Title: Love in Darkness (Shattered Castles, #2)
Author: E.M. Tippetts
Release date: May 21, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Event organized by: AToMR Tours
Alex had everything when he was with Madison. But the darkness within him wouldn't go away. After two years apart, he returns to Pelican Bluffs and to the girl he never wanted to leave.
Madison wants to give their love another chance, but Alex can't fight fate. He is what he is. Ruined. Crazy like his mother. And Madison deserves so much more. When his secrets spill out into their small town, Alex has a choice to make. Hide away in the darkness forever, or let love in.
I push through the glass doors and step out onto the asphalt of the parking lot, right into Madison. I put my hands up to shield myself and she does an awkward sidestep to avoid collision.
For a moment we just stare at each other and I lower my hands slowly, unsure of what to say.
“Sorry,” is what she says. Those pale eyes of hers stay fixed on my face. Her hair’s still a little damp from the shower and the smell of her herbal shampoo perfumes the air. Those lips of hers are a soft pink and shine from a fresh application of lip gloss, and she scowls a little, like she always does when unhappy.
“No,” I say, “my fault. I didn’t look.”
She bites her lip.
Standing this close, she’s irresistible. I want, so badly, to put my arms around her. What’s worse is that encounters like this will happen, and keep happening as long as we both live in town.
She drops her gaze to the pavement.
Yeah, this isn’t working. “Can we talk?” I ask.
A wordless nod is her only reply and we turn and walk back towards her subdivision.
I touch her arm to make her look up at me, then regret it. Even just a touch sends electricity up my arm. “I’m sorry, okay? For ending things the way I did.”
“You sure there’s no chance for us?”
“How can you just throw away the last three years? I mean, that’s it? You’re not interested, end of story? I’ve waited two years for you, and it’s like you don’t even care.” At least she’s angry and not sad.
This is torture. My body aches, physically, for the feel of her. I want to taste those lips and run my fingers through her hair and feel the cool dampness of each strand. I want to take her home and see if I remember how to kiss her neck so gently that she tips her head back, eyes closed, surrendering to my touch.
Alex, I think, quit it. Not appropriate. I stop and turn.
She locks her gaze with mine. “I want to be with you. There’s no one else I’ve ever felt this way about.”
It feels natural to step in for a hug, but I stop myself and clench my fists instead. “I’m an unemployed high school dropout with a psychotic disorder. You can do better. In fact, it’d be hard for you to do worse.”
“I never wanted to lose you, but there’s nothing I can really do about that. You’re out of my league.”
“We could try to work things out,” she pleads.
“All the trying in the world won’t change my condition.” And with that, I hit the limits of my control. I’m being gazed at by the love of my life and I need to get out of here. Worse, I sense the voices jabbering away on their plane of existence, and I have to remind myself, they don’t have any plane of existence. They don’t exist. Here I go again, though. I wonder how long I have until my next breakdown.
Like I said, I always knew I wasn’t the greatest guy, but walking away from Madison feels like a new low for me. I try to hold onto the thought that I’m doing this for her.
Anger rushes in my ears like a windstorm. Any second I expect to hear her run after me and feel her hand on my wrist or shoulder, but that never comes. I make it to the corner of Main Street and Ridge Road, and when I look, no one is behind me, which makes me even angrier, even though I know that’s not fair.
About the Author
Emily Mah Tippetts writes romance under the name E.M. Tippetts and science fiction and fantasy under the name Emily Mah. Originally from New Mexico, she now lives in London with her family. Before she was a published author, she was an attorney who specialized in real estate, contracts, and estate planning, especially literary estate planning.
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