*** Chapter 16 Teaser ***
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. When I opened them again and looked at Edward’s face, all the mean, unfounded, irrational accusations I had hurled at him twisted his expression into a grimace. He sat silent, slumped into the drivers’ side door, stunned.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered. “I didn’t mean any of those things.”
He breathed heavily and steadily—his gaze darting around the front of the Cayenne. Then he slowly looked up and made eye contact with me again, and the look in his eyes…
I never, ever wanted to be the cause of that kind of pain for him. I’d seen that look when we visited his family—in the driveway when he realized they weren’t there to greet us, at brunch when his dad showed zero interest in anything he had to say and his mom was a total bitch to me—and, again, when we talked to them on Thursday. As tough and strong as Edward was on the outside, he was a sweet, vulnerable boy underneath it all. And I was a piece of shit.
“Edward…” I reached out for him, needing to feel him, to soothe him and me both.
He accepted my outstretched hand, entwined our fingers, and let me come close to him. I wrapped my free arm around his shoulders, burying my face in his neck and squeezing him.
“It’s okay,” he said quietly, comfortingly, and I immediately nodded in agreement, sniffling into the crook of his neck. “We’re gonna be fine. But, we’re takin’ it one day at a time, remember?”
“I know, I’m sorry, baby,” I kissed his neck then pulled back to look him in the eye. “There’s no excuse. I just forgot that you’re on my team.”
He nodded, understanding. “And I love you,” he said, his face soft and pleading.
Ghosts of the heartache and disappointment that come from family and friends being torn apart because of choices and loyalties hung heavy behind his eyes. Edward was honest and devoted and he lived by his heart. He loved with everything he had, and he loved me.
“I love you, too,” I said, my lip trembling.
It was suddenly very clear to me that the rare and precious thing Edward and I had would continue to grow and become more intense, and we would have it for the rest of our lives. It wasn’t fleeting. It wasn’t about common interests, or sex, or even about the child I was carrying; it was about the way we fit together, balanced each other, and helped each other to be the best that we could be. And, after seeing all of that in just a handful of weeks, I could not fucking wait to see us in five years.