Sugar Rush (Sugar Bowl #2) - Sawyer Bennett
I throw all caution to the wind and I bare my soul to him. “JT . . . he raped me.”
Look of disgust.
“Yet another lie, Sela.”
Then he slams the door in my face.
Pain such as I’ve never felt seizes my chest.
It’s like a blackened claw wrapping around my heart, squeezing so hard it robs me of my breath. Squeezing and pushing out every bit of goodness and hope and light. I try to suck in oxygen but my lungs don’t move. The cramping sensation in my chest gets tighter, until I think I actually may be having a heart attack.
I’m on my hands and knees, with one arm reaching out toward our door.
Not mine anymore.
I wait, and then wait some more for him to open it back up, my chest caving in on itself.
And I wait.
My head drops, hair falling in a curtain as I stare at the dark gray carpeting. My arm succumbs to gravity and my palm presses down for balance. I remember to that moment when I first saw JT on TV and vomited all over my threadbare carpet. Back then, I had been assaulted with terrifying memories that I realized were not just nightmares but waking, living, breathing events that that had happened me. I was caught under an avalanche of fear and shame and self-loathing. I vomited and cried and expelled snot all over the carpet.
Not this time.
Right now, my eyes are bone dry and I know this is because my body is shutting down, refusing to accept the magnitude of what I just lost. If I really consider everything that Beck is to me, and that I will no longer have it again, I’m not sure I’ll physically survive it.
I’m sure that if I give credence to the fact that I just destroyed every bit of trust and care he had for me, my heart will end up curling in on itself. It will form into a dried-out, blackened knot of bitterness that I’ll never overcome, and it will be far worse than any pain I’ve experienced in my life.
Yes, even more painful than that, and I don’t have it in me for that type of suffering again.
So I have to push past . . . ignore . . . obliviate.
Lurching up onto my knees, I place my hands on my thighs for balance, and try once again to catch a breath. Grudgingly, my lungs expand and pull precious life into me and I let it out in a quavering sigh of defeat.
My gaze falls to the floor again, and I see that the contents of my purse have been scattered clear across the hall. I take in another deep breath, feel my heart still cramping in agony.
God, it hurts.
My heart, my chest, my head.
My bones. I even feel the crushing weight of defeat and loss in my bones.
Reaching out, I grab the strap of my purse and pull it in to me. I look into the gaping opening and see my wallet and key chain still inside. I pull the keys out and work off Beck’s condo key. It takes me a moment and I realize I’m clumsily fumbling with it because I feel dizzy.
I consciously pull in another lungful of oxygen, realizing that the pain just on the other side of my breastbone is so all consuming it’s taken away my body’s natural ability to want to live. To even pull in the basic necessity of the air I need to survive.
Deep breath in.
Let it out.
Breathe, Sela. Just fucking breathe.
An agonized sob pops out of my mouth as images of Beck’s face flash before me. His look so angry and condemning. His unwillingness to give me five precious minutes to explain myself. I jerk the key from the ring and fling it at the door, a sudden burst of anger filling me up and giving me strength.
Just as fast it gushes out of me.
And for a brief, glorious moment, my chest relaxes . . . the cramping fades. I take in a tentative breath and find my lungs expand easily. A swirling sensation of relief, and I use the opportunity to stand.
I keep still, afraid some other nasty or wretched emotion will take me hostage. I wait for it to come, to make my knees buckle, but . . . nothing.
I feel absolutely nothing.
“Beck,” I begged with a sob. “JT . . . he raped me.”
He hesitated, eyes wide with shock and face draining of blood. I even