Full Read the Online Chapter 23 – TATE of the Ugly Love book PDF by Colleen Hoover for free.
Ugly Love book PDF by Colleen Hoover Chapter 23 Read Online – TATE
I miss you so much, Miles.
Thoughts like that are why I’m drowning my sorrows in chocolate. It’s been three weeks since he brought me home. It’s been three weeks since I’ve laid eyes on him. Christmas came and went, but I barely noticed because I worked through it. Two Thursday game nights that Miles didn’t show up to. New Year’s came and went. Another semester of school began.
And Tate still misses Miles.
I take my chocolate chips and my chocolate milk and walk to the kitchen to hide them from the person knocking at the apartment door.
I already know it’s not Miles because the knock at my door belongs to Chad and Tarryn. They’re the only friends I’ve made here, as busy as I am, and they’re only my friends because we’re in a study group together.
Which is why they’re knocking on my door right now.
I open it, and Chad is standing in the doorway sans Tarryn. “Where’s Tarryn?”
“She got called in to cover a shift,” he says. “She can’t make it tonight.”
I hold the door open further to let him in. As soon as he steps over the threshold, Miles opens his apartment door across the hall. He freezes when our eyes meet. He holds me captive with his stare for several seconds until his gaze slides over my shoulder and lands on Chad.
I glance at Chad, who looks at me and arches an eyebrow. He can tell something’s up, so he respectfully retreats into my apartment. “I’ll be in your room, Tate,” he says.
That’s nice of Chad . . . offering to give me privacy with the guy across the hall. However, announcing that he’ll be waiting in my bedroom probably wasn’t the respect Miles wanted to be shown, because now he’s stepping back inside his apartment.
His eyes drop to the floor right before he closes his door.
The look on his face sends pangs of guilt straight to my stomach. I have to remind myself that this was his choice. As I have nothing to feel guilty about, even if he is misjudging the situation, he just opened his door.
I close the front door and join Chad in my room. The silent pep talk I tried to give myself did nothing to ease the guilt. I sit on the bed, and he sits at the desk. “That was weird,” he says, eyeing me. “I’m a little scared to leave your apartment now.”
I shake my head. “Don’t worry about Miles. He has issues, but they aren’t my issues anymore.”
Chad nods and doesn’t question me any further. He opens the study guide and lays it across his lap as he props his feet up on the bed.
“Tarryn already made notes for chapter two, so if you get three, I’ll cover four.”
“Deal,” I say. I scoot back against my pillow and spend the next hour preparing notes for chapter three, but I have no idea how I manage to concentrate because the only thing I can think about is the look that crosses Miles’s face right before he closes the door. I could tell I hurt him. That makes us even now, I guess.
After Chad and I exchange notes and answer the study questions at the end of every chapter, I make copies on my printer. I realize three people divvying up three chapters and sharing answers is cheating, but who the hell cares? I never claimed to be perfect.
Once we’re finished, I walk Chad back out. I can tell he’s a little bit nervous after having seen the look on Miles’s face earlier, so I wait for him to get on the elevator before I close the apartment door. To be honest, I was a little nervous for him, too.
I walk to the kitchen and begin making a plate of leftovers. There’s no point in cooking since Corbin won’t be home until late tonight. Before I’m finished adding food to my plate, the front door opens with a knock.
Miles is the only one who opens the door and knocks at the same time.
Calm down, Calm down, calm down, calm down. Calm the hell down, Tate!
“Who was that?” Miles asks from behind me.
I don’t even turn around. I continue making my plate of food as if his being here after weeks of silence isn’t filling me with a storm of emotions. Anger is the most prominent one.
“He’s in my class,” I say. “We were studying.”
I can feel the tension rolling off him, and I’m not even facing him. “For three hours?”
I spin around and face him, but the expletives I want to scream get caught in my throat when I see him. He’s standing in the doorway to the kitchen, gripping the door frame over his head. I can tell he hasn’t worked in a few days, because his jaw is lined with a thin layer of stubble. He’s barefoot, and his shirt has risen with his arms, revealing that.
