The lines we once crossed so easily have widened and torn us apart…
Once upon a time I thought Finn and I would live happily ever after, but real life doesn't always have a happy ending. He's testing my trust, and I'm losing faith in the man I thought I'd spend the rest of my life with, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. He’s the one I trusted to keep me safe, but now he’s the source of my greatest pain…
Forgiveness is fragile, and some fractures never fully heal...
One mistake—a slip in a moment of weakness—might cost me everything I've worked so hard for. The thing about trust is that it's a lot easier to lose than it is to build. Just as I'm about to give up and surrender to the demons from my past, an unexpected threat reminds me what I'm best at: protecting the woman I love. Whether or not she wants me, I will fight for Carrie and our daughter, and I will keep them safe—no matter the cost.
Even if I have to put my life and my heart on the line.
She nodded. “I love you. I love you so much,” she whispered, kissing me again.
And just like that, the guilt hit me. I’d promised to go to a therapist when I had no intention of following through with that promise. I was lying to her again.
What the fuck was wrong with me?
I pulled back, letting out a shattered breath. “Shit.”
“What?” She looked up at me, her eyes wide. “What’s wrong?”
“We, uh, we need to slow down.” I rested my forehead on hers. “I don’t want to rush this.” Don’t want to hurt you again. I let go of her, even though it physically hurt to do so, letting out a ragged breath. “We said a lot tonight. Did a lot. Maybe it’s time to take a step back.”
She nodded. “Of course. You’re right.”
“See? I paid attention at all those sessions eight years ago.” I tugged on my hair, staring back at her. “I know when I need to pull back. When I need to stop. I don’t need to go back for her to tell me the same stuff. I’m fine.”
“You might think that’s true,” she said, her eyes locked on mine. “And you’re saying all the right things, but now I can’t believe them.”
“Because I lied to you,” I said lifelessly. It always came back to lies I’d told. All the fucking lies. “Again.”
She nodded once, pressing a hand to her heart. “I understand you’re suffering, and I know it hurts, but you know how important honesty is to me, and yet you lied anyway. No matter your reasons, that hurts. It hurts a lot. And the fact that you refuse to admit you could benefit from help...that hurts, too.”
“I’m sorry.” I tried to keep my voice as even as I could manage under the circumstances. Taking a step closer, I pulled her into my arms and hugged her. She let me. I rested my cheek on top of her head, sucking in a deep breath. Her red curls smelled delicious. They smelled like home. “I want to get better. I do.”
And I did. We just disagreed on what I needed to get better.
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Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy New Adult books. Under her pen name Diane Alberts, she is a multi-published, bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, released September 6 2013, and hit the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and a cat. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/DianeAlberts6