Dex made us drive to a nearby coffee shop to talk. We all needed to be in a public place where people could see us. He didn't want either himself or Liam to get too heated and start a fight. Dex looked at me with a worried expression. As I got in my car, he came over to check on me.
"Are you okay?" He gently touched my face.
I nodded. "I'm okay. He let go so I won't press charges."
"You need to break up with him, Avery. He's not good for you." He rubbed my arm.
Without a word I started my car. I was tempted to not drive to the shop, but I knew Dex was right. It was enough now. I probably would've died had Dex not shown up. It made me realize that I'd suffered enough. It was time to move on and accept what I'd done to my best friend.
At the coffee shop, Dex got me my favorite drink and then we began to talk.
"Avery, you go first. Say what you need to say," stated Dex, leaning back in his chair.
I gulped. Where did I begin? Looking to Dex, I knew what I needed to do. "I'm done, Liam. You led me on-"
"No I didn't-"
"Yes you did. You had me believing that you actually care about me. I let you in and gave you pieces and yet still you hit me. Why don't you just tear me open, look inside and see how many times you've really made these eyes cry? I'm so sick of you hitting me. So I'm done. We're through," I stated harshly.
His face softened. "Avery, please. I'll stop. I won't hit you ever again, I promise you. Please don't leave me, Avery..." He tried to kiss me.
"Get your lips off me, I'm not okay with this. I'm done, Liam," I got up and headed towards the door.
"Avery, wait!" He grabbed my arm.
I yanked it away. "Stop!"
People turned to watch us.
"You're making a scene..." he whispered harshly.
I stared at him with a look of disgust. "I'm making a scene? Well let's start the show then! Every part of me that's been torn down is because you've hurt me! Emotionally and physically! I'm sick of being hush hush, Liam! I'm going to make a sound! Get the fuck out of my life, you prick!"
Quickly and angrily I ran to my car. I put the keys in and drove to the lake, wiping the tears from my face. I'd finally did it. The tears ceased as I parked by the dock entrance. I checked my face in the mirror and decided to wipe off my makeup.
There was a knock at my window. I turned to see Dex standing there with my untouched coffee in his hand. I opened the door and got out of the car.
"You left your coffee," he stated, holding it out to me.
I laughed a little. "How did you find me?"
"Let's go to the dock and we'll talk there, okay?"
We headed to the end of the dock and sat with our feet dangling over the edge. At first, I just sipped my coffee and stared out at the lake. Then I decided to think out loud.
"I just wanna love. Why's it hurt so bad, Dex? Being with him wasn't love cause it wasn't like a drug. I didn't feel the high. I feel like my heart's about to break for the final time. All I do is ache and I can't find some piece of mind."
"You're heart's been broken before?" He casually looked at me.
"Yup." I stared up at the sky. "That day you told me you were dating Jennifer, that night after my mom's wedding and when I gave you that note."
Birds filled the silence between us with chirping.
"That night, when you asked me to help you with your dress, I didn't close my eyes. I looked." He chuckled slightly and nudged me. "I always admire how beautiful you are."
Without a word, I dipped my foot into the water. "You're a pervert, Dex Dellosa."
Laughing, he pulled me into his arms. "I love you, Avery Elliot Santos."
"I love you too."
"Not the way I love you."
"We'll see about that. Things change."
He kissed my scar. "I know they do. I want you though, Avery. I want you to be my girl. I want to protect you and love you forever."
"I slept with him."
He pulled away. "What?"
I continued to stare at the trees across the lake. I'd been dreading telling him. "I had sex with Liam."
"A while ago. I was scared he'd hurt me if I didn't." My attention turned to him. "I was scared that you'd hate me if I told you. Scared you'd think less of me and almost part of my wanted you to hate me."
When he didn't answer, I figured he was disappointed with me and hated me.
I dipped my other foot in the water and stared at my feet. As the ripples grew from small to large, I waited for Dex to say something. When he did, it wasn't what I was expecting.
"I still love you," he confessed, placing a hand on my leg. "Just because he's an ass and scared you into doing it doesn't mean I'm going to hate you. I hate him for being an asshole and beating you up. I could never hate you."
"How are you capable of being so forgiving and wonderful? How are you so sweet?" I looked at him.
"Because I have a very sweet, amazing best friend who has always been there for me, so now it's time to return the favor."
"Who this best friend?" I smirked.
"Why...it's you of course." He grinned.
"Oh." I smiled and hugged him. "I thought it might be."