Chapter 9

Written by: Jasmine Groves
A sharp intake of breath and I feel my eyes almost pop out of my head. That word – Maddy and my secret word – slipping passed Lucinda’s slips like it had a right to do so.
Her hand is heavy on mine and her gaze is piercing. I flinch and turn away trying to collect my thoughts, trying to make sense of what my ears hear and what my eyes see.
“Barry?” looking up through her lashes, Lucinda looks afraid.
Sighing, I draw back my hand, pop it firmly under my leg, hidden from her view and her reach.  
“I’m sorry.”
“What do you have to be sorry for? Maddy should be sorry… Maddy, always Maddy.”
“I’m sorry.”
“Stop saying that, you’re not making any sense.” Pausing and looking deep into Lucinda’s eyes my gut clenched. I felt like time had stopped and I was back in the past. Looking at similar eyes but not the same.
“I’m not sorry that I crashed into your Viper… well maybe a little, but not really. It’s like time is giving me another chance to redeem myself, like fate brought me to that place that day, and the crash was pre-ordained.” 
“What nonsense are you talking? Why would you want to come into my life, you're Maddy’s bloody sister, the sister of the woman who tore out my heart and stamped on it.” I could feel the heat on my neck rising along with my frustration.
“Sweetness, don’t you see?” her stare was intense and hugely unsettling but Lucinda didn’t drop her gaze, just continued to connect with me across the table. 
“It was a game Barry, a silly game played between twins, without malice but with consequences none the less.”
“A game?” I was mesmerised.
“We were always trying to one up each other. We never considered the collateral damage as long as we were having fun.” She pauses looking into her hands as if for answers. “But you got hurt, didn’t you Barry?”
Before I could answer she continued, “I got hurt too. I lost something that was special to me, all for the sake of a game.”
“I don’t understand,” I muttered.
“It was me…. Maddy, those special moments they were me. Then we tore it all apart. Bam, gone like it never existed. It mattered to me Barry, I had fallen in love with you.” 
I push my chair backwards and make to stand up. Lucinda reaches over and clasps my hand. “I’m sorry about the Viper Barry, but I am not sorry that you have come back into my life.”
Wrenching my hand back, I roughly shove it in my pocket and without another glance exit the café. Long quick strides meant I reached my car in record time. I drop into the seat, fire up the engine and head for the motorway. I have some cobwebs to clear.


Love and attraction can be a competitive game. Good chapter Jasmine.