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Luke Price's life has always been about order, control, and acting tough on the outside. For Luke, meaningless relationships are a distraction-a way to tune out the twisted memories of his childhood. He desperately wishes he could forget his past, but it haunts him no matter what he does.
Violet Hayes has had a rough life. When she was young, she was left with no family and the memory of her parents' unsolved murders. She grew up in foster homes, living with irresponsible parents, drugs, and neglect, and trying to fight the painful memories of the night her parents were taken from her. But it's hard to forget when she never got closure-and she can't stop dreaming about what happened that tragic night. To make it through life, she keeps her distance from everyone and never allows herself to feel anything.
Then Violet meets Luke. The two clash instantly, yet they can't seem to stay away from each other. Although they fight it, they both start to open up and feel things they've never felt before. They discover just how similar they are. But they also discover something else: The past always catches up with you . . .
For a brief second, I seriously contemplate pushing the emergency button and stopping the elevator, so I can push her back against the wall and kiss her fiercely before pulling away and leaving her. Regain a little of my control and power over the situation.
But as the elevator continues up and my arms stay at my side, I realize that I can’t go through with it and honestly I have no idea why. She’s messing with my head and I don’t know what else to do besides stare at my reflection in the shiny steel doors for the rest of the elevator ride. When the doors open, I let out a breath of relief, glad we’re coming to the end of this strange, silent journey. As we approach Violet’s dorm room toward the end of the hall, I spot Kayden and Callie standing in front of the door. They’re smiling as they talk to each other and they make it look so easy, so natural, like it’s as simple as breathing. But even breathing is difficult for me sometimes.
Callie says something and Kayden laughs, but when he sees me walking up the hallway with Violet his expression fills with inquisitiveness.
“What’s up?” he asks as we walk up to them. He glances from Violet to me, then his eyebrows arch, his eyes widening a little.
Callie steps out of the way as Violet moves out of my arm and drags her foot as she moves up to the door. “Are you okay?” Callie asks, looking down at Violet’s ankle.
“Yeah,” Violet answers with indifference as she punches in the code to their room with her finger. The lock beeps and she shoves the door open, tossing her book aside as she starts to shut the door behind her. I’m about to call our stubborn challenge a tie, when she pauses with the door still open a crack, her eyes sparkling with life for the very first time, and says, “Thanks, Mr. Stoically Aloof.”
“You’re welcome, Violet with no last name,” I tell her and then she shuts the door.
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The genius behind this work: Jessica Sorensen
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.
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