“This isn’t goodbye,” he vows.
“Never goodb-b-bye,” I stutter.
“It’s ‘see you soon’,” he whispers.
“Every time I close my eyes,” I promise.
We don’t need words after that. What more needs to be said? I have to believe that, even brand new, we have the kind of connection that can beat anything.
He holds me in his arms for another ten minutes. Ten whole minutes that I feel complete. When his phone beeps, letting him know that his parents are on the way, he gives me a deep kiss before pulling back and standing from the bed.
“Stay as long as you want, Dani-girl. I like knowing you’re in my bed even if I’m not here.” He stops when I let out a big sob-like hiccup. Leaning down over where he placed me in the middle of the mattress, he gives me another long and deep kiss. “See you soon, my heart.” With one more kiss, he stands, grabs his stuff and walks out the door.
I’m not sure how long I stay in the middle of his bed, surrounded by his scent and the memories of the night before. It isn’t until Liam shows up and wraps me in his arms, causing my sobs to double in force, that I realize the sun has long since set and Cohen is likely gone by now.
“Wh-what are you doing here?” I ask when I’m finally able to calm down.
“Cohen sent me a text a little after nine this morning. Told me that, if I didn’t see you by lunch, I was to go find Chance and get the key to the apartment. Lunch came and no Dani, so here I am. Come on, little princess. Let’s get you home.”
Lee turns his back when I move the covers off my naked body, throwing my shorts and one of Cohen’s shirts over his shoulder. When I pull the cotton tee over my head, I know instantly that it must be the one he wore the night before. The scent of him, so fresh and powerful, almost brings me to my knees. I have to bite my lip to keep it from wobbling and victoriously keep the tears at bay.
“Here,” Lee says with a smile. “I grabbed a few more and the body wash and the bottle of that shit he wears off the counter in his bathroom.”
When I look at him like he’s lost his mind, he laughs, throwing the body wash, cologne, and three shirts he was holding in my arms.
“What? You were standing there sniffing that one like you wanted to rub it all over yourself. Might as well make it so you can have some to last.” He shrugs his shoulder, collects my purse from the floor next to the nightstand, and takes my hand before leading me out of the apartment.
Chance is fixing some food in the kitchen when we walk out. He gives Lee one of those manly head-jerk things and me a small smile.
“See you around, Dani.”
I nod, but I know I won’t see him around much. Not now that Cohen is gone.
God, he really is gone.
“Do you think she’s dead?” the voice asks, and I feel something sharp poke my hip.
“No, but I think she smells like she is,” another voice replies.
“It does smell . . . funky in here. I wonder, if we move her, what’s going to be growing on those sheets.”
“Ugh, Maddi—you’re so gross!” Lila snaps.
“Shut up, you two,” Lyn mumbles.
I feel the bed dip, but I pull the sheets over my head. “Go away.”
“Fat chance in that happening. Time for some tough love, bitch,” Lyn snaps before pulling my comforter off my body. “Seriously, Dani. It’s time to take the shirt off.”
“Oh yeah, it’s happening. Either you can take it off on your own accord or I’ll be forced to cut it off. Do you want me to cut the shirt? Huh, Dani? Do you want me to cut it into tiny pieces?” Lyn barks, standing from the bed and placing her hands on her hips.
“You wouldn’t dare!”
“Try me. It’s been three days since Cohen left. Do you see Lila and me moping around the house? No, you do not. You’re acting pathetic, and it’s time to snap the hell out of it.”
What the hell? Who does she think she is?
“What the hell, Lyn! Who do you think you are to tell me that I shouldn’t be upset?”
“I’ll tell you who I think I am! I’m your best friend, but I’m also his sister. I get to live this right along with you, but I have the added benefit of watching you fall apart all the while I’m holding my worry about him in because I don’t want to make you snap any more than you already have.”
“I love you, Dani. I’m so happy that you and Cohen had that before he left, but right now, you have to stop acting like he isn’t ever going to come home because he will. He will, Dani. I swear.” Her eyes start to water, and I want to kick myself for making her feel worse when I should have swallowed my upset and been there for them.