Say You Won't Let Go (Page 17)
Her breath hitches. “Do you really want to see this, Cooper? Is that what you want? You want me to hurt you?”
My heart pounds against my ribs and two words stick out. “See what?”
“Look.” Emily sighs. “I…I didn’t want to… It just happened…”
“Just say it,” I say through gritted teeth.
If this is what I think it is, I’m going to lose my mind. I get to my feet and start to pace because deep in my gut I feel it. This is going to fucking kill me.
After a few seconds of silence, she clears her throat. “I have feelings for someone else.”
Rage consumes me. Every part of me wants to explode and release the fury that builds inside. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
My breathing is heavy, and I grip the edge of the door.
“It just happened. It’s been buildin’ for a while, and tonight, it finally came to a head.”
“Just happened?” I let out a sarcastic laugh.
“Cooper…” Emily’s voice is barely a whisper. “Please, I didn’t want to hurt you. I really didn’t. I’m so sorry!”
That’s just fucking perfect. I really don’t give a shit if she’s sorry. An hour ago, she told me she loved me. Three hours ago, we were videoing about how much we wanted to be together. All of it was a lie. This whole time, I’ve been worried sick about her and she’s going behind my back?
“I thought you were different.” I hear the defeat in my voice. “I thought you were the one. I guess I was wrong.”
She lets out a heavy cry, and I’m being torn apart. I want to comfort her, but she’s the one breaking me. “I swear it wasn’t like that.” Emily cries harder. “I wanted us to work, but it was like it wasn’t my choice.”
I’ve known this girl my whole life, and she doesn’t do anything she doesn’t want to do. “Who is it?” I ask, needing to know.
Emily falls quiet.
“You owe me that much!” My palm hitting the wall sends out a loud echo.
I hear her sniffle as she struggles to catch her breath. I imagine her blue eyes being red rimmed, her blonde hair falling around her face, and I tighten my fist. She was mine. I would’ve given her the world, and now I’ve lost her to someone else.
“Please,” she pleads. “Please don’t make me say it.”
Do I want to hurt her? No. But I’ve been here before. I was the loser in the last relationship because Grace chose another man. Emily is supposed to be my happy ending. She is the girl who chose me.
“I want to know his name. Is it Luke? Is it Vince?” I taunt. “Who is the guy you’re willing to throw away all we were buildin’ for? Who could you have possibly met that could love you, protect you, and be there for you the way I will?”
Nothing in the world could prepare me for the next word out of her mouth. “Wade.”
* * * *
“No,” Grace says as she tries to convince me I misunderstood. “She loves you. I know she does.”
Why I came here, I’ll never know. I hung up the phone, threw it against the wall, and watched it shatter in dozens of pieces.
I grabbed my keys and drove. Somehow, I ended up at my ex’s house with her husband staring at me with a grin.
Grace takes my hand in hers. “I don’t know what’s goin’ on with her, but I know Emily, and this isn’t like her. She’s never been in love, Cooper. She’s always kept herself so distant from men, but with you, she allowed herself to open up. I can’t see her throwing that away, not for some guy she just met.”
If only that were the case, but she clearly doesn’t give a shit. My lifelong friend and the girl I hired him to protect. I’m at a complete loss.
“History repeating itself again,” I mutter.
“You know it wasn’t that way for us.”
She’s right. For Grace and me, it was never going to work. I knew that from day one, but I had to try. I thought maybe I could give her what she wanted that Trent wouldn’t. Presley warned me early on that Grace’s heart was never mine to win, but I refused to listen.
I knew it, and in retrospect, it was never her. It was Emily, but I had been too chicken to ever admit that.
Emily was the girl that I looked at but never really saw.
I’d been too scared to look. I knew if I did, she would own me, and I was right.
I get to my feet and look at the ceiling. “How the hell is this happening? How could Wade, of all people, do this to me?”
“You don’t know anything at this point,” Grace reminds me.
I have no phone so there’s no way of getting a hold of Wade now.
Trent starts to laugh quietly. Is he for real? He’s laughing at this. I swear to God, he and I may be cool, but his arrogance sometimes pisses me off.
