Chapter 15

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Carter and I pulled away from each other as we heard the sound of Julie's footsteps approach us. We glanced at each other with painful expressions before turning to face her.

"I asked you a question," Julie said, directing her words at Carter.

"She was upset. I was just trying to calm her down," Carter replied, seeming unfazed at the interrogation.

"Is that what was happening?" she asked, raising a thin eyebrow and looking menacingly at me.

"Yes, that was what was happening," Carter replied for me. She continued to glare at me. "How about we all go inside. It's cold out here and people are probably wondering where we all disappeared off to," Carter suggested. He moved forward and tried to hold Julie's hand to bring her inside, but she shook him off.

"You go on in. I'd like to have a word with Arya here," Julie said, not taking her eyes off me. I felt dread wash over me.

"Honestly, it was nothing, Julie-" Carter began, but she held up her hand to stop him.

"Go on in, sweetie. It'll just be a few minutes," Julie said.

"But-" Carter protested.

"Go on," Julie said forcefully through gritted teeth.

Carter gave me a sympathetic look, glanced at Julie, and then sighed. Then he turned around and disappeared inside the cabin, leaving me alone with his jealous fiancee.

"Look, I'm not really in the mood to--" I started.

"Shut up," she said, cutting me off rudely. I clamped my mouth shut. It wasn't because I was afraid of her; it was because I had never heard her voice sound this way. Julie's voice was always bubblegum sweet. It was girly and high-pitched. It was always happy. In the two words that she had just uttered to me, I realized that there was a lot more to Julie than I gave her credit for. In a matter of seconds, her sweet cotton-candy voice turned sour and threatening. She no longer sounded like an annoying high school cheerleader; she sounded like a woman getting down to business.

"I don't care how much you try to tell me that you and Carter were just best friends when you lived here before. I'm not stupid. I know there was something else between you two. I can see it in your faces when you're with each other. It's obvious that something intimate happened between both of you, so you can just stop lying to me about that," Julie began.

I bit my lip. She really wasn't as dumb as I made her out to be.

"It was in the past, Julie," I said.

"Exactly," she said snappily, "it was in the past. Whatever it was, it was. It isn't now. It's over. Whatever chance you had with him is gone. And in case you didn't realize, he's my fiancee. If you came back here just to steal him from me, you should know that you're messing with the wrong girl here. Because he's mine. He moved on and I helped him move on. So try your luck somewhere else," she continued.

I felt anger, resentment, and sadness well up inside of me all at once. I was angry at Julie for thinking that the only reason I came back was to win over Carter. I was angry because she made it seem like she had claimed Carter, like I was an insignificant part of his life. I resented her because she was, in part, right. Carter was her fiancee. I had lost him a while ago. And this was also the cause of my sadness. I would never be able to have a happily ever after with the one person I ever truly loved.

I fought back angry tears and stood my ground, opening my mouth to respond to her accusations. After all, I wasn't going to just stand around and let her talk to me the way she did, even if she was right.

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