Maybe Just One More

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Chapter 31. What's Going To Break?

Avery’s POV

I laid in bed like I did every night, thinking about Stormie. Thunder rumbled and shook the building. Lightning flashed through the windows. Rain pounded against my window. Memories of her flashed through my head. I hated it when it stormed like this because storms reminded me of her.

My phone rang. I rolled and grabbed it off my nightstand, then rolled back again.

“Hello?” I asked.

“Hi, honey,” Mom said.

“Hey,” I said.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“Yeah,” I lied. “I’m good. How are things going?”

“Things are going good,” she said. “Austin misses you.”

“I’ll come home next weekend and see him. Sorry, I’ve just been busy.”

“It’s okay. We know that,” she said. “How is Stormie?”

“Fine as far as I know,” I said.

“I take it, you two aren’t much closer to getting back together,” she said sadly.

“Of course not,” I snorted. “She thinks I slept with Susie.”

“You don’t sound too sure,” she said.

“I-I don’t know. I can’t remember, but I just feel like there is no way I could have. I was really screwed up that night,” I told her.

“What do you remember last?” she asked.

“Doing a keg stand,” I chuckled.

She laughed. “That explains why you don’t remember. How much did you have to drink?”

“I’m not sure,” I said. “I don’t remember when I stopped. I don’t even know how my car got back home that night. There’s no way I drove it. I couldn’t even walk.”

She sighed. “Do you think you were drugged?”

“I’ve thought about it, but I’m not sure, and I can’t prove it. I should have gone to the hospital that morning to get tested to see if they could find something in my system.”

“Yeah, you should have. I don’t know, honey. I think if Stormie really loved you, she would get past it. She’s just hurt,” Mom murmured.

“She’s pissed. I’m lucky she didn’t kick me in the balls,” I said. “I got to go, Mom. I’m tired,” I lied. I was far from tired, but I didn’t want to sit and talk about it anymore.

I stood up and walked out to the kitchen. Howie was in the living room watching a movie and smoking. I grabbed a glass and turned the water on.

There were a few raps on the door.

“Who the fuck?” I muttered. I put the glass down in the sink. “Are you expecting someone?” I asked Howie.

He looked at me with pursed lips. “Nope, You?”

“No,” I said. I walked over and opened the door. I stumbled back slightly in shock. My lips parted, and the air escaped my lungs. “Storm.”

She looked up at me through thick wet lashes. Her blond hair was so wet it looked like she had just got out of a shower.

I recalled the last time I saw her like this. I shook my head to clear my thoughts.

She wore a long black coat and a black dress. Mascara was running down her cheeks, and her eyes were puffy. That was when I realized her face wasn’t only wet from the rain but wet from crying.

“Can we talk?” she choked. She shivered slightly.

Instead of speaking, I took her hand and pulled her inside. I closed the door and looked her over. “Is something wrong?” I asked. “Are you okay? What?”

“Hey, Stormie,” Howie said.

“Hi, Howie,” Stormie said. She looked at me, and I could tell from the look on her face she wasn’t going to tell me in front of Howie.

I grabbed her hand and pulled her down the hallway and into my bedroom. I let her in first and closed the door behind me. I walked up behind her and pulled the coat down her shoulders.

“What?” she asked, confused. Her dress was still dry, mostly.

“Are you kidding? You’re making me cold just looking at you,” I muttered.

She let me take her coat off. I laid it down on my dresser. I pulled her to the bed and made her sit down. I wrapped the blanket around her and sat beside her.

“There, now tell me,” I said.

“I don’t know where to start,” she whispered. Tears built in her eyes.

“Start with why you came here,” I told her.

“That’s why I don’t know where to start,” she whispered. “You’re never going to believe this. I didn’t want to. It was easier to believe...” she trailed off. She shook her head. The tears in her eyes brimmed over.

I got off the bed and knelt on the floor between her legs. “Hey, it’s okay. Whatever it is, just tell me. Come on; it’s me you’re talking to. It can’t be much worse than all the shit I’ve done.”

She laughed humorlessly. “Oh, it’s worse than anything you have ever done or all the things you have done combined.”

My eyes widened slightly. “That bad, huh?”

“Mason came into my room tonight,” she choked through tears. She gritted her teeth to fight the tears back. I could see the resentfulness in her eyes. “He said we had to talk about you.”

The tendons in my neck tightened instantly. I felt where it was going and was sure that I didn’t want to hear it. “Okay?”

“He told me a story,” she whispered. “About a night that you two went to a party. At first, it was like any other night, but things went from normal to bad to worse. He said he didn’t want you to hurt me like he knew that you would,” she scoffed and looked away. “He’s fucking crazy,” she said through clenched teeth.

“Tell me the rest of the story,” I demanded.

