Don’t miss today’s Teaser Tuesday from Naked by Stacey Trombley, on sale 7/7/15.
“Anna,” he whispers from behind me. When I don’t turn to him, he walks around and stands in front of me. “You can’t let them get to you.”
I shake my head, fighting the tears. The more I react, the more he’ll suspect I’m not what he thinks I am. I’m not that good girl with a slightly troubled past. No, I’m royally fucked up.
I’m not the damsel in distress.
I’m the villain.
It’s only a matter of time before he realizes this.
“I don’t understand why you let it get to you so much, Anna. What they say…it’s stupid. It’s not true, so it doesn’t matter.”
I choke on another sob. Only it is true. I wish I could tell him this. Maybe I should. Maybe I should just rip the Band-Aid off. Take off my mask and let him see the scars beneath. Then I could stop being so scared he’ll figure it out on his own.
Except I can’t bring myself to do it. I don’t want him to see.
I don’t want him to change the way he looks at me, the way he feels about me. I need his faith in me. It’s the only thing keeping me going right now.
The best place to hide is in a lie…
I could never fit in to the life my parents demanded. By the time I was thirteen, it was too much. I ran away to New York City…and found a nightmare that lasted three years. A nightmare that began and ended with a pimp named Luis. Now I am Dirty Anna. Broken, like everything inside me has gone bad.
Except that for the first time, I have a chance to start over. Not just with my parents but at school. Still, the rumors follow me everywhere. Down the hall. In classes. And the only hope I can see is in the wide, brightly lit smile of Jackson, the boy next door. So I lie to him. I lie to protect him from my past. I lie so that I don’t have to be The Girl Who Went Bad.
The only problem is that someone in my school knows about New York.
Someone knows who I really am.
And it’s just a matter of time before the real Anna is exposed…
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