Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: December 15th, 2014.
Number of pages: 276
Word Count: 94,000
The one whose emotions I can’t feel is the one who makes me feel the most.
I was a sensitive, at least that’s what I was told by the boy who saved me from the overwhelming emotions that consumed my soul, the boy who saved me from myself when my gift became stronger. Through the years, he was my redemption, my reason to take my next breath…then, he was gone.
Jensen always told me I was strong, but I didn’t believe him until I was forced to be strong on my own, and I kept breathing without him. I’ve taken 42 million breaths since the moment he sent me away. Now, four years later, he’s standing in front of me, and I can barely breathe.
This isn’t just a story about the abilities I possess; it’s a story about something much stronger…the love of the man who possesses every part of me.
Disclaimer – Feel is intended for readers 18+ due to strong language, mature scenes, and some violence.
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/SoWsYWu9jik
The wet trails are warmer than I imagined they would be and tickle as they run down my forehead and knees. The bright red of my blood is beautiful as it makes the voices scaring me disappear. Warm, happy tears fall down my cheeks because the blood makes everything they feel for me go away. For a few seconds, I have calm…the only thing I feel is the pain, my pain.
Ace’s foot kicks dirt in my eyes, bringing everything else rushing back, and I lose my breath from the hard rush and the dust going into my chest.
“You’re such a stupid freak!” he yells, his orange converse shoe kicking more dirt in my mouth and eyes. “Cry baby,” Ace teases, pointing and laughing at my tears.
I want to scream at him that my tears aren’t from his being a big bully. I would never let someone so mean know he hurt me, so I just stop crying instead, not sharing my happy tears
with him, with any of them! Several of the kids in my class circle around me as I sit on my knees in the middle of them. My knees hurt as I stand, but it makes me laugh and that feels so good.
Ace pushes me, and I fall against Allison, who jumps back like she’s afraid to touch me.
“I don’t want her freak germs rubbing off on me, Ace,” Allison shrieks.
Ace laughs, but his laugh isn’t like mine; it’s cold and mean, like his hands, as he pushes me back to the ground. The sounds of them laughing hurts my ears as they kick more dirt in my face. The dust makes me cough and choke. My eyes hurt as they turn blurry and tears fill them again, but I rub them away before everyone can see as they continue to call me names and push me back and forth on the dirty playground.
“Leave her alone!” I hear a boy yell, and the mean laughing stops.
My eyes burn and feel scratched as I look up into his green eyes. He looks mad, but, for some reason, I’m not scared of him like I am of the others. The boy punches Ace in the mouth and blood runs down his lip. I don’t think his blood is pretty at all.
Ace falls to the ground next to me and starts to cry. I feel sorry for him before I feel his emotions stabbing me again, hurting everything inside. His eyes meet mine and I feel how he hates me, how he’s scared of me. I look away, praying for the calm I felt a few minutes ago, but it doesn’t come.
My teacher is yelling at the boy who hit Ace, telling him she’s going to call his father. She doesn’t look at me. She never looks at me.
The boy jerks his arm away from my teacher and kneels in the dirt in front of me. His eyes are so bright as he takes my hands, “Are you okay?”
I feel shy as I nod at the boy who looks a little older than me. I keep waiting for him to jerk his hands away from me like everyone else, but he never does. The calm comes back, making more tears fall from my eyes.
“Don’t cry. He won’t hurt you again. I won’t let him,” he promises as I wonder why I can’t feel anything from him when I want so badly to for the first time in my life. He wipes my tears with his thumbs, then pulls me up, never letting go of my hand, “I won’t let any of them hurt you.” He brushes his blond hair out of his eye and smiles.
I like how he smiles. It makes me feel like I do when the sun shines on my face. “Thank you,” I say quietly, feeling nothing but just what’s inside of me, and I smile back at him for that. My smile disappears when the teacher pulls him away. I don’t want him to go and my lips start to shake as she pulls him further towards the school.
He rolls his eyes at her before smiling at me again. His smile gets bigger and he jerks his hand from hers before running back and taking mine. “C’mon,” he laughs, pulling me behind him.
