Victor wrapped his hand tightly around the steering wheel, his knuckles covered in Mason’s blood. I stared out the windshield, feeling so good. My suitcase was in the back; Serena was smiling widely at me, and I was finally free of that idiot. It felt like nothing could stop me.
Until I saw Melissa’s car parked in front of Serena’s.
She stood outside her car, arms crossed over her chest, brows furrowed. Victor swore under his breath and parked the car behind hers. He took unsteady breaths and clenched and unclenched his hands into fists. I sat behind him, staring wide-eyed over his shoulder. What the hell was she doing here?
Serena grabbed my hand. “Let me handle this. Don’t get out of the car.” She unbuckled her seatbelt and slid out of the car, walking straight toward her. After a few softly spoken words between them, Melissa started to freak out. Throwing her hands into the air. Pointing her fingers at Victor’s car. Screaming so loud the entire neighborhood probably heard her.
Victor hit the steering wheel. “I can’t handle this shit,” he said, hopping out of the car and jumping in on the fight. All I could hear was her screaming at him and him shouting at her, asking her why she hadn’t been faithful. Everything.
And that’s when I got out of the car because it was damn hot in there, I felt like I was suffocating. “Is that why you wanted me to have sex with Mia?” Victor asked, hurt laced in his voice. “You wanted to make yourself feel better about what you were doing?”
“I am not talking to you about this,” Melissa said, jaw twitching, turning toward Serena.
Victor snatched her wrist and pulled her back. “When are you going to start taking responsibility for your actions?” he asked. “Just admit that you fucked him. Admit that you went behind my back, Mia’s back, our whole friend group’s back to fuck Mason.”
She stared at me with tears in her eyes. Just by looking at her, I could feel how hurt she was and it made me hurt even worse. I wrapped my arms around my body. I had fucked up too. It wasn’t just her fault. I had slept with her father and hid it from her for weeks. If she had slept with mine… I’d feel the same way.
But that didn’t erase my pain of knowing that she slept with Mason even though she knew how terrible he was to me. I complained about him so damn much and she didn’t think twice about hooking up with him. She even wanted me to sleep with Victor--her boyfriend--probably so she wouldn’t feel as bad about it.
The empath in me wanted to apologize to her for sleeping with her father, but it didn’t even seem like she was remorseful at all for what she did with Mason. She continued to stare at me with tears in her eyes, giving me that expression that told me I was the only one in the wrong.
Victor growled. “We are done, Melissa. I don’t want to hear from you ever again. Don’t come crawling back to me when Mason sleeps with woman after woman at frat-parties and won’t let you look at another man without getting jealous.”
And if that didn’t sum up Mason’s abuse in a sentence, I didn’t know what could.
Melissa clenched her jaw and shook her head. “It’s not like that, Victor. You can’t--” Tears started streaming from her face. “Please, I don’t have anywhere to go. Let me stay with you tonight.”
She didn’t have anywhere to go? Had Michael kicked her out of the house?
Victor shook his head. “That’s not my problem. I’m not the one who slept with someone else. You should’ve thought about what you did before you did it.”
“Let me get the stuff from our apartment,” she said, brows furrowed together, so desperately.
“No,” Victor said. “You can get it while I’m at work tomorrow. Go stay at Mason’s tonight. He’s going to need all the fucking love tonight after that.”
Melissa glanced down at his bloody knuckles, her face contorting into even more pain. “Did you hurt him?”
Victor looked hurt, betrayed, and so fucking sad. He shook his head, pulled my suitcase out of the trunk of the car, and slid into the driver’s seat. “I’m done, Melissa. I can’t handle this anymore. It fucking hurts.” And then he sped off into the night, his taillights disappearing down the street.
Melissa looked back at me. “Why’d you do it?” she asked quietly, shaking her head. “Why’d you do that to me? He’s my dad.” She sounded so heartbroken.
I knotted my brows together and frowned at her, not having any words. Why did I sleep with her dad or why did I love him? Those were two different reasons, and I didn’t think she was ready for either of them.
Serena pressed her lips together. “You should leave, Melissa.”
Melissa grumbled under her breath and got into her car. She slammed her car door and sped onto the road, toward Mason’s apartment. I frowned at her car, threw my head back, and let out the loudest “Ugh” of my entire life.
To say that I felt guilt wasn’t even enough to explain how I felt at this moment. I felt guilty, betrayed, like a shitty person, every single negative emotion that I could ever have bundled into a 135lbs struggling college student trying to get her shit together but failing miserably.
“Don’t listen to her,” Serena said, wrapping one arm around me and grabbing my suitcase with the other. She pulled me toward Michael’s car and pushed the suitcase into the backseat. “You didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Yes, I did,” I whispered. “Sleeping with her father was wrong.”
Serena frowned at me and paused. “Well, I’m here for you,” she said. “You can stay the night here or go back to Mr. Bryne’s but… I just want to make sure you know that me and Damien…” She glanced over at Damien who stood with his hands on his hips a few feet away. “We don’t think of you any differently. You’re going through a lot right now and Mason wasn’t good for you. Ever.”
I swallowed hard and nodded my head. “I know.”
“Now, you want to watch scary movies all night or are you going to go sleep with Mr. Bryne?” My phone buzzed in my pocket, and I pulled it out to read Michael’s name. Serena smiled widely at me and pushed me toward the car. “We’ll see you early Friday morning at the hospital,” she said. “If you need anything before then, text me.”