Tangled Page 50

Now she’s just pissing me off. “Do I look like a f**king ass**le to you? ’Cause I’m not. And there’s no way I’m going to put myself out there and chase after someone who wants to be with somebody else.”

A look washes over Alexandra’s face that I’ve never seen before. At least not directed at me.

It’s disappointment.

“Of course not, Drew. Why should you chase anyone, when you’re so content to let everyone chase you?”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“It means everything has always been easy for you. You’re handsome, intelligent, you have a family who loves you and women who lay down for you like sacrificial lambs. And the one time you have to struggle for something you want—the one time you have to risk your heart for someone who’s finally worth it—what do you do? You give up. You shoot first and ask questions later. You curl up in a ball and wallow in self-pity.”

She shakes her head slightly, and her voice softens. “You didn’t even try, Drew. After all that. You just…threw her away.”

I look down at my drink. My voice is quiet. With remorse.

“I know.”

Don’t think I haven’t thought about it. Don’t think I haven’t regretted my words or lack thereof. Because I have. Bitterly. “I wish…but it’s too late now.”

Matthew finally speaks up. “It’s never too late, man. The game’s not over; it’s just rain delayed.”

I look at him. “Has Delores said anything to you? About Kate and Billy?”

He shakes his head. “Not about them…but she’s had a whole lot to say about you.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean Dee hates your guts. She thinks you’re a scumbag. Seriously, dude, if you were on fire in the street? I don’t think she’d spit on you.”

I roll that information around for a minute. “Maybe she hates me because I f**ked her cousin’s fiancé?”

“Maybe she hates you because you broke her best friend’s heart?”

Yeah. It’s a toss-up. No help there.

“Are you in love with Kate, Drew?”

My eyes meet Alexandra’s. “Yes.”

“Is there a chance that she feels the same way?”

“I think so.” The more I thought about Kate’s words and actions that weekend, the more certain I became that Kate felt something for me. Something real and deep.

At least she did before I shot it all to hell.

“Do you want to be with her?”

“God, yes.”

“Then whether she’s back with her ex or not is irrelevant. The question you need to ask yourself is what are you willing to do—willing to risk—to make this right? To get her back.”

And my answer to that is simple: Anything. Everything. My throat is tight as I confess, “I’d give anything to have Kate back.”

“Then, for God’s sake, fight for her! Tell her.”

As her words sink in, Matthew grips my shoulder. “In times like this, I always ask myself, ‘What would William Wallace do?’” His eyes are serious. Stirring. Then his voice takes on a Scottish accent he doesn’t have. “Aye…run, and you won’t get rejected…but years from now, would you be willin’ to trade all the days from now to then for a chance—just one chance—to go back and tell Kate she can take your balls and hang them from the rearview mirror of her car, but she can never take…your freedom!”

Alexandra rolls her eyes at the Braveheart speech, and I actually laugh. The black cloud that’s been sitting on my shoulders all week long finally starts to lift. In its place is…hope. Confidence. Determination. All the things that make me…me. All the things I’ve been missing since the morning I watched Billy Warren sing.

Matthew smacks me on the back. “Go get her, man. I mean, look at you—what have you got to lose?”

He’s right. Who needs dignity? Pride? They’re overrated. When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing left to lose.

“I have to go see Kate. Right now.”

And if I strike out? At least I’ll go down swinging. If I crash and burn and she grinds my ashes into the dirt with her heel? So be it. But I have to try. Because…

Well, because she’s worth it.

When Alexandra turned sixteen, my parents rented out Six Flags Great Adventure for the day. Excessive? Yes. But that’s one of the perks of a privileged upbringing. It was awesome. No lines, no crowds. Just our family, some business associates, and a hundred and fifty of our closest friends. Anyway, there was this one rollercoaster—the Mind Bender. Frigging insane.

Remember how I said I never ride the same coaster twice? This was the exception.

Matthew, Steven, and I rode it until we puked. Then we climbed back on and rode it again. The first hill was nasty. A long, torturous incline that ended in a four-hundred-foot vertical drop—straight freaking down. No matter how many times we rode that bad boy—every time we climbed that first hill—it felt the same. My palms got sweaty, my stomach turned over. It was the perfect combination of excitement and dread.

And that’s exactly how I feel right now.

See me there? The guy jogging through Times Square.

Just the thought of seeing Kate again…I’m pumped about it, I won’t lie. But I’m nervous too. Because I have no idea what’s on the other side of this hill, how far the drop might be for me.

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