Series: A Fall Away Novel, Book #1
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 17, 2013
Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn
My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all. No, he'll barely even speak to me.
But he still won't leave me alone.
We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went to France for a year, just to avoid him.
But I'm done hiding from him now, and there's no way in hell I'll allow him to ruin my senior year. He might not have changed, but I have. It's time to fight back.
*This novel contains adult/mature young adult situations. It is only suitable for ages 18+ due to language, violence, and sexual situations.
**This book is the first in a series but can be read as a STAND ALONE. The next books will focus on side characters from this story.
Penelope Douglas is a writer and teacher in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she is the oldest of five children. Penelope attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration, because her father told her to "just get the degree!" She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she hated Public Administration. One night, she got tipsy and told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later they were married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, the show Sons of Anarchy, and she shops at Target almost daily.
AUTHOR CONTACT INFO
Over the years, Tate had endured a lot of harassment because of me. People were pretty stupid in high school and freshman and sophomores are the dumbest. They want to be accepted, and gossip is taken as gospel. Tell people that someone has their clit pierced or that they eat dogs, and you just have to sit back and watch the school flood with talk. And usually the objects of the talk would drown pretty quickly.
However, by junior and senior year, silly rumors are about as effective as a broken condom. I’d wanted to keep guys away from Tate, but that wasn’t working so much anymore. They saw she was beautiful, and now, after the locker room incident, they saw her as a slut, too.
“Jared’s right. You’re not worth it.” Nate’s voice was low, but I was already on his ass.
“Sit down, Nate.”
He spun around, while Tate looked up. I didn’t make eye contact with her, but I knew her eyes were on me.
Dietrich looked surprised and small. He knew not to mess with me as did most of the school. I wasn’t huge, and I had no special skills that other guys didn’t have, but I wasn’t afraid. Ever. I didn’t mind getting hit, and I didn’t back down.
That’s what scared most people about me.
You come at me, and I’ll come after you harder.
“Hey, man, no offense.” He held up his hands. “If you’re not done with her…”
My arms surged with the need to haul this guy out of here by his collar.
If I’m not done with her?
And just then, I felt like crawling inside of myself to hide.
My throat tightened, and my eyes burned.
What the hell?
I wanted her to hurt, but I didn’t want her to hurt. I hated her. I loved her. I wanted to violate her body in a hundred different ways, but I wanted to keep her safe.
There was no limit to how fucking confused I was right now, but one thing was for certain.
Tate was worth more than all of us put together.
She wasn’t trash.
She was hope and sunlight, and all the good shit that assholes like us don’t get.
And for the first time, I wasn’t getting any goddamn peace from tormenting this girl. I just wanted to wrap her up in my arms and see her happy.
My eyes narrowed, and I wished for a perfect world where I could toss darts at this guy’s dick. “Don’t talk to her again,” I commanded. “Go.” And I jerked my chin off to a corner he should go fucking hide in.
Was I better than him?
No. But I’d deal with that shit later.
Tate let out an aggravated sigh as Nate walked off, and I turned my eyes on her in time to see her lips tighten. I saw the scowl, knew it was meant for me, but didn’t even have a chance to figure out why when she spoke up.
“Don’t do me any favors,” she sneered. “You’re a miserable piece of shit, Jared. But then, I guess I’d be miserable, too, if my parents hated me. Your dad left you, and your mom avoids you. But who can blame them, right?”
I stopped breathing, and the room around me closed in.
What the fuck did she just say?
I stared at her, feeling torn apart and dead, knowing that it was completely un-Tate to say something like that but also knowing that she spoke the truth.
I didn’t forget to breathe. I just didn’t want to anymore.
It felt like every eye in the room was on me and people were whispering behind their hands, laughing at me. I was exposed, and everyone knew my shit.
My eyes sharpened on her, and I wasn’t at all confused anymore about whether I loved or hated her.
I fucking hated her.
She was packaged up to look like a good girl, but make no mistake. There was bitch in there, and thank God I was reminded of that fact.