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Published by Self Published on June 9th 2016
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Callaghan. A name synonymous with power and fear. A family of untouchable criminals.
As a teenager, Gabriella Forte had no intention of getting to know the town's most dangerous brothers. Once Dustin set his sights on her, she was trapped. There was only one way out of her personal hell.
Declan was determined to break away from his family's shadow. Until he fell in love with the one woman he couldn't have. She changed everything.
Life isn't always kind. Love can hurt. Sometimes you need to sacrifice yourself to protect the people you care about.
It's been twelve years since Declan did the unthinkable and went to prison. He promised to stay away from Gabby and his nephew. That's one vow he can't keep.
Things aren't always what they seem. Facts are only as credible as the person stating them. The truth doesn't always set you free.
Warning: This is a dark romance. If domestic violence bothers you, if you can't read violence in literature, or you are looking for a light and fluffy read, this book is not for you.
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My phone pinged, signaling a new text message, and I looked down, searching through the pain-in-the-ass gigantic bag that I called a purse. I didn’t slow my pace though, knowing I needed to get back to the car and on the road if I wanted to make sure I arrived early. Finally finding my iPhone, I yanked it out and swiped the screen so I could read the text.
I never saw him.
Instead, I barreled full speed into a wall of muscle, almost losing my footing as I stumbled backward. A strong hand closed around my upper arm as the gentleman in front of me steadied me. My head snapped back in surprise as my free hand landed on his chest, trying to use him to regain my balance.
The sincere apology died on my lips as my eyes met the light blue ones I saw every day but never thought I’d look into again. The eyes that haunted me. “When in the hell did you get out?”
The words were harsh, almost spit at him, and spoken on instinct alone. If my heart had given my head just one second to adapt to the surprise of seeing him, I might have been able to form a greeting that didn’t sound as though I was pissed to find him standing in front of me. Maybe not.
Declan Callaghan stared at me, eyes widening as realization hit him. “Little G,” he breathed, almost too quiet for me to hear. “Jesus, you’re still the most…” He trailed off and dropped my arm as if it were scorching him and stepped back, obviously putting distance between us. His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed. “July. I got out in July.”
He could have offered a smile, a “Hey, how in the hell are ya?” But no. He treated me like a leper he was desperate to get away from. Considering everything that had happened, I guess that made sense.
Then his words sank in. July? My heart pounded so hard, I was positive he could see it. Four months? He’d been home for four freaking months?
“Seriously?” I snapped, unable to keep my anger in check.
His eyes searched my face for a moment before they narrowed on my neck, and I had no doubt he could see my pulse racing. Declan had always seen more than anyone else. At least when it came to me.
“You didn’t know,” he muttered.
I shook my head quickly, more to clear the fog invading my thoughts than to answer his pathetic statement of fact. Of course I didn’t know. Very few people in my life even knew I was connected to an infamous criminal, and the people who did obviously didn’t know he was out either.
Then I realized there were people who would have known and should have told me.
“I thought they told you.” His eyebrows knitted together before he jerked his head to the left, the scowl deepening. “It’s mandatory. The DOC sends a notification of release to all victims.”
Victim. The word had me straightening up to my full height, all five feet two inches of it, and stepping back as I fisted my empty hand. Screw him. I couldn’t do this with him. I wouldn’t. Not again.
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