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There’s a fine line between love and hate-The Line Between Tamsyn Bester @ms_tam_tam

There’s a fine line between love and hate, so fine that you don’t know you’ve lost balance until it’s too late.
I’m not sure exactly when I lost my balance, all I know is that he was to blame.
Dane Winters.
The boy who’d spent most of his life hating me for reasons I never understood.

** ** ** ** ** **

It was no secret that I hated her, but only I knew why.
She was off-limits.
And then our separate worlds collided with one tragedy.
It wasn’t her fault, I knew that, but I wanted her to hurt the way I did, and I needed someone to blame. She was an easy target.
Kennedy Monroe.
The girl I’d picked on all our lives.
And the woman I barely tolerated.
Until the line between love and hate was no longer visible… 

*New Adult Contemporary Romance*
*Due to mature content this book is not suitable for readers younger than 18*

Present Day
THERE WAS SOMETHING truly somber about returning home after being gone for a year and a half. I’d thought about this moment more times in the last week than I’d cared to admit. I wondered if there would be someone here waiting for me, but I knew better than to wish for things like that.
The cobblestone driveway was dark, and the lights that normally illuminated the towering brick face house were off.
No one was home.
As I stopped my Jeep in front of the doors, I tried to squelch the disappointment and replace it with mock relief. I’d expected it, and yet I was naïve enough to hope that maybe, just maybe, it would be different this time.
I inhaled deeply, and tightened my vice grip on my steering wheel, both of which were feeble attempts at gathering enough courage to go inside.
It’s just for one night, I told myself.
I’d be spending one night here before heading off to college tomorrow. I would’ve been happier to spend it in Georgia, but our dorms opened tomorrow and I wouldn’t have made the fifteen-hour drive fast enough.
I climbed out, and made my way to the front doors. I was surprised to find that my key still opened the lock, and the sound echoed loudly through the dark, open space.
My voice traveled, and came back to me. I was alone.
“Great” I muttered.
I shut the door, and went about switching more lights on as I made my way from the kitchen to the living room, and then the dining room. After grabbing my small duffel bag from my car, I walked upstairs, ignoring the family photo’s splashed across the walls. They were all used to make outsiders think we were family, and maybe we could have been. But on the night of my high school graduation that had all changed, and I found myself more alone than ever.
My room was still left the same, much to my disbelief. I was sure my stepmother would have snatched up the opportunity to get rid of all my things as soon as my taillights disappeared. For the most part I’d taken the majority of my clothes, and small belongings with me when I moved, but the larger pieces of furniture had to stay. My large bed still stood against the right wall, with my desk, and dresser against the left. The floor still had the same soft carpeting, and the walls were still the light shade of pink I’d chosen when I was thirteen.
It felt strange being back here. I expected it to be harder, but I was oddly detached from it all. The few good memories I did have were all faded, like an aged photograph. I’d moved on. Or at least I’d tried to. There were still a few things that had the ability to set me back, but none of them were as daunting as seeing him again. My mood plummeted slightly when thoughts of him popped into my head uninvited.
My thoughts halted, and I turned at the sound of the voice. When I glanced at the small, elderly woman standing in my doorway I smiled wide, and ran to her.
I enveloped her in a hug and squeezed. I pulled away, and found her blue eyes watery. Her greyed hair was tied up in a bun, and her light blue robe hung off her thin frame. She was a tiny woman, and she’d aged so much since I’d last seen her.
“Kennedy,” she sighed, “it really is you.” Her voice cracked, and I felt my heart constrict. I never considered how my leaving had affected her – if I had, I probably would’ve stayed. I couldn’t have that.
“It’s me Luce.”
Her hand shook as she cupped my cheek. “Oh sweet girl, you look so grown up. I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you too,” I replied honestly. It was impossible to lie to her. Lucy had been working for us since before I was born, and lived on the property in a small cottage with her husband, Frank. He’d tended to our gardens, and maintained the grounds before he passed away three years ago. Growing up, Lucy was the only constant source of love and affection I had. Well, her and my brother, Charlie.
