Chapter 31

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I lift my head off the couch as I hear my buzzer sounding over and over again.

Pressing my hand on the black button, I look down, wiping my eyes. "Yes?"

"It's- It's Tristan."

I press on the button to let him in and open the door, walking out into the hallway. At the bottom of the stairs, he looks up, seeing me. I must look bad because he stops moving.

"Genevieve, I'm so sorry. I'm- I'm mortified."

"So am I," I whisper truthfully, resting my hand on the metal railing.

"I know- I can't- I don't even know what to say right now."

"You don't have to say anything... Just- just go."

"What?"

"Go."

Looking nervous now, he shakes his head. "What are you saying, Genevieve?"

Desperately trying not to lose it, I feel my face contort in pain. "I'm saying goodbye."

"No. No, Gen. Please." He makes it up the steps in seconds, grabbing onto my face desperately. "No. We can figure this out."

"No, we can't. We were fooling ourselves into thinking we could and I can't do this anymore."

"We were not fooling ourselves. We weren't." He runs his thumbs over my cheeks, wiping the tears. "I can do something. I can talk to Casey..."

"She's not going to give you that evidence, Tristan. You know that and I know it. She needs you too much."

"No."

I nod, biting my lip to stop the trembling.

"No." He presses his forehead against mine, shaking his head defiantly. "I won't let you go."

I suck in a breath, moving my head back. "She just fired me."

His eyes widen. "What?"

"Jessica fired me... I-I don't work at the museum anymore."

He closes his eyes apologetically, exhaling. "Fuck ... Baby, we can fix this. I can-"

"No. Tristan, no. I can't do this. There is no 'we' anymore."

"Don't say that."

"I'm sorry," I utter through the tears, closing my eyes so I don't see the complete look of agony on his face. "Please- just go."

"No."

"Yes."

He pulls my face to his, crushing his lips to mine and I don't kiss him back- I can't. I can't do that to myself. He gasps, pulling back.

"I love you... I love you, Genevieve!"

I stare at him in horror. "Stop!"

"I can't. I can't lose you, Gen. I've loved you since I met you. Since you saved my life. Since you came into my room on that fucking airplane after that nightmare and spent the night with me. I can't lose you."

I'm heaving in full out sobs now but I still manage to push him back with a shove. He moves back, his chest heaving and I stand still as a rock, staring at him.

"I'm s-sorry."

I force my body towards my front door and walk into my apartment, shutting the door firmly behind me before I lose my bearings and slide down it onto the ground. 

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