Chapter Twenty-Eight

After We Fell


chapter twenty-eight

 

TESSA

 

I’m so exhausted, just plain tired of dealing with fight after fight with Hardin. I’m not sure what to do now, where to go from here. I’ve been following him down the path we’ve been on for months now, and I’m not sure we’re actually going anywhere. We’re both just as lost as we were at the start.

    “Tessa?” Landon’s voice carries through the room and out to the balcony.

    “Out here,” I reply, thankful that I put on a pair of shorts and a sweatshirt. Hardin always teases me when I do that, but it’s comfortable at times like this, not too hot but not too cold.

    “Hey,” he says, coming out and sitting in the chair next to mine.

    “Hey.” I glance over at him before staring back at the water.

    “Are you okay?”

    I take a moment to think over his question: Am I okay? No. Will I be? Yes.

    “Yeah, this time I think I am.” I bring my knees to my chest and wrap my arms around them.

    “Do you want to talk about it?”

    “No. I don’t want to ruin the trip with all my drama. I’m fine, really.”

    “Okay, just know if you want to talk, I’ll listen.”

    “I know.” I look over at him, and he gives me a reassuring smile. I don’t know what I’m going to do without him.

    His eyes go wide, and he points over at something. “Are those . . . ?”

    I look over to where he’s staring.

    “Oh God!” I jump from my seat and grab the red panties that are floating in the hot tub and shove them into the front pocket of my sweatshirt.

    Landon bites down on his bottom lip to stifle his laugh, but I can’t keep mine in. We both burst into laughter—his genuine, mine out of humiliation. But I’ll take this laughter with Landon over my usual postfight crying with Hardin any day.