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If You Dare: Chapter 1

After

Violet

I killed my best friend.

I didn’t mean to. I’d do anything to take it back. But that doesn’t matter.

I killed my best friend.

Not guilty.” Outside the courthouse, my mother suppresses her sob with fingers covering her mouth.

Before Chloe, Mom was my best friend. But she hasn’t been able to look at me since she heard the news at the beginning of summer.

That her daughter is a killer.

I shade my eyes against the sunlight. No part of this world should be shining anymore without Chloe.

Mom and I make our way to the parking lot in silence.

Not guilty. I’m not guilty, at least according to a judge. But that doesn’t make me innocent.

The reckless endangerment charges carried a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a five-thousand-dollar fine. Even with a state-appointed attorney by my side, the judge decided to let me go. We were drunk; it was an accident.

From the courthouse, the Novaks emerge. What once was the perfect foursome, a family I loved and longed to belong to, is now a lonely threesome in semi-formal attire. Two parents who’ve lost a child and a brother who’s lost a sister.

All because of me.

Mr. Novak keeps his arm around his wife’s waist. She clutches her purse, nose red-tipped. They both flash me small smiles as they head for their SUV. Somehow, they don’t hate me for killing their daughter, even if I hate me.

Wes is another story.

From the shoulders down, he’s undeniably perfect. He always has been. Wes Novak, the most gorgeous hockey player at Diamond University. Hell, the most gorgeous guy on the entire campus. The last time I saw him in his black suit and gray button-down was at her funeral. He wore it again today hoping he’d be attending my funeral.

By the look on his face, he’s not at all happy to see I’m still alive.

His thick brows pull together, the square edge of his jaw hard as steel. He could crack a nut with those clenched teeth. His previously tamed-for-the-courtroom brown hair is now unruly where he dragged his hands through it after learning my fate. I can’t count how many times I’ve imagined running my hands through that hair.

His normally bright, mischievous blue eyes sear through me. Blazing with white-hot fury.

His parents may have forgiven me for the mistake I made that night.

But Wes hasn’t.


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