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“Cam,” Alexander replied curtly, shaking it.
“I just want to say this as a friend of Olivia’s. She’s hurting, but she’s still madly in love with you. You need to do the right thing. Maybe if she knows about her past, she can move on from this and start living again. I don’t think she’ll ever be able to move past you if you don’t.”
Alexander looked at Cam, surprised at his candor. “What the fuck qualifies you for knowing what she needs?! You don’t know her like I do!” he yelled before lowering his voice. “How can she move on? I love her.”
Cam exhaled loudly, running his fingers through his hair. “Then prove it to her. Do the right thing.”
Alexander simply stared as Cam turned abruptly and left the bar, knowing that he was right. Looking over at the still crowd, he listened to Olivia pour her heart out to complete strangers, the betrayal in her voice absolutely devastating. He wished that he wasn’t the cause of that pain.
He had been a coward back in August when he kept the truth from her. Every day since then, he had let his fears get the better of him. Cam was right. She deserved to know everything, regardless of her father’s wishes, and that’s what he resolved to do. It was time to come clean and tell her everything.
Remorse overwhelmed him as he watched Olivia close her eyes, her chin quivering with unshed tears. She belted out the last few lines of the song, a hollow look on her face. The audience erupted in cheers and whistles as the final note rang through the bar.
Taking a small bow, she turned to Mo, tears streaming down her face. “I’m sorry, Mo. I have to go. Can you…?”
“Don’t worry, kid. I’ll break down your gear.” He embraced her, squeezing her tight. “I love you, Livvy.”
“Oh, Mo. I love you, too.”
“And Alexander loves you,” he whispered. “I’m sure of that.”
She pulled back, meeting Mo’s eyes. “But I’m not sure if I should keep loving him.” She walked away, running into Melanie and Bridget. “Where’s Cam?” she asked, wiping the tears off her cheeks.
“He said he went home. He looked so sad, though.”
“Home?” Olivia asked. “What do you mean?”
“He said it was where he belonged,” Bridget explained.
“I need to go,” she said quickly, knowing that Cam was probably already on his way to the airport. “Where’s Kiera?”
“She left right after you went on. She said she wasn’t feeling too well and that she would probably just go home. She looked pretty pale.”
“I hope she’s okay,” Olivia said, her voice full of concern.
“She said she hadn’t been feeling well all day and just needed to lie down for a bit. She said not to worry about her and that she’d call you tomorrow sometime when she was feeling better.”
“Okay. I’ll see you later!” Olivia shouted, heading down the stairs and out the front door to try to catch Cam before he left.
“Olivia?” a quiet voice called out.
She stilled, her breath catching. Slowly, she turned around to face Alexander. It was the first time she had been that close to him since the day she left him. The day she found out who he was. He looked so sad. The normal confidence he exuded was nowhere to be found. He was broken.
“What is it, Alexander?”
“I just wanted to say how sorry I am about everything that’s happened between us,” he said quietly, his eyes pleading with her. “I wanted to tell you for so long, but the longer I kept it from you, the harder it was to say anything.”
Olivia kept her fierce brown eyes glued to his, wanting him to continue talking. Taking a step forward, he brushed a stray piece of hair behind her ear. She closed her eyes, reveling in the contact she had ached for since leaving him.
Alexander chuckled a little as his thumb brushed over the scar at her hairline. “I remember when you got this. You were screaming bloody murder after slipping on these rocks in front of your family’s beach estate. You cut your head wide open and I had to run and find your mom and explain how you got hurt. We weren’t supposed to be on the rocks.”
Olivia’s bottom lip started to quiver as she listened to him recall the memory. She wanted to know more. She wanted to know everything about her past, but then again, she didn’t. She felt so weak at that moment. She wanted to walk away from Alexander and never see him again. But, at the same time, she wanted to stay close to him, to hear everything he had to say, to feel his body next to hers.
“You were such a pain in the ass when you were little. A spoiled little brat. But I loved you so much, Olivia, even when you always cheated at the games we used to play. The day of the accident, I was beside myself. I’ll never forget sitting through your funeral. Your casket was so small.” A tear escaped from his eye as he recalled the painful memory. “I couldn’t help but think how truly horrible it was to watch them lower you into the ground.”
Olivia listened to Alexander’s words as she tried to fight back her tears, the entire time wondering what he went through when he was a little boy. Losing your best friend at such a young age is something no child should have to go through.
“My parents put me in therapy after that,” he explained. “I never snapped out of it. By that time, Dad had begun his mysterious disappearing act. I hated him for that. I hated him for thinking that one of his stupid protection details was more important than his own son. Until recently, I had no idea it was you that he was looking out for.” He gently brushed a tear away from her eye before continuing his story.
“My therapist suggested that I find some way to honor your memory.” He looked down and reached for her, a warmth spreading through his body from the chaste contact of her delicate hand enclosed in his. “That’s when I started going to the cemetery every year on the date of your death. I think she suggested it so that I would finally stop looking for you everywhere.” He returned his eyes to hers, his expression intense. “But I never stopped, Olivia. I just didn’t want to believe that you were dead.
“I think I had such a hard time believing it because I knew you made it out of that car. I was the one who saved you. I’m the boy with green eyes that you see in your dreams. I should have told you the first time you mentioned the dream, but I was selfish and I didn’t, and I know I’ll have to live with that decision for the rest of my life.”