In the end, she had called her father and both Jackie and my dad had turned up and dragged me back to Destiny. Back in the clubhouse, Jackie had handed me a letter from Indy. The long version was two pages of anger and disgust, peppered with swear words and some rather creative name calling. The short version: stay away from me, you psycho—I don’t want you anymore.
It had killed me inside. But it was more than warranted.
“I was angry,” Indy said softly. “I’m pretty sure I didn’t mean half the stuff I wrote in it.”
“Yeah, you did.” I looked at her. “But it was deserved. I was an unreliable jerk who fucked up our future.”
She didn’t argue.
I looked across at the fading sunset, feeling regretful, feeling sad that life hadn’t turned out how we had planned.
“Do you ever wonder?” I asked.
“Where we’d be now if I hadn’t gone to that the clubhouse that night?”
“Do you think we would still be together?” I asked. I looked into her beautiful eyes, wishing more than ever that I had never lost this amazing woman. “That we would’ve followed through with all our plans?”
“Do you mean, would we be married with two-point-five children and living normal, happy family lives?”
Inside, my heart collapsed against my chest cavity. That was the future I had hoped for us before I had fucked it all up.
She looked wistful. “I work long hours. Who knows if we would’ve survived the craziness of my residency.”
I’m pretty sure we could’ve survived it.
There was only one thing we couldn’t survive and it was the one thing I had done.
Looking at her in the fading light, my heart ached for another chance. She smiled softly but then her expression changed, like she was suddenly aware of what I was thinking and she stood back abruptly.
“I can’t do this, Cade.”
I took a step toward her so I was standing close. Intimately close. “Do what?”
“This. You. Us.” Her eyes dropped to my mouth and she licked her lips. The way she was looking at me sent all sorts of crazy through me.
The time was right.
I took a step closer so only a breath separated us. “Tell me you don’t still love me and I will take you home.”
Her big brown eyes slid up to meet mine and she hesitated long enough for me to know that she did still love me, and it filled me with hope.
“Tell me you don’t love me,” I whispered.
I didn’t give her a chance to answer. I took her face in my hands and pressed my mouth to hers, opening those luscious lips with my tongue and kissing her hard. Caught by surprise, she resisted, but within seconds her hesitation vanished and her kiss became just as hungry and as needy as mine.
A low moan escaped me. A moment ago, this was all I had wanted. But now I wanted this and more. I wanted Indy back.
I pulled back to look in her eyes, searching for signs of how she was feeling. “I’m still in love with you.”
She resisted me then and struggled to free herself from my embrace. But I wasn’t having any of it. “I know you don’t want me anymore, Indy. But I still love you. And after seeing you this week, I don’t think I will ever love anyone like I love you. I’ve tried. Believe me, I’ve tried. But you’re too much to get over.”
For a moment, she looked alarmed. But then the old Indy turned up, and her eyes narrowed, and with a flash of anger she pushed me backwards, and slapped me hard across the face.
“Fuck you, Cade,” she snapped. “What am I supposed to do with that bullshit?”
She slapped me again, harder. And I had to grab her wrist to stop a third blow.
“Stop hitting me would be a start.” She tried to slap me again, but I had a firm hold on her wrist and it was enough to settle her down.
She yanked her hands free and turned her back on me.
“I’m sorry,” I said, not sure what the fuck I was supposed to say.
She swung back to me. “I loved you! Do you get that. I loved you. It wasn’t some teenage puppy love. Not some mild infatuation. Not some sweet, young love. You were my life. My entire fucking life. And then you went and broke me—do you understand that, Cade? You broke me. Not my heart, but my everything. Now you think you can just kiss me at sunset, tell me you still feel the same way about me, and I will fall into your arms? Are you fucking kidding me?”
Her words were like a sword plunging into my chest. But I knew she needed to do this. To vent. To get it all out. Apart from her drunken, verbal assault at Joker’s birthday party, we hadn’t spoken about what happened. Not sober, anyway.