I wanted to hole up and die. I wanted to grab hold of all the words, heavy and pulsating with the power to change people’s views of me, and push them back down my throat. All because the look in Cole’s eyes was not one of want anymore. The hunger had dimmed to something sympathetic, something soft and concerned, something that made me want to bury my face in my hands and cry.
Before and after.
Perfect and then not.
All right until it wasn’t.
“We’re the damned, Emory,” Cole whispered. I shifted my eyes to his, wondering what he meant. “We’re damned if we do talk about the things we’ve been through, the things we’ve done to ourselves, and damned if we don’t. There is no in between, no right or wrong. It just is.”
The lines that puckered between his eyes as he said this made him look slightly angry and had me wanting to reach out and smooth them away, but more than that, I wished I could smooth away the harsh truth of his words. He was right. We were the damned no matter how you twisted it.
Something unfurled within me, making the realization that he had just related himself to me—his scars to mine, even while one was on the outside and the other was in—lighten the horror I felt at having such sympathy for me reflected in his eyes.
“At least we can be damned together.” Reaching out, I gripped his hand as a smile stretched across my face. I prayed my words would be enough to cast away the dark cloud hanging above our heads, to make him forget about the truths I’d revealed, but they weren’t.
The sympathy, the pity, the level of brokenness he thought I harbored reflected clearly in his eyes still, but it had hardened. Was he disgusted with me? The weight of the moment crushed me.
I had let everyone down. I had failed. I had made everyone upset with me.
Jennifer Snyder lives in North Carolina, where she spends most of her time writing New Adult and Young Adult Fiction, reading, and struggling to stay on top of housework. She is a tea lover with an obsession for Post-it notes and smooth writing pens. Jennifer lives with her husband and two children, who endure listening to songs that spur inspiration on repeat and tolerate her love for all paranormal, teenage-targeted TV shows.
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