Authors: Jasmine Carolina
Never Let Me Go
A Nickayla Quinn Spin-Off Novel
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Never Let Me Go
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
First Edition: May 2014
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Cover designed by Melissa Angelski and Jasmine Carolina
Cover Photography by Melissa Angelski of MKA Creative Studio Photography
Never Let Me Go
© 2014 Jasmine Carolina
Michele thought she and Brody were going to finally get their happily ever after…
…until he abandoned her on prom night and dumped her a month later. Now, she’s in Big Springs, North Carolina with her two best friends. An escape to a family beach house is just what she needs as she searches for a new adventure and a way to heal her broken heart before she returns to Harlow for her senior year.
Fate introduces Michele to Hayden Jax, a twenty two year old entrepreneur with a three your old daughter. His pursuit of her is flattering and she finds herself falling for him, but she can’t bring herself to let go of the love she has for Brody.
When a familiar face shows up in Big Springs stirring up trouble, Michele is faced with the toughest decision of her life:
Will she go back to the boy who’s broken her heart time and time again, or will she take a chance on the one who’s sworn to never let her go?
This novel is a spin-off from my Nickayla Quinn Trilogy. However,
Never Let Me Go
can be read as a standalone novel. It is an HEA with no cliffhanger. Everything gets tied up neatly in a bow.
Before proceeding, I’d like to leave a disclaimer that this is a YA/NA Contemporary Romance. While some subjects are more mature, there are
sex scenes. Any scenes that are remotely “sexy” are done through fade-to-black. This novel is primarily for teenagers, and in order to make this story realistic, the teenagers in this story curse. So beware of profanity.
Please do not leave a negative review of this novel because you don’t like the way my characters talk.
If you loved
Never Let Me Go
, I’d love it if you left a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and/or Goodreads.
For Jade…because you see me. I’ll never let you go.
“Sometimes people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them,” I said.
Isaac shot me a look. “Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love
Love is keeping the promise anyway.”
-John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
In all the movies, in all the books, they never really tell you what it’s like to deal with a broken heart. Just a peek, maybe. But not enough. There are no intense crying scenes or pages of heart-wrenching emotion that can possibly fully prepare you for the agony heartbreak puts you through. I thought about this, of course I did--how could I not? When the only person I’d ever given my heart to, didn’t care. I thought about this as I cried, lying on my bed, struggling to breathe, trying to keep my voice down so that when the tears fell, you couldn’t hear the pain in my voice. I thought about this as I begged Brody not to do it.
“Not now, please.”over and over again.
I thought about this as I realized maybe this was the final straw. I thought about this as I tried to pretend that I was only letting the memories of all the pain I’d endured in the past year were flooding back. I thought about this as I told him that I loved him.
They never tell you that it hurts. It really hurts. They never tell you that you feel a pain in your stomach and a pain in your heart that no matter how long you sleep, no matter how many painkillers you take, will never go away. They never tell you that holding for dear life onto a pillow to muffle your sobs isn’t the same as having your best friend by your side to tell you it all will be okay, to tell you he’s just not thinking, that it’ll work out, just like it did last time, and the time before that, and the time before that.
In all the songs, in all the books, in all the movies, they tell you that when you love someone, when you really love someone, you fight for them, and you never stop fighting.
But they never tell you how to stop when it doesn’t matter anymore.
They don’t tell you that it’s hard to admit defeat. They don’t tell you that you’ll go an entire three weeks alone in your house, crying at the sound of his name, before you even can admit to all your friends, to your mother, who always hated him in the first place, that you’re not together anymore.
They don’t explain how hard it is to look through your journals and see how in love you were. They don’t explain what it’s like to watch it all crumble in the blink of an eye. They don’t tell you that even three months later, you still cry, and you still want, and you still need.
They don’t tell you that the pain only gets worse.
They don’t tell you these things because who wants to hear about that? They don’t tell you because their job is to give you hope in the times of darkness, to give you strength when you only want to lay in bed and never get up.
