If I Can't Have You - Page 25

“Yeah.” Elliot mimics a face Whitney would make. “She’s unbelievable!”

I laugh and lift my head. “That is sooo Whitney.”

He shoves his hands in his pockets and nods toward the row of houses. “She’s probably at the house.”

“Yeah. Thanks.” I turn to walk home and stop. I glance over my shoulder at Elliot, still wondering if he put Whitney up to seeking me out with the important information. Elliot pivots on his heel and starts walking in the opposite direction. “Elliot!” He stops and turns around, his eyes searing into mine. “Do you know what she wanted to tell me?”

A phantom-like expression crosses over his beautiful face, and then he sighs, “I have no idea.”

I stand there, lost in a trance. An odd flutter swims through my insides like a dolphin gliding through the clear blue sea and a twinge of pain circles my heart as Elliot slouches forward, walking away from me into the night, nearing the crashing water.

And as I watch him walk away, I’m thinking that maybe I do feel something for Elliot. Something more than I’m prepared to admit.


A friend is someone who can see the truth and pain in you even when you are fooling everyone else. ~Author Unknown~

Whit isn’t in our room and I feel like I’ve walked through the house a million times and there’s still no sign of her. I decide to do a perimeter check. Sometimes when Whit gets upset she likes to sit outside somewhere and watch the stars. There have been times in the past where I’ve found her in the strangest places; the roof, my trampoline, even on the hood of mom’s mini-van.

“It’s crazy how they’re burning a million miles away and we can still see them isn’t it?” she’d say.

I’d nod in agreement.

On the front step, I scan the row of beach houses. It’s dark, but the bonfire is still blazing twenty feet away and the glow from the fire illuminates the first few houses. I decide to walk down the row to see if maybe Whit wandered off to cool down.

The truth is I feel like crap for acting the way I did. Whit’s never been dishonest or ever tried to do the things I accused her of. She’s always been supportive, always been there when I needed her, and I know she was just trying to help me by telling me something she thought was important.

But what was it about Drake that she needed to tell me? Hopefully it’s not anything bad. But then again, if it wasn’t bad I know she’d never tell me to “stay away from him.” And that’s exactly what she said. A deep plunging fear lingers in my stomach and inside I know that I’m not going to want to hear what she has to say.

After walking down the entire row of houses twice, I still can’t find Whit and now the bonfire has died down slightly. A dim glow of orange flames flicker against the white siding of our house and I can make out a few couples left in beach chairs, sitting around the fire, making out. I squint, trying to see clearer and take a few steps closer.

Maybe Whit picked up a random hottie and decided to play ‘your tongue or mine.’

She’s definitely done things like that in the past, but as I near the remaining couples at the bonfire I see that she opted out of a steamy make out session.

Frustrated, I walk back to our beach house and check the inside again. Still no Whit.

My parents are playing poker with the Marshalls and I can hear the distant chatter echoing through the air. That makes me feel better. I know they’ll be over there for a while and that saves me from having to explain why Whit and I are arguing in the first place.

I make my way to the back of the house and snatch a beach chair that was propped up against the frame. Then I open it up and flop down in it, getting comfortable. I’ll just wait up for her. I tell myself that I’ll sit here all nice if I have to. She’ll have to come back to the house eventually.

I close my eyes and listen to the soothing sound of the water, honestly the sound of the waves slapping into the sand makes me sleepy. My eyelids are heavy and I keep blinking just to stay awake. But I can’t. Seconds later my eyes are closed and my head is slumped to the side and I pray to God that I’m not drooling on myself when someone finds me.


“Hey!” I hear Whit’s voice and then I hear her snapping her fingers. “Hey, Robs! Wake up!”

My eyes snap open and I bolt upright in the chair. “What?” Instinctively, my arms sweep across my face. I didn’t drool. I squint up at Whitney who looks relaxed. Maybe she’s not mad anymore. “What time is it?”

“A little after one.”

After my eyes adjust to the darkness I sit up more. “Where did you go? I was looking for you?”

Whit sits down in the sand next to me. “I just went for a walk along the beach.” She shrugs. “You know, to cool off.”

I nod and exhale. “Whit look, I’m sorry for acting the way I did. It’s just you know how I feel about D

rake. You know how long I’d waited for that moment.” I’d thought about that moment since I was fifteen years old.

Tags: Lauren Hammond Romance
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