A TiNLiD chapter from Cole's POV.

WARNING: NOT EDITED.

I’ve been a ball of nerves since the cabbie dropped me off in Hyde Park. Why? I don’t know. I’ve
played this out in my head over a million times. I’ll knock on the door, see her, act like she’s not there
and chill with Aubry. It shouldn’t be too difficult, it’s not like I haven’t seen her or anything. The only
difference is that she won’t have Becky and I won’t have Greg to keep me distracted. Aubry will
probably be a dick and purposely blow me off so that I can talk to her. He’s been trying to conspire for us to get together somehow, but neither of us want anything to do with it. I’m pissed at her for being pissed at me for fucking Sasha that time at Duke. I know I’m an asshole and that was a dumb move, but fuck, that was over three years ago. She needs to get over that shit already.

I take the stairs two at a time and knock on the door. I’ve been here twice before and both times she’s been out of town with her bum ass boyfriends. I know she’s still with that swimmer dude that I’ve never met, and Aubry’s enthusiasm for their relationship makes me want to rip his head off. I’m about to knock again when the door opens causing me to slowly raise my eyes from the floor. I take in her curvy tanned legs in the tiny maroon shorts and short white shirt she’s wearing that leaves very little to the imagination. For a second I forget that I’ve lost the privilege to cup her breasts in my hand, and I step forward.

She takes a step back, her stormy gray eyes snapping to mine. “What are you doing here?” she asks as she plays with the hem of her shirt. I take an annoyed breath, mostly because it pisses me off that I can’t rip it off of her without getting kicked in the nuts.

“Visiting.” I snap. “Aubry home?” “Yes,” she replies with wide eyes and steps out of my way.

When I step through the threshold of the apartment, I breathe in the scent of her flowery hair and close my eyes. For a moment, I’m in my happy place. For a moment, I’m home.

When I open them back up and I see her turn to go back to her room, I panic and I try to think of something, anything, to make her stay. “You look different,” I say quickly and inwardly roll my eyes. Idiot. She stops mid-step and turns back around. I take a moment to check her out again and revel in the sight of her shiver.

 “Thanks, I guess,” she says nonchalantly. “I liked your hair long.”

I smile at that because I like that she finally pointed it out, even if it is bittersweet. I decide to tell her why I cut it to begin with when a tall guy with brown short hair steps out of her room. My jaw begins to grind on it’s own accord the minute his arm drapes her shoulder.

“Zack,” he says with a nod before he leans down and buries his face in her neck. I read the other day that it takes 42 muscles to frown, and right now it’s taking me about 442 not to yank his body off of hers. What kind of a loser introduces themselves like that anyway?

“Cole,” I reply with the same amount of enthusiasm in my voice. I tighten my fists close to my body to make sure that I don’t do anything stupid. It’s not like he’s done anything wrong, it’s her boyfriend. That’s what I have to tell myself to calm the hell down.

Thankfully, Aubry finally decided to grow a pair and finally step out of his room.

“Yo, I didn’t hear you get here,” he says before giving me a hug. I raise an eyebrow at his lying ass because I know damn well he’s been eaves dropping on us the entire time. He’s such a nosy prick. 

“Yeah, I got here a few minutes ago. Was catching up with Cowboy,” I reply. 

“Cool. You met Zack?” he asks amused.

“Sure did,” I reply, my eyes locked on Blake’s. I hungrily run my eyes down her body one last time before bringing them back up to her face and smirk when I see her shiver and gape at me. I look at Zack, certain that he’s glaring at me, and raise an eyebrow at him when my suspicion is confirmed. I would love for this smug bastard to say anything at all to me so I can actually have a reason to get rid of him.  

“Z, I have to finish my paper, so I can’t go anywhere tonight. I’ll call you tomorrow after class,” Blake says quietly, turning her body into him, which makes me want to drag her away even more. Zack looks at her and touches her face.

“Or I can stay here,” he says suggestively.

 “I have to turn in this paper tomorrow,” Blake says, clearly dismissing him.

How stupid is this creep? And why the hell am I standing here watching them? At least I know I’m not the only uninvited audience member. Aubry is leaning against the counter watching as intently as I am, though I think he’s watching for a different reason. Zack pulls Blake to him and leans in to give her the longest goodbye kiss in the history of goodbye kisses. Trust me, I know, I’m standing here watching this shit. The worst part is that I know he’s doing it on purpose because he knows I want her, and still I can’t control myself. I take a couple of calming breaths so I don’t step forward or do something embarrassing like growl.

