Page 102 of Hate Like Ours

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I kick my shoes off and keep walking until we get to the edge of the beach, close to the water. The sand between my toes feels amazing. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a beach and I forgot how at peace it always makes me feel.

I plop down onto the sand and close my eyes for a second and take in the sound of the waves and how calming it sounds.

The night air, along with the waves and the stars, make me feel a little less like I’m drowning. The beach at night is always my soothing place and I’m hoping the feeling kicks in soon.

“You okay?” Aiden asks as he plops down next to me. He throws his arm around my shoulder and pulls me closer to him before placing a kiss on my forehead. A tear slips down my face. “It’s going to be okay.”

“I’m fine and I hope so,” I whisper.

“Just so you know, you’re brave and strong,” Camryn says as she sits on the other side of me and puts her arms around me as well.

“I don’t feel that way. I don’t think I ever will either. I’m nothing but a failure… My grades are tanked and I’m so stressed. I don’t even know if I’ll get into any of the colleges I applied to. Fucking hell, I’m so close to losing it,” I cry.

“Breathe, babe. We’re here to support you. Besides, the storm won’t last forever,” she tells me.

“Maybe it will. I love storms, just not the one currently invading my life.” I try to laugh, but it sounds hollow and dead.

“You’ll get through this. Besides, you have us by your side,” she says matter-of-factly. “If that bitch touches you again, tell me! I’m going to fuck her up!”

Her words make me feel better and I let out a laugh. I can’t imagine the guys letting her get into any sort of fight.

“Thank you both for always being here for me,” I tell both Aiden and Camryn.

“What? I don’t get any thanks too? And here I was, bringing goodies for us,” Ransom says in mock indignation as he walks up to us along with Wolf and Cyrus.

When I look at them I let out a laugh. I see they’ve brought the liquor, cups, ice and even some weed for us.

“It’s party time!” Wolf smirks and I can’t help the smile that escapes me. The guys and their antics always seem to bring me out of my funk.

“Aww, you guys are my heroes.” I laugh.

“Don’t tell anyone or you’ll ruin our street cred,” Ransom says with mock seriousness, and we all laugh. Today was shit, but my night is turning out to be good with this bunch.

Cyrus takes out his phone and a little speaker. He starts to play some music as Ransom and Wolf pour drinks for everyone.

“To new friends who all hate the sucky people in this town!” Camryn yells out, and we all cheer before taking a sip of our drinks. I know she’s only saying that for my benefit but I appreciate it all the same.

We stay on the beach and party—drinking, smoking, and dancing—until it’s well past midnight. I enjoy every moment of it. This is the most fun and freeing moment I’ve had since coming to this horrid place, and it makes me appreciate my new friends all the more.

They never judge me. We all have our vices and things we keep hidden and I love that about them. We’ve all got our own demons to bear and I think that’s why we work. It shouldn’t make sense but somehow it does.

Camryn and I have shared personal things with each other but the guys keep their shit locked up tight. I do know Aiden’s secret and that’s the fact that he has to keep his relationship with Saylor a secret. I hate that for them but I guess that sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, right?

The Venom Brothers, well, those guys are a mystery. I don’t think I want to know what secrets they’re hiding. It’s best to leave well enough alone where those guys are concerned.

When it hits one a.m., I decide it’s time to leave. I’ve had enough fun where I didn’t have to think about the humiliating moment I had today, in front of pretty much the whole town, and I was at peace for a while. No doubt that will all end once I get home again.

Camryn and the guys drive home while Aiden drops me off. When he pulls up to the mansion, I release my seatbelt and then lean over to give him a hug.

“Thank you for today and tonight,” I tell him, giving him a warm smile as I let go of him.

“Anything for you, sis,” he tells me, giving me a wink.

“I’ll text you later,” I tell him before getting out of the car. I watch as he drives off before I make my way inside, barely managing to keep myself upright because of how fucked up I am from the alcohol and weed.



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