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She was beautiful. Living in a nightmare. Surrounded by disaster. Setting herself up for destruction …
Allie James knew what she was doing. She was surviving. She was sacrificing. She was barely living. She knew what she wanted out of life, what she needed, what she deserved. She deserved love, happiness, respect, security, stability, peace, freedom, and hope. She knew that she deserved a future that wasn’t riddled with alcohol, drugs, cheap sex, criminals, lies, chaos, abuse, and heartbreak. She had plans. She just needed to survive, and eventually she would get what she wanted – she would get her normal.
And then her plans changed. She met him. And she wanted everything with him. Now. She let herself give into her need, her fantasies, she let herself hope and believe. She wanted Aiden Masters. She saw a future with him. But Aiden Masters didn’t want her. He crushed her. He broke her. He destroyed the little pieces of her that were barely holding her together in the first place. He found her lacking, less than, tainted, unworthy. He pushed her away. He ruined her self-confidence. He broke her heart. He hated her. Or so she thought.
It’s not what I wanted from her. It’s what I wanted for her. And the differences between those two words were enough to keep me away from her. It was enough for me to destroy her, and myself. I knew what she needed. More than she knew what she wanted. I changed everything between us, for us, over and over. And my ultimate change might just end up being the worst of all …
Aiden Masters wanted one thing in his life – normal. He had too much of everything else. Betrayal, lies, heartbreak. Broken bones, shattered dreams, fear, and pain. He’s living a nightmare that won’t go away, but he’s pulled himself out of a life of abuse and torture and made something of himself anyway. He’s a provider, a protector, a fighter, and now more than anything he just wants his own happily-ever-after. He knows what he’s looking for, and it’s not Allie James. It shouldn’t be her. But it is. She’s everything he’s not looking for – she’s a reminder of a past he wants to keep buried, a past he clawed his way out of, a past he sacrificed for, a past he nearly died for, a past he bent, broke, and bled for. He’s moved on. And yet he hasn’t. Because he wants Allie and he knows what that means for her and for him. He’s tried distancing himself, he’s tried being mean, he’s tried pushing her away, he’s crushed her, but it’s still there between them. The burning. The fire. The want. The need. The passion. The connection. The love.
He needed her to stay away, he knew he couldn’t be the one for her, but he also wanted her to have a voice. He wanted her to have everything in life she’s ever wanted. She’d taken every bad thing and asked for nothing good in return. All she got was the bad, the horrible, the unmentionable. Same as him. He didn’t want her hurt and silenced again, but he wasn’t the option for her no matter what they both felt. Because he knew things were about to get ugly again. Things were about to get evil. Things were definitely going to go wrong. But he saw her with someone else. Someone who wasn’t him. And things changed. And they kept on changing. All his plans? Gone. All his thoughts of what was best? Destroyed. Aiden changed. And because of it so did Allie. But all changes weren’t good. Especially when their pasts, their presents, their individual futures, collide.
When they start out with so much against them, at times even themselves, will the very last change end up being beautiful? Or will that change be catastrophic, deadly, an end-all for everyone and everything?