The Story of You and Me by Pamela DuMond
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Coming-of-Age, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Amazon ♥ Kobo
She's driven to save a life.
He's haunted by breaking one.
Some secrets are too risky to share.
But nothing's more dangerous than falling in love...
Nineteen-year-old Sophie doesn’t listen to the naysayers because she has hope. The kind of hope that makes you do weird things—like travel two thousand miles away from everyone she knows and loves to a strange city.
So what if her first night in Los Angeles starts with a small misstep—a brief trip to the ER after twenty-one-year-old Alejandro, the hottest guy she’s ever met, saves her during a bar fight on the USCLA campus.
The stakes are high for Sophie—life and death—as she seeks answers to dark questions in a city that can be a slice of heaven, or a piece of hell. She’s running out of time on her journey to find healing. Falling for a guy isn’t part of her plan. But healing doesn’t always come the way you think you need it.
Sophie’s healing is six-foot-two-inches tall, has stunning hazel eyes, black, shiny hair and a rock solid chest that shelters her. Her healing is Alejandro.
But he’s not your typical college party boy—he has a dangerous past. Sophie isn’t the only one who keeps secrets. As they fall in love, he fears his truth might hurt her. And Sophie doesn’t know if she has the courage to tell him:
He can’t break her—because she’s already broken.
A Story of Hope. A Story of Love. A Story of Redemption.
“Oscar Fuentes, you son-of-a bitch.” Javier held the baseball bat high in the air and slammed it down on a metal picnic table then continued to race toward us.
“Back off, Javier!” Oscar exclaimed.
“Fuck you, Oscar.” Javier bolted toward us. “You are not hurting that girl.”
I elbowed Oscar repeatedly. Most of my efforts connected with air. But a few jabs nailed his ribs. He grunted and slowed down for one long second.
I spotted Alejandro about fifty yards away with Nick right behind him. They raced like hell toward me. “Take care of my girl, Javier,” Alex hollered then jabbed his finger in the air toward Oscar. “I can see you, skinhead prick, and I’ll fucking kill you if you hurt one hair on her head.”
Basically after that all I heard were roars and grunts and thuds, the sounds of fists hitting flesh, a baseball bat hitting bodies, and concrete and bones cracking. Someone slugged Oscar and he released his grip on me.
I hit the ground and rolled on the grass and sand onto my side. Police sirens blared in the near distance. People shouted. I felt weak. I felt like a victim. Once again, I felt like a stupid girl.
A young, pretty Latina woman snagged my hand and hissed, “You’re next to a picnic table. Get under it—now. Hurry! We’ll hide you.”
I crawled under the table. She and her friends threw their backpacks, purses, a dog carrier, a sand-filled blanket and rolled up paper trash bags from their day at the beach on top of me.
I laid on the sand and dirt under the table until I heard the cops cuff Oscar and take him away, in spite of his protests. I huddled there while I heard a Venice police officer tell the rest of Oscar’s gang to leave and instruct the crowd to disperse. Another officer told Alex and Nick and Javier that they had not yet found me yet, but the bathrooms had been searched and were cleared.
The girl who helped me hide didn’t abandon me. She and her friends pretended it was just another day at the beach as they chatted about celebrity gossip, their own gossip, what movies they’d seen and who was hooking up with whom. At one point I pinched her ankle.
She bent down like she was tying her shoe.
“Can I leave?” I asked.
She shook her head. “Oscar’s gang, the Lowriders, always keep a lookout on the scene. Wait a bit longer.”
“Thank you. Would you tell my friends who are looking for me that I’m okay?”
She shook her head. “Boyfriends and friends always give it away. You gotta think like the bad guys right now.”
Alejandro, Nick and Javier paced back and forth looking for me. I felt like a shithead for not telling Alex where I was. But when I asked the girl again, she whispered a story to me. A story about a girl that Oscar’s gang had fucked up about five years ago. That girl’s name was Tatiana. And that girl was dead.
It had to be after eight p.m. It was getting dark outside. Alejandro, his friends and Javier were still searching for me. Pacing the boardwalk, checking storefronts, asking folks if they had seen the confrontation. I squeezed my savior’s leg. She bent down under the table and looked at me. “I think it’s okay for you to go.”
“I can’t even find the words to thank you for hiding me,” I said. “What’s your name?”
“You’re welcome,” she said. “My name’s Gabriella. I was Tatiana’s friend.”
Two more female faces popped under the picnic table. “Hey,” I said. “I’m Sophie. You are?”
One girl extended her hand toward me. “Rosie—Tatiana’s friend.” She shook my hand.
“I’m Naomi—Tatiana’s friend,” another girl said and handed me a bottle of water. I cracked it open, took a long slug and crawled out from under the table. We all hugged and I started crying. Then the rest of the girls followed suit. I was covered in mud, sand and was completely disgusting.
“Sophie?” Alejandro said.
I turned and saw him. He stood next to Nick and Nathan and Javier. Their jaws dropped.
“Sophie!” Alejandro raced toward me, grabbed me around the waist and pulled me tight into his chest. He kissed the top of my head. Placed his hands on either side of my face and tilted my head up as he bent his down. “Are you okay? Are you all right?”
“I’m okay,” I said. “These girls hid me. They protected me.”
Pamela DuMond is the writer who discovered Erin Brockovich's life story, thought it would make a great movie and pitched it to 'Hollywood'.
She's addicted to The X Factor. The movies Love Actually and The Bourne trilogy (with Matt Damon -- not that other actor guy,) make her cry every time she watches them. (Like -- a thousand.) She likes her cabernet hearty, her chocolate dark and she lives for a good giggle.
When she's not writing Pamela's also a chiropractor and cat wrangler. She loves reading, the beach, yoga, movies, animals, her family and friends. She lives in Venice, California with her furballs. If she ever gets her act together, she might even blog more often.