22 August 2014

Title: Who I Was
Author: Kasidy Blake
Publisher: (August 21st, 2014)
Add to: Goodreads
Order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

NOTE: This is a Adult novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+

Synopsis: Lillian Jacobson was a very happy four year old. She had two loving parents and an older brother who put all other brothers to shame.

Everything changed one horrible night when her entire world was savagely torn apart. Her parents were brutally murdered in front of her eyes and she was left with a bullet wound in her shoulder as a constant reminder of the tragedy. Now she and her brother are living their lives in constant fear; every day a fight for survival.

After years of relative safety under witness protection, their situation turns from bad to worse. Betrayed by a man who swore to protect them, her brother is taken by the same people who ended her parents lives years before. She is moved to a secure location under the protection of two agents, but a complication arises that she never saw coming. She begins to fall for both men, who are also falling for her. When a letter arrives bearing the ultimatum, “Surrender yourself or your brother dies,” she must find a way to suppress her desires or she may never see her brother alive again.

CHAPTER ONE

Lillian

I am sitting by myself in the corner, looking out the window and people-watching. I have come to enjoy my time alone, looking on as people live their normal lives. It’s kind of funny, because that is basically all that I have, alone time. I guess I should be thankful that I haven’t gotten bored with myself yet.

 I sit here in my own bubble, just observing, and if I am honest, I’m envious of the interactions that people have with each other. I don’t develop relationships with anyone other than Parker. I learned at a young age not to let anyone pass my walls; it’s not worth it. So here I sit, with the life that Gessati has forced on me, watching how normal people act with each other. Boyfriends and girlfriends lean in for a kiss. Friends sit across a table from each other, laughing. I purposely don’t make friends, and I will continue to tell myself that I don’t need to. This is who I am now. I am a loner, destined to live out my life by myself. Well, I have Parker, too.

“Gracie, what are you doing?” Parker asks while setting his food down next to mine.

I look at him and give him a smile. “Oh, you know, just a little of this, and a whole lot of nothing, as usual.” He chuckles at me and my “poor me” statement.

“Hey, Grace? There is a party tonight at one of my friend’s houses, and I was just wondering if you would like to, maybe, go?”

I look at him and wonder why he always asks me like he is afraid of my answer. He acts like I am about to rip his head off just for asking. I mean, I will say no, but he doesn’t have to be so scared. I always say no with a smile.

“Oh! Boy, you know, Par-, I, um, I mean, William, I would really love to, but I can’t. I have to, um, wash my hair.” I shrug and give him my best look for “yeah, nice try, never going to happen, I don’t know why you bother”, with a smile.

“Grace!”

I had looked out again toward the window, and his tone made me jump. I turn to look at him and his face shows me that he is really angry. I groan internally, realizing why he freaked out. I know he is going to lecture me, even though I didn’t mean to do it. It’s called an accident for a reason.

“You almost slipped again, Gracie. I beg you please, please be careful. We just got here, and I am so sick of moving.” Great, please keep laying on the guilt.

“Sorry, William, I really am trying so hard not to slip, but you have to underst—“ I stop mid-sentence. Well, I think I was saying something. My tongue now feels fat and I couldn’t say anything if I wanted to. I am looking, okay, no, I am staring out the window. My full attention is focused on a boy, no, a man who must be lost. This town doesn’t grow men who look like him, not that I know of, anyway. If they do, maybe I will work a lot harder to keep from slipping up. This man is well-toned and thick with muscles. My mouth goes completely dry, which has never happened to me before, and I am sure I have no idea in hell what that means.

“Earth to Gracie, come in Gracie!”

“GRACIE!” He yells a little louder than needed while shaking me.

“WHAT?!” I snapped back.

“What are you looking at so hard out there?”

“Nothing, absolutely nothing. What were we talking about?”

“Ha-ha, nice try... move so I can see who is out there and who seems to have captured Gracie Holloway’s eye.” Then he mumbled under his breath as if I couldn’t hear him sitting right next to me. “Never thought I’d see the day.”

I slapped him on the arm, and before he could look, the man in question turned around. I froze. I completely froze, and I think I may have just dry-heaved a little. Not because he wasn’t as good looking in the front as he was from the back, because his front is amazing as well. I froze because, well, I know him.

