Three days later, Adam sat down on one of the unopened boxes in his apartment. The place was small, so much so that he could see every inch of it from the door. It was like a makeshift studio apartment but only tinier.
He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck.
It had been so long since he had seen Kara last. Sure, he had taken her cell phone number from Megan since Kara hadn’t been back after he had so ruthlessly announced to her that he was leaving the other day.
He was a bastard. That’s what he fucking was.
He had given her false hopes and then stood back while she fell for him instead of holding her securely like he was supposed to do.
His conscience ate at him every single minute of the day.
The day he had unceremoniously told Kara that he was leaving, he had truly won the fight in Daniel’s ring. He had crushed his pride and gone to him, requesting him for a regular fight where he’d win by his own means and earn the cash he desperately needed.
Adam felt the sickening weight of what he’d done to Kara threaten to crush him inside.
Sure, he had won the fight. He had gotten the couple thousands that he needed to kickstart things. He had a place to stay, money in his bank account that would last at least for the next three months. He also knew that he’d be able to get out of Daniel’s web after the next two fights where he was supposed to throw in the towel and pay Daniel back so Red could be free.
But he’d lost her.
Did he even have a chance to salvage the situation?
She had been waiting for him to tell her what happened to them after he moved out. He knew she had. And he wanted to describe just what he wanted. But he had been a fucking coward.
He wanted her so bad.
He felt as though his soul was weighed down.
Fuck. He was such a mess.
He just wanted to see her. even if she didn’t let him come near her.
He wanted to tell her that he had been a fool. Of course, he wanted her. He wanted her more than anything else in the whole world. He wanted her right there, in his apartment. In his bed. He wanted to spend every minute he had to get to know her better than he already did. He wanted to touch her, kiss her like she was meant to be.
He couldn’t imagine a day without her. And yet, because of his own foolishness and pride, he was living just that.
He stood up and began pacing. He had barely begun unpacking. He had been unable to sleep at first, his mind constantly on Kara. He had just the bare necessities laid out in the apartment, along with a comfortable mattress, some kitchenware and some clothes in the tiny wardrobe.
Could he go back to her now? Could he try to explain that he had been an utter fool?
Would she ever forgive him?
Adam reached for his phone and brought up Kara’s number.
Without letting himself think too much about it, he dialed it and waited.
His heart sounded like a loud drum in his chest. The blood rushing through his ears almost made him lose it. He was tired, not just physically but emotionally too. He missed her so much.
The line continued ringing but there was no response.
At the end, the automated voice asked him to leave a message. He felt terrible. He ended the call without leaving a message for her.
Looking outside the window to his right, he saw that the sun had set a long while ago and darkness had already settled.
He took a deep breath and then grabbed his coat from the counter.
He needed to see her.
His heart hoped that she’d forgive him, this one last time.
Kara smiled and waved at Alice as she made her way to the table set up with food and drinks.
The party was in full swing by the time she had arrived and Kara was grateful for the distraction.
Three days ago, Adam had broken her heart. He had stomped all over it and the worse part was that she wasn’t sure if he even knew that.
She checked her phone a million times every day, hoping against hope that he’d text her. She’d give anything, anything at all, to just be able to see him again. To touch him again.
She missed him so much her heart hurt.
She’d poured herself into her studies, not willing to give herself time to think about him at all. But nothing had worked. She’d zoned out way too many times during her study sessions, thinking about him. Wondering if he was doing okay, if he was tending well to the aftermath of his wounds. She remembered the ones he had sustained the last time she had helped patch him up.
“Hey! You made it!” Alive have her a hug, smiling brightly.
Kara smiled back, “Yeah, I needed a break so I thought I’d come check out the party.”
Alice laughed with delight, nursing the drink in her hands, “I’m so glad you’re here. We haven’t really hung out anytime before this.”
Kara agreed, “Yeah, this should be fun.” She smiled at a few others that she recognized from the study group they’d had together. She waved out and said hello and then let Alice lead her to the part of the room where everyone had settled down in comfortable chairs and a couple of bean bags. There was loud dance music coming from the room right next to the one they were in.
Kara helped herself to some food and then fished out a can of Dr. Pepper from the ice chest. She was just about to sit down next to a girl she had met before when she felt a tap on her shoulder.
“Emerson,” She smiled at him, “It’s great to see you.”
He was wearing a black shirt with an Albus Dumbledore quote on it. With his round spectacles and faded blue jeans, Kara thought he resembled one of her favorite fictional characters, Harry Potter.
“I like your shirt.” She pointed to it with a laugh.
Emerson gave her a crooked grin, “Are you a fan?”
Kara nodded eagerly, “I adore J.K Rowling and the entire series. Have you read the books?”
Emerson stared at her as if to say, Duh.
“Three times. All of them.” He said with mock pride and then laughed with her.
Then he touched her can of Dr. Pepper with his can of Diet Coke, “Cheers. I’m glad you could make it.” He gave her a bright smile.
Kara lightly bumped his can with her own. “Me too.”
When he continued looking at her, Kara glanced away, suddenly shy and self-conscious. She joined in the conversation going on around them, staying next to Emerson who joined in a minute later.
As the next hour passed by, Kara felt herself relax and truly began enjoying the evening. She was glad she had decided to come out here.
The group then went into the other room where the floor was packed with people dancing. Kara hung around them as they began moving to the beat, laughing and talking at the same time.
After a while had gone by, she felt Emerson lean down toward her and speak into her ear, “Hey, I was hoping to ask you something, do you want to head out for a minute?”
Kara nodded, “Sure, we can do that.”
She told Alice that she’ll be back and then followed Emerson out of the room, through the one next to it and out the door. They stood on the porch, both grateful for the cool wind blowing in their direction after the stuffiness in the apartment.
Emerson stood facing her, his hands in his pockets.
Kara looked toward the road that lead to the apartment, her eyes briefly pausing on a tall figure making his way to the house.
“Are you having fun?” Emerson’s voice made her turn back to him.
She nodded with a smile, “Yeah I am, it’s been great so far. Are you?”
Emerson took a step closer and touched the frame of the door next to Kara, “Yeah, it’s been wonderful.”
Bringing his hand back, he looked to the floor and then away before he looked back at her.
“Do you want to grab a cup of coffee sometime this week?”
His question took her by surprise.
Kara opened her mouth and then closed it.
Was he asking her out?
When she didn’t answer immediately, he hesitated, “I’d like to get to know you more, Kara. You seem like a really nice person.” He stuffed his hand into his pocket and continued, “Alice said she was pretty sure that you weren’t seeing anybody, but I guess I should have checked first.” He looked down at her, straightening his glasses. “Are you seeing somebody?”
Kara swallowed, “Emerson, thank you so much but yes, I’m seeing someone. I’m sorry.” In her chest her heart felt battered. Of course she wasn’t seeing anyone but she didn’t know what else to do. She didn’t think she could handle anything romantic in her life right now. Not when her heart wanted Adam.
Emerson’s shoulders dropped but he nodded, “Oh okay,” He smiled, “Who’s the lucky guy?”
To her right, a quiet voice spoke, “That would be me.”
Startled, Kara stepped back. In the shadows, Adam looked right at her.