Say I'm Yours (Page 17)
I stare at myself in the mirror and fight back the tears. What the hell did I just do? How could I sleep with him? I was over him. I was working on it at least, and then I give in? There’s seriously something wrong with me. We’ll never stop making the same mistakes.
My hands grip the counter, and my head falls. I truly don’t know how we went from yelling at each other, his circumventing telling me how he feels, to us having sex.
I’m a stupid idiot.
A weak, stupid idiot.
I slap the counter and sink to the floor.
Well, now what? I can’t go back out there. I can’t face him because clearly I have no rational thinking when it comes to him.
“Grace?” Trent knocks on the door. “You all right?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” My voice is shaky, and there’s no way he’ll fall for it.
“What’s wrong?” he asks softly from the other side of the door.
Oh, just lost my dignity and sanity. Nothing new.
“Please go. I’m not feeling so good.” I try for the only excuse I have: hangover. “I don’t think the wine is agreeing with me.”
Trent doesn’t say anything and hope blooms that maybe he’ll believe me. “You were fine a minute ago.”
“I’m feelin’ a bit nauseous.” And I can’t look you in the eye.
Trent clears his throat and tries to open the door. “I have to meet my father and brothers for that fishing trip, I don’t want to leave you if you’re sick. Plus, I think we should talk about what happened.”
I put my robe on and tie it tightly around me. He isn’t going to leave if I don’t face him. Plus, I doubt I’m getting away with anything here. He knows me well enough to tell when I’m lying.
I open the door to see him standing there fully dressed. “Hi,” I say sheepishly.
“I drank a lot last night.”
His eyes narrow the slightest bit. “Right.” The hurt flashes across his face, but he recovers quickly. If I didn’t know him so well, I would’ve missed it.
I need to get out of this room. Instead of staying here, looking at the crime scene, I head out to the living room.
Trent grasps my arm when I try to move farther away. “Where are you goin’? And don’t tell me you not being able to look me in the eye has nothing to do with what just happened.”
I close my eyes and muster all the strength I have. There’s no going back, I made my choice, and now I have to face it. My chest tightens as all my emotions from the last hour bubble up.
His hand drops and I turn to look at him. “This never should’ve happened. Nothing is different. Nothing has changed. You still can’t give me what I want, and I clearly can’t walk away from you.”
“Have you heard nothing I’ve said over the last few weeks?” Trent bellows. “Are you fucking kiddin’ me?” My head pounds as he gets louder. “You think nothing has changed? God dammit, Grace!”
I shake my head and take a step back. “Stop yelling at me!”
He moves closer. “So what was that?” He points to the bedroom. “Was that just some slip up?”
“I told you! I told you I was done! This is what we do!” Instead of moving away from him, I get closer. My anger takes hold as I let it all out. “I tell you it’s over, and you find a way to break me down. You push me and manipulate me into believing it’ll be different each and every time. I love you! I love you so much it hurts, and you keep breaking me! You don’t love me. You don’t know what that even means!”
“The fuck I don’t!” Trent is in my face in an instant, his hands grip my arms, and he pulls me forward. “This isn’t the same as before. This is me tellin’ you I’m changin’. For you, I’m tryin’ to be the man you want.”
I shake my head, trying to stay strong, because I don’t believe him. I tear my arms out of his grasp and take a step back. “I need you to leave.”
“Please, I need to think. I need to not be hungover when we have this conversation.”
“I need to know what I did that was so bad that you’re willing to push me away. What did I do that is so fucking awful that you decide to punish me by dating Cooper?”
I stop moving and the blood drains from my face. He thinks I’m purposely trying to hurt him? That’s the last thing I would ever do. All I want is for the two of us to find some semblance of happiness.
“I’m not punishing you. None of this is about you. It’s about me and tryin’ to find someone who will love me, Trent. Don’t you get it? Don’t you see that I’m dyin’ inside because you won’t love me?” I move so we’re standing face to face. Tears fill my eyes as I pour my heart and soul out to him. “I miss you every single day. Each day I wake up, roll over, and you’re not there. It hurts me so much more than you’ll ever know.” A tear falls from my face. “But the thing is, I’ve been missing you for a long time. I’ve been alone even when you were here. You build this wall and shut me out. I wish I could pinpoint when it happened. I wish I could fix it, but I can’t do it anymore.”
Trent’s hand ascends and touches my cheek. “I can tell you exactly when it happened. It was the day the deputy the next town over was shot. I responded to that call, and all I saw was us. Nick was only thirty years old. He had a wife and a child. He had a whole life in front of him one second, and it was gone the next. When I closed my eyes, it was you crying over that casket.”
I think back to how upset he was about it. Nick was his friend, I could tell it was affecting him, but he refused to talk about it. Trent grew distant during the statewide manhunt for the shooter. I assumed it was because of the hours he was spending on the case, not that he saw himself in Nick. If I had known, I could’ve at least been there to reassure him.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I ask.
“I don’t know.”
“You could’ve talked to me.”
Trent sighs and grips his neck. “Because you’d want to talk. You’d make me think I was being crazy, but that could’ve been me, Grace!” Trent pounds his chest. “I could’ve been the guy in the ground and not him!”
I hate that it’s been years that he’s been struggling with this. I should’ve known, but I was so focused on helping Nick’s widow Penelope that I didn’t think it was hurting Trent.
I take a step closer. “That’s the risk I knew I was taking when I fell in love with you. I held Penelope’s hand. I saw what it did to her, but she said she wouldn’t take back all the love they shared. I wanted that with you.”
Trent touches my cheek before his hand drops. “If you give me another chance, it’ll be different this time. I’ll be different.”
I wipe my face and try to hold on to my fading resolution. He gave me a glimpse inside himself, a tiny sliver of what I’ve been begging him to give me. It would have been enough a month ago. I would have fallen back into his arms and forgiven him. Now, though, I’m not sure a glimpse is enough—if it’s only one more scrap. There are too many times I’ve gone back. Too many times I’ve taken his apology at face value. “I’ve heard this line before.”
He steps closer, but I lift my hand. “Gracie.”
“No. No you don’t get to do this to me again. You can’t promise me things that will never happen.”
“I love you, Grace. I’ve always loved you. I love you, and I promise it’ll be different. I need you, sweetheart.”
Those three words that I’ve waited forever to hear.
My body starts to shake and a strangled sob breaks from my chest. Trent’s arms wrap around me, and I fall apart. I’ve had plenty of people tell me he loves me. I think in some convoluted way he believes he’s told me, but hearing it come from his mouth is too much.
So long I’ve hoped that he did love me. But love isn’t a weapon to be wielded at another. Love doesn’t wound the other person, and right now, I’m in pain.
I need to breathe and think.
I need some space to sort myself out.
Slowly, I get myself under control. I lean back and wipe my eyes. I look into his blue eyes and shake my head. This is everything I wanted, and yet, I would give anything for him to take it back.
Trent must sense what I’m feeling, and he starts to speak quickly. “I’m telling you what I should’ve said a long time ago. I’ve hurt you so much, and I will never forgive myself.”
He has hurt me, and he’s doing it now without meaning to.
“Please, stop,” I plead. “Please give me some time.”
“I want to make it up to you. I think we should—”
“Dammit, Trent!” I push against his chest and step back. “I can’t do this today. I’ve had a really confusing night and then all of this before noon, and I need some time alone. I’ve waited so long to hear those words, and I can’t process this right now.”
Trent takes two strides and lifts my chin to look at him. “Are you going to give me a chance to prove it? Doesn’t it change anything?”