Never Tear Us Apart


Bantam
January 5, 2016
Series:
Crazy how eight years can disappear in an instant. One look at Katie Watts, and I’m a fifteen-year-old again—the one who risked everything to save a terrified girl from her twisted kidnapper. She’s grown-up now—beautiful, quiet, composed—and telling her story to the world. A story that involves me in more ways than you can imagine. She used to call me her guardian angel. Sure, I risked my life, but she was worth dying for. I need to make contact with her. Just to ensure that she’s safe. Somehow we reconnect. We become friends . . . but I want more. I want to make her mine. And she wants me too. Does she know who I am? Has she figured me out? Not yet. But she will. In the meantime, I need to make sure that whatever hold that animal had on her is gone. So, yeah, I’m stealing these moments with her. Savoring them. Knowing, dreading, that she’ll soon find out who I really am. And everything will fall apart. All because of that twisted, perverted monster sitting on death row. Her kidnapper. A convicted serial killer. My father.
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Reviews

"All the best parts of romance and betrayal...I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.”
~ New York Times bestselling author Jay Crownover

"A powerful story that left me raw, yet hopeful.”
~ USA Today bestselling author K.A. Tucker


Excerpt

Ethan

Now

I close my eyes for a brief moment and swallow hard. All the memories come at me, one after another, blazing over me like wildfire, and I grip the edge of the counter. The memories are unwanted. I’d banished them from my mind, fought those demons long ago and won. They represent an old part of my life, another part I try my best to forget even happened.

Yet just like that, seeing her, hearing her, I’m the old me again, cracked so wide open it makes my heart hurt.

“Seemingly harmless?” Lisa asks in that no-nonsense tone of hers that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I’ve had that voice directed at me more than once. When I was a kid and scared out of my mind and I didn’t know what to say.

I hate Lisa Swanson.

A new image appears on the screen. Katherine at the time she was found, her tear-filled gaze aimed directly at the camera, distress written all over her young face. She’s wearing baggy sweats and her hair is in a sloppy ponytail. A uniformed policeman and woman stand on either side of her, escorting her into the hospital.

Katie. When I see her like that, it all comes rushing back at me, memory upon memory, word after word, promise after promise. My legs feel weak and I grip the edge of the top.

You can’t be scared, Katie. You have to be brave. You have to come with me.

What if he finds us? What will he do?

He won’t do anything to you. I won’t let him.

You promise?

I promise.

“Has he ever tried to reach out to you?”

Lisa’s back on the screen, her eyes narrowed, head tilted like she’s concentrating hard. Like she cares.

Snorting out loud, I shake my head. She cares all right. About her ratings and her money and the next big interview she can snag.

I can’t believe Katherine is talking to her.

Katie.

My Katie.

It’s been so long since I referenced her like that it sounds foreign. But she was mine. For a tiny bit of time I took care of her, was responsible for her safety.

She called me her guardian angel and though I denied it, deep down inside, it felt good, her calling me that. Thinking of me in a good way. A positive way.

Without hesitation I did what was right. I had to. I couldn’t let him keep her. He would’ve . . .

I can’t even imagine what he would have done to her.

Not only was I her guardian angel, she called me her hero.