Page 64

Dad cleared his throat. “Well, one of these days, I hope your father finds happiness. Everyone deserves that.”

Did they? I wasn’t so sure about that, but my parents were seconds away from finding a tree and hugging it. It was when I was helping Mom clean up the table and Reece had disappeared into the den with Dad, my brother, and Megan, that I was completely cornered by her and the expansion of her grandmamma dreams.

“Are you two stopping by and seeing his mother before you head back?” she asked as she loaded up the dishwasher.

Wait. Were we? I hadn’t even thought about that. I wasn’t sure I could do Round Two. “I don’t know.”

She took the plates I handed her after rinsing them off. A moment passed. “What is going on between you two? And don’t tell me you don’t know. Last time we were chatting about your relationship status, he wasn’t in the picture, and now he is.”

I opened my mouth.

Mom went on. “And I know your brother was giving you a hard time.” She twisted at the waist, looking me straight in the eye. “But, honey, everyone knows you’ve been in lov—”

“We’re dating,” I cut her off before she could finish. “Okay? I guess that’s what we’re doing. It’s nothing serious. Okay? I’m not fifteen anymore.”

She arched a brow.

And I wasn’t drawing sketches of him on my wall. I was painting his face now. Ugh. Walking away from Mom, I snatched up the rest of the silverware and separated the pieces into their cubbies.

“Honey.” Mom touched my arm. “I’m worried about you.”

Straightening, I leaned against the sink and kept my voice low. “Because of Reece?”

She smiled, but it was a pang to the chest, because it was so sad. “Yes. Because I know you’ve cared strongly for him for years, and he’s here, with you. That boy is here, and you’re acting like it’s nothing?”


A hand came up, silencing me. “And you still won’t try this museum thing? Now, on top of it, there’s some man breaking into your apartment? That has nothing to do with the first two things and it has nothing to do with what I’m about to say to you now. It’s time to have a come-to-Jesus conversation.”

Oh no.

“Just because Charlie is stuck to that bed doesn’t mean you don’t get to live your life to the fullest.”

I drew back as if she’d slapped me. “What?”

“Honey, your father and I know you are carrying a lot of guilt and that you—”

“Roxy?” Reece came into the kitchen, my father and brother right behind him. By the murderous look on all three of their faces, my heart immediately sank.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“We need to go back to your place,” he said, and as he walked toward me, his eyes never left my face. “Your apartment was broken into.”

Chapter 21

On the way back to my apartment I was in a state of suspended disbelief. We’d just been there a few hours ago. How could someone break in by nightfall? Well, it didn’t take a long period of time to do so, but still. I just couldn’t believe it, especially after what had just happened.

Dad and my brother followed us, and when we arrived, there was a police cruiser in front of the Victorian. So was a familiar mustang—cherry red.

“Roxy!” Reece shouted as he coasted into park.

But I’d already had the truck door open and sprung out of the truck, his curse haunting my steps as I entered the courtyard of the Victorian. I caught a glimpse of Kip standing on the porch, along with James’s fiancée, but I was focused on one person.

Henry Williams stood there at the steps, talking to an officer. He turned as I approached him, his eyes widening. “Roxy—

“It’s you! Isn’t it? You were in my place while I slept and then you come back, and break in?” My hands balled into fists. It suddenly made so much sense to me. What was happening to me had nothing to do with the other girls. Nothing weird started happening until Henry got out of jail. “How are you getting in my place?”

He shook his head as he backed up, looking between the officer and me. “I swear I had nothing to do with this. I didn’t break into your place. I don’t even know what you’re—”

“You’re a sick fuck!” I shouted. “What is wrong with you? Why—”

“Whoa.” An arm circled my waist, and the next thing I knew, I was facing the street as my dad and brother passed us. Reece spoke in my ear. “You need to calm down, Roxy. We don’t know if he—”

“Who else would do it?” I shouted, wanting to swing my elbow into his stomach again. I couldn’t deal if Reece defended him. To me, it was so obvious. I wiggled around so I was facing Henry again. “Why else would you be here?”

“I came over to talk to you, but when I knocked on your front door, it opened and I saw the inside of your place. I called the police.”

“Oh, that’s such bullshit,” I spat.

“Roxy,” Reece warned softly.

“He did call us,” the officer confirmed. “And he claims he didn’t go all the way in. We also spoke to the gentleman on the porch. He didn’t hear anything suspicious, but had left the house for a few hours.”

It was then when I realized my dad and brother had gone into my place and had returned. Dad came down the steps, his cheeks flushed with anger. “I don’t want her seeing that.”

Now, of course I had to see it. “Let me go.” When Reece didn’t, I felt that I was seconds from my head spinning right off, Exorcist style. “Let me go, Reece. I mean it.”

“Listen to me, honey. Let Reece and me handle this,” Dad reasoned with his hands planted on his hips. “Gordon will take you back to our place or to Reece’s, but you really don’t want to see in there. Not right now.”

“What I want is to be put down and I want to see what happened inside my place,” I said, barely in control. “I am not fifteen years old. I’m a freaking adult. Seriously.”

Dad looked away, scrunching his fingers through his hair. Then he turned to my brother, who looked just as furious as I felt, and said something too low for me to hear.

“You’re not going to hit anyone, are you?” Reece asked. “If I let go?”

Henry cast his gaze to the ground while I sneered. “Only if you don’t let me go.”