I’m pumping out a lot of books in this new year. This is one of them. It’s a dystopian romance set a few years out. Again, Winter Bayne has performed her magic. She could have no more crawled into my head and stole my vision for the cover. Thank you, Winter. You’re the greatest.
Here’s a short clip from the book:
Emilie sauntered to the sofa and plopped onto the spot beside me.
“No date tonight?” I stumbled over words. It had been so long since we’d spoken.
“Nope. No date.” Her eyes squinted into a thoughtful pinch. “I’ve been avoiding this subject for a long time. I don’t know why. I guess I’ve just become cold. There’s not a lot in my life that is consistent. I guess it’s made me a little distant.”
“A little?” I would have laughed if I hadn’t thought it would send her back to her room angry.
“Okay, a lot. It comforts me to know that you are always where I am and that I don’t ever have to worry about someone hurting me…but I was just wondering. Why don’t you leave my side? For all this time, there’s been nothing in your life but me. Why don’t you do anything else?”
I wasn’t sure how to answer that.
Emilie’s parents had wanted to be present for this explanation. They had gone on a month-long trip to Taiwan for business. As usual. I couldn’t remember a stretch they’d been home for more than three days since Emilie had hit these most confusing years.
“Don’t you have a family?”
“There are some things about me you can’t know.” I stared straight ahead at the screen.
The black and white flashes of the television illuminated Emilie’s face.
I’d chosen a classic movie channel in hopes of gaining insight on how to deal with Emilie. The modern channels had people who looked like her, but she wasn’t like the modern teens anymore. She’d gone above and beyond.
And at this point, I was ready to give up trying to figure her out.
“Why don’t you date? I know you have a stack of numbers in your room that is beyond ridiculous.” She glanced sideways at me after seeing the movie onscreen. She smiled and shook her head.
“Did you get tired of black? And where are all those God-awful piercings?” I asked dodging the question. Heat filled my cheeks. I had forgotten that she knew about my box.
“You have never called one of them have you?”
“No.” My jaw worked.
“I don’t need them.”
“Everybody needs somebody.”
“I have you. You’re all I need,” I told her. I searched for the remote. Where had I put it? It had been right under the cream-colored pillow. I flipped up the brown one. Nope.
“You have me, but I don’t have you,” she breathed. I wouldn’t have heard her whisper had I been a normal human. But I wasn’t.
Taking my focus off the discovery of the remote, I found a sparkling tear on her cheek.
I didn’t understand. As usual.
“I’m not going anywhere. I’m here for the rest of your life. You do have me.” An uncontrollable urge to take her hand shuddered through me, but I had learned over the last few years that you didn’t touch a woman when you didn’t understand what was going on with them. They did crazy stuff when you did.
“If I had you, we wouldn’t be on this sofa right now…five feet apart.” She stared at the empty space between us.