Chapter   Five

“Amanda, wait up,” AJ said when he caught up with her just as she was getting into her car. “Come on, we have to talk.”

“I loved you, AJ,” she yelled at him. “How could you do this to me? To us?”

“Just listen to me for a second.” AJ waited for Amanda to answer, and when she didn’t speak, he continued. “Destiny really is an old friend. I hadn’t seen her in four months and she came to see me.”

“Where is she from?”

AJ thought really quick. He remembered the news story he’d seen about Destiny. “Massachusetts. She goes to Harvard. Studying to be a lawyer.”

Amanda looked at him for a minute. “So she’s a genius, too. Never would’ve guessed.”

“Look, I met Destiny when she was down here visiting her family for spring break. I ran into her at the park when I was walking my puppies....”

“Is she the one that’s always been in your mind?”

AJ looked her shocked. She saw right through me, he thought. “Okay. I’ll admit it. She’s always been in the back of my mind, but that’s it. I’ve never persued her, I’ve never tried to hook up with her or anything.” I never had the chance. Until now....

“AJ, you’re not a very good liar,” Amanda said. “Now, let me tell you what I’ve been feeling. Ever since we started seeing each other four months ago, I’ve been feeling like your heart doesn’t belong to just me, like there was someone else. I thought it would’ve passed by now, but it hasn’t, AJ. I’ve tried everything. I told you how I really felt about you, that I love you, but there’s still a part of you that you keep away from me.”

“You’re right,” AJ said in surrender. “I’ve tried to open up that part of me to you, but I can’t do it. There’s this void that I was hoping you’d be the one to fill. I hate telling you this because I really do care about you and love you, but I’m not sure we’re on the same level. Amanda, you’ve been such a great friend to me and I’ll always be grateful for that....”

“Don’t, AJ. If you feel that you’re not ready to give yourself to me completely, then I respect that.” Tears came to Amanda’s eyes, threatening to spill over. “I’m going to give you the space you need right now to figure out what you want....”

“You don’t have to do that.....”

“No, I have to. If I don’t then you’ll end up hating me and I don’t want that.” The tears started flowing for Amanda and she couldn’t seem to stop them. “When you figure out what you want, call me. Remember, I’ll always be there for you when you need me.” She leaned over and gave AJ a brief kiss. “I love you.”

AJ stood there and watched as Amanda drove off. Destiny came over to him, feeling he needed her. She was dressed in her clothes now. AJ felt her put her arms around his waist from behind and rest her cheek against his back. He felt his heart speed up and was sure Destiny could feel it and hear it. Then she spoke up.

“I’m sorry, Alex,” Destiny said, her voice full of tears. “I didn’t mean to cause any trouble between you and Amanda. I know you love her....”

AJ turned around in her arms and looked her in the eye. “That’s just it, Destiny. I’m not sure at all that I really did love Amanda. There was always a part of my heart that belonged to you. Amanda saw that. I mean, she didn’t know it was you, but she knew there was a part of me I wasn’t giving her because it belonged to somebody else.”

Destiny looked at him for a minute, trying to soak what he’d just told her. “Are you saying that you love me?”

“I don’t know what I’m saying,” AJ sighed. “I just know that there’s something strong between us, so strong it brought you back to me. I don’t know if it’s love or lust or what, but I want to find out.”

“And that’s why I came back, Alex.”

They stood outside for a little while, arms around each other, just thinking. When they went back inside, they felt like the connection between them was stronger than it had ever been. Destiny had come back to AJ, and he wasn’t about to let her go without finding out what it is that brought her back to him. And Destiny was just as determined to do the same.

Chapter Six
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