Home > Pull (Seaside #2)

Pull (Seaside #2)
Author: Rachel Van Dyken


Death is everywhere. You can’t escape it. You can’t hide from it. And for me, the very minute I decided to embrace it as inevitable, the planes of my universe shifted, leaving me more confused and broken than I’d ever been in my entire life.

For me, death was the ultimate betrayal. For some, it was the easy way out. I had no way of knowing that my life would change so much in two short months. Maybe I wasn’t prepared for him.

I was happy in my darkness, at least that’s what I told myself. Because life is cruel — it’s so damn cruel to give me what I had and then rip it away. It’s cruel, because the minute I was finally okay with being numb to the world — he showed up.

My heart wasn’t ready to be pieced together again. He did it anyway.

My soul wasn’t prepared for heartbreak. He broke it anyway.

My life wasn’t ready to be given to a soul mate. He stole it anyway.

Everything has changed — even death. And all because of a boy, who fell in love with a girl.

I sat down on the cold asphalt and bawled. I cried for me. I cried for him. But most of all, I cried for all those minutes I was allowed to breathe, when I deserved to be without breath. How do you thank someone who saved your life? How do you mourn them at the same time?

I struggled against the cop and then, I must have died, because the very person I thought I lost not a few minutes ago was standing over me.

“Demetri?” I gasped.

Chapter One

Seven weeks previous


I sighed for the tenth time, hoping to gain some flicker of sympathy from Nat. But she was immobile. Like a really hot stone that refused to crack.

I nudged her with my foot.

Which made things worse.

I feel like that’s all I do these days. Make things worse and then reap the awesome benefits of being a total and complete screw up.

Maybe it’s because I’m clueless. I’m the guy who chases the girl when clearly she wants someone else.

Damn. I’m the pathetic number two.

“Nat?” If she wasn’t going to give in, at least I could ask her honestly. She was never the type of girl to completely ignore me when I asked her a question.

After my near death experience, where I swear I saw my life flash before my eyes, Nat had been a lot nicer about things between me, her, and my brother.

The ménage a’weird.

“What, Demetri? You’ve only been sighing like some lovesick teenager for the past hour. What do you want?”

Now that I felt completely stupid, I didn’t want to ask her anymore. I knew she’d either tell my brother, Alec, or laugh in my face.

“Promise you won’t tell Alec?”

“He’s my boyfriend. I love him. I tell him everything.”

Crap. “Everything?”

Nat rolled her brown eyes and shook her long blond hair to the side. She had no idea how beautiful she was. Maybe it was a good thing, because she had every right to be a total brat; instead she was convinced she was plain.

“Yes, Demetri, everything. Including the time Mom and I helped you shower after your accident, and you pretended to fall, only to have me fall on top of you.”

Like an idiot, I grinned. I couldn’t help it. “I take it Alec wasn’t amused.”

“You think?” She pushed me and switched the channel.

Wonder of wonders, it was my brother, singing at some awards show.

Nat sighed. “I wish I could’ve gone with him.”

“Nat.” I nudged her with my leg. “You know he wishes you were there too. He’ll be back in a few days to take you to college, so you can both move on with your lives and leave me here in Hell.

Thanks for that, by the way.”

“Hey. Your choice, not mine.” She lifted her hands in the air and sighed. “Besides, aren’t there some really good rehab places in California? We could all be close and —”

I shook my head and managed to interrupt her by waving my hand wildly in the air. “Not gonna happen.”

“Why?” She seemed genuinely upset, which made me want to shoot myself — in a total non-suicidal way, of course.

“You guys need your time away from everything, away from this.” I pointed at myself and managed a tight smile, even when it was killing me inside to even be talking about that again.

Last year Nat had fallen for both me and my brother. I, being the genuine ass that I was, knew she had the hots for him but jumped in and tried to steal her anyway. I still wasn’t dealing with some past shit that had nearly ruined my life. I blamed Alec for it, and for once I just wanted the girl first, so I could rub his face in it.

Eventually it blew up in my face.

Literally blew up in my face in the form of a killer car accident that I just barely managed to escape with all my limbs intact.

After all that, it was apparent that while Nat loved me, it wasn’t the type of love you sell your soul for, or die over. Nope, it was more like the kind you feel for your hot cousin or maybe your grandmother. You love them. You hope they do well in life, and yeah, they may be good-looking (just to be clear, we’re talking about the cousin here, not the grandma), but that’s as far as it goes.

The love she felt for Alec?

Well, it was the Twilight kind. Sorry, but it’s the only comparison I could think of on the spot, especially considering Nat made me read all the books. It was the I will literally stop breathing if I can’t have you type of love.

A love I’ve only experienced once in my life. A love like that doesn’t happen twice. It’s impossible.

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