I know he’s right. I freaking aced my last semester. But it was only because if I didn’t have my nose inside a book, all I would do is obsess about Calder. I could barely lie down and sleep because every night he’d come popping back into my mind, his hurtful words playing over and over in my head. They just wouldn’t stop. I’d starting reading my school books until I’d pass out.
“You know. I was serious when I said I’d marry you. I think we’d be good together.”
I glance over at him. He just holds up his hands. “I know, I know,” he says with a smile on his face, not seeming upset by my clear refusal. He’d offered when I first told him I was pregnant and had a little bit of a meltdown on him. It was sweet that he’d do that. I don’t love him like that and I know he doesn’t love me either.
Mark just has a shitty family and wants his own. I think he thinks I’m a quick way to get that. The closest we’ve ever gotten was that almost-kiss nearly a year ago, something he never tried to repeat. We’ve both settled into a solid friendship that I love so much I’m debating staying here in the UK.
He has a townhouse here and offered me a room if I wanted to put off going back to the States to face my father. I’d been toying with the idea of just kind of showing up with the baby. Look, Dad, see what I have! It might be hard for him to be so upset with a cute, squishy, little baby in my arms.
As for Calder, I have no idea how I’ll tell him. I’ve often wondered if I even should with how he acted about being married. If he felt that way about marriage, I can’t see him wanting to have kids. But it would be so wrong to keep it from him. Maybe if I opened by telling him I'm letting him off the hook, he’d be more accepting. I push those thoughts to the side. I need to focus on my dad first.
When we make it back to my dorm room, I let us both in. Mark closes the door behind us and I pull off my graduation gown, tossing it on my bed, and look at my baby bump.
“Maybe if I wear something baggy, I can cover it up tonight. I think I have—” Suddenly, the door explodes in, hitting the wall with a bang that makes Mark and me both jump.
Calder stands in the doorway with a look I’ve seen before. He’s pissed. His anger floods the room. I take a step back, then another. Mark goes to stand in front of me.
“Get the fuck out,” Calder growls in a low deadly tone, sending chills up my spine.
“I’m not going anywhere. Who the hell are you?” Mark fires back.
I look around Mark to see Calder step into the room, using his foot to kick the door closed behind him, shutting the three of us in together.
“Who am I? Who the fuck are you, and why are you in her room?”
“He’s my fiancé,” I half-shout, trying to push my way past Mark, my anger egging me on. For some reason I want to make him madder, jealous even. Make him feel a slice of what I’ve been feeling these past few months. I want to get in his face and scream. All out of character for me, but he does this to me. Has me doing things I’d never thought I’d do. Like let a man I barely knew sneak into my bed and take my virginity. I can’t believe he’s here, bursting into my room and asking questions that are none of his business.
Calder is across the room in two giant steps, grabbing Mark by the collar of his graduation gown, and thrusting him against the wall. I grab a hold of Calder, trying to pull him off Mark before he hurts him. They might almost be the same size, but it’s safe to say Calder still has a good fifty pounds of solid muscle on Mark.
“Please stop. Don’t hurt him,” I beg, regretting making up the lie and pulling Mark into my own mess.
Mark grunts and pushes against Calder, who doesn’t move even an inch. I pull harder on him, but nothing. He’s like a freaking boulder.
“Tell him you’re not marrying him, Felicity.” Calder doesn’t even look at me when he says the words right in Mark’s face. His deep and heavy breathing reminds me of a bull ready to charge.
“I’m not marrying him,” I confirm, but he still doesn’t let him go.
“Now tell him to leave.”
“Mark, can you please give Calder and me a moment?”
“No fucking way. I’m not leaving you with him. He could hurt you.”
“I’d never fucking hurt her,” Calder fires back.
“If you are who I think you are, then it’s too fucking late. She’s been hurting for months.” Mark’s voice is calm, but the room goes deathly quiet. Calder slowly lets him go, and I see what might be pain flash in Calder’s eyes.