“No, the money from the house went to the others. For you and Sean, I used my parents’ life insurance policy.”
He stared at her. “Fuck,” he said roughly and turned to go.
She managed to slide between him and the door. “Finn, please—”
“Please what?” he asked coldly. “Understand how you very purposely and calculatedly came into my life? Moved into this building? Sat in my pub? Became my friend and then my lover? All under the pretense of wanting me, while really you were just trying to assuage some misguided sense of guilt.” He stopped and closed his eyes for a beat. “Jesus, Pru. I never even saw you coming.”
Having her crimes against him listed out loud made her feel sick to her soul. “It wasn’t like that,” she said.
“No? You sought me out, decided I needed fixing, slept with me, probably had a good laugh over me telling you how much you meant to me . . . all without telling me why you were really here—to ease your damn conscience.” He shook his head. “Hope you got everything in that you wanted because we’re done here.”
“No, Finn. I—”
“Done,” he repeated with a terrifying finality. “I don’t want to see you again, Pru.”
And then he walked out, breaking the heart she hadn’t even realized she had inside her to break.
Weighted down by so many emotions that she couldn’t name them all, Pru called in sick, letting Jake think she’d gotten her period and had debilitating cramps.
Since she’d never used such an excuse before, had in fact never missed work at all, she didn’t feel in the least bit sorry.
Her ovaries had to be good for something, right?
She marathoned Game of Thrones and never left the couch. Every time her mind wandered to Finn, her heart did a slow somersault in her chest, her lungs stopped working, and her stomach hurt, so she did what anyone would do in the throes of a bad breakup.
The next morning she was jerked out of her stupor when someone knocked on her door. She blinked and looked around. She was still dressed, still on her couch, surrounded by empty wrappings of candy bars and other varieties of junk food—the evidence of a pity party for one. She grabbed her phone but there were no missed calls, texts, or emails from Finn.
And why would there be? He’d been pretty clear.
He didn’t want to see her again.
The knock came again, less patient now. She got to her feet and looked out the peephole.
Willa, Elle, and Haley.
Elle was front and center, her eyes on the peephole.
“I’m not feeling very sociable,” Pru said. “In fact, I’m feeling pretty damn negative and toxic so—”
“Okay, listen, honey,” Elle said. “Life sucks sometimes. The trick is not letting negative and toxic feelings rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them the hell out. And I’ve brought help in that regard.” She lifted a bag.
Pru opened the door.
Elle handed her the bag.
Haley handed over a very large coffee.
Willa smiled. “My job is to be supportive and get you to talk.”
“Way to be subtle,” Elle said.
Ignoring that, Willa hugged Pru. “Okay, so I missed the subtle gene,” she said. “But you should know, we are unbelievably supportive.”
“Even if I screwed up?”
“Even if,” Willa said.
“I’m not going to talk about it,” Pru warned, barely able to talk past the lump in her throat. “Not now. Maybe not ever.”
Seemingly unconcerned by this, they all moved into Pru’s apartment and eyed the scene of the crime.
Willa picked up an empty bag of maple bacon potato chips. “They make bacon chips?” She looked into the empty bag sadly. “Damn, I bet they were amazing.”
“How did you know something was wrong?” Pru asked with what she thought was a calm voice.
“Because you missed Eighties Karaoke and didn’t answer any of our calls last night,” Elle said. “And you’d told me you wouldn’t miss it unless Chris Evans came knocking at your door.” She looked Pru over, her rumpled sweats and what was undoubtedly a bad case of bedhead hair. “And I think it’s safe to say that didn’t happen.”
“It could have,” Pru muttered and set the coffee down to dive into the bag of muffins. She started with a chocolate chocolate-chip.
Haley reached to put her hand in the bag and Pru clutched it to her chest with a growl that rivaled Thor’s.