I can’t believe it; how you wormed your way into my heart, the few moments we spend together last summer on the island. We met there, this beautiful place, surrounded by the bluest of seas, where the palm trees whisper of love and forever, of happily ever after.
You don’t believe in that stuff, I know. In truth, I guess you think you aren’t worthy of love. The one night stands or the flirtatious encounters with all those girls? Those you can handle. I think you’re afraid. With great love comes great loss, you already experienced that far to many times in your life.
Yes, You’ve done some amazingly stupid things. I mean, seriously? The Magic Mike’ing? The racing? The fighting? That’s one nasty crowd you got yourself mixed up in. I hope that eventually you see that you are better then that BS. That you are worthy, because, honey, you deserve so much more.
Don’t believe the things your dad said to you when you were little. He was grieving too, in his own way. I’m not trying to make up for his behavior, no one has the right to plant such notions into a kid’s head. And it hurt you, but again, you are so much stronger then you give yourself credit for.
I’m glad Liv turned up in your life. She sees right through your BS and isn’t afraid to call you out on it. You don’t know how she weaseled your way in your heart so soon, so fast? Yeah… About that… I think it’s time you had that conversation with Liv. That’s going to explain a lot.
And yes, I’m sure you’re going to be angry, grabbing that little white lie and turning it into the reason to keep her away… To shut her out…
Please, just take a minute and think. Step on the breaks and see the bigger picture. You don’t have to go fast forward all of your life. In this minute, in this second lies your forever. Just give yourself the change to find out who you really are.
Under a burning sun more than a thousand miles from home, Lynn Stevens is trying to get her life back on track and leave memories of that one fateful night behind. She meets Dan, a young man with strangely erratic behavior and smoldering brown eyes, who is on an involuntary vacation with his parents. In him, she sees her own struggle reflected every time she is starting to get too close.
Dan doesn’t like being touched. But when he sets out to uncover Lynn’s secret, it means he’ll have to tell her some secrets of his own.
Dan. The heat overpowered him. In his memory, it had never been this sickeningly hot. The fabric of his shirt stuck to his back and Dan fought the impulse to roll up his sleeves. Or to pull the shirt over his head and get rid of it. Not an option.
The skin on his right shoulder felt itchy. If this damn bus trip was going to take much longer, he swore he was going to pull the handbrake, stop the bus himself, and get off this vehicle. Getting off in the middle of nowhere had to be a thousand times better than sitting in this sweat lodge on wheels for one second longer.
“Is the AC dead? You been messing with it again, huh? Dan reached out to adjust the controls above his seat, only causing the vent hole to cough up a sputtering wave of lukewarm air.
His little brother sitting next to him looked sideways. “I didn’t touch anything. You were the one fussing with it.” He extended his hand to adjust the air vent above his own head. He extended his hand to adjust the air vent above his own head. “Mine isn’t working either.” He shrugged. “Well, we can’t be far off. Are we there yet?
Dan groaned at the expression. If Jason went all Donkey-in-Shrek-movie on him, he’d personally grab the wheel and … He looked aside, straight into his mother’s disapproving eyes.
“Please, Daniel.” The exhaustion in her voice was evident in the way she used his full name. It was visible in the lines on her face, in the way her green eyes lucky Dad hadn’t heard him. From the looks of it, his father was fast asleep, his head resting against the bus window and his ears oblivious to the continuous twang of the music that the bus driver had picked to play over the sound system. The bus made a sharp turn and he could only barely stop himself from shifting sideways against Jason. Dan cast a look outside and saw they’d entered the circular driveway of the hotel. The driver hit the brakes abruptly and Jason slammed into the seat in front of him, still clutching his tablet.
“We’re here,” Dan remarked dryly.
“You don’t say,” Jason grinned.
The driver was blessed with the most monstrously big mustache that Dan had ever seen. The thing seemed to have a life of its own and it was the first thing he’d noticed when the man had been there to pick them up from the airport. Jason seemed to nurture the same fascination with the man’s hairy mass. Dan mockingly put one finger under his nose, imitating a certain German World War Two leader with a similar mustache. Jason responded in like, pressing two fingers against his upper lip and saluting his brother with the tablet against his temple.
“Knock it off! You’re both behaving like three-year-olds,” their mother hissed in dismay.
Dan dropped his arm and put his hands in his pockets. He quickly followed Jason to the hotel lobby, where he dutifully lined up next to his younger brother to listen to a male hotel employee welcoming them with a fake smile plastered on his face. The guy bore a striking resemblance to a Ken doll. The way he was standing just a bit too close to the girl accompanying him made Dan suspect this life-size Ken had a lot more going on between his legs than Barbie’s plastic, male companion, though. The girl shot him a look, a frown burrowing between her eyebrows when her eyes traveled down his long sleeves. Her blue irises were clearly asking him something. He averted his gaze, because the familiar sense of embarrassment made him feel even hotter than he already was.
Lynn. He heard her when she said her name. She had a beautiful voice, an edge of vulnerability coloring her words as she wished the guests, him included, a pleasant stay.
Dan sighed and walked over to get his backpack, which the driver had put in the lobby together with the other suitcases. The sooner he could get to his hotel room, the faster he could rinse off the sweat and his mounting irritation under a nice, cold shower.
Meet Lis Lucassen:
Lis Lucassen writes dark romance and new adult. In daily life, she works as a journalist and communications specialist. Her story ‘Tree of Kings’ won first prize in the Dark Romance writing contest organised by Storm Publishers in 2014. Her dystopian novella ‘The Tribunal’ came in third in Storm Publishers’ Dystopia writing contest and is included in the novella collection named ‘Defiant’, published by Storm Publishers in 2015.
Lis is a dreamer and a romantic soul. As long as she can remember she has been fantasising about True Love and quiet heartbreak. Her own True Love crossed her path during her time at university, and he swept her off her feet and gave Lis her very own ‘happily ever after’.
Whenever Lis isn’t writing her own stories, she reads other people’s books. She feels inspired by authors such as J Lynn, Jessica Sorensen, and Lisette Jonkman (a Dutch author of romance books). Lis lives close to the German border with her fiance, two beautiful daughters, and two evil cats.
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