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“Yes . . . no Hardin. Please,” I breathe.

He nods, and the truck begins to move down the street. I try to focus on Zed’s voice as he talks on the phone, but in my attempts to remain sitting up straight, I lose track of what he’s said, and within minutes I’m lying across the seat.

Giving up, I just close my eyes.

Chapter fifty-nine


Love is the single most important emotion one can hold. Whether it’s your love for God or your love for another, it’s the most powerful, overwhelming, incredible experience. The moment when you realize that you are capable of loving someone else more than yourself is quite possibly the most important moment in your life. It was for me, anyway. I love Hardin more than myself, more than anything.

My phone vibrates on the coffee table for the fifth time in the last two minutes. I finally decide to answer it so I can tell her off.

“What the fuck do you want?” I bark into the speaker.


“Spit it out, Molly, I don’t have time for your shit.”

“It’s about Tessa.”

I stand to my feet, and the journal falls to the floor. My blood is ice cold. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“She’s . . . look, don’t freak out, but Steph slipped her something and Dan is—”

“Where are you?”

“The frat house.” She barely gets the words out before I hang up the phone, grab my keys, and rush out of the apartment.

MY HEART IS POUNDING out of my chest the entire drive. Why the fuck did I get an apartment so far from the campus? This is hands down the longest twenty-mile drive of my life.

Steph fucking slipped something to Tessa . . . What the fuck is wrong with her? And Dan—fucking Dan is a dead man if he lays one goddamn finger on her.

I run every single red light and ignore the resulting flashes that indicate I’ll be getting at least four tickets in the mail.

It’s Tessa . . . Molly’s voice plays over and over in my mind until I finally reach the old frat house. I don’t bother turning off my car—my car is the least of my concerns right now. Crowds of drunken idiots litter the living room and hallways as I push my way through the downstairs in search for Tessa.

My hands wrap around Nate’s collar the moment I see him, and I slam him into the wall without a thought. “Where is she?”

“I don’t know! I haven’t seen her!” he shouts, and I loosen my grip.

“Where the fuck is Steph?” I demand.

“She’s in the backyard—I think—I haven’t seen her in a while.”

I let go of him with a shove, and he stumbles forward with a glare at me.

I stalk out to the backyard in a panic . . . If Tessa is out there in the cold with Steph and Dan . . .

Steph’s red hair is bright in the darkness, and I don’t hesitate to grab her collar and lift her from the ground by the back of her leather coat.

She starts swatting her arms behind her. “What the fuck!”

“Where is she?” I growl, keeping my fist full of the leather.

“I don’t know—you tell me,” she spits, and I turn her around to face me.

“Where the fuck is she?”

“You won’t do shit to me.”

“I wouldn’t doubt me, if I were you. Tell me where the fuck Tessa is—now!” I scream in her face.

Steph flinches, and her bravado falters for a moment before she shakes her head. “I don’t know where the hell she is, but she’s probably passed out by now.”

“You’re a sick, disgusting bitch. If I were you, I would leave this place before I find Tessa. Once I know she’s okay, there won’t be anything stopping me from coming after you!” For a moment I consider the idea of hurting Steph, but I know I couldn’t actually do it. I can’t imagine Tessa’s reaction if I laid a hand on a woman, even an evil one like Steph.

I turn on my heel and head inside. I don’t have time to play games.

“Where’s Dan Heard?” I ask a random blond girl I see sitting alone at the bottom of the stairs.

“Him?” she asks, pointing a painted fingernail toward the top of the stairs.

I don’t respond but just run over and take the stairs two at a time. Dan isn’t aware of my presence until I’ve tackled him to the ground, knocking over a couple other people along the way. I flip him over and pin him beneath me, closing my hands around his neck. Déjà fucking vu.

“Where the fuck is Tessa?” I tighten my grip.

Dan’s face is already turning a nice shade of pink, and he makes a pathetic choking sound instead of answering. I clamp my fingers tighter.

“If you hurt her in any goddamn way, I will beat every last breath from your body,” I curse.

He kicks his feet, and I look up at the guy he was standing with.

“Where is Tessa Young?” I ask the kid, who just raises his hands in surrender.

“I don’t . . . I don’t know her, man. I swear!” the pussy yells, backing away as I continue to strangle his friend.

Dan’s face has turned from pink to purple. “Are you ready to tell me?” I ask.

He nods frantically.

“Fucking talk!” I shout, letting go of him.

“She’s . . . Zed.” He manages to mutter along with a strained and hollow-sounding cough the moment I remove my hands from his neck.

“Zed?” My vision goes black as all my fears suddenly materialize. “He put you up to this, didn’t he.”

“No. Zed didn’t have anything to do with it,” Molly says, stepping out from one of the rooms along the hallway. “He didn’t. I mean, he heard Steph talking about doing something, but I don’t think he thought she was serious.”