Between Worlds (Pendant Series Book 3) (5 page)

BOOK: Between Worlds (Pendant Series Book 3)
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Shit!

I angrily tossed my backpack onto the floor and took a step back toward the house. “Ray, not a good time.”

He ignored my statement and stepped in front of me, preventing me from retreating further into the house. He tossed his backpack down next to mine. His blue eyes were filled with concern as he looked me over. “You look like crap, Sid.”

He took a deep breath and I could still hear the tiredness in his voice, “We need to talk.”

My mind had a completely different agenda.
I need that damn journal.

I squeezed past him and raced up the stairs. Ray ran after me shouting, “Sid, wait!”

As I stepped inside my bedroom and quickly scanned the bed, my heart sank into an abyss of shock and confusion. The journal was no longer there.

I was dumbfounded.
What in the hell was going on?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 5

 

 

King of Hearts

 

It only took me a few seconds to realize where the journal must have gone. It’s not like it grew legs and walked away. Clenching my fists, I pushed past my needy boyfriend and stomped across the hall and banged on the spare room door, demanding that my best friend come out and face me.

“Unlock this door right now, Chrissy!”

I don’t know what Nancy Drew thought she was doing, but it was not going over well with me. I was almost tempted just to kick her out of my house and send her packing back to her father; friendless and unemployed. That would teach her to keep her nose out of other people’s business. As I banged on the door, I yelled again for her to let me in.

“No,” she shouted. “I’ll give you back the journal once you get some sleep, Sidney, but not a second before that.”

Looking over at Ray, I pointed at the door with extreme urgency. “Well, don’t just stand there. Break the damn thing down!” I ordered.

Ray shifted out of his needy mode and became my champion. He briskly strode across the hallway and I graciously moved out of the way with a big smile on my face, expecting my man to display his sheer strength and do as I instructed. But instead of slamming his shoulder against the door, he snatched me by my arm and yanked me back into my bedroom.

“Ray, what are you doing? I need you to bust down that door.”

I struggled with him but I was no match against his strong arms. Ray slammed my bedroom door shut and looked at me as if I had three heads. He gripped my shoulders and held me in place and yelled at me to stop fighting. Finally, I stopped struggling and looked at him. Worry was written all over his face.

He was gravely concerned. “What in the hell is going on with you, Sid?” he whispered, out of breath.

All it took was that one look from him to make me realize that maybe I was overreacting a bit. Maybe Chrissy and Ray were not the ones out of step here. Maybe I was the odd woman out.

I reasoned to myself that I could take a few winks of sleep and then Chrissy would calmly hand me the journal. Slowly, I began to catch my breath as I fell into a calmer sense of serenity.

Now, as I stood looking at Ray, I realized this was the first time I had seen him since he had proposed to me and since I’d made the mistake with Adrian.

All I wanted to do was rush into his arms and erase the last twenty-four hours from my memory. He was everything I had ever wanted and just when I finally had him back in my life, I had gone and screwed it up.

Way to go, Sidney.

I leaned against the wall and looked at his tired face, waiting for him to tear into me about last night’s desertion.
Instead, he tilted his head and began speaking, much softer than I could have imagined.

First, he asked if I was all right.

After I nodded my head, he quickly explained why he was there in the first place. “I think I may have rushed into things last night. I never meant to scare you off or make you run away. If you want to wait to marry me, that’s fine. I just want to be with you.”

His sweetness was killing me. Couldn’t he just be the asshole I’d gotten used to dealing with? With each word that came out of his mouth, I felt like a bigger piece of trash. I was riddled with guilt and my conscience was eating me alive. I couldn’t take his kindness when I knew I didn’t deserve it.

“I slept with him,” I blurted out.

I wanted to come clean about my actions.

I closed my eyes and waited for the chaos to erupt but it was sheer silence. The ongoing silence grew into an unbearable torture until I could no longer take it. I opened my eyes and looked at Ray.

His reaction was far worse than I could have ever hoped for.

I watched as Ray’s happy face slowly transformed into a mass of raw emotions. I suddenly wished I could take my statement back. We stood staring at each other for what seemed like an eternity. Ray’s lips were contorted, he was desperately trying to speak, but words failed him. He took a step back in a pitiful attempt to regain his composure. He opened his mouth to try again, but still the words remained paralyzed on his tongue. Nothing.

He was the Sphinx.

As I buried the knife deeper into his heart, I needlessly added the
object
of my lustful tryst, “With Adrian,” I confirmed. “I slept with Adrian.”

If Ray was silent before, he was downright comatose now. He stood there silent, unable to speak. His icy blue eyes stabbed into my guilty soul. The expression on his face revealed his pain.

I had devastated him.

He finally brought both hands up to face and rubbed his eyes excessively in a futile attempt to obliterate the image of me lying in Adrian’s arms. In that exact moment I lost any comprehension of how I really felt.

Obviously I regretted what I had done, and I felt extremely sorry, but on the other hand, I felt a righteous sense of payback. I was finally able to return all of the pain he’d heaped upon me over the past year with that whore back in LA. I finally found an emotional chink in his armor and it felt exhilarating.

Maybe I really was evil.

Or just
female
.

Ray quickly rebounded. He had allowed himself to come apart for just five minutes. Then his massive ego kicked in and he was back in control of the emotional situation. That was to be expected from someone as self-centered and self-absorbed as he.

He removed his hands from his eyes and shot me a withering glance that quickly dissipated my temporary feelings of triumph. It was a look of pure disgust.

“Dammit, Sid,” he shouted as he punched the plaster on the wall inches from the right side of my face. I fell to the floor, placing my hands over my head to protect myself as the memories from that night in front of the bar came rushing back to me.

