Guilt can eat away at you, but love can cut like a knife…
Lusting after his best friend’s girlfriend is a cliché Billy knows well – it’s the tightrope he’s walked for years.
But now Jason and Lindy have broken up and Billy can’t help but be there for the girl he’s loved from afar for so long. She’s hurting.
Fighting to find a road to the future, Lindy’s heart hurts. She’s trying to escape the truth, but Billy keeps making her face it – and it’s ugly. How can she keep living when everything is made of glass and it keeps shattering?
Her one constant is Billy. Only, rebound isn’t his style and when Lindy starts to see him in a different light, he just can’t trust her. He’s no one’s second best.
Billy leaned over and his arms came around me. I rested my head on his shoulder, my arms about his neck. I needed someone to hug.
Billy’s arms and shoulders were really muscular. His body mass was double the size of Jason’s. He’d played football at school and college, and he’d studied sports and become a personal trainer. All that strength and solidity was reassuring.
But that’s what had got me into all the bullshit I’d fallen into back in the fall.
But I didn’t want to think of that. I just let him hold me while I reveled in the comfort and security.
Billy gave good hugs.
This was worth so much more than any conversation on a psychiatrist’s couch, or medication. Relief bloomed inside me, aching.
I’d needed to be held by someone outside my family.
His fingers combed through my hair. “Did you mean to end it, or were you crying out for help?”
I didn’t lift my head and didn’t answer. The ache of comfort was gone and instead the forest fire of guilt flared. I wouldn’t admit the truth; the truth was too awful. I didn’t have a good reason to give in.
The psychiatrist had told me, “Everyone has burdens to carry, and you shouldn’t feel guilty.” She’d said, “It’s stopped being about choice, the chemicals in your body are all muddled up so you can’t think straight.” I was on happy pills, and counseling now, and she’d promised me I’d feel better and I’d get out the other side.
I didn’t want to.
“Why did you go to Jason’s store…?” Billy’s fingers ran through my hair. I felt like a kid being comforted. It took me back years; to the years I’d been happy.
Why? I didn’t answer. He probably thought it was for revenge. It wasn’t. My life had been there, I’d worked there for years, been Jason’s second half for years.
Who was I now? What was there to do?
“I’m sorry, Lindy. If you let me help, I’ll make everything up to you.”
He had nothing to make up, not really, everything that had gone wrong between him and me was my fault.
“Do you want to get away for a while? Just for a couple of weeks even? I swear to God, there’ll be nothing in it. No expectation on my part at all.”
I needed help. I needed to escape. Just until I could get back on track. “Yeah.”
His hands gripped my shoulders and moved me back. He looked like he didn’t believe what I’d said. “Yeah?” His voice questioned.
“Yeah.” I nodded, my vision clouding with tears. I needed to go somewhere and pretend my life wasn’t what it was––for a short vacation. “I’ll have to speak to the psychiatrist, though. When do you want to go?”
He smiled. Billy was so nice, his heart shone right out of his eyes along with his smile. He hurt for me. We’d been close, before everything went wrong. This was him trying to put it right again. But nothing could ever be right.
Tears rolled onto my cheeks as the flames of guilt flickered.
A signed copy of I Found You, the first book in the series and a backpack
Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult romance and author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Novel,’The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, as well as a Kindle overall Top 25, bestselling author.
She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis.
When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write.
Now Jane is writing a Regency series as well as contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others’ imaginations at last.
You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane’s favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was ‘Katherine’ a story crafted from reality.
Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses these to create more realistic plots.
‘Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it’s wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.’
Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.