Gabrielle Wells was everything Danny Anderson shouldn’t want. She was his opposite in every way, but he couldn’t keep his distance, and fate seemed to push them together at every turn. She consumed him, and the more he learned about her, the more he realized she was exactly what he didn’t know he needed. But then past mistakes forced him to walk away and never look back, breaking Gabrielle’s heart in the process.
Fast forward six years, and it seems as if fate is intervening again. Danny, now a best-selling rap artist, returns to his hometown, and is reunited with the only girl he’s ever loved.
Gabrielle isn’t the girl he left behind, though, and Danny realizes life has thrown her quite a few curves. But he will stop at nothing to get her back, refusing to let his true desires—love and family—continue to elude him. However, when Danny’s past crashes into his present, threatening everyone he loves and everything he’s fought for, he must decide if his promise to Gabrielle of “always” is worth the risk.
WARNING: Scenes of violence and attempted rape.
“It’s nice here,” I murmured, enjoying the calming influence of the water as it lapped against the rugged shoreline, the sound occasionally breaking through the silence around us.
He nodded as he stared straight ahead. Even in the darkness, I recognized the edge in his eyes. “I’ve never brought anyone here.”
I sat up in wonder, reading between the lines. He was a guarded person, and for him to let someone else into his private world showed trust. The dynamics between us were changing at warp speed, and while this excited me, tiny vines of anxiety crept in, threatening to crack the fragile hold on my level-headedness.
“Thank you.” My words were simple, but I hoped they conveyed the enormity of my feelings.
He shook his head as he turned away. I thought I’d said something wrong, but then he chuckled. “What?” I asked.
“That’s why you’re dope, G. You fucking get me. No one else would ever understand the importance of this place for me.”
I scooted back, putting some space between us. “Can I ask you something?”
“Why do you trust me? You don’t know me.”
Danny’s eyes traveled over my face before they came back to mine. “Why do you trust me?”
I frowned as I struggled to put into words what I’d innately understood from the second I’d laid eyes on him. Everything felt right with him. How I knew, however, I couldn’t explain.
He waited for me to answer and when I could not find the words, he smiled. “I feel the same way.”
“I don’t understand…how….”
“Maybe we’re not supposed to.” His shoulders hitched up. “Maybe we’re just supposed to believe in it.”
“But you didn’t want to. You said so yourself, opposites and all that.”
He sat back, considering me, before rising and walking a few steps away. Standing with his back to me, he stood straight, the lines of his body tense, as he worked his way over something in his head.
His shoulders dropped and he returned, sitting next to me as he grabbed my hands with his. “You’re right. I didn’t want to believe it.” He stopped and shook his head. “No, it’s not even that. I resisted because I knew if I gave in, it would be the end of the game for me.”
“What do you mean?”
“You could destroy me, Gabrielle. Easily.” Seeing my confusion, he pressed on. “I know I walk around like I don’t give a shit, like I got a fucking boulder on my shoulder and that nothing fazes me, but you’ve somehow gotten past all that. Now I’m open to you. Exposed. I knew once we started, there was no turning back. Ever.”