There are those who don’t get luck handed to them on a shiny platter, who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, who don’t get saved.
Luck was not on Callie’s side the day of her twelfth birthday when everything was stolen from her. After it’s all over, she locks up her feelings and vows never to tell anyone what happened. Six years later her painful past consumes her life and most days it’s a struggle just to breathe.
For as long as Kayden can remember, suffering in silence was the only way to survive life. As long as he did what he was told, everything was okay. One night, after making a terrible mistake, it seems like his life might be over. Luck was on his side, though, when Callie coincidentally is in the right place at the right time and saves him.
Now he can’t stop thinking about the girl he saw at school, but never really knew. When he ends up at the same college as Callie, he does everything he can to try to get to know her. But Callie is reserved and closed off. The more he tries to be part of her life, the more he realizes Callie might need to be saved.
(New Adult Contemporary)*Mature Content** Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language.
Hesitantly, I push open the door and poke my head into the dimly lit room. “Hello.”
Kayden walks out from the back room without a shirt on and a towel pressed up to his face. “Hey, did you get the stuff?”
I slip into the room and shut the door the door behind me. I hold out the first aid kit and icepack to him, with my head turned toward the door to avoid looking at him. His bare chest, and the way his jeans ride low on his hips smothers me with uneasiness.
“I don’t bite, Callie.” His tone is light as he takes the kit and pack. “You don’t have to stare at the wall.”
I compel my eyes to look at him and it’s hard not to look at the scars that crisscross along his stomach and chest. The vertical lines that run down his forearms are the most disturbing, thick and jagged as if someone took a razor to his skin. I wish I could run my fingers along each one and erase it away, removing the pain and memories that hold with it. It hurts to look at it and I lift my gaze to his meet eyes.
He quickly lowers the towel to cover himself up and confusion gleams from his good eye. He presses the pack to his swollen and balances the kit down on the edge of the pool table, his fingers quivering as he pulls his hand back, each knuckle is scraped raw to bone. “Can you get the gauze out of that for me. My hand’s a little sore.”
My fingers fumble to open the kit, my fingernail catching on the edge, and it splits open. Blood pools out as I open the lid and I retrieve the gauze. “You might need stiches on that cut below the eye. It looks bad.”
He dabs at the cut with the towel, wincing from the pain. “It’ll be fine. I just need to clean it up and get it covered.”
The steaming hot water runs down my body, scorching my skin with red makes and blisters. I just want to feel clean again. I blink and take the damp towel from him, careful not to let our fingers touch. I examine the open wound, so deep the muscle and tissue is showing.
“You really need stiches,” I tell him. “Or you’re going to have a scar.”
The corners of his lips tug up into a sad smile. “I can handle scars, especially one’s on the outside.”
I understand his meaning from the depths of my heart.
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