Chp 26:

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I turn to face Nick who's face has now gone pale, his green-gray eyes scan my face and his lips part to say something. "Yes?" "I need to tell you something..." His voice trails as he leans back against the counter top, his arms are folded and his stance is tall and tensed. "What's wrong?" , "I feel that...I should tell you some things, about myself." I tilt my head to the right slightly and raise a brow.

Crap. This is what I had been waiting for, picturing, I didn't expect it to happen so quickly-let alone now. My heart rate picks up as I nod and give him my full attention. His hand moves through his hair messing it up some more.

"There are some things...that I haven't told you." , "Let's sit." My stomach tightens. We were sitting down, this wasn't helping my anxiety.

"Damn...where do I begin." He says looking away from me. "Wherever, you feel comfortable." I say trying to sound as calm and collected as possible. He nods.

"As you know...I didn't have the "best" childhood. Neither did Eli." I nod my head and cross my left leg over my right as we sit next to each other.

"My issues with Robert...they aren't anything new. It's been a issue that I've dealt with my whole life." , "He and I have never agreed on anything, he-just like my grandmother, his mother-never supported what it was that I wanted to do with my life."

" He always wanted me to get into high position jobs. That's never what I wanted." I sit still, baffled- "Problems between he and I got worse once I decided on where I wanted to go to college, he wanted me to go to Yale where he went, I didn't want that."

His knee begins to shake slightly as he taps his long index finger on the top of the table. "Then during my last year in college I decided what I wanted to pursue for a career-he and my grandmother were completely against it." , "Hell they practically boycotted it." I take his words in.

I'm appalled by his family-but I knew he wasn't finished explaining. "Issues between he and I grew worse and worse with time." , "Though-with all of the issues between he and I...I acted out in ways that I am not proud of."

My brow creases, "Go on." , "I got in trouble a lot. I partied and drank and smoked." He rubs the back of his neck, he looked extremely uncomfortable. "With these actions came consequences.", "Like?" , "I got arrested a few too many times." Oh no.

Memories of my conversation with Danny come flooding back to me. "I got in a few too many fights, and I put myself into multiple situations where I could have cost myself my own life." My eyes widen, I wasn't sure how to take all of this sudden information.

Part of me could feel his pain; I could see his self-loath. Another part of me wanted to stand up and scream. His eyes scan my face again before he continues on. "I'm a mess, Tessa." I shake my head. "No, you're not." , "Yes, I am. My family-they're so fucked up, I'm the way I am because of them."

I had never met someone who had blamed their family for them being the way that they are. Yet, Nick could. He had every right to do so, it was the truth. I frown. "Nick look at me. Everybody has a background, some messier than others."

"But we are the ones in charge of how we'll live our lives after we're away from that mess." His eyebrow raises, "You aren't your father, and you didn't let your grandmother's words stop you. You are not him anymore." His head hangs low.

"I am." I shake my head and touch his knee. "I'm a billionaire's son, Tessa!" He says raising his voice and standing up forcefully, his chair sliding back.

"What does that have to do with anything?", "Do you have any idea what it's like growing up not knowing anything but money, fighting, drinking, partying. I didn't have a childhood." He throws his arms up in the air, I take a step back. "I woke up seeing tears; I went to sleep seeing tears."

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