“What the hell are you laughing at?”
The oldest Hennington brother gets to his feet and chuckles. “Karma, man.”
“Trent!” Grace admonishes him.
“No.” His eyes cut to mine. “It sucks when your friend moves in on the girl you love, right? You feel ten times more betrayed. You feel like every part of you is suddenly disconnected. Losing her is bad enough, but losing her to someone you trust…it’s brutal, huh?”
“That was different,” I defend. Grace left him before she and I had any kind of relationship.
He rolls his eyes as he gets to his feet. “You may not want to hear this, but it wasn’t different for me. Whatever way you spun goin’ after Grace in your head, it wasn’t justifiable to me.”
Grace stands, placing her hand on Trent’s forearm. “That was years ago, and we’ve all long since buried the hatchet.”
Seems someone is ready to chop wood again.
He releases a heavy sigh. “I’m not mad, I’m just clueing him in a little.”
“Thanks for that.” My sarcasm is thick.
Grace lets out a groan as her head falls back. “Men!”
Trent grips my shoulder and clamps down. “Listen, I’m not tryin’ to drudge up old shit. I got the girl, I’m not pissed.”
Once again, the urge to clock him is real. “Are you always this fucking helpful?”
“Pretty much. My question is this… Do you love her?”
With everything inside me.
“Would you do anything for her?”
I don’t hesitate. “Yes.”
Trent nods. “Including the fight of your life? Are you willin’ to go to war to get your girl? Will you put all your stupid bullshit aside for her? Because that’s what all this talk has been, Coop. Bullshit. You’re talkin’ about Wade this and that, but when I lost Grace, I went insane. I saw her slippin’ away, and I manned the fuck up.” He wraps his arm around Grace’s waist, pulling her against his side. “I told you that night that you had no idea how I felt, and now you do. The question is… What are you goin’ to do about it?”
“You have to get up,” Wade says while banging on my door. “It’s been two days since you’ve gotten out of bed.”
I don’t care. I’ll stay here until I feel like living again. Besides, when we’re driving and waiting for the next show, what does it matter anyway?
My phone lies on my bed with no missed calls. No returned text messages. Nothing from Cooper.
I did exactly what I was supposed to do, and now, I’d like to stay in my little hole. Now I understand why Presley and Grace were so damn miserable. Broken hearts hurt more than broken bones.
The pain is indescribable. It’s like a living thing inside my heart, turning everything cold and dark. I was smart to avoid this shit.
Another knock. “Emily, I’m letting Ginny in,” Wade says.
Great, this should be epically fun.
“Emily Young, you get your skinny ass out of this bed right the hell now!” Ginny says as she throws the door open.
“Go away.” I pull the covers back over my head.
“Get up!” The blanket is gone, and she’s gripping my ankle, yanking me down the bed. “I did not bust my ass to get Luke to put you on this tour, just to have you throw it all away. You’re going to be a goddamn professional and get your ass on that stage, so help me God.”
Doesn’t she see the pain I’m in? There must be a gaping hole where my heart used to be, because it’s gone.
“I can’t sing. I can’t breathe!” I sit up and tears start to form.
“I can see that you’re a mess, but no one gives a shit. You want a chance in this business?”
Right now, I really don’t give a shit.
Wade leans against the door, watching this go down. “You’re some bodyguard. I’m being physically assaulted and you just stand there?”
“Yeah, Ginny is really doing a number on you by making you get up and shower.” He takes a bite of his apple. “That’s a real threat to your safety. Plus, you’re supposed to be paying my salary so you need to work. I’m doing what’s in my best interest.”
He’s telling the truth, though. Yesterday, he told me he’s adding two additional members to the overall team. They’ll be in charge of personal effects and focus on ensuring no one can access my bus especially. While I was hosting my pity party, Wade installed security cameras in my bus so we know if anyone manages to get past outside security. Then, he’s talking about bringing another member from McKay-Taggart since Luke’s security team is clearly a bunch of idiots. His words, not mine.