Cassidy Jordan knows she’ll die a few weeks after her eighteenth birthday, and she can’t wait. This is her second time here, and she knows what’s waiting for her in The Life-After–the place most mistakenly call “the afterlife.” Getting back there is supposed to be easy: she just has to find nineteen-year-old Riley Davis and help him get his life on track. By the time she finds him, though, she has only seven weeks to help him. Riley will die too young if she fails, and she’ll never see The Life-After or this life again.
But no one told her helping Riley would mean dating him; she hasn’t dated anyone since the love of her first life caused her death the last time she turned eighteen. When Cassidy realizes she’s falling for Riley, she’s faced with a choice: give him the life he’s meant for and leave when it’s time, or give up eternity for the true love she’s never had, knowing Riley will die the same way she did in her first life and that her entire existence could end at any time.
I take a few breaths, trying to clear my mind. We walk for three blocks in silence before I get my bearings and finally find my voice.
“Thank you,” I tell him. I swear I hear him snort.
“Yeah, no problem.” He sounds put-out and doesn’t even try to hide it. If he recognizes me from the concert last night, his face doesn’t show it.
We walk a few more steps, then he stops so abruptly that I almost plow into him. He drops my hand.
“Do your parents know you’re out roaming the city in the middle of the night?”
His jaw is set, and I’m pretty sure that’s irritation I see on his face. Well, that’s interesting. I wonder if getting mad at strangers is something he does a lot.
“My parents died when I was six.” I regret my words the instant they leave my mouth. Surprise replaces the irritation in his eyes, and then I see exactly what I didn’t want to see. He’s uncomfortable now. Talking about death seems to do that to people. Discomfort isn’t exactly what I was going for, but maybe I shouldn’t care. It’s better than being lectured.
“I’m sorry.” His eyes drop to the sidewalk and stay there.
“Don’t be.” I start walking again.
“Do you make a habit of walking alone down dark streets at night, this close to bars and people drunk out of their minds?” he calls after me.
Oh, joy. Here we go again.
I stop and turn around. He sounds angry, and a quick check of his energy shows me little red sparks shooting everywhere. Yup, that’s definitely the color of anger.
“I got to town a week ago. What am I supposed to do, leave a breadcrumb trail to my house and stay there until new friends magically show up at my door?” I stop talking when something occurs to me. He’s out here alone, too. I put my hands on my hips and glare at him. “Why are you giving me a hard time, anyway? I don’t see you working the buddy system for safety.”
He narrows his eyes. It’s completely the wrong time for me to notice that they’re this incredible shade of deep brown, lit up with little golden flecks here and there. I didn’t notice his eyes last night, but they sure have my attention now.
Stop staring, I tell myself. Easier thought than done.
“I’m a little bigger than you,” he tells me. I still can’t tear my gaze away from him and I think he’s noticed, because he’s staring right back. I feel warmth run through me and am about to check my energy when I realize energy has nothing to do with it. The heat is in my cheeks. Curse him, I’m blushing.
Jennifer Farwell has been writing since the day she picked up a navy blue Crayola as a toddler and began scribbling on her parents’ freshly painted white walls. She’s the author of SEVEN WEEKS TO FOREVER and ROCK STAR’S GIRL. When not writing novels, she can often be found at a Kundalini yoga class, cheering on the L.A. Kings during hockey season, or curled up with a good book.
Her love of storytelling led to completing a Bachelor of Journalism degree and a Master of Arts degree in English, both from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She grew up in Thunder Bay, Canada, and now lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Pico.
This tour was organized by Good Tales Book Tours!