If I Can't Have You - Page 47

Whit grabs both of our wrists and starts pulling us through the crowd of people. “Let’s go see if we can find some hotties to watch them with.”

Well, Whit and Sadie can find some hotties to watch the fireworks with. The only person I want to be curled up on a blanket with, watching the brilliant display of colors in the sky with is Elliot. I wonder if he’ll be here. Silently, I laugh off the thought. There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be here at some point. And I know since our departing this morning it’s going to be an awkward encounter. I replay the image of my dad chasing him down the beach and shudder. Awkward indeed.

We pass an Oriental Express booth and enticing scent of fried rice wafts up my nostrils. A loud growl escapes from my belly and I whine, “I want an eggroll.”

I haven’t eaten anything since lunch and my mouth is salivating at the thought of some good ol greasy, fried fair food.

Whit releases my wrist and she and Sadie wait off to the side while I wait in line.

There are three people in front of me and the person who is currently up at the counter is ordering the whole damn menu. A loud howl rumbles from my stomach and I wrap my arms around my abdomen thinking that might silence it. I’m wrong. A few more grumbles roll out and by that time the person who just ordered a whole smorgasbord steps out of line with four white bags.

By the time I actually make it up the window I’m thinking I might want two eggrolls instead of one. I go with that. “I’d like two vegetable eggrolls,” I tell the person waiting on me as he goes off to make them I reach into my pocket for some cash. And while I’m fishing around for change I hear Whit’s high-pitched laughter and turn my attention toward her and Sadie. Two guys have struck up a conversation with them and Whit is giving the raven-haired guy she’s talking to a flirty grin. I turn back to the window and pay for my food, grab my eggrolls and inhale one as I make my way over to Whit and Sadie.

But I don’t make it very far.

I smack into someone’s back and drop my other eggroll. I’m still so hungry and as I keep my eyes on the eggroll on the pavement I wonder if the five second rule would apply here. Ewww, what am I thinking? Definitely not. Seconds later a heavy set man steps on it and squashes it. There goes that idea anyway.

The person who I ran into is facing me and I stare long and hard at his feet before working my way up to his eyes. A set of gray-blue eyes that are only focused on me. But they’re not the pair of gray-eyes I’ve been hoping for because they don’t belong to Elliot. They belong to Drake. “Hey, kid. Can we talk for a second?”

I really wish I could tell him no. Part of me is screaming the word. No! No! No! The other part of me wants to hear what he has to say. Then again, what could he possibly say to me that’s going to make everything he’s done okay? Whit told me that I’d know if I still have feelings for him if I talked to him and right now I’m not getting anything from him but annoyance. “No,” I tell him making my way back over to Whit.

“Just hear me out, please,” he pleads and grabs my elbow. I face him and decide that maybe I should just let him talk. I know what he says to me isn’t going to change my opinion of him and I decide that if I just pretend like I’m listening to him that maybe he’ll go away.

Somehow I doubt it.

“You’ve got sixty seconds,” I tell him and fold my arms across my chest.

“Okay,” he says. “I lied when I said I didn’t like you like that.” He waits for me to respond, but I don’t so he goes on. “I made a mistake with Sydney. I cheated and there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t regret what I did to her. I did love her, but there was something missing from our relationship. There was no spark. But, you kid, you give me that spark.” Drake shoves his hands in his pockets and rocks on his heels and I can tell expressing the way he feels is hard for him. “It terrified me at first, the way I felt about you. It terrified me so much I tried anything to push you away. I messed around with Sadie, I told you I didn’t like you, I even tried to keep my distance, but I couldn’t. And when I saw you on the beach kissing Elliot, I went crazy. I lost it. Kid, you’re the missing piece to my puzzle. I want you. I need you.”

I don’t know what to say. The person I was at the beginning of this vacation would have collapsed into his arms and drank in every word. I would have told him to hold me, kiss me, touch me, and never let me go. But I’m not the same person. I don’t feel the same way. “I’m sorry, Drake, but I—.”

Before I can even get the rest of my words out he’s kissing me, passionate and deep.

At first, my eyes go wide and I try to push him away, but he’s so insistent. And I’m so stupid. I lose myself in it—the kiss—and as it gets more intense and both of us start to breathe heavy, I wait to feel something. But I don’t. I feel nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, Drake is a fabulous kisser, but the all of the jumbled emotions I used to experience when kissing him are gone.

When Drake backs out of the kiss his eyes are still closed and he lets out a soft sigh. His eyes open slowly and he smiles. “That was amazing.” I’m glad he thinks so because for me it wasn’t amazing at all.

I open my mouth to tell him how I feel when I hear a third voice joining our little party. “Am I seeing straight?” A sickening feeling tears through the lining of my stomach and shivers of panic runs down my spine as I turn my head, facing voice n

umber three. Elliot. He scowls, eyes wandering between me and Drake. “What the fuck was that?”

I’ve never seen so much anger in his pale blue eyes. “Elliot,” I choke out. Tears are welling up in my eyes and I can’t see straight. “It was nothing, I swear.” Elliot lowers his head, bites his bottom lip, and huffs. When he lifts his head again the hurt look on his face rips my heart out. “Just let me explain.” I move toward him and he backs away. I take another step forward and he backs away again. I reach out to him then glimpse at my trembling fingertips. “Elliot, please. It’s not what you think it is.”

Elliot clenches his jaw and growls, “You’re not who I thought you were, Robin.” And before I can respond he turns away from me and takes off, disappearing into the crowd.

I start after him and Drake catches me by the arm. “Let him go,” he says. “He’ll get over it.”

I peel Drake’s fingers off my arm and frown. “No, you will because you’re not the one I want. He is.”

Then I leave Drake standing amongst a crowd of people and set off to find the boy who thinks I’ve wronged him.

The boy who has my heart, Elliot.


The heart is like a piece of fine China; delicate, fragile, and easily broken.

Tags: Lauren Hammond Romance
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