Darkness comforted Ava when she opened her eyes. Warmth wrapped around her, and when she couldn’t see, light was provided for her as someone turned on the lamp beside the bed she lay in.
“Where am I?”
“Relax.” His grey eyes were soft. He reached out and touched Ava’s hair, frowning. “I had to get you away from there.”
She pulled herself from him. “Why?”
“It’s not safe.”
“Why?” she hissed. “Why did you take me away from—”
“He’s dangerous, Ava. I would have thought you’d see that by now. God, it’s so frustrating. I wanted to tell you so many times, but I could never get you alone.”
“He’s my friend.”
Cole glared at her. “Don’t you remember what he made you do?”
He balled his hands into fists. “He made you hurt Ari.”
Her green eyes widened and she shook her head. “That’s not true. Ian wouldn’t do that.” She bit her lip. “Where are we?”
“My house,” Cole said, glancing behind him. “I haven’t been here much to unpack.”
“You live alone?”
His lips lifted in a small, non-threatening smile.
“My parents died a year ago, so I’ve been on my own ever since. Cool, huh?” He inched closer to her. “Don’t worry. You can stay here for as long as you want.”
He was kind, but this was all too much. Too confusing. All Ava wanted to do was be with Ian. But Cole had used the word ‘dangerous’, which meant what, exactly?
“You don’t know him,” Ava said, shaking her head.
Cole frowned and pushed a hand through his hair. “I wish you were right, but you’re not. I know one thing that you don’t.”
Her green eyes narrowed. “What could you possibly know that I don’t?”
He stood up.
“He’s going to hurt more of your friends. Maybe he already has.”
“That’s absurd.” She rolled her eyes. “He would never—”
“What about Ari? I didn’t tell you that for nothing. He made you do that to her. He wants her out of the way.”
Ava flinched at his words, and closed her eyes. She wished he would take her back, that he would stop talking about things that weren’t true. Slowly, her brain tried to tell her something, but she kept trying to block it out.
“We have to go,” he said, his fingers around her arm.
Ignoring her instincts and his previous accusations, she followed him. He would take her back to Ridgewood, and she would be with Ian.
She couldn’t wait.