The ladies applied their bonnets. The other two gentlemen awaited them out front, Eddie holding the door of the closed carriage, and Mr. Mallery at the reins of a light, two-wheeled open contraption that Ms. Austen might have called a phaeton, but which Charlotte was tempted to call a chariot, because it reminded her of the chariot races in the movie Ben-Hur. Except there was a seat. And no lethal blades swirling in the wheel hubs. At least, not noticeably.
"Step Nine means I have to atone, whenever possible, for the hurt I caused other people." He stepped in front of my line of sight, with a frown that made him look like a sad puppy. "Rye, I hurt you. I know I did."I lowered my voice, hoping he’d do the same. "Connor, you don’t have to do this."
I didn’t care if he wanted to apologize. I didn’t want to forgive him. I still shook every time I thought about how our relationship had ended.On the set, the director was shouting to the bandmates: "Okay, now burst through the doors!" All at once, the cells sprang open, and each band member came out, carrying an instrument and leaving their straitjackets behind. The zombies started giving chase right away. I watched pointedly, looking anywhere but toward Connor."Riley, seriously, listen to me," he said, "I’m trying to tell you I’m sorry. I lied to you. I cheated. I did terrible things in pursuit of my addiction, and I regret every moment of pain my affliction caused you."
My nose wrinkled in disgust. Even his apology was evasive, trying desperately to avoid responsibility. I wanted to tell him that it wasn’t his affliction that had caused me pain—it was his actions. But more than that, I just wanted him to go away."Apology accepted," I said flatly. "Don’t you have work to do?"
"Hear me out," he said, reaching out to my shoulder. "Just last week, I was thinking about you, wishing I had your number so I could atone. And just like that, here you are. It’s like fate or something."
The director’s loud Boston accent ripped through our conversation. "Hey, Jax, get your head in the damn game," he said. "The redhead will be there when you get done."He looked to Charlotte for more information.
It’s filled with furniture, said Charlotte. And boxes and stuff.Mary pointed to the other doors. That’s Kitty’s and Tillie’s room, there’s Edgar’s and Hamilton’s—
Not a bedroom, said Charlotte. Like a storage room.Mary shook her head. She still hadn’t looked away from Mr. Mallery.