Nova Reed can't forget him-Quinton Carter, the boy with the honey-brown eyes who made her realize she deserved more than an empty life. His pain was so similar to her own. But Nova has been coming to terms with her past and healing, while Quinton is out there somewhere, sinking deeper. She's determined to find him and help him . . . before it's too late.
Nova has haunted his dreams for nearly a year-but Quinton never thought a sweet, kind person like her would care enough about a person like him. To Quinton, a dark, dangerous life is exactly what he deserves. And Nova has no place in it. But Nova has followed him to Las Vegas, and now he must do whatever it takes to keep her away, to maintain his self-imposed punishment for the unforgivable things he's done. But there's one flaw in his plan: Nova isn't going anywhere . . .
“Nova, get in here,” Lea, my best friend and roommate for the last year, calls out from my room, interrupting my video making. “I think I found something.”
I open my eyes and stare at my image on the screen, so different from how I appeared last summer when I was addicted to several things, including denial. “I’ll pick up on this later,” I say to my camera phone, then click it off and flip upright, getting to my feet.
Blood rushes down from my head and vertigo sets in, sending the nearly empty room around me spinning. I brace my hand against the wall and make my way to the bedroom.
“What’d you find?” I ask Lea as I stumble through the doorway.
She’s sitting on the floor in the midst of our packing boxes with the computer
on her lap, her back against the wall and her legs stretched out in front of her. “An old newspaper article on the Internet that mentions a Quinton Carter involved in a fatal car accident in Seattle.”
I briefly stop breathing. “What’s it say?” I whisper, fearing the truth. She skims the article on the screen. “It says that he was one of the drivers and that two people in the car he was driving were dead on arrival.” She pauses, sucking in a slow breath. “And it says that he died, too, but that the paramedics revived him.”
I swallow hard as denial begins to evaporate and I’m forced to admit the truth. All that time I spent with Quinton and I didn’t know the dark secrets eating away at him. “Are you sure that’s what it says?” I ask her, denial trying to grasp hold one last time. I’m trying to hold on to the idea that Quinton just does drugs because he’s bored. Things would be easier if that were the case. Well, not easy, but then I’d just be helping him with addiction instead of what’s hidden beneath the addiction. And things are never easy—life never is. Mine isn’t.
Landon’s wasn’t. Quinton’s isn’t. Lea’s isn’t. So many heartbreaking stories and I wish I could document them all.
Lea glances up from the screen with a look of sympathy on her face. “I’m sorry, Nova.”
I take several deep breaths, fighting the urge to count the cracks in the ceiling as I sink down on the mattress, wondering what I’m supposed to do. The plan was to move out of the apartment and head back home for summer break. Spend three months in my hometown, Maple Grove, until I return to Idaho to start my junior year of college. And I’m one for following plans, otherwise the undetermined future unsettles me. It’s one of the things I learned to do to help alleviate my anxiety.
I had plans this summer, to spend time with my mom, play music with Lea when she visits for a few weeks, and work on a documentary, maybe even get some better camera equipment. But as I take in what I’ve just learned about Quinton, I’m starting to wonder if I should be following a different plan, one that I should have followed nine months ago, only I wasn’t in the right state of mind to.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jessica Sorensen is a #1 New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author who lives with her husband and three kids in Idaho. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.
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