Soldier Mine (Chapter Six: Petr, page 1 of 9)

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I'm not accustomed to dealing with to people I can't figure out. I've always been a quick judge of character without my sister's emotional edge or Mikael's eagerness to make friends that made him miss obvious warning signs.

I can't quite understand Claudia, though, and it's bugging me more and more. There's no doubt I'm attracted to her, but there are a lot of pretty girls in town. None of them intrigue me. I'm torn between wanting to take her cold shoulder as a hint and asking her for a cup of coffee to see if I can identify what it is about her that tugs at me.

By the time I reach the community center to go over preparations for Thursday, my phone has two texts from Brianna.

Seeing her name on my screen reminds me of how I vet my friends but not my girlfriends. I guess I have a soft spot for women. Or maybe my sister's moodiness and mother's quick temper have made me much more tolerant of behavior I wouldn't otherwise invite into my life.

It's moments like these when I remember that Brianna was sleeping with Mikael and me both at some point several years ago. Anger sparks within me.

Why am I torturing myself by trying to make something with her work out?

Because no one else wants you.

I imagine Hulk-smashing the disgusting thought. It's not healthy. Yet if some part of me didn't believe it, I'd ask Claudia out instead of trying to safely unravel her personality from our daily, two-minute interactions.

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