At first, I stared at him.
Then I yell at him.
“If I want to screw a guy in my bedroom for three hours, then good for me! You aren’t at all entitled to have an opinion about what goes on in my life. You’re a jerk, and you have serious issues, and I don’t want to be a part of them anymore.”
I’m lying. I do want to be a part of his issues. I want to immerse myself in his issues and become his issues, but I’m supposed to be this independent, headstrong girl who doesn’t cave just because she likes a guy.
His eyes are narrowed, and his breaths are coming hard and fast. He drops his arms and walks swiftly to me, grabbing my face, and forcing me to look up at him.
His eyes are frantic, and knowing that he’s scared that I’ve moved on feels way too good. He waits several seconds before speaking, allowing his eyes to roam over my face. His thumbs brush lightly across my cheekbones, and his hands feel protective and good, and I hate that I want them everywhere right now. I don’t like who he turns me into.
“Are you sleeping with him?” he asks, finally resting his eyes on mine as they search for truth.
That’s none of your business, Miles.
“No,” I say instead. “Have you kissed him?”
Still not your business, Miles.
Miles closes his eyes and exhales, relieved. He drops his hands to the bar on either side of me and lowers his forehead to my shoulder.
He doesn’t ask me another question.
He’s hurting, but I don’t know what the hell to do about it. He’s the only one who can change things between us, and as far as I know, he’s still not willing to do that.
“Tate,” he says in a pained whisper. His face moves to my neck, and one of his hands grips my waist. “Dammit, Tate.” His other hand moves to the back of my head as his lips rest against the skin of my neck. “What do I do?” he whispers. “What the fuck do I do?”
I squeeze my eyes shut because the confusion and pain in his voice are unbearable. Shake my head. I shake it because I don’t know how to answer a question that I don’t even know the meaning behind. I also shake my head because I don’t know how to physically push him away.
His lips meet the spot just below my ear, and I want to pull him closer and push him as far away as possible. Mouth continues to move across my skin, and I feel my neck tilting so that he can find even more of me to kiss. His fingers tangle in my hair as he grips the back of my head to hold me still against his mouth.
“Make me leave,” he says, his voice pleading and warm against my throat. “You don’t need this.” He’s kissing his way up my throat, breaking for breath only when he speaks. “I just don’t know how to stop wanting you. Tell me to go, and I’ll go.”
“I don’t tell him to go,” I shake my head. “I can’t.”
Turning my face toward him, just as he’s worked his way up to my mouth, I grab his shirt and pull him to me, fully aware of what I’m doing to myself. This time won’t end any prettier than the others, but I still want it just as much.
I can’t give you more than this,” he whispers as a warning. Though I despise his words, I must admit a begrudging respect for his honesty.
My reaction is to pull him closer until our lips meet in a passionate embrace.
Sex, I remind myself. It’s just sex. Nothing more. He’s not giving me any other part of him.
I can tell myself that all I want, but at the same time, I’m taking, taking, taking as much as I can get. I decipher every sound he makes and every touch, attempting to convince myself that what he’s giving me is so much more than what it probably is.
I’m a fool.
At least I’m a self-aware fool.
I unbutton his jeans, and he unfastens my bra, and before we’re even in my bedroom, my shirt is off. Our mouths never separate as he shuts my door, and then yanks off my bra. He pushes me onto the bed and pulls off my jeans, then stands and removes his own.
It’s a race.
It’s Miles and me against everything else.
We’re racing our consciences, our pride, our respect, the truth. He’s trying to get inside me before any of the rest of that stuff catches up to us.
As soon as he’s back on the bed, he’s over me, against me, then inside
His mouth finds mine again, but that’s all it does. He doesn’t kiss me. Our lips touch and our breath collides and our eyes meet, but there isn’t a kiss. What our mouths are doing is so much more than that. With every thrust inside me, his lips slide over mine, and his eyes grow hungrier, but he never once kisses me.
