Nearly Mended (Nearly #2)
By Devon Ashley
Release: April 7, 2014
New Adult Romantic Suspense / Dark
God help me…Zander isn’t the worst thing out there.
desperately wants to forget what the Malone brothers have done to her over the
past two years – the haunting images and sensations still plaguing her thoughts
and dreams – but she can’t. Charles may be dead, but Zander isn’t. I’ll find you and bring you back to me.
She wants to believe she’s safe with Nick in their secluded new home, but it
doesn’t keep her from looking over her shoulder, jumping over unexpected
sounds, carrying a concealed weapon or even preparing for the worst.
Nick Ellis has seen a
change in his long, lost love. Battered emotionally and physically, Megan
spends her days at self-defense classes and researching things that’ll never
allow her to let go of the past. And he feels guilty even asking her to,
because he knows that heathen will return, it’s only a matter of time. And when
he does, Nick will do anything to save her, even the unthinkable, risking
everything he’s fought so hard to get back.
But there is no
escaping the world of sex trafficking, nor the band of men who continually aid
one another to keep it thriving. And as her nightmares begin to converge with
reality, Megan realizes there are far worse people to fear than the one who
haunts her dreams.
New Adult Romantic
Suspense / Dark Realistic Fiction
Recommended for 17+ for
mature and disturbing situations, language and sexual content.
These pics don’t have copyright issues. They’re widely used on the internet. – Devon Ashley
Nickolas Ellis (author’s choice: I see a young Scott Foley or Stephen Amell)
Nick is a twenty-one year old chef who’s damn good at what he does, already landing a prestigious position at the five star restaurant Kettle Fusion. Now on the run with his girlfriend Megan, he can no longer do what he loves and finds himself miserably working in a cubicle eight-to-four. But he’d do it every day for the rest of his life if it meant keeping his girlfriend of five years safe from the man who has a sick obsession for her.
He’s kind-hearted and patient, and the only person who can keep Megan grounded as she fights her way through a myriad of emotions, including a bout of depression that keeps her secretive even from him. But he lets her free to express whatever she’s feeling, and even though their relationship has suffered, he still sits back and gives her the time she needs to move forward as best she can. He’s the kind of guy who would do anything to protect her for just one more day.
Megan Smith (author’s choice: I see a dolled-down version of Odette Yustman, just as she’s depicted in the photo)
Megan is twenty now, but was only seventeen when her innocence was literally stolen away from her. She’s strong-willed, level-headed and a fighter even when thrown into the worst of circumstances. No matter how many times she’s drowned, she fights her way back up for air. But this time is a little harder for her – no drugs were used to blur out the memories of her last captivity. Nightmares are kicking her ass and depression is rearing its ugly head, and the only way she can keep her head bobbing above water is to constantly prepare for her next abduction – the one Zander promised was coming her way. As the darkness tries to suffocate her even more, she reads books on how to bypass electronic security systems, learns self-defense, and even carries a gun with her at all times. The only light in her life is the time spent with her new friend Maggie, another victim like her, Jesse, the guy training her how to defend herself, and Nick, who always seems to know just how to approach her ever-changing moods, whose relationship with her has been bumpy at best lately. But despite it all, she still finds the courage to move forward, even when her life takes one devastating turn after another.
I led Thea to the first room down the hallway. It was set up with the same furniture Nick had in his guest room in Portland – a dark sleigh bed with matching dresser and bedside table, and gender neutral tones in beige and brown, something I’d always found pleasing to the eye.
“Your bathroom was the first door we passed in the hallway. Sorry it’s not attached.”
“Eh. Neither is the one in my new apartment,” she said glumly. With a smile, she added, “It’s fine, Megan. I’m not quite the pampered princess I was in high school.” As she rolled her luggage into the corner, her head swung my way, mouth partially agape. Realizing her words, she said, “Sorry. You probably don’t even remember what I was like in high school, huh?”
I made an um noise as I thought it out. “Sort of. I get flashes of images and the feelings associated with them. But I know from some of the photo albums Mom gave me that you were a cheerleader.” I twitched my nose and cheekily added, “So I understand the princess remark.”
Hand to hip, she humorously glared at my growing smile. She smacked her lips while deep in thought, and I was pretty sure my sister just playfully referred to me as a bitch inside her head. “Yeah, but I quit after freshman year. Just wasn’t for me. Too much drama from some of the other girls.”
Nick ducked his head in. Looking to me, he said, “Hey. We got take-out for dinner. It’s ready when you guys are.”
“Can you believe he’s a chef who can put together all that hoity-toity food and all I get is Chinese take-out?” Thea teased. “I’m really feeling the brotherly love here.”
“Tomorrow. I promise. Anything you want.”
He disappeared again. Thea cocked her eyebrows. “Anything, huh? I’m gonna have to think on that one.”
I stopped her as she tried to pass me on her way out. “Brotherly love?” I asked curiously. “Do you know something I don’t?”
Her smile began to turn the opposite way. “Oh, no. He hasn’t mentioned anything like that. I was just referring to…” She forced a long breath between closed lips. “It’s just, when you went missing that first time, and most people around us began to believe that you weren’t coming back… We became closer, you know? Because we still needed to talk about you and look for you and not too many people wanted to hear about it. Made them uncomfortable to be around us, so it felt like we were all we had. So now he just kind of feels like a brother to me.” She shrugged lightheartedly, but with a softer voice, she added, “Not because he’s mentioned getting engaged or anything.”
“Yeah, I wouldn’t want to marry me right now either,” I muttered, wrapping my arms around me protectively.
“Megan,” she said soothingly, reaching out to touch the top of my shoulder. “That man would jump the moon for you. And he’s not going anywhere. You don’t need a ring and piece of paper to prove what you two already are.”
I sighed, ready to smack the crap out of myself. I’d never even thought of marriage before now, so I don’t know why that bugged me anyway. But now that it was out there, it kind of did. “I’m sorry. You’re right. I’ve just been really crabby lately.” Depression and all that.
“Ugh, me too. I swear I’ve had PMS for two straight weeks now. I’ve been such a cranky bitch.”
At first I smiled as she laughed at herself. But then I completely froze. My mind went in reverse, full blast. How long had it been? I kept shaking my head as dates went by one by one.
Two weeks since I began self-defense.
Six weeks since Nick started his new job.
Nine weeks since Nick came home from the hospital.
Twelve weeks since I last saw Zander.
Thirteen weeks since Nick got shot.
My head kept twitching. I felt drained and my legs weakened beneath me, and suddenly I was crouching on the floor. “Megan, what is it?” she asked worriedly, both hands taking my shoulders, as if she could steady me even more than the ball I was already curled up in.
“How long has it been?” I whispered.
“It’s not possible.” More twitching. The heels of my palms slammed against my temples, twisting and turning roughly. “Not possible. Can’t be possible. That wouldn’t happen. So wouldn’t happen.”
My mind felt dazed, my body like goo. My lungs screamed for oxygen but I was breathing, wasn’t I?
“Megan, I don’t understand what you’re talking about.” She was crouched down in front of me, but all I saw were her legs as they bent in my downward view.
“It’s been at least three months.”
“Since what?” she asked.
“Since I had my period.”
“Oh, fuck,” she spat.
*About the Author*
Devon Ashley is a mom, a wife, a lover and a
fighter, a coffee addict, a wicked knitster, a Microbiologist, a baker of fine
yummy treats, and someone who will fight you to the death for that last
bag of M&Ms during the zombie-apocalypse. Seriously, her addiction is that
important to her. Oh, and she says
seriously way too much. Seriously…
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