"Get off!" Tessa screams again and Noah begins to protest behind me. Her hand hits my solid cast and she cries out again. "I hate you!" Her words burn me but I still hold her flailing body in my arms.
"You're making things worse!" Noah's deep voice breaks through Tessa's screams and she goes mute again and does the worst thing she could do to my heart. Her hands break free of me, it's harder than hell to hold her with one hand, and she reaches for Noah. Tessa reaches for Noah to help her because she can't stand the sight of me.
I let go of her immediately and she rushes into his arms. One of his arms hooks around her waist and one rests at the base of her neck, pulling her head to his chest. Fury wrestles with sense and I'm fighting my hardest to stay calm with his hands on her. If I touch him, she will hate me even more.
Fuck, why did I come here in the first place? I should have stayed away, just like I had planned. Now that I'm here I can't seem to force my feet out of this god damn room and her cries only trigger my need to keep her near. I can't fucking win for losing and it's making me crazy.
"Make him go," Tessa sobs into Noah's chest.
I find myself in Carol's kitchen filling a glass with water. It's harder than I thought to do everything only using one hand. The huffing woman behind me is grating my nerves so I turn to face her, waiting for her to tell me she called the police.
"I don't care about the trivial shit right now, go ahead and call the police or do whatever you have to do but I'm not leaving this shit hole of a town until she talks to me." I take a drink from the glass and cross the small but immaculate kitchen.
"How did you get here, you were in London." Carol's voice is hard.
"I got on a damn plane, that's how,"
"Just because you fly across the world doesn't mean you have a place with her. She made that clear, why won't you leave her? You're only hurting her and I won't continue to stand around and allow it." She seethes.
"I know you don't like me but I love her. I make mistakes, way too fucking many of them but Carol, if you think I'm going to leave her with you after she found her dead father, you're crazier than I thought."
"She will be fine," her mum coolly remarks. "People die and she will get over it!' Her voice is raising now and I hope that Tessa can't hear her mother's cold remark.
"You're serious? She's your fucking daughter and he was your husband..." I trail off, remembering the two weren't actually legally married. "She's hurting and you're being a heartless bitch, that's exactly why I won't leave her here with you. Liam shouldn't have let you come get her in the first place!" it's my turn to raise my voice.
"Let me? She's my daughter."
"Maybe you should act like it then and try to be there for her!" The glass in my hand shakes and the water laps over the side and onto the floor.
"Be there for her?" Her emotionless voice cracks and I'm shocked when the woman who I was convinced was made of stone, crumbles and leans against the counter to keep herself from falling to the floor. "I didn't see that man for years," tears roll down her heavy made up face, despite the fact that it's almost five in the morning.
"He left us! He left me after making promise after promise of a good life!" Her hands swipe across the counter, knocking jars of utensils to the floor. "He lied, he lied to me and he left Tessa and ruined my entire life! I could never even look at another man after Richard Young and he left us!" She screams. In this moment she looks so much like the girl I love that I can't bring myself to push her away when she grasps onto my shoulder and digs her head into my chest, sobbing and screaming.