Embrace: Evolve Series, Book Two(2)By: S.E. Hall
I can imagine what she demands of him, what she expects. I helped set those precedents. I proved to her there are guys that will listen and treat her like a queen. Since she was a little girl, I showed her how a man should treat a woman as special as her. So he’s getting a real lady…
You’re welcome, asshole.
I want to know why. What had he done, so well, so quickly, that I’d been forgotten; replaced? Is there anything I can do to get her back? Do I want her back?
It’s around 4 am when I finally finish my letter to her, calmer now that I’ve gotten some of it out on paper, the racing questions in my mind slowed down enough that I can finally fall asleep.
No sooner than I finally fall asleep, I’m awake, sun streaming obnoxiously through the curtains and straight into my eye. The microwave clock says it’s 9:12. Ugh. I wanted to sleep so much longer than five hours.
The least I can do is run out and grab breakfast. Sawyer’s been pretty cool, and since I’m starving and he’s got twenty pounds on me, he’s got to wake up ravenous. I get up and dressed, checking my phone out of habit. There’s six texts waiting, all from Laney, the last one from around midnight. I didn’t answer her then and I don’t answer now, heading out with my letter and appetite.
I hit the nearest drive thru and curse myself for not grabbing Sawyer’s keys. I wait about fifteen minutes in front of the dorm, holding bags of breakfast in my hands, before a cute co-ed lets me back in the door. I thank her and walk slowly down the hall, giving her a chance to gain some ground. I don’t want her, or anyone, to see my pathetic next move.
I’m not sure how I remember, but I find Laney’s door easily. Pulling the letter from my back pocket, I bend to slip it under her door, shocked when I hear her sweet laugh from the other side. She’s here? She’s not with him anymore? My heart suddenly lifts, as does my hand, ready to knock, when his voice reaches out and rips my heart out of my chest.
I should walk away. Definitely the right thing to do.
Fine, open a spot in hell for me, like it’s so much different than where I’m at right now anyway—I’m not moving. Their voices are muffled and I’m straining to listen, but I hear it.
“So you forgive me?”
“Yes, caveman, I forgive you, but I’m still not ready to forgive myself. I mean it, though, don’t ever do anything like that, ever again.”
“I promise, baby. I love you.”
Ah fuck. Me too? Whatever does or doesn’t happen now, no matter what words she says to me, it’s those words, those last ones to him, which will ring in my ears.
How could she love him? I’ve had ten years with the little girl, the young lady, and apparently the “I love you as a best friend,” but in the span of only months, he’d taken the woman. This realization sends a wave of nausea and loneliness through me, but I muster the energy to move my feet, not wanting them to open the door and catch me standing here like the loser I’ve become.
I make my way to Sawyer’s room and a new fervor flames inside me with every step I take. Yes, my face grazed tits and she’d gotten a picture of it. Sure, her best friend woke up in my room, her only clothing mine…but I never told anyone I loved them! I never gave my heart! I transferred schools for her, gave up a scholarship, fought like hell with my parents about it…damn right she shouldn’t forgive herself. I flex my hands in and out of fists, rolling my neck, fighting the urge to punch a hole in the wall. Nostrils flared, chest heaving rapidly, I take a few deep breaths before finally knocking.
When Sawyer opens the door, I have only one thing to say. “Last night was a bust. Think we can do better tonight?”
He smiles and fist bumps me, which I take as a yes.
Fuck this. Disney movies suck anyway—bring on a porno!
After such a big argument with Laney, I want to give her some fun tonight, so we’re headed to The K. I’ve invited The Crew, on me, for a night of light-hearted hanging out. Tate isn’t quite up for it yet, but everyone else is back from their holidays and agreed to join us.
I glance from the road to her, so quiet in her seat. “You ready to have some fun tonight?”
“Sure,” she answers softly, offering me a weak smile.
She said she forgave me, but clearly she’s still beating herself up. She’d left me, furious about the scene with Evan at my door, and I never want to feel so empty and helpless again. I’m no stranger to loss, but now that I’ve let Laney in and handed her my whole life and heart, being without her simply isn’t an option. So I have to learn to deal with the Evan thing a little more tactfully—I can handle that.