The cocksucker finally steps away from her and waves at Aubry and I, giving me a huge smile. I swear if it weren’t for Aubry I’d tell him to have fun jacking off while I help myself to the real thing, even though I know it would be bullshit, but he doesn’t need to know that.
The minute he walks out, cocksucker number two starts laughing hysterical.

“Oh man,” Aubry says in between laughs. “That was so wrong, yet so right.”

“Karma’s a bitch,” Blake says with a sexy smirk that makes me forget why Aubry is even laughing at my expense.

I watch her sexy ass sway as she walks to her room, and it’s only when she shuts the door behind her and I look back at a still laughing Aubry that I realize what their words mean. Fucking skank ass Sasha. What the hell was I thinking? Twice! Well, I know what the hell I was thinking, but damn it. I should’ve never agreed to see her again after that time in Duke. Looking back on it now, I’m pretty sure the kiss at the mall fucked me up with Blake even more than the party incident. It didn’t matter that I left the mall right after Blake and Becky did. It didn’t matter that I tried to apologize a million times to her, because Becky was holding her hostage most of that trip. It didn’t matter that I bought her flowers every day for the remainder of the time we were there, or that I got her an upside down tomato tree for Christmas that year. It didn’t matter that I named three stars after her (really, I still have the stupid papers). It didn’t matter that I wrote her two letters...well, that’s because I never gave those to her. It didn’t matter that I ordered her favorite pizza, got her a Home Alone framed classic movie poster.

Nothing mattered because nothing that I did to apologize was good enough. She wouldn’t even answer my phone calls or emails after we left back to school. She sat next to me at the airport waiting for her flight and completely ignored the shit out of me for the full hour before she boarded the plane. She had even made it a point to flirt with the guy sitting beside her. Not cool.

“Dude, are you gonna stand there and glare at her door all night or you wanna go eat something?” Aubry asks snapping me out of my daze.

“Nah, let’s go,” I reply shaking my head. “Oh shit. I forgot to bring my bag inside.”

Aubry laughs. “Of course you did, Cowboy opened the door for you.”

 “Whatever,” I grumble. “I hope nobody took my shit.”

Aubry and I go to Jimmy John’s with his annoying girlfriend Megan, who’s telling us about some party going on tomorrow night. A few seconds after we get our food, a couple of her sorority sisters join us.  

“How long are you here for?” the blonde one beside me, Ashley, asks.

“Just the weekend,” I reply before taking a bite of my sub.

 “Ohh, a lot can get done in one weekend,” she replies fluttering her lashes.

Normally, I’d flirt back, but I can’t get rid of the image of Blake and Zack making out. I look at Ashley’s face as I chew and weigh out my options. She’s pretty, her blonde hair is straight and short, up to her shoulders. A lot shorter than I prefer, but whatever. She has tiny brown freckles on her cheeks and nose, which give her the cute girl next door vibe. Her eyes are blue and innocent looking, but the little sparkle in them tell me otherwise. I can go back to this girl’s place tonight and get a guaranteed lay. OR, I can go back to Blake’s place and get ignored and be miserable for the rest of the night.

Shortly after we finished eating, Aubry and I walked back to his apartment. The Ashley girl gave me her number and asked me to call her tomorrow so we could go to the party together. I’m not planning on using it, if I see her there fine, if I don’t that’s fine too. Really, I’m hoping Blake ditches her loser boyfriend and goes with us Maybe if she gets drunk I have a higher chance of being forgiven. She’s usually nicer when she drinks, anyway.

When we get to the apartment, Aubry announces that he’s going to shower, so I take the chance to knock on Blake’s door.

“What?” she shouts.

“Open the door, please,” I respond.

“Cole, go away. I have too much homework to do, and I’m not up for your bullshit.”

I smile, even though she can’t see me. God, that attitude of hers does shit to me. “Just let me in. I won’t bother you,” I say, even though I’m full of shit. If she let’s me in, she’s fucked, and hopefully will get fucked. Ugh. I need to stop picturing that.

“You’re bothering me now. Go. Away.”

“Please, Blake.” I fucking hate that I have to beg this girl to open the goddamn door for me. I swear, she’s the only person on earth that I’d waste my time on. I just wish she wasn’t so fucking infuriating.  

“Why don’t you walk around the building? You might find a girl willing to keep you company. Actually, I’m quite positive that you’ll find one.”

