Sometimes the only thing standing between fear and hope is you.
Almost a year ago, nineteen-year-old Cassie Harlen had a lot to deal with. A stack of college acceptance letters waiting for answers, a proposal from the boy next door, and a mother whose most recent bipolar episode left Cassie hurt and confused. Tired of cleaning up the messes caused by her mother's disorder, of resenting her mother for not being there, and scared of being trapped by an inevitable future—which included marrying Graham Tucker—Cassie did the only thing she could think of to keep from ending up like her mother: she left.
Graham never knew why Cassie walked away. He woke up one morning and she was gone—along with the life that he’d created around her. After eleven months, Graham has a new plan for his future. One that doesn't involve Cassie Harlen.
When Cassie's mom nearly burns down her house, Cassie’s forced to return home. Back to a mother she’s tried to ignore and the guy she’s been unable to forget. Graham doesn't know how he's going to spend the whole summer living next door to the person who broke his heart without letting those old feelings push through to the surface.
Neither does Cassie.
"How long have you known Cassie?" June asked me before she took a bite of her pizza. I met Cassie's gaze across the living room. I hadn't realized she had been looking at me, but now that our eyes were locked on each other, I could almost feel that she was. She was still smiling, and the memory of the first time I saw her replayed in my head. It's crazy how something that happened forever ago felt just like yesterday. "She stormed into my life when I was nine."
"I think you stormed into mine. I lived here first."
"I was never the storm," I said. Cassie's smile fell, but her eyes didn't leave mine. Staring at her like that made my head feel like it was floating, and like she was the only thing I could see clearly. And she was mesmerizing. The curves of her face were my anchor, and the light freckles on her nose were my sun, and her lips were the key to every secret in the universe. I wanted everything. To know it all again like I had before she left, but to explore it all with the Cassie that sat across from me.
Cassie looked away from me. Her eyes darting toward the ground, and I shook away the feeling. I refocused. I couldn't stare at her like that. Couldn't think about her that way. What was I doing here? This was stupid. I was stupid.
"Childhood sweethearts?" June asked. Carrie sent her a dagger eyes, but June didn't seem like the type to be swayed by Cassie's looks. That was a rare thing.
Childhood everything."Something like that," I said.
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About the Author
Danielle Ellison spent most of her childhood reading instead of learning math. It's probably the reason she can't divide without a calculator and has spent her life seeking the next adventure. It's also probably the reason she's had so many different zip codes and jobs.
When she's not writing, Danielle is probably eating cookies, fighting her nomadic urges, watching too much TV, or dreaming of the say when she can be British. She has settled in Northern Virginia, for now, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.
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