Publication date: June 17th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
All Piper Walker wants is to feel normal again, and for the pain of losing the one person she truly loved to go away. But no matter what she does she feels like she keeps hitting a wall of hurt.
Chase Whitman has finally moved back to town after running away from his troubled home life. He’s trying to fill the emptiness in his heart with all the wrong women, making sure he doesn’t fall in love with any of them.
Now in her sophomore year of college, Piper is trying all she can to right all the wrongs she has done the past year. Which includes almost getting thrown out of school, becoming distant from her best friend, and moving way too quickly with her boyfriend.
After a night of heavy drinking Piper wakes up to find Chase in bed with her. She panics and runs off hoping never to see him again. Little does she know Chase will invade her life in every way possible and become the person she needs the most.
Will they be able to fill the void in each other? Or will their past wreck everything?
Lips on my neck.
The pressure of his body on top of me.
His clammy hands touching my skin.
Why is the room spinning? Someone, please stop my bed from moving. I try to open my eyes but they're glued shut. Struggling, I finally manage to open one and then the other.
No one is on top of me. Where did he go? I blink trying to focus my vision.
Oh my head. It feels like there's lead in it. The smell of stale beer swims by my nose bringing on a wave of nausea. I think I'm going to be sick.
Without moving a muscle my eyes begin to bounce around the room.
A white ceiling with an unrecognizable light fixture.
Bare windows allowing the cruel bright sunrays to enter.
A chair near the window.
A Yankee's tapestry on the washed-out blue wall.
This is not my room. Where the hell am I?
Heavy breathing shakes my already frantic nerves. Oh my god, there is someone lying next to me. My throat closes as each one of my muscles turn rock hard. This can't be happening! What did I do?
I wrap my fingers on the edge of the covers and lift them hoping the stranger next to me does not wake up. Good, my bra and underwear are still on, but where's the rest of my clothes? And who took them off me? I need to remember what I did last night.
The throbbing pain in my head is making it difficult. My eyes close as I try to recall what happened.
I remember coming to the frat house with Amber and Dixie. I also remember taking my eighth shot of Patron followed by many Solo cups filled with beer. Why did I drink so much?
Another memory swims through my head of this big football player-looking guy with a sexy smile. He and I kept sharing glances with each other all night. His honey brown eyes had me under a trance.
Oh my god, I remember dancing with him. I was grinding on him like a cat in heat. I'm such a fool. My eyes close again as I try to dredge up what happened next, but complete darkness enters my brain.
How the hell did I end up in his room? Did he put something in my drink, or did I allow the alcohol to take my brain hostage and make me do something foolish.
My heart rate speeds up as I find myself at the edge of freaking out. Did we sleep together or not?
I turn to check if he's the guy I was dancing with last night. His bare back is to me preventing me from seeing his face. This is bad, the worst thing I've ever done.
All I wanted to do was let off a little steam, and not think about my issues with my boyfriend Mike. Ohmigod, did I cheat on him? I've messed up big time.
I try to sit up but freeze in place as the bed creaks beneath me. Please don't wake up, please don't wake up. I peek over and notice he's still breathing heavily.
I need to get out of this bed and this room. I bring one leg down, and then begin to slide the rest of my body out of bed to the cold hardwood floor.
My skin prickles with goose bumps, the sun is failing its job of providing warmth. I get on all fours and crawl around searching through piles of the mystery man's clothes for anything that belongs to me. He is so messy. There's nothing of mine here.
I peek under the bed, but only spot balls of dust and one single gray sneaker belonging to the stranger in the bed. Damn, where can my stuff be?
"Your clothes are on the chair by the window," a low deep voice says. Every hair on the back of my neck rises as the floor drops out from under me.
I lift my head and glare into the bluest eyes I've ever seen. A wide smile spreads across his face, and I realize this is not the guy I was grinding with last night. I don't remember seeing this guy at the party.
"Good morning," he says running his hand through his thick black hair.
Without saying a word I get up and grab my clothes off the chair. I slip into my pink top and jeans.
"Are you okay?" he asks, sitting further up bringing his fingers to the bridge of his nose.
"Did you slip something in my drink?" I ask. Not like I expect him to tell me the truth. But it's the only possible explanation I can think of, because I don't remember talking to him.
"Are you kidding me?" He stands up revealing his tight abs. I turn away not wanting to see an inch of him. He's already gotten to know me in ways only a few people have. "I didn't put anything in your drink. You were drunk and-"
"And you had no problem taking advantage of that. I don't even remember talking to you last night," I spit out, glaring at him once again.
As he puts on his black T-shirt and jeans he says, "I didn't take advantage of anything! Instead I pulled the asshole, you were all over at the party, off you. He was having trouble understanding what the word ‘no' meant."
My breath gets caught in my throat. "What?" I manage to utter.
"I was walking by and saw this big ass guy on top of you. You were out of it but were still able to mumble the word no."
