Raegan pushed him. “That’s because you are a prick!” She moved to the side. “My bad! Get the f**k out!”
Trenton didn’t take his eyes off of me. Raegan slammed the door, and then approached Trenton and me. Her anger was gone, but her bloodshot eyes and smeared mascara made her look like a psychotic prom queen.
“I heard you pull up, but you didn’t come in. So I looked out the window, and saw . . . what I saw. I mentioned it to Brazil,” she admitted, looking down at the floor. “I’m sorry.”
Trenton laughed once, his face screwing into disgust. “Damn, Raegan. You’re sorry I found out? That’s just great.”
Raegan tilted her head, determined to set things right. “Trent, what I saw was T.J. begging for Cami back. But she turned him down. So he . . . he kissed her good-bye. It wasn’t even a kiss kiss,” she said, shrugging as she shook her head. “It was kind of on her cheek.”
“I got this, Ray. I don’t need your help,” I said.
She touched my shoulder. Her face was blotchy, and her mascara was smeared all around her eyes and down her cheeks. She looked pitiful. “I’m so sorry. I’m . . .”
I glared at her, and her shoulders fell. She nodded, and then walked to her room.
Trenton was looking at me from the corner of his eyes, clearly trying to rein in his temper.
He turned his hat forward, and pulled it low over his eyes. “Yeah.” He was trembling.
“I wasn’t kissing my ex in Raegan’s yard. That’s not what it was, so you can just get that image out of your head.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked, his voice strained.
I held my hands out to the side. “There was nothing to tell.”
“Someone else had their motherfucking lips on you. That’s pretty goddamn pertinent, Camille.”
I cringed. “Don’t call me Camille when you’re pissed. You sound like Colin. Or my father.”
Trenton’s eyes lit with anger. “Don’t compare me to them. That’s not fair.”
“How did he know you were over there? Are you still talking to him?” he asked.
“I don’t know how he knew. I asked the same thing. He wouldn’t tell me.”
He began to pace back and forth, from the front door to the beginning of the hallway. He would readjust his hat, rub the back of his neck, and stop for a moment to put his hands on his hips, his jaws working under the skin, and then he’d start all over again.
He held up one index finger. I wasn’t sure if he was working himself up or trying to stay calm. He stopped, and then took a few steps toward me. “Where does he live?”
I rolled my eyes. “In California, Trent. What are you going to do? Get on a plane?”
“Maybe!” he screamed. His whole body tensed and shook when he yelled. The veins in his neck and forehead rose to the surface.
I didn’t flinch, but Trenton stumbled back. The loss of his temper surprised him.
He bent over, grabbing his knees. He took a few breaths, and then nodded. “If he ever touches you again”—he stood up and looked straight into my eyes—“I’ll kill him.” He grabbed his keys, and then walked out the door, slamming it behind him.
I stood there for a moment in disbelief, and then I walked to my bedroom. Raegan was standing next to my door in the hallway, her eyes begging me for reprieve.
“Not now,” I said, walking past her. I shut the door, and fell face-first into my bed.
The door creaked open, followed by silence. I peeked up from my pillow. Raegan was nervously hovering in the doorway, her bottom lip trembling, and she was wringing her hands at her chest. “Please?” she begged.
My mouth tugged to the side, and I lifted the blanket and gestured for her to come to bed with a nod. She rushed over, crawled under the covers, and then curled up into the fetal position next to me. I covered her with the blanket, and then held her while she cried herself to sleep.
I woke to a gentle tapping on my door. Raegan walked in with a plate of pancakes slathered in peanut butter and maple syrup. There was a toothpick poking out from the center of the stack with a white napkin flag taped to it that read, SORRY YOUR ROOMIE IS AN ASSHOLE.
Her eyes were heavy, and I could see that she was hurting more than I was over what she’d done. Forgiveness was not easy for someone like me. When it was granted, more often than not, I was just giving someone a second chance to hurt me. Most people weren’t worth investing in. That wasn’t my childhood talking, it was the hard truth. There were just a few people I trusted, and even fewer who I would trust again, but Raegan topped both lists.
I chuckled as I sat up, and then took the plate from her. “You didn’t have to do this.”
She held up a finger, left the room for a few seconds, and then returned with a small glass of orange juice. She set it on my nightstand, and then sat with her legs crisscrossed on the floor. Her face was clean, her hair brushed, and she had a fresh set of striped flannel pajamas on.
She waited until I put the first bite in my mouth, and then spoke. “I never thought in a million years that Jason would have said anything, but that’s not an excuse. I shouldn’t have told him. I know how those guys talk at the frat house, and I knew better than to give them something to gossip about. I’m so sorry. I’m going to follow you to Skin Deep today and explain.”
“You’ve already explained, Ray. I think hashing it out at his job is a bad idea.”
“Okay, so I’ll wait for him after work.”
“You’ll be at work by then.”
“Damn it! I need to fix this!”
“You can’t fix it. I have royally f**ked up. Now Trent is talking about going to California and killing T.J.”
“Well, T.J. shouldn’t have come to my parents’ and kissed you. He knows you’re with Trent. Whatever you think you’re doing wrong, T.J. is right there with you.”
I covered my face. “I don’t want to hurt him . . . or anyone. I don’t want to cause problems.”
“You need to let them figure it out.”
Raegan reached up and put her hand on mine. “Eat your pancakes. And then get up because Skin Deep opens in forty minutes.”
I took a bite and grudgingly chewed, even though it was the best thing I’d eaten in a long time. I barely made a dent in the stack, and then hopped in the shower. I walked into the shop ten minutes late, but it didn’t matter, because Hazel and Trenton were late, too. Calvin was there because the front door was unlocked, the computer was turned on, as well as the lights, but he didn’t even bother to greet me.
Ten minutes later, Hazel came through the door, wearing layers of sweaters and wrapped in a thick, hot-pink scarf with black polka dots. She wore her black-rimmed glasses and black jeggings with boots. “I am over winter!” she said, plodding to her room.
Ten minutes after that, Trenton arrived. He wore his staple puffy blue coat, jeans, and boots, but he had added a slouchy gray beanie and didn’t remove his sunglasses as he trekked to his room.
I lifted my eyebrows. “Good morning,” I said to myself.
Ten minutes after that, the door opened again and chimed as a tall, lean man walked in. He wore large, black gauges in his ears, and tattoos covered every inch of skin I could see from his jawline down. He had long, stringy hair, blond and fried at the tips, and the rest was light brown. It was probably less than thirty degrees outside, and he was in a T-shirt and cargo shorts.