I take a deep breath and close my eyes trying to calm myself before I punch the wall. Of course she would say some shit like that to me. If I wasn’t so stupidly in love with this girl, I’d call the Ashley chick right now, but I know Blake is expecting me to do some shit like that and I refuse to prove her right.

“Blake...please.” Silence. “Blake? Can you please just let me in?” Silence. “Fuck,” I mutter before I slap her door.

When she doesn’t respond or open it, I sit on the couch and turn on the TV.

“Cowboy didn’t open?” Aubry asks from behind.

“She’s in one of her bitchy moods,” I reply.

 He laughs. “One of them?”

 “Whatever, she’s being a bitch,” I state correcting myself. “Maybe she didn’t eat.”

 Aubry laughs again. “If you think that has anything to do with lack of eating, you are more whipped than you know.”

 “Fuck you,” I mumble before turning off the TV and getting up with a stretch. “I’m so tired.”

 “So go to sleep. You need help moving the table and shit?” he asks.

 I shoot him a confused look. “What? I’m sleeping with Blake.”

 “She’s not gonna let you share a bed with her, asshole,” he responds. “Sleep on the couch.”

 “Fuck that. I’m sleeping with her. I don’t care if I have to wait for her ass right here,” I announce sliding down to the floor right in front of her door.  

“You’re fucking crazy,” he says shaking his head.

 “Old news,” I reply. “Good night.”

 “‘Night, bro. Love you.”

 “You too,” I say with a yawn. “Oh shit, you talk to mom?”

 “Earlier, why?”

 “Did she tell you about some guy calling her and asking her weird questions?”

 His eyebrows knit together. “What kind of weird questions?”

 “I don’t know, shit like, are you adopted legally, am I, is Blake, shit like that?”

 “Who the fuck would call to ask that?” Aubry asks tensely.

 I shrug. “Don’t know, but I told her I wanna make it legal.”

 Aubry smiles slowly. “No shit? For real?”

 “Yeah. Not changing my name or anything, but what the fuck? She’s the only mother I’ve ever known anyway,” I reply with a smile of my own.

 “That would make us brothers,” he says smiling.

 “We’re already brothers, douchebag. It would just be legal. We’ll see, though, I’m already twenty-two and I’ve got a hell of a loan to pay off. I don’t know if it would be a smart move. I think she was happy I even mentioned her though.”

 He tilts his head. “Of course she was. Anyway, goodnight. I’m tired as fuck.”

I nod after him and lay down on my back.

 “Cole,” I hear at a distance. It sounds like Blake, but I grumble my response because I’m too exhausted to say anything. “Cole,” she repeats and I feel her jab my ribs.

My eyes pop open and I sit up quickly, banging my head against hers in the process. She stands up and walks to her room, and I get up and follow quickly before she locks me out again. This seems to be the story of our lives, me trying to get in, her locking me out. I start stripping down to my boxers slowly, hoping to catch her looking at me, but of course she doesn’t. I settle down beside her and get as close to her body as I can, but not close enough that she’ll tell me to move.

 “Stay on your side,” she snaps as she leans over to turn off the lamp.

I laugh and she moves over as far away from me as she can without falling off. I let out a breath and shake my head in disbelief. It makes me want to reach over and pull her body against mine, but I settle with being in the same bed as her.

As I drift back to sleep I wonder if she ever lets that douchebag of a boyfriend of hers stay here. The next morning, wake up when I hear her phone ring and hold on to her a little tighter. At some point in the night, our bodies ended up intertwining. Actually, that’s a damn lie. As soon as she fell asleep I pulled her close and put my arms around her. I happily bury my face into her hair and feel her stiffen. I’m not sure if it’s because my raging hard on is digging into her ass, or if it’s because she woke up and is pissed that I’m all over her. Probably both.

She throws my arms off of her and shoots out of bed.

 “Hey,” I say softly as my eyes drift down her body. She has a wedgie and the view of tips of her ass cheeks hanging out is making my dick throb painfully.

 “Hey,” she replies shortly, not turning around to look at me. “I have to go. I don’t think Aubry has class until this afternoon, though.”

She walks into the bathroom and I lay back down with a deep sigh. This girl is never going to let me back in. I wait a couple of minutes after I hear her shut the water off before I get up and make my way over the bathroom. I really hope I can catch her naked. She’ll be pissed, but she’ll get over it. I look down and see the tent in my boxers. Fuck, maybe catching her naked isn’t such a good idea. When I open the door, she’s already done getting dressed and is putting on her make up. She’s so fucking beautiful, she doesn’t need any of that shit, but I stand behind her and watch her anyway. Her pouty lips open slightly as she puts on her mascara and the concentrated look on her face makes me smile. She eyes me through the mirror a couple of times, but says nothing. I stand a little closer to her and lean in to get the toothpaste, purposely rubbing my bare chest against her left arm. Our eyes meet for half a second of longing before she tears hers away and walks out.

