Twenty-Two

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[Evie]

"Evie, Evie!"

I'm shaken out of my spell and Brandon let's out a huge sigh of relief.

"What the hell happened?"

Good question.

I think back to my phone call with Camille.

"Liam, he's in the hospital." I say.

"I know, Camille just called. She said you probably had a spell and wanted you to know that he's alright. I'm sorry though. Some chick named Audrey Rose is supposedly watching over him."

I smile slightly at that.

"I think I'll be okay." Though that baby definitely has more of his love than me. "I've made so many mistakes."

"What do you mean?" Brandon sits on my bed.

"Ever since I've been back I just haven't been the friend or person that I wanted to be." I take to his side.

"I think your doing a pretty good job, E. Take the time to reflect. You've got a week of blizzard to inspire thought."

"I will, yeah."

He gets up to leave and smiles at me. I walk up to the attic and flip the trapdoor open. Inside pictures coat the walls and I run my hands over them.

Including the newest ones, Sam and Ash and Liam and I.

All my amazing friends who have dealt with so much drama by staying at my side.

No more.

I sit and begin to think, surrounded by so much love captured on film.

What if I just became the woman I want to be?

It sounds simple, but life is short. I love Liam. I want him back in my life, and this time with full transparency.

And I love Ash, his cold eyes but warm smile. His obsession with his stock portfolio and his boundless love for Audrey Rose.

I love Sam, and he doesn't deserve what's happening to him. He's such a happy person and I know he loves fiercely and loyally.

[Emmett]

"Henry I have to do this." I whisper into the phone. "He ruined our lives, he's the reason you can't walk well anymore."

"Em, he was just a kid. Your dad treated you all horribly. I hate to think what would have happened if he hadn't left."

"Henry."

"Please, don't do this."

"Don't. I have to."

"Emmett Milligan if you harm a hair on that boys head don't bother coming back."

I clench my teeth. Tears of frustration prick my eyes. He has no idea the consequences the rest of us faced when he left.

"Em, come home. It's lonely here without you."

"I need to at least talk to him. I—I hurt his friend. Besides, I transferred, I'll still have to see him everyday until graduation."

"Be smart, he's still your brother."

"Okay. I love you."

"I love you too, bye."

I ball my fists, stalking across the room. Henry's right. It was so long ago, Sammy doesn't deserve my anger. It just hurt, and when the general. . . when Henry became crippled I could only blame Sam.

I slow my walk a bit when I hear a knock at the door to my hotel room.

I'm met with two large men in suits. Fear prickles my spine and I back up. They invite themselves in and grab me.

"Mr. Klein wishes to speak with you."

I'm jostled around and taken out the emergency exit. Thrown into a black car and sat down roughly. Fear spikes through me. Who the fuck is Mr. Klein?

"We're in the middle of a blizzard! Are you fucking crazy driving around like this?"

How the driver could see I didnt know.

Unless this was some kind of Kamikaze Car.

"Hush."

I'm knocked over the head and though I have a thick skull, I'm out cold from the blow.

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