Vince is never going to forgive me.

I mean, I knew that. But after this he’ll loathe me, and I’ll deserve it. I can’t believe I did something so horrible to someone.

Suddenly overcome with pain and self-loathing, I try to turn back. I try, but it’s too late. Colin catches me in his arms and shakes his head, turning me around to see Vince standing shirtless in the hall. He was in the bathroom and his hair’s wet, so he must’ve been showering. Now his handsome face is a mask of confusion, looking from me to Colin, then back to me.

“What the hell is he doing here?”

“I can’t do this. I can’t breathe.” I shove at Colin, trying to get him back out of the house. “Please let me out.”

Vince scowls, taking a protective step forward, because it hasn’t hit him yet. It hasn’t occurred to him why Colin is here. It hasn’t hit him yet that I’ve betrayed him worse than I ever have before, and that’s saying something.

I can feel tears welling up in my eyes already. I loathe what I’m about to do to him.

“I need to talk to you alone,” I finally tell Vince, since the asshole Irishman won’t let me flee the house. I hate Colin. He’s so much worse than Adrian. I wish Adrian were here with me right now. Adrian might judge me, but he would be nicer to me than this guy.

“Why is he—?” Vince stops, shock replacing the fierce protectiveness in his face. He looks at me like I’ve just stabbed him in the fucking heart. “Is he here to protect you? From me?”

He’s the one who needs protecting. From all of us. We’re all horrible. I hate all of us right now. Vince is the only one I don’t hate right now, as I prepare to gut him.

Vince’s apprehension grows by the second. “What did you do, Mia?”

I shake my head. “Please, Vince. We need to talk alone.”

Colin advances a step, putting a hand at my back. I glance back at him over my shoulder. “Lead the way.”

Vince is understandably perplexed as I lead Colin down the hall and show him the bedroom, where our bed is, and then the spare room, which is much emptier. He glances at Vince, then gives me a nod and heads back to the living room.

Sighing heavily, I step inside the spare room.

Vince follows me, closing the door behind him.

“Leave it cracked,” Colin barks back.

“Is this guy fucking serious?” Vince demands.

I move past him and crack the door open, peeking out to assure Colin, “We’re fine.”

“What the fuck is this, Mia?” I can see by the look on his face, this awful mix of pain and fear, that he already has a good idea. “You bring a bodyguard to see me?”

“I didn’t want to bring him,” I say, unable to look at him. “I thought that was excessive, too.” I hesitate, my stomach aching, but there’s no easy way to do this, so I cannon ball into it. “Mateo insisted.”

His face turns to stone. He doesn’t speak. I don’t think he’s able to speak. He didn’t even get a shirt on after his shower, and the pronounced rise and fall of his chest tells me he’s about to lose his temper.

Glancing at the door, I add a little desperately, “Please don’t blow up. Please. I know you have every right to, but Colin is here in case you do, and I have no control over him.”

“What?” Vince finally asks, lowly. “He’ll kill me? You think I give a fuck?”

“Please, Vince. I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to you because of me.”

“Maybe you’d fucking deserve that,” he shoots back, viciously, but he manages to keep his voice down. “What did you do, Mia?”

I can’t tell him. I know I need to be honest, but how do I look him in the eye and tell him what I’ve done? How do I tell him I’ve already moved on from our relationship, I’m already deliriously happy with someone else, and I’m just now telling him? I’m leaving him brokenhearted and alone, and going back to the person who tried to break me.

I can’t, so instead I do the last thing I expect to do.

I hug him. More like throw myself into his arms, clinging to him. This is obviously not what he expects either. He’s slow to wrap his arms around me, but then he does, and I don’t deserve that either. I don’t expect him to hug me back. God knows I don’t deserve it. I don’t want to hurt Vince. He deserves so much better than this. All he’s ever tried to do was love me, and I’ve made it so goddamn hard.

“I’m so sorry for everything I’ve ever done to you, Vince. I’m so sorry.”

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