BEFORE & AFTER Blog Tour
BEFORE & AFTER by Nazarea Andrews
But there is nothing simple or mundane about Rike. He’s gorgeous, with his shaggy black hair and the beard that is growing on me. The tattoos curving on his long, strong arms and licking across the skin over his fingers.
He’s everything I never expected to want, but this feels familiar. He’s who I chose. This unconventional, beautifully confusing life.
Scott and Lindsay.
They are the life I chose.
“How did we get here?” I whisper, and Rike’s gaze snags mine. I shake my head, helplessly. “This isn’t what I pictured, Rike. This is nothing like I imagined my life. And I understand that it’s what I chose. But I don’t remember, and I can’t reconcile it.” His expression falls, and I make a tiny noise, reaching for him. “I am trying, Rike. I just—it’s a lot.”
“I know,” he whispers. “I want to help, but I don’t know how. I don’t know how to give you the space you need when all I want is to bring you home.”
I reach for him and catch his hand, twisting our fingers together. He stares at our fingers, until the microwave dings and it jerks both of us out of our thoughts.
The soup and crusty bread he brings out is delicious, creamy potato broth with a spicy sausage. But the tension between us strings tight and uncomfortable, and it makes my stomach twist, until I finally put the food down.
Rike is waiting, because as soon as I stop eating, he shifts, gathering the bowls and taking them to the sink.“There’s some stuff in your office. I think you should look at it. Will you come upstairs with me?”
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