As soon as he saw me cowering on the floor, he abruptly stopped his crazy behavior and did the strangest thing I have ever seen him do.
He
began to apologize to
me
.

Profusely.

I didn’t know what kind of parallel universe we had entered where Ray apologized to
me
for cheating on him, but I stood up and took responsibility. “Ray, I’m so sorry.”

And I was truly sorry. I now fully regretted that moment of weakness. I should have stayed and fought for Ray. I loved him so much and now it hurt me to see him upset.

The things he had done to me were different. They were under different circumstances. Ray had genuinely felt affection for Lilly. I hated her but he had real emotions for her. What I had done was spiteful and wrong. I had
used
Adrian to punish Ray for hurting me. I could see that I had made a terrible mistake. I reached up and cradled Ray’s head in my arms and began to weep. “I screwed up, Ray. Please forgive me.”

He said nothing but I could feel the vibration of his shaking body. He was sobbing too. We sat together against the broken wall, holding each other and feeling miserable until I gave in to my much needed sleep.

 

***

 

I awoke to the harmonious sound of the piano that only one member in my household knew how to play. The afternoon sun shone through the window, but the fall air still made the house cold. I discovered my tan fur blanket draped across me. Ray must have laid it on me as I slept.

He still cares enough to not let me freeze to death.

I arose and groggily followed the sound of the music. I had to face it eventually. Entering the living room, I stood with the blanket around me as I listened to him play. He never looked up but he must have known I was watching him because when the song ended, he patted the bench, signaling for me to sit down next to him.

I joined him and allowed the blanket to fall down from my shoulders, preferring Ray’s body warmth to comfort me. I scooted closer to him, but stopped when I felt the tension in his body grow. It seemed he was having enough trouble with me just sitting next to him. Touching him may have been his breaking point. I sat silently, giving him space as he reassembled his feelings. Ray reached out to put the blanket back on me, but stopped inches from my skin. His hand sat there hovering in mid-air.

“I can’t touch you.” He gritted through his teeth. His voice had an angry edge to it.

I just stared in disbelief. After everything we had been through, he wasn’t going to forgive me for this. His look of disgust and fury was back. It was that same look I had seen earlier.

My heart sank. This was not over by a long shot.

Ray began to verbally tear me apart. “You’re not pure anymore, Sid. He’s contaminated you.”

I fought back. “How many people have
you
contaminated, Ray?”

“It’s not the same, Sid! You were mine, only mine. It doesn’t matter who I’d been with because I was going to marry you! Now I can’t even look at you. Every time I touch you from now on I’ll be thinking about you touching him. Every time I kiss you, I’ll be wondering if you were wishing it was his lips on yours. I can’t live like that.”

“Live like what, Ray…like me? Because that was me you just described here. My life for the past year has been hell thanks to you and your whore.”

All of my feelings of self-doubt had been implanted in my brain by him and his infidelity for months. I angrily stared at him, refusing to allow him to give up on us that easily. After moments of silence, I began wondering if my words were sinking into that thick skull of his.

“I made a mistake,” I admitted as I continued to plead my case. “But I’m still the same person I’ve always been, Ray. I still love you.”

He shook his head and looked away without saying another word.
Sitting next to Ray on the piano bench, I’d never felt so alone in my life. I always thought the worst pain I had ever experienced was my own heartbreak, but today I realized that was not the case. Watching Ray’s heart break at my hands proved to be much more painful.

I sat in silence with no words of solace to offer him.

Finally, Ray closed the lid to the piano keys and rested his elbows on top of the wood, lost in thought. He took a deep breath, as if preparing for a long speech and turned to look at me.

Exhaling, he asked me, “Did you buy my CD?”

Now, I was appalled. At a moment when our relationship was on the brink of disaster he had asked me if I had bought his
album?

He was just as narcissistic as Chrissy.

Before I had time to answer, he got up and strode across the room to where his backpack was resting. Fumbling through the contents, he pulled out a CD and returned to his spot on the piano bench, handing me the case.

“What are you going to do, sign it for me?” I asked him, unable to mask the bitterness in my voice.

“Just read the testimonials section.”

I opened up the jewel case and searched for the page where each band member gets a small paragraph to write their thanks. I searched for Ray’s paragraph and it was filled with multiple names from the industry. The first name was just as foreign as the last, confirming my fears that I didn’t know Ray at all anymore. Our circles were completely different now.

Then I caught a glimpse of one familiar name which automatically made me cringe.

Rene. I rolled my eyes and moved on to the next line, before seeing something that was more than just meaningless names of music moguls; a sentence at the end. It was a simple sentence that the average reader may not comprehend, and if they did, they wouldn’t understand its cryptic message. There was only one person who could decipher it’s meaning, and she was reading it right now.

My bottom lip began to involuntarily tremble as my brain put together its message.

Head Club is playing over and over on repeat. No matter what I do, I can’t get it to stop
.

Ray was telling me that the quality that annoyed him most about me was inadvertently happening to him. He never could stand the fact that I related every song, movie, and book to my life and now he was admitting that a song was stuck in his mind, defining
his
life.

And that song told me everything I’d wanted to hear. “Head Club”
was one of my favorite songs. It was a simple song with only one verse before the singer began to bellow his heartbreak into the microphone, saying how sick he was of writing all his songs about one singular person.

The song related to us and what had happened that night at the bar so much so that Ray himself could have written the lyrics.
I looked up at him and met those baby blues.

Why would he add this message into his song booklet?

I thought he wanted nothing more to do with me when he left. He had blocked my phone calls and had excluded me from his social media. He had put up a barrier and shut me out from his world, never once looking back.

BOOK: Between Worlds (Pendant Series Book 3)
8.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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