When Kaitlyn woke up, the birds were just beginning to chirp, the world still barely covered in light as she sat up in her bed.
Her head was pounding, and groggy from sleep. She nursed her head with gentle rubs of her fingertips, before glancing to her right. She smiled, as the soreness of her body and the toned arm splayed across her waist affirmed last night hadn't been a heated dream.
It was real.
And Jackson was cuddled next to her securely, his face squished into her shoulder.
It was adorable and heartwarming, and she felt completely at peace. The pain from her headache overlooked as she moved her fingers to play with his bangs instead.
It was still shocking to her, new, to be able to touch him so freely.
She turned so she could observe him: the slight rise and fall of his chest, his long lashes that she was envious of, the way his full lips parted when he slept.
Chapter 54:The time back at the house was surreal, and Jackson had returned to work already. It had been almost a week since their arrival from the islands, and the snow was heavy on the ground outside.Despite the weather change, the atmosphere had stayed from their last night in her aunt's home. Their newfound relationship growing on her mind as her eyes cut to the clock.The days back had been lingered with kisses, and constant moments of affection that left her blushing.Since they'd been back, she'd honestly probably taken off his clothes more than he had changed outfits. The thought left her stomach swirling and she smiled despite herself, combing a brush through her unruly hair as she prepped for their date tonight.It had only been about a week, but it was lively and fun. Something she hadn't had before.Jackson had taken on a new life since their confessions, he was even more flirtatious, but he was al
Chapter 55:She didn't know what to think as she stared across the kitchen at Randy. The overhead light seeming to dance shadows across his face as she swallowed.His words haunted her mind, and she stumbled.She continued harshly, her mouth set to a frown while she tried gathering her bearings."Stop putting words in his mouth," Kaitlyn warned. "Like I said, I need to hear it from him. Jackson would never hurt me intentionally."When she said the words, she held fast to that belief.But Randy was determined to shake it, or maybe he was just angry. But he looked more out of sorts than usual, gruff and frustrated."Oh, you mean like how I would hurt you?"Kaitlyn frowned. "Randy, you chose Natalie over me, for years. You left me in the dark, in this naive little bubble! You KNEW I felt like I wasn't good enough, you knew how much I was hurting, but you just kept looking the other way. So
Chapter 56: She couldn't for the life of her, understand his anger. His betrayal so thick in her throat, that it felt like sludge. As if it was blinding her. She couldn't see past it. She could only hyperfocus on the fact he had manipulated her, just like Randy once did. Her fingers fisted into her red dress. "You watched me cry over him and you never corrected me. You just let me feel hopeless and betrayed...I trusted you." Jackson looked furious. "Should you have felt any different?" Jackson's voice thundered, "He cheated on you and slept with you right after he came home from a trip with her! Or did you forget that part?" Kaitlyn felt like her heart was going to burst, but she didn't back down. "Of course I remember what happened! But you should've let me choose how I wanted to feel, not how you thought I should feel. I deserved to form my own decision when it came to him and what he did!
Chapter 57:Kaitlyn didn't understand how she had missed him, couldn't comprehend how she hadn't moved fast enough.But she hadn't. The dark, inky black of night, showcasing her the truth.That she was alone.She took another two steps forward, her bottom lip trembling.But Jackson couldn't be spotted anywhere. Her lungs heaving in her chest as she bent over and grasped at her knees for leverage. Her bare legs were shaking, the cold biting at her as tears welled up in her eyes.She couldn't believe it. Was he really...? Kaitlyn felt like crumbling."Jackson!" She called aloud, hoping maybe she just couldn't see in the lack of light.But there was no answer.Reality set in. In a moment of crushing depression, she crumbled to her knees on the frigid sidewalk. Tears flooding past her lashes. Her eyes burned from the mascara she had applied for the party.Her littl
Chapter 58:Jackson set his drink down, a single brow raising on his face."Well, well, look who it is. What are you, a wizard or something goldy locks?"Jackson watched as his best suddenly appeared across the room, his blonde brows furrowed as he crossed the room like an angry storm. Spencer always seemed to know where to find him when shit hit the fan. The blonde man scooted out the stool beside him and stared him down when he took a seat.The question in that gaze was very readable, but Jackson looked away. Not wanting to answer.So, he played the fool instead. He made sure to keep his gaze downward on his glass, "So what brings you to this lonely place? Or did you come here to stalk lil' ol me?" He slurred, ignoring the way Spencer scoffed."I've been looking everywhere for you," Spencer explained, his face serious. "Did you know Kaitlyn called Hannah? She was balling." Spencer informed with a scowl. But th
Chapter 59: "He's gone." Hannah's voice was a blurred ball of anxiety over the phone. "Do you have any idea where he went..?" Kaitlyn sounded hoarse, even to her own ears. It was quiet, and for a moment she thought maybe the woman hung up. She cupped the phone closer to her, her fingers trembling. She heard Hannah breathe a sigh. "I know he wouldn't do anything crazy, and I did call his job--he's still there. I pretended to need an appointment." She informed with a laugh before she grew serious again. "But I don't know where he he went... or where he's staying. Knowing Jackson, he could be holding up in a hotel until he finds an apartment or until he calms down. I'm sorry, Kaitlyn. He wasn't himself last night, he was a mess." The information had her bringing her lip between her teeth, before she froze, remembering how Jackson had informed her how much he had liked when she did that. Instantly, she f
Chapter 60: Kaitlyn was surprised by the vulnerability on Josh's features. She shook her head, setting her flower neatly on the coffee table. She'd have to find it a vase soon. "No, of course not." She answered, after a moment of thinking on it. There was no twinge of betrayal. "Why not? I kept him from you too, you know." Josh stated, matter of fact. Kaitlyn sighed, "But it's different. You didn't deceive me. Or at least, for some reason, it feels different." Josh raised a brow. "All I told you was that he was staying with me. I never made it clear that Jackson should tell you about what happened that day, but don't you think that makes me partly to blame?" She frowned, shaking her head. "Josh, you shouldn't have had to tell him to come clean, and I know you didn't know I wasn't aware still." "That may be true, K, but I can't say I didn't think Randy needed to leave too. You didn't
Chapter 61:Her eyes opened.Josh looked perplexed."Randy lied, over and over. And you still believed him over Jackson, K. So is it the fact he lied, or is it because you're scared of getting hurt? Also, I can't tell you how to feel, just like on the beach, it has to come from you. But K, it's up to you to weigh out the cons and the pros."Kaitlyn could feel her heart pounding in her chest. Josh's words were like a knife, but she refused to recoil from the truth in them."You're right. I need to think about this some more." She leaned against his arm, he raised his arm to hug her sideways. Instinctively, she leaned into it, seeking the comfort his embrace would provide.He was always the boulder, the older brother she always wanted. She was grateful to him."What if I'm not strong enough to figure out the right answer?"He squeezed her arm, before pulling back. "What did I tell you bef