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Trey appears in the doorway and I study his eyes, trying to get a clue from them, but he gives me nothing but a wall.

I smile at him. “You’re back early.”

He doesn’t smile back. My heart is trying to climb through the walls of my chest, and not in a good way.

He walks into my room and sits down on my bed. He kicks his shoes off and knocks them onto the floor. “What ever happened to that cat?” he asks. “What’d you say his name was? Sparkles?”

I swallow. Why is he asking about Owen’s cat?

“Ran away,” I say calmly. “Emory was devastated for a week.”

He nods, working his jaw back and forth. He reaches a hand up and grabs my arm. I look down at it just as he pulls me to him. I fall against his chest, stiff as a board. He wraps his arm around me and kisses the top of my head. “I missed you, so I came back early.”

He’s being nice. Too nice. My guard stays up.

“Guess what?” he says.

“What?”

His hand moves to my hair and he runs his fingers through it. “I found a house today.”

I pull away from his chest and look up at him, just as he tucks a lock of hair behind my ear. “I didn’t realize you were looking for another house.”

He smiles. “I thought I might get something a little bigger. Now that mom has moved back, I figured I could let her have that house, since it was hers to begin with. It’s probably better if we had more privacy, anyway. The house I’m looking at has a fenced-in backyard. It’s on Bishop, near the park. It’s a really good neighborhood.”

I don’t say anything, because it sounds like he means he found us a house today. The thought of that terrifies me.

“Mom went with me to look at it. She really liked it. She said AJ would love it there.”

I can’t imagine Lydia saying AJ would love anything that isn’t hers. “She really said that?”

Trey nods, and I find myself imagining what that would be like. Actually being able to live in the same house with AJ, in a good neighborhood with a backyard. And once again the thought makes its way into my head that it could be worth it. I’ll never love Trey like I loved Adam, and I’ll never feel the connection with him that I have with Owen, but Adam and Owen can’t give me the one thing in my life that I need. Only Trey can do that.

“What are you saying, Trey?”

He smiles down at me, and I realize in this moment that maybe Owen was wrong. If Trey were responsible for destroying Owen’s studio, he wouldn’t be here saying the things he’s saying right now. He would be livid, because he would know that confession was from me.

“I’m saying this isn’t a game to me, Auburn. I love AJ and I need to know that you’re in this with me. That we’re in this together.”

He shifts until he’s on top of me, and then he leans forward and kisses me. We’ve been dating for over two months now and I’ve never let him do anything but kiss me. I’m still not ready to go further than this, but I know he is. And I know his patience has been wearing thin.

He groans and his tongue dives deeper into my mouth. I squeeze my eyes shut and hate that I’m forcing myself to pretend I’m okay with this. But internally, I’m just stalling, giving myself a moment to think about what move I need to make next, because Owen’s texts are still in the back of my mind. Not to mention the fact that Owen may very well be on his way here.

Trey’s hands become needier as they grope and pull at me. His mouth moves roughly from mine, and he begins to kiss me all over as one of his hands works the buttons on my shirt.

I want to tell him to stop, but it’s all happening so fast, I can’t find a point at which to push him away. His hand is unbuttoning my jeans, and he’s working his fingers inside my underwear when I can’t take a second more of this. I dig my heels into my mattress and push him away as I attempt to scoot up on the bed.

He pulls away for a few seconds and looks at me, but words fail to come out of my mouth. When I say nothing, his mouth is immediately on mine again with even more force. He didn’t get a verbal no, so I guess that means yes to him.

I press against his chest. “Trey, stop.”

He immediately stops kissing me and presses his face into the pillow. He groans, frustrated, and I don’t know what to say next. I just made him angry.

His hand is still in my jeans, and even though I’m not kissing him, he continues to slide his hand further until I have to physically push his hand away. He presses his palm into the bed beside me and lifts up until his face is just inches from mine. His eyes are full of anger, but it’s not the anger that scares me.

It’s the disgust.

“You can fuck my little brother when you’re fifteen, but you can’t fuck me as an adult?”

His words hurt. They hurt so much, I have to close my eyes and turn away from him.

“I didn’t fuck Adam,” I say. I slowly look in his direction again, and I stare him straight in the eyes. “I made love to Adam.”

He lowers his face until his mouth is directly over my ear. The heat from his breath makes my skin crawl. “What was it when Owen was fucking you in his bed? Was that love?”

I suck in a rush of air.

My entire body tenses, and I know if I try to run, he’ll stop me. I also know that if I don’t try to run, he’ll more than likely hurt me.

I’ve never been more scared.

He remains on top of me, his mouth poised next to my ear. He doesn’t speak again, but he doesn’t have to. His hand is making his intentions clear as he works his way inside my jeans again.

For a split second, I wonder if I should let him do this. If I just shut up and allow him to take what he wants, maybe it’ll be enough for him to forgive what happened with Owen. I can’t let this come between me and my son.

But those thoughts only last for a split second, because there is no way in hell I’ll allow AJ to grow up with a spineless mother.

“Get off me.”

He doesn’t. Instead, he lifts his head and looks down at me with a grin so cold, it sends a rush of chills over me. I don’t know who he is right now. I’ve never seen this side of him before. “Trey, please.”

His hand is rough, and I’m squeezing my legs together, but it doesn’t stop him from forcing my thighs apart. I’m pushing him, but my weakness is laughable compared to his strength. His mouth is back on mine and when I try to turn away from him, he bites my lip, forcing his kiss on me.

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