Reckless Abandon (November Blue, #2)
Author:Randall, Andrea

“I still can’t believe he called you ‘Blue’ again, in front of Bo no less!” She sort of changes the subject.

 

“Ha, I know. If I’d held my poker face a little better, Bo might not have noticed that it meant something...or used to...whatever.” I chuckle.

 

“Have you talked to Adrian about that?”

 

“Once, but I fell asleep.” I shrug and offer nothing more. “I’m sure he’ll try to come down sometime this week, but I know he’s got meetings in Concord, too.”

 

“I guess we’ll be heading there soon, huh?”

 

I tell Monica that I’m looking forward to seeing Rachel. Carrie pokes her head in to tell us that DROP would like us there by the end of the week. Looking pointedly at me, she informs us that the legal team, David Bryson, and Rachel Cavanaugh will be the only members present. Message received. Monica’s eyes comfort me as she heads out of the office just behind Carrie.

 

I lean back in my chair and stare at the in-box on my computer screen. Thankful for Monica’s suggestion that I have the IT guy delete all email conversations between Bo and me, I confidently sift through my messages and dive into work. I see an email from Adrian, discussing the intended Concord trip at the end of the week. He’s been great, if slightly manic, about telling me anything and everything he thinks I might need to know. He saw my nerves shorten after being left in the dark about a lot of things, both with himand Bo. He wants to help heal that. Good luck.

 

By the end of the day I’m inordinately exhausted. I half-lie when I tell Monica I’m looking forward to quiet time when she suggests that she and Josh come over for dinner. I’m certainly looking forward to quiet, but only so I can fill it with the tears and screaming I’ve held in during the near-constant presence of Monica, Josh, and Adrian. Sometimes a girl just needs to cry and throw stuff.

 

Josh has been rather quiet with me. He looks painfully uncomfortable in my new, stone-like presence, as my mind replays everything about my time with Bo on a constant loop. Monica says it’s difficult for Josh to see me so muted, and errantly mentioned to me one day that Josh wondered how Bo must be faring, since he was the one who was walked out on. I’m not mad at Josh’s curiosity. I wonder, too. But only until tears threaten; then I scream...and throw stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

 

Bo

 

 

 

I didn’t know a look was something you’d never want to see again, until I saw that one. Fear, heartbreak, and anger shattered her beautiful eyes into a million pieces of despair and betrayal.

 

All hope drained from me as I dug my knees into the carpet of that hotel room, begging her understanding—her forgiveness. I don’t blame her for pushing me across the room, or beating my chest until her fists couldn’t take it anymore. In fact, I wish she’d done more. It’s the only thing I deserved after denying she was the girl I’d seen in the parking lot a few days before singing with her on stage. The only thing I deserved after letting her fall in love with me when I never gave her the whole truth. The only thing I deserved after falling in love with her when my focus was supposed to be elsewhere.

 

While the pieces of that horrible puzzle were scattered around us the entire time, inching their way into place one day, one moment at a time, the whole thing was completed too late—we’d promised forever. Ha, I actually thought “forever” would be enough as I stared at her in that hotel room. She’d already left, even though her body stood at broken attention in front of me. The “no vacancy” sign blinked painfully through her eyes until it popped, hissed, and went dark. I wasn’t welcome there any more.

 

My head presses against the pillow with the force of my regret behind it. I should have been honest with her from the beginning, but falling in love so quickly rendered me mute. Yes, in an instant I fell in love with her; the very instant I met her eyes when I was on stage for my first show at Finnegan’s. When I called out “Monica and Ember” that night and sawshe was one of them, I knew I was done for. My heart stopped at the sight of her, and started again when she sang her first note, leaving me no choice but to jump without a parachute into her emerald eyes.

 

I try to shake my thoughts free. When they don’t cooperate, I drown them in one long conversation with Jack Daniels. With one more swig, I’m transported outside my personal hell and can see myself from the outside.

 

Pathetic, worthless, fuck up.

 

“Bo?” Rae’s voice drags me back into myself. I clear my throat and stash the bottle behind my pillow like a teenager.

 

“In my room, Rae.” I try to sound composed. I’m failing.

 

She opens the door and immediately crinkles her nose while rolling her eyes.

 

She crosses her arms and tilts her head. “Christ, Bowan, are you drunk again?”

 

I know I should feel something. Remorse? Rae’s spent the last few years cleaning up and playing by the rules. Yet, here I sit, a puddle of drunken regret. I can’t think of anyone but November. Just thinking her name tears the scab off the place in my heart she vacated just a week ago.