A kiss is so much easier than what we’re doing. When you kiss, you can close your eyes. You can kiss away the thoughts. You can kiss away the pain, the doubt, the shame. When you close your eyes and kiss, you protect yourself from the vulnerability. This isn’t us protecting ourselves.
This is confrontation, a true test of wills, an intense clash of ideals. It’s a standoff where neither side is willing to back down, a moment of unwavering determination. In this eye-to-eye combat, every word is a weapon, every gesture a challenge, and every silence a provocation. It’s a dare, not just from me to Miles, but a mutual exchange of defiance, a battle of wits and stubbornness that defines our relationship. I dare you to try to stop this, we’re both silently screaming.
His eyes remain focused on mine the entire time as he moves in and out of me. With each thrust, I hear his words from just a few short weeks ago repeat in my head.
It’s easy to confuse feelings and emotions for something they aren’t, especially when eye contact is involved.
I completely understand now. I understand so well I almost wish he’d close his eyes because he’s more than likely not feeling what his eyes are showing me right now.
“You feel so good,” he whispers. The words fall into my mouth, forcing moans out of me in reciprocation. He lowers his right hand between us, placing pressure against me in a way that would normally cause my head to fall backward and my eyes to fall shut.
Not this time. I’m not backing down from this confrontation. Especially not when he’s staring straight into my eyes, defying his own words.
Even though I refuse to back down, I do let him know I like what he’s doing to me. I can’t help but let him know that because I don’t have control over my voice right now. It’s possessed by a girl who thinks she wants this from him.
“Don’t stop,” my voice says, becoming more possessed by him the longer this continues.
“Wasn’t planning on it.”
He applies more pressure, both inside and outside me, grabs my leg behind the knee and pulls it up between our chests, finding a slightly different angle to enter me. He holds my leg firmly against his shoulder and somehow thrusts into me even deeper.
“Miles. Oh, my God.” I moan his name and God’s name and even shout out to Jesus a couple of times. I begin to shudder beneath him, and I’m not sure which one of us broke down first, but we’re kissing now. We’re kissing as hard and as deep as his thrusts inside me.
He’s loud. I’m louder.
I’m shaking. He’s shaking harder.
He’s out of breath. I’m inhaling enough for both of us.
He pushes into me one final time and holds me firmly against the mattress with his weight. “Tate,” he says, moaning my name against my mouth as his body recovers from the tremors. “Fuck, ‘late.” He slowly pulls out of me and presses his cheek against my chest. “Holy shit,” he breathes. “It’s so good. This. Us. So fucking good.”
He rolls onto his side and keeps his arm draped across me. We lie together quietly. I did not want to admit that I just let him use me again. He did not want to admit that it was more than just sex. Both of us lying to ourselves.
“Where’s Corbin?” he asks. “He’ll be home later tonight.” He lifts his head and looks down at me, his brows furrowed in a line of worry. “I should go.” He rolls off the bed and pulls his jeans back on. “Come over later?”
I nod as I stand up and slide into my jeans. “Grab my shirt from the kitchen,” I tell him. I pull on my bra and fasten it. He opens my bedroom door, but he doesn’t walk out. He pauses in the doorway. He’s looking at someone.
I don’t have to see him to know that Corbin is standing there. I immediately rush to the door to stop whatever’s about to happen. When I hold it open further, Corbin is standing in his doorway across the hall, glaring at Miles.
I make the first move. “Corbin, before you say anything-“
He holds up his hand to shut me up. His eyes drop for a second to my bra, and he winces as if he is hoping that what he heard didn’t happen. He looks away, and I immediately cover myself, embarrassed that he heard everything. He looks back at Miles, and his eyes are an equal mixture of anger and disappointment. “How long?”
“Don’t answer that, Miles,” I say. I just want him to leave. Corbin has no right to be questioning him like this. It’s ridiculous.
