Page 24


That's it? Feels like too much and not enough, all at once.
“I didn't necessarily mean it like that, I meant ..., I'll like you one minute, and hate you the next. I'll be having fun, and then remember how awful you are. You made me bipolar. I didn't even know that was possible,” she laughed into her tea.
“I can only apologize so many times, Tate. Maybe you just can't accept it,” he pointed out.
It was a fair and honest statement. She should just let him go, if she couldn't accept his apology. But stupid man, it wasn't that easy. She had tried. A million times in her mind. Three months ago, she had convinced herself that she would never see him again. Two month ago, she swore to herself that she wouldn't let him win his little game. A month ago, she was promising herself that she would rip his heart out.
Now, she was realizing that none of those things had happened, or would happen. She would never be rid of him. He had branded himself onto her soul. Like it or not, he was a part of her, and she was a part of him.
“I don't want to go,” she whispered, staring into her tea.
“You need to decide if that's how you really feel. No more of this back and forth, hot and cold, bullshit. You say you want to be with me, but two weeks ago, you were plotting to fuck Angier in my bed, just to push me away,” he reminded her. She nodded.
“I know. You make it a lot easier to hate you than to like you,” she pointed out.
“Deal with it.”
“I'm trying.”
“Try harder.”
“I think you need a nap,” she laughed. He rolled his eyes and took the mug out of her hand, set it on a night stand.
“What am I going to do with you, baby girl,” he grumbled, grabbing at her legs through the sheets and dragging her closer to him.
“Sometimes, I ask myself the same question,” she sighed.
“No more games?” he asked. She shook her head.
“No. I had this whole game plan, you know. I was gonna eat you alive,” she warned him. He nodded, pulling her legs out and settling them on either side of himself.
“I know. You weren't exactly subtle. You have a lot to learn from me,” he informed her.
“Pfffft. You're about as unobvious as a sledgehammer to the skull,” she replied.
“When you're a sledgehammer, you don't need to be unobvious. You just need one good hit.”
“Stop being a smart-ass.”
“No more plotting my imminent demise,” he continued. Tate sighed.
“God, I suck at being a bad girl.”
“Excuse me?”
“That was my whole goal. I mean, I'm fucking Satan. How come none of your badness rubs off on me?” she asked.
“Because,” Jameson said, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her closer. “I hate to tell you this, Tatum, but you wouldn't know bad if it smacked you in the face. You're practically an angel.”
“For the last seven years, I thought I was nothing but bad,” she told him, leaning in to hug him. He sighed, kissed the top of her head.
“Just because you have sex with anything that moves, that does not make you bad. A slut, yes. Bad? No. There is nothing wrong with liking sex, and whoever taught you that is very, very bad,” he informed her.
“At least I'm very, very good at it,” she murmured, settling her head on his shoulder. She let her eyes drift shut. She felt so drained. So tired. So warm.
“Yes, baby girl, that you are.”
“Oh!” she exclaimed, lifting her head. He groaned.
“What now?”
“You might want to check on Sanders,” she told him.
“Because when I left him, he was pretty drunk.”
Jameson completely froze.
“You got Sanders – my Sanders – drunk!?” he exclaimed.
“It was his idea. When I left, he seemed to be doing okay, but I think he's actually kinda partial to cheap vodka. You might want -,” she started, but Jameson was already rushing out the door before she could finish.
Tatum woke up the next morning alone. She thought she remembered him climbing into bed next to her at some point, but Jameson wasn't there. She glanced around the room before realizing there was a note on the pillow next to hers. She picked it up.
Be good.
She smiled and slithered down the bed, stretching her arms up over her head. It sounded corny, but she really felt like it was a brand new day. She felt like she had woken up without a heavy weight on her shoulders. Sure, thinking about what he did to her last fall still made her want to claw his eyes out, made her want to hold him underwater in a cold, dark swimming pool. But he also made her happy. He made her feel alive. He made every nerve ending, every synapse, come alive with want for him. He was right – she either needed to get the fuck over what he had done, or get over him.
She made her way downstairs. At first she was surprised not to see Sanders. He was almost always up and puttering around before anyone else was home. Then she remembered the night before and she laughed. She threw one of Jameson's coats on over her tank top and underwear, then tripped over to Sanders' house. She didn't even bother with shoes, just hurried along in her knee high socks.
He was up, and he was dressed, and he looked immaculate, as always. But he had a set of bags under his eyes that made her laugh and laugh. He didn't look her in the eye, just pressed his lips together so hard that they turned white. She linked her arm through his and walked him back to the main house, promising to cook him breakfast.