“Nothing yet.” I breathed deeply and let it out through my nose. “Listen, Declan, I’m fine. Yeah, I’m hurt and heartbroken because I expected more from someone who claimed to love me, but I’m not completely down and out. Eventually, I’ll bounce back better than ever. Period. I know Baker is worried about me, but he doesn’t need to be. As soon as I can, I’ll get out of his hair, and everyone will be happy. You won’t have to worry that I’m using him for my own gain or anything else. Who knows, maybe Montana is where I belong. I have family and friends there, people who care about me, and I wouldn’t be a nuisance. Maybe I could even go back to school and figure out what I want to do with my life. So, you don’t have to pretend to be interested in talking to me any longer. I’ll tell Baker you were nice and tried, but I told you to get lost.”
“You haven’t said that yet.” He grinned.
I turned my head and met his gaze. “Please leave. I need a few minutes to myself.” I should have felt bad for demanding such a thing since he was only trying to be nice, but I didn’t. I’d had enough and needed him gone to lick my wounds. Everything was still too fresh, too raw, too painful, and he kept bringing it up, making it impossible to break away from it at all.
“Sure.” Getting up, he didn’t take his eyes off of me. “For the record, I think it would be a mistake to go back to Montana.” After saying that, he left the room, the door closing with a soft snick.
A mistake? This was the man who admitted he didn’t like me moving in with Baker, not that I had much of a choice. It hadn’t been my plan, but I was glad I had. Getting out of that apartment and not being around certain people has helped to pull me out of the black hole I’d found myself free-falling in; however, I still felt like I was continually clawing my way out, inch by slow inch. At this point, I couldn’t even see a pinprick of light, but I knew it existed, somewhere, hovering above me.
Setting the controller on the table in front of me next to my forgotten drink, I wiped away another tear that had decided to fall. “Why did he have to come in here?” I pulled my legs up again and curled in on myself.
Today, I’d been able to forget, for a time, and pretend I wasn’t hanging on by a thread. Today, I’d been nervous and anxious about meeting new people, but Nick and everything he did to me was pushed to the back of my mind. Today, in some strange way, I’d felt lighter. And then Declan busted through the door like the Kool-Aid Man and broke the glass walls I’d erected to protect myself. He couldn’t let me have just one day? He couldn’t allow me to forget my pain and embarrassment for one stupid, measly day? Was it too much to ask?
My shoulders shook as I silently cried, my tears staining my jeans. When would the wound stop bleeding?