FIGHTING SILENCE: Sports Romance, Friends to lovers.
With two little brothers who depended on me to stay out of foster care, a medical diagnosis sentencing me to gradually go deaf, and my soul mate quickly slipping through my fingers, I was faced with the reality that not all fights could be won.
But that didn’t mean I would give up.
Not on her. Not on them. Not even when the world fell silent.
That was all it took for me to know she was my soul mate.
Five years, countless infertility treatments, and the loss of our only son.
That was what it took for me to lose her.
One phone call, a mix-up at the lab, and a child neither of us knew existed.
That was the hell it took to bring her back to me.
And this time, I wasn’t letting go.
This is the story of how I took back what had always been mine.
The retrieval of my wife and my family.
The night I met Sam Rivers—a gorgeous, tattooed carpenter with a sexy smile and a wicked sense of humor—I was at rock bottom.
I was standing on the top of a bridge that night, trying to find the courage to jump.
I never expected he’d make me fall.
I was forced to let her go, but I never thought I’d be able to move on.
Until seven years later, when I met Jesse Addison.
That shy woman with the musical laugh became the beacon of light I so desperately needed in order to find my way out of the fog.
But what happens when your past collides with your present and the woman you used to love refuses to accept the woman you can’t live without?
I lived in her dreams.
But I was no hero.
For years after the fire, I wore the scars as a constant reminder of the night I’d failed her.
I never expected to see her again. I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to look her in the eye.
So imagine my surprise when I showed up for my first day on the job at the country’s premiere security firm and found out that she was my client.
I almost lost her once, but it wouldn’t happen again.
Rhion Park was the one woman I’d burn the world down to protect.
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He didn’t budge, but my bare feet slipped, sending me toward the ground. Impossibly fast, Till’s hand snaked out and caught my arm. But I didn’t let his chivalrous gesture douse my fire. I had six months’ worth of words to say to the man I was irrevocably in love with.
“You took what you wanted. Then you left me.”
“Doodle,” he whispered.
I had been perilously close to the edge of insanity, and with one single word, he’d pushed me over.
I lost it completely.
Pounding my fists against his chest, I screamed at the top of my lungs, “It’s Eliza! My name is fucking Eliza! Not Doodle!” I spun to march away, but Till’s arms folded around me, lifting me off my feet to restrain me.
I was miniscule compared to him. There was no use in fighting, but I still kicked my legs, irrationally desperate to get away from him—but only because I knew I couldn’t keep him for forever.
“Stop it!” he growled into my ear. “I know your goddamned name—probably better than I know my own.”
While I was wrapped in Till’s strong arms, six months’ worth of tears fell from my eyes. He carried me to my apartment and guided me back through the window before following me inside. Then he stripped out of his blood-soaked shirt before dragging the blankets down and climbing into the bed behind me. I cried for a while in his arms, even turning to face him, only to cry against his chest. I had missed him so much.
I knew I’d loved Till years ago, but this was more. I needed him in order to function on a very basic level. Together, the world didn’t feel so big and overwhelming. He was my escape—the dream personified.
Till Page was comfortable.
His hands trailed up and down my back as he lulled me until the words fought their way out.
“I couldn’t stop going back,” I announced in a broken whisper. “I didn’t know where you had gone. And for the first time since I was thirteen, I was alone inside my own head. God. It was a scary place.” I tried to joke, but the tears streaming down my face told the truth.
“I’m sorry,” he responded on a sigh. “I couldn’t stay.”
“Why?” I whined, but I curled in closer against his chest, needing to feel him more than anything else.
“I don’t know, Doodle,” he lied.
God! It was such a fucking lie. He knew as well as I did. He just didn’t want to tell me.
“Where did you go?” I pressed further.
There was no way I ever could have expected his answer, but that wasn’t because it was a novel thought. No. His answer was surprising because it was the source of my anguish too.
“The real world.” He kissed my forehead.
Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her four young children.
Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and baked feta. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.
She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.