“Oh, you’re taking your mom?” Ashton remarked as a joke, hitting the four striped ball into the corner pocket.
“Nope.” Cain moved away from Sawyer and tugged Mila out of my hold, pulling her toward him with his arm around the swell of her back. “I mean, if she actually decides to go to grad school with me over there.”
“Wait. What?” I blurted, completely lost with what just happened. I was aware that Mila wanted to move outside of Tennessee, but there was no way in hell I thought it was going to be clear across the fucking Atlantic. Our eyes locked. “The fuck?”
“What Cain has so unrightfully just announced isn’t entirely true.”
“What part? The one where you’re moving to an island or the one where you’re moving with Cain to an island?”
“That’s not the case, Leo.”
“She’s not moving with me, man. She just might be moving to the same island as I am. Besides.” Cain shrugged, only looking at me. “I’ll be there to watch over your girl. I thought you’d be happy about that.”
“Can we talk in private outside?”
With that, I snapped around. Desperately trying not to lose my shit.
This wasn’t going to end well. That much I knew. Leo didn’t wait for me to answer him, instead he quickly made his way toward the back of the building and I glared at Cain.
“Why would you bring that up right now?” I hissed at him as I walked by, trailing behind Leo.
“Ummm…” He rubbed that back of his neck in an awkward gesture. “I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. You want me to go talk to him?”
“No. You’ve done enough.”
I turned, following Leo outside.
Why? Why would Cain put me on the spot like that? Was he deliberately trying to start a war between Leo and me?
Once I made it outside, I let out a deep breath. Unsure of where this would go, but ready for the battle that awaited me in the form of my best friend.
“Leo, stop. Please let me explain.”
Explain what? I barely had any answers for myself, let alone him… And it is my life after all.
“Listen, you already knew I was thinking about moving.”
“Yes, moving to Ohio or maybe Florida where your mom is from, but never did I imagine it would be the Virgin Islands. What the fuck is that? You have to move away to the furthest place possible from me and your family?”
“That’s not true.”
“You’re a country girl, Lala. What the hell are you going to do on an island?”
“You know how much I love it there. Remember? Our families used to vacation there together every summer.”
“Vacation, babe. We weren’t living there.”
“I know that, but you have to admit… it was pretty awesome.”
“It was awesome because your family and I were there with you. You really think you’re going to be happy so far away from everyone and everything you know?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Don’t you think you should be sure before you make a decision like that?”
“You guess? You’re not exactly reassuring me here, Mila.”
“I don’t know what you want me to say.”
“The truth would be nice.”
“I did tell you the truth on my birthday. I want to try new things.”
“We’ve been best friends since we were kids. I’ve watched you grow up. I taught you how to ride a dirt bike because you were adamant that you’d ride what I did. I’ve been there for you throughout your horrible taste in men. It’s always been us. Why isn’t that good enough for you?”
“Why is Tennessee good enough for you?”
“Because my family is here. My future.”
“The future that your father wants for you is here.”
“What difference does it make?”
“Is it your choice? If you didn’t have your father’s business to take over, would you still want to stay here?”
He opened his mouth. However, nothing came out.
“Maybe you should be asking yourself that question, Leo. You can move with me, you know?”
“You mean with you and Cain?”
“Stop saying it like that. There is nothing going on between us and it’s crazy you think there might be. Do you really think I’d be interested in your best friend?”
“You have horrible taste in men and Cain is right up that alley for you, Mila.”
“That’s not fair! You’re blowing this out of proportion.”
“I’m going off of what you’re giving me, which isn’t much.”
“You think this is easy for me?”
“It’s not a walk in the park for me either, sweetheart. I thought we’d grow old here. Dicking around in the nursing home together. I’d be banging every nurse and you’d be stealing extra chocolate pudding for me. We’d be having wheelchair races down the hall and I’d let you win because I’ve been letting you win everything since we were five years old.”
I smiled, I couldn’t help it. “You don’t let me win every time.”