I knew more about her for never having spoken to her. We didn't need to. Because the way she looked at me sometimes, that said it all. She wanted me. She didn't mind that I'd stop by her apartment late, or that I'd watch her sleep, buried under her gray blanket, while the stars strung around her room blinked on and off to the rhythm of her breathing.


26. Avery

I should have screamed. But if I had, he would have hurt me. Maybe even killed me. So I kept my mouth shut. I'd seen enough movies to know that Adam was unhinged, and I had been too blind to see it.

And Devon was right. She knew what he'd done, and yet she was still alive.

"Why is she still alive?" I asked, my voice shaking.

"Who?" Adam mused, walking faster.


He stopped and looked at me, and I saw the man I'd met weeks ago. But he wasn't that man anymore—had never actually been. I was just too stupid to notice.

And now I was probably going to die because of that.

"She had her suspicions," he answered finally. "But I helped her realize they weren't true."

I did it for you. Because I love you.

"That's not love," I muttered angrily. "You don't love me. You're obsessed with me. There's a difference."

His eyes flicked to me. "I love you, Avery. And you love me. I knew it the first time we met six months ago. God, the way you looked at me after you served me my coffee. You wanted me too."

I felt sick.

"I don't," I said. "I'm sorry, Adam."

His voice tightened, and he glared at me. "You've been playing me? That's not very nice." He grabbed my hair, twisting it painfully until I cried out. "You fucking bitch," he hissed.

Then pain exploded in my head, where his fist collided with my temple, and black dotted my vision.

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