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She got up from the couch with a mumbled “excuse me,” and he pushed past his friends to follow her outside.

“Dani, it’s not what you think, I swear.”

She stood at the bottom of the steps, her arms wrapped around herself.

“So, women haven’t been sending you naked pictures?”

“Yes, one girl, and I told her I had a girlfriend and to lose my number.”

She spun around, her hand held out to him. “Let me see.”

“I deleted the thread. It happened weeks ago.”

Her laughter had a bitter edge he hated. “Erased it, huh? That’s convenient.”

Tyler recoiled as if she’d slapped him. “Have I ever given you any reason not to trust me?”

“None, except your track record and the reaction of everyone who knows you. I actually started to think that I had everything, that my life was pretty fucking perfect, but that’s the problem with trying to convince yourself pe

ople can change.”

“So, that’s it? You assume I’m guilty of something because you can’t believe I want to be with you?”

“Whoa, that is not what I said. I said that you like sex and women, and I was crazy to think that would stop.”

“It did stop. It fucking stopped the minute I saw you sitting next to Noah in that hospital room. I didn’t know why, but I couldn’t get you out of my head.”

“And yet”—before he could stop her, she snatched his phone out of his hand—“Alison, Alicia, Amy, Andrea, April . . . Wow, we haven’t even made it to the Bs yet.”

He jerked his phone out of her hand, his body shaking with hurt and rage. “Stop this. I love you. I wouldn’t hurt you, and I haven’t cheated on you.”

She sniffled, and he saw the tears rolling down her cheeks. He was dying to reach out and brush them from her cheeks.

“I really want to believe that. I want to believe that you love me and you’re committed to me, but you didn’t delete them from your phone, Tyler. You kept other women’s numbers. Women you’ve slept with. And that tells me that even if it’s just on a subconscious level, you’re keeping your options open.”

He opened his mouth, wanting to tell her that he hadn’t thought about it because his mind had been taken over with thoughts of her, but what was the point? She didn’t trust him, didn’t believe him.

“I’m gonna grab my coat and see if Megan will give me a ride,” Dani said.

“I can drive you home.”

“Not right now.” She climbed up the stairs past him, closing the door behind him, and he wanted to yell. Scream and rail at his idiot friend, call out to Dani that he hadn’t thought about the numbers or how she might interpret it.

The door opened again, and Sparks came out with a drunken Blake hanging on him.

“Best, hey, I’m sorry for what I said. I hope Dani isn’t mad at you, bro.”

Tyler wanted to hit him, and it took everything he had not to knock Blake off his feet and pound him.

“You need to get some help, man,” was all Tyler said, turning his back on his two friends and heading for his car.

Chapter Thirty

DANI CHECKED ON Noah again the next afternoon, and when she saw he was still out, she went into the living room to find something to watch. Preferably nothing romantic or funny. She wasn’t in the mood to laugh.

In fact, she’d spent most of last night neck-deep in tissues. In the fresh light of day, she had a feeling she’d overreacted. Tyler had never given her a reason to be suspicious of him, and holding his past against him wasn’t fair. He could do the same thing to her, and she definitely wouldn’t come out smelling like a rose.

She needed to call him but wasn’t even sure what to say. I’m sorry for being such a judgmental bitch? For not trusting you? Thinking the worst of you?

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