“Why you just let him walk away. I watched the way you fought for Lennon and your marriage, and I actually thought you felt more for Jett than Lennon so I’m wondering why you didn’t fight harder for him.” She’s watching me closely and sounds puzzled, and I don’t blame her because I’ve asked myself this same question.

“I felt so small when he rejected me. In hindsight, I know it was his grief talking but at the time, all it felt like was one more rejection from a man.” My eyes well up again. “And fuck, I can’t take another rejection. The only thing I wanted in that moment was to get away from him so that I didn’t have to hear him say again that he didn’t want us. That he didn’t want me.”

Her eyes soften. “Men are so dumb.”

I take a deep breath. “Yeah, but so are we. Things get said and done in the heat of the moment that you wish you could take back, and I wish I could take back the fact I just left that night. I wish I could go back and fight with him some more and push him to make a different choice.” And I wish he would answer his damn phone or reply to my texts.

“Chances are, though, that he wouldn’t have. It sounds to me like Jett has to work out whatever shit is going on in his mind before he’ll come to his senses.”

“So you don’t think I should go and see him?” I’ve been thinking about it for days but I’m not sure I could handle another rejection from him.

She contemplates my question and then gives me a pained look. “I honestly don’t know. My concern is how you would cope if he pushed you away again.”

Erin knows me so well. Despite all my confidence, I’m still a fucked up, sensitive soul on the inside. Lennon saw to that, and I’m still working my way to getting my self-belief back. I lay my head back against the chair and sigh. “I probably wouldn’t cope very well,” I muse out loud.

“Give him some more time then,” she suggests, and I wonder how long he will take, if ever, to come looking for me.

“This is good news, boys,” Tom says as he shifts his gaze between all of us. He’s full of shit, though, and he knows it.

“Yeah, really fucking great news,” West says dryly. “It’s too little, too fucking late.” His body is rigid and he looks like he wants to punch something, or someone. And I can’t blame him.

“That bitch should never have made that rape allegation in the first place. And to leave it hanging for weeks before saying ‘Oh, I made this shit up to try and get money to pay for my Mum’s medical bills is utter fucking bullshit.” Van puts his two cents in and we all nod in agreement.

Tom gives up a losing battle. “Yeah, it blows, but at least the public know the truth now.”

“The damage has been done, Tom,” I say what we’re all thinking.

He gives us all an exasperated look. “Fuck, you guys are a barrel of laughs. Are we all just going to sit around and mope, or are we going to discuss our plans going forward? I’m just trying to lift the mood a little here.”

“He’s right,” Hunter says, “All we can do now is look ahead and put this shit behind us. And what we need to decide, or at least start thinking about, is what we’re going to do about this album?” He looks at me. “Are you ready to start working on it again or do you want some more time off, Jett? And for the record, I’m on your side whatever you decide.”

Van doesn’t say anything and I wonder if he’s going to be pissed at me for what I’m about to say. “I need some more time.”

Silence and a few nods, but still nothing from Van.

“I’m going to take off for awhile and sort through the mess in my head, but I know we need to get this album out, so maybe a month, two at the most.”

Tom thinks it through and then nods slowly. “That could work.” He looks at Van and says, “You can keep writing while he’s gone and I’m sure he’ll come back with songs, which means you guys can get straight into it when he returns and pump the album out.”

I agree with him, and Hunter and West are nodding, too, but there’s something off with Van.

Tom frowns. “What, Van? I thought you were going to start working with us on this rather than fighting it all the way?”

Van stands and blows out a long breath. Staring at all of us, he says, “I need some time off, too.”

He’s saying the words ‘time off’, but I’m sensing there’s more to this. “How long?” I ask.

A few moments pass before he finally says, “I don’t know if I’ll be back.”

These are the words I’ve dreaded to hear from one of us for years. Fuck knows how Crave would continue without all of us. I suck in a breath and try to calm my rising panic.

“Fuck, Van,” West spits out. Anger blares from him, but I’m fairly sure most of it stems from the bitch who accused him of rape. He’s been fighting that anger ever since it hit the media and it looks like it’s about to explode out of him. “How fucking long have you been planning this?”

West’s anger riles Van up. “It’s not something I’ve been planning, but I think it’s been coming for awhile. And when you get to the point in your job where you don’t even want to get out of bed to go to work each day, it’s definitely time to reassess, so that’s what I’m going to do.”