Last Teaser before The Rush Release!!!

So The Rush comes out on Friday!!!!!

Of this week!!!

In like three days. Woot!

And so for the last teaser, I'm going to try something a little different. This is an entire scene from Ryder's point of view. Obviously you haven't read the book yet, so it's going to be a little confusing... But you can get to know Ryder a little bit better before Friday.

And I think you'll love him.

I for one, am definitely in love with him!!

Also, in other excited news, this scene revolves around a real song, written for the book by SUPER talented Andrew James and it will be released very, very soon!!!

So, for your reading pleasure...

Here is Ryder's POV:

“So, we’re set for November then?” I ask Dane Caster, the manager of the Slowdown where my band has a weekly gig.

“Yeah, sure,” he answers back gruffly. He’s not the biggest fan of my band, but he recognizes that we draw a crowd. I get that he prefers legitimately successful bands, but Omaha has always been loyal to the local scene and Dane is honoring that.

Dane takes a swig from a water bottle and then sets it down harshly on the bar. He’s neglected the cap so it splashes over the lip of the bottle and runs down the sides. He rubs at his eyes like he is the most exhausted man alive and then looks around the crowded room with a bleary, world-tired expression. He is hung over, or really stressed out and I almost feel bad for him. Well, until his eyes land on the doorway.

Then I immediately stop feeling bad for him

I know it’s her the moment she walks in.

And not just because Dane’s eyes widen until they start bugging out of his head and his smile twists into something so disgustingly pedophile-ish I have to keep my fists clenched on the bar to stop myself from throttling him. No, I feel her walk in the door.

Feel her.

Like she was a summer breeze or gust of wind. Yeah, more like a violent gust of wind that sweeps through the place, leaving everything off place and unbalanced. The entire atmosphere changes, the ions in the air light with something electric, my vision, my consciousness shifts and rotates until my entire focus is on her.

Dane clears his throat and then sits up to adjust himself. I push off from the bar, anxious to get away from him before I say or do something I will regret. And the way my skin suddenly irritates the ever living hell out of me, I know I will. Fists will come before words and it’s just because of her.

Which is crazy.

I am not a violent person by nature and I can’t even remember another time when Dane has been sleazy enough to check out his underage clientele.

Something is up with Ivy. Something I need to investigate before I get myself into trouble.

Or she gets me into trouble.

Not that I have any claim over her. Or want any claim over her. But, hell, there has never been a girl that needed more protecting than Ivy.

I watch her from a distance, where I’m hidden behind the far side of the bar and the small stage. Her bright green eyes are relaxed for the first time all week, she’s breathing normally, easily, and she’s almost smiling. She’s comfortable here.

The change in her demeanor was the first thing I noticed last week. After watching her struggle through school, on edge and tense, I almost didn’t recognize her when she walked into the Slowdown. It was the sole purpose for inviting her friends to watch my band tonight. I knew she would try to avoid this place once she knew I would always be here.

But I didn’t want to be the reason she lost this place.

Instinct tells me, this is like a refuge for her. And more so that she desperately needs a safe place in her life.

Phoenix finally gets her attention from the back of the room and waves her and her friends over. Another one of those protective surges electrifies my blood and I am moving before I can process where I’m going.

Not that I don’t know. Of course I know I’ll go to the place where she is. Instinct, conviction…. the damn fibers of my soul pull me to her.
It’s not just Phoenix, because if it was I’d like to think I wouldn’t be so possessive. He’s mostly harmless. But the rest of the guys in my band are not.

And with her, it’s always about protecting.

She’s gorgeous, breathtakingly so and so damn broken that my chest aches for her. But honest to God, I am not in to her yet. Face to face, she pisses me off more than she does anything else. It’s like she was put on this earth solely to irritate me. But at the same time I just want to be there for her.

I get this impression nobody else ever is, that she’s alone, scared and frighteningly vulnerable. Even if she never lets anyone else see it, I see it.

And because I see it, I have to do something about it.

