It’s her. Only. Always. Forever.
Total Obsession, an all-new dark and heat-filled standalone romance from the USA Today Bestselling author Ivy Wild is available now!
Fifteen years ago I said the cruelest things to him,
and then he disappeared.
I moved on, became a model,
and am about to star in a new television series.
Then one day he shows up backstage,
and we can’t deny the chemistry.
He’s so much different than he was back then.
He’s intense, commanding, and extremely possessive.
He says what happened is all water under the bridge.
Then, why do I feel like I’m drowning in him?
I’ve been planning this for fifteen years.
Ever since she betrayed me,
I watched her, helped build up her career and her life,
all with a singular purpose in mind.
Give everything to her, and then take it all away.
Except now that I’m close to her, I’m starting to question everything.
That was always the plan.
She’s my total obsession and not the healthy kind.
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Fifteen years ago…
“Are you nervous?” I asked her. We sat in the little gazebo on the edge of her property. It overlooked what really was just a stormwater retention pond, but it was still kind of a water view. It didn’t matter to either of us though. It was still our place.
“No?” she said with that infectious laugh of hers. “Are you?”
I shrugged my shoulders and shook my head. “No,” I lied.
Tomorrow was our first day of high school. Our town was set up so that there was just one big high school, but a bunch of small elementary and middle schools. New people scared me, but I’d never had to deal with that for all those years, at least not at school.
Zoey was the complete opposite of me. She had this beautiful chestnut-colored hair and bright blue eyes. She smiled at everyone she met and within two seconds, they always smiled right back. She could start up conversations with strangers and by the end of it, she knew their whole life story. No one stayed a stranger to Zoey Campbell for long.
I, on the other hand, was a different story. I wasn’t sure that I was always this way, but my childhood hadn’t been enjoyable thus far. People had hurt me in the past, so I stayed away from them. I tried to stay away from Zoey, but she never let me. Every time I tried to pull away when we were kids, she would come over to my house, knock on the back door, and force me to come outside and play. She was the only friend I ever had.
And, the only one I ever wanted.
I knew I was just a kid, a pretty messed up kid from a shit town with a shit family, but I knew what I wanted. And, I wanted Zoey. She was the only person who knew my secrets and even knowing about all the bad stuff my Dad did to me when I was just a toddler, she didn’t judge me for it. She didn’t think I was weird or damaged. She said she still liked me, still wanted to be my friend, and still accepted me for who I was.
“It’s okay, Axe,” she said to me. “Please just be honest. I want you to always be honest with me, okay?” she said, taking my hands in hers.
I looked up into her sky-blue eyes. There was such kindness there. It was so calming to me. Some days I felt like she was the only reason to keep living. Some days I felt like she was the only reason I was sane.
“I’m really nervous,” I admitted to her. She smiled.
“There, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”
“What are you nervous about?” she asked, squeezing my hands, encouraging me like she always did. I sighed.
“What about them?” I twisted my lips. “I’m afraid they might hurt me.” It’s such a deep confession, it hurt just tearing it up from my heart.
Zoey leaned in, wrapping me in her arms. I sighed into her embrace, reveling in the sweet pea body spray that she always wore. “You don’t have to worry about that, Axe,” she said. “I’m going to be right there with you. I’m not going to let anyone hurt you.”
“I know,” I said to her.
She turned and reached into her bag, pulling out the little Polaroid camera that she was always carrying with her. She was always taking pictures and swore to me that one day she would be a photographer.
“Here,” she said, holding up the camera so that it captured both of us. “One for me,”she said, snapping the photo and waiting for the little card to come out. “And, one for you,” she said, snapping another picture, but this time, she turned and placed a kiss to my cheek. The photograph fell out of the machine and into my lap.
As the image came into view, I knew that I would carry this picture with me forever.
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