GIVEAWAY and EXCERPT: Lost by Layla Hagen
Published on March 2014 Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
**Lost is a prequel novella to Lost in Us and can be read before or after. **
Whatever might help him forget his past and numb the pain, James has tried it all: booze, car races, fights, and then some. Especially women. College offers plenty of opportunities for everything. . . Especially when you have a trust fund to spend.
Serena spirals deeper and deeper into a hurricane of pain. But no matter how far she falls, there’s no redemption from the overwhelming guilt.
Two souls consumed by their pasts fight to learn how to survive. But all hope seems to be lost.
Until they meet each other.
When the speech starts, something about her voice is not right. But when I look up from the brochure, I forget about her voice altogether.
I know that look in them. Haunted and lost.
I sit up straight in my seat and tune in to her speech. I frown as I start to pay attention to what she says. She has some kind of notes in front of her, but she’s not reading them. I don’t think she’s saying what she’s written on them at all. She speaks of hardship, loss, and the ability to put everything behind through hard work. I have a hunch she’s referring to something more than what’s happening here today. Her porcelain skin gets paler with every word. Her eyes become glassy before long, and then she tucks a strand of black hair behind her ear. I’m sure as hell she wiped away a tear.
Someone like her shouldn’t be crying. Hurting.
I suddenly have the urge to hold her, do whatever it takes to stop what is hurting her. Make that look in her eyes disappear, and make her smile instead.
It’s an urge I don’t recognize.
I also have another urge. I recognize this one. The urge to bite that full lower lip of hers, and run my tongue down her neck, all the way to that sweet hollow. And then rip her shirt. Button by button. Better, even. Rip them apart all at once and cup her breasts. Twirl my tongue around her nipples.
I’ve got to get a grip. I’m so aroused I’d like nothing better than to disappear with her into an empty classroom. But I don’t think she’s the type. Her skirt is a few inches too long for her to be that type.
Even if she were . . . I’d like to do things a little differently than usual.
First, I’d put a smile on her face.
Then I’d get her to beg me to take her.
When everyone applauds and she leaves the stage, I stand up and walk to the front, planning to start the first thing right away. After she shakes the parents’ hands, and hugs one of the girls who won, she stops in front of a guy who puts his arm around her waist and kisses her.
On her lips.
The view hits me like a whiplash. Of course she has a boyfriend. It’s not like she would wait for me, the biggest fuck-up among fuck-ups, to make her smile. She already has someone who can make her smile.
Except she’s not smiling. After they break from the kiss, her expression hasn’t changed. Whatever causes her torment, the idiot she’s with has no idea how to make it better. Someone like her should always smile. She deserves someone who can make her smile. And this idiot is far from what she needs.
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