Chapter 42 - I broke it all!

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“I have something I want to ask you.” He’s nervous. It’s there in the tone of his voice, in his eyes, and in the way he bites his upper lip.

My heart starts to beat faster, but my feet slow to a stop. “Okay. What is it?”

Jason starts moving us again, like he refuses to stop dancing. I go with him, but my feet feel like lead.

“Well…” He exhales softly. “I guess…well, what I want to ask is…”

He’s faltering, and I’ve never seen Jason falter before. He’s Mr. Confident. He exudes it in the way he moves, talks, breathes. But, right now, he’s Mr. Nervous As Hell, and it’s making me more nervous by the second, turning my stomach over.

Jason stops dancing, and he stares down into my eyes. “Samaya…” He blows out a breath. “Well…this is the part in the movie when the guy asks the girl to stay with him.”

“Stay?” My voice cracks on the word.

“Yeah.” He takes his hands off my body and puts them around my face. “I want you to stay here with me in London—permanently. I want this…I want you. I want to keep adding to your list. I want to fill it with new things for us to do together. I want to keep having this adventure with you, babe. The thought of you leaving and me never seeing you again…it’s inconceivable to me. I want you, Samaya. Forever.”

He wants me. Forever.

You know that moment in life when you’re faced with a decision, that crucial moment, that will change everything based on the choice you make?

There’s where I should find myself right now.

But I’m not there.

Because I don’t have a choice.

I never have.

There has only ever been one option for me.

I step out of his hold. His hands fall from my face to his sides.

“I’m sorry. I…I can’t stay with you.” I’m backing up, away from him, heading for the door.

The look on his face should stop me in my tracks. But it doesn’t.

That look on his face is one of the reasons that I have to go.

Stay, my heart whispers.

I can’t. I have to leave.

Somehow, I reach the door. I turn for it.

“Don’t go.” Those softly spoken words hit me with the force of a harsh blow.

If I turn and look at him, this will all be over. My heart will make me stay.

I can’t stay.

I’m past options now.

Because, if I do stay, I will die here. And he will have to see that.

I’ll hurt him.

I’ll be just as bad as his mother and Kate. No, I’ll be worse. Because I’ve known all along that I’m dying, and I chose not to tell him.

“Samaya,” he says my name, closer this time.

I place my heart into a steel box, and I force myself to turn to him, but I don’t look at his face.

“What’s…happening right now?” The words are soft and etched with pain.

That pain hits me hard.

“Two weeks,” I whisper, my eyes on the ground, watching the raindrops splashing as they hit the ground. “Two weeks, and that was supposed to be it.”

“I changed my mind.” His voice is deep, sure. “I fell in love with you, and I changed my mind.”

My eyes snap up to his face.

He’s in love with me.

I’ve never felt such a sensation as the one I’m feeling right now. It’s like being hugged and slapped across the face at the same time.

“No.” I shake my head, glancing at him, still unable to meet his eyes, my fingers curling around the door handle. “You weren’t supposed to fall in love.”

Anger and pain pull his brows in. “Well, I did. And I think you love me, too.”

He takes another step toward me.

I grip the handle tighter.

I’m still shaking my head. I’m not sure at what anymore, but I can’t seem to stop.

“I know you love me, Sam. I see it in your eyes when you look at me. In your voice when you talk to me. In your laughter…” He takes another step closer, his voice lowering. “In your body every time we spend the night together.”

My body shivers. My head has stopped moving. I wrap my arm over my stomach. I can’t even feel the damp and cold on me anymore. All I can feel is him and his words.

“No,” I whisper, my eyes fixed on his chest that’s getting closer by the second.

“Tell me I’m wrong,” he says like he didn’t hear my word. “Tell me that you don’t feel the same as I do, and I’ll let you walk out that door. I won’t try to stop you.” Another step. “But I know I’m not wrong, Samaya. I just can’t understand why you won’t admit it.”

Because I’m dying.

Because I don’t deserve you.

Because I owe my family…

I might love Jason.

But I love my family more.

“I love you,” he whispers. “I’m so fucking in love with you, Sam.”

I close my eyes against the onslaught of pain.

I love you, too, Jason. So much.

But it’s not enough.

Then, I shut everything down inside me, putting up steel walls and concealing the truth behind them, because it’s all I can do. I pull in a breath and force my eyes up to his, staring straight into them.

“You’re wrong.” I keep my voice even. “I’m not in love with you. I’m sorry.” And I am sorry. So very sorry.

The look on his face…I can put as many steel walls around me as I want, but the look on his face and the pain in his eyes right now…breaks through every single one of those walls, tearing them and me apart.

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