"So you did?" His shoulders tense, his posture shifting. "Who was it? I know a senior chef there. Was it him? You fucked Drew?"
"No." I sigh. "You've got it all wrong."
"So it wasn't Drew?" He pushes. "Who was it? Tell me his name."
I stare up at him. His jaw is tight, his hands fisted. He's frustrated. I am too. "I can't believe we're having this discussion, Tyler."
I honestly can't. Who the hell does he think he is? When he asked me about Brendon, I responded without thinking. I have nothing to hide when it comes to my sexual past. I haven't had many lovers, and I'm not ashamed of anything I've done, but I don't have to answer to him.
I can't help but feel as though he's judging me. I'm being persecuted for turning down a dinner invitation.
"We need to have this discussion, Cadence." He firms his stance. "I know a lot of people who work in the restaurant industry in this city. I'd rather not walk blindly into a situation where someone is going to bring up the fact that he's screwed my girlfriend."
I rear back on the bed. "What the hell, Tyler? Are you even listening to yourself? No one is going to tell you they screwed me."
"Brendon has. He did it the morning of the fire when he called me to talk about what a great lay you are." He raises a hand as if to silence me even though I'm not about to say anything in response to that. "I get that you met him before you met me, but it slays me that he's tasted you. I can't stand that he's heard you come. I want to kill that bastard when he talks about you."
"Brendon means nothing to me." I move to stand but I stop myself. "He's part of my past."
"He's not your past." He crosses his broad arms over his chest. "He wants you back. I don't fucking blame him. How is a man supposed to give you up once he's had you?"
I close my eyes. "You have a past too, Tyler. You told me yourself that you've slept with women you worked with. It happens. "
"What?" He takes a step forward. "What women? There was one woman, Cadence."
"Neela," I say her name quietly before I even realize it's left my lips.
He jerks back at the mention of her name. His arms drop as he leans forward to rest his hand on the corner of the headboard. "Neela is nothing like Brendon. Don't compare the two of them."
"I wasn't comparing," I mutter. How can I compare the two of them? I haven't even found the courage to Google Neela's name yet. I don't know her surname but I'm guessing that it won't be hard to uncover at least a picture or two of a chef named Neela who lives in Boston.
"She's in a class above Trevino." His jaw tightens. "She wouldn't give a guy like that the time of day. Neela doesn't get into bed with assholes. She respects herself too much."
Anger knots in my stomach. Apparently Neela has asshole radar. It's something I didn't have when I fucked Brendon. I was still lacking it as of thirty minutes ago because I screwed Chef Monroe, who is proving to be an impressive asshole in his own right.
I yank hard on the sheet to free it from the bed. I wrap it completely around my nude body as I move to the edge and swing my feet to the floor.
"Don't go, Cadence."
I turn to look at him. My heart is pounding in my chest. "I'm not staying, Tyler. Do you seriously think I'd hang around after what you just said to me?"
"I didn't mean it the way it sounded." He frowns. "It took me by surprise that you knew Neela's name."
"Maribel told me." I take a step back as he reaches his hand toward me. "Don't touch me."
"You know about Neela," he says it aloud, but the tone is off. It's almost as if he's talking to himself. "I don't want to talk about her. Tell me about the guy from Magari."
"No," I spit back.
"Why won't you tell me who it is?" His voice is stern.
I shake my head slightly. "This is crazy. Can't you see how ridiculous this conversation is?"
He scratches the back of his neck, his eyes searching my face. "What's his name?"
I ignore his question in favor of my own. I have to. All the fury that's burrowed in my gut is about to tunnel out in the form of words I know I'll regret later. The only reason I haven't turned and walked out yet is that I'm not leaving while he thinks he has the upper hand. He needs to know the damage that his callous and ego-driven words have done. "Why did you automatically assume that I spread my legs for yet another chef just because I didn't want to have dinner at Magari?"
Realization washes over his expression. "I didn't automatically assume that."
"You did." I press my index finger in the center of his bare chest, pushing. "You think I'll hop on any dick as long as it's attached to a chef. Is that it, Tyler?"