On the Way Down (Retake Duet #1) by Ella Fox
She was too young. He was too famous.
Shaelyn Monroe was only seventeen when she met larger-than-life action star, Garrett Riordan.
He thought she was a breath of fresh air.
She thought he was out of her league.
Their attraction was something neither could ignore.
They shouldn’t have worked…
But somehow, they did.
Everything was perfect.
Until it wasn’t.
Could their love survive what happened on the way down- or had it always been too good to be true?
Excerpt On the Way Down (Retake Duet #1) by Ella Fox
His footsteps echoed across the travertine tiles on the floor in our kitchen as he got closer to where I was. Pushing my hair back, I squared my shoulders, took a deep breath, and gave myself a quick pep talk. I’d called and told him what I was doing eleven hours earlier. Surely I could do it in person.
His choked inhalation told me he’d made it into the room—which meant he was seeing all the things that were packed and ready to go.
“Jesus, Shae… I can’t believe you’re really fucking doing this.”
In a lot of ways I couldn’t either, but I’d never tell him that. As prepared as I was ever going to be, I turned to face him, keeping my expression as blank as possible as I did. It had only been six days since I’d seen him last, but it felt like a hundred years. It hurt like hell seeing how exhausted he looked because I knew what was happening between us was the reason. In addition to the dark circles under his eyes he’d lost some weight. I wanted to soothe him, but that couldn’t happen anymore.
“Why are you here?” I demanded. “You’re should be on set in New York.”
His head reared back as if I’d slapped him. “Fuck the job and fuck anything else that would make you leave me. I’m here because you’re here—and I belong wherever you are. If you need me to quit, I’ll quit. Tell me what you want and I’ll give it to you. I’ll walk away from everything but you without hesitation. Don’t quit on us, baby.”
The sadness on his face paired with the desperation in his voice was physically painful. It felt as if the weight of a thousand bricks had just settled on top of me, and I could feel myself sinking even further emotionally under the weight. I was so exhausted it was a miracle I was still upright. I was tired of him, tired of us, tired of myself. No matter how I presented my reasons for doing what I was doing, he’d never understand.
“If we belonged together none of this would be happening,” I told him. “There’s a reason we’ve done the things we’ve done.”
He made his way toward me slowly, as if I were a doe he’d spook with any fast movements. His logic was proven sound when I automatically took a step back at the moment he got close enough for us to touch.
I bit my cheek and forced myself not to run into his arms. I needed to feel him more than I needed my next breath. Unfortunately, life had taught me that what we yearned for wasn’t always aligned with what we deserved.
“I’m not giving up on us,” he said, his tone of voice solid and determined. “No matter how big of a wall you build or how much space you put between us, I know that we belong together.”
And I knew he believed those words as he said them, but that wasn’t our reality.
He’d given up on us before.
So had I.
I was doing it again—this time permanently.