Begin Again

Page 21

Someone tapped me on the shoulder and I spun around. It was Grayson.
"Everything okay?" he asked.
"Yeah," I lied, "all good. What's up?"
'Huntley isn't feeling well, so I'm taking her home. Jeff is catching a ride home with us."
"What about Demi?" I asked, thinking about her immediately.
Grayson sighed and brushed his fingers through his hair. "We're having a slight," he hesitated, "problem."
"What's wrong?"
"Demi is outside, but we can't let her drive home. She's had too much to drink. She's not too happy with us."
I'd seen Demi a little over thirty minutes ago. How much more could she have possibly had to drink? I followed Grayson outside to the parking lot where Demi was stumbling all over the place trying to get her keys out of Huntley's grasp. Jeff was leaning against Grayson's truck and he looked completely dejected.
"Shit!" Huntley cursed loudly.
My head whipped around and I caught sight of Huntley bending down to help Demi off the ground. She'd fallen onto the gravel and scraped her knee. Something about it amused her though. The alcohol must've numbed any hurt she might've felt. Jesus, how much had she had to drink? I raced over, and took her from Huntley's arms. I could feel Jeff's eyes on the back of my head but I ignored it. I had more important shit to deal with.
"Give me her keys," I said to Huntley. "I'll take her home and come fetch her car tomorrow."
Huntley looked worried but handed the keys to Demi's Lexus to me. "Are you okay to drive?"
"Yes," I replied, "I haven't had a drop of alcohol. I promise, nothing will happen to her. Don't you trust me?"
Huntley looked at a semi-conscious Demi tucked into my side and the back at me. The words that came next shouldn't have surprised me, but they did. They knocked me off kilter. "No, Brody, I don't."
Huntley kissed Demi's forehead and made her way to Grayson's truck. Grayson helped me get Demi into my truck and I watched the drive away before taking Demi home. It was silent in the cab of my truck. Demi was leaning against the window, her eyes closed.
"Why are you helping me?" she mumbled.
"Because you're too drunk to help yourself," I replied angrily. She had been completely irresponsible and it wasn't like her to get drunk, let alone consider driving home in her condition. What was going on with her? Was it my fault she'd had the need to get drunk off her ass? She didn't speak again until I stopped outside her house and walked around the passenger side to help her out.
"Don't touch me," she slurred, barely making it out the truck on her own.
"Stop being so Goddamn stubborn and let me help you," I bit back. I shut the truck door and picked her up, cradling her against my chest. "Did you enjoy it?" Her words were muffled against my shirt and I wasn't sure I'd heard her correctly. "Enjoy what?" I asked. I managed to unlock her front door without dropping her and walked inside. It was dark, save for the moonlight cascading through the glass doors that lead to her porch. A puppy started yapping, and Demi squirmed out of my arms. Her legs buckled beneath her but I grabbed her waist before she hit the floor. "Sshh, Coco," she hushed, making a grab for the little ball moving around our feet. "Go sleep." The puppy whined and traipsed off to its bed in the living room. "You can leave now," Demi said, dismissing me. "I can manage without you."
Her words wounded me and I suspected that she'd meant them to, like what she really meant was that for the last year, she'd been managing just fine without me. I didn't want that to be true, but it was unfair of me to expect her to have spent the time wishing I hadn't left .
"I'm taking you to bed," I replied, helping her down the hallway to what I thought was her bedroom.
She laughed, but the sound was empty and cruel. "You already did that once tonight, what makes you think I'll let you fuck me like a whore again?"
I winced. I couldn't deny that I'd acted like a complete asshole and now hearing Demi say that I'd done that to her made it so much worse.
"Do you fuck Sienna like that too? Or did you save it for me? Your piece of ass from home." She laughed again as I sat her down on her bed and I hated myself more than I ever thought possible. I found the switch for the lamp next to Demi's bed and turned it on just in time to see her fall backwards onto the bed. I bent down and slipped her heels off, trying not think about all the times we'd had sex while she was wearing nothing but those heels.
"I miss you," she whispered. My head shot up but her eyes were closed and I swore she'd fallen asleep. I stood up and helped her sit up right so that I could take off her dress. I unzipped it and slid it down over her shoulders to her waist. I laid her down again and continued sliding the dress down, over her hips and down her legs. She was wearing nothing but her bra, since I'd ripped off her underwear earlier, and I'm sure that if she weren't drunk she would have tried to cover herself up. Instead of leaving her like that, I opened her drawers until I found her pajamas and dressed her in her favorite lime green sleep shorts and matching tank top. I shifted her so that her head rested on her pillow and just as I was about to pull her duvet over her, her eyes flew open. Their lucidity, despite her state of intoxication, pierced my soul and left me bare for the world to see.
"I wish I could hate you," she said quietly. "But even with a broken heart, I still love you."
She climbed under her duvet and turned away from me, her breathing evening out as she fell asleep. I bent down and kissed her head, whispering, "I love you. Always."
I stared at her for a few minutes, struck speechless by her words, and rubbed my face. She was a mess, that much was obvious, and it was my fault. I turned to switch the light off when my eyes fell to a folded piece of paper. I picked it up and opened it. It took me a minute to figure out what it was. An ultrasound. Of a baby. What the fuck? Was she pregnant? I swallowed hard, feeling my body stiffen in shock. It wasn't mine so that meant it was…Jeff's. Demi had lied to me. Not only was she seeing Jeff but she might have been carrying his child. I felt sick. I dropped the photo and left. Nothing hurt more than thinking about her having another man's baby. It should be my baby she's carrying.
When I reached my truck, I took a few deep breaths but they didn't alleviate the pain coursing through every fiber in my body. Instead, I reared my fist back and punched the driver's side window of my truck. I watched the glass shatter and blood start running down my hand. It wasn't enough though. I deserved much worse. Then again, it couldn't get any worse than finding out the love of your life was expecting a child that wasn't yours.
I woke up when my head started pounding. My eyelids were too heavy and it felt like I'd swallowed a box of lit cigarettes. A throat cleared and my bed dipped. With great difficulty, I cracked an eye open and found Huntley sitting next to me.
"What time is it?" I asked. I winced when my voice was unrecognizable, even to my own ears.

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