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“Wanker!” Erica shot forward, waving her arm in the air.

Kian’s mug shot was staring at me on the left side of the screen. His eyes were stormy, hostile even, and he was scowling at the camera. He looked furious for being there, and I could understand it. Everyone could understand it. That was why he was loved.

He saved me.

My foster father had put a knife to my throat. He would’ve killed me, but Kian saved me. He was then arrested and charged. The nation was enraged.

A bottle was set down next to me, bumping me back to the present day. I looked up, a little dazed, but all attention was on Wanker. He’d brought three bottles of wine with him. A server trailed behind with empty glasses. Taking the empty seat beside Erica, he scooted his stool a little closer to her.

“Wine?” Erica’s eyebrow arched high. “Wine?”

One of the bottles was uncorked. Erica motioned for the server to do the rest, but I wasn’t waiting. I grabbed the first bottle and took a long drag, ignoring the empty glass Wanker offered me.

“Oh. Whoa, Jo!” The eyebrow lowered, and a smile lifted my roommate’s cheeks. “Okay. Well, right on. It’s that kind of night, huh?”#p#分页标题#e#

Jake laughed.

Wanker nudged his glasses back up his nose. “That was for Erica.”

“Who cares?” She grabbed one of the other bottles. “I’ll take this one.” After putting the third one in front of Wanker, she narrowed her eyes at Jake. “Where’s your drink?”

He pressed his lips together and tilted his head to the side. Jake was giving her the come-on-really look. Erica just smiled back at him. Neither looked away for a second. Wanker glanced between the two, his finger shoving his glasses up to his forehead now, before he cleared his throat and poured some of his wine into a glass.

“So, it’s like that, huh?” Jake asked softly.

Erica lifted up a shoulder. Her hand was gripped tightly around her wine bottle, and she leaned forward over the table. “Just saying. You came here with the enemy.”

“Erica,”—he gave her a disappointed look—“that was an excuse, okay? Tara and I broke up, and you already gave me the riot act.”

“That wasn’t a riot act. That was the disclaimer for the riot act. No, no, Jake dear, I’m just warming up.”

He let out a sigh, glancing over his shoulder. “I can leave, if I’m upsetting you that much.”

That shut her up. Her mouth flattened, and she sent me a look. I didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t processing a lot that night, so I held up a hand and waved it around. He could do what he wanted. Her eyebrows dropped, all in one line, and she gave me an incredulous look. Yes, I was chickening out. I did not want to make any decisions about Jake then and there. My energy was being used by avoiding a certain other face, one that was literally smack dab in the middle of our table.

There was a standoff between Jake and Erica, but Wanker decided. He poured some of his wine into one of the glasses before nudging it to Jake.

Dipping his head low, he pointed to it. “There you go. It’s a white wine, but it has some sweetness too.” He waited until Jake took a sip and then nodded enthusiastically. “Right? Can you taste the sweetness?”

As if sensing I didn’t want to talk, Erica turned her attention to Wanker, and soon, he was explaining what a tannin was to Jake.

With the attention not on me or about me, I glanced down at the table. Kian’s face was still there. The news had a video looped in, showing when he was released. He was shown leaving the prison administration office and hurrying into a waiting vehicle. I recognized the others with him—his mom, sister, and two of his lawyers.

That was…lovely.

During the trial, Sonya, his mother, and Felicia, his sister, were the two who had always sat in the courtroom. I hadn’t gone every day. I didn’t remember seeing his father there, but he must’ve been.

As dark as Kian was, his mother was the opposite. She had beautiful, sleek almost-white hair, but it wasn’t white from her older age. She was only in her late forties. That was just the natural color of her hair. It was shiny and fell to her shoulders, and that was where the differences ended between herself and Felicia. While Felicia had the same dark hair as Kian, she had the same graceful and petite body frame as her mother.

I remembered hearing that Felicia used to ride horses for shows, and I could imagine it—with the white pants, gloves, sophisticated boots, and a riding helmet with the strap secured under her chin. She gave off a prestigious Hamptons air.

I never spoke to them. They never spoke to me. They never even looked my way. There I had been, the girl their son/brother had saved and the reason he was going to prison.