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“Done . . . with me?” His voice is shaky, and it cracks. “You said you’re done . . .”

I don’t know what I’m done with. It should be him, but I know myself better than to answer that right now. Normally I would be crying by this point and forgiving him with a kiss . . . but not tonight.

“I’m so fucking exhausted, and I can’t stand it. I can’t keep doing this like this! You were going to let me move to Seattle without anywhere to live just to try to force me not to go!”

Hardin stands before me in silence, and I take a deep breath, expecting my anger to diminish, but it doesn’t. It grows and grows until I am literally seeing red. I grab the rest of the pillows, imagining that they’re actually glass vases that shatter to the floor, leaving a mess for someone else to clean up. The problem is that I would be the one doing the cleaning—he wouldn’t take the chance of cutting himself in order to spare me.

“Get out!” I scream at him.

“No, I’m sorry, okay, I—”

“Get the fuck out. Now,” I spit, and he looks at me like he has no idea who I am.

Maybe he hasn’t.

He hunches over and leaves the room—and I slam the door behind him before going back out to the balcony. I sit down on the wicker chair and stare out at the sea, trying to calm myself down.

No tears come, only memories. Memories and regrets.

Chapter twenty-seven


I know she’s exhausted—I can see it on her face each time I fuck up. The fight with Zed, the lie about the expulsion . . . every infraction takes a toll on her; she thinks I don’t notice, but I do.

Why did I have to put Sandra on speakerphone? If I hadn’t done that, I could have cleaned this shit up and told her about my fuckup after I fixed it. That way she couldn’t be as upset.

I wasn’t thinking about what Tessa would do when she found out, and I sure as hell wasn’t thinking about where she’d live if she didn’t change her mind about moving. I suppose I thought that being the control freak that she is, she’d postpone her trip if she didn’t have anywhere to stay.

Way to fucking go, Hardin.

I meant well—well, I didn’t at the time, but now I do. I know it’s fucked up for me to mess with her apartment in Seattle, but I’m grasping at straws here, trying to get her not to leave me. I know what will happen in Seattle, and it’s not going to end well.

True to my nature, I take a swing at the wall next to the staircase.


True to my luck, I find out it’s not drywall. It’s real fucking wood, and hurts so much worse. I cradle my fist with my other hand and have to stop myself from repeating my idiotic reaction. I’m lucky it didn’t break anything. Sure, it will bruise, but what else is new.

I’m sick of the endless cycle. I’ve told you before and you don’t listen. I stomp down the stairs and throw myself on the couch like a temperamental child. That’s what I am really, a fucking child. She knows it, I know it—hell, everyone fucking knows it. I should just print the shit on a goddamn T-shirt.

I should just go up there and try to explain myself again, but honestly, I’m a little scared. I’ve never seen her so mad before.

I need to get the hell out of here. If Tessa hadn’t forced me to ride with the entire fucking Partridge family, I could leave now and end this stupid-ass trip early. I didn’t even want to come in the first place.

I guess the boat was sort of okay . . . but the trip in general is bullshit, and now that she’s mad at me, there’s literally no point in me being here. I stare up at the ceiling, unsure what I’m supposed to do now. I can’t just sit here, and I know if I do, I’ll end up back upstairs pushing Tessa further.

I’ll take a walk. That’s what normal people do when they’re angry, not punch walls and break shit.

I need to get some damn clothes on before I do anything, but I can’t go back up there or she’ll murder me, literally.

I sigh as I get up. If I wasn’t so confused by Tessa’s behavior, I’d care more about what I’m about to do.

The door to Landon’s room opens, and my eyes roll immediately. His clothes are stacked neatly on the bed; he must have been planning to dutifully put them away before his mum and my dad dragged him along with them.

I sift through the hideous crap and desperately search for something that doesn’t have a fucking collar. Finally, I find a plain blue T-shirt and a pair of black sweatpants.

Fucking lovely. I’ve now resorted to sharing clothes with Landon. I hope Tessa’s rage doesn’t last long, but for once I don’t know what will happen next. I hadn’t expected her to react half as bad as she did; it wasn’t really the words she used toward me, it was the way she looked at me the whole time. That look said more than she ever could and, in turn, scared me more than her words alone ever could.

I glance at the door to what was our room up until twenty minutes ago, then head back down the stairs and out the door.

I barely make it down the damn driveway before my favorite stepbrother appears. At least he’s alone.

“Where’s my dad?” I ask him.

“Are you wearing my clothes?” he responds, clearly confused.

“Um, yeah. I didn’t have a choice, don’t make a big deal of it.” I shrug, knowing by the smile on his face he was planning on doing just that.

“Okay . . . What did you do now?”

What the hell? “What makes you think I did something?”

His brow arches.

“Okay . . . so I did something, something really fucking stupid,” I huff. “But I don’t want to hear your shit, so don’t worry about it.”

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