Since He Really Feels
© 2014 Lisa Suzanne


So much has happened over the past year that it’s hard to wrap my brain around it all. But as I stand in the bridal suite at the church, ready to walk down the aisle to my very own Prince Charming, I know that fate stepped in. Everything happens for a reason, including all of the events in my life that brought me to this day. 
A year ago, I wouldn’t have seen this happening. Despite my best laid plans and my overly confident nature, I never would have guessed that this man would become my husband. Yet here we are.
My mom and I are alone for the moment, my bridal attendants having gone off in search of the photographer.
I fidget. I’m anxious to walk down the aisle. I’m not nervous to spend the rest of my life with him, but I am nervous to get up in front of all of the guests who are arriving to see us declare our love to one another.
Most of all, I’m excited to see him.
My mom adjusts my veil. “Don’t be nervous, sweet girl,” she says. Tears fill her eyes as she looks at her baby girl about to walk down the aisle. “He’s a wonderful man, and he’s lucky to have you.”
“Mom! Stop,” I warn her as tears threaten behind my own eyes.
My matron of honor and my bridesmaids enter the room.
“Jules, you look beautiful,” my sister says.
His sister walks over to me and pulls me into a hug. “I’m so happy that you’re officially going to be my sister,” she says.
“Me, too,” I whisper, hugging her back.

I stood with my fist raised, about to knock on the door. My heart and my head were both filled with questions, and I was ready to finally have some answers.
I pulled my fist back down for a moment and took a deep breath, staring at the door. Then I glanced down at the jewelry I held in my hands. The necklace he’d given me mere weeks earlier.
It wasn’t the first time I’d been to Dan’s San Diego apartment. Travis and I had visited before, so I knew that if Travis was home, he’d be behind the very door I was about to knock on.
I thought back to that morning, when I’d told Nick I wanted to go to San Diego to see how my best friend was dealing with the news that Nick and I had gotten engaged.
Nick wasn’t happy with me when I told him I was planning to visit Travis. In fact, he didn’t talk to me before I left. My mom had always told me never to leave the house mad, and you would think I would have learned that after my accident; in the blink of an eye, things could change, and it was scary to think that I was going on a six hour road trip without so much as a goodbye from my fiancé.
He left for work Tuesday morning, and I had, too.
I had to see Travis.
I had to make sure he was okay.
He had been my best friend for twenty-one years. You don’t just stop being friends after that long.
Even after what I had done.
When I looked back on what happened between Travis and me, I hated what I had done.
Let’s be honest. On the one hand, I wasn’t fully to blame. Travis picked a shitty moment to tell me how he really felt, and I was vulnerable and drunk and gave into something I never should have. I had acted immaturely and foolishly, but I had a connection with Nicholas Matthews that was unlike anything I’d ever felt.
He was the one for me, and once he told me the truth about why he had broken my heart, there was no possible way for me to stay away.
“He still isn’t answering my calls,” I said, running a comb through my wet hair after my shower, annoyed that I was still wearing a cast from the accident I’d gotten into at Travis’s apartment just two weeks earlier.
“He just needs some time to get used to the idea,” Nick said, glancing at me in the mirror as he smeared shaving cream on his face.
“What if he’s done something stupid?”
Anxiety gripped me. The last time I had seen Travis, he was heartbroken over what I had done. I called him because I knew I had to tell him about Nick and me, but I never expected for him to just shut me out for two days.
“Like what?”
A million nasty scenarios had made their way through my mind in the thirty-six hours since Travis and I had spoken. I knew he wouldn’t do anything extreme, but it didn’t stop the thoughts from invading my mind anyway.
I shrugged, not wanting to put a voice to my fears.
“Julianne, he’s fine. Trust me.” His voice was strained, like he was frustrated with this entire conversation.
I wanted to trust him, but my gut told me I needed to see Travis. I watched him clear a line of shaving cream with his razor as I picked up my makeup bag. I powdered my face, and then I looked back over at Nick. He was just finishing his shaving.
“I’m thinking about going to San Diego,” I blurted, flipping through my makeup bag to locate my mascara.
“Seriously?” His voice took on a definite tone of frustration as he wiped off the excess cream with a towel.
I nodded.
“This weekend?”
I paused with my mascara halfway to my eyes and glanced over at him. “No. Today. After work.”
“You can’t be serious.”
“Then how come I am?”
He set his towel on the counter and stared at me for a long moment. I acted like everything was perfectly normal while I continued applying my makeup, even though it clearly wasn’t.
