Chapter 49 *NEW*

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NOTE: Calling all audiobook listeners old & new! Make sure to tune into the audiobook performance this week by the awesome kaelking12 ! This chapter is intense & we don't want you to miss it in the audio! Enjoy!

NOTE: Calling all audiobook listeners old & new! Make sure to tune into the audiobook performance this week by the awesome kaelking12 ! This chapter is intense & we don't want you to miss it in the audio! Enjoy!

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Elias

My brother's here.

My brother's--here.

And I wish I was hallucinating.

But I'm not.

He's standing a couple feet away from me waving and smiling like nothing's wrong with this picture.

Like we haven't spent the last couple of months in total radio silence, hating each other from a distance.

But I guess, reality doesn't matter to him anymore.

Either way, I can't deal with him right now.

Or Caleigh.

Or anything or anyone else but Jersey because everything's jacked.

And I can't fix it this time--'cause once I tell her the truth about Mindy and her daughter, she's gonna leave me. She's already leaving me. She can't even look at me.

Instead, God's put me face to face with every single mistake I've ever made, and every single person I've ever hurt, and this is how I pay for it.

I shift my focus off Jersey and stand there staring at Tanner and Caleigh with no idea what to do. Or what to say. Or how to pretend that things are fine between me and Jersey, when everything's backwards.

But then again, Tanner and Caleigh would probably want things to be like this. They've always wanted our relationship to fall apart just to prove a point. My brother's been waiting on the day to finally tell me that he was right all along--and here we are. Everything came crashing down exactly like he said it would.

Maybe I should've listened to him.

Maybe when he warned me to stay away from Jersey I should've taken the hint and walked because now it doesn't matter how much I love her because of how the truth will leave her.

It doesn't matter how I found her 'cause I can't keep her.

Not after this.

"Eli! Get over here!"

Tanner barks at me from a distance like some cracked out Chihuahua, and it takes saintly-level-restraint not to take Jersey by the hand and breeze past him like he's not even there.

But there's no other way out of here but through him. I just have to figure out how to keep it together long enough for him and Caleigh to say their piece and leave us alone.

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