BREAK MY FALL by JESSICA SCOTT
For Josh Douglas, broken by the impotent rage of combat and loss, pain is the only thing that feels real until he meets Abby Hillard. In Josh, Abby sees a puzzle for someone else to solve even though she deeply feels the pull to free the darkness that cloaks him. BREAK MY FALL by USA Today Bestselling author, Jessica Scott, is the second book in an emotional new adult series about a group of young veterans adjusting to life away from the military. They've got a lot to learn about life away from war - and college may or may not be the place for them to learn it.
Title: Break My Fall
Author: Jessica Scott
Series: Falling #2
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: February 15, 2016
Violence. I’m addicted to it. It’s how I feel alive. It’s the only thing that’s real any more.
And now I have to sit around and discuss it like it’s physics or calculus.
I can’t do it. I can’t pretend that it’s some sterile academic topic.
Violence isn’t sterile. It isn’t calm. It’s pulsing. It’s alive.
It’s my drug.
Until I met Abby, I never wanted anything beyond the next fight.
Never considered that I might finally find a way back to the land of the living.
Now? Now I find myself dreaming of a woman with golden eyes.
But I can never be with her. Because I am not whole. And I never will be again.
But I cannot stay away. And loving her might finally be what breaks me.
He's watching me. I want to step closer to him but I can't. I won't.
Because I'm not blind to the darkness in Mr. Douglas. It's there, just below the surface. Like a pot of water just before it boils.
The tension is back, now. A slow burning anger I should be getting as far away from as I possibly can.
"What?" I finally ask, needing something to break the spell between us.
"Why do you care why I got angry in class? You don’t even know my name.”
I narrow my eyes at him and open my mouth, then snap it closed, mirroring his earlier action. I didn't expect the question and I have no idea how to answer.
Because in reality, I don’t have an answer for why I’m standing here at the moment.
My brain finally latches onto the first thing I come up with
"Wookie life debt. Payback for you helping me the other night."
I try to leave then. Hoping that he’ll let me go and put all my curiosity away. For good.
"Hey." His voice tugs at me to stop.
I won't look at him now. Because I'm ashamed of what he'll see if he looks into my eyes.
And I can't stand the thought of him seeing the needful loneliness that has become my constant companion since Robert ripped my heart out and left it bleeding on the cobblestone sidewalk.
"What's your name?" His voice is low and quiet. Steady now. Almost calm.
I turn, unable to avoid looking at him now.
It dawns on me that no, I don't know his name.
I stand there for a moment, hesitant. The last time this happened, I fell too far, too fast.
This time will be different. Because I'm not going to make the same mistake twice.
It's like standing too close to an electrical current.
The simplicity of the question is deceptively benign.
I'm drawn to him in a way that is unhealthy and dangerous. He's already consuming my thoughts, drawing my attention away from the matter at hand and luring me down a dark corridor where only dark thoughts and whispered need twist together.
I hold up one hand, needing to break the spell or whatever is going on between us. My hand collides with his chest, and I am flush against the stark reminder of this man's strength and power and capability to do violence.
There's a small cut over his left eye, from the other night. Before the rational part of my brain kicks in, I brush my fingertips gently over the bruised and damaged skin.
He goes still beneath my touch. That full bottom lip opens a little. A tiny space, but I can feel the heat of his breath on my wrist.
His eyes are locked on mine. I'm trapped, unable to move. I'm not sure I want to. I'm furious for him but I'm frozen, burning where my fingers touch his skin.
I cannot move. Cannot look away.
"I'm Josh," he whispers. An answer to an unasked question.
Jessica Scott is an Iraq war veteran, an active duty army officer and the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO. She and her family are currently wherever the army has sent her.
She's also written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/New Dawn and has had the honor of serving as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas twice.
She's pursuing a graduate degree in Sociology in her spare time and she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.
Jessica is also an active member of the Military Writers Guild.