eighteen

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"You what?"

"I love you," she breathed. "That's why I can't let you go down this road."

Neither of them spoke. He stared at her, watching the tears fall and his heart stop. Sean wanted to walk away. He wanted to leave and never come back to clean up the mess he made. He didn't deserve it, and he knew that. He didn't deserve her love, not one single bit. How could he have hurt her so badly? This wasn't like before. She wasn't crying the same way she had during their last fight. This was so much more than just a fight.

"Kayc," he whispered, his voice breaking as fast as his heart. "I- I didn't know," he stuttered, not even sure if she could hear him.

She shook her head in disbelief. "Of course I love you, you fucking idiot."

"I love-" he mumbled, but she held up her hand and stopped him mid sentence.

"No," she said, bluntly. "Don't you dare fucking say it."

He stepped forward, "Kaycee, please, let me-"

"No," she said again, turning her back. "I'm going to bed." Using her sleeve, she wiped away the remaining tears across her cheeks but still they wouldn't go away.

"Can I lay with you?" he asked, "Please, let me
hold you."

She simply pointed to the couch, not bothering to speak. Sean looked at her in desperation, hoping she would look at him, but she didn't.

She crawled into bed, her side, curling up into a ball as she drew the covers over her body. Sean felt the tears slide down his cheeks as he moved in front of her, sitting on the floor to look up at her.

"Baby, please," he begged. She kept her eyes closed, and flinched as he cradled her cheek in his hand. "Kayc, I'm so sorry. Please look at me."

She forced her eyes open, seeing his own filling up with tears. His thumb ran across her cheek to catch the tsunami of tears, his fingers around the nape of her neck.

"I love you," he whispered. Kaycee shook her head, but he stopped her from saying anything. "Kaycee, I love you. God, I've loved you for so long — I've been loving you all this time." She said nothing, and he took it as a chance to continue.

"I know I fucked up big time," his voice wavered. "I'm an actual idiot, and I know I should've come to you when I started feeling helpless, but this seemed easier. It's not an excuse, but I'm telling you the truth. I never meant it interfere with our careers, I'm so sorry."

"Why didn't you talk to me?" she asked, her voice thick as she tried to stop her crying. "I could've helped you."

"I was embarrassed," he said, his fingers going through her damp hair. "I was afraid you'd see me as a failure, and I would disappoint you because I'm not the genius you knew."

"Well, I would've been less disappointed than I am now," she said. "Much less."

"I'm sorry," he apologized, taking her hand and bringing it to his lips, kissing it repeatedly. "I'm sorry, Kaycee. I love you."

"Don't throw it around like that," she said bluntly. "Don't say that."

"But I do," he said. "I love you."

"Stop," she cried, turning away from him. "Please, just stop."

"Listen to me," he begged, the tears never ending. "Kaycee Rice, I love you. Please."

"Can we please go to sleep?" she asked.

"Baby-"

"Please."

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