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A Lover’s Lament

By:KL. Grayson and BT Urruela

p speed. I can’t seem to make sense of any of it, and I need some time to sort through all of this. Everything I thought I knew just changed. My foreseeable future just shifted, tilting my world on its axis, and I need to get a grip on myself before I can get a grip on the situation.

Grabbing my underwear and skirt from the floor, I slip them on.

“Katie?”

Scurrying around the bed, I look for my shirt. I know it’s around here somewhere; it couldn’t have gone that far. The power of Devin’s stare weighs heavily on my back. He’s following me around the room, I can feel it. I spot the gauzy material on the floor, along with my bra, and snatch them both up.

Devin steps in front of me as I slip on my bra. “Katie, please talk to me. Don’t do this; don’t go quiet on me.”

“I’m not going quiet.” Tugging the shirt over my head, I run my hands down the material, a feeble attempt at pulling myself together. “I just need … a minute.”

Devin’s eyebrows nearly touch his hairline. “You need a minute? No”—he shakes his head and reaches for me, but I dodge him—“what you need is to talk to me. We will work this out. It’s only temporary. I’ll be eighteen this winter, and as soon as I can, I’ll come back. This isn’t the end … please don’t think that.”

“Isn’t it?” I ask, whirling around on him. “You’re moving to Pennsylvania, Dev. That’s like a thousand miles away.”

“Eight hundred,” he mumbles.

“Great!” I toss my hands up in exasperation. “You’ve already looked it up, which means you’ve known for a while.”

“No,” he states firmly. “She sprung this on me yesterday morning. I tried to tell you earlier, but we were—”

“You know what, never mind.” I’m confused. So confused. I just gave myself to Dev and I wouldn’t change that for the world, but somehow it seems so insignificant in light of all of this. He’s leaving. Leaving. My stomach dips and then rolls as I fight back a wave of nausea.

Devin has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember, and just the thought of him not being here every day—not being able to drive over to his house and see him anytime I want, or kiss him anytime I want—makes my chest physically hurt. I’ve never been shot before, and I hope like hell I never do, but this sharp pain in my stomach must be what it feels like.

Slipping my feet in my sandals, I haul ass toward the door. Devin rushes up behind me, slamming his hand against the solid wood, shutting it before I can slip out. His body is hot against mine, his breathing ragged, and guilt ripples through me. He’s the one that’s leaving … he’s the one that has to start over, and here I am acting like this.

“Katie, please hear me when I tell you that this doesn’t change anything.”

“You’re wrong,” I say with a sigh. “This changes everything.” And by everything, I mean that nothing will be the same. I don’t mean it won’t work, because I do believe that if we want it badly enough and try hard enough, we can make it work. But it won’t be easy. It’s something that we’ll need to sit down and hash out, but right now I just need to collect my thoughts.

“Please don’t do this.” His pleading voice is almost my undoing—almost. But I know that I need to step away and calm down before I ruin the very best thing in my life.

“I just need to process this. It’s a lot to take in.”

“We can make it work, Katie. I promise you, I’ll come back.”

“I believe you that we can make it work if we both try hard enough.”

Devin’s body stiffens behind me. “What’s that supposed to mean? You make it sound like I wouldn’t work at it.”

Whirling around, I plant my hands on my hips. “Your mom hasn’t had a landline in years, Devin. If I want to see you or talk to you, I have to drive to your house. So explain to me what I’m supposed to do when you’re eight hundred miles away.”

His shoulders drop, and I can tell that he didn’t think of that. “Now, will you please take me home?”

“No.”

“What do you mean, no?”

“I want to spend every second I can with you, because we’re leaving on Sunday.”

“What?” I squeal, my eyes nearly popping out of my head. Great. This just keeps getting worse. “I—wh—ho—FUCK!” This isn’t happening. How do I fight this? How in the hell are we supposed to make it work with such little time to even talk about it or prepare? Threading my fingers in my hair, I grip it tightly. “Sunday? You’re leaving on Sunday?” My voice rises with each word, along with my blood pressure. “I can’t believe this.” My pulse is hammering so hard in my ears that it’s giving me a headache, and my chin hurts from the uncontrollable trembling.

“Katie!” A loud knock sounds on the bedroom door, and I wonder who in the world managed to get into Devin’s house. “Katie, are you okay in there?” My body sags in relief at the sound of Wyatt’s voice. Several other voices filter through the air, and I roll my eyes because the last thing I need right now is an audience.

“What the fuck is he doing here?” Devin growls. Stepping around me, he flings the door open. “What?” he barks, the tone of voice causing Wyatt to take a step back.

“He’s my friend and I invited him.” Wyatt watches the two of us hesitantly, but when I walk straight up to him, he opens his arms without thinking twice. Burying my face in his chest, my emotions get the best of me. They boil low in my belly, slowly working their way up until a strangled cry rips from my throat. Wyatt’s arm wraps around my shoulder, but I notice that he leaves the other one hanging loose at his side. Probably a smart idea if he doesn’t want it ripped off.

“Enough.” A strong hand wraps around my arm and I’m yanked away from Wyatt. “Move,” Devin seethes. Wyatt steps out of the way when Devin takes off down the hall, pulling me behind him.

“Let her go.”

“Fuck off, cowboy.” Devin laughs when Wyatt doesn’t come back with more, but I’m not really surprised. These two men, my very first two friends, haven’t liked each other since day one. Devin has always been a lit

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