He turned around in his chair and looked at me, and then his eyes widened as well when he tipped his head back and stared up at me. I stood right behind him, probably looking like I was ready to beat his ass.
And I was. That’s how pissed I was.
I didn’t say anything for long seconds, because I needed to keep my cool. Rationally, I knew they were just sitting here eating. But all I could keep replaying in my head was him reaching out and touching that strand of her hair.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” I asked Ian, trying to keep my tone even, nonthreatening. On the inside I was feeling anything but that.
“Kace? What are you doing here?”
I didn’t let my focus leave Ian. He looked between me and Shiloh, then back at me again.
“Um, we’re having dinner?” Ian said in a confused tone.
I shook my head. “Not anymore.” I looked over at Shiloh then, her eyes wide, but her cheeks pink, her irritation with me clear. I should’ve felt a little bit ashamed for how I was acting. This was probably coming out of left field here, but I couldn’t deny that me being barbaric was a natural instinct when it came to her.
“Kace, I don’t know what’s going on with you, but maybe we can talk about this later?”
She lifted a brow, and I could see how hard her jaw was set. She was angry with me and I hated that. I wished I could control myself where she was concerned, but the thought of her with someone else was like a knife to my stomach, the blade twisting and slicing, opening me up.
“Kace, can I speak with you outside?” She phrased it like a question, but her tone brokered no argument.
She stood and started heading out of the restaurant before I could even respond. I glowered once more at Ian before turning and following her. Once we stood outside, I shoved my hands in the front pockets of my jeans and stared at her, feeling a little bit ashamed that she was pissed at me. I’d obviously ruined her night.
But it was so hard for me to walk away, to not be here, to not go in there and stake my claim.
“What are you doing here?” The hardness in her voice lessened and her face softened as she looked at me. “Is everything okay?”
I nodded, not wanting to worry her, and feeling pretty stupid at this very moment. A million different things went through my head, a hundred different scenarios. I pictured her with Ian, holding hands, him trying to kiss her, to touch her.
I was in a blind rage at those thoughts, at the pictures that went through my head like a broken record, repeating over and over again. I stared into her eyes, knowing I should admit how I felt, but worried about pushing her away.
The silence stretched between us until I felt it start to get uncomfortable. She glanced over my shoulder at Ian, and I felt that possessive side of me rise up again.
Before I could stop myself, I blurted it out. “Go out with me, Shiloh. Let me take you out on a date.” I saw the way her eyes widened, her mouth opening slightly.
I’d shocked the hell out of her. I’d surprised myself by just blurting that shit out. This was not how I meant things to go, not how I saw myself finally being a man and growing a set of balls and asking the woman I loved out.
But here I was, jealous and possessive, and only wanting her for myself.
She was nervous. I heard it in the way her voice slightly shook, in the sight of her running her hands up and down her legs. She looked around, seeing if anybody was close, maybe trying to think of a way to leave.
Surely, I hadn’t read her wrong. I sure as hell hoped this wasn’t a one-way street concerning our feelings.
Or maybe I’d fucked everything up, crossed that invisible line, pushed her away without even touching her.
“Yeah, let me take you out on a date. I mean, you’re in there with him, so why not me?” And as soon as those words spilled from my mouth, I regretted them.
I saw the anger on her face grow. She straightened, tilting her chin slightly up, staring me right in the eyes. “Why, Kace? Why are you asking me out now?” She crossed her arms over her chest, her anger and annoyance mirroring my own.
I felt shame in that moment for the way she looked at me, knowing that my jealousy had pushed me, and in return I’d made her skeptical. But I couldn’t tell her that I loved her, not yet.
My hands were shoved in the front pockets of my jeans and I looked behind me. I could see Ian through the front window, his focus on us, a look of concern on his face. That pissed me off that he thought I’d do anything to hurt Shiloh.