Tony examined the table for his best option. After deciding the only real hope he had was sending the purple-stripped ball into the corner pocket, he lined up the shot.
“You love her.”
Sean spoke just as Tony took his shot. Rather than sending the ball into the pocket, Tony made the cue ball jump in the air before landing back on the table with a thud. “Cheating now?”
“Like I need to.” Sean leaned the pool stick up against the table. “You gave me hell when I let Mia go. I’m just repaying the favor.”
Tony tightened his grip on the stick and pain shot threw his hand. “Good, now we’re even. So let’s play.”
The sound of the old ticking clock on wall filled the basement.
“You haven’t acted like this since Isabella.”
Neither Sean nor anyone in Tony’s family had mentioned that name to him in so long, Tony figured they’d forgotten all about her.
“When the hell did you turn into a woman?” He picked up Sean’s pool stick and held it out toward him. “Are we going to play or what?”
Rather than accept it, Sean crossed his arms. “Grow a set already and admit you love her, Bates, before she realizes what an ass you really are and looks for someone new.”
For a moment, he pictured Cat and Zack walking together through the center of town. The image made him grip his pool stick tighter. “She’s free to do that anytime she wants.”
“Maybe you should tell Cat that. Then she can stop wasting her time with you. You can get back to those one-night stands you love so much and Striker will stop complaining every damn time I see him. Everyone will be happy again.” Sean pulled his pool stick out of Tony’s hand.
Just because Cat could move on whenever she wanted didn’t mean he was in any rush for her to do so. And that certainly didn’t mean he loved her. Like Sean stated earlier, he cared about her. A huge spectrum of emotions existed between cared about and loved. He cared about Jessie Quinn too. That didn’t mean he loved her, but rather he considered her a friend.
“I forgot I promised my mom I’d stop by tonight. She wants to show me the pictures of the summer house she and Dad are thinking of buying on Lake Winnipesaukee.” So what if he hadn’t talked to his mom this week. If he remembered correctly, his parents had gone looking at homes on the lake that month.
Tony didn’t wait for a response. He hung his pool stick back up on the wall.
“Don’t be an idiot.”
He didn’t look back over at Sean, but he heard him clear his throat. Whatever else Sean intended to say, he wasn’t going to like it.
“Tell her you love her. It’s easier than begging for forgiveness later. Trust me.”
“Save your advice for someone who needs it.” He started up the stairs, but Sean’s next sentence still reached his ears.
“You’re more of an idiot than I thought.”
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