“I saw the lights switch on,” said Lucy, walking into my room. “If I’d known you were coming home I would have gotten the house ready.”
“That’s okay, Luce. I’m only here for one night. I have to pack a few more things before I move into my dorm at Brighton tomorrow.”
“Can I make you something to eat? I have some left-over chicken soup, and fresh bread that I can warm up for you? I made too much since it’s just me here.”
“That would be great,” I replied. “I’m just going to shower, and then I’ll be down.”
“I’ll put ‘Dirty Dancing’ on and we can catch up, okay?” Lucy wiped a tear away from her cheek, and then disappeared downstairs.
I let out the breath I’d been holding. Turned out seeing Lucy was all it took for the feelings I’d worked hard to bury to resurface. I’d have to worry about them later though. I had some packing to do.
After a quick shower, I slipped into a black tank top and cotton shorts before heading downstairs to the kitchen. Lucy had just sliced some bread, and took a bowl of her chicken soup out of the microwave.
“Just in time,” she said with a smile. “Sit your butt down, and eat something. You’re too skinny.”
With a chuckle I pulled out a bar chair and sat down. “Still bossy, I see.”
Lucy swatted me with a dishtowel and then took a seat next to me. “I haven’t changed,” she said. “But I can see you have.”
I took a mouthful of soup, diverting my gaze, and groaned. It was delicious.
“We all have to grow up, Luce. I just had to take a different road to get there.”
She fiddled with the dishtowel, wringing it between her aged fingers before looking back at me. The look in her eyes spoke volumes, more than any real words could say. We both knew why I’d changed, and why I’d been forced to grow up faster than most people my age. I was only eighteen, but it felt like I was twice that age.
“I’m sure if your father knew you were coming he would have been here,” said Lucy. I rolled my eyes, and took a bite of bread before replying. “We both know that’s not true. He could barely tolerate being in the same room with me as a child, and I doubt he feels any different now. Where has he taken the wicked stepmonster anyway?”
Lucy pursed her lips, knowing that she couldn’t deny a single word I’d just spoken. She knew better than anyone what my dear ol’ daddy was like when I was younger.
“They’re in Spain. They’re coming back in three weeks, after your father has tended to some business in Dallas.”
I looked at the remainder of my food, and pushed it away, my appetite suddenly gone. Thinking about my father and his trophy wife had that effect on me.
“That was delicious,” I said, squeezing Lucy’s hand. “I’ve missed your food.”
She peered into my bowl, and tsk’ed. “You hardly ate anything. No wonder you’re just skin and bone.”
“I’m not that skinny,” I retorted. “I’ve just lost some weight.”
Lucy narrowed her eyes but said nothing more as she cleaned up. What more could she say? I was in fact thinner after my year in Georgia, but I didn’t worry. Grief affected people in a variety of ways, and with me, it had robbed me of my desire to eat. And sleep.
“You want some ice-cream?” Asked Lucy.
“Depends. Do you still keep my favorite?”
She scoffed. “Of course. Peanut Butter and Fudge.”
“Then yes. We’ll eat that while you swoon over Patrick Swayze.”
I giggled, and made my way to the living room. Lucy joined me on the sofa, and we started chatting about what I’d been up to over the last few months. We skirted around the harder topics, and I was grateful for that. There were some things I wasn’t ready to talk about yet. With anyone.

I'm 21 years old & the ultimate Book Brat :) Coffee & Books are my drugs of choice, neither of which will be kicked to the curb any time soon! I go through a book a day & when I'm not reading I'm working on my debut novel, Beneath Your Beautiful :)I'm a sucker for New Adult Contemporary Romance with a whole lot of sexy thrown in & my number one rule is I won't read a book unless it has a happy ending! I also have the unhealthiest obsession with the South,and I don't mean my home country of South Africa - I mean cowboys, pick up trucks, sexy as sin Southern accents, cowboy boots and barefoot bluejean nights! One day, I will live in Alabama & I will have my own Indie publishing house - my philosophy is if your dreams don't scare you they're not big enough :)

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