My Best Friend's Brother (Soulmates #2) - Hazel Kelly Page 0,1

dropped.

"-got in a fight."

The muscles in Shane's jaw clenched like a zipper.

"It was just a misunderstanding. It was my fault."

He pushed his bedroom door open.

I stepped inside and took a deep breath. When I turned around, he wrapped his big arms around me, and I buried my head in his chest.

"Are you hurt?" he asked.

I could smell the scent of Zest soap off him as I shook my head. “No. I just got scared."

He leaned back and lowered his head to meet my gaze. "You know that isn't okay, right?"

I nodded.

"And that you have to tell me what happened because seeing that look on your face when you walked in-" He grabbed the back of his head and exhaled.

For a moment I felt like he was judging me, like he was remembering the disappointment he'd expressed when I first told him Mike and I were dating.

He told me I deserved better and that Mike was a worthless piece of shit who wasn't good enough to carry my books, much less hold my hand.

But I let him do a lot more than hold my books anyway. And now I was in deep shit, scared to death of the only person I'd spent any time with in the last six months, with a sore jaw, a busted lip, and a broken heart.

And despite everything, what hurt the most was that I'd disappointed and inconvenienced my best and oldest friend in the whole world.

The black futon in the corner looked broken in at least two places so I leaned against the edge of the bed.

Shane sat beside me. "What exactly happened, Andi?"

"It was a misunderstanding, like I said. Mike saw a picture of me and-"

"Why do you feel compelled to defend this guy when he's clearly scared the shit out of you? I swear to god if you don't tell me why you keep rubbing your jaw, I'm going to take my best guess and leave you out of finding a solution to this problem.”

I swallowed.

I could tell he was serious because I recognized his tone of voice. It was one I'd heard him use with Izzy dozens of times, but never with me.

"He saw a picture of me kissing another guy on the cheek at a birthday party and flipped."

"When you say flipped…?"

The scene flashed back in my mind, and while I wasn't reliving the pain of the event, each emotion passed through me again…

The shock of him pushing me against the stairwell’s concrete wall.

The fear in my bones as I tried to get away so he'd stop shouting in my face.

The anger that surged through me when I tripped and busted my lip on the handrail.

And the vulnerability I felt when he squeezed my jaw in his hands so hard I thought he was going to break my face.

Chapter 2: Shane

My mouth had never been so dry.

And by the time Andi finished telling me what happened, I was so distracted by how red and blurry my vision had gone that I could barely focus on the words tumbling out of her mouth.

Still, my eyes fell on each part of her body as she mentioned them, and as she told me that Mike had squeezed her small, delicate jaw in his hand so hard she feared it would break, I felt a dark knot of anger harden in my guts.

I recognized the dark feeling, too. I'd had it once before. In high school. When Izzy got in that car accident.

If I’d waited for her after her lacrosse game, it never would've happened. I would've gotten her home safely like I did every other day.

Instead, she told me to go ahead because her team was going out for milkshakes… or something else so stupid you'd never think twice about risking your life over it, if you only knew the future.

Fortunately, she got away with a few bruises and a broken collarbone. Her co-captain, the driver, bled out before she reached the hospital.

For me, the gnawing feeling finally went away when I saw Izzy's face and realized she was going to be okay. But I didn't know if Andi was going to be okay yet.

She kept saying she was fine, but she also kept slipping in these pathetic little excuses, as if she were more interested in defending Mike than anything.

And that worried me because it meant the Andi I knew and loved wasn't just broken up on the outside.

And once again, I had the strange and irrational feeling that it was all my