“Why are you angry, Lily?”
“How could I not be? You come back here and you fit in with the family. You joke around and make Mom laugh. You say you’re back indefinitely.” I must look a mess: crazed expression, arms moving. I don’t stop, either. I walk up to him and shove him hard, backwards.
He takes it in stride. “Lily?”
“Why did you kiss me?”
“Because I wanted to,” he repeats. “Because I…” He shakes his head, but doesn’t try to stop the blows I’m aiming at his chest, my fists barely connecting, tears burning behind my eyes.
“You can’t come back here and kiss me and act like we’re friends, as if you didn’t break my damn heart.”
There’s so much inside of me—ten years’ worth of anger and resentment—and it’s all coming out.
“How could you? You just left!”
Hayden wraps his arms around my waist, steadying me against him. He doesn’t stop me from hitting. It’s like he’s taking it all, offering me his flesh as payment. “I had to.”
“Why?” Another hit. “Why?”
His voice is pained. “I had to, Lily. I didn’t want to. It killed me to leave you.”
“It killed you?” I tear at the buttons of his shirt, needing to get closer to him. Needing the connection of skin, my nails on him, to make him hurt like I’ve hurt. “You didn’t even say goodbye. I spent years wondering if it was something I did.”
Hayden’s mouth is there, kissing away the hot, angry tears on my cheeks. “No, nothing you’d done, baby. Never anything you’d done.”
I bury my hand in his hair and meet his lips with my own. It’s fire and flame, the two of us, colliding without restraints. We’re still arguing, just with our kisses. I punish him with my lips and he responds with his tongue. It’s a fiery dance…
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