Bully and victim.
Tormenter and tormented.
Villain and hero.
Ellie McCallum was a bully. No connection to anyone or anything. A sad and lonely existence for a young woman who had come to expect nothing more for herself. Her only happiness coming from making others miserable.
Particularly Freaky Flynn.
Flynn Hendrick lived a life completely disconnected even as he struggled to become something more than that boy with Asperger's. He was taunted and teased, bearing the brunt of systematic and calculated cruelty, ultimately culminating in a catastrophic turn of events that brought Ellie and Flynn’s worlds crashing down.
But then Flynn and Ellie grew up.
And moved on.
Until years later when their paths unexpectedly cross again and the bully and the freak are face to face once more.
When labels come to define you, finding yourself feels impossible. Particularly for two people disconnected from the world who inexplicably find a connection in each other.
And out of the wreckage of their tragic beginnings, an unlikely love story unfolds.
But a painful past doesn’t always want to let go. And old wounds are never truly healed…and sometimes the further you try to run from yourself the closer you come to who you really are.
I had been right. What we shared was so much more than sex.
It was an intimacy that came from baring your heart to someone you knew would take care of it.
And he looked at me. Really looked at me. He didn't hide his face. Our eyes connected and clung to each other just as our bodies clenched together tightly. There was no disappearing. There was no denying what this was.
It was love.
Pure and simple and completely complicated love.
The need to tell him burned my throat; my eyes glassing over with unshed tears as he pressed into me.
But I kept silent. Because words weren't necessary. The truth was in the way we touched. The way we moved. The way our eyes never looked anywhere but at each other.
Speaking out loud would only encumber the honesty that couldn't be communicated with words.
"Flynn..." I said on a sigh, handing him my soul on the breath of his name. he rested his limps in the hollow of my throat, his hands gripping me tightly; sweat drying on our skin as we came back to earth.
I loved him.
I had never loved anyone before but now I loved with my whole being.
It split me open.
My guts spilled out on the floor at Flynn's feet.
He owned me. Completely.
There was no coming back from this.
Flynn had reclaimed me.
"I like being with you. I missed you," Flynn said, surprising me. Of all things for him to say, I had not expected that. It was such an innocent thing but it held so much weight.
He missed me.
After everything I had done to him.
He missed me.
I couldn't respond. I had nothing to say to that. I couldn't reciprocate because I hadn't missed him. I had spent most of the last six years despising him. Blaming him for things that weren't his fault. It had been easier to hate him than to hate myself.
"You stopped talking to me. After my birthday. You never called me again. Mom said to leave you alone. That you weren't my friend. But you were my friend. Because you told me I was and I believed you." His eyes were bright and even though he wouldn't look directly at me, I knew his eyes were wet..
I should tell him the truth. I should shatter his illusions of me before they could grow into something more dangerous.
His mother hadn't told him what I had done. She had saved him from that particular pain. I didn't know whether to be thankful or upset that sh e had done that. Because now here were, six years later, on the cusp of something not yet realized and i struggled.
I wanted to tell him. But I wanted to lie as well. I liked the way he looked at me. To Flynn Hendrick, Ellie McCallum was important. She was wanted. If i told him the truth about that night, I was sure that would all change.
Chasing The Tide is the sequel releasing on Dec 16:
***The powerful continuation of the story that began in Reclaiming the Sand- a tale of love and forgiveness and learning to move on from a past that has come to define you.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.
A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.
When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.
A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.