Addicted for Now(Addicted Series 2)

By: Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS



Self-doubt is a writer’s biggest foe, and without the support and encouragement from family, friends and especially our readers, we wouldn’t have mustered the courage to continue, let alone begin to defeat our greatest adversary.

We lay down our hearts for all the readers who have spread the word about the series, who have shared the book with another person, who have simply said a few kind words to us. Your support is more than just appreciated. We’ll remember it each time we begin a new chapter and face a new enemy.

For taking a chance on Lily and Lo and believing that they deserve a happily ever after, you are the superheroes of this tale. It takes a brave reader to stand beside Lily and Lo and commit to seeing their journey through. You have stuck with this couple through some of their lowest points and hardest battles, and for that, we thank you.






PART ONE

“People talk about you like you're Jesus, but you're not. You only pull out the miracles to save yourself. Which kind of makes you the opposite of Jesus, doesn't it?”

– Hellion (Julian Keller) X-Men: Legacy Vol 1 242





{ 1 }

LILY CALLOWAY



Of all the days in the month, I have to be stuck in traffic on the one that means the most to me. I try not to badger Nola, my family’s driver, on our ETA to the house I share with Rose. Instead, I anxiously shift on the leather seat and rapidly text my sister.

Is he already there? Please say no, please tell me I haven’t missed his homecoming. I’m supposed to wait on the white wrap-around porch of our secluded house in Princeton, New Jersey: many acres of lush land, a crystal blue pool, black shutters. The only thing it’s missing is the picket fence. I’m supposed to give him a tour of the cozy living room and the granite kitchen, leading him upstairs to the bedrooms where I sleep. He won’t be in one of the two guestrooms. Nope, he’ll be making residence in mine for the first time ever.

And maybe awkwardness will linger at the idea of sharing a bed and a bathroom day and night, at the idea of cohabitating beyond a kitchen. Our relationship will be one-hundred percent real, and there’ll be no nightcaps of bourbon or whiskey. I’ll be able to say don’t do that. And he’ll be able to grip my wrists, keeping me from compulsively climaxing until I pass out.

We’re supposed to help each other.

For the past three months, that’s what we’ve planned. And if I’m not there to greet him—then I’ve already messed up in some way. After three whole months of being physically apart, I thought I’d be able to get this right—the celebration of his return from rehab. On top of desperately wanting to touch him, for him to hold me in his arms, I feel a sudden wave of guilt. Please be late like me, is all I think.

The text pings, and I open the message, a knot tightening my stomach.

He’s unpacking – Rose

My face falls, and a lump rises to my throat. I can just picture his expression as he opened the car door, expecting me to fling my arms around him and start sobbing into his shoulder at his arrival. And I’m not there.

Was he upset? I text back. I bite my nails, my pinky starting to bleed a little. The habit has made my fingers look ghastly these past ninety days.

He seemed okay. How much longer will you be? – Rose

She must hate being alone with him. They’ve never been good friends since I chose to spend time with Lo more than I do with her. But she’s been kind enough to allow him to stay with us.

Maybe ten minutes. After I text her, I scroll through my contacts and land on Lo. I hesitate before I type another quick message. I’m so sorry. I’ll be there soon.

Five slow minutes pass with no response, and I’ve squirmed so much on the seat that Nola asks if she needs to stop somewhere so I can use the bathroom. I decline. I’m so nervous that my bladder probably won’t function properly anyway.

My phone buzzes in my hand, popping my heart from my ribcage. How was the doctor? – Lo

Rose must have clued him in on the reason for my absence. I scheduled my gynecologist appointment four months ago because she’s crazily booked, and I would have canceled if I thought I’d be able to nab an appointment sometime soon. But that’s doubtful. And it didn’t help that my gynecologist is near the University of Pennsylvania in Philly, not even close to Princeton where I now live. Having to drive back has eaten up all of my time.

I had to wait for about an hour. She was running behind, I text.

After a long moment, a new message flashes. Everything’s okay though? – Lo

Oh, that’s what he was asking. I’m so hung up on missing his homecoming that I didn’t think about him being worried. I type back. Yep, looks good. I cringe, wondering if that was a weird reply. I basically just said my vagina looks good—which is kinda strange.

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