It took a moment for him to shake off his faraway expression. Yes. Does she always keep you waiting so long? I muse.

He said to let it go, Masters answered quietly. Sometimes voicing something gives it power over you. He’s got to acknowledge his own shit storm before he lets someone else witness it.

Every muscle in my face tensed to keep the tears at bay. I was not going to break down, not when there was something to be done. I’m here. I told you I would come.A smile ghosted her lips. How do you just get prettier? That isn’t fair.

I pressed my lips to her forehead.My Jagger. Her head rolled onto my shoulder, and her eyes closed.I tightened my hold on her and walked out of the decrepit house.

Just you and me. Promise? Her voice drifted off.Always, Anna. You and me. I secured her in the backseat of the Range Rover. At least no one had stripped it while we were inside.

I closed Anna’s door and leaned on the frame of the car, the chill of the metal biting through my shirt faster than the frigid air. I welcomed it, the slight bite that grounded me in this moment, reminding me that I was really here. I’d found her.

A primal sound ripped from my throat and my fists shook, aching to destroy something. I shoved my hands into my jeans pockets to keep them contained, and my fingers skimmed across Paisley’s nickel. I’d promised her I’d control my temper, and I owed it to her. My head slammed against the car, and I stayed there a minute or two, trying to process it. My success at finding Anna. My failure for letting her fall as far as she had. The relief. The resignation that this was never going to end until she chose it for herself.A soft, squeaky voice to our left drew Kellan’s and my attention that way. Rachel was standing there, holding her laptop to her chest and looking like she might pass out. Her eyes were wide as she stared at us, shocked. Great. Fuck, I muttered while Kellan gave Rachel a nervous smile.

Hey, Rach…didn’t see you there, Kellan said, running a hand through his famous hair.Rachel stepped forward with just one foot, like she was afraid to get any closer. Matt is going to propose? she asked, her eyes sparkling with hope. It was clear, even to me, that she was going to say yes when he did ask her.

Still irritated about today’s events, I told her, He was going to, but then he realized he couldn’t handle being tied down to just one girl, so he changed his mind. There, Matt. How does having a dream snatched away from you feel?Kellan snapped his eyes to mine, and I glanced at him with a What? expression. Matt asked for this.