My insides cringe at the thought of some monster on top of me. How did things get so out of control? All I wanted to do was spend a nice quiet night at home. Why did I go out with Amber instead?
"I kicked him out of the room and wanted to get you out of here. But I really wasn't in any condition to take you home. So instead I put you in bed."
"Who took my clothes off?"
"I did. But you already had your top and pants half way off."
"I still don't get why you were in the bed with me?" I ask not sure whether he's telling me the truth or not.
"I was making sure no one else came in here to take advantage of you. I guess you can call me your night watchman," he laughs. I don't find it as funny as he does. "Look, we didn't have sex or anything. I promise. Besides I like my girls conscious and lucid."
I shake my head wishing none of this ever happened. "I have to get out of here."
"Wait, I'll walk you home," he says putting on his sneakers.
"No. It's fine. I don't live far from here."
I turn to walk away, but he grabs my arm preventing me from taking another step. "Aren't you even gonna tell me your name?"
"It's Melissa," I lie, wanting to get away from this whole messy situation.
"Nice to meet you Melissa. I'm Chase. Now I have to insist I walk you home."
"I said no." I yank my arm out of his grip. "Thank you for everything. I'm fine now. I wanna get out of here."
"I'm not letting you leave until you say I can walk you home."
I can't believe this guy. Why can't he just let me leave? Doesn't he understand I can't be in here a minute longer?
He steps in front of me and puts his arm across the entry blocking my exit. This is ridiculous. I take a deep defeating breath in and mumble, "Okay."
"Here." He hands me a red sweatshirt. "It's too cold outside for you to go out like that."
"Thanks." I slide into it and welcome its warmth.
"Okay. I just gotta use the bathroom and then I'll walk you home."
"You promise you'll wait for me in here?"
"Yes." I force a smile hoping he believes me.
He turns and exits the room. If he thinks, I'm going to wait for him he's crazy. I peek out of the doorway to see him enter the bathroom at the end of the hallway. I take off as fast I can until I'm out of the frat house and two blocks away.
My weak legs force me to stop running. Out of breath my tears begin to seep out of my eyes. My throat burns trying to hold in the loud scream of fear and frustration. If that guy had not walked by when he did last night, I would be living a different story.
My skin burns knowing unwanted hands were touching me. I feel so scared, betrayed, but most of all ashamed. I can't believe I allowed myself to get into that situation.
"Is this the walk of shame I'm witnessing?" Lola asks, opening her brown eyes wide as I walk through the front door of our three-bedroom apartment.
"Not now. I'm not in the mood." I walk right past her straight into the bathroom and pull out a bottle of aspirin from the medicine cabinet.
I stare at myself in the mirror and notice my black mascara smeared under my gray eyes and my blonde hair full of knots. I look like crap. I swallow the two pills down and turn the water on.
"Are you okay in there?" Lola asks knocking on the door.
"Yeah, I'm gonna take a shower."
"Fine. But when you get out we're gonna talk." I ignore her and step into the tub.
The hot water runs down my body erasing the smell of that guy's cologne and stale beer. I scrub my body extra hard. The thought of someone on top of me, not caring that I was saying no, turns my stomach. I know nothing happened, but I can't help feeling disturbed by it all.
I try again to search my mind for any other memories, but nothing comes up. Maybe I can get Amber to fill in the blanks. First I have to find out what happened to her last night.
My hand hovers over my tattoo of the name Jonahon my lower abdomen and I try everything I can, not to cry. Every time I touch his name the pain I've tried so hard to bury resurfaces and nudges my heart. A tear travels down my cheek as I remember his beautiful face.
I know he wouldn't approve of how I behaved at the party. Or how I behaved since I've arrived at Castle Bridge University.
I lower my head allowing my tears to blend in with the cascading water. For him I must promise to stop finding myself in situations where I can get hurt. I need to get my shit together and become the person Jonah needed me to be.
I stay in the shower until my tears no longer want to escape my eyes. The aspirin is beginning to work its magic on my head. I wish it had the same effect on my stomach. All the alcohol keeps flipping things all over the place in there. The last thing I want to do is to throw up.
I walk out of the bathroom and begin to head towards my bedroom. "Hey Piper, umm…" Lola says following behind me.
"Not now Lola. I'll talk to you later." I just need to put on my pajamas and go under my blankets for a while.
"No I just wanna warn you…"
I step into my room and every ounce of air exits my lungs. Mike is sitting on my bed.
Maria E Monteiro was born in Chile, but grew up in Sleepy Hollow NY. The Catskills is now the place she calls home, alongside her husband. She has been writing since she was a little girl. Her love for reading and writing led her to obtain a BA in English and a Masters in Literacy. Maria loves to write about the small moments that become huge when falling in love. Hold on Tight is Maria E. Monteiro's debut YA novel. Her love of writing accompanies her love for music. When she is not writing, Maria can be found at a rock concert or dancing around her house.