A Very Merry Hockey Holiday

Page 30


“Me too,” she whispered before swallowing past the lump in her throat. She got dressed in silence as he watched. It took everything not to cry, but she wouldn’t. She couldn’t. She wouldn’t show weakness. As she went for the door, he took her hand, and she was surprised that he had gotten out of bed. His leg was still pretty messed up and it was hard for him to walk, but soon he had his arms around her, his lips at her neck as he hugged her tightly. Kissing her jaw, he then took her lips with his, kissing her long and hard, curling her toes in her boots.
Pulling back, he looked deep in her eyes. “Karson isn’t gonna come after me for hurting you, right?”
She shook her head quickly. “No, I promise. I knew the score. This is my fault.”
“I was just joking. I owned up to being with you.”
“Oh, okay.”
Lifting her chin with his finger, he looked deep into her eyes and whispered, “I’m gonna realize one day that I shouldn’t have let you go, and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna regret it. By then though, you’ll find some schmuck who will love you the way you deserve, and you’ll be happy. That’s what I want.”
Her lip quivered as she looked down at his bare chest, the scars of his past screaming at her. He’d had it so hard growing up; the scars weren’t just internal, they were even visible. She got it. She got him; she just wished it would end differently.
“But if, for some reason, you haven’t found him, you better believe you will be mine, Kacey King. There won’t be any stopping that.”
Smiling, she looked up at him and said, “That might be the only time I’ll let you win.”
His grin was infectious as he nodded. “I always win.”
Kissing his jaw, she had to get away before she lost it. He kissed her once more, and then against her lips, he whispered, “Know that you’re the only girl who has left a mark.”
She nodded. “I wish that mark was enough.”
“Me too,” he admitted, but she knew it wasn’t. He wouldn’t trust someone enough to love them. He couldn’t. Kissing him once more, she opened the door and shut it before walking away as fast as she could to make sure he didn’t come after her. She didn’t want him to see her cry. She wanted him to think they ended things and her heart was intact, but that wasn’t the case. As she rushed to the car, she didn’t cry because they were over, she cried because it happened and she knew she’d never be the same.
Looking at the clock, she saw that it read midnight, which meant the new year was here. She had heard from Lacey that the person you are with on New Year’s is the one you’ll be with for the next year. Well, she was alone, crying in her damn car.
“Happy fucking new year to me.”
Happy Holidays!