I can only nod my head in agreement, still wrapping my head around the spiral of horrific events that led me here.
I can’t think about anything but Carter as I hear her open a bottle of wine and the glasses clink on the counter. Instead, all I can do is picture Carter’s face the exact moment I lost his trust and he lost his fucking mind.
It’s going to haunt me forever.
If not that, then the sight of my family in coffins.
There was no way for me to win.
I don’t want to do this anymore. I can’t deal with this anymore.
I need to stop this.
It’s quieter here than I thought it would be. Sebastian picked a nice area. He had the place built two years ago but never came back. I don’t know if it’s the memory of him or everything that happened tonight that makes my heart twist like someone’s wringing it out from inside my chest.
The whiskey didn’t make the pain better. Not the first glass, not the second. Not when I threw the bottle at the window, shattering it and filling the room with the smell of liquor. Earlier, I spent too long sagging against the wall while sitting on the floor of the office staring at the box. The box that’s still open, empty, and pushed up against the rug. I can’t move it back. I can’t bring myself to move it back as if she was never in there.
Everything is telling me to let her go.
Logic and reason. She will never love me because of the way we started. She will never love me after I kill her family. She will never love me, because of the man I am.
I know it all to be true.
But the idea of letting her leave fucking hurts.
“Do you want me to go in with you?” Daniel asks me from the driver’s seat, ripping my gaze from the front of the house and cutting through my thoughts.
“Are you sure you’re okay to see her?” he asks me the real question.
“I’m not going to hurt her,” I tell him as I stare back at the house, praying I’m telling the truth. I want her to feel this pain. I want her to know how much it hurts.
“What are you going to do?” he asks me, his hands sliding down the leather steering wheel.
“I’m going to give her what she wants,” I lie. I’ll never let her leave me.
My brother’s voice is stern and loud in the cabin of the car as he says, “You’re making a mistake.”
I’m taken aback by his criticism, staring at him as the dark night sky gets darker. “You can do what you’d like with Addison; I won’t judge you. But stay out of it when it comes to me and Aria.” It’s all I can tell him because I don’t know what to do with Aria. I don’t know what I can do with a woman who would betray me like she did.
“Are you really going to let her walk away?” When I don’t answer his question, he pushes me by saying, “She’ll have no one when this is done with. No one.”
I raise my voice to reply and end this conversation. “I said I’m going to give her what she wants. I didn’t say I’d let her go.” My blood rushes in my ears as Daniel’s eyes narrow in the darkness.
“Are you coming in?” I ask him, refusing to let him continue.
“No, she’s not inside. She walked down to the liquor store for more wine when Aria went to bed.” He settles back in the seat and looks straight down the road to add, “I’m going to drive up there and keep an eye on her from a distance.”
Pausing, he looks at me before adding, “Cason’s with her and there are eyes are on her, but still…”
“She must know you’ll be watching her,” I say absently, remembering everything that happened months ago.
His nod is solemn. “I know she does. I’m sure she hates it too.”
Giving him a tilt of my head to part ways, I grab the handle to open the door, but Daniel’s words stop me. “I wonder if she’ll know when I get to her.”
With my fingers wrapped around the handle, I still, then ask, “What do you mean?”
“She used to know somehow. Years ago, when Tyler died. Every time I came close to her, she’d turn around as if she knew I was there. It didn’t matter how far away I was or how many other people were around us. She always knew, back then.”
He finally looks over at me, the sorrowful smirk still on his face. “I wonder if it’ll be the same even now.”
I don’t know what advice to give my brother. I can feel his pain and there are no words to help him.