A-List F*ck Club Part 4By: Frankie Love
I stare at him, his words hitting me in the gut, shattering my belief in what we have.
Cal played me. Hard. And why? He didn’t need to lie to me. I never once lied to him. I not only gave him my virginity, but I also gave him my heart. Jordan has slipped out of the throne room, and all that is left is Cal and me.
His eyes search mine, and I tell myself to be strong, to be brave, to not let one man define me. I should get up, leave. Storm away while shouting fiery words at the only man I have ever fallen for.
But it isn’t that easy.
I don’t want to run away from him.
I want to understand him. Understand why he’d do this to me.
“I trusted you. But what kind of love is built on half-truths and lies?” I ask. I wipe my eyes, my body covered in this stupid trench coat but my heart splayed out for him to see.
“I know. It was dumb but—”
“I don’t want your buts, Cal.” My words are shaky, and I try to steady myself. But I don’t want to steady myself. I want Cal to be that person for me. I want him to fill in the gaps in my life. Be strong where I am weak and be hard where I am soft. I want to be in this—all of this: the leaked photos and the double-crossers at the club, and the death of Sawyer and the losing my family farm—all the parts that are messy, I want to figure them out with him by my side.
But how can I do that when nothing between us is as real as I thought?
Cinching the belt on the trench coat tighter, I try to steady my hands, slow my beating heart. “I want the truth, Cal. No excuses. Respect me enough to give me a straight answer.”
Cal runs his hands over his face, still sitting on the throne, but he no longer looks like a man ready to rule—right now he looks as if he is witnessing the crumbling of an empire.
He looks lost and he looks broken and I can’t bear to watch him fall apart before me. He sits back in the throne, and rests his elbows on his knees, raising his chin, he looks up at me. “You must think I’m a fucking monster. Representing everything in this world you hate. And I’m sorry, Jules. I really fucking am. My life was ruined by this town, so I wasn’t lying when I said I fucking hate the games just like you. I hate them more than anyone—and after Sawyer’s death… I’ve never felt that as strongly as I do now. My anonymity became one of the only things I could control in a city hell-bent on taking everything I held dear. This town took my parents, I couldn’t let it take me too.”
I’m standing with my hands on my hips, listening to his confession, watching as he pleads with me. And in this moment I don’t know what kind of woman I want to be.
His words sound sincere and I know there’s more to his story. But do I even want to hear it?
There could be more lies or smokescreens. More magic and mirrors. Just like this club, a promised oasis from the storm outside, but from the moment my friends and I walked through the doors all we found was trouble.
Gretchen and Collette’s trouble was getting in the tabloids... my trouble was found with the man before me now.
But right now this story isn’t about Gretchen and Collette, about this town or about Callahan’s parents.
It’s about Cal and Jules.
And I have a feeling that my response in this moment is going to decide how this chapter ends.
“Say something, Jules. I never meant to hurt you.” He stands, reaching for my hands, trying to find a way into my heart. I lower my eyes, not sure if I can give him what he wants. “I swear to God, you’re the only thing I want.”
What sort of heroine do I want to be in the story of my life?
The one who fights or the one who forgives?
The one who bends over and takes it, or the one who listens?
The one who hears?
The one who stays?
It’s not even a question.
“Say something, tell me you hate me, even,” he whispers, cupping my face with his palm. I lean into his hold, a tear falling down my cheek. “I would deserve that, Jules. You telling me it’s over. But... don’t say it.”
“I trusted you, Cal.” My words are soft, and so is my heart. I could leave... but I could also stay. I want to stay. I want to believe that the love Cal and I have is real. The kind that lasts. The kind that will grow, refuse to fade. “Don’t make a fool of me.”