She sniffs hard and clears her voice. But doesn’t say anything.
I do. “What’s wrong?”
There. Two simple words. Could be any two people meeting in a hallway, asking the same thing, and it’d mean absolutely nothing. But for us, those words break through every barrier we’ve assembled.
Her choice: answer something noncommittal, like “nothing,” and give me the brush off. Securing our casual friendship remains the same. Or, answer honestly…changing everything.
I’m not sure which I’m rooting for. Just as I wasn’t sure yesterday if I wanted her to accept my rejection—or push past all my barriers and tell me to fuck off, she was taking control. I lied when I told myself I was relieved; I wanted this girl to scare the shit out of me, to make me react.
Her throaty voice cuts through the suffocating fear creeping over me. “I got a letter. From a friend. He’s just been released from jail.”
I notice the folded paper in her hand. Her fingertips pinching the paper, holding it away from herself. “That’s good news.” It’s not a statement; it’s a question.
She nods. “Yeah.”
Silence thickens between us.
“Walk?” I offer, hoping I can get her out of whatever funk this friend has caused.
Nodding again, she picks herself off the floor and folds the letter to make it smaller. She stuffs it into the back pocket of her jean skirt before saying, “So how did you fair with the blue balls yesterday? You seem to be walking all right.”
A chuckle slips out. I know she’s avoiding. Doesn’t want to talk about the letter or her friend, so I can roll with her punches. “Worst case I ever had.” And that’s no lie. I thought long and hard about jerking my dick to kingdom come, but I settled for blue balls. An extra little dose of punishment for almost fucking up.
“And that’s the best compliment I’ve ever had. Thanks, Boone.” She nudges me with her shoulder as I shake my head.
As soon as we step outside, I drop my shades over my eyes and instantly regret my idea. For the seconds I was entranced with Mel’s pain, with her, I forgot about the sky-high heat index. “Shit. If there was ever a month to get the fuck out of Florida,” I say.
“No shit,” she agrees. Turning to face me, she adds, “You do have a bike. Well, sort of. Not sure I classify your Bonnie bobber as one, really…” she trails off, and I let the slight against my bike slide. I figured her for an all American girl. “But we could Bonnie and Clyde our way to Sturgis. Pun totally intended.” She winks. “There’s always, like, a crazy aftermath of drag races and parties following the rally.”
I want to think she’s joking. But I have a sure feeling in the pit of my stomach that if I offered her to leave right now, she’d hop on the back of my bike. No questions. And suddenly, there’s a sickness gripping my gut to match that feeling—I want that.
At some point, whether it was the moment she touched me, the heated look in her eyes, or the second I saw the hopelessness forming around her in the hall…a line was crossed. There’s no walking away now.
This girl will break me.
And I’ll beg her to do it.
We reach the benches near the basketball court and she slides onto the top seatback. I lick my lips, thankful for my shades as my gaze travels up her creamy legs to her thighs. I imagine running my hand up that same course. Under her skirt…
Fucking hell. At some point, I’m going to have to wear my dick out. I should beat the hell out of it each time before I see her. I’m like a horny teen getting a taste of porn for the first time. It’s embarrassing.
I’ve gone almost a year with no real temptations. Where the hell did this girl come from? She blindsided me.
Book One is on sale for .99!
Pressing the boundaries of both the psyche and the heart, Sam and Holden embark on a dangerous journey that will test the limits of love.
Sam Wintry’s life used to be almost perfect. She was engaged to her childhood best friend and high school sweetheart, Tyler Marks, planning an amazing cross-country honeymoon during her college break. But after a hit-and-run leaves her in ruin, she begins seeing Tyler’s fractured, ghostly presence, and her family believes she’s losing her mind. Not until she completes their journey, stopping along the way to scatter Tyler's remains, will Tyler be able cross over. Only...is Sam ready for him to leave her?
When the black sheep of the Marks' family, Holden Marks, returns to check on Tyler's case, Sam convinces him to give her his brother's ashes. Despite their shaky history, she needs him...plus, he owes it to Sam and his brother. What she doesn’t count on is Holden’s relentlessness to go on the trip.
On the road, Holden realizes just how unhinged Sam has become. Dealing with her psychosis forces him to confront his dark past, making it harder to keep secrets hidden that should remain buried. Especially from Sam, the only woman he’s ever loved. And as Sam starts to unravel the truth, she begins to question if the brother she's unwillingly falling for again is in an even darker place than her.
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I’m the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), ASTARTE'S WRATH NA Historical/Supernatural, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. My NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS available May 2013.
I’m the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWW and The Apocalypsies.
A proud business owner, I'm partnered with my partner, my husband. When I’m not busy doing all of the above, I’m a wife and the mother of a gorgeous teen boy who's the sounding board for my male characters.