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.The Griffins pay me extremely well for the work I do for their buildings, so along with my other work, I'm very well off financially.I want to pay it forward and help Olivia however I can.I can tell that she'll be a hard worker, and I'm hoping that she might be able to hang out with me and my friends sometime.I know the other girls will like her, too.I get back to my apartment about twenty minutes later.I spent most of that time trying to figure out what I'm going to do about Luke.He's not my responsibility, and honestly, I really don’t even want to see him ever again.But I know that's not an option since I'm in love with his brother, and good friends with his sister-in-law and niece.I just can’t believe he was terrorizing Olivia.I've never known him to be mean spirited.I wonder how he's going to react when he sees me next, or if he'll even bring it up.I get off the elevator at my floor and a couple of my questions are answered for me.Luke is sitting on the floor outside of my door, staring down at his hands.“Luke.”“Candi, hi, umm, your neighbor let me in.Can I talk to you?” he asks as he stands up.“Why?”“Be-because I care about you, and I don’t want you to think that I'm the guy that you saw tonight.”“Was it someone else that I saw? Or do you have a twin I don’t know about?”He takes a deep breath.“No, it was me.”“Then, if I thought you were the guy I saw tonight, I'd be correct.”“That was me, but it wasn’t me.At least not the me I want to be.Please, can we go inside and talk?”“I'll give you ten minutes and then you need to leave.”“Okay.Ten minutes may not be long enough, but I'll try to talk fast.”I open the door and step inside of my loft, with Luke following me in.He closes the door for me and we walk into the living area of the space.“Would you like some water, Luke?”“Yes, please.”I grab him a glass and then we sit down, me in one of my big comfy chairs, and him on the couch.He's looking down at his hands, holding his glass.I could make this easier for him by speaking first, but I won’t.He wanted to talk to me, and I'll listen, but that doesn’t mean I'm going to make it easy for him.Olivia was scared shitless and I don’t know what would’ve happened if the guys and I hadn’t been there.It's places like that bar that give downtown a bad rep.Most of the businesses are great.But people only want to see the bad.Luke finally gathers his courage or whatever he needs.I can see it physically happening.The change in his posture as he squares his shoulders, and resigns himself to telling me whatever he thinks can change my mind about him and what I witnessed tonight.He takes a drink of his water, then sets it on the table.“Growing up, I was always in my brothers’ shadows.When I tried out for football, I wasn’t as good as Ryan.In school, I wasn’t as smart as Scott.With people, I wasn’t as badass as Owen.I was just Luke.The kid who couldn’t live up to his brothers.”He looks me in the eye before he continues.“I'm not trying to get sympathy from you.I'm just telling you how it was, and still is.It was when I went to college, a different college than Ryan and Scott went to, that I was finally just Luke Griffin.I mean sure, everyone knew about my family and our business.Chicago isn’t that big of a city.But I wasn’t following in anyone’s footsteps there.I was doing my own thing."I pledged a frat and got in.I was able to get dates with pretty much any girl I wanted.I was doing great in my classes.My life was pretty awesome in Chicago.Then Erin and Dave were murdered, and the scandal with Scott happened.My family decided to leave Chicago.I honestly didn’t want to leave, but they’re my family, you know? I wasn’t ready to be all the way across the country from them.So I left behind my life, and transferred to school here.”He stops to take another drink of water.I don’t say anything because I know that what I want to say would be something snarky about him having a family, at least.I can sense that it would break him if I was flippant about his story.Plus, despite my anger, I'm feeling a little bit sorry for him.Just a little.“So we moved here, and I was planning to transition to the local chapter of my frat.I didn’t have to rush again, but they had to vote me into the chapter.Things were going well until I hosted a pool party at my parents’ house.You may have heard about it.It's where Scott and Yasmin kind of had a moment and then he started making out with another girl.”“Oh, yeah.I heard about that shit.”“Well, before that moment between them, the president of the frat was hitting on Yasmin.He was apparently pretty pushy and not letting her say no.Scott went over and shut him down, and he seemed to be cool about it.The next day, though, the guy started saying shit to Scott about cock blocking him when he didn’t want Yasmin.He said some rude things about her, too.Scott and I were both ready to tear his ass up, and we threw him out.Needless to say, I wasn’t voted into the local chapter."So now I'm in a new city, with no friends except for the ones I met through my brothers.I'm still a disappointment to everyone, because I don’t have a place in the family business, and well, my life pretty much sucks.I mean, I still sleep with some hot chicks, but that's pretty much all I have.When those guys met me in one of my classes, and asked me to hang out, I jumped at the chance.No one else was asking to be my friend."I've only hung out with them a few times and I knew it was a bad idea.I know they’re assholes.I always made sure nothing went too far by flashing some money at them.If they got too crazy with girls, I gave them money to gamble with.I wouldn’t have let them hurt that girl tonight.She could've just sat on my lap and that would have been it.I would've made them let her leave after that.They're too in love with my money to argue with me very hard.”“She would have just sat on your lap? You wouldn’t have thrust your hips up at all or tried touch her.”He flinches and I know that I was right to ask the questions.“I would've done as little as possible in order to diffuse the situation.I may have had to thrust or grab her tits, but I honestly would've done everything I could to avoid it.I don’t take advantage of girls, ever.Every girl I've ever been with has wanted to be with me, and she's told me that verbally before I laid a hand on her [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]