So, tomorrow The Decaying Empire hits shelves, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Seriously, I’m so eager I thought I’d share a final teaser before it’s released! If you haven’t heard of The Vanishing Girl series, I’ve added a link here for you to check out!
“You’re not supposed to be with me,” I murmured.
He brushed my hair out of my eyes, and I got my first real look
at him. Anger and love stared back down at me. “You are the stupidest
girl I’ve ever met,” Caden said, pressing a kiss to my forehead.
The same Caden who should’ve been miles and miles away from
me. “So, so stupid,” he whispered over and over again.
“You’re not supposed to be here,” I said, rubbing my eyes.
His fingers trailed over my arm, featherlight, and I breathed in
the smell of him. “You still don’t get it. I’m in it for the long haul,
angel. That means, first and foremost, not leaving you unconscious
on the side of road.”
Sadness tugged the edges of his eyes down. “I know that part
of this is my doing.” He rubbed a hand over his mouth and looked
away. “Fuck—I get it. I was overbearing, so you felt the need to
keep this a secret. But please, angel, no more secrets.”
My lips pinched together. “Are you ever going to stop being
Caden’s jaw clenched. No. We both recognized the hypocrisy of
what he asked me.
“You really should’ve left with the others. I’m no good to you
like this,” I said. Because the truth of the matter was, I was still broken.
I had been ever since I’d woken up in that hospital room. Planning
an escape had distracted us both from the fact that I carried a
little darkness in me, just like Eric. And my keeping secrets? That
felt like the last anchor to the girl I’d once been—the self-reliant
girl. The one who could run fast and long. The one who knew a
little more about compassion.
Caden froze beneath me. “What did you say?”
Before I could answer, he flipped us over. “Don’t ever fucking
say that again.” Something fierce flashed in his eyes. “You came
back from the dead for me. Do you think that anyone who’s lost
someone would care if their loved one came back to life but with
I opened my mouth.
“They wouldn’t,” Caden answered. “When I saw you scared,
my heart broke. When I saw you angry, I wanted to fight your
demons for you. The first time you snapped at me, I wanted to
rejoice that the fire within you hadn’t been extinguished—but had
it been, I would’ve worked at starting another. You cannot scare me
away, angel. It’s impossible, so get that idiotic, offensive idea out of
My jaw clenched and unclenched as I worked through my emotions.
He gazed down at me. “If we can escape the Project, then we
can sure as hell overcome relationship issues. But I need you to want
to want this. To want us. Can you do that?”
I stared up at him. I blew out a breath and glanced away, feeling
tears gathering at the corners of my eyes. Caden tilted my head
back so that I was forced to look him in the eye. “Of course I can
do that. But do you really want this? Do you really want me, scars
For the first time in a long time, Caden’s face broke out in
a radiant grin, the kind that reached his eyes, crinkling the skin
around them. “I wouldn’t have you any other way.”