My teacher is yelling so loud, and I can feel how mad she is at us as we run away. I know what I’m doing is bad, really, really bad, but I don’t care. The calm is still in my tummy, and I feel happy. I hardly ever feel happy, and I don’t want this feeling to end.
My feet are tired and it’s hard to breathe when we finally stop. The boy still has my hand and he uses it to pull me onto the tall grass, next to him. His eyes are as green as the soft grass surrounding me. I can hear how loudly he’s breathing, but I still can’t feel anything from him. It’s what I don’t feel that makes me confused.
“You okay?” he asks, “you’re not scared are you?”
“No,” I say, slowly shaking my head.
He smiles at me again. “I’m Jensen. What’s your name?”
“Saige,” I whisper, suddenly not sure what I should feel when I can’t tell what he thinks of me.
He sits up and looks down at me laying in the grass. He’s still holding my hand and gently squeezes it, “Don’t worry, Saige, I won’t leave you alone with them. I’ll never leave you alone.”
“He’s going to act soon. We don’t have time to wait on a team to arrive. Andy and I will handle him,” I tell Darrin, one of the best men I know, aside from Andy, before closing the phone. Leaning against the side of the van, I groan. This bastard is good and that is thoroughly pissing me off right now.
“Jensen, I’ve got one for you,” Andy states, stepping out of the van and slamming the door I opened behind him, “but, I’m warning you, she’s got a mouth on her that rivals mine, man.”
“She?” Banging my head against the van, I let out another groan, “You took a girl?”
“Your southern gentleman manners need to stand down on this one. This girl’s got that sweet accent, too, but don’t let that fool you; she’ll shove her fist down your throat while kicking you hard in the balls. She unleashed some dirty southern charm on me and I had to restrain her.”
“You tied her up?” Pushing Andy aside, I go to open the door, “Shit, Andy, since when did we start taking girls and tying them up?”
“Since this girl bit the hell out of me,” Andy grumbles.
Giving Andy a glare letting him know this discussion is far from over, I slide the door the rest of the way open and freeze. The entire world stops when I see the dark caramel eyes that have haunted me every damn night staring back at me. A thousand thoughts spin through my head, but I can’t seem to form one coherent word as my chest aches from memories. Flashes of the best moments in my life play on fast forward in my mind, right up until the worst night of my existence strikes me like a bolt of lightning. “Saige,” I finally manage to rasp.
“Holy shit,” Andy lets out a low whistle, “so, she’s the one?”
Ignoring Andy, I watch the one girl who consumed me, healed me, fuckin’ wrecked me, slowly blink as she looks at me so intently, it feels she’s staring straight into my soul, just like she’s done a million times before. Her eyes are different now…guarded? Sad? Hours or a few seconds pass. I don’t know which, before she releases the lip she’s been absently chewing on and speaks in that soft voice that used to bring me to my knees, “Can you please cut me loose?”
Shaking through the fog, I glance at her bound wrists. Shit. “Of course,” I blurt, grabbing my knife. As I place my hand on the tape, my fingers brush against her hand and she inhales sharply, looking away. The sorrow in her eyes doesn’t go unnoticed, lancing my heart and sending me back to the night I sent her away, the night I felt like I lost my soul. “Hold still, okay?” I say as I slice through her bonds, quickly taking her hands in mine and rubbing her red wrists with my thumbs. “I’m sorry Andy restrained you,” I begin, but my voice trails as I look at her, not knowing what in the hell to say after all this time. She’s beautiful. She’s always been beautiful but, now, she’s…breathtaking.
Saige looks at my hands holding hers and slowly swallows. I never thought I would touch her again, and she feels just like I remember, better than I remember.
Andy clears his throat, and I know I’m going to catch hell later but I don’t care. The only thing that matters right now is the woman I’ve thought about every day for the last four years.
I open my arms to pull her to me, needing to feel her closer, to make sure she’s really here. “Damn, I’ve missed you,” I breathe, tangling my fingers in her hair as I brush my lips against her temple.
“Don’t,” Saige whispers, pulling away, “please, don’t touch me.”
The raw pain in her voice makes me want to hold her, protect her, but I’m the one who caused her pain. My chest aches seeing her hurting. I reach for her again, but she pushes me away, anger replacing the sorrow in her eyes.
