I was sixteen when he came to our house. Landon Jones, a boy with nothing, from nowhere. He had cinnamon hair and blue eyes—light blue, just like mine. When we went out as a family with my foster brother, people asked if Landon was my twin. He wasn’t. That year, we found out how much he wasn’t. When my parents caught us, they threw Landon out like trash.
Now I’m twenty-nine, a soon-to-be surgeon, like my mom and dad. I know residency is going to kick my ass, but I had no idea that it would rip my heart out, too. Not until I see him—Dr. Jones.
A standalone that is part of the Off-Limits Romance collection.
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Ella James is the USA Today bestselling author of sixteen teen and adult love stories. She's an angst-a-holic who loves exploring difficult situations and the emotions of the people caught up in them. Also, smut. But always, always romance.
Ella's obsessions include vanilla cream soda, hiking, other weird, crunchy things like rock collecting, and the antics of her three little monsters.
To find out more about her projects, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ellajamesbooks, tweet her at author_ellaj or follow her on Instagram (authorellajames).
Interested in the foreign rights for one of Ella’s books? Contact her agent, Rebecca Friedman, at email@example.com.
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Dear A. –
I am writing to express my gratitude for your gift. There are no sufficient words, but please accept my sincerest thank you.
She writes me back.
I didn’t expect that.
She tells me she’s a lover of chicken pizza and video games, a hot sorority girl with the nickname Sloth. She wants to know something about me in return. She says I owe her.
This is how she saves my life. She doesn’t even know it. We’ve never even seen each other. But I need a reason. Just one reason to continue. She becomes mine.
The anonymity is good. She doesn’t need to know me, but I need her kindness. We both live our lives: a letter here, a post card there. For three years, I escape my demons. And then one day I’m pulled back in.
I’ve resigned myself to what I know is coming. Until the girl I’m spanking gives her safe word: Sloth.
And then the lie I’m living starts to unravel.
I whirl around, because I need to go now. Need to run.
He grabs my arms, snatching me around to face him, holding me in front of him. Holding me still as he tries to tell me things I never want to hear.
"Stop it! Shut up! Shut up, Kellan! Fuck you!" He pulls me closer, and I slap his face.
The sound echoes through the foyer. His smooth, tanned check stains brilliant crimson.
He doesn't move a muscle. Doesn't even blink as I look at him for what I know will be the last time.
I'm sorry. His lips move silently. I don't care. I can't. His secrets ruined my life. He ruined my life!
If I live to be hundred, my heart will never be the same.