Authors: Rachel Hanna
By Rachel Hanna
This is book 3 in the Wrecked series. There will be 5 books in this series, so if you don’t want to miss the release of book 4 in a couple of weeks,
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“It’s been a long time, Adrianna.”
Miranda stood in the open doorway bundled up in a dark pea coat and polkadot rain boots. Her hair hung about her shoulders, long and parted down the middle. She was pale—paler than she had been the last time I’d seen her—and there were dark, purplish circles beneath her dark green eyes. She was a mixture of death and a woman haunted.
I knew at least one of those things she actually was.
“Miranda,” I said, shock freezing me in place while fear made me want to run and be anywhere but here. “I… I didn’t think you’d come here.”
?” she asked, her voice icy and her expression a study in pale anger. “Or
that I wouldn’t?”
“Miranda, I...” I didn’t know what I wanted to say. It was true, I
been hoping that she just wouldn’t come. That she would simply disappear from my mind once again. Instead, she was here on my doorstep staring me down with those icy, haunted eyes. “I thought you were in Maine,” I finally said lamely.
She gave a bitter laugh. “Haven’t you heard?” she asked me, her tone snide. “You can’t run away from your problems. Or your nightmares.”
I cringed, remembering my own nightmares. I’d been dreaming of Beck for a long time now, her last moments haunting my subconscious thoughts when she finally started drifting from my conscious mind. My memories of that awful night were enough fuel for a lifetime, but at least they were definite. They didn’t change, at least not the facts, and the nightmares never strayed far from the awful truth.
But Miranda wasn’t there. Her imagination had to supply her with what happened that night. It had to piece together what really happened, and I knew how that worked. Our minds were capable of imagining things that were always going to be worse than the truth—if that was even possible.
At least I
Shaking my head, I tried to explain as best I could. “Miranda, I know how hard things must have been for you—” I started, but she wasn’t going to let me off that easily.
“You don’t know anything!” she accused, pointing a bony finger at me. “You have no
what I’ve been through! I lost my
My chest constricted and I found it hard to breathe. I’d been waiting for this moment for a long time, dreading it with every breath I took, but I’d almost managed to convince myself that it would never come, that I had gotten away with murder and wouldn’t have to pay any toll.
I should have known better.
“I’m so sorry,” I tried again, my voice hoarse with the threat of tears. I held them back. They wouldn’t do me or her any good. “I can never take it back,” I murmured, trying to keep my voice steady. “I wish every day that I could.”
Her eyebrows rose at that statement. “Every day?” she asked, skepticism clear in her voice. She looked around the hall of the house I shared with my roommates. For the first time, I felt self-conscious about how
it was. Expensive looking. I split the rent between the three of us and it was being paid for by financial aid on my part, so it wasn’t as though I was just rolling in money, but as she scanned over the hardwood walls and the large living room, I realized that it looked a lot like I was.
And it made me feel ashamed.
“You spend every day in this
house, attending this
college, with all your
friends,” she said, putting venom in each emphasized word, “thinking of my
sister? Because it seems a lot like you’re enjoying yourself just fine. In fact, it looks like you’re living the life Rebecca
have been living.”
That last part cut deep. She was right. This
the life Beck was supposed to be living. She had always been a good kid, a smart kid. She got the grades, despite my party-going, negative influence. She was the one who had always planned on attending a major University and working hard to get that Business degree so that she could do something
in the world.
This was what she had always wanted, but she wasn’t here to live it anymore. And it was my fault.
I shook my head. “I know,” I whispered. “She should be here. Right here where I’m standing right now. You should be here visiting her, not—” I couldn’t make myself say that she was here reminding me of the terrible person I was, so I skipped over it. “But I am here. I’m here because I’ve changed. I’m a better person now, and I’m doing it because it’s the only way I know how to honor Beck’s memory.”
It was true. The day of her funeral I made a promise to myself. I would never be that reckless, careless kid too selfish to see what her terrible choices were doing to the people she loved the most. I was going to be a better person, the kind of person Beck would be proud of.
For a while, I thought I’d been doing alright, too…
“Changed, eh?” Miranda said, folding her arms across her chest as her gaze focused on something behind me.
I felt dread flood my body and before I even began to turn I knew what she was looking at—
she was looking at. Standing there in nothing but the jeans he had worn over here last night was Logan, his blonde hair a tousled mess of sexiness that looked fresh from a night of wild love-making. He was smoothing it out with a large hand, the movement making muscles ripple beneath his sculpted chest.
