Breaking Down(The Garage Series Book 2)(4)

By: Holly Renee

I moved my hand out from under his and touched his strong, clean-shaven jaw. His eyes jumped up to mine then and it shocked me how haunted he seemed. He was a ghost of the man he pretended to be in front of everyone else. It was the most beautiful he had ever looked.

“Talk to me, Gabe,” I whispered, afraid to startle him back into the man he pretended to be.

“I’m okay. Shit just got too real tonight. I just needed you.”

My heart raced as he searched my face. It was the best thing I had ever heard him say. I didn’t need a declaration of love from him. I just needed to know that we were in this together. I needed to know that I wasn’t the only one who felt like they wouldn’t survive if we didn’t have each other.

“I’m here. I’m always here.”

He closed his eyes against my words as if he was blocking them out. I tried to not let it hurt me, but it was hard.

He pulled my body against his without another word and laid us down on the couch. He pulled a blanket over us as I tried to memorize the sound of his heart beat below my ear. He kissed my forehead and placed his arm around my back.

I held on to him like he was my life line. He had never let me in this far. I had never been that close to the true Gabe before. It scared the hell out of me. Every time he let me in just a small amount, he pulled back just as hard. I didn’t know what I would do if he pulled back that hard now. I wouldn’t survive it.

But that was how it seemed to work with Gabe, me holding on for dear life while not even realizing he was already slipping away.

It had been four months since I laid eyes on him. Four fucking horrible months. Just thinking about him had the hole inside my chest feeling like it was getting bigger.

After our incredible night together, he slipped out of my bed as easily as he had slipped into my life. Losing him had wrecked me, but the havoc had begun the moment he walked into it. Nothing was the same from the moment I first laid my eyes on him that first night at the bar. Everything felt right and turned on its head all at the same time.

The night that we had shared together felt like we had finally crossed a line that I had been pushing to cross for so long. I woke up wrapped in his scent, and it was the happiest I could ever remember being.

When I opened my eyes, all thoughts of happiness left me as I took in the room around me. I felt like I was in a different world than the one I fell asleep in. It was like he had never been there. All signs of Gabe were gone from my apartment. If I didn’t feel the ache between my thighs, I would have wondered if I had dreamed him being there at all.

I could still smell him against my skin but every other trace of him had disappeared. I sat up on the couch and looked around. Surely he had left a note or something. He couldn’t have done that to me. He wouldn’t. I pulled the throw blanket around my body and walked around the room. I felt like I was in a trance. I couldn’t believe that he had snuck out of my house without a backwards glance. I didn’t want to believe it.

I spun around the room and tried to make sense of what was happening. It hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized that he just left me. He left me without any explanation and no worry about how I would feel. He left me just as easily as I should have expected but dared to dream he wouldn’t.

I sat back down on the couch as confusion and sadness took over my body. I hadn’t allowed myself to cry over Gabe until that moment, and I promised myself that I wouldn’t do it again.

After that morning, everything was different. It was as if Gabe and I never even had a friendship, never been anything more. He became a stranger, although, I guess he never had really been anything more than a stranger before if I really thought about it.

Every time we saw each other, it was awkward. We never talked about what happened, and he avoided me like the plague. It hurt. It killed me every time I saw him. Was he okay? Was he seeing someone else?

I hated to think about him being with someone else and not just sexually. I hated to think about him sitting on someone else’s couch watching movies. It gutted me to think about him laughing until his dimples showed through with someone else. That was what I missed the most. No one could make me laugh like Gabe. I didn’t even realize how much happiness he brought me until he was gone.

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