A week? No, they couldn't be apart for a week. That was too much time. A week thinking over how badly he'd f**ked up and how much better off without him she would be was not what they needed. They needed to work this out here and now so he could get on with the groveling.

"I don't think that's such a great idea, Haley," he said, automatically lifting the bag and placing it in her opened trunk for her when she began struggling to lift it. "Why don't we go inside and talk this over?"

She shook her head stubbornly. "I can't. If I don't go I'll be out of a thousand dollars."

He waved that aside like it was nothing. "I'll reimburse you. Just stay here and let me explain about last night."

"There's nothing to explain, Jason," Haley said, shaking her head sadly. "I think it's for the best if we end things now."

Her words felt like a punch to the gut. "You're just mad, Haley. Maybe...maybe you're right. Maybe you just need a week to think things over," he said quickly, desperate to do or say anything that would make her take it back. "Take a week, think it over. We both knew I was going to f**k up at some point, my little grasshopper. After you think about it you'll realize that's all it was. Then you'll come back here and I'll grovel and we'll move past this."

She couldn't even look at him as she said, "I'm really sorry, Jason."

Jason couldn't move, could hardly breathe as Haley stood up on her toes and pressed a kiss to his cheek. "I'm sorry," she said, sounding close to tears. "We'll always be friends," she said, delivering the killing blow.

Chapter 20

Haley just barely stopped herself from looking for Jason when she stepped back outside and saw that he'd left. It was for the best she told herself as she threw her small backpack into the trunk. She closed it and walked slowly to the driver's side, hoping to catch one last glimpse of him.

Even though she'd always known they had no future she couldn't stop herself from feeling disappointed. He'd given her up so easily. Maybe it was a good thing that they were over then, she told herself. If he gave up so easily then he really didn't care about her and it was for the best that she found out now.

At least that's why she tried to tell herself over the next three hours as she drove. Every five minutes she was either checking to make sure her phone still worked or stopping herself from calling him. She just wanted to hear his voice.

She knew it was over between them, but that didn't mean anything to her heart. All she wanted to do was pull the car over and curl up into a ball and cry, but she wouldn't allow herself that release, not yet. When she arrived at the cottage, then she'd allow herself to break down in privacy and use the week to mend her heart.

After this week was over she really didn't know what she was going to do. She'd told him they would always be friends, but she really didn't think she'd be able to see him day in and day out and survive after this. Worse, what would she do when a woman woke her up screaming Jason's name after he tossed her aside? Haley wouldn't be able to survive knowing Jason had been with another woman.

During the next week when she wasn't crying, or getting drunk into oblivion, she'd figure out what to do about work and her house. If worse came to worse she could rent out her house and find an apartment even if only temporary. Work would be another issue. Right now she worked at one of the most prestigious private schools in the country, but she knew if she left she'd most likely end up working at a public school for a lot less money.

Her stomach's rumbling thankfully broke her out of her rather depressing thoughts. She took the next exit off the highway. Ten minutes later she was back on the highway and frowning down at her purchase, an extra large orange juice, three coffee rolls, two muffins and three apple pastries.

"Great, he's got me trained," she muttered with an eye roll. Either she'd have to break herself out of the habit of ordering for a small army or she'd become fat, she thought with a sigh. She picked up one of the coffee rolls and took a small bite before putting it down and taking a sip of juice. When a particularly annoying song came on the radio she spent a minute looking for a decent song. When she finally found one, she picked up her coffee roll and frowned at the half eaten baked item.

Apparently she'd eaten more than she thought. Great, she was eating out of depression and would no doubt be as big as a house by the time school started in a few weeks. She took a bite out of her coffee roll and placed it back on the passenger seat and picked up her now half empty juice.

"What the hell?" she murmured, taking her eyes off the road to look down at the insane amount of food she'd bought. Hadn't she bought two muffins and three apple pastries? There was only one of each now. She was starting to wonder if she was going crazy when a large tan hand suddenly appeared, scaring the holy hell out of her.

She let out a surprised yelp, jerking the wheel to the right and almost crashing into a tow truck. It took her a few seconds before her brain started to function again and when it did she narrowed her eyes on the hand that was blindly searching for the orange juice.

Glaring, she reached down and pinched the back of the hand. Hard.


Haley stole a quick glance back at the backseat and cursed. Somehow Jason had managed to fold his large frame onto the floor of her midsize car and cover himself with the large towel she kept back there.

"What the hell are you doing?"

Jason sighed heavily as he tossed the towel away and struggled to climb off the floor. Once he was comfortably seated in the back seat he reached forward and snagged her orange juice. "Having breakfast." He took a sip. "What does it look like?"

"Why are you in my car?" she demanded as she did her best to glare at him and keep the car driving in a straight line.

"How else do you expect us to finish our fight?" he asked, leaning forward to snag the last apple pastry. He took a big bite before holding it to her lips for her to do the same.

She shoved his hand away. "What the hell do you mean to finish our fight? We were done, Jason. I'm sorry, but it's over," she said, trying to remain calm.

"No, we didn't."

"Yes, we did."

"I don't think so," he said calmly, finishing off the rest of the pastry as if he didn't have a care in the world.

"For god sake, Jason, I dumped you!" she snapped, feeling the last thread of patience snap.

She looked up in the rearview mirror when he didn't say anything for a minute only to find him frowning. Finally he shook his head. "No, I think I would have remembered that."

Her mouth dropped open.

"Anyway," Jason continued as if he hadn't just left her speechless with that little announcement, "after our talk I realized that you planned a week away for us and I really couldn't agree more. A week away is exactly what we need to work through our problems."

"Oh my god," she mumbled, "you're insane."

Another careless shrug.

"So, where are we going anyway?" Jason asked, getting comfortable.

"We aren't going anywhere. I'm leaving you at the next rest stop. You can hitchhike your way back home."

"That's really not going to work for me," Jason said, giving her a sexy smile when she glared at him through the mirror.