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I can’t eat; I barely sleep. I have called and left so many messages that Reed’s and Jax’s mailboxes are full. All I want to do is crawl and beg for him to take me back. I tried to take a shower, but leaving my bed forced me to realize that he is gone and I’m alone. My body reacted by breaking out into a cold sweat. After that, the shaking should have alarmed me. Since I was twitching so much, I barely made it back to the bed and the warmth of my down comforter. I may be having a breakdown, but I’m too sad to care.

The door of my bedroom, or prison, depending on how you want to look at it, swings open.

My father’s leggy girlfriend strides in and opens my curtains. The day spills into the room causing me to blink in surprise as she pulls the covers off me.

“What the hell, Lana? I don’t invade your personal space,” I wail, clutching the edge of the comforter. It’s become my security blanket.

“Enough! You will get up. Take a shower and eat, or I will tell your father!” She taps her manicured nails on my dresser. “Also, Brance says your phone is dead.” She marches out of my room, high heels clicking.

“God.” Massaging my aching head, I pull myself into a sitting position and search for my phone. I find it under my bed. Some of the worst things that have happened to me have happened on that phone. I know it’s crazy, but I refuse to touch it.

Wrapping the comforter around me, I drag myself to the bathroom. The entire room, including the sink, is white marble. No wonder I freak out every time I come in here—it’s like being inside a museum.

Taking a steadying breath, I don’t want to take the chance that Lana might tell my dad anything. He would probably have me committed to the looney bin. Unfortunately, with the way I look and feel, they’d probably keep me.

I force myself to drop the comforter and shower, brush my teeth, and moisturize my poor, neglected face.

Once, I’ve survived all that without having another panic attack, I search for something to wear. As I walk through my large bedroom, it reminds me of a hotel room. Celery-green walls and silky brown Berber carpet grace this room. It’s so different from my old room. Espresso wooden cabinets surround the wall that faces my large bed. A pang of homesickness washes over me. I slip on a pale blue dress because it requires less energy than having to go through pulling on pants.

Like an old woman, I enter the upscale kitchen. It’s smaller than what I’m used to.

My dad bought this loft years ago. He never stayed here, as he was still living with my mom and me in Manhattan. To be honest, I’m sure my greedy mother has no idea it exists. Probably why he seems to love it. He and Lana have had it completely refurbished.

Svetlana, or Lana as I affectionately call her, is sitting with a magazine, happily drinking her coffee.

She smiles at me. “So much better, right?”

Rolling my puffy eyes at her, I proceed to melt down.

“Reed has broken up with me.” I hiccup, trying to tell her everything from masturbating on Skype, to Reed giving me an ultimatum. It’s all coming out fast and garbled. It doesn’t even make sense to me, but Svetlana is holding me, murmuring encouraging things and letting me sob all over her Chanel dress.

When I have nothing left to say, she wipes my eyes, sits me on the stool next to her, and pours me some coffee.

Fixing her Rolex, she crosses her long legs. “Well, your boy is definitely very naughty. And so domineering already.” She lifts my face. “You sure that’s what you want? He is only going to get worse as a man.”

“He’s not mine anymore, so I guess it doesn’t matter.” I grab her hand as it dawns on me he’s truly left me.

“Oh my God. What am I going to do?” I look around the kitchen as if it can help me.

Lana slaps the wooden island, making me jump. “You are going to thrive, my beauty. And don’t be so dramatic. He wants you! It’s all right to grieve. Then you need to take your power back. Did you call Brance?”

I blink at her, not understanding what she said, but I am feeling slightly better. I shake my head. “I can’t touch that phone.”

Her eyes narrow on me as if that’s the most normal thing to say, and she nods. “Fine. We need to get you a new one.” Her slight Russian accent emerges. “Use mine.” She hands it to me. “And eat this.” She forces a banana into my hand.

After a deep breath, I press Brance’s number, taking a small bite of banana as I wait for him to answer.

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