Authors: Elle Ellerton
By Elle Ellerton
The Blurred Series: Book 2
Published by Elle Ellerton
Copyright © 2015 Elle Ellerton
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual places, actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
For anyone who has ever overcome the regrets of their past.
This is part two of the Blurred Series, and I recommend reading the first book,
, prior to reading
This book is separated into two parts.
This is the first book from Ryan’s perspective. There are many new scenes and aspects to Ryan’s life that were not revealed in the first book.
This is all new and told from both Ryan and Natalie’s perspectives. This is the conclusion to their story…for now.
I really hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Natalie and Ryan will always hold a special place in my heart.
I thought she wanted something from me, back when we were just kids, so I did everything I could to push her away without alienating myself from the family who treated me like I was more than just a means to an end. More than a criminal’s errand boy.
They saw...more, I guess.
I was just a boy to them. A boy with a future brighter than his past.
All Natalie was guilty of wanting was my affection, and that's no crime at all.
Wasn't I guilty of wanting the same? From her parents, at least.
Didn't I revel in the small gestures of kindness they would show me, whilst doing my best to hide my true feelings and not become too attached to them? Keeping my distance, emotionally. Afraid they would realize what a messed up family I came from; the things I'd done, and eventually push me away to protect their own children?
I wouldn't have blamed them if they had...but they didn't. They did the opposite, and how did I repay them?
I got them killed.
It’s my fault they’re dead, and Natalie will never love me once she finds out the truth.
She’s arriving today.
Natalie Connor is moving in with me, and I have no idea how I’m going to handle it.
She’ll be here soon. Nate, her brother and my best friend/roommate, texted me an hour ago from their final gas stop. I’ve been sitting at the breakfast bar in our apartment ever since, keys in-hand, ready to leave, but something keeps making me stay.
I want to see her.
It’s been six long years since I’ve seen her pretty face. Those clear, blue eyes that remind be of the ocean. It’s only been a week since I’ve talked with her, though.
Online, that is.
We’ve been talking almost every day for the past five years. Ever since she pulled me out of the metaphorical hole I fell into shortly after Nate and I moved up here to attend college. And it’s all thanks to that leaving card she made me.
It might sound dumb to a lot of people, but to me it was the sweetest thing; just like its creator. She signed it with a P.S. to find her at her favorite chat room if I ever wanted to just ‘hang out’, giving me her username and wishing me well on my ‘new adventure’, as she called it.
She’s the best kind of person. Too good for a guy like me: a guy with my past.
I don’t know why I didn’t tell her it was me when I contacted her online. I guess the anonymity appealed to me. It worked, too. I was able to open up to her in a way I’d never opened up to anyone; not even her parents, who treated me like one of their own, despite the walls I built around myself to keep them out.
The fact that they were killed a week ago makes me feel sick. I have a good reason for not going back home for a visit in the past six years - for not attending the funeral and showing my best friend the support he needed this past week - a reason they knew about and understood. But I wish I’d got to see them just one last time. To thank them for...everything.
They meant a whole lot more to me than my own parents ever would. My own parents can rot in hell for all I care, along with the criminal bottom-feeders they’ve been beholden to my whole life. If you look-up the terms ‘shitty parents’, ‘low-life scum’ and ‘trash’, then you’ll find their pictures under the definitions of all three.
Natalie made it all go away, even if just for a short time, during our conversations. She brought so much light back into my life that I felt compelled to get a tattoo in her honor. Something I don’t think I’ll ever confess to her. It’s in Latin, so she won’t know unless I tell her. Unless she’s fluent in Latin...or googles it, or something.
She won’t know. She won’t care enough to find out.
The sound of muffled voices and footsteps outside the front door to the apartment pull me from my memories.
I spent so long pondering, that I’m now going to come face to face with the one girl I want, but can’t have.
Living with her is going to be both physically and mentally painful. It will be like residing in purgatory. Seeing that face every day, but not being able to kiss it; to touch her body.
I’ve gotta get out of here, now.
I shoot Tina a quick text - telling her I’ll be there in ten - before heading for the door. When I open it, I stop dead in my tracks.
There she is.
. Looking tired and sad, but more beautiful than ever. I think I feel my heart skip a beat at the sight of her. She’s so different, yet the same somehow.
“Well, this is inappropriate.” God, why am I always such a dick when I’m trying to hide my emotions and shit?
The psychiatrist I was assigned to five years ago did tell me, but I can’t remember what that elitist asshole said. After I attended my final mandatory appointment with him, I never looked back.
Natalie helped me more than that douche ever did.
Her face turns a pretty shade of pink when she halts her task of retrieving what I’m guessing is the door key from Nate’s pocket.
Everything falls silent then, so that the only things I can hear are the humming from her earphones and my own erratic heartbeat.
