I’m not supposed to be here.
Death has come for me more than once, and each time it’s been a boy who’s stood between me and my final breath.
I called him Christopher when he saved me as a child. When he came into my life again, only months ago, I knew him as Wes. Just as he did the time before, he disappeared the moment he made sure I was out of harm’s way; as if I didn’t need any more saving.
This time, though, death left me with a reminder of how powerful it is. I know it meant to strip me of my spirit again, but it failed.
Even so, I know I need Wes to survive. Our souls are woven together somehow, our every breath in sync. I feel it, even though everyone says I shouldn’t.
The world thinks he’s missing.
His loved ones don’t want to believe he’s dead.
Only I know just how special he is.
I’m going to find him and bring him home, where he belongs. Together, we’ll face impossible—we’ll rewrite our ending.
And when the bad guys come calling, we will always win.
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“It’s creepy as shit in here. I think I was better off in that sewing room on the floor,” he says, scooting backward and propping himself up on his elbow. I lie down next to him in the same position, and he reaches up and tucks my hair behind my ear then lightly pinches my chin as he smiles at me.
“I don’t know what I was thinking with any of this,” I say, blinking once, my mouth a hard line to match my hardening heart.
Kyle squints at me, then rolls to his stomach folding his hands under his cheek resting his head sideways as he studies me.
“You were thinking that you’d just do this all yourself,” he says.
I roll my eyes and puff out a breath.
“Do what myself?”
Kyle’s body rises with his deep breath, and the smile fades from his eyes and mouth.
“Nobody’s really looking for him. They’ve all given up. But not you.” Kyle reaches toward me again, giving my chin the same pinch as before. He leaves his hand there and stares at me through dozens of breaths. “I believe you.”
I suck in my lip at those simple words. I’d told Kyle everything I could remember, about how Wes caught the rock, about how strong he was, how he never had more than a scratch or two, and how I got the mysterious texts. It sounded insane as I spoke the words to him, and he never responded out loud. He just listened.
And he drove. He drove me here.
“You think he’s alive?” My lips quake when I speak, and my eyes pool, so I smoosh my face against the cool sheets to hold it together.
Kyle brushes my tangled hair away from my face again, this time cupping my cheek.
“I do,” he says. “And we’re going to find him.”
I reach my hand up to cover his and whisper “Thank you.”
They say everyone’s a superhero to someone. I’m not sure who I’m supposed to save, but I know who saved me.
We were kids. His name was Christopher. And up until the day he pulled me from death’s grip, he was nothing more than a boy I felt sorry for. In a blink of an eye, he became the only person who made me feel safe.
And then he disappeared.
Now I’m seventeen. I’m not a kid anymore. I haven’t been for years. While death didn’t take me that day, the things that happened left me with scars—the kind that robbed me of everything I once loved and drove me into darkness. But more than anything else, that day—and every day since—has taken away my desire to dream.
I wasn’t going to have hope. I wouldn’t let myself wish. Those things—they weren’t for girls like me. That’s what I believed…until the new boy.
He’s nothing like the old boy. He’s taller and older. His hair is longer, and his body is lean—strong and ready for anything. I don’t feel sorry for him. And sometimes, I hate him. He challenges me. From the moment I first saw him standing there on the baseball field, he pushed me—his eyes constantly questioning, doubting…daring. Still, something about him—it feels…familiar.
He says his name is Wes. But I can’t help but feel like he’s someone else. Someone from my past. Someone who’s come back to save me.
This time, though, he’s too late. Josselyn Winters, the girl he once knew, is gone. I am the threat; I am my worst enemy. And he can’t save me from myself.
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Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.
A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.
When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).