Evangelina Ricci is trapped in a world that’s a never-ending nightmare, a constant ache in which consumes her every breath. Unable to bear the torture any longer, she does the one thing she can to take back control. Run. With her best friend Jace in tow, Evangelina attempts to escape her darkened past by leaving for college and diving head first into an aggressive schedule, determined with everything she is to make a name for herself.
There’s only one problem—she can’t run away from the demons she struggles with. The demons that’ll forever be there, locked inside, battering her soul. Hiding behind a flawless façade, Evangelina faces her ghosts until her world is turned upside down, invaded by…him. Blake Turner. Sweet, witty, flirtatious and drop-dead gorgeous, he finds Evangelina at every turn.
Scared he’ll uncover the truth she keeps so well guarded, Evangelina tries her best to put on her act, deterring him like she has so many times before—only this guy’s different. He’s relentless. Utterly, absolutely and completely relentless. He sees her and he wants her and won’t stop until she’s his. Will Evangelina succeed in pushing Blake away? Or will he break down her walls and be the person to make her realize life is worth living?
Two years earlier
My body stilled. Erratic breaths sputtered through my lips as my eyes darted around for a sign someone was home.
We were alone.
Lounging against the kitchen counter, one foot resting in front of the other, his hands were propped behind him, curling around the edges. With just his eyes, he looked up at me, calm and relaxed as though he was waiting. The corner of his mouth turned up in a cocky grin and he raised a menacing eyebrow. “Hey there, beautiful. I was hoping to catch you here.”
My subconscious spit at his casual tone. That word, beautiful, scampered like a thousand tiny bug legs along my skin. Venom and bile pooled in my mouth as I tried to push past my unresponsive senses. “W-Where’s Abby?”
Cool and assured, the corner of his lip quirked and I fought to contain the sourness it created in my belly. He pushed off the counter and prowled toward me, his eyes never leaving mine. “I wanted her to relax a little so I sent her for an afternoon at the spa. I told her I’d stay here, get some work done and see her when she got back from her day of pampering. But we both know that was just an excuse.”
My legs were numb, forgetting how to work. I wanted to back up. I wanted to run. I wanted to scream…
But no one would hear me.
At the very least, I wanted to say no, but every fiber of my being was failing me. I was at his mercy.
And he knew it.
“I’ve missed you, beautiful. I’ve been waiting patiently for you to walk through that door. My mouth is watering already. I can actually taste you.” Cocking his head to the side, he licked his lips to accentuate his point and my stomach rolled. “Would you like to taste me?”
Please, not again. “No…” His chest met mine, cutting off my choked whisper with a sharp intake of breath.
Reaching up, he slid his thumb into my mouth, his eyes concentrating on my lips. A lone tear trailed down my cheek as I braced for the inevitable.
Numbness, please give me numbness.
His body shivered and that sideways grin was back as he pulled his thumb out of my mouth, lowered his head, and began to kiss me.
Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb…