Not knowing what else to do, I wrap one arm around her and stay silent. "I wished for this, I wished he would die." She admits through her tears, I can hear the shame in her voice. "I used to wait for him, I used to tell myself that he would come back for us. For years I did this, and now that he's dead, I can't even pretend anymore."

We stay this way for a long time, her crying into my chest, telling me that she hates herself because she's glad that he's dead. I can't find words to comfort this woman but for the first time since I met her, I can see the broken woman behind the mask.

Tessa's POV.

"I'm going to get you something to drink. You need food too." Noah sits me down on the bed and tries to walk away. My fists wrap around his shirt and I shake my head, begging him not to leave me alone.

"You'll get sick if you don't eat something soon," he sighs but I know I've won the battle. Noah has never been one to hold his ground. The last thing I want is something to drink or to eat. I only want one thing, for him to leave and never come back. "I think your mom is giving him an earful," Noah attempts a smile but fails. I hear her yelling and something crashes in the distance but I refuse to let Noah leave me alone in the room.

If I'm left alone, he will come in here. That's what he does, he preys on people when they are at their weakest. Especially me, who has been weak since the day I met him.

I lay my head back on my pillow and block out everything, my mother screaming, the deep accented voice yelling back at her, and even Noah's comforting whispers in my ear. I close my eyes and drift between nightmares and reality, trying to decide which is worse.


When I wake up again the sun is bright through the thin curtains tacked over the windows. My head is pounding, my mouth is dry, and I'm alone in the room. Noah's tennis shoes are on the floor and after a peaceful moment of confusion, the weight of the last twenty hours knocks the breath out of me and I bury my face in my hands.

He was here.

"Tessa," his voice startles me and I refuse to look up at him as he enters the room. Why is he here? Why does he think he can toss me aside then swoop back in when it's convenient? It's not happening anymore. I've already lost him and my father and I don't need either loss shoved in my face right now.

"Get out." I hold my ground and try to hide the shiver that passes over me when I feel the bed shift under his weight.

"Have some water," a cold glass is pressed against my hand and I swat it away. I don't even flinch when I hear it fall to the floor. "Tess, look at me." His hands are icy, his touch almost foreign, and I jerk away from him.

As much as I want to crawl into his lap and let him comfort me, I don't. And I won't, not ever again. Even with my mind in the place it is now, I know that I won't ever let him in again. I can't and I won't.

"Here," Harry hands me another glass of water from the bedside table. His name echoes in my mind. I didn't want to hear his name, not in my own head, that's the only place I am safe from him. "You'll drink some water," he softly demands.

I stay silent as I grab the cup from him and bring it to my lips. I don't have the energy to deny the water out of spite, and really, I need the water. I finish the entire glass within seconds, my eyes never leaving the wall.

"I know you're pissed at me but I just want to be here for you," he lies. Everything he says is a lie, always has been, always will be.

I stay quiet, a low snort coming from my mouth at his claim.

"The way you acted when you saw me last night," I can feel his eyes on me but I refuse to look at him. "the way you screamed..Tessa, I've never felt pain like that-"

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