“Julianne, I don’t think you should go.” His voice was firm, but it wasn’t convincing enough to get me to stay.
I would do anything for Nick. I loved him and I had agreed to marry him.
But I was lost without Travis in my life. That stupid old cliché about not knowing what you have until it’s gone made complete sense to me now. I hadn’t realized how important Travis was in my life until he was no longer in it, and I was desperate to get our friendship back. He had always been the first person I turned to, no matter what; and it was just weird not having him in my life to celebrate my engagement to Nick. Something was missing, and it was the piece of my heart that left with Travis when he moved to San Diego.
I hadn’t heard from Travis since Sunday night, after I’d told him that Nick and I were engaged. He wasn’t picking up my calls, and he wasn’t answering my emails.
I was frantic with worry and I didn’t know how else to get him to talk to me. He wasn’t answering his mom’s calls or his sister’s calls. Sure, they’d told me that he texted and said he was fine, but he didn’t text me. Showing up on his doorstep was a pretty bold move, but, then, I’d had several bold moves over the past several months, and I hated living without Travis in my life.
I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t respond.
He continued, “You’re starting a new job next week. If you take a day to go to San Diego now, that’s going to set you back at both McMillan and BKG.”
I shrugged. I had already thought of that. To me, my job wasn’t as important to me as making sure that my best friend was okay. Clearly, though, Nick thought the job took top priority.
That’s how it had seemed since he’d started at BKG, anyway.
“It’s not like you’re even going to notice I’m gone,” I huffed, finally putting voice to the ridiculous internal monologue that had been plaguing my mind since Nick had started at the new company. I was, quite frankly, already tired of the long hours he was putting in. I felt like I’d hardly seen him since we’d gotten engaged. He’d been in New York for training for almost an entire week. He arrived home late Friday night, and then he spent most of the day Saturday – which happened to be Valentine’s Day – working. He stopped long enough to take me out to a nice dinner and to kiss every inch of my body, and then he spent Sunday prepping for his first official day at BKG. He’d been at work until 9:00 the night before, and I didn’t see an end to his ridiculous working hours in sight. 
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing,” I muttered.
“You know that starting a new job requires extra time.”
“I’ve hardly seen you since we got engaged.”
He sighed in frustration. “I’m fucking doing this for us.”
I was trying to see things from his perspective, but I couldn’t really understand why he felt like putting in twelve hours a day was for us.
I set my makeup down on the counter and turned to Nick, who was nearly finished with his morning routine. His hair was perfect, he was freshly shaven, and he smelled clean and seductive with that sexy woodsy aftershave he used. He stood in front of me in just a pair of charcoal grey pants, and I couldn’t help but stare at his perfectly chiseled body. Just looking at him was enough to distract me from my thoughts. It was enough to take my breath away. 
I straight up loved everything about the man standing in front of me.
But I wanted it all.
I wanted Nick as my lover, my prince, my husband.
And I wanted Travis as my rock, my strength, my best friend.
Travis had made it clear that in choosing Nick, I had made my decision.
And Nick’s next words made it clear that if I chose Travis, I had made my decision: “If you go to San Diego, don’t expect me to be waiting around when you get home.”
“Nick, this is just something that I have to do. I need you to understand that.”
He stared at me, his eyes hard and unforgiving. “I think it’s the stupidest idea I’ve heard all month, and I’ve heard a lot of stupid shit this month.” He walked past me and out of the bathroom, refusing to meet my eyes. I followed him to his closet quietly, and I watched him pull on a white shirt and button it from the bottom up. Then he flipped through his ties a little more forcefully than normal, ultimately choosing a red and black one that he nearly ripped off of the rack.
“What’s going to happen if I go?” I asked. I knew it was stupid and I knew that it could put my relationship with Nick in jeopardy, but I was absolutely torn. Something in my heart told me that I needed to go. I’d deal with the fallout later.
“What do you mean?” he asked, knotting his tie aggressively.
“With us,” I whispered.
He finished tying his tie and turned to me before he answered, gazing at me with irritation. I wanted him to take me in his arms and tell me that it was all going to be okay. I wanted him to hold me and tell me that he’d come with me to San Diego. But he didn’t. “Julianne, I love you. I will always love you. I would do anything for you; you know that. I’ve proven that. I have tried to understand why you feel the need to see the man who ran away from you because you fucked him and then left him, but I’m having a real hard time coming up with any conceivable reason.”
