“I hate you. I’m done. Put your own groceries away and give me some ice.”
I stick out my tongue. “You love me and you’re just pissy because you’re sex deprived.” I hand her a bag of frozen peas.
She leans in my direction and hisses. “No, I’m pissy because Rhett eats my pussy like a god and suddenly decided he doesn’t want to anymore!”
I suck in a breath so hard my saliva shoots down my windpipe. “Jesus,” I croak, choking on my spit. “Oh, my god, shut up!”
“I know,” she responds miserably. “This is what happens to me. I find a guy, we have the most amazing, mind-blowing sex, and then they disappear. I’m not that crazy, am I?” She must see the look on my face, because she adds, “Don’t answer that. Rhetorical question.”
“I think the problem is you find all sex mind-blowingly-amazing and get attached.”
She shrugs. “What can I say?”
I stuff what feels like eighteen bags of Doritos in my cabinet when a spontaneous idea comes to me. I feel it so strongly in my gut that my hand freezes mid-air, clutching the bag so hard I’m sure it will pop. “Hey, so… crazy idea.” Instead of putting it away, I drop the chips to the counter.
“What’s that?” Kiersten stops inspecting her toe to look up. I’m a shit actress, but I try my best to be nonchalant.
“Maybe you should go on a date with Nathan.”
Her eyebrows crease a little and her mouth twists to the side. She pulls the corners down, then gives a quick shrug. “Yeah, maybe. He’s cute.”
“Really? Want me to nudge him in your direction?”
She grins and sticks out her hand. “Nah. I like to play with my mouse before I eat it.”
Of course she does. Reaching down, I grip her hand and help her up, taking the peas from her and putting them back in the freezer.
“Now that the groceries are put away, whatchya making for dinner?”
I roll my eyes. “Seriously, if you don’t get in touch with Nathan, I’m doing it for you. You’d be so less annoying if you were somebody’s girlfriend. At least you could annoy them instead of me.”
Kiersten opens her mouth to defend herself, but a knock sounds at the door. “Is that who I think it is?”
The same thought crosses my mind seeing as she’s here, Nathan and I still aren’t exactly BFF’s again, and the only other person who’d show up unannounced would be Law. Immediately, my earlier ire resurfaces. “It sure as hell better not be.”
A buzzing begins in my ears, and my hands curls into fists. I don’t want to be angry with him. We’ve had enough arguments to last a lifetime. It’s just if I have to pick an emotion to show him anger is the safest. If he wants nothing to do with me, then I don’t want to show him I care. That I’ve been worried about his disappearance. Vulnerability is a weapon, and I’m determined not to let him hurt me again.
I check the peephole, in control enough not to go pissed-off-momma-bear on some unsuspecting girl sc
outs, and inhale sharply at what I see.
A hand braced on either side of the doorway, Law stands on my porch with his head hanging between his arms. As if he senses me watching him, he looks up. Anguish scores through me at the raw, red rims of his eyes and the purple circles beneath them.
“Open the damn door, Cami.” His voice pleads raggedly and barely controlled.
I lower from my tip toes and flip the locks. Footsteps pad down the hall, and the unmistakable clunk of Evelyn’s crutches follows, but I don’t look in that direction. My only focus is getting that door open before my heart squeezes so tightly that it stops.
The door flies open, and a blast of icy air hits me.
Law’s hands drops from the wood frame. He takes a step forward. That is all he gets before Evelyn bursts past at a speed that isn’t conducive to her safety and slams into him. No hesitation, he wraps her up tight in his arms.
I hold it together. Barely. From my peripheral, I can see Kiersten trying to catch my eye, but looking at her would have me falling apart. I keep it in check by clenching my jaw and staring straight ahead. This moment would have been a lot sweeter if I knew where I stood with Law. Seeing as I don’t, it simply cuts deep.
They exchange words that are too quiet for me to hear, and when they come apart, Evelyn is smiling. That doesn’t hurt so much as it’s bittersweet. My throat goes dry.
“Um, Evelyn and I were just going to get some ice cream. Do either of you want anything?” Kiersten interjects.
“Yeah, mom. Russell’s has this new triple chocolate ganache if you want to try it.” Evelyn pipes in excitedly.