#Poser:The Hashtag Series #5(4)

By: Cambria Hebert



“If you decide to call him, if you want me there, I’ll be there.”

“Thanks,” I said, feeling a little relieved he wasn’t going to push what he thought I should do onto me. This was something I had to figure out on my own.

He stood and stepped up to me. His eyes met mine. “I mean it. Just call. I’ll come home. Football means a lot to me, but family means more.”

I let his words sink in. I felt them for a few seconds. I didn’t think he’d ever know what they meant to me, and I wasn’t ever going to try and explain. I made a sniffing sound. “You got a tissue, man? I think I’m gonna cry.”

He shoved me and laughed. “Asshole.”

I caught him off guard with a hug. His laughter died in his throat, and he returned the embrace. We both pulled away and glanced around like we wanted to make sure no one witnessed our moment.

“I’m parking the Hellcat in the garage,” he said and palmed the keys that I now knew were to my new place.

“Wouldn’t want it to get dust on it,” I cracked. “Or are you just hiding it from Rim? Hoping she won’t get any ideas about driving it while you’re in training?”

Romeo groaned. “Much as I worry about her ripping the transmission out, I’d almost be relieved if she drove it and not that damn bucket of bolts her dad bought her.”

Since all the drama went down with Rimmel and her family, her dad sold almost everything he owned to go into treatment and satisfy the courts for his part in her mom’s death and the extortion of Romeo. And with what little he had left, he bought her a car. It was an old Honda Civic SI model. A white two-door with a hatchback. It looked like a weird bubble on the road.

Like I said, Rome wasn’t eaten up about money. But he didn’t like his girl driving around in a car that was well over ten years old. If he had it his way, she’d be driving a Mercedes or some shit.

But she wouldn’t have it. My sis was stubborn as hell when she wanted to be. So she drove the Honda, and Rome hated it.

“I’ve been over that car with a fine-tooth comb. It’s safe for her to drive.” I assured him.

When she drove it home and we stepped out of the house, Rome about shit his pants. I thought I was gonna have to give him CPR to keep him going. I admit I didn’t care for the car either, but one of us had to keep chill, and since he was wheezing on his feet, it had to be me.

So I kept my trap shut about it and got under the hood. I replaced all the shit that needed replacing, and Rome took it for a “test drive,” and while he was out, he put new tires on it. We didn’t tell Rim and she didn’t notice.

“Women,” Romeo muttered.

“I hear ya, bro.” I sympathized.

We both laughed, and Romeo turned away from the field. “C’mon, I need help moving my gym out of my place and into the new one.”

“My own private gym? Da-yum,” I sang. “I could get used to this.”

“I plan on being around a lot. Every second I have off, I’m coming home. You’re gonna have to share.”

Turns out it didn’t matter I sucked at good-byes.

This wasn’t even close to a good-bye.

This was a whole new beginning.





To Tell or Not to Tell…





(AKA Part One)





Chapter One




Ivy

Summer wasn’t long enough.

It never was. I thought maybe as I got older, summer would hold less appeal, but here I was entering my junior year of college—almost a full-blown adult—and I was still suffering from the end of summer blues.

Just before finals last semester, summer was a blissful promise. Long, sunny days without the stress of schoolwork, without the burden of getting up far too early in the morning and having to go to bed before it was too late. But most of all, summer had been the promise of long stretches of time absent of all the people who made it hard to breathe.

Not the literal type of breathing. I mean, really, pulling air into my lungs was automatic, except of course when I was in Braeden’s arms. Then I had to remind myself to breathe.

I mean all the people who whispered, the people who talked. The people who were liars posing as friends. I beat myself up for weeks, hell, months, for things I’d done, when all along, people were doing worse right behind my back.

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