“It’s because—”
He cut me off by holding up his hand. “I know you miss his friendship. Baby, I’ve tried to be understanding about this whole Travis thing, but I can only take so much. You’re engaged to me now, and you made your decision. Deal with it and give the guy some time.”
“I know you’re right, but I just have to do this.”
“How’d you go from thinking about it to deciding to go in the span of the last ten minutes?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. I just feel this weight pressing down on me, and the only way I can get out from under it is to make sure he’s okay.”
“At the expense of making sure we are okay?”
“No. I would never put us in jeopardy.”
“Then don’t go.”
“That’s not an option.”
“Then I guess I will see you when you get back.”
With that, Nick exited the closet, bypassed breakfast in the kitchen, and headed out to his car.
I hated the way we left things. I hated going on a road trip with Nick mad at me, especially thinking about my recent car accident. Life could change in the blink of an eye, as evidenced by the cast I was still wearing on my wrist, and I knew it was wrong to leave the house without a goodbye. I knew it was wrong to leave on bad terms. But it was too late to change it.
I emailed Travis at lunch, not mentioning that I was planning to visit. In my head, I convinced myself that if he responded before I left, I’d take that as a sign that I shouldn’t go. If he didn’t respond, then that was a sign that I should go.
I had no response at 2:00, so I faked a doctor’s appointment and headed out to my car. I was in my last week at McMillan, and I’d pretty much closed out everything I needed to do. Now it was just a waiting game, a stupid punishment from Davidson to finish out my two weeks of work before I could officially be done and move over to BKG Marketing with Nick as my boss. I was excited for the move, even though I felt bad that I’d have to start a day later because of my impulsive trip to San Diego.
The six hour drive from Phoenix to San Diego gave me a lot of quiet thinking time, and as I stood poised to knock on Travis’s door, I suddenly wondered if I had made the wrong decision.
By “wrong decision,” I didn’t mean that I’d made the wrong decision in coming to San Diego.
By “wrong decision,” I meant whether I’d made the wrong decision in letting Travis go so easily.
I hadn’t looked at Travis in “that way” since I was in high school. Even calling it “that way” sounded high school-ish. We’d broken up mutually just before we started college, but my six hours alone in the car helped me to realize that maybe it wasn’t as mutual as I’d always thought. He’d confessed his real feelings to me only a few weeks earlier, and the more I thought about pieces of our shared history, the more I realized that he’d loved me all along; I’d just been blind to it. How different would things have turned out if I’d chosen to be with him? What if I’d never acted on my feelings for Nick? Would Travis and I be together now?
I had to believe that I was meant to be with Nick. The feelings I had for him were unlike any that I’d experienced in my life.
But what if it was an overabundance of lust that made me feel that way? What if I needed Travis and his friendship more?
I had always pegged myself as a strong, independent woman. But these men in my life were making me act like a spineless, dramatic adolescent who couldn’t make a fucking decision.
I knew my answer was Nick, and not just because he was the easy answer. If anything, he was the harder answer. He meant saying goodbye to my past, a past that I adored and cherished. He meant cutting people out of my life who I’d loved since I was five years old. But he also meant a safe and secure future full of happiness and love and the most fantastic sex of my life.
I raised my hand again, and this time I knocked before I lost my nerve. My heart started racing, and suddenly I was nervous. My hands were shaking and my mouth was dry. What the hell was I doing?
I looked at the necklace I held in my hand again, the one that Travis had given me that night when he’d come over and I’d broken his heart by telling him that my heart belonged to Nick. He deserved to have the necklace back. It was the least I could do.
The door opened, and there stood Travis.
He looked handsome, but more than that, he looked familiar. He looked like home. He looked like the best friend who had been missing from my life for nearly the past month.
“Jules,” he whispered.
“Oh, Trav,” I said, flying into his arms. 
“What are you doing here?” he asked, wrapping his arms around me in a hug. My racing heart hadn’t slowed at the feel of his arms around me, and it was strange to have these unfamiliar feelings for Travis. Tears started rolling down my cheeks as I hugged him against me.
Once again, I felt the pull of confusion in my heart. While I knew Nick was the fairy tale ending, something about being in Travis’s familiar arms was warm and comforting.
I pulled back to look at him. “I had to see you. I had to know that we’re going to be okay.”
“I just emailed you,” he said, and I wondered immediately how he had responded to me. My email to him talked about second chances, and I wondered briefly what kind of second chance I was really there for. I couldn’t – wouldn’t – ever cheat on Nick, but uncertainty rattled my brain.
“You did? You saw mine?”
