Excerpt Saving Barrette by Shey Stahl

Oct 102019

Saving Barrette by Shey Stahl

They say those who smile the brightest hide behind the darkest pasts.

From USA Today Bestselling Author Shey Stahl comes a story about finding yourself through an emotionally packed coming-of-age novel of lies and betrayal.

Barrette Blake has virtually no memory of the night her world changed forever. With the unwavering support of her best friend, she tries to piece together her life and her foggy memories of that night. She’s focused and resilient, but on the inside, she’s losing hope she’ll ever be whole again.

Asa Lawson has it all together—on the field that is. He dominates the college football scene, but his life is messy. He’s in love with the girl who can’t love herself after everything that’s happened to her. While everything around him is spiraling out of control and threatens to come crashing down completely, the truth about the night that destroyed his childhood friend is revealed.

She’s hiding from the night she doesn’t remember.
And he’s going to show her she’s worth the risk.
She’s consumed by despair.
He won’t let her give up.

Excerpt Saving Barrette by Shey Stahl

Asa walks me up to my room. I glance up at him. “Thanks for dinner.”
He searches my face and then stares at my lips. He swallows, blinks, and then finds my eyes. “I’ll gladly buy you dinner every night if I know you’re eating.” Running his hand through his hair, he leans into the wall beside the door and then drops his eyes to the floor. “I worry about you.”
I struggle with his words, the meaning, his selflessness toward me. He gives and gives and what does he get in return? Certainly not what he deserves. I fidget with the hem of my sweatshirt. “You don’t have to.”
He lifts those beautiful dark eyes to mine. “I want to.” What I wouldn’t give to hear him say he wants me.
“Is that why your offensive lineman walks me home every night?”
He nods, his eyes narrowing, watching my reaction. “I don’t want you walking alone, and you know that.”
Sighing, my heart drops. “Because I can’t take care of myself,” I deduce, feeling like his charity case.
Asa closes his eyes and exhales. Twisting, he presses his back to the wall. With a heavy sigh, he turns his head to look over at me. “You know what I mean.”
Nodding, I stick my key in my door. “I know. Thanks again for dinner.”
He stops me though, his hand on mine and then I notice he’s placing something in my hand.
“What’s that?” I look down. It’s Sour Patch Kids. My favorite.
I smile, my chest aching. I wish I could be normal for him. “Thank you.”
Backing away, he winks. “Enjoy. Save me the red ones.”
I want to invite him in, but something stops me. I grant myself one more glance and let the sight of him wreak havoc on my heart. He’s beautiful, sinful, and everything I need but won’t allow myself to have completely.
And I leave him outside my room. I don’t want to be his charity case he can’t let go of. I want to be more than that, but he seems so caught up on protecting me nothing ever becomes of it. So yeah, I leave the dude standing outside my room.
I sit down on my bed and look over at my iPad on the nightstand. I think of Asa, again, always. Opening the package of candy, I sort through them to pick out all the red ones and place them in a baggie I find next to my books. It’s then I remember I should be studying. I have to write a five-to-eight-page paper reviewing a journal article on any subject that deals with cognitive psychology. I knew I was going to do the paper on False Memory Syndrome. I don’t have the energy to do it now.
I look out the window. No stars, only darkness. And though I know I can’t sleep, tonight I allow myself to dream without fear of a time when I’m no longer a shadow of my past.

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