Home > All Your Perfects(11)

All Your Perfects(11)
Author: Colleen Hoover

I hate him. I hate him because no matter what happens from this point forward, I will never be able to trust someone like I trusted him.

I roll onto my back and stare up at my ceiling. “Fuck you, Ethan Van Kemp.”

What kind of last name is that, anyway? I say my name out loud and add his last name to it. “Quinn Dianne Van Kemp.”

It’s never sounded as stupid as it sounds right now. I’m relieved it will never be my name.

I’m relieved I caught him cheating.

I’m relieved I had Graham to walk me through it.

I’m relieved Graham decided to leave just now.

In that heated moment with Graham in the restaurant, I felt revengeful. I felt like sleeping with him would somehow ease the pain Ethan caused me today. But now that Graham has left, I realize nothing will cushion this feeling. It’s just one huge, inconvenient, painful wound. I want to lock my front door and never leave my apartment. Except for ice cream. Tomorrow I’ll leave for ice cream but after that, I’m never leaving my apartment again.

Until I run out of ice cream.

I toss the covers away and walk to the living room to lock the front door. When I reach up to the chain lock, I notice a yellow Post-it stuck to the wall next to the door. There’s a phone number on it. Beneath the phone number is a short message.

Call me someday. After your rebound guy.

Graham

I have a mixed reaction to his note. Graham seems nice and I’ve already established my attraction to him, but at this point, I’m not sure I can stomach the thought of dating again. It’s only been a couple of hours since my last relationship. And even if I got to a point where I felt like dating again, the last person I would want to date would be the ex-boyfriend of the girl who had a hand in ruining everything good in my life.

I want as far from Ethan and Sasha as I can get. And sadly, Graham would only remind me of them.

Even still, his note makes me smile. But only for a second.

I go back to my room and crawl under my covers. I pull them over my head, and the tears begin to fall. Graham was right when he said, “You’ll cry tonight. In bed. That’s when it’ll hurt the most. When you’re alone.”

Chapter Six

* * *

Now

The day Ava left for Europe, she left me a gift. It was a bag of exotic tea that’s supposed to help with infertility. The problem was, it tasted like I had ripped open a bag of tea and poured it straight on my tongue, then washed it down with coffee beans.

So . . . the miracle fertility tea is out of the question. I’m leaving it up to chance again. I’ve decided I’ll try for one more month. Maybe two, before I tell Graham I’m finished trying.

Two more months before I tell him I really am ready to open that wooden box on my bookshelf.

I’m sitting on our kitchen counter in one of Graham’s T-shirts when he walks through the door. My bare legs are dangling, feet pointing toward the floor. He doesn’t immediately notice me, but once he does, I become his entire focus. I grip the counter between my legs, opening them just enough to let him in on my plans for the night. His eyes are locked on my hands as he pulls at his tie, sliding it from his collar, dropping it to the floor.

That’s one of my favorite things about him working later than me. I get to watch him take his tie off every day.

“Special occasion?” He grins as he takes me in with one fell swoop. He’s walking toward me and I give him my best seductive smile. The one that says I want to put all the pretending behind us for the night. Pretending we’re okay, pretending we’re happy, pretending this is exactly the life we’d choose if the choice were ours.

By the time he reaches me, his jacket is off and the first few buttons of his shirt are undone. He slips off his shoes at the same time his hands slide up my thighs. I wrap my arms around his neck and he presses against me, ready and eager. His lips meet my neck and then my jaw and then he presses them gently against my mouth. “Where would you like me to take you?” He picks me up and secures me against him as I lock my legs around his waist.

I whisper in his ear. “Our bedroom sounds nice.”

Even though I’ve all but given up on the chances of becoming pregnant, I’m obviously still clinging to that small sliver of hope on at least a monthly basis. I don’t know if that makes me strong or pathetic. Sometimes I feel I’m both.

Graham drops me on the bed, our clothes covering the distance from the kitchen to our room like scattered breadcrumbs. He settles himself between my legs and then pushes inside me with a groan. I take him in with silence.

Graham is consistent in every possible way outside of the bedroom. But inside the bedroom, I never know what I’m going to get. Sometimes he makes love to me with patience and selflessness, but sometimes he’s needy and quick and selfish. Sometimes he’s talkative while he’s inside me, whispering words that make me fall even more in love with him. But sometimes he’s angry and loud and says things that make me blush.

I never know what I’m going to get with him. That used to excite me.

But now I tend to want only one of the many sides of him in the bedroom. The needy, quick, and selfish side of him. I feel less guilt when I get this side of him because lately, the only thing I really want out of sex is the end result.

Sadly, tonight is not the selfish version of Graham in the bedroom. Tonight he’s the exact opposite of what I need from him right now. He’s savoring every second of it. Pushing into me with controlled thrusts while he tastes all the parts of my neck and upper body. I try to be as involved as he is, occasionally pressing my lips to his shoulders or pulling at his hair. But it’s hard to pretend I don’t want him to get it over with. I turn my head to the side so he can leave his mark on my neck while I wait.

He eventually begins to pick up the pace and I tense a little, anticipating the end, but he pulls out of me unexpectedly. He’s lowering himself down my body, drawing my left nipple into his mouth when I recognize this pattern. He’s going to make his way down, slowly tasting every part of me until he eventually slides his tongue between my legs, where he’ll waste a precious ten minutes and I’ll have to think too much about what day it is, what time it is, what fourteen days from now will be, what I would do or say if the test is finally positive, how long I’ll cry in the shower if it’s negative again.

I don’t want to think tonight. I just want him to hurry.

I pull his shoulders until his mouth is back near mine and I whisper in his ear, “It’s okay. You can finish.” I try to guide him back inside of me but he pulls back. I make eye contact with him for the first time since we were in the kitchen.

He brushes my hair back gently. “Are you not in the mood anymore?”

I don’t know how to tell him I was never in the mood to begin with without hurting his feelings. “It’s fine. I’m ovulating.”

I try to kiss him, but before my lips meet his, he rolls off me.

I stare at the ceiling, wondering how he can possibly be upset with me for that comment. We’ve been trying to get pregnant for so long now. This routine is nothing new.

I feel him leave the bed. When I look at him, his back is to me and he’s pulling on his pants.

“Are you seriously mad because I’m not in the mood?” I ask, sitting up. “If you don’t recall, we were just having sex less than a minute ago, regardless of my mood.”

He spins around and faces me, taking a pause to gather his thoughts. He pulls a frustrated hand through his hair and then steps closer to the bed. The clench of his jaw reveals his irritation, but his voice is quiet and calm when he speaks. “I’m tired of fucking for the sake of science, Quinn. It would be nice if just one time I could be inside you because you want me there. Not because it’s a requirement to getting pregnant.”

His words sting. Part of me wants to lash out and say something hurtful in return, but most of me knows he’s only saying it because it’s true. Sometimes I miss the spontaneous lovemaking, too. But it got to a point where all our failed attempts at getting pregnant began to hurt too much. So much that I realized the less sex we had, the less disappointment I would feel. If we only had sex during the days I was ovulating, I would be disappointed a fewer number of times.

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