Are you ready to find out what has Willow running?
I get that you probably hate me. I don’t blame you. You’ll probably hate me even more once this is all over. That’s okay, too.
Honestly, I hate myself.
But before you make any judgments about me, you should know I never planned for things to go this way. I really do love him, and I never meant to hurt him.
It’s just that some things are better left unsaid. Some secrets are meant to be kept.
Still, I can’t help feeling like I’ve just made the biggest mistake of my life.
My name is Willow Lansing. I’m a gypsy, a vagabond, stealer of hearts.
And it feels like I’m unraveling at the seams.
I sat at the dinette, map unfolded in front of me, sipping at my extra cream and extra sugar mug of coffee. Hot chocolate might have been my drink of choice, but days like this one required caffeine.
We had a full day of driving ahead of us, and I needed to get us off the highway we were on. But in order to do that, I needed to have at least some sort of idea as to where we were going. I hated doing that, though—planning our destination. I felt like it made us easier to track. Suspicious, I know, but I’d apparently become a little paranoid. Rightly so, considering the razorblades ripping my heart to shreds over not leaving sooner, for letting myself fall in love, and putting everything at risk.
How could I have been so stupid? So damned careless?
Oh, that’s right . . . Josh.
Just the thought of him triggered a pang in my chest, one so painfully raw, I was sure my heart would fall right out onto the table, leaving behind a gaping hole in my chest so deep and wide that it’d never be filled again. Not by anything or anyone. Because there wasn’t a single person or thing on this earth could ever give me what he had given me, something I’d desperately needed when he’d found me on that bridge.
As I’d stood up on that ledge that night, looking out over the water, I thought of how easy it would be to just end it all. I wouldn’t do it, not as long as Mya needed me. But there’d still been this sobering realization just before he showed up . . . if I fell, there would be no one there to catch me. No one to rescue me. Only me and the sky and the ground below.
So I’d just have to learn how to fly.
Not literally, of course, but figuratively.
Josh had been the one to give me wings with his willingness to help a complete stranger, a crazy girl standing on a bridge, ready to plummet to her death—or at the very least contemplating the idea. They grew stronger as I got to know him, learned just how kind, gentle, caring, and sensitive he really was. I bloomed under his attention, his affection, his love. And for the first time in a very long time, I felt free. He had been more than I ever could have wished for, perfect in every way.
But none of that mattered in the end—not his beautiful soul, not his deep laugh that warmed me from the inside out, not the way he loved me without question, limitations, or conditions. It couldn’t, no matter how much I wanted it to. Because things with wings have to fly in order to survive.
They say time heals all wounds. I beg to differ.It’s been more than a year since the crash that killed my best friend. Everyone else has moved on with their lives – his girlfriend, his parents, our friends – everyone except me. But they weren’t there.They don’t have to relive that horrible night, over and over, like some sick, twisted movie. I didn’t ask for it, and I couldn’t make it stop.Then I met Willow.With her unwavering compassion and carefree spirit, she put some slack in the chains holding me to my past. Her bubbly optimism has taught me what it means to walk away from tragedy and loss a better, stronger man.There’s just one problem.Underneath all that beauty, she’s secretive. Evasive. I’m pretty sure she’s running from something, but I don’t know what. The closer I get to finding out, the more it seems as if she’s just another link in my chains of torture.
Contemporary romance author Kate Givans drags her broken characters through unimaginable pain and loss before handing them a well-deserved happy ending. When not writing, you can find Kate relaxing with a book, herding up her five children, or listening to music on her iPod. She always has a cup of coffee in hand, and no one will ever convince her that chocolate isn’t a food group. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter, and be sure to join her book club for a free and exclusive copy of Imprisoned (Tortured Soul 0.5).
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