Infinite Us by Eden Butler
Publication date: April 28th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
NOTE: This is a completely revamped re-release version of this title with new characters and is a standalone with a HEA
Love is timeless…
Nash Nation loves zeroes and ones, over-sized monitors and late office hours. He’s too busy taking over the world to make time for relationships—that is, until his new neighbor Willow O’Bryant barges into his life, and now Nash can’t shake the feeling that this isn’t the first time she’s interrupted his world.
Then, the dreams start. And in the dreams—memories.
Memories of a girl named Sookie who couldn’t count on love or friendship, never mind forever. Memories of a library and a boy called Isaac and secrets made in private that destroyed his world.
The memories seem real, but who do they belong to?
When Nash and Willow discover the truth, life as they know it unravels.
The bridge between this life and the next is shored up by blood and bone and memory. Sometimes, that bridge leads to the place we’ve always wanted to be.
“No!” He didn’t slow until I scrambled to grab him, pulling on his arm. “Dempsey, don’t be a fool. It wasn’t your brother. I swear.” He came around to face me, mouth still set hard and somber when he stared down at me. “It wasn’t Malcolm, cher, I promise.”
He took to looking me over, hard, but that small word, cher, worked like a balm on him, keeping the rise of fury from his head. He liked when I called him that, which is why I never did it much. But the more Dempsey looked, the more frozen and raw I felt. Were there marks or bruises starting up where that old man had grabbed me, scratches? I was too scared to look, too caught up in the hard look on Dempsey’s face. In my stillness, he looked me up and down, over my face, to the top of my head, back down to my face, over my cheekbones, until he stopped to stare at my mouth. I swear there was something peculiar about the look in his eyes then, how he took on the air of someone who hadn’t had anything at all to fill his belly. Dempsey stepped closer, resting his hands on my shoulders and I let him, liked how big his fingers felt on my skin, how one palm covered my collarbone completely. But then it was like the moment between us passed when he realized just how torn my shirt was and went all still.
His skin went pale white just as mine pinked up and heated over my cheeks as his gaze traveled down my neck, to my resting on the beige strap of my frayed undershirt.
“Who…” He cleared his throat, like something thicker than hay had taken root in the back of his mouth. “Who?”
It was the breath I let out that brought his attention back to my face and again his expression straddled somewhere between irate anger and fretting like none I’d ever seen from him before.
There was no sense in lying. Dempsey would believe me even if no one else would. No one who mattered to me anyway. “That Joe Andres was drunk and snuck up on me on the north side of your daddy’s sugarcane field.” He nodded once, and his jaw worked hard again so I hurried to keep him calm. “Likely he’s too drunk to know what he done…”
“What did he do?” The pressure of his fingers on my shoulder tightened.
“Nothing, Dempsey, he didn’t get to do nothing.” When his expression didn’t change, I grabbed his hand, twisting my fingers with his and pulled them both from my shoulder. “He tried to grab me and got hold of my shirt but… I… well, I socked him good in the eye.”
Dempsey’s laugh came quick, like a streak of lightning that makes the darkest night light up. It was a nice sound, something I didn’t hear near enough for my liking. “You punched that fat jackass?”
“Dempsey Simoneaux!” He shrugged, ignoring how I fussed at him for the cursing. Couldn’t be helped. Dempsey had probably never used such crude words out loud before now.
“Well, I’m speaking the truth. I doubt the good Lord would mind so much me calling a spade a spade.”
The laugh that pulled from me felt nice, but not as much as how I lit up with things I didn’t know how to name when he pulled me close and let me rest my cheek against his chest.
I could have counted the seconds of my breath just then; I could have set them inside me like moments that would be precious if ever there came a time when the world had gone all black and dark and I needed something to remind me of the lightness I’d known. That moment, with Dempsey’s strong arms around me, would have been the brightest light in my memories. It would have split away the darkness and made me happy for the blindness it caused.
It wasn’t smart to hope for things that would never be. It wasn’t my life that was charmed. When you live here, when you are as I was, as all my people would ever be, hope was a funny thing, especially when there was trouble stirring around the edges of our days. Like the rim of the levee just before it breaks, worries were coming. I knew that because they always did and no amount of wishing me and Dempsey could disappear from the world right then would keep the waters from spilling over.
“Dempsey… what if he comes after me?” I spoke that low, against the fabric of his cotton shirt. It smelled fresh, like he’d pulled it right off the line.
“Don’t you worry over that, Sookie.” He pulled back, lifting my face with his knuckle. “You don’t ever have to worry about anyone hurting you, so long as I’m around.”
He was so sweet. Maybe a little stupid about how things worked, but Dempsey sure was a sweet boy. The frown came back on his face when I shook my head. “You can’t say that.”
“Can so.” I liked the way he tilted his head, how there were so many things he thought just then, each one showing themselves in the shift of his mouth; how it moved from frown to smile and back to something in between the two. He moved his hands around to touch my face, holding my head still like there was something he wanted to make sure I heard and knew to the marrow of my bones. I couldn’t breathe when he looked at me the way he did then, all serious and fierce. One look and he stole the air from my lungs.
“No matter where I am. No matter where I go, I won’t let anybody hurt you. Not ever.”
I wanted to believe him. There was a truth he spoke just then, something he uttered without a sound that lit up his eyes and made those high, sharp cheekbones look pink and bright. He had a nice face, good enough for the pictures, I’d wager. He was handsome and sweet, but not so smart about how our lives would always be.
“I wish I could believe that.” He went on holding my face and I stared at the shine in his eyes, how the dim light through the cracks and spaces between the walls around us shone bright in his gray eyes. “It would be nice, I think, to have someone always watching over me.”
“I mean it, Sook. With everything I am.” His touch got firmer when I shook my head again and Dempsey pulled me closer, my head resting on his chest. “As long as there is breath inside me, I’ll protect you.”
“I don’t need you protecting me.”
“Maybe not, but I need to do the protecting.”
He circled me in his arms, holding me to him, and I could feel his heart beating in his chest, strong and regular, safe.
It took him a long few seconds before he answered. Around us, the night went on as it always had, as it always would. The owls and crickets made on with their noisy business, as the wind swept cool relief through the leaves around us. I stopped worrying about Andres and whether he’d be coming after me. Just then, everything went away: my thoughts, my worry, even the breath in my lungs until I heard Dempsey’s answer.
“Because, sweet Sookie. I love you something fierce.” And right then, the world stopped spinning. The axis of life became uneven and slow as Dempsey Simoneaux, a boy who’d been my friend, bent close to me, breath hot and sweet against my face and kissed me so slow, so soft just enough that my body felt electrified. Just enough that I knew that at that moment, my world slowly began to unravel.
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT) – Ends 5/7
$20 Amazon gift card + 5 ebook copies of Infinite Us
About the Author
Eden Butler is a writer of contemporary, fantasy and romantic suspense novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum.
When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden patiently waits for her Hogwarts letter, reads, and spends too much time in her garden perfecting her green thumb while waiting for the next New Orleans Saints Superbowl win.
She is currently living under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.
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