I stared at my ring. I thought about Reece’s proposal, how it just hadn’t been quite right. It was like he was scared, and it just didn’t fit together.
Maybe I should have gone back to Match.
He had threatened to kill me if I left him. He'd already tried once. And I had ended up in the hospital and in a fourty-eight hour coma. That was after being rushed straight into surgery. I'd been bruised for a month and I had to stay in the hospital for two weeks before I could go home. There were no witnesses, so Match was never arrested. If I didn't go back to him he might hurt Josh or Reece next. Or he might kill me if and when he gets to me again.
But I was relieved when Reece kissed me. I wanted to be away from Match. Maybe he does love me in some way, but I know I don't I love him.
My door opened, and a dark figured stepped inside. “Reece?” I whispered. He didn’t reply, just walked over to the bed, and leaned down and kissed me.
It wasn’t Reece. I didn’t feel this way when I kissed Reece. Not that Reece was a bad kisser. He was very good… but it just wasn’t the same.
Nicholas, I realized. It was Nicholas who was kissing me. I wound my fingers through his hair, and kissed him back. Until I remembered that I was an engaged woman. I pushed him away. He was straddling me on the bed now.
“Nick,” I breathed. “I’m engaged to your best friend.” I reminded him.
He grabbed my left hand, twisted off the ring, and threw it across the room. Then he grabbed me by the front of my shirt and pulled me sitting up, kissed me again. I was a little bit scared actually. And ashamed of myself because I couldn’t stop kissing him back.
Nick’s hands went to the hem of my shirt, and pulled it up then off. “Nicholas!” I whispered.
“You don’t love Reece, Zac.” He told me. “Not like that. We both know it.”
“That’s not why I want you to stop, Nick. You broke my fucking heart you sonofabitch. Do you really expect me to just forget about that? I sat in this fucking room for two months, and I couldn’t eat, sleep, barely talk. I was like a lifeless robot who couldn’t function and it was your fault! I don’t love you anymore, Nick. You hurt me. I hate you.”
He looked at me, and he didn’t look sad or hurt. “You’re a liar. And don’t pin this all on me, Zac. You hurt me first. We were just beginning to start something and you pushed me away and ran to your brother.”
“I felt guilty-”
“I told you that you didn’t have to do anything you didn’t want to. I was trying to be understanding and gentle and you wouldn’t give me even a fucking chance to be a nice guy.”
“I never said I wanted it to be over though.” I snapped at him.
He got off the bed and walked to the door. “I’m not taking all the blame this time Zac and I’m getting tired pretty fast of you fucking me over and thinking the world rotates around you. You told me you grew up but that’s all a bunch of bullshit. At least I’m man enough to admit when I’ve done something wrong. So go ahead and marry Reece.
But you know what, we both know who you’ll be wishing was really lying beside you every night. Quit treating me like I’m a fucking moron and grow the fuck up. I didn’t leave you Zac, you lost me. And I never wanted to break your heart. Don’t you know I love you? How are you so stupid?” He growled then swung the door open and slammed it shut hard behind him.
I wasn’t going to let him have the last word though. I jumped out of bed and ran after him. “Nicholas!” I shouted. “You’re not going to turn this on me!”
He stopped where he was, halfway down the stairs, and turned sharply to look me. His face was pissed off and looked vicious as he quickly came back up the stairs.
“Turn this on you?” he demanded to know as he walked towards me. “It is you Zac. Everything is always about fucking you. As long as your feelings aren’t hurt and you have everything you want then fine. Reece and Josh make it look like you do nothing wrong and once I did too. But it’s time for you to face up. You’re not perfect and everything isn’t about you. It’s about both of us. Two people. Not just me and not just you. But if you really were grown up you would know that.”
He was in front of me now, and kept walking, backing me up until I hit a wall. “I don’t claim to be perfect or to know everything. I am still learning and still growing up. You never stop learning no matter how old you get.“ He huffed out a breath, then looked me dead in the eyes. “Zac, here it is. If you really loved me six months ago, you would have tried a lot harder to stop me.”
“If you really loved me, you would have stayed.” I breathed.
“I left because I thought I was hurting you by being here. Because I didn’t want you to be hurting and feel guilty. If you didn’t want me to leave, all you had to do was ask and I would have stayed. But you were too wrapped up in your own little world and you were only thinking about yourself and your feelings.
So when you do realize that I love you, more than anything in this damn world and God knows I don’t want to because it’s like slowly killing myself, I’m hoping maybe you really will love me back.” His voice had gotten so quiet.
“You don’t know what it really is to be heartbroken Zac. Try telling the person who makes the world and time make sense, that you have to leave them. And then realizing that they don’t care about you enough to not even ask you once not to leave. If anyone’s heart was broken, Zac, it was mine.”
He turned and walked down the hall, back to the stairs.
“Nicholas!” I yelled, and ran after him, tears rolling down my face. “I didn’t know I hurt you.” I whispered.
“Which just proves that you don’t care about me-”
“Stay.” I whispered, sinking to my knees. “Nicholas, please don’t leave.”
“You don’t get it Zac.” He murmured. “You already had that chance and it just isn’t enough now. I don’t trust you anymore.” Nicholas went down the stairs and out the front door without looking back.
© Copyright 2017 Cherie Arlavine . All rights reserved.
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