Chapter 11


“I love you,” I say, looking at myself in the mirror. “I love you,” I repeat, watching my brows draw together. I can obviously say the words out loud, even though every time I’ve tried to say them to Evan, they get clogged in my throat. “What the hell is wrong with you?” I gain no answer from my reflection in return.

Letting out a frustrated breath, I tug the rollers out of my hair and toss them carelessly into the sink. Over the last week, Evan has been saying I love you more and more, and every time he says it, I beg the words to come out, but they never, ever do. Just like a few minutes ago, he came up behind me to tell me he was leaving and kissed my shoulder, whispering, “I love you,” against my skin. I wanted to tell him, “I love you too,” but couldn’t. So instead, I stood there, like an idiot, looking at him while he smiled at me in the mirror.

“You know he’s not leaving, so obviously, this is your issue now and not his anymore,” I reprimand myself, tugging off my towel, tossing it to the sink top, and then grabbing a new set of nipple covers, smiling at the memory of Evan finding them the last time I wore them, as I put them on. Once they’re stuck in place, I head into my closet and tug my little black dress off its hanger near the door. Slipping it on, I turn to look at myself in the mirror.

The dress is one I bought months ago for nights like tonight—dinner and drinks with the girls. The top of the dress is black lace with a deep V and a matching deep V in the back. The bottom is a black, sheer fabric with a black underlay, hitting mid-thigh. If I had boobs, I wouldn’t be able to wear this dress, because there is no way you can possibly hide a bra in it, but unlike normally, I’m thankful for my small chest.

“Who were you talking to?”

Squeaking, I turn around and place my hand to my chest, glaring at my sister December, who is standing in the doorway of the closet, wearing a black dress of her own. Hers is so tight, it shows off every one of her curves.

“Don’t sneak up on me,” I snap. I completely forgot I wasn’t alone in the house.

“I didn’t sneak up on you. I walked right in,” she says, putting her hands on her hips and studying me. “So, who are you talking to? Is your house haunted? Do you have a ghost you’re trying to convince of your love?”

“Shut up,” I growl, grabbing my strappy, black suede heels from the shelf and stomping past her.

“What’s going on?” April asks, and I groan.

“Nothing is going on,” I tell her, wondering if the dress she has on should be worn in public. The strapless black dress leaves nothing to the imagination and is so short that I know if she bends over, everyone will be getting a show.

“Uh… okay.” She frowns, moving her gaze from me to December, who shrugs.

“I thought we had a reservation?” I remind them, as they look between each other.

“We do,” July says, coming into the room, wearing a dress similar to mine, minus the deep V. “And Wes just pulled up and is waiting outside. Are you guys ready?” She looks between the three of us.

“Yep, totally ready,” I lie. I don’t really want to go out tonight, but my sisters and cousins are in town and we’ve had this night planned for months, which means it’s girls’ night—whether I want it to be or not. “Where’s May?” I ask, slipping on my heels.

“Waiting in the living room,” December says, watching me closely. Ignoring her, I move to the dresser, grab my perfume and spray it behind my ears.

“Where was Evan going?” April questions, and my eyes move to hers in the mirror while I put in my earrings.

“He’s with Harlen and the guys tonight. I guess they’re going to be at the compound,” I say, then look at July. “Is Wes going to be with them?”

“Yeah, he’s meeting up with them after he drops us off.” She smiles.

“Nice, so we have free rein.” April grins, and I know that grin. I also know that means we’re all going to be in trouble before the night is over if we’re not careful.

“I’m not getting drunk,” I mutter to her, and her brows snap together.

“Yes, you are.”

“No, I’m not.” I shake my head, and she plants her hands on her hips and narrows her eyes further.

“Yes, you are.”

“Do we really need to argue over getting drunk?” December asks, exasperated, flopping back onto my bed and grumbling at the ceiling about how annoying we are.