I got home around 11:00 p.m. and found the place empty. I immediately took out my phone and called Grace but all my calls went unanswered. I paced back and forth wondering where she could have gone and remembered that she was with Erin.
I didn't know where he lived so I called Pru. When she didn't pick up, I decided to call other people who also knew Erin hoping they would know his whereabouts. None of the people I talked to had the information I needed.
In the end, I had to call Mr. Davis, Erin's father, for the location. It was awkward trying to explain why I needed to know his son's address but luckily he wasn't a nosy man and didn't pry. I was remarkably surprised after finding out that he lived nearby.
Now, as I stood in front of his apartment, I was nervous at what I might find. I didn't like Erin since that first time I saw him talking to Grace on the balcony. From the look on his face, I had known right away that he was interested in her. From that moment on, my dislike for him had only increased.
My anxiety doubled as I pictured how Grace would react to seeing me. I knew she was extremely angry thinking I had betrayed her again. I could only hope that she would listen to my explanations and then everything will be cleared.
For the first time in my life, I started to regret some of my decisions. The strategies that I had planned so meticulously now seemed somewhat unsatisfactory. Maybe I shouldn't have kept Grace in the dark on certain matters.
I inhaled deeply and raised my finger to press on the doorbell button as I exhaled. Fifteen long seconds ticked by and I was worried that no one was home. Finally, I heard the door unlocked and pulled open.
Erin stared back at me with half closed eyes while Grace walked up behind him as she rubbed the tiredness out of her face.
I stood in the doorway glaring at Erin with Grace a step behind him in similar pajamas and my fingers curled into tight fists. What were they doing? They looked like they just woke up from sleep. My stomach tightened at where my thought was going—were they sleeping together?
"What do you want?" Erin asked with hostility.
"I need to speak to my wife." I bit out each word with feigned calmness.
"Oh so now she's your wife is it?" Erin mocked.
"This is between me and Grace so I don't have to explain anything to you." I responded with the same calm attitude even though I could feel my control slipping.
"Well, she doesn't want to see you." He said as he closed the door in my face. I stuck my foot in the doorframe right before he could close it completely, jamming it.
"Grace." I called her, trying to keep the pleading out of my voice but she turned her head away as if she couldn't stand the sight of me.
I couldn't look at him. I was happy that he had finally chased me down but it was only a small part of me. The bigger part was still seething with resentment. I hated how he made me feel—angry, indignant, emotional, petty, spiteful, and jealous—all the things I never thought I would feel if I were with the one I love. I hated being this person.
Currently, I was a fragile bubble full of turmoil and chaos. I could burst at any moment and once I did, I don't think I can stop—from saying things that I might regret later. I haven't had enough time to get my thoughts together yet so I wasn't ready to face him. I needed to more time to calm down, to be rational.
He stood there still looking as perfect as ever—not a hair out of place—and that didn't make me feel any better. Actually, it made me feel worse, a lot worse. As if he was trying to rub salt into my wounds, his perfection made me feel inadequate like he would always be up high on a pedestal while I would always be down here looking up at him. It reminded me how different we were in this moment, that he was calm and collected while I was internally battling my crazy emotions. It wasn't fair and I resented him more for it.
Usually, I loved his calm demeanor. However, right now, I just wanted to see him lose control and show me how he felt—not just with words but with emotions as well. I wanted to see him fight for me, fight for my love, not our love, but my love—the love I had for him all these years.
I turned as I tried to walk back to the couch, but he called my name again and made me pause. I took a deep breath to control myself from giving in and turning back to look at him. I took another deep breath before I continued walking, my back to Artemis.
Suddenly, I heard a thump and Erin exclaimed. "Hey!"
I twisted around to see Erin on the floor as Artemis purposefully stepped toward me and grabbed my arm. "Grace, please give me a chance to explain." Artemis must have pushed his way in and caused Erin to fall in the process.
Erin quickly got up off the floor and put a hand on Artemis's shoulder. "Dude. She doesn't want to see you. You need to leave!"
I could feel Artemis's controlled anger vibrated throughout his body and all the way to my arm. "I will leave if Grace tells me to my face that she doesn't want to see me."
As much as I couldn't stand to look at him right now, I also couldn't bring myself to tell him to leave. I stayed silent as words failed me and refused to leave my mouth.
Artemis took my silence as if he had triumphed and stated. "You need to take your hand off of me right now or don't blame me for what happens next. I respect your father and that's why I haven't put you in the hospital for trying to seduce my wife."
His anger brewed as each word escaped his mouth. I instantly stiffened at the last statement. Trying to seduce me? What?
Five long seconds ticked by and Erin stubbornly refused to back down. Artemis suddenly moved—so fast that I didn't even register what happened until it was done—and Erin was back on the floor with a bloody nose. Artemis, at lightning speed, had somehow snatched Erin’s fingers off of his shoulder and twisted them with one hand while the other flew out and connected with Erin’s nose.
I immediately bent down by Erin's side touching his arm as he held his nose. His eyes watered as blood trickled through his fingers. "Are you okay?" I asked softly and he nodded.
"You broke his nose!" I snapped at Artemis.
"He's lucky I didn't hit hard enough to break more than that." He answered easily as he bent down to seize my arm again and pulled me up and away from Erin.
I jerked my arm away but he wouldn't release me. Erin spoke up from the floor, his voice muffled. "I'll call the police if you don't let her go and get the hell out of my house."
I looked back at Erin and frowned as sorrow etched in my face. I felt bad for getting him involved. "Artemis is right, this is between me and him and I'm so sorry for bringing you into this." I said regretfully and added. "I should bring you to the hospital to have your nose looked at."
As the last word left my mouth, Artemis started pulling me toward the exit. "He's a big boy, he can do that himself." His voice dripped with exasperation.
He dragged me through the door before I could react. Once in the elevator, I aggressively tore my arm away and screamed at him as anger and resentment came out at full force. "What do you want from me?! Do you enjoy breaking my heart into two over and over again?”
He grabbed my shaking sobbing shoulders and tried to reassure me with, "I promise I will explain everything when we get home." His pleading hazel eyes bored into mine as his brows furrowed in sadness.
"No!" I said defiantly and loudly as I violently pushed his arms away. "I don't want to talk to you right now. I don't want to see you. I don't want to listen to your freaking so called explanations. I'm done!"
As if on cue, the elevator dinged and I half ran and half limped out of the opening. Before I could make it too far, he clutched my wrist and pulled me back into another elevator.