The law said I was a runaway.
I preferred the term survivor.
After being broken down and emotionally tortured for fifteen years, I made a choice to change the path that my life was on.
It left me alone, homeless and scared, but alive.
The streets were where I found my family. A group of kids like me who society had failed to protect.
We weren’t teenagers anymore – we were a statistic, a nuisance, the scum on the bottom of the city’s shoe.
When he showed up that night, I never expected to feel the things I did.
He was honest and protective and he saw straight through the hardened exterior that I had created.
He made me want to fight for something better.
I could run, go back to the street and continue risking my life just to live.
But now, being offered something more, I wasn’t sure if I could go back without at least a taste of what it was like.
We came from two completely different worlds, but they were about to collide. And I was about to learn that maybe the grass really wasn’t that much greener on the other side.
“They obviously missed that memo,” I replied dryly.
Both their heads popped up when they heard us across the pool. Braydon grinned widely and put his fingers into his mouth, letting out a loud wolf whistle. “Hey baby, you come here often?” he called, followed by deep laughter.
Layla raised her middle finger at him. “Don’t be a pig, rich boy.”
Braydon pretended to grab his heart like she’d just broken it, and fell sideways into the pool, the water bursting around him. Layla threw herself in after him, pressing on his head as he attempted to come to the surface and laughing manically.
Heath walked around the pool, a rare smile on his face. “A couple of meetings and those two think they’re siblings,” I commented, trying to avoid looking at him because every time I did I just stared in awe.
Heath chuckled. “I don’t think Bray sees it that way.”
I wanted to ask him what he meant, but before I could, he took my hand and led me to the steps that disappeared into the pool. I walked in beside him, the water was cool, but not cold—more like the warmth of a bath after you climb out. I gripped Heath’s hand tighter as he walked me further and further, the water rising to up around my waist and my feet beginning to float off the ground.
Water splashed around us, and the air was filled with laughter as Bray and Layla continued their epic battle for dominance.
I took a step back but he wound his arms around my waist and held me still. “It’s fine. I’m right here.” He smiled down at me, it was comforting and I couldn’t help but smile back.
“You’re always so serious, but that grin hasn’t left your mouth since you got out here.”
I squeaked when he lifted me off my feet and pressed my legs so they wound around his waist. My arms went straight to his neck and I clung to him like a monkey. He waded further into the water.
“Heath, stop,” I warned as his feet left the ground and he kept us afloat purely by his own strength. The water made me feel weightless and soon he didn’t even need to hold me up, using his arms as well to tread the water.
“Heath…” The warning was harsher now as I stared at him in shock, realizing just how far we were from the side of the pool.
“Are you scared?” he asked, only slightly breathless even as he worked to keep us afloat.
Was I scared?
I knew the answer he was looking for, I could see it in his eyes and his face. He wanted me to say it. He knew it was already true.
“Because I trust you.”
Addison Jane is a born and bred kiwi girl with a passion for romance and writing.
When she gets the chance she enjoys the little things in life such as reading, dancing, music, and Facebook, but her world really revolves around the little girl who calls her Mum. It’s an awkward balance between alpha males and Disney princesses but it works.
Growing up on a small farm next to the beach will always make her a country girl at heart. But since moving away to a small town close to the city she’s discovered a dangerous love for shopping.
Writing stories has been something that’s come naturally since she was young, and with the massive support of her friends and family, she finally decided to step out of her comfort zone and share them with the world.
She enjoys bringing her books to life with strong female leads, sexy passionate men and a rollercoaster of twists and turns that lead to the happily ever after that her readers desire.