“You made it,” I call as soon as I am in hearing distance. I try to play down the stupid grin plastered across my face, but something about Ivy being so uncomfortable surrounded by my friends makes me happy. Ok, so maybe I like to torture her too, just a little bit. “Red, did you introduce everyone?” I ask only because of the snotty look on Kenna’s face. I have no idea what Ivy said to piss Kenna off, or if maybe it was Ivy’s friends, since they are all seriously pretty girls. But whatever happened in all five seconds it took me to catch up with her must have been bad.

Or maybe this is just how girls treat each other. Yikes.

“Yes,” Ivy smiles back at me. Actually smiles at me, like she is happy to see me. I have to ignore whatever that does to me, because she isn’t like that for me. She’s just a friend that needs me…. nothing more.

“No,” her friend Exie denies quickly. Exie is ridiculously hot with her long blonde hair and tanned, perfect skin. She has this light inside her, this energy that makes everyone around her want to be with her. She doesn’t have Ivy’s pull, but I can understand the drool dripping from Phoenix’s chin right now. Exie continues, “She said these are Chase’s friends. We don’t even know which one is Chase.”

I burst into laughter at that, even though it confirms my opinion of Ivy’s feelings for Chase. “Ok, let me do a better job then. Exie, Sloane, this is my beautiful girlfriend Kenna,” I smile down at Kenna, hoping that I can smooth some of the intense feelings she’s shooting off with my words. She is beautiful, easily comparable to Ivy and her friends. It’s too bad her insecurity is so obvious in her attitude right now. Confidence is so hot on girls, and one of the first things that drew me to Kenna in the first place. I have no idea what has changed in her over the last month. “This giant over here is Phoenix, this is Hayden, Hudson and Cole. We’re all in the band together.”

“Sugar Skulls,” Phoenix finishes for me, anxious to be included.

Her friends look around at us, taking us in carefully and then Sloane asks “Where’s Chase?”

Ivy’s light green eyes flash to me immediately and then she blurts, “He couldn’t come tonight. He has a big test tomorrow, so he’s at home studying.”

The smug smile that tilts the corners of her sweet mouth tell me that she is competing with me. Not only that, but she feels like she won that round. The thought makes me want to laugh again. We are definitely playing a game, but if she thinks this is a competition there is no way she’s going to win.

That’s not the game we’re playing.

We continue to talk as a group about Chase and his lack of musical talent. Actually, I have never met anyone more tone deaf than Ivy’s boyfriend. He is just awful.

Ivy’s friends ask about the band and if we are any good. I let the other guys answer. I know we are good. They will find out soon enough.

My attention drifts over to the band on stage currently, they are not good. Not that they couldn’t be, not that they don’t have potential. But they let their egos get in the way and their drive to bang girls outweigh their drive to perfect their craft.

Such a shame.

My head snaps back around when Exie’s comment catches my attention. “I know you’re good. Ivy hasn’t stopped talking about how amazing you are all night.”

“Really?” It’s out of my mouth before I can stop it, before I can mask the excited shock that sounds out clearly. I cough to cover my reaction, hoping that if I pretend it didn’t happen, other people will to. I cut my eyes to Kenna hoping she didn’t notice, but she is sucked into conversation with Hayden.

I slide my eyes back to Ivy and hold her gaze. Her cheeks are flushed. She is embarrassed at being called out by her friend. Pride swells and expands in my chest, something primitive and powerful. Her good opinion is not easily earned and I have it. I don’t even care now that I was embarrassed before, I can’t stomp down the flying feeling of being something Ivy likes, even if it’s just my music.
I want, no need to separate myself from this girl. But the desperation to protect her from everything else in the world is becoming an obsession. I can’t walk away now. I don’t want to and I know she doesn’t want me to. If she would have hated me, or found me as annoying as she pretends to, I think
I would have.

But not anymore.

But instead, her feelings are more like a beacon of light, calling me home. And I am a man lost in her light.

