Welcome to the Valentine's Day Blog Hop!! I have the pleasure of hosting Heather Lyons <3 She is so fabulous and if you haven't had a chance to check her out yet, you need to!Check out her exclusive content! And don't forget to like her FB Page, follow her on Twitter and add the hashtag to the giveaway for lots of chances to win awesome prizes!!!
Please Welcome Heather Lyons!!!
I get asked at least several times a week when Kellan Whitecomb’s novella is going to come out. Truth time: I don’t have an answer for that. Actually, I don’t know if it will come out, to be honest (please don’t stone me! haha!). BUT! I know you Fate fans love seeing bits of Kellan’s POV, so I’m bringing out an unedited exclusive for you here today. For those of you familiar with the series, this scene takes place near the end of A Matter of Heart. I know this is, on the surface, a tough scene—but it’s also one rooted in deep, true love. Enjoy! --Heather
It really hits me then, like—really hits me. He’s loved her his whole life. And she’s loved him in return. Not just crushed on him, but really, truly loved him. She may love me, too—there’s no doubt in my mind about that—but he’s been her constant her whole life, and she his.
She loves you.
He doesn’t look away from the wall. In fact, his eyes close at my insistence. It’s then I see that, in his hand, is her ring. Her Connection ring. She never took it off, not even when kissing me. And now here it is, in his hand and not on her finger.
Our suspicions are now validated. She ran. She purposely left.
He whispers in my mind, She loves you more.
It’s his grief talking. He knows as well as I that that’s the biggest lie he could ever utter. If Chloe Lilywhite loved me more, she wouldn’t have left. She never would have broken up with me back in high school. Guilt wouldn’t eat her alive for what she feels toward me. No, J.
He doesn’t need to tell me what’s he’s thinking. His heart does it for him. She left him. Just . . . up and left without a single word. Things were tough, yeah. Worse than tough. Brutal is even a weak word for what we’ve lived through, actually. But there’s something to be said about the comfort of love, even when it’s tumultuous. Our mother died and left us. When she died, our father abandoned us—at least emotionally, which is far worse than physically. Joey died. Hannah disappeared that day, too, even if her body didn’t give out until last year. Since Joey’s death, outside of Astrid and Callie, we really only ever have had each other. Love—real love, the kind that nourishes you—has been a rare, precious commodity in our lives.
No, that’s not right. Jonah always had Chloe, too. And now, because of me, he doesn’t.
Her disappearance is a kick to the balls, but, if I’m being honest, I’m used to it. I’ve learned to live with the pain that comes with not being with Chloe. Whenever I was, life as Technicolor fabulous. I was a drug addict, and just had my latest hit. Life was good, birds were singing, rainbows were in the sky, goodness prevailed, and all that other sappy bullshit love supposedly brings. And then, each time she’s left me, the crash comes. Every joint in my body aches, every muscle throbs. Fifty pounds of dead weight hovers on each shoulder, and I can’t sleep—because I dream about her—and it sucks to stay awake, because I obsess about her. Alcohol is only a temporary fix at best, as are adrenaline rushes and sex.
There’s a scene in The Little Mermaid (Chloe made me watch that once, when we were dating in high school) where this sea witch turns mermaids into shriveled little worms that litter the floor of her cave after they give her whatever it is she desires. It’s like they’re husks of their former selves, just the barest essence of what once existed. It wasn’t until at least a year after I saw that movie when I realized I’ve allowed myself to become one of those wizened worms.
And now, godsdammit, so has my brother.
I’m sick to my stomach and so furious with Chloe I can barely see straight. I’m sorry, I tell him. So, so sorry.
You have nothing to apologize for.
This is so like Jonah. Always bearing the full weight of responsibility on his shoulders, whether or not it’s his to bear. It’s always been like this. He’s always stepped up and taken the hit. For years, whenever I pissed off the Old Man, my brother would stand in between us and took the blame. He took the punishments. I skated by, charmed, because my brother was forced to age way before his time, thanks to our mother’s death. He took care of me—and then, when Joey died, Hannah. Astrid tried her best, but when the Old Man refused to let her be around us as kids, it was Jonah who stepped up to the plate. He was the glue that held us together. And now, he thinks all of this is his fault. That, had he only been, shit, I don’t know, more. More understanding, more giving, more capable of letting go, more . . . more any fucking unrealistic thing that what he already is, that he’s already been, she wouldn’t have left.
She left because of me. Loving me has broken that girl. And now? It’s broken my brother, all because I’m the selfish asshole who couldn’t leave well enough alone.
My brother doesn’t need to be more. He’s always been fine, exactly how he is.
I lay down on my back, on her bed next to him, and stare up at the ceiling, feeling like the shittiest, lousiest excuse for a sibling to ever exist. So I choose to say something supremely uncool for a guy to even consider saying, even to his own twin. I love you. You know that, right? We need to stop forgetting that she’s our only Connection. Because, J . . . the Connection I have with you is the one I’d never, ever wish away. I don’t know who to be if I’m not your brother.
He doesn’t roll over, doesn’t even more. But I feel his love, strong as ever. Stronger, even. He feels the same way, thank gods.
I have no idea what’s going to happen. I don’t know if we’ll find her. If she’ll ever come back. But I do know this: I’m done forgetting that . . . you and I? We’re forever, too. And nothing—no one—will ever come between us again. Not even her.
And then he says something that leaves my chest aching and me wondering what in the worlds I can do to fix any of this. He says, I’m done. I’m done with all of this. I can’t . . .
He doesn’t finish. He doesn’t have to, not when I know exactly what he means. Of course I do. I’m in his head. He’s in mine. He’s part of me, and I’m part of him. We were once one, after all.
I don’t say anything else, either. We lay there together on that bed long past sunset, just like we did when we were kids after our mother died and felt so godsdamn lost, we had no idea what to do. And here we are again, feeling the same way.
Resolution and determination fill me up. I will fix this. I have to. I don’t know how, but I will.
I cannot lose my brother.
The Fate Series by Heather Lyons
Doesn't that sound amazing? Make sure you check Heather and all of her books out! Next up in the Blog Hop is Rachel Higginson at 4:00
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