Kady burst into laughter, and he abruptly stopped talking.

Had I really fallen in love with this toad, she couldn’t help asking herself. It was just unbelievable, how many years she had wasted loving him, when all along he had been nothing but a narcissistic idiot with perfect hair and equally perfect teeth.

Looking back at Eric, she said calmly, “You can think whatever you want, Eric. So if you’ll excuse me—” She smiled at him politely. “I need to get to class.”

Kady walked away, hoping and praying that would finally be the end of it. Now that she had seen for herself who the real Eric was, she also realized how she had so stubbornly insisted on seeing her idealized version of Eric the whole time they had been dating.

And the only reason she had done so, Kady realized with an inner wince, was because during those years, Eric had been the only one – outside her family and so-called best friend – who made her feel she wasn’t worthless and invisible.

The rest of the evening picked up after that, and for the next two hours, she divided her time between happily crunching numbers for a pop quiz and daydreaming about Slade the moment she had submitted her paper and scored an early dismissal for herself.

Thinking that she would try surprising Slade for a change, Kady decided to simply search for his truck in the parking lot instead. But when she finally spotted a familiar dark head standing next to an equally familiar-looking truck, it was Kady who ended up tongue-tied and immobile with shock.

Because a woman had just come up to Slade…and slapped him.

Chapter Fourteen

Words Get In The Way

* * *

“No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth.” ~ Plato

* * *

She hadn’t planned to fall in love with him. All she wanted was a job near her school. That was all. But before she knew it, she had already fallen head over heels. It was just impossible not to. The sexy twinkle in his eye, the charm, the wit. And in a time where chivalry was considered a thing of the past, he was always such a gentleman with her, and she knew that had to mean something.

She dreamt of him almost every night and found herself living for his smiles. She was so eager to please, she would practically follow him wherever he went, wanting to be the first to give him whatever he needed. Anything. Everything.

But soon just being there for him wasn’t enough. She wanted more. She needed more. And she believed it was the same for him. That even without him saying a word, she knew he wanted and needed more, too.

He was just too much of a gentleman to make the first move, and so she lovingly decided to take matters into her own hands: slipping into his room under the cover of darkness…taking her clothes off…showing him just how much she loved him.

And that was when everything went wrong.

He had forced her to cover herself before dragging her out of his room, furious but also baffled. “What the hell were you thinking—”

“I love you!”

But the words had only made him more furious.

“You love me,” he scoffed. “You think you fucking love me—”

“I do!”

“And that’s why you decided to get into my bed, even if I don’t want you there?”

His words hurt, but she had rallied on because she knew he was only lying to himself.

“I did it because I love you—”

“For fuck’s sake—”

“I’m a virgin, Slade,” she cried out. “I’ve never even wanted to see any guy’s dick before meeting you. But for you, I thought—”

“You thought what?” he interrupted sarcastically. ‘That you only had to gift me with your first blowjob, and I’d miraculously return your feelings?”

Tears brimmed in her eyes. “Stop being so cruel—”

But he had only looked at her. “You made it impossible for me to be anything else.”

“You can’t mean that. You can’t.”

“Don’t make this harder than it should be—”

“But you were so nice to me. You made me feel special—”

“I’m nice because I’m fucking nice,” he snapped, “but you insisted on reading things that weren’t there. I’ve never fucking crossed the line with you, and you know that. I never fucking flirted, never even let myself be alone with you. I did everything possible to make you realize I didn’t want you short of hurting you—”

“Stop treating me like the other girls before me. I’m not like them—”

“You’re right. You’re not like them. The other girls just wanted to fuck me, and you wanted to love me—”

“That’s why, Slade! That’s why I told you—”

“None of them made me feel a fucking thing – and neither do you.”

“No.”

“I never wanted you.”

“You’re lying—”

“I’ll have money deposited into your account.”

“Stop it!”

“It will be enough to cover this month’s wages and next—”


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