Chapter 37 - Knox
I got off the plane and turned on my phone. It was just after five p.m., and the sun was setting on the horizon, coloring the sky in bright hues of orange, purple, and yellow. Fuck - it was beautiful. So much more beautiful than seeing gray sky. This was home. This was where I wanted to be, where I felt like me again, even though I’d been trying to run from myself before.
But despite the beauty in the sunset, it felt like something was choking my throat. I was hoping so damn hard that there’d be a message from Snow. Any message, whatsoever, that would give me an indication that she was willing to talk to me.
My phone beeped immediately, and my heart stopped when I saw a voicemail from Snow. My hands trembled as I listened to it...
“Hi... it’s me. I got your messages. All of them. I’m ready to talk.” Her voice. Shit, her voice was like a fucking angel’s. And I needed her to save my sinner’s soul, if there was ever any hope for me of feeling like I was alive again. Thank God she was willing to talk to me - that gave me hope.
I stood at the baggage carousel, waiting for my suitcase, flipping through the news coverage, trying to distract myself.
But just then, I saw a photo of Snow and Connor, with a headline in black, bold print, and it nearly fucking killed me right then.
“A match made in football heaven”
I felt my blood pressure rise, just seeing that picture of Snow. Fucking damn, she was beautiful - and she looked like an A-list celebrity walking that red carpet with Connor Blake. What the hell was wrong with me to have ever let her go? I hoped I wasn’t too late already. That I hadn’t driven her right into the arms of Connor fucking Blake, who was a rising star and could offer her so much more than I ever could.
I skimmed the news article. It covered some sort of gala event, covering how Snow was the daughter of Adam Davis and Connor, the son of Mayhem Blake, and suggesting that they were the next generation of football royalty.
It seemed the world wanted to see them together, too. This situation was getting worse and worse by the minute. I felt like punching that smirk off Connor’s face. He looked like the cat who’d caught the canary and eaten it whole - he looked way too self-satisfied for my liking with Snow on his arm.
And when my suitcase arrived on the carousel, I made a beeline for that exit, jumping in the first taxi. I didn’t hesitate a second - I asked the driver to go straight to Snow’s house because I could feel my future slipping away from me every minute I was away from her...
Snow’s sister opened the door, and she looked dumbfounded to see me standing there.
“Hi, Hailey. Please tell me Mel is here,” I said, desperation rife in my voice.
“Hi - aren’t you supposed to be in London?” Her mouth gaped open, and she looked between me and my luggage.
“Yeah. I’m back to talk to your sister, if she’ll see me,” I laid my cards on the table.
“Come on in, she’s here,” she held open the door, realizing that I was still standing outside.
Relief flooded me. But suddenly, I was nervous as hell. What if she didn’t want to see me? What if I came all this way, and she wasn’t willing to even talk to me?
“Thanks. I left my luggage just inside the door and followed her into the lounge room. My eyes darted around, desperate to catch a glimpse of Snow.
“She’s upstairs in her room. I’ll go get her,” Hailey said, smiling. “And by the way... you look like hell, Knox.”
I nodded, not even trying to pretend-smile. “I feel like it, too.”
Hailey disappeared to go upstairs, and I swear I could hear every second tick past. I was too stressed out to sit down, so I was standing, wanting to pace the damn room like a wild, caged animal. And after what felt like a small eternity, I heard footsteps and my eyes fell on Snow, who hesitantly walked towards me.
Relief flooded me immediately. And even though she was dressed in simple jeans and a t-shirt, and her eyes were shimmery and red from crying, she sucked all of the air out of my lungs. She was perfect - everything about her was so fucking perfect it hurt inside my chest just to look at her.
Our gazes locked. I could see her breathing quicken. I could see her pulse jumping in her neck. She looked wounded. Scared. But just as desperate as I was.
“Snow,” I heard myself say, but my voice didn’t even sound like my own.
