The Other Man


Caleb Wells was sitting on the bench in the locker room toweling his hair and feeling pretty good about himself. The family business was doing exceptionally well, orders for the new line of infinity necklaces and rings in gold, rose gold and platinum were doing better than projected and he had a date with his future wife Lily. She had agreed to dinner with him that evening and he was pumped. From the moment he’d laid eyes on her he’d known that she was it for him. Of course there was a small bump in the road named Will LeBlanc who happened to be Lily’s current boyfriend but Caleb was certain he was the better man. Women thought he was attractive enough with his dark blond hair, mossy green eyes and perpetual tan and he was positive that Lily wasn’t indifferent to him. As he continued to stare off into space while trying to figure out where to take Lily on their “date” he heard someone curse.

“Seriously? Why are you everywhere I go dammit?”

Caleb looked at the man standing in the way of his future with Lily and wondered if anyone would notice if he offed the man.

Will looked at Caleb and wondered what he’d done in a past life to deserve the current bullshit that his life had recently become. Out of the blue his boss had hired his mistress as assistant editor even though she could barely write a memo, his ex-wife was dying thanks to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and to top it off his girlfriend’s new “friend” was a type-A asshole who professed to be the better man for her. Will couldn’t stand Caleb and wished he could order Lily to cut ties with the bastard. Unfortunately telling your girlfriend who she could be friends with never went over well. It just drove him insane that Lily didn’t see how Caleb was chasing her in the hopes of destroying their relationship so that he could have a clear shot.

“Last time I checked the gym was open to all tenants.”

Will just looked at Caleb wishing he could go back in time and prevent Caleb and Lily from ever meeting. Why was this man such an arrogant douche bag and why was Lily so blind to his crap.

“Since you’re here I’ll save Lily the trouble of calling you. She has to cancel with you for tonight because our friend Theresa has invited us to her engagement dinner.”

Caleb glared at Will and started to speak “What are you talking about? Are you making up bullshit excuses now?”

“Listen Theresa just sprung this on us. Lily and Theresa are very close and this is a big deal so no my girlfriend will not be joining you for dinner. I’m not sorry you won’t get to see her and badmouth me.”

“You’re not good enough for her!”

“Actually I am and even if I wasn’t she chose me so stop trying to mess things up with your snide remarks and insinuations.”

“So you don’t have feelings for Sophia? Lily is the only woman for you? You’re not dreaming of Sophia when you’re with Lily?”

“What does Sophia have to do with you trying to steal my girlfriend? Hell why is any of this your business? Lily loves me and chose me so just back off and leave us alone!”

“God you’re such an asshole! Lily is only with you because a better man hasn’t cleared the cobwebs from her eyes. Last week I saw you with Sophia. I know you cancelled a night out with Lily and spent it with Sophia. You say you love Lily but you basically stand her up to spend time with your ex. And you were holding Sophia. You say Lily is your girlfriend and that you love her but you spend time with another woman. How much of a heartless bastard can you be?”

Will’s hands balled into fists and the urge to beat Caleb was almost too strong to ignore. He knew in a physical fight he would win because not only did he outweigh Caleb by at least thirty pounds of muscle but he had practiced Krav Maga for over a decade. He counted to ten and flexed his fingers.

“Listen I’m not going to repeat myself, stop messing with my girlfriend and telling everyone she’s your future wife. She is a kind and decent person which is why she wishes to remain your friend but you need to stop butting into our lives.”

“Lily doesn’t deserve to be treated like shit because you can’t stay away from your ex’s bed. How dare you claim to love her and yet still be with your ex-wife.”

“Not that it’s any of your business but Sophia is dying and she has no one. Lily and I together decided to spend what  little time she has left with her. Yes she is my ex-wife and our marriage did not work out, but I still care about her and want to help her through these final months. Lily the woman you claim to love so much understands that Sophia needs us. Do not try to turn this tragedy into a sordid affair because that is sick.”

Caleb took a step back and looked at Will with a slightly shell-shocked expression. Could he be wrong about Lily and Will’s relationship? The two months he’d known the couple he had felt that Will was not focused on his girlfriend, but if Will was being honest, the reason was really sad. Will turned away and started walking to the shower stalls when he heard Caleb calling him. He looked over his shoulder and raised a brow.

“I’m sorry about Sophia. I had no idea that she was dying.”

“Of course not because it’s none of your business. Sophia is never going to get another chance at love. I know how lucky I am to have Lily in my life and I will not lose her.”

The two men looked at each other and Will silently walked away hoping that maybe Caleb would finally back off.

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