Her gaze fell back to mine. “He gave you a couple of red cups with a drug in it. He didn’t say what kind it was, but he said he gave you way too much. He said it was enough to knock out two people. He said it wasn’t working too well the first time, so he gave you it a second time. He said that Ryder helped him. Ryder wanted to get even because of wanting to date me, which Mason didn’t find out until earlier today. Mason said that was part of why he chose to come to tell me. Actually, he said it was Ryder’s idea and that he went with it, but I don’t trust a thing the bastard says anymore.”

I was frozen on the floor between her legs. I couldn’t speak. I kept my hands on her thighs and stared up at her.

“They talked Susie into pretending that she slept with you, and she agreed,” she said. “They knew that it would affect me a lot more if it were Susie than anyone else. Susie was hoping that you would date her afterward, and Mason suspected you would too. Mason said when he realized how bad it hurt both of us, he felt bad and almost told us sooner. He said he felt too guilty about it. Mason also told me one other thing.”

“What?” I whispered. It was barely audible.

“Susie told Mason that she had drugged you once before at a party. She did it so you would sleep with her, but according to her, you didn’t. Instead, she made you think that you did,” she murmured. “She hated me because you would talk to me and never noticed her. So when she got popular, and you still didn’t notice her, she started bullying me.”

I chewed on my lip.

“I’m so sorry,” Stormie whispered. She dropped her head into her hands. “I feel so fucking stupid.”

I took a deep breath and slowly got to my feet.

She dropped her hands and looked at me. “Are you angry with me?”

I couldn’t answer. I didn’t know how to. I only had one thing on my mind. My keys were in my jeans that were on the floor. She watched me as I slid into my jeans and pulled a shirt over my head.

“A-Avery,” she squeaked.

I ignored her.

“Avery, where are you going?” she asked.

“Stay here,” I sneered. I turned and headed for the door.

“Avery, wait!” she yelled. She walked as fast as she could after me, and that wasn’t very fast. “Tell me where you’re going! Don’t leave me here!”

“I’m going to kill your fucking brother!” I spat.

Howie came off the couch. “Woah, man. Calm down. What happened?” Howie put himself in front of the door before I could reach it.

“Get the fuck out of my way, man, or I’ll knock you the fuck out,” I warned. Every nerve in my body was shaking from anger.

Howie stared back at me, trying to decide if I was telling the truth.

“You’re not going anywhere without me,” Stormie huffed.

I spun to face her. “You’re going to stay here, where you’re safe from psychos like Ryder and your brother. You’re going to keep your little ass out of it. It has nothing to do with you.”

She threw her hands in the air and let them fall back to her sides with a loud smack. “Are you fucking kidding me? It has everything to do with me! Am I not the center of it?!”

“Stay here,” I said. I made a fist and turned to face Howie. “I’m giving you one more chance to get the fuck out of my way, man. I don’t want to hurt you.”

Howie moved out of my way.

I threw the door open but stopped when I heard a groan. I turned back to see Stormie clutching onto the counter and bent over in pain, holding her stomach. My eyes widened and then narrowed. “That’s not funny, Stormie,” I growled.

“Do I look like I’m fucking laughing?” she spat. “Ugh,” she groaned and bent over further.

“Fuck,” I muttered and closed the door. I grabbed her and made her sit on one of the bar stools at the kitchen island that divided the kitchen and living room. “Maybe it’s false.”

Her chest started to rise and fall. She grabbed my hand with hers and groaned. She squeezed my hand so hard it felt like she would break it if she squeezed it any harder.

“Maybe, it’s not,” I countered and pursed my lips.

She stared up at me in irritation. “This isn’t supposed to happen! I have to get back to Granbury. My doctor isn’t in Waco!”

“Granbury is almost ninety miles, Storm,” I said. I grabbed my phone to call my mom.

“Hello?” Mom answered.

Stormie straightened up. “Oh, that one is gone,” she whispered. “What time is it?” She pulled her phone out to look and put it down.

“Mom,” I said.

“Is that Stormie?” she asked, confused.

“Yeah, look,” I started. “She might be going into labor. Do I got time to get her back to Granbury?”

“Well, that depends,” she said.

“On?” I asked.

“When did it start? How far apart are the contractions?”

“What? Like I fucking know,” I snorted.

Stormie held her hand up for the phone.

“Stormie will tell you,” I said and handed the phone to her.

“Hi, Rachel,” Stormie said. Stormie waited for my mother to get done talking before she spoke again. “I’ve been feeling them all day, but I thought they were just those false contractions or whatever. They started getting stronger when I got here, and now they hurt,” she explained. “No, it hasn’t broken.”

“What’s going to break?” I asked.

“I’m not sure. I haven’t had another yet,” she said.

We waited for several minutes, and Stormie groaned in pain. “S-seven minutes, I think.” Stormie looked up at me. “We have to go.”

“Fuck let me grab some extra clothes quickly,” I muttered.

“Hurry up,” she snapped. “Oh shit, my bag is at the house.”

“Call your mom,” I called over my shoulder.

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