my shoulders sagged in relief.
That wasn't nearly as bad as I'd imagined.
Two warm arms wrapped around me and I was pressed tightly against Marcus's chest. Smiling to myself while he nuzzled my neck.
"I won't hurt you Low," he promised.
I nodded. Because I believed him.