Rebel Hearts Read online Lili Valente

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 59
Estimated words: 54833 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 274(@200wpm)___ 219(@250wpm)___ 183(@300wpm)

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Rebel Hearts

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Lili Valente

Book Information:

I’m a born fighter, a savage when it comes to protecting the people I love.
And there’s no one I love more than her.
Samantha is my first, my only, my ride or die, and I’ll do whatever it takes to keep her with me, where she belongs.
I will bridge any distance. Tear anyone who hurts her apart with my bare hands.But you can’t fight an enemy without a face, and for the first time since we were kids Sam is keeping secrets from me.
Dangerous secrets. That might tear us apart…
Books by Author:

Lili Valente

Chapter One


Present Day

* * *

“And thus the heart will break,

yet brokenly live on.”

-Lord Byron

* * *

We’re not going to make it.

We’re not going to fucking make it.

I pace back and forth across the flowered carpet in front of Gate 11B, fighting the urge to scream as the minutes tick by and the Croatia based flight crew takes their sweet time getting the doors to the Jetway open. Danny is less than fifty feet away, but he might as well be at ten thousand feet. I can’t get to him, he can’t get out, and we’re about ten minutes from missing our last chance to get out of Maui before it’s too late.

The plane to Auckland, New Zealand leaves in twenty-five minutes. They’ve almost finished boarding. Every time my pacing takes me closer to Gate 7, I can see the line of people shuffling past the flight attendant dwindling.

Twelve people…nine…seven…

I squeeze my fingers into a fist and press it hard to my lips, afraid I might actually scream in the middle of the international terminal if I don’t.

Panic dumps into my bloodstream and for a moment all I can hear is the blood rushing in my ears and the desperate thud thud thud of my heart thrashing in my chest. My ribs contract, my lungs seize up, and the urge to run becomes almost unbearable.

Dad and Penelope think I’m just picking up Danny at the airport, but if Alec calls while I’m gone they might start to suspect something. If they take a second to glance in my closet, they’ll know I’ve packed for an epic journey, not a forty-minute drive to Kahului. They could come looking for me, force me to go home with them tonight, and put me on a plane back to California tomorrow.

My stepbrother’s future hangs in the balance. Penny never believed he was guilty and she’ll do anything to prove it, even feed me to the wolves. Penny loves me, but not as much as she loves her son. Not even seven years of being the best and brightest blended family on the island can change that.

I glance at my watch. It’s three thirty in Los Angeles. Two hours past my one-thirty appointment time with Detective Spanuth. I’m betting Alec knows I’ve missed it by now, and I know he wasn’t kidding when he said he’d tell our parents the truth if I didn’t come clean about the subpoena and everything else.

I don’t think he’s called his mom yet, but it’s only a matter of time. He needed me to keep that meeting, and prove he isn’t responsible for what happened to Deidre Jones. If the police believe my version of events, Alec’s buddies might still go to jail, but Alec believes unveiling my secret is going to make everything all right. He thinks, once the beans are spilled, the lawyers will be able to prove this was all some big misunderstanding, and the boys are blameless.

I’m the one who started the rumor, after all. I’m the one who hurt that girl.

Innocent girl, whose only sin was looking too much like me.

I close my eyes, swallow hard against the nausea making my stomach heave, and force Deidre’s face from my mind. If I could go back in time and take it back, I’d like to believe I would. I’d like to believe I’d do the right thing, but if I look deep into my heart…

My heart….

I’m not sure I have a heart anymore. It feels like there’s nothing at the core of me except fear, pain, and hate. I hate Alec and his friends and I hate myself. And when a person is this full of hate, maybe there’s no room for anything else.

When I booked this trip late last night—hiding under the covers in my room like I was a ten year old reading after lights out—I was certain all I needed was distance to make everything all right. Just distance and Danny, and I could be the person I used to be. I could put the past five months behind me and move on.

I am rotting from the inside, hanging on to my sanity by a fraying thread, and so sad it feels like I’ll never smile a real smile again, but Danny always knows what to say to talk me back from the edge. In his arms, with his love wrapped around me, muffling the chaos of the world, I was sure I’d be able to feel good again.

Or at least okay.

But maybe I was wrong. Maybe this time I’m too broken for anyone to put the pieces back together again.

No sooner is the thought through my head than the door to the Jetway opens. Two businessmen in rumpled suits are the first out, then a family with a little girl asleep in her father’s arms. Danny is right behind them, his familiar overstuffed North Face backpack dangling from one hand.