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Copyright ©2021 Erica Marselas

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination and/or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.



Edited by: Kristen @YourEditingLounge



Table of contents



















Epilouge ALEX


A word from the Author:

Like this story itself, it was a journey to write it. I put my heart and I think every bit of my soul into these two characters. Alex and June’s story is one I’m really attached to, even though I cried and wanted to quit so many times. Six months of writing and like everyone else just trying to survive the new world we live in.

This story is emotional (while at times steamy). But like everything I write it’s about healing and finding yourself again.

But on that note, I need to state that:

**This story deals with sensitive subjects of sexual and physical abuse/assault that might be hard for some readers. **

So please be advised. <3

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for picking up this story and I hope you enjoy Alex and June’s journey.

Erica Marselas


19 years old


All I want to do is find a place to hide as I walk through the house party with the bright lights shining in my eyes, music booming through the speakers, and people crammed throughout the townhouse, but it’s impossible. There’s an unease in my stomach I can’t shake, but it’s more than likely from the scent of Miller Lite floating through the air and being at a party in Kinder Falls when I know I shouldn’t be.

Kinder Falls is a little farm town outside the city, and the place made of all my happy memories and all my nightmares. I stay for the good hoping one day, I can outrun the bad. Or the bad gets tired of me.

I used to only come here in the summer to visit and stay with my honorary Aunt Liz and her niece and nephew while my folks traveled on business. But that all changed three years ago when my dad died and my mom decided it would be best I stay in Kinder Falls permanently because she couldn’t deal with me on her own. It’s not that she didn’t want me, but she was honest enough to admit she wasn’t in a good enough place to take care of me. She couldn’t bear having me see her a mess as she was swallowed whole by her job and the alcohol she used to heal the pain of missing her husband. Liz agreed it was better for me to stay with her, somewhere stable.

As much as I love living on the farm with the people I now consider family, there is just one blond monster who has made sure to hinder my happiness. The monster who has made this place my living nightmare.

I shake off the eerie thought of him as I lean up against the wall feeling the music’s vibrations pump through it. Through the sea of people gathered on the makeshift dancefloor, I spot Kathleen, Liz’s niece and the person I consider my best friend and my sister, lighting up the floor with her skilled dance moves. Everyone is cheering as I stand back to watch in sheer awe of her talent, and I’m going to miss her so much when she goes off to the dance Academy in San Diego next month. I wouldn’t have made it this far without her.

An arm wraps around my shoulder and I jump at the contact. I hate being snuck up on.

“Hey, easy there, beautiful.” The deep baritone voice of Bradly Vaughn chuckles. “It’s just me.”


“It’s alright. You’re getting jumpy in your old age.” Bradly chuckles as he smooths back his jet-black hair. Bradly is the pretty boy all-star of Kinder Falls. All through high school, he ignored me, so tonight I’m finding it suspect that he’s been making his moves on me, hovering over me, and trying to make me dance with him, which I’ve refused.

“Here’s a drink for you, my lady.” Bradly winks, handing me a pink solo cup. “I didn’t want you to go thirsty."

“Well, aren’t you a wonderful host? It’s Sprite, right?” I glance into the cup and take an inconspicuous sniff, double-checking the contents of my bubbly drink. I no longer drink after spending two years drowning myself in alcohol, but not many people know that yet, even in this small town. They still think of me as June the party animal. The girl with no self-control whose mom practically deserted her after her father died. The thing is they don’t know the truth I’m trying to bury. That my pain has nothing to do with my parents.

I learned early on nobody would believe me over him.

“Of course, it is. I got you, Ju-Ju.” Bradly runs his hand down my shoulder.

My heart stammers when he calls me that. Only one person can call me Ju-Ju, and it’s not Bradly Vaughn.

Kathleen steps out in front of us, with a light sheen of sweat on her forehead as she narrows her eyes at Bradly.

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