Home > All Your Perfects(27)

All Your Perfects(27)
Author: Colleen Hoover

It was easier then. When Graham was on my side. It’s not so easy being over here alone.

My knees meet the floor, but Graham isn’t here to catch me. As soon as he said her name, he left the room.

I do all the things Graham told me not to do the last time this happened to me. I show emotion. I get angry. I cry.

I crawl over to the mess I made on the floor. I pick up the smaller glass shards and I place them into a pile. I’m crying too hard to see them all. I can barely see through my tears as I grab a roll of napkins to soak up the wine from the wood floor.

I hear the shower running. He’s probably washing off remnants of Andrea while I wash away remnants of red wine.

The tears are nothing new, but they’re different this time. I’m not crying over something that never came to be. I’m crying for something that’s coming to an end.

I pick up a shard of the glass and scoot to the wall, leaning against it. I stretch my legs out in front of me and I stare down at the piece of glass. I flip my hand over and press the glass against my palm. It pierces my skin, but I continue to press harder. I watch as it goes deeper and deeper into my palm. I watch as blood bubbles up around the glass.

My chest still somehow hurts worse than my hand. So much worse.

I drop the shard of glass and wipe the blood away with a napkin. Then I pull my legs up and hug my knees, burying my face in them. I’m still sobbing when Graham walks back into the room. I hug myself tighter when he kneels next to me. I feel his hand in my hair, his lips in my hair. His arms around me. He pulls me against him and sits against the wall.

I want to scream at him, punch him, run from him. But all I can do is curl up into myself even tighter as I cry.

“Quinn.” His arms are clasped firmly around me and his face is in my hair. My name is full of agony when it falls from his lips. I’ve never hated it so much. I cover my ears because I don’t want to hear his voice right now. But he doesn’t say another word. Not even when I pull away from him, walk to our bedroom, and lock the door.

Chapter Seventeen

* * *

Then

Inseparable.

That’s what we are.

It’s been two and a half months since I supposedly gave him a “look” that night at the restaurant.

Even after spending every waking moment together outside of our respective jobs, I still miss him. I have never been this wrapped up in someone in my life. I never thought it was possible. It’s not an unhealthy obsession, because he gives me my space if I want it. I just don’t want the space. He’s not possessive or overprotective. I’m not jealous or needy. It’s just that the time we spend together feels like this euphoric escape and I want as much of it as I can get.

We’ve only slept apart once in the ten weeks we’ve been seeing each other. Ava and Reid got into a fight, so I let her stay with me and we talked shit about guys and ate junk food all night. It was depressingly fun, but five minutes after she walked out the door I was calling Graham. Twenty minutes after she left, he was knocking on my door. Twenty-one minutes after she left, we were making love.

That’s basically what it’s been. Ten weeks of nothing but sex, laughter, sex, food, sex, laughter, and more sex.

Graham jokes that we have to plateau at some point. But that point is not today.

“Jesus, Quinn.” He groans against my neck as he collapses on top of me. He’s out of breath and I’m no help because I can’t catch mine, either.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. It’s Halloween and we’re supposed to be at a party at Ava and Reid’s house, but as soon as I pulled on my slutty T-shirt dress, Graham couldn’t keep his hands off me. We almost had sex in the hallway, near the elevator, but he carried me back inside to save our dignity.

He held me to the Halloween costumes I suggested back in August. We decided to go as ourselves, only sluttier. We couldn’t really figure out what a slutty slut costume of ourselves should look like, so we decided to just barely wear clothes. I have a ton of makeup on. Graham says his job is to just feel me up all night and make sure we have plenty of public displays of affection.

Our clothes are on the floor now, though, with the addition of a new rip in my shirt. The wait for that damn elevator gets us every time.

Graham leans in to me and buries his head against my neck again, kissing me until I break out in chills. “When am I going to meet your mother?”

That one question rips a hole in the moment and I feel all my joy seep out. “Never, if I can pull it off.”

Graham pulls away from my neck and looks down at me. “She can’t be that bad.”

I release a halfhearted laugh. “Graham, she’s the one who put the word prestigious in my wedding invitations.”

“Did you judge me based on my parents?”

I loved his parents. “No, but I met them the first day we were together. I didn’t even know you enough to judge you.”

“You knew me, Quinn. You didn’t know anything about me, but you knew me.”

“You sound so sure of yourself.”

He laughs. “I am. We figured each other out the night we met in that hallway. Sometimes people meet and none of the surface-level stuff matters because they see past all that.” Graham lowers his mouth to my chest and places a kiss over my heart. “I knew everything I needed to know the first night I met you. Nothing external could ever influence my opinion of you. Even my judgment of the woman who raised you.”

I want to kiss him. Or marry him. Or fuck him.

I settle on a kiss, but I keep it fairly quick because I’m scared if I don’t pull away from him I might tell him I’m in love with him. It’s right there on the tip of my tongue and it’s harder keeping it in than letting it out. But I don’t want to be the first one to say it. Not yet, anyway.

I quickly roll off the bed and pick up our costumes. “Fine. You can meet my mother next week.” I toss him his clothes. “But tonight you’re meeting Ava. Get dressed, we’re late.”

When I get my costume situated, Graham is still sitting on the bed, staring at me.

“What about your panties?” he asks.

My skirt is really short, and any other night I wouldn’t be caught dead in it. I look down at my panties on the floor and think about how crazy it would drive him if he knew I wasn’t wearing anything under this already-too-short skirt all night. I leave them on the floor and grin at him. “They don’t really go with my costume.”

Graham shakes his head. “You’re killing me, Quinn.” He stands up and gets dressed while I touch up my makeup.

We make it out the door.

We make it down the hallway.

But once again, we get distracted while we wait for the elevator.

* * *

“You’re late.” It’s the only thing Ava says when she opens the door and sees me standing there with Graham. She’s dressed in a two-piece pantsuit and her hair is styled like she’s straight out of Stepford Wives. She waits until we’re inside her house and then she slams the door shut. “Reid!” She yells his name and turns to look for him, but he’s standing right next to her. “Oh.” She tosses a hand toward Graham. “He’s here.”

Reid reaches out and shakes Graham’s hand. “Nice to meet you.”

Ava gives Graham the once-over. Then me. “Your costumes are so undignified.” She walks away without looking back.

“What the hell?” I say, looking at Reid. “Why is she being so rude?”

Reid laughs. “I tried to tell her it wasn’t an obvious costume.”

“What is she supposed to be? A bitch?”

Reid’s face reddens. He leans in to Graham and me. “She’s dressed up as your mother.”

Graham immediately starts to laugh. “So she’s not normally that . . . unpleasant?”

I roll my eyes and grab his hand. “Come on, I need to reintroduce you to my sister.”

Ava is actually nice to Graham the second time she meets him. But then she goes into character the rest of the night and pretends to be our mother. The funniest part is that no one at the party has any idea who she’s supposed to be. That’s just a secret among the four of us, which makes it even better every time I hear her tell someone how tired they look or how much she hates children.

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