“A while,” Miles says, shamefully.
Corbin nods slowly, letting it sink in. “Do you love her?”
Miles and I look at each other. He looks back at Corbin as if he’s trying to decide which one of us he wants his answer to please.
I’m positive the slow shake of his head pleases neither of us. “Are you at least planning to?” Corbin asks.
I continue to study Miles as if someone is asking him what the meaning of life is. I think I want his answer to Corbin’s question more than Corbin does. Miles exhales and shakes his head again. “No,” he whispers.
He’s not even planning to love me.
I knew his answer. I expected it. However, it still hurts like hell. The fact that he can’t even lie about it to save himself from disappointing Corbin proves that this isn’t some game he’s playing.
This is Miles. Miles isn’t capable of love. Not anymore, anyway.
Corbin grips the frame of his door and presses his forehead against his arm, inhaling a slow, steady breath. He looks back up at Miles with eyes like arrows aimed at a target. In all my life, I’ve never seen Corbin this angry.
“You just fucked my sister?”
I’m waiting for Miles to fall backward from the impact of Corbin’s words, but he takes a step toward him instead. “Corbin, she’s a grown woman.”
Corbin takes a quick step toward Miles. “Get out.”
Miles glances back at me, and his eyes are apologetic and full of regret. I’m not sure if it’s for me or Corbin, but he does what Corbin asks.
I’m still standing in my bedroom doorway, looking at Corbin like I could fly across this hall and deck him.
Corbin pierces me with a stare as firm as his stance. “You’re not a brother, Tate,” he says. “Don’t you dare tell me I’m not allowed to be pissed?” He steps back into his bedroom and slams his door.
I blink rapidly, fighting back tears of anger due to Corbin, hurt caused by Miles, and shame stemming from the selfish choices I’ve made for myself. Refusing to cry in front of either of them, I stride to the kitchen and retrieve my shirt. Pulling it over my head, I head toward the front door and across the hall. Knocking on his door, Miles opens it immediately. He looks behind me as if he expects Corbin to be standing there, then he steps aside and lets me in.
“He’ll get over it,” I say to him after he closes his door.
“I know,” he says quietly. “But it won’t be the same.” Miles walks to his living room and sits on his couch, so I follow him and sit down beside him. I don’t have any words of advice, because he’s right. Things more than likely won’t be the same between him and Corbin. I feel shitty that I’m the reason for that.
Miles sighs as he pulls my hand to his lap. He threads his fingers through mine. “Tate,” he says. “I’m sorry.”
I look at him, and his eyes come up and meet mine. “For what?”
I don’t know why I’m pretending not to know what he’s talking about. I know exactly what he’s talking about.
“When Corbin asked if I planned on loving you,” he says. “I’m sorry I couldn’t say yes. I just didn’t want to lie to either of you.”
I shake my head. “You’ve been nothing but honest about what you want from me, Miles. I can’t be mad at you for that.”
He inhales a deep breath as he stands and begins pacing the living room. I remain on the couch and watch him as he works to gather his thoughts. He eventually pauses and locks his hands behind his head. “I had no right to question you about that guy, either. I don’t allow you to question me or my life, so I have no right to question yours.”
Not about to argue with that logic.
“I just don’t know how to deal with this thing between us.” He steps closer to me, and I stand up. He wraps his arms around my shoulders and holds me against his chest. “I don’t know an easy or even polite way to say this, but what I said to Corbin is the truth. I’ll never love anyone again. It’s not worth it to me. But I’m being unfair to you. I know I’m messing with your head, and I understand I’ve hurt you deeply. I value our time together, yet every moment spent with you fills me with apprehension, as I fear you might perceive it differently.”
Well, I know I should have some sort of reaction to everything he just said, but I’m still processing his words. Every single one of his admissions should be a red flag since they were all also coupled with the hard truth that he doesn’t plan on loving me or having a relationship with me, but the red flag doesn’t rise.
