Book Title: Broken Love (Love Stings Book 1) Author: Evan Grace Genre: New Adult Release Date: February 23, 2016 Hosted by: Book Enthusiast PromotionsAbby I stare at the stream of smoke that floats up from the joint burning in my ashtray. The smell is sweet and comforting as I pop another Xanax into my mouth. I need to hurry. I’ve already taken five and I don’t want to pass out before I can finish what I started and end this pain. I need to do this. I need to stop hurting and feeling dirty. I’m tired of watching my parents hurting because they don’t know how to help me. I’m tired of my brothers and sister avoiding me because they don’t know how to deal with what I’ve become. My best friend and cousin, Carrington, watches me constantly with a guilty stare. It’s not her fault I was followed back to our apartment after I went home sick from work and she was gone on a date. I can’t stand being touched anymore, especially by my family. I’m so dirty now and I don’t want any of that to rub off on them. I can’t remember the last time I let my dad , Dylan, or my real dad, Cash, hug me. I used to love hugs from Gramps, but now the thought of his hands on me makes me want to vomit. My entire family changed after I was raped six months ago. After it happened, I moved back into my parents’ home. My parents and I fight every day. I’ve become erratic and foolish. Going home with men I don’t know and letting them use my body. I feel like I have control when I let them fuck me. Then I come home to scrub the feel of them off my skin and force myself to vomit over and over and over. My parents have tried punishing me, reasoning with me, but I’m twenty-one and they can’t make me do shit. They’ve tried therapy and all that got me was the constant supply of Xanax. I take a hit of the joint and let the smoke travel down into my lungs and hold it there until I finally exhale it slowly. I put two more pills in my mouth and swallow them with a swig of the beer I grabbed out of my dad’s refrigerator in the garage. I’m starting to feel a little woozy. I stand on unsteady legs, staggering to my full-length mirror. I stare at my reflection and don’t recognize the person looking back at me. My golden blonde hair is dyed a mousy plain brown. It’s stringy and lifeless along with my complexion. I’ve always had a light tanned glow but now I’m sallow. My blue eyes are dull. I hate what I’ve become. I hate him for taking something that wasn’t his to take in the first place. I scream, my fist flying through the air until I strike my mirror. I watch my reflection splinter as the mirror cracks. I hit it again and again until my arms feel too heavy to lift anymore. I collapse to the floor when someone starts pounding on my door. “Abby, let me in right now!” my dad shouts. I ignore him as I begin to cry while crawling to my bed, grabbing two more Xanax. My head feels like it’s filled with marshmallows. I quickly swallow them. “Please, baby girl.” I hear him beg and I begin to cry harder. Dylan may not be my biological father, but that doesn’t matter. He’s been my daddy since I met him when I was five, then when he married my mom and adopted me. I hear more pounding and shouting as I lie on my back and stare at the ceiling. “I’m sorry,” I whisper as I hear wood splintering and then more screaming and shouting. I whisper it over and over as I stare up into the tear-filled eyes of my daddy. I think about when I was nine and he took me to my piano lessons and whenever he left me at the door to the room, he knelt in front of me and said, “I love you, baby girl. No matter what, I will always love you. Forever and ever.” I felt myself being lifted. Fingers entered my mouth and I heard those soft words spoken directly into my ear. “I love you, baby girl. Forever and ever.” His words make me feel warm as everything finally ends.