CHAPTER THIRTEEN

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My bravado deflated when I slammed the car door shut. When we started driving, I did all that I could to keep from sobbing. I wished that I could be strong all the time. I wished I had advocated for myself growing up. I had a lot of wishes for the past me.

Outside the window, I took in the fall decorations around the city with pumpkins and spooky decor all around. Halloween was a few days away, even though Zion's party was happening today. Aside from the decor, it did not feel very spooky in the city. The energy was sad and gloomy. The overcast had not left us in days.

When we reached my apartment in a short time and I walked up the stairs and made my way into the apartment where my friend group were engaged in a video game. When they saw me, Eon got up and dragged me to my room, closing the door behind him. His hands were rough and calloused from working out.

"Are you okay?" His voice was low and smooth.

"I'm fine." Walking away from him, I went to my closet and looked for something to wear to the party.

"You don't seem fine, you're shaking. They hurt you didn't they?" He walked back up to me before pulling me into a hug. Rage filled me when his arms wrapped around my lower back. I had to use all of my strength to push him away.

"You hurt me," I restrained a shout. "You said you wanted to be with me and then had sex with someone else. You told me to clear your conscience; you did not do that for me. I want you in my life as a friend. Don't pull me aside, don't embrace me like that or we will be nothing to each other."

He looked at me like I had hit him but nodded. "I'm sorry, Cyprus. I wish I could do things differently," he said before he left my room and closed the door.

Seeing the door closed made my knees buckle. The emotions were all too much for me to deal with. I felt like I was suffocating under the pressure. I never wanted to lash out at Eon but he had hurt me. He knew what I was going through, yet he still betrayed my trust. The tears rolled down my face like a waterfall. I had to slow my breathing before I could stop crying.

Getting off of my bathroom floor, I ran to my bathroom and took a long shower before getting dressed in a black sweater, a pair of jeans, and shoes. I then texted Zion saying that I was on my way to the hotel. He told me to call when I made it. Looking at myself in the bathroom mirror, I faked a smile and held it while walking out of the bathroom. I was tired of being sad and did not want to ruin our night.

I arrived at the hotel with a duffle bag in tow. I couldn't even remember how I had made it to the lobby or when I had placed the phone to my ear calling Zion to ask for the room. We were apparently on the top floor that required a key to get to. I made my way up the counter and gave my name to the man at the reception desk. After a few seconds of watching him type into the computer he handed me a key, and I strode to the elevator. Using the key, I pressed the button to the top floor and waited.

I wanted to see him. It was like I was riding an elevator to its highest point. The anticipation was building. When I only had a floor to go my mind imagined reaching the highest point of the ride looking down at how high we climbed. I sniffed myself to check if the peach spray was still present on my skin and it had.

When the door opened, Zion pulled from the elevator into a hug. He spun me around like soldiers did to their wives and girlfriends in classic cinema. I held onto him tightly, the scent of fig filling my nose. When he placed me down, I looked at him and saw that he was wearing simple clothing.

"Is that what you're wearing to the party?" It was costume optional, but I assumed that he would wear one.

"No, I changed when you called out of my costume. I'm tired and you didn't sound good on the phone. I can see that you've been crying. Your eyes are red and puffy and you sound congested," he said, his hand hanging at my lower back.

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