Apparently Caleb had known things wouldn’t work between me and Martin; the guy was notorious for being unfaithful. Caleb had just wanted to give me my confidence back. And it’d worked, for the most part. I spent the majority of the next two years sleeping around. I kept it to weekends, mostly, and I stuck to my promise of never bringing anyone home. I guess part of me didn’t want the kids to know what a slut I’d turned into. Alex and Caleb came with me, sometimes, though more often than not Caleb wasn’t exactly happy about either of us going. He’d gotten a little possessive of Alex since they’d gotten married, and while he still happily shared Alex with whoever they found that night, I knew it annoyed him a little. He said it made him wonder if he satisfied Alex enough.
As for me being there, he didn’t like seeing me turn into Cayden. And despite my insistence that I wasn’t turning into Cayden, he wouldn’t believe me. Over the years, we’d had plenty of rows over it, but we’d make up each time. I’d promise him I’d ease up on the sleeping around, by which I meant I wouldn’t go out that weekend, and he’d try to convince me to stop going out in general. Alex kept out of it for the most part; he was happy as long as I used protection, which I made sure to. I wasn’t stupid enough not to.
Mine and Caleb’s worst row happened not long before I’d been at it for two years. I’d gone over to see the two of them to try and convince the both of them to come out with me that weekend, despite promising Caleb a few days before that I wouldn’t.
“Hadley, can I have a word?” he asked, not waiting to hear my answer as he walked into another room.
I sighed, following him. “Do we really have to do this again, Caleb?”
“Yes, we do, because it doesn’t seem to be sinking in”
“Why do you have such a problem with it? You and Alex’ll fuck anything with a pulse”
“Because we don’t get hammered beforehand. We don’t have two kids waiting at home”
“They’re old enough to handle being on their own for a few hours”
“That’s not the point, Hadley, you’re their father, you’re meant to be there”
“I’m still there for them” I frowned.
“Really? So, when’s Lily’s next competition?” he questioned.
“And, uh, how long ago did Danny join the football team?”
“Danny didn’t join the football team”
“Yes he fucking did! I was there when he told you, but I guess you weren’t paying attention. Just proves my point”
“Fuck you, Caleb. I don’t tell you how to live your life, so stay the fuck out of mine”
I heard Alex let out a frustrated noise as he marched into the room. “Shut up, the both of you. I feel like I need to send you both to the naughty corner. Stop acting like kids”
“No, Alex, I’m fed up of this” Caleb said and I rolled my eyes.
"You think I'm not? I agree, Hadley should be more careful and be around for his kids more, but this isn't helping"
"I don't care. I've tried being patient, and it sucks. I've spent the last two years watching my best friend turn into a whore like Cayden"
"Don't you dare say anything about my brother" I glared.
"Why not? He said himself he was a slut. He fucking killed your husband because of it"
"That's enough" Alex snapped, but we both ignored him.
"You wanna start calling him a slut, too?" I asked venomously.
"No, I respect him more than that. You, however, not so much" he said, and I glared again.
"Why can't you discuss this like fucking adults?" Alex asked.
"Believe me, Alex, I've tried, but he won't listen" Caleb said, incredulous.
"Yeah, because there's nothing to discuss"
"Yes there fucking is"
"Why is me sleeping around any different to you two doing exactly the same?" I asked Alex, ignoring Caleb muttering ‘You know why, Hadley’.
"Because you have kids to look after. You are the only role model they have, and you're setting a bad example. You could die the same way Cayden and Max did" Alex said.
"I'm always safe, I'm not that stupid"
"It's your life, Hadley, you do what you like. I'm just saying Caleb has a point and as much as I hate picking a side, I agree with him"
"It's about time" Caleb said.
"Caleb, don't push it" Alex said warningly.
"Or what, you'll ground me?" Caleb asked sarcastically and Alex gritted his teeth.
"Y'know, I think I've figured out why you've got such a problem with me enjoying myself" I said, chuckling slightly.
"Enlighten me" Caleb smiled patronisingly.
"You're fucking jealous. After all this time, when I'm at my most desperate, I still won't fuck you" I said, resisting the urge to laugh when he clenched his jaw.
"I didn't think you had it in you to be so petty, Hadley" Alex said, sounding like he was ashamed with me or something.
"Get out" Caleb said quietly.
"What?" I asked in disbelief.
"I said get out"
It dawned on me then how rapidly things had spiralled out of control, how much of a jerk I’d been. I looked at Alex for help, but he didn’t offer anything.
"Get out my fucking house!" Caleb yelled, trying to push me towards the front door.
Alex stopped him, to at least give me the dignity of leaving by myself, and I looked at him for help again.
"Sorry Hadley, you brought this on yourself" he said and a pained look washed over my face as I left.
Caleb followed, to make sure I actually left.
"I don't ever want to see you again, is that clear?" he asked.
"Is that clear?" he interrupted.
"Caleb, I'm sorry" I pleaded, but he ignored me. “I won’t go out tonight, I promise”
"I don't care anymore, Hadley. Just get lost" Caleb said, walking back inside.
"Please try and fix this, Hadley" Alex said, shutting the door.