 I jump in the shower and use the mental image of her to jack off as quickly as I can before I head out to see if there’s a chance in hell I’ll get the real thing soon...or ever. I hear her talking to a guy as I walk to the kitchen and I wonder why she kicked her boyfriend out last night if he was coming back this early. I freeze in my steps when I see him fixing her a bagel. I know it’s for her because she always puts strawberry jam on it in one side and cream cheese in the other. It bothers the hell out of me that he knows this and is doing it for her while she serves his coffee. I’ve seen her with boyfriends before, but this domestication is too much for me to handle.
When I look at her she gives me her brightest smile, which pisses me off more.

“Why are you so happy this morning, Princess? Did you miss me sleeping next to you?” I smirk making her jaw drop. She bites her lip and grabs her bagel before glaring at me.

 “Let’s go, Z,” she says shortly as she pulls his arm.

 “He slept with you?” he asks with a confused look on his face.

 “He didn’t sleep with me. He just slept in my room,” she explains.

 “You let him sleep in your bed with you?” he asks furrowing his eyebrows, and I know he wants to kill me. Shit, I would have already pounded my face if I were in his shoes.

 “Z, are you serious right now?” Blake asks annoyed, which makes me smile because I know she’s more mad at him for getting between us than the other way around.

 “Yes, I’m dead serious right now,” he says crossing his arms in front of his chest.

 “Yes, he slept in the same bed as me. Nothing happened, though. He slept on one side and I slept on the other,” she says rubbing her forehead as I let out a single laugh.

 “Hm,” Zack says before walking to the door shooting me a warning glare. “Let’s go, babe. We’re going to be late.”

 My jaw tightens at that. I feel like growling that she’s not his babe, but Blake flips me off before closing the door behind them. I punch the wall beside me and knock over the red plastic cups on top of the counter before I turn to the living room.

 “Rough night?” Aubry asks as he walks out of his room, rubbing his eyes.

 “Rough morning. What the fuck does she see in that guy, anyway?” I grumble quietly.

 “He’s a good guy, Cole. Don’t be such a dick. If you would’ve fought harder for her, you would still have her.” I feel my eyes bulging out of my face and my mouth go slack. I can’t believe what I’m hearing right now. And from Aubry of all fucking people!

“What?” I ask in disbelief.

 “You know if you would’ve gone after her instead of staying at that fucking party, you would’ve had a chance of making her listen. If you would’ve insisted on seeing her the next day instead of giving me some damn letter, she might’ve listened. You could’ve flown to see her the next weekend or tried harder during winter break instead of shoving your mouth down Sasha’s throat. I can’t believe I have to fucking break this shit down for you. All I’m saying is that if that was my girl, I’d fight like hell to get her back.”

I can’t even form words right now because I keep replaying the same words over in my head: fought harder, if that was my girl, and Sasha.

 Finally, I nod. “You’re right. You’re absolutely right,” I say calmly. “I should’ve gone after her and made her push me away further. I should’ve taken a flight over here and let her rip my heart to shreds some more.” I get up and walk to the kitchen. “And what do you mean if she was your girl? What the fuck does that mean?”

 He lets out a laugh. “That’s your problem right there. You’re always so fucking busy trying to get her away from everybody else, that you don’t even step back and think about what may be going through her mind. Maybe she wanted you to come after her, Cole.”

 “Did she tell you this?” I ask with a raised eyebrow.

 “No, douchebag. It’s pretty fucking clear, though, when I had to watch Home Alone 1 and 2 and eat an unhealthy amount of ice cream and pizza while she cried her fucking eyes out for a month, that what she wanted was for you to fight for her. Then when we came back from Christmas break, I had to do it all over again. Thankfully that time it only lasted a week. Fuck, Cole, get your head out of your ass. The girl is in love with you. Are you that blind?”

 “She broke up with me, Aubry,” I shout. “She broke up with me!”

 “Because she loved you too much, asshole!” he shouts back.

 We stare at each other for a couple of seconds before taking deep breaths and shaking our heads at each other. We spend the rest of the morning talking shit and watching Mike & Mike in the Morning. We call Greg and talk more shit with him until Aubry has to go to class.

