40 | Unmistakable

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Blair's car was parked in front of my house

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Blair's car was parked in front of my house.

For a few heart wrenching moments, I sat half in anticipation, half in terror, waiting for Bakhtiar to slide out and purr that she had finally won. When the door of the white BMW opened and Sebastian appeared, I was stricken by the fact that his presence barely reassured me.

The night was warm for late April, and the sweater I had draped around my shoulders seemed almost unnecessary despite the soft breeze. For a Friday night, the neighborhood was uncharacteristically quiet, a detail I had noticed in the two hours I'd been sitting outside. The appearance of Blair's car had been the only disturbance in the post-midnight hours, but now that the engine had been cut and Sebastian was slowly making his way towards me, the sense of quiet had been restored.

I watched from my perch on the front steps as Sebastian slipped the keys into the pocket of his wrinkled slacks and flashed me an exhausted smile. With each step he took towards the porch, my heartbeat doubled in speed. It was on the verge of exploding before he even made it halfway.

I desperately wished I could say it beat faster out of excitement, anticipation, or even joy. But this time, however, it was out of nothing more than betrayal and the sheer will it took to keep from throttling him.

Despite the fury burning under my breastbone, I made an effort to remain calm, to simply keep breathing. It would have been easy to let my anger guide me to what would have undoubtedly ended in some sort of physical violence, but the intelligent part of my brain knew that it wouldn't solve anything this time around. If I wanted answers, I had to hold back

"Hey," Sebastian greeted gently. "I'm sorry it's so late. I lost track of time."

Well I certainly hadn't. As eleven o'clock had turned into midnight, midnight into one o'clock, and one o'clock into two o'clock, my awareness of the passing hours had only increased. Now, here we were in the wee hours of the morning, staring at each other with two completely different ideas for how the rest of the night was going to go.

"It's two-thirty in the morning," I pointed out, but the chill in the words had me tugging my sweater a little closer.

He grimaced and nodded, at least pretending to be ashamed. "I'm so sorry. Everything just took longer than I expected."

"Everything with Blair?"

Sebastian met my eyes for only a split second before casting them to the ground, a hand slipping up to rub the back of his neck. He said nothing in his own defense.

"I can't believe you actually thought I wouldn't find out," I scoffed, struggling to keep my voice down, fighting to keep from disturbing the night. "You should have known better. Why couldn't you have just told me the truth?"

"I didn't want to upset you." He blew out a sigh, and the hand on his neck came up to ruffle his already unruly hair. "I thought I'd be able to finish things tonight and just come to you when I finally had good news."

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