My name is Mia Giannis.
I am seventeen years old.
I live in Valese, Caberra.
This has become my mantra and my lifeline, having recently lost my memory due to a scary natural disaster.
Yeah. I have amnesia. Messed up, right?
You don’t know the half of it.
Not remembering anything has turned my world upside down. My parents try their hardest to “remind” me of who I was, but it doesn’t feel right. Or, if what they’re saying is true and that really was me, I’m not sure I like that person very much.
And then there’s my love life. Apparently, Gavin Ariastasis is my oldest and best friend in the world. Also, apparently, we’ve never dated. But now, noticing him for what feels like the first time, he’s making my heart do somersaults. He knows me inside and out—the real me. Plus, he’s sexy and charming as hell. Sounds perfect, right?
But then… there’s the new guy. Quinn McKeyen – tall, gorgeous and deliciously American. His mischievous grin and slow Midwestern drawl turn my insides to mush in two seconds flat making me question who I really am and what I really want.
Seriously. What am I supposed to do with all that?! I feel torn between them, but I barely even know who I am, let alone what I want.
I just hope my indecisive heart will clue me in. And sooner rather than later…before I lose what little of my mind that I have left.
I was given four excerpts to chose from and I picked this one. It’s a great scene. A tad bit spoilery but I liked it best than the others. I hope you enjoy! Gavin is one of my most favorite characters from this book and the first book too.
I flip over and suddenly, I’m terrified.
The sea is so very vast.
And I’m so very alone.
I scream. I can’t help it. And as I do, I accidentally gulp in a huge mouthful of water. Everything that follows is a blur.
I start coughing and flailing my arms and even though I’m wearing a life-jacket, I’m thrashing around like a lunatic. I hear the boat motor start up and then I feel the wake of the boat as it crests up to me. Gavin is next to me and before I know it, he’s hauling me over the side of The Shining.
I’m in his lap, on the floor of the boat and he is holding me and I am shaking.
I’m such an idiot.
I’m such an idiot.
And I must be repeating it out loud, even though I don’t mean to, because Gavin is telling me, “No, you’re not.”
But I am.
I really am.
“I don’t know why I got so afraid,” I tell him. “I think I had a panic attack.” My voice sounds pathetic and I hate it.
Gavin tightens his grip on me, his strong arms are wrapped around me and I suddenly realize that his skin is pressed against mine and it feels really, really good. I push into him harder and clutch him to me.
Because for some insane reason, I’m still unnerved.
“It’s okay,” he tells me softly. He’s stroking my back and I’m trying to catch my breaths like a normal person. “You’ve been through a lot. I shouldn’t have let you float like that alone. You seemed like you were doing fine, so I climbed up onto the boat to watch you and I must have fallen asleep. I’m so sorry. This is my fault, Mi.”
I look up at him. He’s so sexy and concerned and my heart melts.
“It’s not your fault that I’m insane,” I tell him firmly. “I don’t know why I panicked. I can’t even explain it. Everything just all of a sudden felt so big and I felt so small and alone. I guess I kind of freaked out.”
Understatement of the year.
Gavin’s dark eyes are soft as he stares at me. He brushes a thumb across my cheek and says that he is so very sorry.
“It makes sense, Mia,” he tells me. “You can’t remember who you are. So you feel sort of alone in the world. And when you fell asleep while you were floating and woke up, the sea felt big. And everything came down on you at once. It’s okay. I get it. But you’re never alone. I want you to know that. You will always have me. You always have and you always will.”
My heart swells until it might burst.
It feels so incredibly, amazingly good to have this beautiful boy tell me that. To know that he has always been my friend, that he knows me inside and out. And then I do something unexpected.
I lean up and kiss Gavin.
On the mouth.
Sweet Angel of Mercy.
His lips are soft and warm from the sun. I can taste the sea on them and I weave my hands into his hair, pulling him closer. He tightens his grip on me and kisses me back; hard, hard, harder. He tastes like fruit and smells like sunshine.
It’s really nice.
My heart is doing flip-flops when I finally pull away.
Gavin stares down at me in shock.
“I’ve always wondered what that would be like,” he admits. “Kissing a firecracker, I mean.” I smile.
“It’s really too difficult to say from just one kiss,” he says, his dark eyes twinkling. “We should try it again so that I have more to go on.”
He cups my face in his hands and dips his head, his lips meeting mine.
He tastes of butterscotch and man.
Twenty-five beats of my heart later, he pulls away.
“And?” I breathe.
“You’ll do,” he grins.
Connect with Courtney Cole
Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could.
She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds.
Every Last Kiss is her debut novel and she followed it with the rest of The Bloodstone Saga (Every Last Kiss, Fated, With My Last Breath and My Tattered Bonds).
Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.