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Authors: Louise Bay

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What the Lightning Sees: Part Two

BOOK: What the Lightning Sees: Part Two
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Published by Louise Bay 2015

Copyright © 2015 Louise Bay. All rights reserved

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with or sponsored by the trademark owners.

 

ISBN - 978-1-910747-07-0

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Playlist

Acknowledgments

Other Books by Louise Bay

The Empire State Series

Hopeful

Faithful

Let’s Connect

 

Jake

The cab pulled up in front of Haven’s apartment. I leapt out and pushed some cash through the window to the driver. I kept my eyes fixed firmly on the door to Haven’s building in case she went in or out. I had to convince her that the conversation she’d overheard between Robert and I wasn’t what she thought it was. My heart had turned itself inside out when I’d received her text saying that she never wanted to see me again, that she’d heard Robert and I discussing her. I didn’t know exactly what she thought she’d heard—or what she was thinking. All I knew was it felt as though she was slipping through my fingers. She hadn’t answered my calls, or responded to my texts.

I climbed the stairs to the door, then stopped. Now that I was here, I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t even know if she was home. Was I supposed to force my way in and pin her down until she listened to me? My mind whirled. I liked order and logic. Normally I could read people and predict how they would react in a million different scenarios. Haven tore right through any theories I had about her and people in general, changing direction every time I thought I had her figured out. It was exhausting and invigorating at the same time. But this felt dark. Like her trail had gone dry. I should have set Robert straight when he’d talked about picking Haven for the Sandy interview because she wouldn’t rival Sandy’s movie-star glamor. I shouldn’t have stayed quiet, but I’d been trying to do what I thought Haven would want me to do—keep our relationship private.

I pressed the buzzer and held my breath, waiting for a response. Relief and shock made my stomach flip when I heard the intercom pick up.

“Haven, it’s Jake. We need to talk.”

The intercom went dead but it wasn’t followed by a buzz of the door being released. I pressed again. No response.

I tried to recall exactly what Robert had said to me and precisely how I’d replied. But the memories seemed muddied from pulling them out and trying to rerun them. I could understand why she’d be upset with Robert; he’d been a prick. And I got that she might be angry with me for not defending her, but did it justify her not wanting anything to do with me? Why wouldn’t she at least talk to me?

 

 

I was pacing outside her building when I saw her brother Luke approach. His eyes bore into me and he wore an expression that said he wanted to rip my face from my body.

“Has she spoken to you?” I asked.

“Don’t speak to me, mate, or I might have to punch you,” Luke replied.

“I need to understand why she’s so upset, what she heard. I need to talk to her.” I’d lost my normally balanced, cool exterior as panic started to rise. If her brother was over here in the middle of the day, Haven must be really upset. I hated to think of her in pain and the idea I’d caused it, directly or indirectly, made me feel as if my gut was rotting. It was the last thing I wanted. I couldn’t lose her.

Luke entered a code into the panel next to the intercom and pulled the building door open. “Save it. I’m not interested. I’ve been encouraging her to open up and have some fun for the longest time, and then some wanker like you comes along and fucks her up. I don’t know what you did and I don’t care. The only thing that I could make out through her tears were the words ‘pity fuck’ and if you think you’re too good for Haven, then you don’t know her at all.”

He let the door slam in my face. For a second I was catatonic as what he’d said sank in. Shit.
Pity fuck?
My gut twisted and I felt as though I might vomit. She thought I agreed with Robert? Surely she knew better than that after Paris.

Questions flew through my head like boulders. How was I going to get her to speak to me? Would she believe me? How was I ever going to get her to trust me? I was due to go to Palo Alto tomorrow, should I cancel? But then I would probably lose the key to the future of Elemental Energy. Maybe it would be good to give Haven some space. Would I ever see her again if she refused to speak to me? I was no longer needed at
Rallegra
so it wasn’t as if I’d bump into her at work.

The rot in my gut started to spread.

I dialled her number again and it went straight to voicemail, so I typed out another text.

Jake: I’m sorry. Please let me explain.

My head should be buried in Elemental Energy, but instead I was trying to figure out a way to postpone my trip. This was why I’d always dated girls like Millie. Women who required financial, rather than emotional investment. They were easy to predict, easy to keep happy and easy to keep at arm’s length. Haven was oil to their water.

I tried her phone again. Straight to voicemail. There was a sense of relief at the thought that Luke was with her. Hopefully, he would be able to provide some comfort to her.

 

 

After a sleepless night, I decided to go to Palo Alto. Haven wasn’t responding to me and I being away would give her some space. I couldn’t exactly set up camp outside her apartment building and I could call her from wherever I was. And I would email her. Try and explain when I could think more clearly. I just didn’t know how to make this right. I’d never cared enough about anyone but my family to have to deal with a situation like this. Hurting Haven had hurt me. Her pain had become mine.

 

Haven

“If you’re not going to help chop those vegetables, then get out of my kitchen or pour me a glass of wine,” I told Ash as I prepared Sunday dinner. It was a ritual Luke and I’d had forever, and Ash was frequently a part of. Rituals and traditions between us had become more important since our parents had died. And Sunday dinner was the most important of all because it felt as though it was what we’d be doing—congregating, sharing, spending time with each other—if our family were still whole.

Ash went to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of wine.

“A normal girl would go dressed to kill if she thought she were going to see her ex for the first time,” Ash said.

“What can I say? I don’t want him to think that what he’s done has affected me in any way.” But Jake had affected me in every way.

I had cried non-stop for twenty-four hours after I’d overheard Robert and Jake’s conversation. I wasn’t sure which stung more, that Robert thought my best qualification was my unattractiveness, or that Jake had agreed with him. On the rare occasions something got under my skin and created a chink in my armor, my floodgates opened and I temporarily drowned. I wept for everything that had ever gone wrong. I wept for my carefree teens and twenties that had been ripped from me. I wept for my parents who never got to have the lives they dreamed of. I wept for Luke, who had given up his dreams to get a reliable, well-paid job so he could take care of me. And then I wept for the poor, the dying and the hungry. On the rare instances I mourned, everyone’s grief and sorrow became my own.

Luke and Ash were the people who could pull me to safety. Order me into the shower. Make me laugh. Show me the absurdity in my reactions and overreactions. And just as suddenly as it started, it would stop. The chink would heal over. Life would go on.

I was fine.

The knots in my stomach had disappeared as I read Jake’s email, explaining Robert’s view, how he had decided who would take the article before Jake and I met, and how Jake had never shared Robert’s viewpoint. I believed him. But at the same time, that didn’t alter the fact that the whole situation had metaphorically thrown a bucket of ice water over me. Whatever we had, or might have had, had been tarnished. The heartbreak reminded me why I didn’t really date. I had enough people in my life that I loved and cared for, and I needed to hold on tight to them. The thought of falling for someone, properly letting someone in and then having it disintegrate—having them leave—was too painful. It was much better to clutch onto the people that would never willingly go anywhere.

BOOK: What the Lightning Sees: Part Two
7.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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