Chapter Two

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It takes every aching bone in my body not to fight against the rent-a-cops. I don't want to get arrested. Spending the night on a cold bench and have the memory of Lily screaming that she's done with me playing on a loop the whole night would be worse than hell. I already have a criminal record longer than it's supposed to be for someone as young as me. I haven't murdered anyone or robbed a bank, but a few more arrests will land my ass directly in prison. So, I let the beefy mall cops drag me out of the pristine hotel without swinging a fist or head-butting or doing any minimalistic thing to set them off and take me to their big brothers of the law.

The taller guard of the two roughly shoves me out of the massive glass doors, pointing a fat finger at me. "I don't want to see your face around here again, you hear me?" His voice is rough but does nothing to intimidate me. I've beaten up guys twice his size.

I balance myself and run my knuckles against my split cheek. "Nah, your stank-ass breath is too strong for me to concentrate on any of your bullshit," I spit with a toothy grin. Now that I'm outside and not in their fancy hotel, they can't touch me for the sake of their high-class reputation. That and I couldn't help my overflowing rage voicing itself.

"What the hell did you just say to me?" He flexes the stacks of muscles under his tight black shirt in an effort to scare me, but it doesn't do anything but make me laugh my ass off. He can probably lift the lamppost behind me and hurl it at me, and I still wouldn't be scared of him. There's nothing scarier than watching the only love of your life look at you like you're the scum of the earth. Like you were utterly nothing.

My smile melts into a blank nothingness as I watch him ignore the other guard telling him to calm down and storm over to me. I do nothing as he throws his fist into my jaw. Pain explodes under my bloody skin, but I don't go down. I want him to hit me again. I need to feel something other than just dull and quiet agony. He comes rushing toward me, yelling about how he's going to break every bone in my body. If only he knew how much I crave for that. I close my eyes with a sick smile, but after a few seconds of feeling nothing, I open my eyes to find him and the other guard walking back into the hotel.

But before he disappears inside, he yells over his bulky shoulder, "If I see you around here, I won't hesitate to finish what I started." When he says this, I open my mouth to tell him I'm not leaving because I'm not scared of him, but then he stares me straight in the eyes and says with a promise: "I'm not leaving this door until those people you disturbed safely leave this place." Then, he turns around and waltzes inside like the not-so-incredible Hulk.


I shouldn't have pissed him off. I should have just kept quiet and left because now he'll specifically be guarding the door and looking for me. Meaning I can't come back and try to talk to Lily again. I've basically lost my opportunity to try again. Even though she told me to go, to leave her alone, I can't. A decent human being would have listened and just give up. But I'm not decent. I'm selfish. I'm greedy. I'm rude. But most of all, I am hopelessly in love with Lily. Nothing will make me stop wanting her, in every sense of the word.

Feeling tears swell in my eyes, I sniffle and swipe the back of my hand under my eyes. A great convenience about blood is that no one can tell if you're crying. I cup my palms under my eyes and clench my hands. What the hell am I going to do? I can keep texting and calling her, but I doubt she's even checking her voicemail inbox or has even gone to the point of turning off her phone. The little sensibility in me is telling me to give her some space, to let her gather her thoughts and feelings. She desperately needs it; she looked like a mess when I saw her just now, and not just physically. I could see the buildup of all the nasty emotions behind her dull blue eyes. Hear the desperation for me to just back the hell off. I nearly died when I saw her like that. She's always been bright and bubbly and so irrevocably beautiful, but now... now I've killed the old her because I'm a damn idiot.

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