Excerpt from Just…Breathe Book 1 The Broken Series

I stood, as it was the courteous thing to do. “Mr. Daniels,” Jaden said, not looking me in the eyes.

“Ms. Smith,” I spat out as well as not looking her in the eyes. Both John and Lori gasp.

“You two know each other?” John asked in surprise.

“Mr. Daniels is the man I told you about, Lori,” Jaden answered. Then it struck both John and Lori and they start laughing.

“You mean this is the prick?” Lori asked.

“And this is the bitch?” John asked.

 Both Jaden and I looked at each other then, anger evident on our faces and not answering our friends.

Once John had himself back under control he said, “Sit, both of you. Let’s just try to get through this dinner in one piece.” Both Jaden and I sat down.

The waiter came over, took our drink orders, and left us with menus. I should have been focusing on the words. Instead, I was thinking how wrong I had been about Jaden. She was no longer plain looking, but beautiful! She was a gold digger. I shook my head and focused on the menu.

When the waiter returned he asked Lori want she wanted. “I’ll have the Salmon,” the waiter then looked at Jaden.

“I think I will have the Duck Confit,” she replied.

Looking to me, I replied, “I’ll have the Lamb.” The waiter nodded and turned to John.

“I’ll have what Lori is having,” he said pointing to the beautiful woman next to him. The waiter nodded and left.

‘Leave it to the gold digger to order one of the most expensive items on the list.’ I thought, ‘When someone else is paying.’ I turned away from her, engaging John in conversation while Lori and Jaden talked.

Dinner went smoothly with light conversation, mainly between Lori and Jaden and then John and I.

Lori and Jaden argued about Lori spending money on her. I was happy when the check finally arrived. However, that happiness was short lived when Jaden and Lori argued again.

“Lori, I would feel better if you would let me pay for at least my portion.” Lori shook her head.

“No, this is our treat,” she argued, smiling. “Consider it an early birthday gift, one of many.”

I was tired of listening to the bickering and just wanted the night over. “Who would have thought a gold digger like you would actually offer to pay,” I heard myself say, shaking my head. “Admit it Jaden. Stop trying to pull the wool over your friend’s eyes and admit what you are.” Jaden’s head snapped around to look at me.

“Uh, Oh,” Lori whispered and looked at John. However, they know that it was too late to stop what was about to happen.

Jaden stood. I stood, now standing face to face. “I have had my fill of you accusing me of something that is not true,” Jaden hissed. I stepped closer and bent down, almost nose to nose.

“I have had my fill of all your lies,” I snapped. “You may have them and Sandy fooled, but not me,” I hissed. Jaden stepped closer, if that were even possible.

“You’re an arrogant, assuming bastard!” she spat out.                          

“You’re a money grubbing bitch!” I accused. Jaden’s mouth dropped open as tears appeared in her eyes.

No one saw it coming, least of all me. She reared her arm back as far as it would go and brought it around, landing it across my face. It was all in slow motion as everyone watched my face wrinkle up in pain and she rushed out.

“The slap heard around the world,” John murmured.

I dropped back down in to my chair with a blank look on my face. I felt my cheek start to burn and swell. 

I sat in stunned silence for quite a while. “Chase, Jaden isn’t like that,” Lori said.

I turned and looked at Lori as if I had never seen her before.

“It’s true, man.” John agreed. “Jaden has had a very hard life. She is not a gold digger. Do you really think we would set you up with someone like that?”

“Besides, that’s her mom and sisters department,” Lori snorted. “Not Jaden.”

I looked between John and Lori running my hand through my hair. “Have I really made a mistake?” I asked.  They slowly nodded. “My God, I am a prick.” I stood and rushed out after her.


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