My eyes scanned over the tattoos that ran like jagged lines over his body, forming intricately beautiful works of art that he used to hide the truth of his past. He was beautiful to me, and my heart bleated against my chest, begging me to go to him, to touch him.
But I resisted.
I was still too aware of Miranda standing on my porch, staring at Logan and judging me by my past mistakes and taking him as evidence of the ones I was destined to repeat.
The ones that got her sister killed.
Logan was obviously still sleepy and had just made his way down the stairs in search of either me or breakfast. Whichever it was, he found me and after recognizing me, his storm blue eyes brightened and his lips split into a wide grin.
It took him a moment to register that what he had just walked in on was not casual, but instead rife with tension. When he did, the smile dropped and his eyes darted from me to Miranda. He opened his mouth to say something, but before he could, I turned back to Miranda and said, “We’re not together. He’s just a friend of my roommate who stayed over.” I couldn’t make myself look back over my shoulder at him, because I knew that the look on his face would be awful—but I had to say it. Forcing myself to remain calm and nonchalant, I added, “I barely even know him.”
Miranda’s smile was chilly as she said, “Well that’s good. For him
you. I’d hate to see something bad happen to someone
With that, she turned to go. She made it down the stairs and to the sidewalk before pausing. Turning back to look at me, she added in a casual, ‘I almost forgot’ voice, “I hope he knows what he’s getting into.”
I watched as she disappeared down the sidewalk, across the street, and around the corner. I didn’t know where she was going, but I was glad she was gone. In all the scenarios I had pictured where I confronted her—or rather she confronted me—I never could have imagined what it would
feel like. Part of me had always hoped that somehow it would be a healing experience. We would both yell and cry, there would be apologies as I poured my heart out to her, explaining how awful I felt about the whole thing, how haunted, and then we would hug and remember that we both lost the same person.
Of course, every rational part of me knew that was never going to happen, but in my determination to reform myself into the upstanding girl that everyone had wanted and needed me to be, I had convinced myself that it wouldn’t be
bad if it ever happened.
We would at least be able to move past it.
But now, as I closed the door to my house and the dread settled more firmly in the pit of my stomach, I realized that that was never going to happen.
Miranda was never going to forgive me. And that meant that I was never going to forgive me either.
Letting out a sigh, I leaned my forehead against the door. Tears threatened to spill down my cheeks, but I did my best to hold them back. Taking a deep breath, I straightened up and released it. About the time I had pulled myself together, I realized what had happened. What I had said about Logan
while he was standing right there.
Panic swept through me and I spun around quickly to face him, to explain what was going on—but he wasn’t there. He was already gone.
I heard movement sounding upstairs, it sounded like it was coming from my room. Sure that was where he’d gone, I raced up the stairs, not caring how early in the morning it was or how much sound I made as I went. I made it to my room. The door was open and sure enough there was Logan. His shirt was still off, but he was seated on my bed so he could lace up his boots.
I stood in the doorway, not sure what I wanted to say now that he and I were in the same room again. Of course, I wanted to explain what had happened with Miranda—but did I really? The more I got to know Logan, the more I realized how hard he tried for the things he wanted no matter the consequences. Maybe it was easier now if he just thought… if he thought that last night hadn’t meant anything to me.
“Logan…” I began slowly, stepping a little into the room and moving so that I could lean against the desk. I faced him, but there was plenty of room between us.
Logan didn’t say anything to me at first. He didn’t even acknowledge me. He just finished with one boot, jerking down the pant leg of his black jeans over the top of it. Then he moved on to the next as though I wasn’t even there.
Biting my lip, I tried again. “About what happened downstairs—”
This made him pause. He stopped lacing his left boot and finally looked up at me. The expression on his face was enough to make that pit filled with dread inside me mingle and mix with guilt. It made me want to tell him that I didn’t mean it, that I was sorry and all I really wanted was him.
“You don’t have to explain,” he told me, his tone cool as his eyes swirled with dark storm clouds. “I get it. I’m not stupid. You had your moment with the bad boy. Had a little fun, and now that you’ve experienced it you’re done. It’s not the first time a good girl took a walk on the wild side for the novelty of it.”
Each word was like a physical blow against me, making my arms snake around my waist to hold tightly. I began to shake my head. It wasn’t like that. I
the bad girl, didn’t he see that? But before I could say anything in my defense, he finished tying the other shoe and stood. I couldn’t help but notice once more that he was an odd mixture of muscle, dark art, and long since healed scars.