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Not exist? But I made her. She's mine. You can't exist if I don't, stupid girl.

“Alright, alright,” Jameson said in a soft voice, pulling away when she seemed on the verge of hyperventilating. He had never seen her so upset. “If that's what you really want, I'll go.”

She continued sobbing while he grabbed his jacket off the back of the chair. She pressed the heels of her hands into her eyes, trying to stop the flood gates that had opened. It hurt his heart to see her that way. Hurt his pitch black soul. He realized she was saying something, so he walked back up to the bed while he slipped back into his coat.

“Just go, just go, just go, just go,” Tate was whispering, over and over again. Jameson sighed and brushed the hair away from her face, before leaning down and kissing her on the forehead. She didn't move, didn't say anything. Just cried. He turned away and forced himself not to look back. If he looked back, he would be lost forever, and if he was lost, he certainly wouldn't be able to find her again.

And Tatum most definitely needed finding.

“See you around, baby girl,” he called out as he strode towards the door.

“No, you won't,” she said after him.

History really does repeat itself.

He couldn't resist a laugh. He was, after all, Satan.

“I will if I want to.”

~1~

“What are you doing?”

Tate glanced over her shoulder, trying to find who owned the voice that was hissing at her. Her best friend, Angier, stepped out of the shadows, joining her at the edge of the balcony. She sighed and went back to looking out over the city.

“I was trying to escape,” she replied. He glared down at her.

“I meant, what the fuck is this? I thought you said you weren't going to do this anymore.”

“You said I wasn't going to do it anymore. I never said anything.”

Tate took a long drag on her cigarette and blew the smoke up at him. Ang was much taller than her, almost by a foot, and the smoke mostly dissipated before it reached him. He glared some more and waved his hand around.

“Of all the things I've ever seen you do, this is by far the most disgusting,” he told her. Tate laughed.

“Wow. Considering all the things you've seen me do, that's quite a statement,” she snickered. He finally smiled at her.

“Exactly.”

Ever since her midnight swim/Xanax-whiskey-cocktail, Tate's relationship with Ang had been strained. She was more grateful than she would ever be able to express, and she was so horrifically embarrassed by the whole episode, she could barely look him in the eye. Ang had seen her at her worst, at her absolute lowest – so low, she hadn't seen a way up again. So bad, she couldn't even remember it.

However, Ang could remember it. In vivid, technicolor, high-definition recall. After Tate had gotten out of the hospital, she had stayed with him for a couple a nights, and it was hard to say who had worse nightmares, her or him. She had scarred him a little, and she would never be able to forgive herself for that.

Even knowing all that, though, knowing everything Ang had done for her, and everything she had done to him, didn't stop her from being annoyed with him. It compounded her guilt, but it was the truth. She couldn't deny it. Tate had never been good at lying to herself.

Ang mothered. He hovered. He watched her with a wariness in his eyes, like he was expecting her to leap off a ledge at any moment. She lived with him for a week, but when she caught him hiding the knives, she moved back out. She wasn't suicidal, and he claimed that he knew she wasn't suicidal – but his actions said otherwise. She moved back in to her old apartment, squeezing in with her sister, Ellie, and her old roommate, Rusty.

The fighting started not long afterwards. They would argue over everything. Over nothing. Ang would show up unannounced, and Tate would walk into her bedroom to find him rifling through her stuff. They'd be out at dinner, and he would try to set her up with random guys. She'd be laying in bed, and he would show up at one in the morning to drag her to a party.

Not cool.

Ang just couldn't understand that she wasn't the same old Tatum. Part of that girl had stayed in that pool. Stayed in that house in Weston. She didn't want to go to parties, and she didn't want to hook up with random guys, but most of all, she didn't want her best friend staring at her like she was a nut job.

She moved out of her apartment, stopped answering her phone for a while. Then Ang seemed to return the favor – Tate was hardly ever able to get a hold of him, and even when she could, he was rushing her off the phone, or giving her all sorts of reasons for why he couldn't hang out with her. The stress would have been enough to drive her to drink, but she hadn't touched alcohol since that night in October.

So she took up smoking.

Jameson would kill me for doing something like this.

Her hospital stay hadn't been very enjoyable, either. Ang had been two steps away from having a nervous breakdown. Her sister wasn't any better – a pregnant woman in the process of leaving her abusive soon-to-be-ex-husband; Ellie had enough problems without having to deal with her estranged-sister's alleged suicide attempt.

Sanders had visited every single day, but he was always quiet and taciturn. Tate's little episode had really upset him. And then the day when she had found out that he had been visiting her. A night nurse, going off duty in the wee hours of the morning, had let it slip.

“You're very lucky to have such a handsome man visiting you all the time.”

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