Page 40 of I Promise You

“I wish you’d let me see you. We have unfinished business, you and me, things I need to say, and if you give me a chance, I’ll make it right, I promise.”

So many promises… “You can’t fix what you did.”

“I’m gonna work on the new album, and you can come to my house on the river. It’ll be just like old times.”

Old times? My jaw tightens. Like the times I skipped class to see him? Or the entire weekends I spent at his house, leaving Romy with Nana? Other memories batter me, a darkened tour bus after a show in Nashville, the drummer of his band trying and failing to hold me back from going inside. The sounds of moans, the naked girl kneeling at Vane’s feet, his hands cupping her scalp as she—

He knows exactly where my head is… “Serena. Please. Let me explain about that night—”

“I saw what I needed to.”

“Just listen. I should have loved you better, I should have, and now look at us, look at what we are…just let me see you…” His voice breaks and I hear him gasping for air. “We lost each other, and the baby, and you were it for me. Please, baby. I fucked up, I fucked up…”

My eyes shut, willing my voice to be calm and firm. Should I have let him explain himself after what I saw? No. He cheated, probably more than I’m aware of. He broke all his promises to me. End of. I divorced him, and lucky for me, he didn’t even have to be there.

“I’m happy, Vane. Don’t call me anymore.”

There’s a long pause from him. Then, “Who is he, Serena? Who are you dating?”

Leave it to a man to assume I need another man to be happy…

I swear under my breath and throw a glance around the student center, my chest hitching when my eyes catch on Dillon’s. Through the glass wall of the pizza place, I see him sitting at a table. Bambi is next to Sawyer, and Ashley is next to him. Guess she won rock paper scissors today.

“I have to go.” I click my phone off and tuck it in the pocket of my leggings.


This past Saturday, the Tigers defeated Virginia Tech on our home field. I watched him with rapt attention as he kissed his hands and ran out to his teammates. At halftime, he stopped in front of the fifty-yard line and sent me a long look, seeming to soak me in. Then, he shook his head as if to clear it and ran to the locker room. As far as the game, he led his team like a maestro, orchestrating passes that always hit their target. I loved that quote from my last article, although it was a bitch to write, dry as toast. Warren was happy at least.

Over this past week, I’ve seen him around, once at a red light a few blocks from campus while I was on my way to the Gazette; another time I glimpsed him leaving the library as I peered over the third-floor railing. The third time was yesterday morning when I looked out my window and saw him and Owen jogging past my house.

And now, tonight. The universe is tossing him into my path at every turn.

As if he knows I’ve spotted him, he looks up and freezes. He watches me, deep and penetrating. My eyes shut briefly, trying to break this weird thing between us, and when I open them, he’s weaving his way through the crowd to the exit.

I dash for the right hallway. I tell myself I’m running because I’m late, but the truth is, I can’t get Dillon out of my head.

The yoga room is darkened and quiet except for the rainforest music our instructor Zena likes. I grab a spare mat and lay it out in the back.

The door opens and I turn to see who else is late.

“Dillon,” I sputter. “What are you doing?”

“No clue,” he murmurs as he takes a moment to check out the room then walks to the back, picks up a mat, and sets it too close to mine.

“We’re going to bump into each other.”

“I’ll live.” Wearing gym shorts and a practice shirt, he takes in my stance, legs spread with one bent, and my arms extended straight out to each side. “Cute.”

“Warrior pose. You try it and see how long you can hold it.”

He mimics me, and I’m annoyed when he accomplishes it perfectly, moderating his breathing, not one quiver in his muscles. “How long have you been coming to this class?”

I think. “Three years, twice a week. It’s free for students.”

A look of incredulity flashes over his face. “You’ve been coming to the student center all this time and I’ve never once seen you!”

“We weren’t meant to meet, I guess.”

Tags: Ilsa Madden-Mills Romance