“You don’t get to tell Addie anything. She belongs to me, not you!” He voice sounded menacing.
“Daimon,” I said, trying to calm him down. He looked back at me and intertwined our fingers.
“If you can’t be respectful to my wife, then you are not welcome here,” he said fiercely. He then pulled me away, taking me to the bar.
“Daimon, that was your mother,” I implored.
“Trust me, Addie, she’s not… worth it,” he hesitated; I could tell he was struggling with something.
“Daimon?” We both heard an older gentleman call out to him.
“I’ll only be gone for a few minutes,” Daimon said, looking back at me, his fingers leisurely caressing my cheek.
“Just go,” I waved him off. I turned to the bartender, and from the corner of my eye, I saw Darren.
“Hi,” I said smiling nervously.
“Hi,” he grumbled. Darren was already drunk.
“Darren, what's with you?” I asked as I approached him.
“You’re really asking?” He looked at me incredulously. “You! You’re what’s wrong with me!” he snapped.
“Why?” I asked, hurt at his words.
“Come with me,” he said roughly. Darren took my hand and led me to the next room. “You look so fucking gorgeous. You think this is easy for me, especially with the way you look right now?” he said in a hoarse tone.
“What are you talking about, Darren?” He took two steps forward and towered over me. “Ever since high school, I’ve been by your side, but you never once noticed me. You only ever saw Daimon,” he growled.
“Look, Darren—” I started, but he wouldn’t let me continue.
“No! You’re going to hear me out. Of all the fucking people to choose, you chose him. I didn’t give a shit you were dating; I knew— I mean, I thought he’d fuck it up somehow. Why? Why couldn’t you choose me?” he slurred his words. My heart sunk even lower as I watched him like this.
“He’s your friend and you’re my friend. I’m sorry if I did something to encourage this. I really am. I’ve always felt safe with you, but I never once thought of you like that.” I bit my lip upset I was doing this to my dearest friend.
“Kiss me!” Darren demanded.
“What? No!” I shouted, and tried to leave, but he blocked my path and leaned in. “No Darren! I know you can’t understand Daimon and me, but I love him. He gives me something I need.”
“Yeah like what? Money,” Darren snarled. His words speared through me, like his drunken sight saw the truth I had been hiding.
“What’s going on here?” Daimon growled. Darren pulled back his arm letting me go. The moment he did, I quickly walked over to Daimon, who took my face into his hands. “Are you okay?” he asked, looking at me anxiously.
“Oh, come off it. Like I would ever hurt Addie,” Darren barked.
“You fucking asshole,” Daimon bit out as he tried to lunge at him.
“Stop please!” I begged as I pulled on his arm. “He’s our friend. Just let it go,” I pleaded. Daimon’s face contorted and his jaw clenched. I reached out and felt the muscles of his face ease up at my touch.
“For you, I will,” Daimon said low in his chest as he looked down at me. “But for the sake of our friendship, I want you to stay the hell away from her,” Daimon ordered as he looked back at Darren.
“I can’t do that. You’re not the only one who loves her,” Darren declared. I took Daimon by the hand and pulled him away from Darren.
“Fucking asshole,” Daimon said under his breath. “You are not to leave my side unless I say so,” he hissed.
“Okay,” I relented. Daimon seemed to calm down after I agreed with him.
“So you love me? I give you something you need?” He smiled bitterly; he was still angry but was trying to let it go.
“Daimon, you said we shouldn't mention anything tonight,” I said, alluding to our agreement and how I couldn’t refute anything unless I mentioned our contract.
“You’re right, Addie. It was just nice to hear,” he said cynically.
The night was magical, despite the few snags and the fact I had just married the man who ruined all of high school and a good part of the year for me. Daimon was an enigma. Something I just couldn’t quite put my finger on. I hated him. I hated how easily things came to him and how much he took for granted. He barely understood me and my world, yet I was feeling content despite knowing I had a price. Everyone always says they don’t have one, but when confronted with the reality that we all need money to live, we would all sell ourselves. That’s what I kept saying, hoping to comfort my soul.