Book 1 in The Falling Stars Series Excerpt
“Christopher,” Jackson whispered and moved to touch him.
“Get the fuck away. Get out!” Christopher yelled.
I flinched from Christopher’s outburst, and fear set in. What in the hell was I doing? The desire to flee coursed through my body, but the lure of Christopher dissipated my run instinct. Christopher slammed his head back against the door with a torn look on his face.
My heart ached for him.
“Get out! All of you!” he screamed, burying his head once more, his hands tightening on his legs.
Blood oozed from his hands. His knuckles swollen, turning a purplish-black, and cut open. Deep slashes covered the back of his hands, making them appear flayed and raw. My stomach churned at the appearance.
Jackson stumbled back and bumped into me. He quickly turned and grabbed my shoulders as I took my first step toward Chris.
“Mia, you need to get out of here,” he urged.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Nicholas snap his head around. Next thing I knew, Nicholas was next to Jackson, putting his hand on his shoulder.
“Let her go.”
“But, you don’t know what he –”
Nicholas gave him a look and simply said, “Let her go, Jackson.”
He let me go and moved to the side.
Looking back over to Christopher, my heart began to echo in my ears as adrenaline coursed through my body. Swallowing my fear and apprehension, I grabbed onto the invisible string tying us together and stepped forward.
“I said go away!”
I jumped when he screamed.
“Christopher,” I whispered, shakily.
He raised his head and looked at me, rage burning in his eyes. Terror began to cut at me. I was wrong. I couldn’t do this. He was going to launch himself at me. I shrunk back. Noticing my reaction, his rage melted into something else. Guilt.
“Christopher?” I asked, kneeling down three feet before him, trying to keep my voice calm. His expression went blank and he simply stared at me. He was lost, and something deep inside of me longed to find him.
There was movement behind me. Without breaking eye contact, I put my hand out behind me.
“Don’t!” I said.
The movement stopped.
Christopher’s brow furrowed and he dropped his head back onto his folded arms.
I inched my way closer, wanting to be able to reach him, but didn’t say anything else. The fact that he could now reach me registered with the part of me fighting for self-preservation. My instinct screamed again for me to run, but I just couldn’t. Whatever this was, this feeling inside my gut calling out to me, I couldn’t ignore it. Bracing myself for the possibility of an attack, I stretched out my arm. Unclenching my fist, I placed my trembling hand on the top of his head. I watched as the tension melted from his shoulders. I released a breath, relieved he didn’t pummel me.
Slowly, I stood up to move closer, but he misunderstood my movement. Fumbling to his knees in front of me, he wrapped his arms around my legs and placed his head against my stomach. Instinctively, I pulled my arms up, bending them at the elbows, my hands turned palms out.
Christopher’s arm stretched out. Wrapping his fingers around my wrist, he placed my hand back on his head. I brought the other hand down to join. A loud gasp slipped from my lips when he locked his arms around me, lifting me up.
“Nicholas,” Jackson hissed in the background.
“Stay still,” Nicholas hissed back.
Christopher moved us across the room. Afraid Jackson was going to step in and play the hero, I shot him a look telling him to stay back. Nicholas was holding Jackson in place. Relief washed through me. I had no idea what would happen if they tried to pull me away from Christopher.
Christopher laid us down on the bed and buried his face in my side. I could feel him relaxing; visibly see his muscles contracting from the prolonged stress, trying to unwind themselves.
“What the hell?” Jackson whispered.
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