Every Shattered Thing synopsis:
Stephanie fights reality every day. The voices inside, the ones declaring her worth, deem her broken, used and dirty. She is an object. A toy. Something to be tossed aside when bored. Who will believe her if she whispers the truth about her wrecking ball of a family? Eventually, her secret explodes and the person who means the most to her knows just how shattered she is and why she's so afraid. But rescue is closer than she realizes. Hidden in plain sight, her horror hasn’t been ignored by everyone. Racing against the truth of what she faces, forces are joining together and developing a plan to free her from the hell in her own backyard. And while she’s at her lowest point, she’s hit with the beauty of love at any cost - redemption in the face of ruin. Will it be enough?
*Warning: Contains mature content that may not be suitable for younger audiences*
And now, without further ado...
Every Shattered Thing excerpt:
The hint of a smile forms on his lips and he catches me staring. The smile spreads across his face and he moves his hand right under my face, pulling me closer.
“You know you can kiss me any time you want to, right?”
He steps even closer and brushes his lips with mine, and I swear. The wind picks up around us and blows my hair up and out and I pulls me in even closer and I can’t breathe but he’s kissing my neck, my throat, and oh god those lips.
I’ve kissed people before. This is something different. This is a cold rush of wind and the warmth of summer. This is the crash of an ocean wave. I gasp when he nibbles my lower lip. My hands run through his hair, tugging on strands before moving down his arms and around his waist. I want him closer. I’ve never wanted anyone close but damn. I want him close. I want to feel every inch of him.
Pathetic fallacy. Mrs. Peabody told us about it in literature. Sometimes, the atmosphere mirrors that of the characters. It’s the gloomy weather and pointed description of the castle in Wuthering Heights. It’s picnics on sunny days with someone you love.
It’s the electric feel of Kevin’s hands reaching places they’ve never explored while the storm inches closer and closer.
It’s more than I can handle. I pull away, slowly, and rest my head against his chest. The tears are flowing and I’m trying to keep them as silent as possible but it doesn’t work. He tucks his finger underneath my chin and lifts my head gently.
I place my hands on his chest where my head rested and avoid his gaze. “I just..I just need a minute.”
He wraps his arms around me and my head falls right underneath his chin.
“It’s just so different,” I whisper.
He says nothing, just kisses the top of my head and briefly tightens his hold before releasing me. “Come on. We still have a little while before the storm hits.” He helps me walk up the soggy embankment to the tracks. “This is something else I use to do when I was younger and needed to get away from everything.” He focuses on the ground beneath us, looking for possible grooves which would cause me to trip. “But, when I was younger it was less of me getting away from a serious crisis and more me just wanting to get away from my overbearing parents.”
“At least you have parents who worry about you.”
He nods. “Yeah. Before, I saw it as something I hated. They just ‘didn’t get me’ and only wanted to ruin my fun.” He picks up a stick and examines it before tossing it aside. “Before the party, before everything got weird, they were simply trying to protect me.”
“Do they know about me?”
Kevin smiles and continues to walk, measuring his words before he speaks. “Yeah.” He looks at me and puts his hand up as a promise. “They don’t know anything else other than you being my girlfriend. I haven’t said anything about...your situation.”
“Do you think your mom would like me?”
He’s quiet again, this time for a longer period of time. When he does begin talking, his words are quiet. “I don’t know. My mom has this tendency to take everything at face value. Because of this, she’s already pinpointed girls she wants me to date. Girls who know how to put on a pretty face for the adults and usually turn around and party harder than anyone I know. Girls I would never dream of dating.”
I notice the darkening clouds and their similarity to the growing storm inside me. Apparently I had been holding my breath, because I exhale slowly and press my lips together. His parents know about me. For some reason, this excites and terrifies me at the same time. What if I screw something up? What if he realizes my situation is too much to handle?
He stops walking and pulls me toward him again. His voice breaks through my downward spiral and I notice the emotion just beneath the surface of his eyes.
“Stephanie...I don’t want you to worry about my mom. She doesn’t matter. I’ve spent way too many moments worried about what they think and I forgot about what was important, what I needed to rely on wasn’t them but something bigger, something more stable. It doesn’t matter to me if she likes you or not. This won’t change my feelings for you.” His voice moves to a whisper and he comes closer. “I know what I want.”
He leans forward and kisses me again, this time slow and gentle, before turning again toward the trail.
I stretch my shoulders and walk beside him a little more until we find ourselves getting ready to cross the bridge. I stop for a split second and Kevin looks at me.
I stare down at the drop—nothing more than twenty feet—but my palms start to sweat and my knees start to shake. I croak out. “I’m afraid of heights.”
No, afraid isn’t the word. It’s more like terrified. Scared shitless. Horrified.
He laughs. “Stephanie. I got you. Come on, you’ll feel better once you cross this. Besides, it’s quicker going this way than turning back and walking all the way through the meadow again.” He shrugs his shoulders and motions again toward the clouds. “Think of it as a shortcut.”
I shoot accusatory glances his way. “Did you know this was here? Did you know we’d have to walk on this bridge? What if a train comes?”
“Impossible. This track is dead at night. I use to walk it all the time, remember?”
I take a deep breath and grab his outstretched hand. “Okay. Let’s do this. But I swear, Matouse. If I die...”
He leans over and kisses my cheek. “That's my girl.”
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