Chapter 45: The Freak Out

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For a millisecond I contemplated backing away quietly, pretending that I didn't see Nathan locking lips with another woman but after the millisecond I lost my fucking mind and stormed up to him. "YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!"

I heard Max pick up the bottle of Jack Daniels and run towards me. The woman who had been kissing Nathan rolled her eyes and walked away, as if she didn't have time for my dramatics.

Nathan's eyes filled with fear and he attempted to explain himself. "Audrey, I swear it's not-"

"What it looks like?" Max cut in from behind me, placing a hand on my shoulder. "Nice excuse, haven't heard that one before."

Nathan looked from me to Max and rage began to arise and it was evident in his facial features. "Who the fuck are you? This is between me and my girlfriend."

Max chuckled and said, "You'd know who I am if you bothered to pay attention to your girlfriend every once in a while."

Nathan tried to speak but I held up my hand. "I don't want to hear it. You ignore me for weeks on end, you ignore me on my birthday, and then I find you kissing another girl?"

"Baby," he said helplessly. "I promise you, it's not what it looks like."

My heart ached seeing Nathan this vulnerable. He looks like he hadn't slept in weeks nor has he shaved. His eyes looked at me pleadingly, begging for me to understand. But I didn't and I didn't want to because I've been through this with Noah and I'm not going through it again. Licking my lips and meeting his eyes, I said, "I'm done."

Without waiting for a response, I turned on my heel, grabbing the bottle of Jack Daniels from Max's hand and started walking back to the party.

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When I got back to the party, I told Samara what happened and like any best friend would be, she was pissed. But quite frankly, I wasn't in the mood to hear how pissed she was, I just wanted to leave. "Can we go? I'm really grateful for the party but I don't want to be around this many people anymore."

Samara nodded her head and quickly told Hayden she was leaving while Max ordered an Uber from his phone. "Your place, I assume?"

I shook my head and I turned to Sam. "Yours?"

Sam bit her lip as we left the has and stood on the porch. "My landlord kinda sorta kicked me out. That's why I've been at your place."

"Sam," I began, "Why didn't you tell me?"

She shrugged. "I was embarrassed. I literally have nowhere to go and I don't want to move back with my parents."

I nodded my head in understanding and I stood there for awhile, thinking of where to go. Max lived in the dorms so that was out, I didn't want to be near Nathan so going to Hayden's was out because obviously he'd see his best friend, but there was one place no one knew about - aside from Nate but he didn't know exactly where it was.

I grinned as I took Max's phone and typed in an address. "Time to see my cottage."

▪▪▪

When we got to my cottage, but at this point it's just a house near water given the fact I could live here year round, forty five minutes later, Max let out a whistle. "So this is the famous Holland Cottage everyone at school talked about."

I rolled my eyes. "Not everyone talked about it."

Max gave me an are you kidding me stare. "You were the richest one in town, everyone knew about your cottage and everyone wanted to go there. Do you still have that Tesla?"

Samara snapped her head over to my direction and mouthed the word Tesla.

"Yeah," I said, placing the keys down on the kitchen island. "It's in the garage. Alex got it transported here as well as the rest of my stuff and some furniture from my parents place."

Samara inspected the whole place for a few minutes and came back to the kitchen with her mouth dropped to the floor. "There's like, five bedrooms, and six giant bathrooms. Have you seen the basement? You have a screen the size of the wall and recliners down there, in case you forgot."

I laughed and leaned against the island and Max leaned against the counter behind me with his arms crossed as he chuckled too.

"Yeah, this place is big," I mused. "I bet it could fit all of us and a bunch of dogs."

All of us meaning Darian, Justin, Hayden, Max, Samara, and Nathan if he didn't suck.

As soon as I said that, Samara's eyes lit up. "It could. Audrey we should move in here! This place is HUGE and has everything we could ever need. Darian and Justin could be together and so could Hayden and I - I don't really want him to because he is a slob - it's perfect!"

I nodded my head and tapped on my chin a few times. "I'm still very much not sober so I don't know if my decision making skills are appropriate at moment. But I'll get back to you."

Samara gave me a wicked grin and clapped her hands together. "I have a good feeling about this but in the mean time I'm going to be in your mini movie theatre."

I nodded my head and laughed at her enthusiasm. I turned to face Max but the world was still a roller coaster and I nearly fell. He grabbed me by elbows and smirked. "You are very drunk right now."

I laughed and swayed a bit. "Very drunk."

I took a step back but again, lost my footing and nearly slipped.

"That's it," Max said, without warning, I was being lifted up into the air. "I don't trust you walking."

He looked down at me and smile with such sincerity I had to look away. "Where to birthday girl?"

I sighed and thought about it for a minute. "My bedroom, I'm exhausted."

Max chuckled as he started up the stairs and said, "I don't blame you."

I pointed to the bedroom that was the second closest to the bathroom. "Mine."

Max nodded his head and carefully opened the door while still carrying me and gently placed me on my bed. "I'm sorry that things turned out the way they did."

I shook my head and waved him off. "It's not your fault I suck at choosing men."

Max was silent and my breathing started to slow as sleep began to cloud over me. The last thing I heard was, "One day, Audrey."

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