She quickly snatches the keys from Nate’s pocket, then straightens, feigning confidence. I know it’s false, because I know her. I know almost everything about this girl and she doesn’t even realize it.
A pang of guilt hits me with that thought.
She makes eye-contact with me, opening then closing her pouty mouth, like she was going to say something, but then thought better of it.
“Hey man, you think you could stop being a dick for a minute and help Nat get her stuff into the apartment?” Nate asks from behind the heavy-looking boxes in his arms.
“N-no, it’s totally fine. I-I’ve got it. I’m good. It’s all good,” Natalie finally speaks, and there’s nothing confident about it.
Her nerves are endearing, but I don’t like them one bit. I hate that I make her feel this way. I want her to feel comfortable around me. That’s not going to happen if everything that comes out of my mouth is a cocky one-liner designed specifically to make her feel
I was kind of an asshole to her when we were kids. Okay - not
- I was an asshole. I didn’t want her getting close. I didn’t like feeling that she was only being nice to me to get something for herself; just like my mother.
It’s become blatantly apparent that Natalie and her own mother are nothing like mine. Now I’m full of regret for my actions in the past. Things could have been so different if I’d just let them in.
“Riiight,” I respond, unthinking; lost in my own head.
I totally just sounded like a complete jerk again. I really need to leave; like, right now, before I do any more damage. “Sorry, bro, no can do. Gotta run.” I smack Nate on the arm, a little harder than I intended, as I pass him to get down the stairs.
!” I can hear the sarcasm in his voice.
I’ll be paying for this little fiasco later. I can feel a Nate-lecture in my very-near future.
He just lost both his parents. Cut him some slack.
When I reach the bottom of the first flight of stairs, I can’t keep moving downward. The need to say something to Natalie - something nice - is overwhelming. I can’t leave without trying to redeem myself in some small way. I should be her friend right now. Like I am when we talk online. I should be
right now. Not
No one needs that guy.
Just as I finish that thought, Natalie turns and looks right at me. Her sad, blue eyes pierce straight through to my soul.
“I’m sorry about everything, Natalie. It’s good to see you.” And I am sorry about
So many things.
I don’t stick around to see her reaction, which I’m sure is laced with confusion. I continue my path down the rest of the stairs and out the door into the muggy, July day.
The sunny weather in complete contrast to my mood.
* * *
When I reach Tina’s apartment building, on the wrong side of town, I don’t hit the buzzer right away. I stare at the rusted metal of the call box, contemplating my decision.
I need to get this pent-up frustration out and Tina is always
willing to let me take it out on her. I was ready, and almost excited, to get over here before I saw Natalie standing at my door. Now all I want to do is go back there.
Tina’s probably upstairs on her bed, naked and waiting for me to get my ass up there and fuck her into the middle of next week. Normally that thought would cause some sort of reaction below the waist, but it’s doing absolutely nothing today.
The memory of Natalie’s piercing eyes, however; that’s garnering some downward blood-flow, for sure.
I have to do this. I
Without further thought, I hit the buzzer and the door clicks open immediately, like Tina was waiting by the damn button this whole time.
When I reach the apartment door, adorned by a crooked
, it’s already ajar. She always does this shit; leaves the door open for me so she can go lay in some seductive pose on her bed or her couch, or the kitchen counter if she’s feeling particularly slutty.
It usually excites me. Today it just makes me roll my eyes.
Get it together, get it done, get out.
I’m not the f
type. Not really. But I’m not the
kind, either. Tina and I have been doing this for a while. We’re not exclusive, but when I’m screwing one girl, I don’t really feel the need to go out and find another. That comes eventually, though. When I get bored.
There’s only one girl I know I’d never get bored of, and she sure as shit isn’t waiting for me in this crappy apartment.
Shaking my morose thoughts, I push the door open, finding it silent and empty.
Bed it is, then.
Closing the door behind me, I make my way through the tiny living room, passed the old, black leather couch and to the closed bedroom door. I knock twice and wait for her familiar, slightly annoying voice.
“Come in,” she says with a light tone, as if she’s not waiting to be tied to her headboard.
When I enter, she’s lying on her front, her head propped on one hand looking back at me over her right shoulder, wearing nothing but a red thong. Her matching hair flowing down her smooth back.
That would usually put a huge fucking grin on my face. Not today. Nothing is happening down south right now. Not one twitch.
With a heavy sigh, I say, “Sorry, Tina. I can’t do this today.” Going back the way I came.
“What?!” she shrieks from the bedroom to my retreating back. “
! What the hell, Ryan?”
“Sorry, babe. Just not in the mood anymore.”
, Ryan Landon. Don’t you even think of calling me again! I can’t believe you’re leaving me like this!”
I shut her front door behind me and practically sprint down the stairs, escaping her shrill tone.
What the actual fuck is happening to me?