I place my hand over his, leaning my cheek against the warmth of his touch before backing away so I can see him. I’m insane for falling for him again, but it seems my heart isn’t giving me a choice at the moment, ignoring how the rest of me is scared as hell it will never survive if he breaks it this time.
“I don’t want you to hurt,” I whisper. I don’t.
“Then, please stop fighting what we are together and get your stubborn ass over here so I can kiss you like I haven’t seen your pretty face in four long fucking years.”
I take one step towards him and that’s all he needs to wrap me in his arms, pulling me against his chest to close the rest of the distance between us as his hungry mouth collides against mine. His teeth nip the fullness of my bottom lip then his tongue caresses and strokes the sensitive, tingling skin. All strength in my body is stolen by the liberating dominance in his kiss, bruising and healing wrapped in one breathtaking seduction. My knees no longer work, but the rest of my body becomes alive, responding to his touch, awakening me from the emptiness I’ve lived in for so long. This is what I’ve craved. What I’ve missed. His taste, scent, and touch have haunted me, and I breathe them all in deeply now, terrified they will be gone again.
His fingers slide against my neck before softly tangling my hair in his fist. My head spins at his gentle touch mixed with his rough, passionate kiss. My lips part, granting his tongue all the access it wants, and he takes it greedily, sliding his tongue against mine, taming and setting me free. His kiss is scorching, searing me as liquid heat pulses low in my stomach. I feel the damp cotton pressing against where I need him to be so badly right now. Soft whimpers rumble up my throat, the needy pants muffled against his hot mouth. Jensen’s hand pulls me flush to his body and I feel him, hardened and throbbing, against my stomach. My gasp fills the air. I twist my waist, straddling myself against the muscles on his thigh.
Her dark eyes are clouded with doubt as she searches me, needing me to tell her what I see, needing me to be her strength right now after she’s been strong on her own for far too long, and just needing me. I want to rip the hearts out of everyone who has hurt her, but I tame the rage so I can give her everything she needs of me right now. “The second I met you I knew that you were special and I don’t mean just because of your gift. There’s this wild gentleness buried inside of you that is rare. You fight for what you believe, never backing down, even when you felt all the pain, all of the shit from everyone fighting to restrain you. You didn’t give a damn what you lost of yourself and did what you felt was right, what needed to be done. There aren’t many people like you left, Saige. You said I was your hero, well, I’m not the hero here. You are.
“I’m sorry,” she blurts, rubbing her hands down her tear stained cheeks.
“For what?” I ask, using my thumbs to help her dry her tears.
“I don’t know,” she answers. “For punching your friend, for being stupid, for everything.”
“That’s a helluva lot to be sorry for.” My lips curve into a smile and another tear slides down her cheek, leaving a hot, wet trail that I trace with my finger.
“I’m also sorry for how I’ve treated you since we met again.”
“You thought I sent you to a nut house. Don’t sweat it,” I tease, trying to cheer her up.
“So that excuses my being a total bitch to you?” Her eyes are red and puffy when she stops rubbing them and gives me a lopsided smile, looking so damn beautiful.
“No, it explains why you’ve been a total bitch,” I grin, giving her a wicked wink, “but I have a whole other slew of ideas of how you can make up to me for your bitchiness.”
She laughs, the sound soft yet strong, and so fucking seducing, the sweet lull rumbles through her throat like an aphrodisiac. After what she said about Wes, I can’t be like him. She deserves to know she’s loved before she gives herself to me. After all she’s been through, I won’t risk the chance that she’ll get scared I’ll leave her like he did. There will be no doubt about how much I love her when we make love for the first time; I’ll make damn sure of that.
About the Author:
Karen-Anne Stewart is an author of New Adult Romance who doesn’t shy away from writing about sensitive issues and hot heroes.
She has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain, and the newly released standalone novel, Ash to Steele. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards, and Saving Rain and After the Rain were nominees for the 2014 RONE Awards.
When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, three dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing new adult romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity.
Goodreads Author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6920317.Karen_Anne_Stewart
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/SKarenAnne