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.


28. Avery

My head ached, and there was a coppery taste in my mouth. I opened my eyes and noticed I was on the couch in my apartment. But I was startled when I heard breathing next to me.

"You're awake," a voice said. "Good. I thought I hit you too hard. I'm glad I didn't."


He moved toward me and I backed away. He touched my face and my stomach rolled. He said my name and I hated him.

"Please," he whispered, and pressed his lips to my ear. "You don't know what it's like to love someone so completely that you would do anything for them."

"No," I told him, my voice shaking. "I don't." I shut my eyes. "I do not love you, Adam."

When he struck me again, I didn't make a sound. I heard him slip off the couch, heard him pacing, groaning, muttering to himself. He was frantic.

I opened my eyes, and he looked at me with empty eyes.

"He told me to hurt them," he whispered. "Because they were in the way. In our way." His smile looked sad. "He told me if I did that, we could be together."

I swallowed, his next words catching me off guard.

"But he lied."

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