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Lost Girl (Aston Creek High #2)
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Who the f&*k gave Slade Cruz this kind of power over me?
When secrets are revealed, Slade and I realize that we are more connected than we could have ever known. Not only are we learning that our hearts beat as one, but we now share a common enemy who neither of us could have foreseen.
I’m quickly learning that Lucien Valentine isn’t only the monster in my storybook, but makes appearances in many. He needs to be stopped, but this war is bigger than just me and I don’t think I have what it takes to fight it.
Betrayals bite hard as secrets are revealed. Hearts are put on the line, and just when you thought you had it all, the devil shows up on your door. This time he might take more than you could possibly give, and it might just cost you your life.
Hold onto your seats because Aston Creek is about to enter a war it never saw coming.
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The front door swings open and the second I step over the threshold; Shaylee begins tearing into me. “Where the hell have you been?” she demands, trailing her eyes from my head to toes and back up again, checking me over for any signs of stress. “Do you have any idea how worried I was? You can’t just stay out all night without letting me know. Tyler Samuels’ mother said he saw you get into some sort of argument with a bunch of boys and then they were arrested and no one has seen you since.”
Oh, shit. That almost seems like a lifetime ago. It’s hard to believe the fight with Roman at the courts was only last night.
“I…” I go to start explaining myself when she gets a good look at the bandage over the palm of my hand and instantly cuts me off.
“What happened to you?” she gasps, rushing forward and forgetting all about the fact that she’s attempting to reprimand me as a good foster mother/aunt should do.
I raise a hopeful brow. “Would you believe me if I said that I was assaulted by a cop?”
Her mouth drops as her eyes bug out of her head. She stares at me for a long drawn-out moment. “Tell me you’re lying. Are you kidding? Who? Which cop?”
I shake my head, realizing I was far too preoccupied to bother catching the dick’s name. “I don’t know. He was a big guy, this tall,” I say, holding my hand way up above our heads. “He had a big pop-belly and a dirty scar down the side of his face. He pushed me on the basketball courts and I fell, scraping up the side of my leg and landing on a piece of glass.”
I hold up my hand so she can get a better look and fury instantly ripples through her. A low growl comes tearing from deep within her throat and she takes my hand, squeezing it a little too hard. “This is completely unacceptable. You have two seconds to get yourself through a quick shower and then I’m marching you right down to that station and we’re pressing charges against that asshole. How dare he put his hands on you.”
I grin wide, looking up at the woman who has had her life thrown completely upside down when child services came knocking on her door only a few short weeks ago. She was once my favorite aunty turned stranger, to now the woman I’m learning to lean on.
I tug my hand out of her vice-like grip and throw my arms around her as my emotions begin to overwhelm me. It’s already been a crazy morning and it’s not even past 9 am. “Thank you,” I whisper, catching her off guard. “I don’t think I’ve ever told you but I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me and Blake.”
She wraps her arms around me, soft, welcoming, and warm and the way she holds me is as if she’s been waiting for this very moment for thirteen extremely long years. “I’d do it a million times over,” she murmurs against my ear, making it a promise and silently swearing to always stand by it.
Her declaration has something healing within my chest and I feel for the second time in less than twelve hours that my life is finally starting to turn around. Shaylee holds onto me for a few more moments and as she pulls away and takes a deep calming breath, her eyes come back to mine. “Tell me you truly meant that and weren’t just trying to distract me from the fact that you stayed out all night.”
I grin and I feel my eyes beginning to glisten with mischief. “I meant that one hundred percent, but did it kind of distract you?”
She shakes her head in exasperation and pulls her lips into a tight line, somehow reminding me of my mother. “Not in the least but it did calm me down enough to give you a chance to explain where the hell you’ve been all night. But don’t be fooled, I still fully intend to throw the law at that dirty cop. Don’t they know who you are? What you’ve already been through?”
I shrug my shoulders. “To be completely honest, considering the company I was keeping, they probably just assumed I was a rotten apple.”
Shay throws her hands up and she instantly begins to overreact. “Great. I only just got you and I’ve already lost you to the dark side. What is it? Drugs? Alcohol? Fighting? I know you keep that old knife under your pillow. Please don’t tell me you’ve been hanging around with the kind of people to peer pressure you into this kind of stuff.”
“Holy Cow, Shay. Calm down,” I laugh. “It’s nothing like that. I was hanging out with Damian and Slade from school.”