“Shit! Is that Braxton? It is! Damn it, Lil, what did you do this time?”

He did not just fucking say that to me! I am so sick of this. I turned to stare at him and I am pretty sure my look alone could have killed him. He better not say another word about me screwing this up, but if my look alone wasn’t enough, I’ll be sure to inform him how much he just screwed up.

“Really, William? What did I do? I haven’t fucking done anything. For goodness sakes, we have been here, what, a week? In that time have I even so much as talked to another human? No! However, you are mister social and have friends who invite you to parties. Maybe you are the one who screwed up this time.”

Finishing my rant, my eyes dart quickly to the window. My brain starts frantically searching for the last time I saw Braxton. What was it, five years ago? He wasn’t nearly as built and he had braces and acne. I mean, I know people change, but damn!

Parker clears his throat and I look back over at him. He has guilt and embarrassment flashing all over his face, and I feel guilty for yelling at him.

“Sorry, Gracie, I know I shouldn’t have accused you. I am just so sick of this shit. You are right though; I need to be more discreet.”

He then turns to me and whispers, “Didn’t you know? Braxton has joined the force; it seems to agree with him well…” He lets the last word linger while a small smile spreads across his face causing me to groan loudly.

“Look William, I saw him from behind, seriously, I had no idea it was him. I mean, you must admit he looks way different. Besides that, now that he has turned around, and I can see the rest of him, it was really nothing; possibly the way the sun was hitting him or something. Braxton is, well, Braxton. You know he is the same as always; you can add a few new muscles and a badge, but that will just make him worse. I can bet he just thinks he is top shit, which means his attitude has not changed. Trust me, it was nothing.”

I finish my rambling plea, hoping he won’t read too much into my initial reaction to Braxton, and realize I wasn’t looking at him. I was looking to the door directly behind him, waiting for Braxton to walk in. I glance at Parker and see an amused look; a laugh is about to burst out of him. That could only mean one thing.

I just pray he didn’t hear my speech. “Hi, Braxton.” I sigh.

“Well, hello to you too, Chicken Little. What was nothing?”

My body stiffens on its own. He is right behind me. I can feel his breath in my ear, and apparently my body is hyperaware of Brax. That is a new development. I turn to give him my signature glare but lock onto his amazing hazel eyes. How could I forget how mesmerizing they were?

I remember when we were kids and I got a mood ring. I thought it was really cool. Braxton, however, said that it was nothing special because he had mood eyes. Back then I didn’t really get it, but now the colors of his eyes are showing some emotion, one I have never seen before on him. They aren’t the normal blue/green I am used to seeing; they are grey, so grey they could almost be black. I must have done something really bad this time because eyes that dark could only reflect one emotion – he must be extremely pissed off. I don’t understand what I could have done. I am having trouble thinking straight with him staring at me the way he is, so I can’t figure it out. I can’t think back to this past week to even try to remember where I slipped up. He continues staring and searching my eyes like he doesn’t have a clue who I am. Well, I don’t know who I am either, so at least we are on even ground there.

He abruptly shakes his head and stands up. I can’t help but look him up and down – the first look wasn’t enough, it was too quick. His face has sharp lines and his hair is very dark; it’s much shorter than before. I suppose he had to cut his shaggy hair when he joined the force.

He is staring at me while I look him over, and it’s making me warm all over from the inside, causing me to shift uncomfortably in my spot. I let my gaze look past his face; trying to calm my body down, and follow his muscles down his arms and down his stomach. I think I can see a well-defined 6-pack through his shirt. Yeah, it isn’t only his eyes that are making me warm and uncomfortable. I start giggling like a crazy person and shaking my head. Why would someone wear a shirt that tight? I stop giggling when Braxton interrupts me.

“We need to go somewhere to talk now.”



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About the Author:

Kasidy is a pen name, however her identity isn’t that much of a secret.  She has been married for 10 years this year to her high school sweetheart. They have two wonderful children.  Kasidy currently works full and part time but she loves it all.  When she isn’t doing any of those things she is either reading or writing!  Her friends and family are super supportive and she knows she would be nothing without them.  Who I was is her Debut Novel. With Who I Became following shortly behind!

Find Kasidy Online:

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