He stepped back from me, and I felt cold without his bodily contact. He nodded.
“What did yours say?” I asked.
He stared at me for a moment, almost like he couldn’t believe I was standing in his family room. And then he said the words that cut right to my heart. “Jules, I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for this right now.”
“But I came all this way,” I said, shocked that he’d so easily brush me off. He’d always given me his full attention. Always. And I’d just driven six hours to be with him, to check on him and to make sure he was doing okay.
I suddenly felt like a fool. For so many different reasons.
I’d risked my relationship with Nick to make sure that Travis was okay, and as I looked at the man in front of me, I knew without a doubt that he was okay. He looked really, really good. He was thriving in San Diego. Without me.
 “I know you did. And I don’t mean to sound like a dick, but maybe you shouldn’t have. You’ve got your thing going on in Arizona, and I’ve got mine here in California.”
I gazed at him, surprised that the man in front of me was doing as well as he was. “You’re really okay?” I asked.
“Sort of. I have… um, plans for the night. I have to leave in less than an hour.”
So I drove six hours to see him, and he had plans.
I couldn’t meet his eyes, so I stared down at the floor. “Oh, okay. I don’t want to keep you.” I paused, and then I looked up at him. “Here,” I said, holding the necklace out.
He shook his head as his eyes met mine. “I gave that to you. It’s yours.”
I didn’t know what to say to that. In fact, I was a little worried that if I spoke, I’d start crying.
“Do you have somewhere to stay?” he asked.
I didn’t. I hadn’t thought that far ahead; we’d always had such an open relationship that I just figured I’d stay with him. I shook my head.
“We’ve got a guest room,” he said.
“No, I don’t want to impose,” I said halfheartedly.
“Yes, you do. You wouldn’t have come here if you didn’t expect me to offer.”
“You know me well.”
He smiled, but I could tell it wasn’t sincere. “BFFs for life, right?”
I smiled back, but mine was sincere. “I hope so, Trav.”
“Read your email.” He gestured over to the couch. “Make yourself at home. I’m sorry I can’t stay to talk. I have to go change.”
He walked down the hall and I took a seat on his couch. I took out my phone, and the first thing I did was text Nick. I’d been texting him periodically throughout the day, but I hadn’t heard a word from him since he’d left the house earlier that morning.
I’m safe in San Diego. I’m sorry, Nick. I love you.
Then I pulled open my email and located the one from Travis. It had just been sent a few minutes earlier.
Thank you for the heartfelt apology. I don’t doubt your sincerity. What you did killed a part of me, but you should know that I’m doing okay. I’m not angry anymore. Your friendship has meant everything to me for the better part of twenty years, and while I might need some more time to get over what you did, I know that I can’t cut you out of my life completely.
You should also know that this change of heart has come at the suggestion of someone I met. It’s a long story, but she made me see that I couldn’t move on with her until I fixed things with you. That’s what prompted my call the other day, and your news shocked me. I didn’t react well, and I apologize for going into hiding for a couple of days. Someday I hope I can be happy for you. It’s a strange realization that you and I aren’t going to end up together, but I’ve figured out that there’s actually someone else I’m meant to end up with.
I wish you the best, and I’ll be in touch when I’m ready.
As I finished reading the email, I realized exactly how right Nick had been. Travis just needed time, and I ignored Nick and followed my instinct, which clearly had been wrong.
He’d met someone.
Someone who he’d bonded with enough to tell the story of us.
Travis didn’t need me in his life anymore.
I felt my heart splinter in two. On the one hand, my heart was so full with Nick there. But on the other hand, my heart was breaking because the one person I’d spent so much of my life depending on no longer depended on me.
I was a fool, and I knew it. But the hardest part of it all was going to be admitting that I’d messed everything up. I wasn’t sure if Nick was even talking to me or where I stood with him.
“Jules!” I heard Travis’s voice, and it pulled me out of my jumbled thoughts.
“I need your help with something.”
I made my way down the hall toward his voice, and I found Travis in his closet. It was reminiscent of that morning when I’d watched Nick looking through his clothes. I just watched him for a moment with curiosity.
“What can I do?” I finally asked.
Our eyes met, and I found that something had changed in his. He was looking at me like I was his little sister. I saw none of the heat and passion and lust that I’d grown accustomed to seeing there but hadn’t recognized for what it was. “I need a suit,” he said. “Nice shirt and tie combo. Shoes, the whole deal.”
