Chapter 13

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      IT'D BEEN SIX days since it happened: the party, Ryder finding out, Tyler getting shot, and me not seeing the boys for their own well being. I hadn't seen any of them at school all week, and I didn't expect to. I was sure they were still at the hospital, staying night after night to make sure Tyler was okay—like I wished I was doing.

      I was partly glad they hadn't been here or spoken to me since then. If they had, I may not have been able to stay away, despite my mental—and physical, considering the large wound on my leg that was sure to scar when it finished healing—reminders on why my leaving was in their best interest.

      It was Friday morning and I was currently sitting in my first period class, head down in utter exhaustion. I hadn't been able to sleep since Saturday night. I couldn't stop thinking about Tyler.

      I hadn't gone to the hospital. I wanted to, more than anything, but I couldn't. I had no doubt in my mind that Tyler hated me. After all, I was the very reason he almost died. If he didn't hate me because of that, I was sure he would after thinking that I'd left them, and that I hadn't even 'bothered' to come to the hospital and check on him.

      I'd had plenty of missed calls from Jay, but I fought the urge to call him back. The voicemails piled up in my inbox, but fear gripped me by the neck when I considered listening to them. Knowing Jay, it was a fifty-fifty chance I'd be hit with a slur of curse words laced with all of the hatred he felt towards me, or it would be filled with desperate attempts to talk me into coming back.

      I was dragged from my thoughts as the classroom door slammed open, halfway through class. I didn't bother glancing up, my focus on the phone in my hands and the Voicemail notification on the lock screen. He'd tried calling gain a little over an hour ago.

      "Mr. Spencer, mind telling me why you're late for my class?" the teacher asked, her voice laced with irritation.

      I glanced up in surprise to see Jay himself standing in the doorway with his gray hood up over his head. He sent a glare the Devil would be proud of at the teacher for addressing him by his last name, then started toward his seat.

      At least, I thought he was going to his seat. Insread, he came to a stop at my desk and stared at me with an unreadable expression. I really should have listened to those voicemails.

      I stared with wide eyes, as did the rest of my class, as Jay stood before me. We had an agreement to have no interactions in public. My surprised expression soon turned to one of concern as I took in his appearance, and all fear of our upcoming conversation flew out the window.

      He looked like absolute hell.

      He had dark circles under his hazel eyes, and his face looked nearly as pale as Tyler's had been when he laid unconscious in my arms. Not only that, but his cheeks looked a little sunken in since the last time I'd seen him. He clearly wasn't eating.

      "Mr. Spencer, please take your hood off and go to your seat. You're interrupting my class—which you entered late, might I add."

      Jay simply ignored the woman and continued staring at me. After a few seconds, he nodded his head toward the door. "Get up."

      The entire class was silent, probably thinking I was about to get my ass kicked. If I didn't know Jay enough to know that he'd never hit me—or any other girl, for that matter—I would have been, too. The look in his eyes was dead, uncaring. Emotionless.

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