Out of Mind by Jen McLaughlin
Reaching for sunlight...
Finn survived the ambush and came home to me, but in his head, the battle is still raging. He’s falling apart and I’m trying my best to pick up the pieces of him, to find the us we used to be. I love him as much as I ever did, but love isn’t enough to fix this. I thought telling my father about our relationship would be the hardest thing we’d ever have to face. I was wrong.
Lost in shadows...
All I wanted was to be worthy of Carrie. One mission, just one, and I’d be able to give her the future she deserved. Then everything went wrong, leaving me tainted and broken. Carrie wants me to be who I was, but all that’s left is what they made of me. I’m no good for her. No good for anyone like this. I have to figure out how to move forward. Alone.
Sometimes love isn’t enough…
Out Of Mind Bonus Scene
This scene takes place a few weeks after the end of OUT OF TIME, but a couple of weeks before the beginning of OUT OF MIND.
I woke up slowly, blinking away the sunlight streaming through the hospital windows. I must have dozed off for a little while. By some miracle of miracles, I hadn’t had a nightmare. I usually did. Sighing, I reached out and pushed the morphine button on the machine next to me. My head and arm hurt like a fucking bitch.
The door opened, and I tensed. My last visitor had been Senator Wallington. He’d reminded me exactly how beneath his daughter I was, then left. Ya know, the usual. But this time? It was a most welcome visitor. Carrie’s red head peeked inside the hospital room.
“I’m awake,” I said, smiling and adjusting myself against the pillows. “Come in.”
She grinned at me and slipped through the crack of the door. “I came by earlier, but you were sleeping, so I went to the gift shop. Here. It’s for you.”
“Thank you.” I took the yellow rose she held out for me, not quite sure what I was supposed to do with a flower. I was a dude. We were supposed to be the one’s giving out the flowers—not the other way around. “I didn’t realize they made yellow roses.”
“They make them in every color imaginable,” she said, sitting down on the side of the bed gently. “You’re probably wondering why I got you a flower, right?”
I chuckled and stared down at the gentle bud. “Uh, yeah, kind of.”
“From what I’ve seen, roses are the toughest flowers out there. One year, my mother’s gardener planted the garden way too early. A frost came through, and it killed all the flowers outside.” She leaned in and touched the soft petal. “All of them except the roses. They were the only flowers that thrived, despite the cold and the frost. They had the biggest batch ever that year. And they were gorgeous.”
I swallowed hard. “Oh yeah?”
“Yeah.” She cupped my cheek. Her soft touch was so soothing and perfect that I closed my eyes and savored it. “And those roses remind me of you—of us. You are so strong, and I know it’ll be tough, but you’ll get through this, and you’ll be stronger because of it. I know it.”
My heart clenched. “We’ll get through this.” I squeezed her hand with my one good one. “Together, we can do anything.”
“Together,” she echoed, her eyes filled with tears that didn’t spill out. “I love you.”
“I love you, too, Ginger.”
I kissed her, my lips fleeting over hers. My grip tightened on her hand, and she strained to get closer. I drew in a ragged breath, my body responding to her closeness. Her tongue flicked over mine, making my stomach get tight and other things go hard. What I wouldn’t give to be out of this hospital room, and back in California with her in my apartment so I could take care of this need for her that was trying to kill me.
But we wouldn’t have privacy until I got out of this one in D.C., though, so we had a while to go. With that knowledge ringing in my head, I pulled away. “I can’t wait to go home.”
She sighed. “Me too. It’ll be here soon. We just have to get back to my parents house, then get through Christmas. Then things will go back to normal.”
Normal? Nothing about me was normal anymore. I was a fucking mess. But I smiled for her even though I knew it was a crock of shit. “Yeah. Normal.”
Her smile faltered, as if she saw through my façade, but she didn’t say anything. Her phone dinged. She didn’t pick it up. “We’re going to be okay,” she said again.
“Yeah, we will.” I hoped to hell we would, anyway. “Are you going to see who messaged you?”
“It’s just my daily inspirational message of the day.” She lifted a shoulder. “You know how I love those little messages.”
I ran my thumb over her lip. “I love that you love those little messages. It’s a-dork-able.”
She flushed. “Shut up.”
“Gladly.” I leaned in, the morphine making me feel high and kinda out of it. “Or you could shut me up.”
“Gladly,” she echoed, completely oblivious to the fact that I was a fucking wreck.
She kissed me, and I tried to stop thinking. Stop feeling.
To just stop it all.
OUT OF LINE (Book #1)
Amazon - http://amzn.to/17HLrFu
B&N - http://bit.ly/17hfkvi
OUT OF TIME (Book #2)
Amazon - http://amzn.to/1daxXYL
B&N - http://bit.ly/1g7hPas
Jen McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She writes steamy New Adult books for the young and young at heart. Her first release, Out of Line, came out September 2013. She also writes bestselling Contemporary Romance under the pen name Diane Alberts.Since receiving her first contract offer under the pen name Diane Alberts, she has yet to stop writing. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she’s not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/DianeAlberts6