She claws at her shirt as if she’s suffocating. “I don’t want to hurt people and I’m scared, but what terrifies me the most is that I will never be as free to be myself as I am with you. I’m terrified I’m going to be in this box forever and I have to be. I have to stay just as I am.”

Breanna’s chest rises and sinks too fast and my instincts flare. There’s more happening than Kyle. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing.” It falls out of her mouth as an automatic response and I’m not buying it.

“You’re talking like I’m an outsider. You act like I’m not involved with this.”

Breanna knots her hair at the base of her neck. “I am not your club! There is no in or out. This is my problem, not yours and it sure as hell isn’t the club’s problem, either. I’ll handle this my way because my way won’t end up with someone possibly being hurt.”

“So you’re going to do what you do at school? You’re going to hide?” A wave of anger and hurt ripples through me and it’s building into a tsunami.

Her eyes narrow into slits. “What happened to me being fearless?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I have it wrong, because the girl I love wouldn’t be asking me to butt out, but would keep me involved.”

“This isn’t about you! This is about me and I’m trying desperately to keep my world from falling apart. That picture can destroy what little I have left.”

“Are you ashamed of me?” I spit out. “Was I a piece to a puzzle for you and now that the puzzle isn’t working I’m being discarded?”

Shock and hurt cloud her face. “Why would you say that? I just did things with you that I have never done with anyone else. I have loved you like I have loved no one else. I’m standing here in your house, defying my family, hurting them because I love you!”


Pissed at myself, my entire body becomes a steamroller and I throw my fist into the wall. Breanna jumps and I press my hands over my face and scrub the skin as if that could erase the past few minutes.

I don’t know what the fuck I’m saying anymore. She’s leaving. After she walks out that door, I don’t know when I’ll see her again, if I’ll see her again, and she’s leaving with more problems than she had to begin with.

I’m hurt, she’s hurt and we’re only hurting each other more. As always, I’m cursed. She came searching for a memory and I’m sure as hell giving her one. Just the nightmare version everyone else in town also shares of me.

I take a deep breath and search for a semicoherent thought. “Breanna, I’m sorr—”

“Take me home.” She wraps her arms around herself and I curse when I spot the tears lining the bottom rim of her eyes.

“We can’t leave it like this between us.”

“I’m not ashamed of you.” Her voice cracks and that tears me up.

“I know.” And those words that other people are good at saying, I find myself lost trying to form.

“Tell me you aren’t going to the club about the picture and Kyle.”

I wish I could lie to her, but I can’t. I fucking can’t. “I don’t know.”

“If you go to them, then we’re over.”

If I don’t go to them, she’ll forever live in that box she’s terrified of being chained in for the rest of her life. I love Breanna. Love her more than I thought I was capable of loving a person. She brought me peace, light and happiness and I should give her something in return.

I step into her, and because Breanna is brave at her core, she doesn’t step back.

“Don’t do it,” she whispers as I run my fingers through her hair. “Don’t make my life more complicated than it already is. I can’t trust them. I can’t do what you’re asking.”

I hear her words, but I’m too busy making my own memories to respond. Breanna’s hair is soft, and when my fingers glide through, it’s like touching silk. I caress her face next and enjoy the smoothness of her cheek against my knuckles.

Her lips are perfect. Dark pink to light red. Curved just so that when she smiles it has this seductive tease. I’ll go to bed night after night thinking of her lips. Kissing them. The feel of them on my skin. I curl her into me. Our time is almost completely gone. Not nearly enough left for me to love her properly—enough for memories.

“Razor,” she says as a plea. “Please tell me you aren’t choosing to end this.”

I lower my head so that our foreheads are touching. “I’m choosing to love you.”

“What does that mean?”

I kiss her. Slowly. Softly. As if she’s glass on the verge of breaking, because that’s what I am. I’m shattering on the inside. Her lips move with mine with as much deliberateness. Her taste is so sweet, her smell so enticing, this moment is fucking shredding my heart.

“What will they do to Kyle? He’s wrong, Razor. He’s more than wrong, he’s sick in the head even, but I can’t live with the idea of someone being hurt over me.”

The front door to the house opens and the voices of multiple people talking at once cause Breanna to ease back, but I keep my arms locked around her. We stare at each other. She’s still begging for an answer I don’t possess. Screw it, I do know the answer, but it’s not the one she craves to hear. But for her happiness, for her safety—I’d do anything.

“I love you,” I tell her. “I don’t have fancy shit inside me or other pretty words to say, but know that, no matter what, I love you.”

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