When I Was Yours (Page 55)

“I don’t want to lose you,” I whisper, my eyes filling with tears again.

He closes his eyes, letting out a long breath, before opening them again. “You don’t really have me—not in the way that matters, not in the way that you used to.”

I know he’s not saying it to hurt me or to be cruel. He’s saying it because it’s the truth.

And fuck does the truth hurt.

A tear runs down my cheek, onto my lip, and into my mouth. I rub my face with my hand. Adam’s eyes track the movement.

“I’m not over you, Evie. I don’t think I ever will be. But I can’t be with you because I don’t trust you, and I don’t forgive you for leaving me the way you did.”

“I’m so sorry for leaving you. You have to know that by now.”

“I do know. I believe you when you say it. But how can I be with you, when I’ll just be waiting for the day you walk out the door? I can’t put myself through that again. I just can’t.” He takes a step away from me as his arms wrap around his chest, like he’s shielding himself from me.

“I’m not going anywhere, Adam. I’m here to stay. Forever.”

“Nothing’s forever. You taught me that.”

“That’s not true. And I’m not leaving again. I promise. I won’t leave you ever again.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“I swear to you.” I’m pleading. What else can I do?

“You swore those exact words to me once before, in front of a minister, so to me, Evie, right now, your words mean shit.”

I feel frustrated and lost. I don’t know how to make him believe me, so I decide to just go for broke and tell him exactly how I feel.

“I love you,” I say. “I never stopped, not for one second.”

His eyes close, like he’s in pain. “Don’t…”

I climb off the bed, taking the sheet with me. I stand before him. “It’s the truth. I love you. I love you so much.”

“You don’t get to say that to me!” His eyes flick open, lit with anger again, and he steps back from me. “You have no fucking right to do this!” He turns away, his head in his hands, breathing heavy.

I want to touch him, hold him, but I know without a doubt that he’ll push me away, and I can’t handle any more rejection from him right now. I already feel like I’m falling to pieces.

Adam pulls in a shuddering deep breath. Lowering his hands from his face, he turns back to me.

“You’re killing me, Evie.” His voice is agonized. “You’re like a bullet lodged in my chest, and I can’t get you out. And you’re killing me. Slowly. So, I’m begging you…either tell me the truth—tell me why you left, and I’ll see if it’s something I can get past, see if we can move forward together, so I can try to learn to trust you again—or just…just fucking let me go. Please. Because I can’t keep doing this with you.”

My chest closes up, taking all my air with it.

I start to panic.

I feel trapped.

Because when you’ve held something in for as long as I have, keeping it a secret, it’s hard to let it out, to finally tell the truth.

Fear of the unknown keeps those words locked up tight inside of me.

I fear his reaction. I fear that he won’t see the rational side of what I did, that he’ll only see the betrayal.

I did what I had to back then, but will he see it that way?

My fear is that he won’t. And I don’t want to lose him.

But aren’t I going to lose him anyway?

Sinking down on the edge of the bed, I curl my fingers around the mattress, and I close my eyes, pushing more tears down my face. My lips are sealed tightly together as I contemplate.

But my silence is too long.

And he takes that as my answer.

Because when I open my eyes back up, he’s gone, and the bedroom door is swinging shut in his wake.

And this time, I don’t follow him.

“What about surfing?” I say, propping my feet up on the dashboard.

We’re driving back home from Vegas, in the final stretch of our journey, and we’re talking about Adam’s options now that he’s staying in Malibu because he’s, you know, my husband.

I stop the squeal of delight from slipping out.

“What about it?” Adam glances momentarily from the road to me.

“Well, you said before that, when you were younger, you wanted to be a pro surfer. And you’re good, Adam, really good. I know Grady would help you get started, get you talking to the right people. You could begin entering local competitions, start building up your name.”

I see his mind working as he stares at the road ahead.

“You really think I could do it?”

“I think you can do anything you put your mind to.”

“I’d have to work another job while I’m doing it ’cause the winnings would be small, if any at all.”

“I’m working full-time now, and I’ll be able to pick up extra shifts if I need to, so you don’t need to worry too much.”

Now school is over, I’m full-time at Grady’s, and I know if I ask Grady for extra shifts, he’ll work something out for me.

“My woman is not keeping me,” he says in a silly caveman voice. “I keep my woman.”

“You’re a tool!” I laugh.

“Yeah, but I’m your tool.”

“Yeah, you are,” I say softly, looking down at my ring.

I’ve spent a lot of time staring at my wedding ring since Adam put it on my finger two days ago.

After we got married, we stayed in Vegas the next day, a mini-honeymoon kind of thing. Adam wanted to spend the whole day in our hotel room, having sex, but I managed to get some clothes on him for a few hours, so we could do something. There’s not much to do in Vegas when you’re too young to gamble and drink, so we ended up going to Adventuredome, which was really fun. Then, after Adventuredome, we came back to the hotel. We ordered room service for dinner and spent the rest of the night in bed, having sex, lots of it—not that I’m complaining. I’ve also learned that calling Adam my husband gets him hard, like instantly. Got to say though, hearing him call me his wife turns me on just the same.

I glance up, seeing the sign for Malibu.

Almost home.

Almost time to tell Dad that I’m married.

My stomach twists into one big knot. I’m nervous as hell to tell Dad.

“What are you thinking about?” Adam asks me.

“Me, you, us. Telling Dad we got married.” I move my eyes to him.

“Does your dad have a gun?” He glances at me.

“No,” I answer, laughing.

“Good. I can take an ass-kicking, but there’s no coming back from a bullet wound.”

“He won’t kick your ass. He only has one good working arm, remember?”

He gives me a serious look. “You only need one arm to throw a punch, babe.”

“True.” I laugh again. “But I know my dad. He’s more of a lover than a fighter. I think he’ll probably be shocked. Then, he’ll be mad that I lied to him about where I was going. But I think once we get past the all of that, it’ll be okay.” I’m not sure who I’m trying to convince here, Adam or myself. “When were you thinking of telling your parents?” I ask him.