“I’m on it,” I said, looking through his clothes. It’s funny how easy it was to slip back into the role of best friend. I couldn’t think of a time in our shared history when I hadn’t picked out his clothes for him for all of his major life events. Even if I hadn’t been there to physically help him, I’d talked him through more than one outfit over the phone. “Can I ask what this is for?”
“Did you read your email?”
I felt my face heating. “Yes.” I didn’t look up from his clothes because I didn’t want him to know how embarrassed I was that I’d made this journey to San Diego when I clearly shouldn’t have.
“It’s the girl that I referenced in my email. I sort of… fucked things up royally, and I’ve been spending my entire day trying to make it right. I’m ending the day with a pretty bold move.”
“What’s the bold move?” I asked, pulling a white button down shirt off of the hanger and handing it to him. I flipped through his ties, pausing for a moment on a red one that reminded me of the one Nick had chosen that morning.
God, I was an idiot.
“I’m sending a limo to her place to pick her up and bring her to me. I’ll be waiting at a classy wine bar.”
I glanced up at him, and I was surprised to find that he looked anxious. “Sounds nice, Trav.”
“I was hoping for better than ‘nice,’” he said wryly.
It felt strange listening to his bold move for another woman after all we’d been through recently. He told me that he loved me just a few weeks earlier, and now he was going after some other girl while all I felt was confused. “Sounds romantic. I don’t know what you want me to say. This is weird.”
“What’s weird?” he asked, and then he pulled his t-shirt over his head to change into the white button down shirt I’d handed him. I stole a glance at his body, and I was briefly transported to the night he’d made love to me, the night when I’d been heartbroken over Nick and couldn’t focus on the amazing man in front of me. I felt a stab of regret in my gut for the way I’d treated him. He really was just an all around good guy. And his toned and athletic body wasn’t hard to look at.
I felt a little breathless as I answered his question. “Giving you advice about another woman.”
“It never was weird before.”
“Before?” I asked, handing him a blue tie.
He took the tie and gazed at it for a second, and then he spoke without looking up. “Before I told you how I felt.” He placed the tie on his dresser as I froze at his words.
“Can we get back there?” I asked hopefully. I needed Travis in my life any way I could get him.
“I’d like to reiterate my email,” he said.
“The part about you getting in touch with me when you are ready?” I asked.
“No, Jules,” he said. “The part about me moving on. The part about me having found the woman I’m meant to be with. And I need to go salvage that. I’m sorry I can’t stay and talk to you about us, but if you’re the friend that I need, you’ll understand.”
I nodded. It hurt, but it was a pain I deserved. “I understand, Trav. Go get her.”
He pulled me into a quick hug, and then I headed back to the couch to let him get ready for his big night.
On his way out the door, he pointed out the guest room to me, and then he left. I flipped through the television channels for a short time. I couldn’t focus on television, though. My life was falling apart around me, and I wanted to just zone out for the night, but my mind wouldn’t let me do that – especially not in the place where I could smell Travis everywhere I went.
I wandered around the apartment and into the kitchen, glancing around at the familiar items that I knew belonged to Travis. I pulled a cup out of the cabinet and fixed myself a glass of ice water, and then I went down to my car and grabbed my overnight bag. I went back into Trav’s apartment and found the room that would be mine for the night. I wanted things to work out for Travis. I owed him that much after the hell I’d put him through, and I didn’t know how long he’d be out. So once I got my bag, I decided to just settle into the guest room for the night.
Exhaustion hit me pretty quickly, so I washed up for bed and then crawled under the covers, wishing that I knew what the hell I was doing in San Diego and hoping that I’d be able to salvage what I’d done to my relationship with my fiancé.
I checked my texts and was disappointed to find that Nick was still ignoring me. I sent him one more text, hoping for the best.
I love you. You were right; I shouldn’t have come. I’ll be back tomorrow night and I am praying that you will forgive me for being so stupid.
I waited a few minutes, hopeful for a reply. I’d admitted my stupidity, so now the ball was in his court. He could choose to forgive me and we could move forward, or…
I couldn’t let myself think of the “or.” I stood to lose far too much with that “or,” and I wasn’t going to allow that to happen.
I woke up from a fitful sleep a little over an hour later. I glanced at my phone, disappointed to see that there still wasn’t a reply from Nick, and then I heard the noise again that had woken me. I sat up in bed, trying to identify the noise, and then it clicked in my head. I couldn’t make out the exact sounds, but the thumping noise and the intermittent moaning spoke volumes.
Someone was most definitely having sex in the apartment, and from the sound of it, it was coming from the room where I’d helped Travis pick out his outfit earlier that evening.
