“You are not going there, June Mayson,” I scold myself as hot tears burn the backs of my eyes. Blinking rapidly, I pull in a breath through my nose, toss my cell to the counter, and head for the front door. There is no way in hell I will let him take over my life again…no way I will stop living.

Not again.

I did that when he went away. I did it when he had his mom deliver divorce papers to me, too. I died inside when I knew there was no longer an us, and I just fricking finally got myself back. So no way will I allow him to stop me from moving forward with my life.

Not a chance.

Swinging open the front door, I plow down the steps to the sidewalk, keeping my eyes to my feet as I go. Just because I may be over him, doesn’t mean he doesn’t affect me, and he can do that, but I don’t want him to ever see he does.

I don’t want him to have even one single piece of me.

Pressing the button on the remote in my hand, I hear my doors unlock at the same time I put my hand to the handle, swinging open the door to my platinum grey with chrome everything Beetle R-Line 2.OT SE and slide in. I love my car. It’s a chick car, but it’s the first real thing I ever bought for myself with money I earned. My dad shook his head when he saw it, but my mom, she was a whole different story. She hopped in, and we went cruising around town with the windows down and the music up to the perfect decibel—loud.

Sadly, the cops felt differently about the volume of gangster rap coming from my car and informed my mother and me of that when they pulled us over. They went as far as to explain exactly what a “trap queen” was, only doing it smiling as they wrote me a noise violation ticket. I didn’t care about the ticket one bit. I was with my mom, and we were having a good time being silly. As soon as the cops were back in their car and out of hearing distance, my mom turned the volume right back up, smiled, and then yelled, “Drive, June Bug!” over the music pumping from my car’s speakers. I did, and we drove around for another half hour before my dad sent a text to my mom, telling her to get her ass home. Then we giggled all the way back like two kids. It was a blast.

Coming out of the memory, I smile, put my car in reverse, glance over my shoulder, and back out of the drive and onto the street—all the while avoiding looking in Evan’s direction. I don’t even have to peek in my rearview mirror to know he’s following. His truck’s so loud, the sound of it rumbles through my car like a constant reminder.

When we were together, he had a car. It was a small two-door Honda. It was old, but it was reliable. His dad, who hadn’t done much for him, helped him rebuild the engine the summer he graduated high school, and he cherished that car, because it was one of the few good memories he had with his father.

Now, his Honda is long gone to parts unknown, and he drives a truck. Only his truck doesn’t look like any run-of-the-mill truck. It is huge and black, down to the rims. I have no doubt he could turn out the headlights at night and go invisible. But I’m not going to think about that, even if I really want to know what exactly he is doing working for Jax.

Swinging into the grocery store parking lot, I find a single space in a row with cars ten deep on each side and pull in, making it so that if Evan wants to park, he has to do it somewhere not close to my car. Putting the Beetle in park, I grab the small envelope of coupons I keep in my glove box, open my door, and get out. Spotting Evan pulling in to a space across the lot, I quicken my steps into the store and grab a cart. Knowing I need everything, I start in the produce section so I can work my way down each aisle of the store. When I finally reach the cash register, my cart is overflowing. I not only picked up the basics, I picked every single food item that caught my eye. This means I have a cartful of mostly junk food, because I’m shopping on an empty stomach. Lucky for me, I have a boatload of coupons and know my junk food binge isn’t going to send me spiraling into debt.

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