My name is Emersyn Sharpe. Until a few months ago, I was the lead performer for a traveling show finishing up a contract. I had been beaten, but never broken.
Then they took me.
I didn’t belong in their world.
Still, they took me and I didn’t know why. They promised to protect me and to keep me safe, but they had to know I’d run. They had to know.
Now my world and theirs might be on a collision course and as much as I didn’t belong in their world, I didn’t want mine to rain down on them.
Not on Jasper, the dictatorial jerk who kissed like he wanted to own me. Not on Rome, the tortured artist who protected me. Not on Kestrel, the liar with the soulful eyes and dedicated heart. Not on Liam, the bastard who loved his brother. Not on Vaughn, the beautiful man with the beautiful voice who made me want everything I shouldn’t. Not on Doc, the gifted physician who’d kept his promises to me.
But I didn’t get far and now…now I don’t know what will happen next.
Emersyn Sharpe doesn’t belong in our world.
In fact, the very last place she should be is with us. But someone is hurting her. We’ve all seen it. We tried to ignore the warning signs. We tried to trust the people around her. We tried to believe in her world.
When she nearly died in front of us, we had to act. We took her. She doesn’t belong in our world, but I’ll be damned if someone lays a finger on her under my watch. I’ll kill them first.
Now that she’s here…I don’t know if I can let her leave. I’m Jasper Horan, anyone who tries to take her will have to go through me and my boys. You’ve been warned.
Our feelings for her were like wild animals finally freed from their cage. But my sparrow, she was the most brutal fighter of us all. She’d had to be.
The battles she’s survived, she’s done in silence and alone.
Milo let her go. Jasper took her. Vaughn sheltered her. Liam taught her. Rome connected with her. Doc pushed her away. Freddie went after her. All because we wanted what was best for her.
I was in this fight. Our promises might lie shattered in the debris of the life we’d thought she had, but we weren’t abandoning them or her.
Oh no, I would never leave her again.
My name is Kellan Traschel, I will be whatever she needs me to be. And if war is what must be waged, then hell was what we would rain down.
Beautiful, I love you. No ands, ifs, or buts. No beating around the bush. Will you marry me?
From the first proposal on the playground when we were five to the one two weeks ago, Coop has always been there for me.
Baby Girl, the only thing I’ve ever wanted is you. Forever.
Protector. Best friend. Lover. Jake’s a part of me in a way I can’t define. Even when we were apart, I knew we would find each other.
This is my love song for you, Angel.
Music is Ian’s love language. He doesn’t just wrap me up to keep me safe from the world, he pulled me into his. He shared his love and the knots that bind our hearts are beyond anything I could have imagined.
From the day I met you—you were the one, Babe. The only one.
Archie’s my hero in some ways, he pushes and he demands. At the same time, he savors and teases. He’s a builder and a fixer. I had no idea that the day he arrived was the day the last piece missing in my world would lock into place.
My name is Frankie Curtis, the four men I love more than anything else in this world want me to marry them. They want forever.
They want me.
When did we become the adults? When did we become the ones who had to make the hard calls? One by one, we’ve all left our teenage years behind. College brought new challenges even as Bound Hearts brought us more.
Whether we’re making music, love, war, games, or trouble, we’ve found a good balance. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Together, we know we can do anything.
We’ve learned that even being apart doesn’t mean we aren’t together.
Life has a habit of throwing curveballs. School, careers, new hobbies, friends in need, and family demands are hitting us from every angle. We’re going to need each other more than ever.
Archie, Coop, Ian, Jake, and I are a team. We’re constantly figuring it out and sometimes, we fight. We also make up.
And we’ll have each other’s backs, today, tomorrow, and into the future.
Sometimes, it has to end before it begins.
In the course of a year, I have had my heart broken, reforged, only to be shattered again. The tears won’t come. Not anymore. No more looking back. No more asking what if.
Coop wants me to let myself feel it. Jake wants to distract me. Archie wants to put the world at my feet. Ian wants me to not make choices until I’m ready. I’ve got family ready to catch me, but I refuse to fall.
No more waiting.
No more holding my breath.
The future is now.
We have a chance to forge the path we want and I’m all in.
So why does it feel like I’m running away?
Life doesn’t come with a script but some moments don’t need one.
Senior year pushed us all. It dared us to embrace wonder and chase love. It challenged us to find out who we were as people, as partners, as a family. We’re so much better together.
Graduation isn’t the end of our story by any stretch. It’s the next chapter.
When the year started, I had one goal—make my AP classes count and keep my grades up. Both my focus and my grades started wobbling. Dating my best friends came with perks like hugs, kisses, and invitations to dances, but it also came with cons in the form of vindictive posts, hate mail, and vandalism of my car. I asked if it could get any worse, and I guess I got my answer.
My college essays suck.
My mother and I are racing toward a collision.
My secret admirer might turn out to be a real friend.
My dance partner wants to walk away to preserve our friendship.
My best friend demanded I keep no more secrets.
My first offered to move in with me.
My second… he’s got my back.
They all do. But what brought us together seems to be tearing us apart and I can’t jeopardize those friendships. I won’t. I thought losing them was the worst thing, but losing even one… it might be the change we can’t survive. The real key here isn’t what do I want… it’s am I willing to fight for it?
P.S. I still need to get a damn dress.
It’s not true.
It can’t be.
Four DNA tests.
Only one positive.
The man claiming to be my father is quite literally the worst option imaginable. This isn’t happening to me. For the first time in my life, I know who I am and where I want to be and, in the blink of an eye, everything is spinning so utterly out of control.
I thought the fight with Maddy was the worst thing I faced.
It’s not. I’ve grown up in a house of lies and it’s all crashing down on the five of us, and I have no idea how to protect the ones I love best from the fallout. They’ve all made it clear, they’re not going anywhere.
Worse, I don’t know how to keep them from wading into this fight. I can’t imagine my life without all four of them. I don’t want to.
We can survive this, right?
It’s a new year.
It’s a new me.
Or maybe I should say a new us.
We’re out there. We’re not hiding the fact that I’m dating all of them. PDAs are back on the table. The final semester of high school kicks off with a bang. I have to keep my eye on the prize though—make every AP class count, keep my grades up, and find a way to balance life with my guys. My best friends. My boyfriends. My lovers.
The battle with Maddy is still on the table. So is figuring out our future. It’s one thing to say we’re sticking together, now we have to make it happen.
I never thought it would be easy.
Apparently, we don’t do easy.
But am I ready for this?
All I know is I’m not giving them up without a fight. Ninety some odd days to go, and we graduate.
We can do it, right?