I’d never fallen harder for anyone than I did for Graham Prescott. The British hottie was like no other guy I’d ever met. And the attraction between us was mutual and red-hot.
I would have done and said almost anything to be with him. So I’d told him one harmless, little lie…
But it hadn’t been.
Harmless or little.
That lie nearly cost him his freedom.
Seeing him again after four years stirs up feelings I have no right to feel. So I tell myself the only thing I want from him is his forgiveness. But first I have to earn his trust—something easier said than done. Especially when he makes it clear there’s only one thing he wants from me.
To stay the hell out of his life.
Where r u?
Why haven’t u called me back?
Em, what is going on?
Emily, I’m really starting 2 get worried. Call me.
I finish going over the last four texts I’ve sent Emily since I spoke to her yesterday. She has yet to text me back. She also hasn’t returned any of my half-dozen phone calls—calls, that as of this morning, are going straight to voicemail.
I don’t know what the hell is going on but the longer it does the angrier I’m getting. How hard is it to pick up a phone or return a text message? It also doesn’t help that I have to sit through an hour and forty-five minute lecture on the Keynesian Cross model in my macroeconomics class. My professor could be reading Shakespeare in French and it would be all the same to me. Might as well shoot me with a tranquilizer dart. With fifty minutes to go, my concentration is shot to hell and the chair I’m sitting on is harder than fucking granite.
Last night, one thing became very clear to me, I don’t know much about my girlfriend. Oh I know the bare basics like she grew up in Westchester County, has two older brothers and her parents are still together, but I couldn’t tell you much beyond that. I’ve never been to her apartment, I’ve never met her two roommates and I’ve never been to Stony Brook in Manhattan where she’s taking summer classes. There’s literally no one for me to call when I can’t get in touch with her.
She’d been sure to pepper me with questions about my life though. We talked about me moving to America with my mum when I was sixteen after my parents divorced. She knows my dad owns a pub in Chelsea and that my mum grew up in Pennsylvania and met my dad on a school trip to England. Emily’s actually supposed to meet my mum for the first time next week.
That’s if I ever hear back from her.
What if the guy on the phone wasn’t really her father? It could be a guy she’s fooling around with. Is that why I’ve never been to her place? Or the reason she changed the subject the last time I asked her when I was going to meet her parents? The longer I go without hearing from her, the more those sorts of thoughts plague my mind.
Agitated, I glance down at my phone, willing the damn thing to ring. Willing her to call or text me. I note the time and suppress a groan. Forty-five minutes to go. I’m in hell.
My gaze snaps up to find Professor Landon soberly regarding me from behind round, wire-framed glasses, his slender form standing just inside the open classroom door. “Collect your things. Mr. Feldman would like a word with you outside.”
My academic advisor? What does he want? And what could be important enough to call me out of class?
Feeling a sense of unease, I stand, shove my notebook and textbook into my backpack, hook it over my shoulder and slide my phone into my front pocket. Curious stares follow me as I make my way down the aisle toward Professor Landon. He acknowledges my departure with a quiet nod. The guy isn’t much of a talker.
Out in the hall, my sense of unease goes from five and blasts through the ten point scale. And not at the sight of the worry creasing my academic advisor’s weathered face but because of the uniformed cop—a lanky man with a narrow face and dark hair graying at the temples—standing behind him. I freeze, my thoughts immediately going to my mum. Did something happen to her?
“Graham Prescott?” The cop’s tone is brisk and matter-of-fact.
Abject fear constricts my throat, cutting off my oxygen supply. I can only manage a nod.
Grim-faced, he approaches, his cold stare locked on me. “I have a warrant for your arrest.”
I don’t feel as much shock as I do disbelief. My gaze darts from the cop to Mr. Feldman, whose pained expression does little to help me understand what the fuck is going on.
I return my attention to the cop, who to my horror, is now holding up a pair of silver handcuffs.
“There has to be some mistake,” I croak, my eyes now glued on the handcuffs.
The cop ignores me, deftly grabbing my wrist and jerking my hand behind my back. I wince as the strap of my backpack cuts deeper into my shoulder.
“Are the handcuffs necessary in here?” Mr. Feldman asks, looking more than a little uncomfortable as he scans the empty hall. “I’m sure Mr. Preston doesn’t intend to give you any problems.” The look he sends me seeks my assurance of that.
I respond with a brief nod.
The cop tightens his hand around my wrist and looks up at me, narrowing his eyes. “Don’t give me any trouble and I won’t cuff you till we get to the car.”
I have no choice but to agree so again I nod, hoping that at any minute I’m going to wake up from this nightmare.
The cop releases his hold on me long enough to return the handcuffs to his belt. “Let’s go,” he orders. Grasping my upper arm, he gives me a hard shove.
I stumble forward a step, but manage to maintain my balance. Now I’m getting pissed and it takes everything in me not to jerk my arm from his grip. “Why am I being arrested?” I ask again, this time with my jaw clenched and on a wave of mounting anger.
He angles his head a fraction, just enough to meet my gaze. His expression is pure loathing. The same revulsion infuses his voice when he bites out, “Rape.”