He saw the tearstains on her cheeks, and he hated them.
“I was going to try and put some distance between us, Henry. Last night, it shouldn’t have happened. Whatever is going on shouldn’t have happened.” She licked her lips, and he wanted to reach out and touch her. He couldn’t do anything as she kept to herself. April didn’t turn to look at him.
His heart broke a little at the pain clearly in her eyes.
“Don’t pretend you don’t understand,” she said.
“I don’t. You’re not making any sense to me.”
“Please, shut up.” She glanced at him.
“No, I’m not going to shut up. Last night was fucking amazing like I always knew it would be.” She shook her head and got to her feet. He refused to let her leave. “You can’t cut me out. I didn’t use a condom, and I bet you’re not on the contraceptive pill.”
“My God, how low will you fucking go?” She tugged out of his hold. “I don’t care what you think. I am on the pill, but I didn’t give it a thought last night.”
“We were both in the moment.”
“It was a mistake. A big, gigantic mistake.” She went to turn away.
“Why? Is it because I belonged to Julia, is that it?”
“You were Julia’s boyfriend. I betrayed a friendship.”
“I was never Julia’s to belong to, and she knew it.” He took a step closer to her. “That picture says it all, but you’re too afraid to admit the fucking truth.”
“You hated me!” she yelled.
“Hate is the furthest thing between us, and I never hated you.” He gripped her arm and pulled her close. Henry stared into her eyes, soaking her in like he always did. Why did she have to have so much power over him? “Julia saw it, and she was fucking jealous of you.”
She shook her head. “I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.”
He fought with himself, but the truth he wanted to keep from her had to be told. It’s tell her or lose her. “Julia knew how I felt about you. From the first moment I saw you, I wanted you. When I started to get to know you, I knew I wanted more. I fought it because I couldn’t do that to Julia, and I knew if I hurt her I’d lose you. I’d rather get the short bursts of time with you than nothing at all.” He cupped her cheek, tilting her head back. “Then she saw the picture I kept of you that day.” His hands shook a bit as he recalled their argument.
“What?” she asked.
“I left my wallet on the dressing table. She found the picture I kept of you for my own pleasure. It’s one of you smiling with the sun shining down on you. Julia started screaming at me for cheating.” He didn’t want to say anymore, but he started it. “I told her I never touched you and that you didn’t have a clue how I felt. You two were going out shopping, and there wasn’t any time to mend fences. She left with you, and it was only later that I felt real pain.”
“The day of the accident, she found out you cared about me?” Tears were falling down her cheeks.
“I got a text ten minutes before your call. She asked me a simple question.”
She opened her mouth and then closed it.
“Julia asked me if I’d be able to love her if you were dead.”
April gasped. “No, Julia wouldn’t do that.”
“Ten minutes later you called, April. She was trying to kill you but killed herself in the process.”
“No, you don’t know that. Julia wouldn’t do that.”
He held her tightly as her tears fell harder than ever before.
His words made no sense, yet April knew he spoke the truth. That day Julia had been withdrawn, and she simply hadn’t seen it. Her friend had been particular about her driving until that day.
“How do you even know this? It could have been a complete coincidence.”
“I got an investigator to check out the crash site. There were cameras in the area. His investigation told me all I needed to know. Julia aimed for your side of the car. What she didn’t anticipate was the pull of the curb that changed her aim so that she was the one who took the impact killing her instantly.”
“Julia tried to kill me?”
She pulled out of his arms and started walking away.
“April, don’t walk away.” He went to grab her again, but she dodged his arm.
“No, you’ve just told me that the best friend I thought I had was going to kill me because her boyfriend had a picture of me.”
“I’m in love with you.”
“You don’t know what love is. When you love someone you don’t date another person who’s their best friend.”