by Lexi Scott
Sometimes it’s easier to run…
Ripped apart by guilt and grief, nineteen-year-old Whit Conrad grabs her stuff and runs from her super-conservative home and family in Pennsylvania and hauls ass for sunny California. All she wants is escape. Now she has a craptastic apartment, a job at a tattoo parlour, and even a friend-who’s-mostly-benefits. Then she meets a sexy, inked, surfer-dude who has the potential of capsizing everything…
Deo Beckett is adrift. Underemployed and over-boozing, Deo knows he should be doing something more with his life. Being something more. All it takes is a pin-up hottie with a smart mouth—and a bruised soul—to force Deo to start looking below the surface. To wonder if there’s more to life than being a beach bum. Now he’s falling for Whit…and hard.
But Whit ran from home for a reason, and she’ll go to any lengths to keep Deo from learning the truth…
*previously released under Lengths in 2012
I rip my hoodie off and point to the words on my ribs. Her words. “This is part of me now. You know how many times this goes through my head? But, you know what? I don’t know if I should have gotten it.” I’m half-disappointed, because the look of naked lust that slackened her features when I ripped my shirt off suddenly disappears and is replaced by guilt. “I should have tweaked it, because I knew what I wanted it to say that day. I wanted it to say, You’re a part of me now.”
She puts her ice-cold fingers on my skin, and my teeth chatter. “Deo—”
“Don’t.” I grab her fingers and squeeze them. “If there’s someone else, tell me. If this is some kind of symbolic thing because you’re moving on, tell me. What you and I had was the most intense thing I’ve ever felt, but if it’s over for you, just kick me hard enough so I’ll remember the pain and stay out of your way.” The hope that had picked up a few minutes before crashes down with a weight that buckles me. She’ll tell me, it will be closure, and I’ll do my thing and try to fill the hollow I know she’ll leave behind with something else. Probably a lot of Everclear and karaoke.
All jokes aside, I feel like she really did kick me. In the junk and the kidneys. Like a heartbreak ninja. Fuck my life.
Lexi Scott is the combined forces of authors and best friends, Liz Reinhardt and Steph Campbell. Together, they write new adult and contemporary romance featuring strong, smart, feisty women and the swoon worthy, good guys who love them. The grew up on opposite coasts‐ one on the east, one of them on the west, but somehow, both ended up married and raising their families in the Southern U.S. They love traveling, good food, wine and hoarding books.