The green one does.
“Is it me specifically you don’t want to love, or is it love in general you don’t want to experience?”
He pulls me away from his chest so he can look at me while he answers my question. “It’s love in general I don’t want, Tate. Ever. It’s you specifically that I just … want.” I fall in and out and back in love with that answer.
I’m so screwed up. Everything he says should send me running, but instead, it makes me want to wrap my arms around him and give him whatever it is he’s willing to take from me. I’m lying to him, and I’m lying to myself, and I’m not doing either of us any good, but I can’t stop the words that come out of my mouth.
“I can handle this as long as it stays simple,” I tell him. “-when you pull the shit you pulled a few weeks ago by walking away and slamming your door? That’s not keeping it simple, Miles. Things like that make it complicated.”
He nods, contemplating what I’ve said. “Simple,” he says, rolling the word around in his mouth. “If you can do simple, I can do simple.”
“Good,” I say. “And when it becomes too hard for either of us, we’ll end it for good.”
“I’m not worried about it becoming too hard for me,” he says. “I’m worried about it becoming too hard for you.”
I’m worried about me, too, Miles. But I want the here and now with you a whole lot more than I care about how it will affect me in the end.
With that thought, I suddenly figured out what my one rule is. He’s had his boundaries this entire time, protecting himself from the vulnerability that I’ve been subjected to.
“I think I finally have my one rule,” I say. He looks at me and raises a brow, waiting for me to talk. “Don’t give me false hope for a future,” I say. “Especially if you know in your heart we’ll never have one.”
His posture immediately stiffens. “Have I done that?” he asks, genuinely concerned. “Have I given you false hope before?”
Yes. About thirty minutes ago, when you looked me in the eyes the entire time you were inside me.
“No,” I say quickly. “Just make sure you don’t do or say things that would make me believe otherwise. As long as we both see this for what it is, I think we’ll be fine.”
He stares at me silently for a while, studying me. Evaluating my words. “I can’t tell if you’re mature for your age or delusional.”
I shrug, guarding my delusions deep inside my chest. “An unhealthy mixture of both, I’m sure.”
He presses his lips against the side of my head. “This feels fucked up to say out loud, but I promise I won’t give you hope for us, Tate.”
My heart frowns at his words, but my face forces a smile. “Good,” I say. “You have serious issues that kind of freak me out, and I’d much rather fall in love with an emotionally stable man someday.”
He laughs. Probably because he knows the odds of finding someone who can put up with this kind of relationship, if you can even call it that, are extremely low. Yet somehow, the one girl who might be fine with it just happened to move in across the hall from him. And he likes her.
you like me, Miles Archer.
“Corbin found out,” I say as I take what has become my usual seat next to Cap.
“Uh-oh,” he says. “Is the boy still alive?”
I nod. “For now. Not sure how long that’ll last, though.”
The doors to the lobby open, and I watch Dillon make his way inside. He pulls a hat off his head and shakes rain out of it as he walks toward the elevator.
“Sometimes I wish the flights I send up would crash,” Cap says, eyeing Dillon.
I guess Cap doesn’t like Dillon, either. I’m beginning to feel a little bad for Dillon.
He spots us just before he reaches the elevators. Cap is moving to press the up button, but Dillon reaches it before him. “I’m pretty capable of fetching my elevator, old man,” he says.
I vaguely remember having a brief thought ten seconds ago about Dillon and how I felt sorry for him. I take that thought back now.
Dillon looks at me and winks. “What you doing, Tate?” “Washing elephants,” I say with a straight face.
Dillon shoots me a confused look, not at all understanding my random response.
“If you don’t want a sarcastic answer,” Cap says to him, “don’t ask a stupid question.”
The elevator doors open, and Dillon rolls his eyes at both of us before walking onto the elevator.
Cap cuts his eyes to mine, and he grins. He holds a palm up in the air, and I high-five him.
Read About: Ugly Love Summary: Exploring the Complexities of Love
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