Dee came forward, her steps measured and slow. “How long did you know about Beth and Dawson?”
I lifted my gaze, meeting hers. A huge part of me wanted to lie—wanted to say it wasn’t until Will confirmed it, but I couldn’t. “Before Christmas break, I saw Beth. And then Matthew confirmed that if Beth was alive, Dawson had to be.”
She sucked in a cry and her fingers curled in. “How…how dare you?”
I could tell she wanted to slap me, and my cheek stung even though she hadn’t. I kind of wished she would. “We didn’t know if we could find him or get him back. We didn’t want to get your hopes up only for you to lose him again.”
Dee stared at me like she didn’t even know me. “That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Let me guess, it was Daemon’s idea? Because it sounds like him. He’d want to protect me at the same time as he was holding me back—hurting me.”
“Don’t,” she said, turning away. Her voice shook. “Don’t defend him. I know my brother. I know he has good intentions that usually just suck. But you—you know how much losing Dawson hurt. It wasn’t just Daemon who lost his shit. I may not have moved the house off the foundation, but a part of me died the day I was told he was dead. I deserved to know the moment you thought he was alive.”
Her body shimmered for a second. “Okay. Okay…all of that aside. If you had told me about what was going on with Blake, Adam and I would’ve known what we were walking into. We still would’ve done it—believe me, we would’ve gone into that house to help you—but we wouldn’t have been blindsided.”
My throat seized up. There was a stain on my soul, dark and cold. I hadn’t murdered Adam, but I had a hand in his death. Like an accessory after the fact. People made mistakes all the time, but most of them didn’t cause someone’s death.
My shoulders sagged under the weight. Saying sorry wasn’t going to smooth that over, not for her or me. I couldn’t change the hand of time. All I could do now was move forward and try to make up for it.
The anger seeped out of Dee as she watched me. Walking back to the window seat, she sat, tucking her legs against her chest. She rested her cheek on her knees. “And now you guys are making another mistake.”
“We don’t have a choice,” I said. “We really don’t.”
“Yes, you do. We could take care of Blake and whoever he’s told.”
“What about Dawson?” I asked quietly.
She didn’t answer for a long time. “I know I should be able to put aside how I feel about Blake for him, but I can’t. It’s wrong. I know. But I can’t.”
I nodded. “I don’t expect you to, but I don’t want things to be like this between us. There’s got to be a way…” Pride went out the window. “I miss you, Dee, and I hate that we haven’t been talking and that you’re upset with me. I want to get past this.”
“I’m sorry,” she whispered.
Tears burned the back of my throat. “What can I do to fix this?”
“You can’t. And I can’t, either.” Dee shook her head sadly. “I can’t fix Adam’s death. I can’t fix why you and Daemon think working with Blake is a good thing. And I can’t fix our friendship. Some things are just broken.”
Lesa came over after school on Tuesday to help study for our bio exam the next day, which sucked, because the last thing I could concentrate on was schoolwork. Part of me expected Matthew to reschedule, since he knew what I had to do tomorrow night. I even suggested it on Monday after class, but oh no, no can do.
I rocked back in my computer chair, my barely read bio textbook in my lap. Lesa was reading her notes, and I was supposed to be listening, but I cracked open my advanced copy of a new young adult novel for my Teaser Tuesday post.
Typing up a quick post, I picked a couple of quick lines with an evil grin. ‘I was his power-up—the ace up his sleeve. I was the beginning and he was the end. And together, we were everything.’ I hit post and then closed the pretty amber cover of the book.
“You are so not paying attention,” Lesa said, sitting up.
“Yeah, I am.” I wheeled around, fighting a grin. “You were saying something about cells and organisms.”
She arched a brow. “Wow. You got this in the bag.”
“I’m gonna fail.” I dropped my head back, closed my eyes, and let out a long-suffering sigh. “I just can’t concentrate. I’d rather read something interesting—like this.” I waved toward the book I’d just posted about and then to where I knew a whole stack of other books sat. “And there’s this thing I have to do tomorrow night.”
“Oh! What thing? A thing with Daemon, and if you say yes, please tell me that thing starts with an s and ends with an x.”
I opened my eyes and frowned. “Geez, you’re worse than a dude.”
Her curls bounced as she nodded. “You know it.”
I threw my pen at her.
Laughing, she closed her notebook. “So, what are you doing tomorrow that has you so distracted?”
There wasn’t much I could tell her, but I was full of nervous energy, and the need to talk about it snaked past my lips. “Daemon and I are going to this…club or something in Martinsburg to visit some of his friends.”
“Well, that sounds like fun.”
I shrugged. I’d already told my mom that I was going to the movies and, since she worked tomorrow night, curfew wasn’t an issue. What was an issue was the fact that I had no idea what to wear and the stuff with Dee had put me in a huge funk.
I popped up from my seat and stalked over to my closet. “I’m supposed to wear something sexy. I don’t have anything sexy.”
Lesa followed. “I’m sure you have something in here.”