This book is an epic, emotional, raw love story"
between a brother and sister.
Many won"t be able to handle that.
But if I don"t tell their story, who else will"
He"s my everything.
I would die without him.
Because he infects me.
He"s inside my mind.
My thoughts are black and bruised.
Twisted and wrong.
A secret that eats me alive, but one I"ll take to my grave.
And then it happens.
He sees inside me.
Understands the darkness.
Loves what he finds.
Now, he"s sick too.Books by Author:K. Webster Books
Eighteen years old"
"You"re going," Mom snaps, her green eyes flaring with fury. "I won"t hear another word about it."
I clench my jaw and glower back at her. "I"m a grown-ass man, Mom."
Her brown eyebrow arches in challenge. "And I"m still your mother. I will not have you throwing away your future for some girl."
Rylie is quiet from the living room as she texts someone and wisely doesn"t join the debate. At fourteen, my sister likes to throw her opinion around like it matters. It doesn"t fucking matter.
"But Amy and I are going to get married. I love her," I tell Mom, running my fingers through my hair in frustration.
Mom"s gaze softens as she approaches. At thirty-eight, she"s still young and pretty. Big green eyes that match mine exactly. Her lips painted a trendy matte red. "Your dad and I got married when I was just eighteen," she says, her lips quirking up on one side in a half smile as she thinks of my father.
"Exactly," I breathe out. "And you guys love each other. That could be me and Amy."
She lowers her voice. "I want more than that for you, though. More than this." She waves around the aging kitchen of the house she and Dad rent out. "Three months and then you"ll graduate high school. You have a full-ride athletic scholarship to the University of Arkansas. One of the best teams to play college baseball for, Huds. Don"t throw all that away. Amy will still be here when you finish. Then, you can marry her and start your life once you have your college degree under your belt. Don"t you want to have more than this""
By more than this, she means always struggling to make ends meet. She works long hours at the hair salon and Dad kills his back working overtime each week at the machine shop. They"re in debt up to their eyeballs and are trying to raise two kids. One who has psychological needs requiring therapists they can barely afford and the other one who plays high school baseball for the varsity team. We"re expensive and yet they do what they can to provide for us.
Her jade-green eyes are teary and guilt tugs at my insides. All those practices she ran me to over the years. All the baseball equipment and uniforms and trips she and Dad didn"t have the money for but somehow managed to fund. My entire baseball career wouldn"t be possible without Mom and Dad.
"I just love her," I say, trying again, but my argument has weakened.
"But you may not in four years. I want you to experience life a little bit. Then, if Amy and you are still together, I wish you both the best."
Amy is going to be upset. Last night, I spent Valentine"s Day with her and promised her I wouldn"t leave once we graduated. She was so fucking sad. It broke my heart. Which is why I made the promise not to go to college when she begged me to stay.
No matter what I do, someone"s feelings will get hurt.
But Mom is right. Without college, how will I be able to buy Amy a nice house and all the things she"s used to" Unlike our family, Amy comes from wealth. Her dad is a family attorney and her mom owns a boutique in downtown Columbia, Missouri. Where I drive a beat-up pickup that Dad helped me fix up, Amy drives a brand-new Honda Accord. Our love won"t buy us nice things. A college degree will.
"Okay," I concede, hating the word as it tumbles out of my mouth.
She walks over to me and hugs me tight. "Good boy. My good, good boy. You always make the right decision in the end. You have a good head on your shoulders like your father."
I pull away from her and give her a nod. "I need to break the news to Amy."
"Of course." She sends me an encouraging smile. "You"re doing the right thing."
Then why does it feel so wrong"
Three years later"
"Hale!" Coach Brass barks out. "My office. Now."
I groan and my buddy Nick laughs beside me as we dress. The locker rooms stink of a bunch of sweaty fucking guys who just killed it on the field. We"re all a little rusty after a long winter break, but each of us is ready for spring training. This season we"re going to smash Florida State.
"He"s probably going to ride your ass for running like a girl," Nick says and nudges me with his elbow. I nearly drop my phone that has been buzzing nonstop.
"I still killed your time," I tell him with a smirk, pocketing my phone without checking it. Amy knows I have practice today. I don"t get why she"s been blowing up my phone.
"Whatever." He shakes his head. "We still going out tonight" Caitlin at Noggins will hook us up with free shit."