They don’t tell you that when you really love someone, you’d rather die than be without them, than watch them fall in love with someone else; have the wedding you planned, have the babies you wanted.
They don’t tell you the sad part, because that’s the thing. It’s sad. It’s horrifying and dark and depressing.
The real world is full of more pain than anyone could ever imagine. I thought of this, as I laid in my room, alone, crying, brokenhearted.
As much as I tried to convince myself that everything would be okay, that he loved me and would come back to me, that the pain was only temporary, the days went on and on, and the pain only got worse and worse.
I was afraid to hold on, but what’s more is, I was
to move on. It was a tough decision to make. I was unsure of whether or not I wanted to give up on something I’d worked so hard to create.
It was like painting a picture, then realizing that the colors didn’t quite fit, just as you were coming close to finishing it. It was like reading a book, and getting to the last page, then realizing you didn’t want to know the ending. It was like running a race, and just before you get to the finish line, you decide it’s not worth the medal.
That’s what Brody did.
As the phone rang, I took a deep breath, closing my eyes. I listened on my end of the line, waiting for someone to pick up. Steadying my breathing and regulating my heartbeat was proving to be more and more difficult as time went by.
I couldn’t help it. I let my thoughts drift to earlier that day, and Brody’s appearance on my doorstep. His hair was all over the place, his eyes wide and staring like he didn’t quite know where he was or what he was doing.
And when he spoke, his words were stiff and robotic,
It’s not you, it’s me. I thought things could work, but they can’t. Michele, I can’t tell you that I love you. Please, don’t make this any harder than it needs to be. It’s over.
God, those words crushed me like Thor’s hammer.
Just reminding myself of those words caused a fresh wave of tears to fall from my eyes. I couldn’t even see straight. I was sure that if I allowed myself to dig deeper into my head, I could let my thoughts wonder to why it happened, when it happened, and how it happened. Had he ever loved me at all? He’d never said it, but I’d thought that I’d felt it. Had he been stringing me along for the entire year, just so that he could abandon me at prom and then dump me? God, it was all just too much to deal with.
“Westwick,” the voice said, groggy and irritated on the other end.
“Colin,” I choked out. “It’s Michele. I need you.”
My best friend’s boyfriend had become someone I relied on to be there for me whenever I needed him. He had an unfailingly beautiful soul; that soul held more love for Nickayla, myself, and every other person who came in contact with him than anyone would ever know.
“Okay,” he said, and I could hear his bed creak as he got out of it. “Do you want me to bring Nic with me?”
I considered this for a moment. I wasn’t quite ready to see Nic and have her find out what Brody had done to me. She wasn’t the kind of person who would judge or spout the “I told you so” line, but the look of sadness and devastation in her eyes when someone that she loved was hurt…God, that look was heartbreaking enough to bring a grown man to his knees.
“No,” I said. “I’ll talk to her in the morning. Right now I just…I really need a friend.”
I could hear Colin’s steady breathing, and then the audible click of a door being closed.
“Okay,” he repeated, his voice sounding much clearer than before. “I’ll be right there. Just hang tight, okay?”
Then I let the tears fall.
I wrapped my arms around my knees as I choked out more sobs. My entire body convulsed with tears and I couldn’t keep my head from spinning. I buried my head in my knees, as I tried to keep my cries silent.
My head snapped up when I heard a knock at my front door, and I wiped my tears hastily, only for fresh ones to spring in their place.
“It’s open!” I called, my voice thick with emotion.
Colin Westwick stood in my doorway, took one look at me, and rushed over to where I sat in a corner. He wrapped his arms around me without a single word, crouching beside me and rocking me. I gripped him around the waist, burying my face in my shoulder as I sobbed uncontrollably.
He was honestly one of my closest friends. I loved the fact that when he started his relationship with Nickayla, he started a friendship with me as well. I knew that he cared about me and genuinely didn’t want to see me sad. That was the reason that I called him, because in other circumstances, Brody Durham would have been the first one that I’d call.