“Let me go,” she begs. “Please, Blake.”
I shake my head. “No. Not until you talk to me.”
She tries harder to throw me off her. “There’s nothing to talk about!”
“That’s bullshit, and you know it.”
“It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter anymore. None of them matter a single damn bit!”
“It matters to me.”
She stops moving. Her eyes crash into mine as she snaps her head up, and her lips purse. “Well it shouldn’t. It doesn’t matter to me anymore.”
“Then why are you hiding them?”
“Because I hate them!” She finally knocks my hands off and turns, walking a few paces before stopping. “I hate them and everything they are. Everything they mean. Everything they remind me of. I hate them.”
Her voice is thick with tears both falling and unshed and her shoulders rise and fall with each heavy breath she takes. Standing in the middle of this huge studio, she looks tiny. And with her shoulders falling forward, her head hanging and her arms tucked around her, she looks completely and utterly broken.
She looks exactly how my heart feels.
Silence lingers between us. No words are spoken, and I’m waiting for her to say something. Anything. Even if she just tells me to piss off, that’ll do, even if it’s not what I want.
“They remind me of how things were,” she whispers, her voice barely there yet seems to echo off the walls. “They’re everything my life was. Everything I don’t want it to be again. They’re hideous. They’re the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen, and I can’t believe I ever thought what caused them was beautiful. They taint my skin in the worst way, and I’m ashamed of them. If I knew I’d be stuck with them for the rest of my life I would never have done it or I would have cut even deeper.” Her voice trails off at the end.
My stomach rolls. “Don’t say that. Ever.”
I press my chest against her shuddering back, pull her into me, and rest my cheek against the side of her head. My hands take her arm and I ease the material of her leotard up to her elbows. She breathes in sharply and squeezes her eyes shut when I touch my thumb to her wrist.
The scars stretch up the inside of her arm, crossing each other and disappearing under her sleeve. I can barely believe what I’m looking at – each one of them is perfectly healed, some of them barely visible to my eyes. I know we see different things when we look at her arms.
“How many?” I whisper, my voice thick. “How many are there?”
“I don’t know. Hundreds, maybe. Everywhere. They’re everywhere.”
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful kiddos who drive her insane at every given opportunity. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of wine and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy – unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.
Emma is the author of The Game Series: The Love Game, Playing for Keeps, The Right Moves (March 27) and Worth the Risk (May 29.) The Memories series: Never Forget and Always Remember.
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