Page 51 of Don't Look Back

Del looked away, and that told me everything. Disgust rolled through me, and I clung to it. Better than the self-loathing lurking underneath it. How could I have stayed with him after such a betrayal? And I had a feeling that he was right—I had forgiven him.

I wanted to hurl.

“Get out of here,” I said, voice shaking.

His head whipped back to me. “You’re overreacting. You just need to calm down. We can—”

“There’s no ‘we’ in anything! This whole ‘I’m breaking up with you’ bullshit is for real this time.” Del took another step forward, and I screamed, “Get out!”

“Sammy, I’m sorry. It was wrong what I did. I get that. But we can talk about this.”

A wicked sense of déjà vu hit me. How many times had we been in this same position? He’d do something. I’d get mad. We’d fight. Rinse and repeat. But this time was different—I was different.

“Please leave,” I said, much calmer.

He opened his mouth, but footsteps pounded through the hallway. A second later, Scott rushed the doorway, cheeks flushed. He glanced at Del and then me.

“What the hell is going on in here?” he demanded.

Annoyance crossed Del’s features. “This isn’t any of your business.”

My brother stepped into the room, his hands closing into fists. “Are you serious?” He glanced at me, eyes bright and furious. “Why were you yelling, Sam?”

“I want him to leave,” I said, folding my arms.

A grim smile appeared on Scott’s face. “Then you’d better be leaving, Del.”

Anger replaced the annoyance, and I was reminded of the rage behind the desperation in my first memory of him. I knew being turned down wasn’t something Del was accustomed to.

“Don’t do this, Sammy,” he said with that same look.

I didn’t understand why he even wanted to make this work, but it didn’t matter. I wasn’t backing down. Even before the memory resurfaced I had my mind made up. This just cemented my decision. “Please leave.”

Del took one step toward me, and that was it.

My brother shot across the room, moving like a streak of lightning. There was a brief second when I wasn’t sure what he was going to do, and then I saw him c**k back his arm. His fist crashed into Del’s face, and the boy went down like a sack of potatoes, smacking on the floor with a heavy thud.

Scott lowered his fist. “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that.”

Chapter eighteen

I’d waited downstairs while Scott revived Del and then got him out of the house. It turned out Scott had been in the basement the entire time, and he’d locked the front door behind him when he’d come home. Meaning Del had lied again and most likely had a key. First thing on my to-do list was to get it back from him.

Scott advised me to leave that up to him.

“Are you going to tell me what happened?” he asked, grabbing a bag of frozen peas out of the freezer.

I sat down at the bar, feeling my cheeks burn. “I remembered something.”

“Something big enough for you to kick his ass to the curb.” He plopped the bag down on his red knuckles and winced. “Do tell.”

“Well, I was already going to break up with him before I remembered.”

He sat across from me, brows raised. “Does this have anything to do with Car?”

“No!” My cheeks burned even brighter.

“Okay.” A grin appeared on his lips. “So what’s the deal?”

Chewing on my pinkie nail, I shrugged. “Things aren’t the same between us. So I’d decided to call things off. When I gave him back the necklace, I remembered…something that had happened.”

His brows inched up his forehead.

I sighed. “He took…pictures.”

Scott scrunched up his face, as if he was about to vomit on me. “Those pictures…”

There went any hope that he hadn’t seen them or heard about them. I dropped my head on the counter and sighed. “It’s so embarrassing. I had no idea! I mean, I didn’t know he’d taken them at all, and supposedly Trey found them and sent them, but still.”

Scott cursed. “You didn’t know he took them?”

“No,” I moaned.

Another explosive curse caused me to jump a little. “I asked you about those pictures, Sam, because I was pissed. You acted like it was no big deal. If I’d known, I would’ve knocked him the hell out a lot sooner.”

I raised my arms helplessly, keeping my face planted on the counter. “Yeah, well, apparently I got over it.”

Several seconds passed before he spoke. “I think I’m going to bust his other eye.”

As much as that made me all warm and fuzzy inside, I lifted my head. “You can’t. Just leave him alone. It’s over with—we’re over.” I covered my face with my hands. “Man, how can I show my face?”

“Sam, that happened, like, seven months ago.”

“So? I just remembered it.” I groaned again. “This is horrible.”

“Everyone has forgotten about it, considering everything else,” he said gently.

“Yeah, because they think I killed Cassie or I’m crazy.” I dropped my hands. Scott watched me, appearing to be caught between amusement and sympathy. I scowled at him and then saw how badly his knuckles were swelling under the bag. “Does it hurt?”

He shrugged. “Worth it.”

“Thank you,” I said, shifting on the stool. “I know I was a shitty sister—”

“Stop.” He waved his uninjured hand, staring at the bag. “Back to the whole everyone-thinking-you-killed-Cassie thing. Julie told me what the girls were saying at the party today. You know they’re just being dumb. No one thinks that.”

I gave him a bland look. He changed the subject to what Carson and I had done when we left the barn. When I told him about going up to the cliff to see if it would spark my memory, he looked as if he wanted to knock the bag of peas upside my head.

“The cliff is dangerous,” he grumbled, standing. Taking the bag to the trash can, he turned back. “You shouldn’t be up there.”

I frowned. “Why not? It might help me remember.”

He threw the peas away and slowly opened his fist. “Why do you need to remember? It’s not going to change anything. Cassie will still be dead.”

“I know that,” I said, unsure why he was so against it. “But I need to know what happened. It probably wasn’t an accident, and she deserves justice.”