I was such a fool, always wanting to believe the best in people. First Mark and now Logan. I was never enough.

Slamming the driver’s door shut, I tried unsuccessfully to control the frenzied sobs and even my breathing.

With multiple deep breaths, none seemed to ease the pain slicing through me. Why did he have to do this to me? My head throbbed trying to figure out if any of it was real over the past few months. Was it all some sick game to get me in bed? City guy bored in the country. I was going to give him my heart, hand it over so freely and all he wanted was—no, I banged my hands on the steering wheel. I needed to calm down or I’d never make it home.

Sniffing loudly and wiping away my tears, I turned on the engine and looked back once more at the alley where I’d left him.

There, standing in the shadows staring at me with hooded eyes, was Logan.

Refusing to let him see me break down into a sobbing mess anymore tonight, I rolled back my shoulders and jutted out my chin as I stomped my foot down on the gas.

Pulling onto the main street, I drove through town, passing two green lights before stopping at a red one about a half mile from Haven. My labored breathing finally began to calm. Glancing up in my rearview mirror, I gasped. Long black streaks of mascara marred my swollen red eyes. Using the pads of my thumbs, I tried to wipe away the evidence of my hurt but it was no use. It only looked worse. A loud honk sounded from behind me and I looked up to see the red light had turned green.

I lifted my foot and placed it slowly down on the accelerator. The car made it half way into the intersection when a bright-white light blinded me from the side. I turned my head just as a thunderous metal on metal, grinding together took over the air. My body thrust forward, the seatbelt forgotten in the rush to flee Logan. I gripped the steering wheel for dear life, my hair flailing around, blinding me as the car smacked down and then flipped up again as I lost my grip. A sharp stab slicing through my sides and down my legs followed the crunching of glass.

I hit something hard, landing on my back, warmth filling my head and in an instant, everything stopped except for the deafening horn filling the night.

Chapter Twenty-Five

Consequences

“Call 911!”

“Don’t move her!”

“Oh God, is she alive?” Voices buzzed around me.

I whimpered. My throat parched, lips dry. I couldn’t breathe, something heavy pressed against my chest. My ears rang. Muffled voices around me grew clearer.

“She’s trapped.” A man’s voice rang out.

“Help get it off her!”

“No, we could make it worse.”

I couldn’t see anything or anyone but I knew they were there. It still did little to help calm the panic washing over me. I forced my eyes to open, flickering at the shining ray of light hitting my face. I wasn’t sure what it was, a flashlight perhaps?

I winced unsure what was happening.

“Can you hear us?” A woman asked, her voice cracking.

I felt something soft squeeze my hand but my head betrayed my demand to move. I could only look straight up into the night sky, star filling the darkness.

“It’s going to be okay. Help is on the way,” the voice said, softly.

I opened my mouth, “I…I…” With all my strength, there was nothing but a gurgling sounded from me.

It hurt. Everywhere. My head was heavy and damp and I could feel the strands of hair matted against my cheeks. My body seemed to have disappeared. I tried to move my hands, my legs, but there was nothing. Panic began to overwhelm me further, but the hand folded around mine, gave it another tender squeeze and I knew that even without seeing it my hands were there.

It was the most terrifying feeling I had ever endured, and a thought I’d never dreamed I’d have. To be thankful to have your limbs still attached was heartbreaking. Warm liquid pooled in my eyes and spilled down my cheeks. I was left waiting there as the gasps and sobs of onlookers filled my ears. I focused on the positive, which was I was not alone, finding my strength anywhere I could, as the dull pain radiated through my chest.

The call of sirens grew closer while the heaviness on my chest deepened and the darkness pulled me away.

“Cassandra!”

I struggled to open my eyes. To keep them open as they fluttered, heat stinging them. Something was in my eyes and the thought caused a terrifying shudder to rip through me. I raised my hand to wipe whatever it was away, it was hopeless. My hand was there, I knew it was, I could slowly feel the tingly in my fingers but the limb was too heavy to lift.

“Try to stay still, miss.” A man’s soothing voice relieved some of my torment. I closed my eyes, praying the pain would end soon.

Hands were on me, tugging something around my chest. Something stiff was wrapped around my neck. Fear bubbled up inside me, I wanted up; away from what was happening to my body.

“Cassandra!”

That voice from seconds earlier was back. Logan. I thought it had been a dream. But it was Logan, he was there. I pushed up to go to him, but I couldn’t move, instead a sharp pain tore through my back. My mouth fell open, and a pathetic ghost of a scream poured out.

“Cassandra!” Logan’s voice was a deep growl. Louder than before. I focused on it, willing it to come closer

“Damn it! Let me through!”

“Sir, you need to stand back! Sir! Sir!”

A man yelled behind me, but all I wanted was Logan. His touch, his words, his everything. Nothing else mattered.

“Get the fuck out of my way!”

Someone dropped beside me on the pavement. I struggled to look through the corner of my eye, but my vision was distorted. There was nothing to see other than the outline of a dark figure hovering over me.

“Sweetheart…”

I felt his familiar cool fingers on my cheek, tender and soft, barely grazing my skin. I closed my eyes, peaceful. He would make this better. Make the pain go away.

“What have I done—” He gasped and suddenly all I could feel and smell was Logan. His hand was in mine, squeezing it, and trembling. Then as if he could read my mind, I felt the soft touch of what I dreamed were his lips on my forehead.

“Sir, we need to get her to the hospital.” Someone said, and I used every ounce of strength I had to hold onto his hand.

“I’m sorry, sir, but you can follow us.”

I tried to reach my other hand out, not wanting him to go, but it remained limp at my side.

“I’ll be with you, sweetheart. I promise, Cassandra, you’re going to be just fine. I’m going to make this right.” His voice was broken and weak as he released my hand.

Hot tears slid down my cheeks as his reassurances slowly faded into the background, into the darkness that consumed me once again.

Chapter Twenty-Six

—Logan—

Waiting

“I’m riding with her,” I demanded, watching Cassandra pass by me on the gurney and into the back of the ambulance. She was broken and bloodied, and I was to blame.

She was supposed to be with me, in my arms, safe and sound. Everything had gotten so far off course. I wanted to tell her how I felt tonight, hold her, and convince her I could be a better man. The man she deserved. Instead, I let Natasha get in my head. Just like old times, the damn woman knew how to knock me down.

Four years of hating her, hating myself for ever trusting her, for wanting to make her my wife. When Natasha left, I wanted nothing more than to fuck and drink anything I could get my hands on. To forget the pain that I wasn’t enough for her.

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