KINGDOM by A.M. Johnson is LIVE! The wait is over for this stunning story of two broken souls and the power of love and forgiveness. Beautiful, raw and emotional, this standalone in the Avenues Ink series will take your breath away. Read an excerpt &One-click now for only 99¢ and FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
I belonged to Liam.
The bell of the elevator caught my attention and I increased my pace. The doors were still open, a lucky catch, but as we moved closer, Blake’s scent was muted by the smell of leather, earth, and wood smoke. My heart squeezed out a hard beat as the wave of nostalgia hit me, and I stumbled over my heels. Blake tried to pull me forward, but as the doors were sliding shut I saw them. Kieran recognized me immediately, and his eyes widened. “Holy shit.”
“What?” Liam’s voice… it wrapped around every bone and snapped me in two. The elevator doors were slowly closing and a gap about a foot or more wide framed Liam’s face. His mouth, his eyes, those dark, beautiful, strong eyes hollowed out my stomach. Tears blurred my vision and, for just a split second, I’d hoped I’d imagined him. I felt the heat of Blake’s gaze and I ignored him, too afraid to look away. My skin felt cold as if all the blood had drained from my cheeks. Liam’s glare pinned me in place, ripped away my vocal cords and shredded the last remnants of my heart.
Three…two…one. I was decimated.
The elevator doors closed completely and my knees buckled. Blake dropped my hand and gripped my waist. He swore under his breath as he enclosed my entire body in his arms. “Are you okay?”
The air was fire, and my lungs were scorched vellum. Blake’s smell was fuel to the fire. I shoved away from him, my legs gathering strength. He was right there. The parts of Liam, the ones I’d held onto, the remaining fragments of my soul broke free from the marrow as I felt the sob crack through my ribs. Go. The air whispered the temptation in my ear and all the hair on the back of my neck stood at attention. My chest hurt as I sucked in another breath and then another, avoiding Blake and the way he was looking at me, the way his eyes watched me, finally seeing through every last defense. The warmth of his hands on my shoulders offered little comfort as he spoke, “You don’t have to leave…You won’t miss the chance to say goodbye.”
Blake’s face came into focus. His usually easy features were contorted with worry. He thought I was losing it because my father was dying. He thought I actually gave a shit. He didn’t know what Liam looked like. He didn’t know that the ghost of my past had been less than two feet away from me. “I’m fine. I panicked, but I’m fine.” The lie was easy as I ran my hands down my beige sweater. I slid my fingers along the leather strap of my bag as I found my composure. “It’s overwhelming.”
He dropped his hold on my shoulders and tried to link my free hand with his. I pulled away and he slipped his hand in his pocket. His lips thinned and his jaw muscle tensed. “Kelly, I’m going to grab my shit from the rental and take a cab, okay. You need to be here with your family.”
“Stop.” His lips spread into a phony smile. “I’m a big boy. I can get to the airport on my own.”
I should’ve protested. But Liam’s scent had gone faint, and I craved it, needed it. His image lingered in my peripheral vision as if I’d looked into a flash of a camera or gazed at the sun too long. His outline lingered.
“You’re right.” I gave him a small smile.
A shadow of hurt flickered across his eyes and his smile dimmed as he said, “Let’s grab my luggage.”
Liam O’Connell was the sun to Kelly’s everlasting moon, her painted prince. A strong and devoted soul to fight the war she was slowly losing against herself…until his promises had become lies and her dream was the only way she would ever survive.
They have more than just miles and time between them now. The twin fortresses they’ve built around their hearts are next to impossible to scale. But, when two parallel fates collide in life and in death, will the impact be powerful enough to break down their self-imposed walls?
Every love story starts with Once Upon a Time, but in real life there are no fairytale endings, and the prince who rescues you...will never wear a crown.
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If she’s not busy with her three munchkins, you’ll find her buried in a book or behind the keyboard where she explores the human experience through the written word.
She's obsessed with all things Austen and Oreos, and loves to connect with readers!