By Sydney Landon
I hiss audibly, knowing I don’t have a leg to stand on here. Maybe I did it for all the right reasons, but she’s right; I kept something potentially life-altering from her. This isn’t the way I wanted to do this, but I can’t let her leave here without telling her how I feel. My voice sounds rusty when I say the words I haven’t uttered to a woman in so many years. “Lia, I love you. Please don’t leave.”
She freezes in mid-motion. The shirt she had in her hands to pack is suspended in mid-air. She whirls around looking unbelievably beautiful…and furious. Not exactly the reaction I was looking for after my profession of love. “Don’t you dare say that to me now when I’m leaving! I’ve longed to hear those words from you but not when you’re under duress!” Her movements are jerky now as if she can barely control her anger. “I have let you keep your secrets, Lucian, because they’re a part of who you are. I didn’t freak out and run for the door when I found you snorting cocaine in the middle of the night because, in some screwed-up way, I understood the need to escape, no matter what the means.” She looks so sad that I prefer the anger of a few minutes ago.
“We’ve hit a roadblock now. Your secrets are tearing us apart.” She picks up her bag, along with her purse, and walks toward me. “If you really do love me, as you say, and want to save this relationship, then I need to know it all. No more walls, Lucian, and no more lies. Please, don’t contact me until you’re ready to do that.” She goes up on her toes and drops what feels like a final kiss on my lips before leaving the room and our home quietly.
I have no idea how long I stand frozen in place before I move forward and sink to the bed. I drop my head in my hands. I’m at a crossroads in my life, and I’m terrified. One path leads to Lia and my possible redemption and the other leads to a continued life of self-loathing hatred. Of the two paths, the first is somehow the most daunting because my love for her has given her complete control over my destiny.
Then another staggering thought rocks me. God, she might be pregnant. Has either of us given thought to what that could mean? We haven’t really discussed it since the night she told me about her doctor’s appointment. I don’t know if we’re in complete denial, or maybe some part of us doesn’t want to get our hopes up and have them dashed when it doesn’t happen. She has a follow-up appointment next week, and there is no way in Hell I’ll let her go alone.
I get to my feet and walk to the door with complete resolve. It’s past time for Lia to know everything I’ve been keeping from her. I can only hope that afterwards she’ll still love me. Because without her, my heart is fractured beyond repair.
To be together, they’ll have to fight demons from their pasts that threaten to tear them apart.
This book is meant for mature readers who are 18+. It contains explicit language, and graphic sexual content.
**Book 2 of the Lucian & Lia Trilogy.**
About the author
Sydney Landon is the New York Times Best Selling author of: Weekends Required, Not Planning on You, Fall For Me, Fighting For You, Betting on You, No Denying You and Pierced. Sydney is currently working on the next book in the Danvers’ Series as well as the Pierced Series. When she isn’t writing, Sydney enjoys reading, swimming and being a mini-van driving, soccer mom. She lives with her family in Greenville, South Carolina,