Beyond by Catina Haverlock and Angela Larkin
She could be so close to finding out who I really am, and I don’t want to think about how badly that could damage her. If I have any conscience, I’ll turn and run. But I can’t let her go.”
Presley Hale has no idea the guy she just told off in the school parking lot died in a drowning accident four months ago. Why would she? It’s not like she knows she can see the dead. Stunned by Presley’s sixth sense, Landon Blackwood rethinks his planned departure and begins tracking her to find answers to their mysterious connection.
When their complicated relationship turns dangerous, they learn that tampering with the boundaries of death comes with consequences. Can Landon save Presley from the insidious spirits who have marked her for death, or was their love doomed from the beginning?
Violet’s shivering had finally subsided and she sat wrapped up in my comforter at the foot of my bed. We sat cross legged, knees to knees. I could tell she had been crying for a while. I laid my hand over hers.
“Tell me what’s going on.”
Violet didn’t look at me, but stared over my shoulder. “I’m forgetting.”
“What do you mean?”
“I feel like I’m forgetting my brother,” she said, her voice distant.
“No, Vi. Of course you’re not.” Again, I felt the choking guilt of having free access to the one thing that Violet missed the most.
She met my eyes. “That day we ditched and went to Kings Beach. Landon’s beach. That was our place. But I let myself have fun that day without him. How could I?”“That’s a good thing.”
“I don’t think so. He used to be in my thoughts every minute. And now I find myself going an hour, maybe two not thinking of him at all.”
“Why is allowing yourself a little happiness bad?”
“Because I’m forgetting.” Her voice broke.
“He’s your twin; you are never going to forget.”
“Exactly. He was my twin and I have to pull up videos to remember how his laugh sounded.”
His voice gets husky when he laughs, I thought.
“Which side his dimple was on when he smiled. The exact shade of his hair.” She pressed her face into her hands, then roughly pulled her fingers through her hair. “It’s getting blurred.”
Dimple on the left. Hair the color of coffee without cream.
My eyes dropped to my hands in my lap. “I know it’s not the same, and I’m not trying to marginalize your pain, but sometimes when I look at Chase, I feel like I’ve lost a brother too. I’ve thought of that day at Kings beach also. Where was Chase? While we were ditching school, he was in a special-ed classroom. If he didn’t have autism, I would have brought him with us. Who am I to be making new friends and being all spontaneous when both of those things are so hard for him?”
I risked a glance and looked at her carefully. Her eyes were locked on mine and filling with tears, but I felt safe to continue. “I just want you to know that I understand how it feels to have things not turn out the way you’d hoped. What it’s like to be alone.”
Violet nodded. “There’s just no escaping it. I can’t run fast enough. It doesn’t matter how many things I fill my life with; how I try to distract myself. The pain is always there. It will always be there.”
I squeezed her hands.
She continued. “I’m just so scared I’m losing that connection we had. I’m telling you, Presley…it was like paranormal.” She smiled ruefully. “There was this one time I was at leadership camp in Sacramento. I got totally sick in the middle of the night. I thought it was just food poisoning. Then it got so bad that I couldn’t get off the bathroom floor to ask for help. Somehow, from a hundred miles away, Landon knew I was in trouble. He called and woke up my camp counselor to make her check on me.” Her eyes rounded. “My appendix ruptured and the surgeon said I would’ve been dead by morning.”
“That’s incredible,” I said.
“Exactly. Who has that? It was something unexplainable. And after he died, I could still feel him. That probably sounds crazy, but I swear I could sense him. And it’s fading. And I will never get it back.”
I could’ve fixed it in one sentence and just told her that Landon was standing outside right now. But that wasn’t my place. And who knew? It might make things worse.
I chose my words carefully. “I think I’ve learned enough about Landon to know that he’d want you to be happy. That he would be glad that things are getting a little easier for you. You’re not betraying him.”
Violet leaned forward and threw her arms around me. Her chin rested on my shoulder. “Can I just stay here tonight?”
“Of course you can.”
Long after Violet’s breaths grew slow and rhythmic, I laid there wondering how I landed here and how long I could keep this up.
The next book in this series is available this September!
Catina worked her way through college as a TV reporter and a dating game show host. She’s a sucker for Young Adult romance stories (both real and make-believe). She has a panache for match-making and loves that many of her “set-ups” have resulted in marriages.
After spending most of her adult life in Las Vegas, Catina traded in tumbleweeds for earthquakes and now lives with her husband and four children near San Diego, California. If she’s not home, chances are you can find her at the beach, Disneyland or In-N-Out Burger.
Angela Larkin writes clean teen romance and is a big fan of kissing (in life and in books). She’s been a gold miner, a pool cleaner, a mannequin dresser, and a teacher. She’s lived a true romance: meeting her husband in a case of mistaken identity. They recently moved with their four children from the sparkling city of Las Vegas to the shade of the North Carolina Pines. Chances are, she’s reading past bedtime.
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