She breaks my gaze, turns around and leaves our group as fast as she can push her way through the growing crowd. I watch her walk away, her legs exposed in her short skirt, her hips swaying with each step. A groan growls quietly from the back of my throat. I turn my back on her and towards my girlfriend. I have to, I have to separate myself from Ivy and I have to do it now.
I find myself agreeing to dedicate a song to Kenna, even though I know I can’t tonight. I just know it would sound inauthentic and contrived. I let my music and performance be inspired by what is inside of me and tonight there is only one girl on my mind.
Eventually I leave with the band to start our set. I have been anxious to get behind my guitar all night, anxious to put all this excess, frenzied energy into something concentrated and focused. I pull the strap over my shoulder and let my fingers strum what feels like just an extension of me, another limb, bonded and fused to my body like any other appendage.

I fall into the music face first with my heart on my sleeve and the sound a blanket of my primal energy that wraps around every person in the room and
forces them to pay attention.

Tonight we play better than we ever have. We are in sync, perfectly harmonious and completely badass. Night’s like this is why I am a musician, why I bleed from my guitar and feel that perfect freedom through the words to my songs.
Nerves start to take over though the closer we get to the set break. I have been planning this for a while, since I was alone with Ivy in Phoenix’s room. Maybe even before that.

But ever since she revealed those secret places of her I know no one else has ever seen, I can’t stop thinking about what they means- what she means to me.

As soon as I left her that night I dug into the song, let it burn out of me like fire and oxygen. She was…. she is inspiring. And that was my first dose of what it meant to know someone at their most elemental level, at their deepest, most hidden place.

The lyrics were in my head before I pulled out of her parking lot, the chords were together before I could get to my guitar. And when I finally sat down with my guitar, the song was already on my fingertips, already a part of me.

Finally the rest of the band walks off stage and I’m left alone. The hot lights burn into me; making sweat trickle from my hairline and down my neck. My eyes squint against the crowd as I search for her, as I dare myself to meet her eyes. But I can’t see her, not from here.

So I just decide to let myself feel her.

I approach the mic and take a steadying breath before I say to the crowd, “This is a song I wrote recently,” at first I can’t bring myself to give anything away and I nervously fiddle with my guitar strings. With a little more courage I say, “The band hasn’t had a chance to play it together yet, so it will be just me. But it’s uh, about chocolate croissants and coffee.” I laugh because I can’t help it, because there might be hell to pay afterwards, but I’m too far into this to stop now.

When the crowd quiets down, and all I can feel is the savage adrenaline pumping brutally through me I start the song I call “Blackheart.”

I sing lyrics about the most beautiful heart I’ve ever seen. How I would do anything to get to know that heart, to get to be a part of her world. I sing about her tragic, painful world and how I just want to be a small part in it. And then I sing about how I just want her to love herself, because even if she gets my love, I know…. I will never get hers.

Everything flows out of me more emotional than I planned or intended. But the song, the story, her story has a way of clawing through my chest until I’m hemorrhaging and broken for her. Everything is raw inside me, and my throat is closed because of a feeling I will probably never name out loud.

I strum out the last chords of the song and let the notes hang hauntingly in the air. A chill snakes its way down my spine and the crowd parts just at the right time. The audience fades into the background then, even their loud cheering and clapping and I see her. Her eyes are glistening and her lips are mashed tightly together.

She knows the song is about her, she knows she’s gotten under my skin and that I’m so close to getting under hers.

Now I just have to hope that she’ll ignore it all, ignore everything between us and around us and stay with me. That she’ll share her black heart with me.


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  1. That was awesome! I love reading from the guys POV. I'm really excited to read The Rush. It's going to make my Friday so much better :)

  2. I cannot wait till Friday! I'm so super words cannot possibly express how excited I am! I cannot wait to meet Ryder and Ivy

  3. Oh my!! I'm so glad I waited to read this after I finished The Rush....this was incredible!! Ryder is unbelievably adorable!! I loved reading from his POV...especially what the song was really about. That made my breath catch. I <3 that!! Rachel as always you are amazing and make me feel so much in your writing!! You are one of my absolute favorites...and to think I discovered you purely by accident...happy accident it was :) thanks so much for giving me your incredible characters and stories <3