Travis had clearly fixed his issues with this new woman, and while I wanted to feel happy for him, sadness and jealousy engulfed me as I listened to him have sex through the wall.
I didn’t want to feel sad. I didn’t want to feel jealous of a girl I still hadn’t met. I wanted to just be happy with Nick. I wanted everything to be the way it was before Nick had broken it off with me and I’d made the biggest mistake of my life by using my best friend for comfort. Everything had been so easy back then; Nick and I were blissfully happy even though we’d had to keep our relationship a secret, and Travis was still my friend who was nothing more than my friend. I was ignorant to his real feelings for me, and that old saying about ignorance being bliss fully applied.
And now I had all of these conflicting feelings cluttering my mind when I knew what my answer should be. I had to listen to Travis getting lucky through a wall when the dark, disturbing thought that it should have been me entered my mind.
I sat in the darkness of the guest room feeling waves of guilt pour through me.
In that moment, a part of me felt like I was cheating on Nick. It was so, so wrong to even allow the thought into my mind when I was engaged to marry another man that maybe I should have given Travis a chance. 
But there it was.
I lay in the dark, staring up at the ceiling as if some answer would be written there when I didn’t even know what my question was.
The next morning, I ran into Dan in the kitchen while I poured myself a cup of coffee. I hadn’t slept at all after I’d heard Travis and his new girl, and I was exhausted and emotional. I heard the two of them leave about an hour after I had first woken up, but just because they were gone didn’t mean I was able to sleep.
I tried calling Nick again sometime after I heard them leave, but he didn’t answer.
I needed to talk to him. I needed to hear his voice, because I knew that his voice would be enough to confirm that he was the right choice. But not hearing from him, being by myself while I listened to Travis with another woman, it was all too much for me to handle. I spent most of the night crying, knowing I deserved every bit of misery that I felt.
If I wasn’t me and if I was an outsider looking in, I would have easily been able to say that I belonged with Nick. We were perfect together, and I knew that I was creating the drama we were facing, but I didn’t know how to make my sudden feelings for Travis just go away – even though he was able to make his supposed lifelong feelings of love for me just disappear with the snap of his fingers.
I’d been scared that karma was going to come bite me in the ass after the way I’d treated Travis, and here it was. I thought karma would take Nick away from me, though. I never thought that karma would force me to be the one to fuck everything up so badly.
“Julianne,” Dan said in surprise when he saw me pouring a cup of coffee. He headed toward me and gave me an awkward hug.
“Hey, Danny,” I smiled.
“What’s going on?” he asked, pulling a cup down from the cabinet. I knew he really wanted to ask what the hell I was doing standing in his kitchen.
“Trav wasn’t answering my calls, so I decided just to come visit.”
Dan nodded like it made perfect sense, but hearing it out of my mouth confirmed what a stupid idea it had been in the first place. He focused on pouring cream into his cup and then coffee on top of his cream. 
“I’m going to head out later this afternoon,” I said. “I was hoping to get the chance to talk to Travis when he gets home from work.”
“He usually gets off around five,” Dan said, raising his cup to his lips and taking a sip.
“Thanks. Do you mind if I hang around here?” I asked.
“Of course not. Make yourself at home. In fact…” he trailed off and opened a drawer. After fumbling through the drawer for a minute, he handed me a key. “If you need to go anywhere, now you can get back in.” He smiled at me, and I couldn’t help but notice how attractive he was, too. I was surrounded by sexy men, but I definitely had my hands full at the moment.
“Thanks, Dan. I appreciate it.”
He headed off to take a shower and get ready for work, and I sat at the kitchen table and pulled my phone out again. Still no new texts and no new calls. I checked my email, hoping that maybe Nick had wanted to say more to me than he could in a text; but, of course, nothing.
I texted him again. Please don’t shut me out. I can’t stand not hearing from you.
I waited for him to reply, but nothing came through.
Dan left for work and I wandered around the apartment alone for awhile. I found myself standing in the doorway to Travis’s bedroom. The sheets were a tangled mess, and while I didn’t know what his new woman looked like, I couldn’t help but picture him and her doing whatever it was they were doing the night before. I took a deep, shuddering breath, and all that did was bring Travis’s scent closer to me. I closed my eyes and tried to picture Nick’s face, but all I could see was Travis. I knew I needed to get out of his space, but I couldn’t. Something drew me there. It was creepy and strange, but I couldn’t help myself.
I walked into the room, my legs moving on their own. 

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