I prefer it that way.
I am the daughter of a monster.
Born from blood and lies.
Dead before I have truly lived.
But Elian tells me that I’m different.
He tells me that I’m beautiful.
That I’m an enigma wrapped in irresistibly complicated skin.
Elian says that he loves me.
These words terrify me.
I can’t trust love.
Because I fear the beast inside.
It threatens to drown Elian and his sweet, unconditional love.
It’s a beast that will destroy everything.
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Elian pulled at a loose string at the hem of his T-shirt. He dressed like he hadn’t done laundry in a while. His jeans were stained and his shirt faded and threadbare. His brown work boots were scuffed, the laces untied and trailing in the dirt. He reminded me of a little boy scared and running.
“I’m surprised you’re here,” he commented, shifting my focus from his shoes to his face.
“Why is that?”
“You just don’t seem like a live music kind of girl.” He laughed nervously, as though wishing he could take back his observation.
“You’re right. This isn’t normally my scene at all,” I admitted, leaning into him just slightly.
Elian snapped his fingers together. “I knew it!” As though he had just made a monumental discovery. These were tiny, inconsequential pieces that I gave away without effort. Safe. Painless.
“So why are you here?” he asked, pushing his hair off his forehead. I stared at him for a moment, taking in all the parts of him. His green eyes, the first thing that I really noticed about him. His dark hair that fell in a haphazard disarray across his forehead.
The scars, thin and shiny, crisscrossing along the length of his neck. They were brutal and violent. And when Elian was nervous he rubbed his fingers over the slightly raised skin as though trying to wipe them away. I wondered about the scars. I wondered about his false smile.
I wondered about Elian Beyer and his many, many secrets.
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.