Edge of Chaos(Love on the Edge #1)(5)

By: Molly E. Lee

I heard a small click of metal and returned my gaze to him. My heart stopped as if I’d fallen through a frozen lake.

He had the tip of his pocket knife pressed against the soft part of his wrist.

“What are you doing?” My stomach plummeted like the floor had disappeared beneath my feet.

His eyes were wild as they locked on mine. “Live without you?” he screamed. “I won’t live without you, Blake. Won’t!” He glanced down at the knife and flexed the hand holding it. He hissed as the blade nicked his skin and blood slowly welled from the cut.

“Stop it!” I yelled, rushing to him. I gently grasped his forearm and tugged away his hand. I held my thumb over the wound, his blood warm and slick against it. I used the end of my shirt to wipe the blood away, thankful the cut wasn’t deep. Cold fingers clutched my spine and icy pinpricks made my skin tighten.

“You see what you do to me?” He yanked his wrist away and held it to his chest. “You can’t leave me, Blake. I’ll die without you.”

Chapter 1

Three Years Later

My childhood home smelled somewhere between chocolate chip cookies, freshly baked cinnamon rolls, and a hint of something spicy. I walked through the entryway, allowing the familiar scents and sights to soothe the anger pulsing inside me.

Justin had forgotten about me. Again. He’d promised to take me out on my lunch break since it was the first day of a new semester. I’d waited on campus half an hour. He hadn’t even called.

I heard Mom in the kitchen and I turned down the hallway. She stood in front of the stove stirring a huge pot of homemade pasta.

Everyone said my mom and I looked nearly identical—with long brown hair and the same dark brown eyes—except for our height. She was a foot shorter than me and often was mistaken for my sister as opposed to my mother. I gave her a side hug. “Smells great.”

“Thanks, honey. I figured after classes you’d head over here since you never keep any real food at that apartment you insisted on renting.”

“That apartment has the sweet perk of being right across the street from campus.” In fact, before heading over here I’d walked home to let my English bulldog, Hail, outside and then grabbed my car. After the blow-off by Justin, I craved Mom’s company and comfort food. That and she was right about the “no real food” comment. All I had at my place was turkey and crackers. I seriously needed to go to the store, but I’d worked all week.

Mom scraped the pasta from the skillet into a large pale-green bowl and set it on the table. She returned for the bread as I grabbed our plates. She filled them before she sat down.

“It’s not that I’m not grateful you decided to go to college closer to home,” she said, handing me a full plate, “but I really wish you would’ve at least stayed with me. Think of all the money you could save.”

I sighed, shoving a huge bite of pasta into my mouth. This was a commonly repeated conversation, but I never budged. “Do you feel like you don’t see me enough? Because I’m over here every week.”

“Yes, here or with Justin. You never go out and do anything else.”

“I work.”

Mom stirred her pasta. “Sure, you’re really living it up.”

“So are you upset that I’m over here too much or too little? Because it sounds like both.”

“Neither, honey. I’m trying to express the need to explore things outside of your norm, but I’m not sure Justin would ever let you do that anyway.”

Mom usually hit the mark closer than she ever realized. I’d never told her the real reason I’d decided to attend Oklahoma University instead of Tulsa. That the threat Justin made on his life had made my decision not to move. But he didn’t control everything I did; I simply didn’t have much time between studying, classes, work, and him.

“Anyway,” she continued, taking a sip of her iced tea, “how are your classes looking?”

“Great. I’m finally getting into the upper level meteorology courses. I’m really excited about this semester.”

“And I’m guessing since you’re here, Justin didn’t meet you for the date he’d promised?”

I huffed, making a mental note to stop divulging all my plans to her in the future. “No, Mom. He didn’t. And I’m guessing you bet on that, since you cooked enough food for me as well.”

She glanced down at her plate. “I told you not to fall in love with that boy.”

Those were the first words out of my mother’s mouth after she’d met Justin all those years ago. Her opinion of him hadn’t changed.