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231 pages, Kindle Edition
First published July 29, 2014
"I can't remember the last time I had food that good."
"You didn't even taste the gnocchi either. It's unbelievable."
"Well, I was going to taste the gnocchi, but by the time I unfolded my napkin, you were already licking the bowl."
"I never knew you before you had these scars, but that doesn't mean I won't spend my entire life trying to erase them from the inside out."
"I'm not some damsel in distress you can just swoop off her feet and save, Prince Charming."
"Fuck your fairytale. I just want you. I'll make my own God damn happily ever after."
"I told you once that I never thought you would be okay again, but that doesn’t mean I’ve ever stopped hoping you would."
"I want you. All of you. Not these little bits I hear echoing around the room. I just want you, Riley."
"I can see you, but I can’t hear you. There are too many lies and secrets echoing around us, distorting the real woman. I don’t know who you truly are, Riley, but tiny flashes of that woman whisper around the room between us. I will find the real you among the echoes—and I will make her mine."
"One of these days, I’m going to make the inside of those walls better than the outside. We’ll have a home where the real life inside will be your sanctuary instead of your prison."
Our relationship was established on secrets and lies, but in the end it flourished through truths. Slate told me years ago that we all have scars, and our relationship is no different. It could have easily been ruined from the start, but he fought for me- even when I couldn't fight for myself.
My name was Dr. Erica Hill. I was a victim, then a witness, and then I ceased to exist altogether.
I may still be breathing, but stripped of my identity, I have long since stopped living. I am invisible, and my life depends on my ability to stay in the shadows.
"My fierce need to protect the woman next to me erases all rational thinking. I won’t allow her to be scared again."
"You didn’t even taste the gnocchi either. It’s unbelievable." "Well I was going to taste the gnocchi, but by the time I unfolded my napkin you were already licking the bowl." "Oh shut up. I offered you a bite at least twice." "Yes, but something in your eye made me believe you would have literally snapped at my hand if I’d tried to snag a piece."
“I won’t push you, beautiful. Anything that happens from here on out is completely up to you.”
“I need some truths, beautiful. I don’t want you to relive any details for me, but even the general idea of who you really are would be amazing.”
“Slate,” I whisper, swallowing around the newly formed lump in my throat.
“I want you. All of you. Not these little bits I hear echoing around the room. I just want you.”
“Erica, I love you. I never knew you before you had these scars, but that doesn’t mean I won’t spend my entire life trying to erase them from the inside out … Everyone has scars, Erica. Don’t for a second think yours are any different based on how you got them. I love you— scars and all.”
“I'm not some damsel in distress you can just swoop off her feet and save, Prince Charming.”
“Fuck your fairytale. I just want you. I’ll make my own God damn happily ever after. But you’re the one who is mistaken. You’ll be at the end of that story, beautiful. You either come willingly or you force me into the dark after you. It doesn’t matter to me, because either way, I’ll find you.”
“You gave me back the pieces that were stolen from me. You gave me back myself.”
“You did that all on your own, beautiful,” he says, leaning forward to kiss me.
“You’re wrong, but I love you anyway.”
“Please stop hiding and actually live your life.” He pauses long enough to squeeze my shoulder. “It’s killing me to watch you fade into the background.”