 “You gonna call Ashley?” he asks before he leaves.

 “Nah, I have to get my head out of my ass,” I reply with a smirk.

 He smiles. “Blake has a boyfriend, Cole. I know you hate that idea, I know you hate him, but she’s doing good with him. You can have fun while you’re here, she’s not going to stop you.”

 “Nah, Aub. I can’t do that shit anymore, not in the same city she’s in. I know I hurt her, I just always justified it because she hurt me first. It wasn’t right and it’s just not worth it. Unless you’ve heard Ashley has a golden pussy, then I’d consider tappin’ that.”

 He laughs. “Nah, I haven’t heard anything about Ashley. I think she’s one of those lady in the street but a freak in the bed, though, you know?”

 “Yeah, I got that vibe. The only freak I want in my bed hates the shit out of me right now, though, and boyfriend or not, I’m gonna make things right.”

 “Alright, good luck with that. See you later.” We give each other dabs and he leaves.

I call Maggie and ask her what she’s doing for the day. Not even an hour later, Aubry walks back in while I’m eating my second breakfast, because bagels do nothing for me.

 “Yo, what’s up?” I ask.

 “Class canceled.”

 “Cool. Wanna play Madden?”

 “Ready to get your ass kicked?” he asks.

 “Fuck you.”

 We’re still playing when Blake walks in and goes straight to her room. She says hi when she comes back out.

 “Aub, can I talk to you for a minute...please?” she asks quietly. If I wasn’t mid-blitz, I would pause the game to look at her face because her voice sounds off.

 “Sure, Cowboy. Can you wait 3 minutes? We’re almost done with this game,” Aubry says as he clicks the controller.

I look at the game lock and see that we have four minutes left. “Why can’t you just talk to him here? I don’t mind,” I say as my player intercepts Aubry’s wide receiver.

 I’m about to shout when Blake says, “This is an A-B conversation, Cole,” and walks to the kitchen. I roll my eyes.

“Whatever,” I mumble under my breath.

 When I’m done kicking Aubry’s ass, he gets up and goes to the kitchen. I look over and see Blake whispering something and him looking confused. He glances over to me and our eyes meet for a second before he looks back at her. I can’t hear what the hell is being said, but I know she’s saying something about me. I wonder how bad the fight with Zack got when they left this morning. I get ready for the party in Aubry’s bathroom since Blake has been in her room studying all day. I don’t want to push her to talk to me right now because I know she’s still pissed off at me about this morning, and either way, I wouldn’t know what to say to her at this point. I’m still in between begging her to forgive me and screaming at her for being such a bitch to me for so many years. I decide to think about this for a while longer and go to the party.

When we get there, we spot the girls from last night. Ashley is wearing the shortest dress possible, her long legs looking good as fuck in those heels, too. She keeps looking at me from under her lashes and giving me fuck me eyes, but I’m doing my best to pretend not to notice. I make it a point to flirt with a tall brunette named Rachel, instead. I figure it’ll help keep my dick in my pants. Not that Rachel isn’t pretty, she just doesn’t do it for me. While I’m talking to her, I look over and see Ashley talking to another guy. At first I think: finally, until I see who the guy is. Zack. I look around for Blake and don’t see her anywhere. If there’s one face and body that I can find in a sea of people, it’s hers, so I know she’s not here. I wait a couple of more minutes just in case she’s in the bathroom, but the longer she’s gone wherever she is, the more forward this Zack guy is getting. He keeps touching Ashley’s face and hair and finally I see him lean in and kiss her. That’s when I lose it.

 “What the fuck are you doing?” I growl as I push him away from her. Ashley looks up at me with horror in her eyes before she narrows them.

“What the hell, Cole? Now you want me?” she shrieks.

 “Sorry, but this isn’t about you, Ashley,” I say quietly before I turn to Zack.

“What the fuck are you doing? Where’s Blake?”

 He pushes me back. “Mind your own fucking business, dickhead.”

 I push him back harder, making him stumble on a table and fall into a chair. “Where. The. Fuck. Is. Blake?” I ask again.

 “Cole, what the fuck?” Aubry screams as he tears me away from Zack.

 “This asshole was about to stick his tongue down another girl’s throat!” I scream.

 “Let it go, Cole,” Aubry warns as he pulls me away.

 “Let me go, Aubry. I’ve been dying to kick his ass and he just gave me a hell of a reason to.”

 “She broke up with me you fucking moron!” Zack shouts as he stomps toward me.

