19 | Making Amends

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You have to tell him how you feel, Allyson

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You have to tell him how you feel, Allyson. You can't let him push you away.

My fingers traced along the smooth pendant in my pocket with the secret hope that Daxson would appreciate the gift. I shifted my eyes up to Alabama's massive training facility. It'd been two weeks since the Crimson Tide defeated Oregon in the National Championship game, but I was almost one-hundred percent sure that Daxson had still been living here.

He'd solidified his legacy in college football, but his focus had shifted to something bigger— the NFL combine.

My phone vibrated from an incoming call from Madison. "Hey girl, is everything good?"

She sighed. "No. I need to talk to someone about my brother."

"How'd your visit go over Christmas break?" I leaned against the rail of the sky bridge that connected the training facility to the basketball gym.

Madison was quiet on the other end of the line. "My brother told me everything. He told me the truth about what went down with Samson." Her voice quivered like it was taking all her strength to tell me without breaking into tears.

"What he told you and what you knew didn't match up."

"Not at all. Samson lied to me. I spent all this time mad at my brother for nothing." She sniffled and blew her nose.

"Have you tried talking to Keith about it?"

"No."

"Why not?" I glanced up to watch someone enter the training facility.

"I don't know. Being alone seems easier right now. I doubt he'll want to hear all about my ex." I heard a crinkle and the tell-tale crunch of potato chips from across the line, so I knew how much she was hurting. Madison only ate junk food when she needed to keep the tears at bay.

"He should at least know about it." I stepped over to the entrance door and peeked through the glass.

If I'd learned anything in the past few weeks, it was that honesty was the best policy.

"I'll tell him eventually." She sighed. "I just really need some girl time right now."

I curled my fingers around my phone. "Look, I have something to do first, but I'll swing by when I'm done. We can watch Mean Girls."

"And stuff our faces with snacks?"

I laughed. "You know it."

After shoving my phone into my pocket and taking a few deep breaths, I hurried into the training facility before I could talk myself out of it. The sound of metal on metal filled my ears as I peeked around the doorway of the weight room. My eyes locked onto the familiar puzzle of tattoos along his muscular arms. I was surprised to see Demarcus squatting down to motivate him as Daxson lowered the bar to his chest one last time before hanging it back on the rack.

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