Breaking Love Page 14

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I ran as far and fast as I could. No matter how far I got, it never felt safe enough. I still felt Dash’s gaze watching, accusing and assessing. Before I knew it, I was halfway home. There were at least five or six miles between Dash’s parents and mine. My lungs screamed from overuse and my legs burned with ache, but I couldn’t recognize it. I only wanted to feel safe again.

There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.

I walked the remaining two or three miles until I finally made it home. My mother’s beat up car with the faded brown paint sat in the driveway

“Where have you been? I went to the bus stop, but you weren’t there. What happened to your clothes?”

My mom had followed me from the front door, up the stairs, to my old bedroom with her usual rant of questions, never letting me get a word in. Charles had offered a curt greeting but didn’t bother to move from his perch in front of the television, as usual.

“I fell, Mom.”

“But where were you?”

“Where were you?” I snapped. My tone was harsh and unforgiving. Over and over since running from the Chambers Mansion, I thought if she had for once put us first, I never would have laid eyes on Dash or the rest of them again.

“Well, if you were going to stay out this late in the day, you shouldn’t have come at all. What if Charles had been asleep while you come in here with all your ruckus? You know he has trouble sleeping once he’s awake.”

“Come again?”

“You should have just stayed wherever you were instead of bothering us with your nonsense.”

I gritted my teeth and blew out my anger through my nose while praying for patience. “You are the one who insisted I come, remember?”

“Well, what kind of daughter would not visit her parents during the holidays? I don’t know what kind of life you’re leading—only God knows what you’re into these days—but I will not be disrespected.”

“Yes, Mother.” I falsely admitted defeat. I learned early on not to go round for round with my mother.

“Sis?” The deep and now manly voice of my little brother, who was no longer a pimple faced squirt, drifted down from the top of the stairs. I hadn’t seen him in six months, and if possible, he had grown even bigger. His dirty blond locks gave him a boyish appeal, but the rest of him had grown into an adult.

“Buddy, hi!” I ignored my mom and moved up the stairs to give my brother a hug. He enveloped me with his large arms and spun me around.

“You’ve been here for sixty seconds and you’re already at war with Mom.”

“Yeah, I’m looking to break records. What are you still doing here? I thought you would have high tailed it back to school by now.” Buddy’s visits were usually as short as mine were. Our mother was unbearable on a good day, and neither one of us had ever been close to Charles.

“Mom said you were coming, and I couldn’t say no to seeing my little big sister.” He ruffled my hair playfully, and I fought to get away.

“That’s sweet. So the girls aren’t back on campus yet, huh?’

“Not any who are attractive. I’m out of here tomorrow, but speaking of unattractive girls, what happened to you?”

I punched his arm and grumbled, “I fell.”

“How? You look terrible.”

“It’s not important. Why don’t you catch me up on school and your latest conquests?”



I SHOULDN’T HAVE let her go. The thought stayed on constant replay in my head, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her since she walked away last night.

I wanted her with fierceness, and it wasn’t until a few hours ago that I decided I would have her.

First, I had to find her.

I stared out the window at the city below and wondered where she’d been all these years. The real head scratcher was why she suddenly resurfaced. I could only assume she had been visiting her parents who had claimed to not be in contact with her either.

Either that was a lie, or they were in for the shock of their life as well, because it wasn’t long ago that I began to entertain the thought of her being dead though my heart wouldn’t allow me to mourn her.

The phone in my home office rang and a quick glance showed it was the line reserved for my father’s security detail who was now employed by me.


“It didn’t take much,” Fisher, my head of security, began immediately. “We tracked her to her mother’s house as you expected. She has just left now.”

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