Aubry stands between us and answers my questioning glance with a nod. Fucking asshole. He knew this whole time. That’s what she told him in the kitchen. I push him off and storm outside, leaving the party staring at my back. Aubry runs up behind me and I put a hand up so he won’t say a word to me. The last thing I want to hear right now is his voice or any stupid explanation he wants to give me. I get that he and Blake are best friends, but he’s my fucking brother, he can’t keep shit like that from me. We walk back to his apartment, which is right down the block, and I pound on Blake’s door as soon as we get in.

 “How’d it go?” she squeaks while I glare at her.

 “Why didn’t you tell me that you broke up with Zack?” I ask.

 She sighs. “Cole, that’s none of your business. What happened? Did you hurt him?” The panic in her tone makes me visually shake the shit out of her.

 “No. I wanted to. I was going to. If it weren’t for Aub, I might have killed that jerk.”

 She sighs and looks at me again. “What happened?” she asks defeatedly.

 “He as at the party, talking to some girl. She had her hands all over him and he was loving that shit. I confronted him about it and he told me you broke up with him. I didn’t believe him. I thought he was just talking shit in front of the girl.” I leave out the details of the fight and of him kissing Ashley because I don’t want to hurt her feelings.

 “They shoved each other back and forth, knocking over everything. When I noticed, I ran up to them right before Cole swung at Zack. I told him it was true and we got out of there,” Aubry the fucking moron says before he leaves us alone.

 “You were going to punch my boyfriend for letting a girl touch him while they were talking?” Blake asks, her voice dripping in disbelief. “Are you hearing yourself? Doesn’t it remind you of someone?” Nobody in the entire fucking universe can make me as angry as this girl can.

“That was different, damn it. When are you going to let that go?” I plead angrily.

 “Maybe when I forget how you rocked her world when she visited you a couple of weeks after we broke up. Maybe when I get the image of you two together at that fucking party out of my head. Maybe when I stop seeing her tongue down your throat months AFTER THAT,” she snaps. This is the first time she’s said any of this to me and her words feel like a blow to my gut. “You can sleep on the couch or on the floor or in Aubry’s bed. I don’t care where you sleep, but you are not sleeping in my bed tonight,” she says as she narrows her eyes at me.

 I nod my head slowly, I can’t argue with her anymore. “I’ll take the floor...next to your bed.” I can’t be far away from her, not after this.

 She laughs. “When are you going to get over that? Why don’t you call Sasha and see if her bed is unoccupied?” I know that this is her way of finally getting this off her chest and trying to hurt me back, but I don’t think I can take anymore lashes from her. If she only knew how broken I already feel.

 “Are you fucking kidding me, Blake? I made a mistake. I was hurt. Can you please stop rehashing that? I’m sorry. I’ll be sorry for the rest of my life. Fuck.” She walks back to bed and I go after her. The truth in her words, the pain in her voice, Aubry’s words from earlier finally all sinking in, and my knees hit the floor behind her. When she turns around, I wrap my arms around her lower body tightly and crush my head against her.

 “What the hell are you doing?” she asks trying to get me off of her.

 “Please forgive me, Blake. Please. I swear it only happened that one time. Then at the mall she kind of--” 

 “Kind of what?” she interrupts. “Kind of plunged her tongue into your mouth without you noticing?”

I groan and squeeze her tighter, deciding to tell her what I was feeling, even though it won’t make a difference. “Blake, please. I was desperate for you. That was the first time I was going to see you after a while, and the last time I’d seen you, you gutted my heart for the second time. I’m sorry if I made bad calls, but I was so fucking lonely and depressed and sick without you.”

Her body relaxes under my hold and she sighs. “It’s fine, Cole. I forgive you. Please get off of me. You’re still sleeping on the floor though.”

I feel like some weight has finally been lifted off my shoulders, and even though things aren’t the way I want them to be, they’re fine for now. I settle down on the uncomfortable floor with a pillow and a throw. I don’t care if I have to sleep here for an entire year, if it means her inviting me back into bed. I know I’m shit out of luck with that one, though. I just hope she knows I still love her.

 “Blake?” I whisper into the darkness.

 “What?” she asks quietly.

“I love you...more than you’ll ever know.”

I’m not big on crying, but telling her this is my last plea to her, because I know if she doesn’t believe me, I’ll never get her back and right now I want her back in my life, even if it’s as a damn friend.

“Go to sleep, Cole,” she replies hoarsely, and I let myself drift off into sleep, knowing she feels the same.

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