All We Have (Thirty-Eight #4)
by Len Webster
Release Date: Jan 26, 2016
Sydney. The ‘it’ capital of Australia.
Yet, Allison O’Connor wants nothing more than to escape from its grasps. The infamous Kings Cross bores her. And in order to stay clear of the lifestyle that slowly chokes her, she decides it’s times to finally become an adult and move to Melbourne. It also means going after the one man that she can’t quite forget. But in doing so, Ally soon discovers that moving to Melbourne could spark the biggest fight she’s ever faced: The fight for Robert Moors’ reluctant heart.
Robert Moors has one thing on his mind: making the Australian National Rowing Team and with that, The Olympic Team. All he’s done is train and ensure no distractions get in the way of achieving his dream. However, Fate has other plans. And her name, Allison O’Connor. The young socialite’s all sorts of trouble that Rob and his image doesn’t need. But staying away from her is a lot harder than he’s ever imagined. She’s everything he never knew he needed. And she’s everything that could obliterate his career and his chance at The Olympics.
They both have choices to make.
But with all choices comes consequences. And some consequences will destroy everything they worked hard to create and call theirs.
“Can I get a Guinness?” Rob asked, interrupting them.
Ally knew all too well that the smile on her face had vanished.
Those were the first five words he had said to her since Friday. Since the night he had kissed her and walked out on her. Ally turned and looked at him. All serious in his facial expression and his body language. Her heart had decided that it was a good time to remind her of the attraction she didn’t want.
Not like it matters.
I’m sure he hates me.
The thought caused her stomach to dip. She couldn’t get over the stupid kiss. The moment he pulled away and stalked out the front door, he hadn’t said another word to her. Her eyes fixated on the tight line of his lips. He had no idea how much he had hurt her. But she refused to let it show. She refused to let him affect her ever again.
“Rob, it would be so lovely to be asked nicely,” Mitch said with a teasing tone to his voice.
Rob grunted and stared at her, his light blue eyes boring into hers.
There goes my resolve.
“Allison, could I please get a Guinness?” Rob asked. He appeared pained, like he was being forced.
If she hadn’t seen the disgusted, regretful expression on his face after their kiss, she’d gladly get him a beer from the tap. But the humiliation and rejection stung so deep that she couldn’t forget it. Ally reached behind her and removed the black apron she wore.
“I’m actually off the clock. Mitch will get your drink,” Ally said and dropped her apron on the counter.
“I’ll sign you out. Thanks for today, Ally,” Mitch said.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, Mitch.” She bent down and retrieved her phone and a small bag from the cupboard under the counter. Then she walked from behind the bar and towards the entrance, ignoring Rob’s questioning gaze.
She could wait for Stevie and Julian to pick her up, but she wouldn’t. She couldn’t continue to be in the same room with Rob. It hurt. The humiliation still lingered, and it made her lightheaded. Ally had never taken the tram before, and yesterday, she had crossed off number three off her list. Buy a Myki card for public transportation. She had gone to the newsagent a few streets away and bought herself a card. She would put her newfound freedom to use.
The moment she stepped out of the pub, she sighed in relief. The cool air was salvation for her warming face. Ally would have to walk a short way to the tram stop to get back to the apartment. But as much as she wanted to take the tram, she didn’t want to go home just yet. She wanted to walk off the different emotions that bubbled inside her.
As much as she didn’t want to, she stopped at his command. Then she turned around to find him waiting outside the pub’s doors. The conflict in his eyes confused her more.
Fifteen words since our last kiss.
Look at that, enough to make a sentence.
“What?” she asked, annoyed at him and infuriated with herself for submitting to his damn commands.
“I don’t know how these things works. Do I … Do you … Need someone to …” he trailed off, looking down at his hands and giving up on his struggle with his sentence.
Barely a paragraph.
Ally took a deep breath. “Give it up, Rob. This whole ‘you have to be nice to me’ trick you’ve got going needs to stop. Whatever. I get it. I’m on that massive regrets list of yours. I would rather you ignore me than speak to me. It’s so much easier to live with the humiliation. Okay?”
She didn’t give him a second to speak. Instead, she turned back around and made her way through the car park and towards the street. She heard the pub doors close, and she knew he wouldn’t follow her. The sickly feeling of being a man’s biggest regret was new to her. She had only ever known a man’s interest in her, never his pity. Ally gripped her phone and slung her bag onto her shoulder as she trekked towards the tram stop. All she wanted to do was free her hair from its ponytail, remove her bra, and put on some pjs. And more than likely watch Tangled on Netflix until she fell asleep.
Her sulking was ridiculous. She didn’t want Rob’s affection when it hurt her so much. He was too closed off and guarded. She thought he felt the same as she did. That their long distance friendship was something he wanted, but it hadn’t been. Ally let out a huff and continued walking when a car drove past her, did a U-turn at the end of the street, and then stopped in front of her.
“Oh, great. This perve must think I’m a prostitute,” she muttered. She hugged herself as she walked past the car and ignored the window winding down. Ally knew how to handle perverts. The Cross had taught her well.
“Allison, please get in the car. I’ll take you home,” Rob said behind her.
Her heart warmed at his voice, but her brain caused her feet to continue to create distance between them, not answering him. She heard the car door open and close and then he caught up with her. Ally kept her eyes focused on the footpath as the sound of his car locking filled the night air.
“Then I’ll walk you home,” Rob mumbled.
That had her stopping immediately. Ally stared out at the streetlights in the distance. Then she untangled her arms and balled her fists.
“What happens when we get to my apartment? How are you going to get home if you leave your car here?” she asked, pointing out the stupidity in his plans. Ally peeked up at him to find him staring at her with a frown on his face.
“I’ll walk back to my car.” His answer was short and to the point.
She groaned and mumbled, “Idiot.”
His lips curved into a teasing smile. “I’m sorry, I missed that. Speak up, Allison.”
Ally took a sharp inhale and turned her body to face him properly. “I said ‘idiot,’ as in, you’re an idiot if you think I’m going to let you walk back here alone.” She pivoted on the balls of her feet and then stalked towards his car. When she reached the passenger side, she yanked on the handle.
“It’s locked, Allison,” he reminded.
She grumbled as he pulled his keys out of his jeans pocket and pressed the button to unlock his car. “Thank you. Now, will you please take me home? You almost spoke enough words tonight to have a conversation with me. The sooner I’m away from you, the better.”
Len Webster is a romance-loving Melburnian with dreams of finding her version of ‘The One.’ But until that moment happens, she writes. Having just graduated with her BBusCom from Monash University, Len is now busy writing her next romance about how a boy met a girl, and how they fell completely and hopelessly in love.