I glance at Vaughn’s house, and my eyes start to sting with tears again. I realize that I’m not ready to leave just yet.

“Okay,” I say, looking back at her. “A piña colada would be nice.”

It’s not like I have anywhere else to be right now. And a cocktail might be just what I need to take away this aching Vaughn-shaped hole inside my chest.


I’ve been lying here, on my sofa, for two hours now, staring at my ceiling.

After Charly left, I came in my house and lay down on the sofa, and I haven’t moved since. Well, if I’m being precise, it’s been more than two hours since she left. It’s been two hours and seventeen minutes.

Only she didn’t leave. I sent her away.

Shawn Mendes’s “Stitches” ends, and Snow Patrol’s “You Could Be Happy” starts to play on my phone.

I might have broken my own rule and brought my cell into my house.

I didn’t want to sit in silence, so I only brought it in to listen to music. While I stare at the ceiling. Not thinking about Charly.

I didn’t bring it inside in case she called.

Not that she would because I told her that we were over. She has no reason to call, except that she has no car.

And she left here on foot.

I’m guessing she got here by cab.

And I let her go and walk out of here, alone.

I should have driven her where she needed to go. I might be angry with her and not want to be with her anymore, but I shouldn’t have just let her leave here to walk on foot.

I wasn’t thinking straight at that moment.

I don’t know if I should call her just to make sure she’s okay. But I don’t want her to get the wrong idea. I don’t want her to think I’ve changed my mind about us.

Because I haven’t.

I don’t want to be with her. I don’t trust her. She lied and humiliated me.

She’ll be fine. Of course she will. I’m sure she called a cab.

But…what if she couldn’t get a cab, and she got stuck? I know Pins; she’s stubborn, so she won’t ask for help.

And she definitely wouldn’t ask me for help because, you know, I told her that we were done.

Because we are.

I am. Done, that is.

But I should call her to make sure she’s okay. Not because I want to hear her voice one last time, but because I’m a good guy.

Sitting up, I turn the music off and go to her number in my Contacts. I’m staring at her number when my gran’s voice calls into the living room as she comes in through the front door.


“Living room,” I tell her.

I put my phone down beside me.

She sits in the chair across from me and puts a flask on the table. “I brought you some piña colada. I had some leftover.”

I swear, she’s been turning into an alcoholic since she got that cocktail-maker.

“Thanks.” I pick it up, open the lid on the flask, and take a sip. Wow, it’s not lacking alcohol. Piña coladas are not really my thing, but it’s got liquor in it, and I could do with some right now.

“Good?” she asks.

I put the flask back down on the table. “Strong.”

“So, good then.” She folds her hands in her lap. “So, should I take it that you’re sitting here and feeling sorry for yourself?”

“I’m not feeling sorry for myself.”

“Uh-huh. Of course you’re not.”


“I saw Charly.”

My eyes snap up to hers. “You didn’t give her a hard time, did you? Because you don’t know the full story.”

A smile creeps onto her lips, but her eyes frown at me. “Of course I didn’t give her a hard time. What do you take me for?”

“Protective. Like a guard dog, only Chihuahua-sized.”

She laughs. “No, I talked to her. Invited her in the house. Gave her some piña colada.”

“She’s still here?” I tense.

“No. She left a little while ago. Called a cab.”

Well, at least I know she got off safely. I don’t need to call her now.

I glance down at my phone.

“Was she okay?” I ask.

“Do you care?”

“No.” Yes.

“Then, why ask?”

“Because you drummed good manners into me while I was growing up.”

“Good to know you listened. And you can listen to me now again.”

“Please, Gran.” I sigh. “I’m not in the mood right now.” I flop back against the sofa, covering my face with my hands. “And you don’t know the full story, so you can’t pass comment on it.”

“Charly told me.”

I drop my hands from my face and sit up. “She told you what?” I ask carefully.

“Everything. About her marrying that gay Canadian friend of hers to get him a green card.”

She told my gran.

“Gran, you can’t tell anyone. It would get her in serious trouble if the authorities found out. She’d go to jail.”

“Good Lord, boy, I’m not dumb. Of course I know she’d go to jail. You, on the other hand, are looking pretty dumb to me right now.”

“Jesus, Gran. Kick a guy while he’s down, why don’t you?”

Even though she’s not wrong. I do look like a dumb fuck. First, Piper and Cain. Now, Charly.

“Do you know what your problem is, Vaughn?”

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