Chapter 47: The Explanation

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"Audrey, I am so-"

I held up my hand. "I don't want an apology. I want an explanation as to why on earth you would be kissing a random girl outside of this gym. Because I totally get you're new to dating and being my boyfriend but I don't think you are so stupid, you wouldn't realize it would hurt me."

Nathan and I stood in his usual practise room with the rusty door shut. I gave Samara my keys to the Tesla so she and Hayden could get out of here while Nate and I talked.

He step forward to reach for my hand but I took a step back and started to tear up as I thought of everything that he has done the past few weeks to hurt me. "Don't touch me. Not until you tell me why you were ignoring me for weeks and then had the audacity to kiss another girl and sign yourself for a match that was basically a death wish."

I crossed my arms and Nathan sat down on the bench I once sat on when I watched him prepare for his last fight. He looked defeated, bloody, and bruised. Part of me wanted to forget everything and console him but I didn't want him to think he could get away with hurting me the way he has just because he got into a nasty fight.

After a moment of silence, he looked up. "When Noah h-"

He started but I could see he had to calm himself down. "Hit you, I blamed myself. I couldn't believe that I could get lost in such a small stupid town and that I had left you alone long enough for that to happen."

"When I saw your face and the bruises all over your arms, I couldn't stop thinking how much it was my fault," he paused. "And then I saw how much it was affecting you. You and your sister fought, you shut down completely. You would just go from school to home and that's it. You barely talked to anybody and all I could think was you wouldn't be enduring this if it hadn't been for me so I distanced myself. Because if I blamed myself, I knew you could too - even if you couldn't admit it."

"Nathan I don't-" I began but he completely ignored me and continued.

"I know you don't blame me but it still feels like you do," he looked like he was about to cry and his once ever so colourful hazel eyes looked dull in this moment. "Even if you can't admit it, it feels that way. I don't deserve you Audrey, I never have."

I wanted to fight him on this but I knew he wasn't going to listen so I remained silent as he continued on with his explanation. "That girl that you saw me with, I've been with her before."

My heart sunk and I wanted nothing more but to block out whatever he was going to say next but instead I stayed to listen to the explanation I asked for.

He let out a big sigh. "We hooked up a few times before you and I started dating but I promise you we stopped as soon as I recognized my feelings for you and asked you out. Please believe me when I say that."

I nodded my head lamely, arms still crossed as I stated into his eyes. Eyes that were desperate for me to believe the words that were coming out of his mouth.

"The night of your party, I truly was going to see you and talk to you about everything but she knew I went to this gym because we had met at a club nearby and I guess she saw me leaving that night and made her way to me," he winced as he continued on. "She started flirting and I kept telling her I was late for my girlfriend's party but she thought I was lying - as if she couldn't believe someone like me could possibly have a girlfriend. She kissed me and the instant she touched my lips, you ran into that trash can and I pushed her off."

Nathan got up and he stood in front of me, grasping my shoulders and staring down at me with such urgency, as if his life depended on me to believe every word he said. "Baby, you have to believe I would never willingly kiss another girl while being with you. I could never hurt you ever. And it kills me that this could be it for us because I don't want to - I can't - be without you. I was going to go to the cottage but Hayden told me you and Samara left. It killed me so much I did that stupid match because I felt like I deserved the pain. The pain that I put you in - I deserved it, not you. Me."

I remained silent and I took the time to inspect his body language. He bloody hands were wrapped in gauze and his bare chest was cover in terrible dark bruises and scrapes. His bottom lip was scratched and he had giant violet bruise forming on his left side of his face. But most importantly, his eyes never left mine and I could see the familiar flakes of gold that fluttered about and I could see he was being as sincere and serious as he could be. I took a small step back and I said quietly, "Why should I believe you're telling the truth? I've been in a relationship filled with lies and betrayal and I don't want to put myself in that position ever again."

Nathan took a step forward and gently placed my hands in his and he rubbed circles with his thumbs on the back of my hand for a moment but then took his left hand and took my chin and tilted it upwards so I could look him in the eyes. He then placed his hand in mine again and said, "Baby, I would never put you in the same position Noah put you in. I'd never lie to you, or intentionally hurt you and I know I did when I stayed away but I thought that it would help you heal - I was wrong to think that and I know that now. I'd never betray you like Noah did and I know you think I did with that girl but I promise I would never do that."

I bit my lip and looked up at Nathan uncertainly. He, however, had a small smile on his face and continued. "Do you want to know why I'd never hurt or betray you?"

"Why?" I asked so quietly it was basically came out as a whisper.

"Because, princess," he whispered back, again with an urgent stare. "I love you and I would never intentionally hurt the woman I love."

I opened my mouth to speak but closed it until I came up with the dumbest response. "You love me?"

He let go of my hands again and put the left one on my waist to pull me closer and the other one cupped my cheek. Nathan smiled as a single tear ran down the right side of his face and he nodded. "I have loved you since the moment I saw you and it killed me when I saw you with Noah and when you went out with Hayden and don't even get me started on that Max guy."

I laughed through my tears as there was so many emotions hitting me right now I didn't know how to comprehend any of them so I just started to cry, not knowing why but only knowing that Nathan was telling the truth and that he loved me.

Without giving it any further thought, I got up on my tippy toes and kissed his soft lips that I had missed so much in the past few weeks, I never wanted to stop. Clearly, he felt the same because grabbed my waist roughly and picked me up so my legs were around him and he had me against the closest wall. We kissed and kissed with such urgency neither of us stopped to breathe properly until his lips left mine and started to trail down my neck and I said, "Nathan?"

He stopped and looked at me curiously as he breathed heavy and I could see his hair got even more messy while we kissed. He continued to grip my thighs so I was still against the wall. "Yes?"

"I love you too," I said, biting my lip, unsure as to how he'd react.

His face lit up and pushed me against the wall even more than I already was. His eyes were wild, as if he was drunk off of our kiss and our love. "Say it again."

I giggled and I played with his hair with my hands. "I love you."

Without warning, he immediately began to attach his lips to mine and kissed me with all the passion he could muster. I knew if we continued down this road, it would get very hot and heavy, which wasn't necessarily something I wanted to happen in a dirty gym. After a few moments I gently pushed Nate back so he could look at me and I gave him a knowing smile. "Maybe we should head home before we continue?"

Nathan gave me his signature wicked grin and planted one last kiss on my lips. "Your wish is my command, princess."

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