“It’s dark out now. I hope he doesn’t get lost out there,” Ken says. Landon just shrugs like That’s Hardin.
Hardin has been gone for nearly three hours, and I’m trying my best not to panic. I know he’s okay; if something were to ever happen to him, I would know. I don’t know how to explain it, but I know deep down that I would just know.
So something harming him is not what I’m worried about. I’m worried that his frustration will just become an excuse to find some local bar. As much as I wanted him to get away from me, it would kill me to see him stumble through the door and smell liquor on his breath. I just needed my space, time to think and cool down. I haven’t gotten around to the thinking part; I’ve been avoiding it at all costs.
“I was thinking we could all get in the Jacuzzi tonight or maybe in the morning?” Karen suggests.
Landon spits his soda back into his cup, and I look away quickly, biting the inside of my cheek. The memory of Landon spotting my floating panties is much too fresh, and I can feel the heat in my cheeks.
“Karen, honey, I don’t think they want to get in the Jacuzzi with us.” Ken laughs and Karen smiles, realizing that it would be a little awkward maybe.
“I guess you’re right.” She laughs and starts separating the cookie dough into small balls. She scrunches her nose. “I hate this premade stuff.”
I’m sure that for Karen, premade cookie dough is awful, but for me, it’s heaven. Especially now, when I feel like I could snap at any moment.
Landon and I were in the middle of a discussion about Dakota and their soon-to-be apartment when his mother and Ken finally checked in on us. They mentioned that they ran into Hardin as he was leaving. Apparently he told them that I was asleep, so I did my best to go along with his lie, saying that I had only woken up when Landon came in.
I’ve been wondering where Hardin is and when he will return since the moment he left. Part of me doesn’t want to see him at all, but part of me, a much bigger part, needs to know that he isn’t doing anything that will further jeopardize our already fragile relationship. I’m still extremely angry at his interfering with my move to Seattle, and I have no idea what the hell I’m going to do about it.
You sabotaged her getting an apartment?” Lillian asks, her jaw falling open.
“I told you it was fucked up,” I remind her.
Another pair of headlights flashes by us as we walk to her parents’ cabin. I had every intention of going back to my father’s, but Lillian has proven herself to be a decent listener so far. So when she asked me to walk her back to her cabin and finish our discussion, I accepted. My absence will give Tessa some time to cool down and hopefully be ready to talk by the time I return.
“You didn’t tell me what level of messed up it was. I don’t blame her for being mad at you,” the girl says, of course ready to take Tessa’s side.
I can’t imagine what she’d think of me if she knew about all the shit I’ve put Tessa through in the past six months.
“Well, what are you going to do about it?” she asks, opening the front door to her parents’ cabin. She gestures for me to come in, like it was a foregone conclusion that I would.
Once I step inside, I see it’s very extravagant. Even bigger than my father’s. Fucking rich people.
“They should be upstairs,” she says as we walk inside.
“Who should be upstairs?” a woman’s voice questions, and Lillian grimaces before turning around to the woman I assume is her mum. She looks just like her, the only difference between them being age. “Who’s this?” she asks.
Just then, a middle-aged man wearing a polo shirt and khakis walks into the living room.
Great; fucking great. I should’ve just stuck to walking Lillian home. I wonder how Tessa would feel if she knew I was here. Would she mind? She’s pretty mad at me anyway, and she has a history of being jealous of Molly. Still, this girl isn’t Molly; she’s nothing like her.
“Mom, Dad, this is Hardin, Ken’s son.”
A huge grin appears on the man’s face. “I was wondering if I’d get to meet you!” he exclaims with a posh British accent. Well, that explains how he would know my father from university.
He walks over and pats my shoulder. I take a step back, causing him to frown slightly, although he also kind of seems to have expected this reaction from me. My father must have warned him about me. I almost laugh at the thought.
“Honey,” he says, turning to his wife. “This is Trish’s son.”
“You know my mum?” I ask him before also turning to his wife.
“Yeah, I knew your mom back before she was your mom,” the woman says with a smile. “We were all friends, the five of us,” she adds.
“Five?” I ask.
Lillian’s dad looks at her. “Now, honey.”
“Anyway, you look just like her! Only you have your father’s eyes. I haven’t seen her since I moved back to America. How is she?” she asks.
“She’s good, she’s getting married soon.”
“Really?” she squeals. “Tell her congratulations from me, that is just so great to hear.”
“Okay,” I respond. These people smile too damn much. It’s like being in a room with three Karens, only much more annoying and much less charming. “Well, I’m going to get going,” I tell Lillian, figuring this has been awkward enough.
“No, no. You don’t have to go—we’ll go upstairs,” Lillian’s father says, then wraps his arm around his wife’s waist and leads her away.