Chapter one.

Dr. Brown walked into the quiet room and asked to speak with my mother and Rex privately.

While I sat there alone with him I told him all of the things I could have never said had his eyes been on me. “I love the way you look at me when you tell me that you love me. And I love the face you make when I go too fast on the highway. I love the way you tuck my hair behind my ear right before you kiss my lips. I love the way you smell when you take me into your arms and our bodies touch. I love how passionate you are and how when I make myself vulnerable to you, you always do the right thing. I love the way your hands feel when their holding mine. I love that after all these years of together, you still open my car door for me. I’ll never forget the time we ran away to Canada together or all the times we cuddled and talked until the morning sun rose. I love how you are something I thought I’d never find…”

I heard footsteps behind me so I shyly quieted down. When I turned around I could see the regret in Rex’s eyes. He looked at Nate and I before he began to speak.

“Linley, Nate is very hurt…”

There was a long pause and I wasn’t sure what to say but Rex spoke again. “If he makes it through the night, we’ll be lucky.”

I felt as though I’d been stabbed, like my heart had stopped working and I began to feel light headed. I knew that this couldn’t end well, just by looking at Nate, but no matter how true my head knew the reality was, my heart didn’t understand.

My head started buzzing with sickening thoughts. I didn’t want to lose my new fiancé after three years of being together, not now. Not now, as we were beginning our life together as adults, on our own. Not now, weeks before graduation and our last summer before college. Not now, as our lives were finally becoming what we’d always wanted. Not now.

Rex said, “Why don’t you slide into bed with him. That’s where he’d want you to be. We’ll come back if anything else changes.”

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