All the Way (Romancing Manhattan #1)(8)

“Yeah, well, it was bound to happen, right? I worked my ass off in therapy today, and I’ve decided that I’ll get back to work and prove everyone wrong.”

“That’s my girl.”

“You really should come out here for a few days. It’s awesome.”

“I’d love to, but I can’t get away for a while. Are you coming to opening night?”

“Wild horses couldn’t keep me away,” I assure her. “How’s the weather there?”

“Shitty. It’s been raining like crazy.”

“Here too.” I sigh. “Have you checked on my apartment lately?”

“Yesterday. Everything was fine. I borrowed some shoes too.”

I laugh and take another bite of my cookie. “You best return them if you know what’s good for you.”

“Yes, ma’am. Don’t worry, I won’t hurt them.” She speaks to someone and then returns to me. “I’m sorry, I have to go. We’re having an evening rehearsal. I love you, and I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“Love you too.”

She hangs up, and I lean my head back, imagining what she’s doing now. Jogging off to her place on the stage, script in hand, ready to get back to work.

I miss it.

More than I thought I would, and that was a lot.

I just fucking miss it.

And I’ll be damned if I won’t do it again. I worked too hard to reach where I was in my career to let this destroy it.

I must have fallen asleep on the porch. It’s dark when I wake up to someone ringing the front doorbell.

I stumble through the house, my leg singing in pain, and open the door to find a drenched Finn on the other side.

“Is she here?” he asks right away.

“Gabby? No.” I step back and let him in out of the weather. “What’s going on?”

“She ran off. Again.” He runs his hand through his wet hair. He’s breathing hard, his chest rising and falling with each breath. “She’s mad at me. Also again.”

“She can’t have gone far,” I reply, and open a closet to reach for a pair of shoes and a flashlight. “I’ll help you look.”

“I’ve already run up and down the beach and didn’t see her,” he says. “London, if she was on the beach in the dark—”

She could be killed.

“I know, but she’s not on the beach. She’s just hiding because she’s mad.” I rub his arm soothingly and check the flashlight for batteries, which thankfully seem to work. “Besides, I think I know where she is.”

“Lead the way.”

We walk through the house to the back door, and I lead him outside to the small replica of the house my father had made for me when I was about Gabby’s age.

“I didn’t know this was back here,” he says.

“Gabby did. She mentioned it to me when I saw her on the beach the other day. A light is on in there.”

I hear him swear under his breath as I open the door and step inside and find Gabby lying on the small bed inside, hugging my old floppy-eared bunny.

“Hi, Gabby.”

She sits up in surprise. “Am I in trouble?”

“Well—” I begin, but Finn cuts me off.

“Hell yes, you’re in trouble. You can’t just run off on me like that, and you can’t break and enter into someone else’s property, Gabby. What in the hell are you thinking?”

“I’m mad and I want to be alone,” she shouts back at him. “You don’t understand me at all!”

And with that, she dramatically throws the bunny on the bed and runs out, toward Finn’s place.

He sighs and rubs his hand down his face. “This is a lot of fun.”

“Why don’t I go back with you and I’ll try to talk to her?”

“You don’t have to do that.”

But he’s looking at me with so much hope I know that I can’t do anything else.

“I’m happy to. Sometimes a girl has to talk to another girl.”

His lips twitch before he leads me out of the playhouse and toward his home. I have to take it slow, limping a bit behind him. He turns back and sees me struggling, so he just picks me up, as if it’s the most natural thing in the world, and carries me.

“Hi there, He-Man.”

He laughs. “I don’t like watching you struggle.”

“It seems to be a part of life these days.”

I lean my head on his shoulder as the water falls on us, soaking us both. When we reach his house, he opens the door and sets me inside.

“Where’s her bedroom?”

“Top of the stairs,” he says, pointing up. I cringe inwardly, but I refuse to let him see me struggle any more. Once at the top of the stairs, I take a deep breath and knock on Gabby’s door.

“Go away!”

“Gabby, it’s me.” I crack the door and peek inside. The room is so pretty, with white furniture and pink frilly linens. “Can I come in?”

“Fine,” she says, and sniffles.

I walk in and sit at the edge of her bed as she sits up. I pass her a tissue from her bedside table and wait patiently as she wipes her tears and blows her nose.

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