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442 pages, ebook
First published August 1, 2016
“She was probably used to testing her maturity and newfound confidence around hesitant boys closer to her age, but the lesson to be learned was that unlike boys who are intimidated by feminine boldness, men like me are inflamed by it.”
“I’ve never been touched by someone like you,” she said, leaning forward to drag her lips across my neck. “Show me what I’ve been missing.”
“Reading between the lines of her defiance gave away the extent to which my presence had affected her. Around me she was a ticking time bomb, but then again, she had lit my fuse as well.”
“…after seeing him, I wanted to protest. Surely they’d made the wrong choice. He was too young, too handsome, too much.”
“I WAS PLAYING with fire—no, I wasn’t just playing with fire; I was rolling in it. I was so confident I wouldn’t get burned, I didn’t realize how deep into the flames I’d fallen.”
“Brie wasn’t a woman that would try to fit whatever ideal mold I thought I had for a partner; she was a woman that shattered the mold and made me feel the excitement of young love again.”
“She and I weren’t forever. She was a beautiful little fantasy, the kind that kept you up at night, not the kind that extended into reality.”
“We were using each other, fucking and fighting like it was our job. We'd become each other's prisoners, twisting ourselves into a sexual Stockholm syndrome, but now we were in Rio.”
“From the first day I'd met Erik, we'd been at war. If we weren't throwing knives, we were falling into each other's arms.”
“I still wanted to rip his face off, but in my dreams-when I wasn't in control-my mind morphed into my darkest fantasy. No matter how hard I tried to resist him during my waking hours, the moment I closed my eyes, he was all I saw.”
"He wanted to rip my heart out for sport, to add it to his collection with all the others. I should have fought him more, but I liked it. I liked the way he ruined me."
"WHY DIDN’T OLYMPIC condos come with ovens?"
"I’d been intoxicated in the moment, dancing for the devil himself, and now that it was over, I felt nothing but burned."
"He and I weren’t supposed to fall in love. We’d been at war, fighting and pushing each other because it was a fun distraction, because I liked to get a reaction out of him, and because I just couldn’t help myself. It was the most shocking kind of love I’d ever experienced, the sort that hid itself behind the other edge of the blade—hate. I’d focused so much of my energy on hating Erik that when love appeared out of nowhere, it stole my breath."
"While it hurt to fall, it was agonizing to be dropped."
"Gymnastics is the sport with a strong marriage between body and mind. Your body hesitates in fear and cries out in pain while your mind wills it to push beyond what should be possible. The only thing separating good gymnasts from great gymnasts is the ability to overcome that fear."
“I liked the little game we were playing and I’d die before I let him see me falter.”
"I was playing with fire-no, I wasn't just playing with fire; I was rolling in it. I was so confident I wouldn’t gt burned, I didn’t realize how deep into the flames I’d fallen."
"You aren't special, Brie, so stop acting like it." His words had the same effect as a knife to my heart.
“He was a sweet poison and I was so addicted, I didn't care that our encounters left me choking for air.”
"I don't know what the future will hold for us, but I'm asking you to trust me, to trust that I won't take your love lightly.”
“He wanted me, he didn’t want me. He used me, he tossed me aside. I couldn’t keep dedicating hours of my life to dissecting his every move. It was exhausting, toxic.”
“Do you dream about spreading those legs for me? For your coach?”
“I’m not your plaything. I’m a real person with real feelings and real desires.”
“No, Brie. You’re a little doll. You’re so easy to control. If I pushed you back on this seat right now, you’d spread your legs for me.”
I shook my head “No. I would never let you do that.”
He laughed and the sound nearly tore my heart in two. “You already have.”