“Knox... what are you doing here?”
She bit her bottom lip, looking so damn unsure. And it killed me. It was my fault that we were like this right now.
“I’m here to beg for forgiveness, Snow.”
And we just looked at each other, that tension between us thick and heavy as fog. I was drowning in the dark blue depths of her expressive eyes, which radiated so much sorrow right now.
“I’m so sorry. I never should’ve said what I did. It wasn’t fair to you, at all.”
“No, it wasn’t,” she said adamantly, and that was a fair indication that she wasn’t going to welcome me with open arms.
“I didn’t mean it. I was just... jealous,” I admitted even though it was damn hard to say those words.
“Why were you jealous?” She asked coolly. “You have no right to be jealous. You don’t want to be in a relationship with me - you have absolutely no say over me and who I see.”
She was clawing my heart out with every word, but I deserved it.
“Wrong, Snow. I want you. I want a relationship with you. I was wrong, and I admit it.”
Her face was stoic; she didn’t give anything away. What the hell was she thinking right now?
“The thought of you being with Connor, is driving me insane. And I know I should’ve said and done something sooner. I know I should’ve said something when you were in London. But I’m here now. I’m hoping like hell that I’m not too late.” Each word tore from my lips. This conversation fucking hurt. The way that she just looked at me without saying anything back, was killing me.
“Please don’t move in with him, Snow,” I didn’t quite know where to start, because I had so much to say, but I wanted to make that point early on.
Her eyebrow rose. “I never said I was going to move in with Connor.”
“He asked you, though?”
“News travels fast,” she said extremely fucking coolly again, and her apathy was killing me. Killing me. Destroying me inside.
“I want us, together, Snow. I want you - only you. I want absolutely everything I thought I wasn’t ready for. But I realized, I am, and I want it with you.”
“You know what I’m scared of, Knox?” She asked tonelessly, her face completely expressionless. And it scared the life out of me, because it looked as though she didn’t care anymore.
“What are you scared of?” I steeled myself.
“That you’ll suck me in again and leave. And that this cycle will continue. This cycle of pushing and pulling. Of hot and cold. When we’re in front of each other, we can’t keep our hands off each other. But the moment one of us leaves, all bets are off again. And you know what? I’ve had enough. I can’t do it anymore. I won’t do it anymore.”
“Snow, I swear...”
“I’m not finished, Knox.” Her eyes warned me that she was skating a very thin line between keeping her composure and losing control, so I just nodded.
“The thing is... even though you didn’t want to admit it, what we had was a relationship.”
I nodded, furiously agreeing with her.
“But here’s the thing. I’m breaking up with you this time.”
My jaw dropped, and it felt as though a ten-tonne truck had smashed right into my chest, destroying my heart.
I closed my eyes for a second, because it hurt so fucking much just then, and it felt as though I couldn’t breathe again. Because I was losing everything right now...
“Please...” I choked out the word, but she interrupted me right away.
“I’m breaking up with you, because I don’t want your friendship, Knox.”
Each and every word stabbed holes in my soul.
“I want everything, or nothing,” she continued, and right then, there was a flicker of hope again.
“And until the day you can stand in front of me, ready to give me what I need, I’m not interested in any type of relationship with you. Be it friends, friends with benefits, or any other term you want to apply to the situation we were in before.”
“Give me a second...” I tried, but she kept talking right over me.
“I’m not interested in taking your calls anymore, until you’re willing to be honest with yourself and me. I’m not willing to fall into your arms when you decide you want whatever you can have with me for however long time we’re in the same place for. So, this is me drawing a line in the sand. This is me saying that I’m not interested in anything that is ‘right now,’ and that has an expiration date.”
She finally stopped talking and exhaled with a shudder, and tears were glimmering in her eyes. She was on the verge of losing her composure, I could see that she was hanging on by a thread.
And I knew one thing... I had to say exactly the right thing next; otherwise, I’d lose everything.