Nick and Lilac

By: Marian Tee

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS



This book wouldn’t have been complete without God’s grace. It wouldn’t have been as great if my publisher wasn’t supporting me every step of the way. It wouldn’t have been as beautiful if not for the exquisite cover by CT COVER CREATIONS, and it wouldn’t have been as polished without my editor Wendy Chan.



It wouldn’t have been as enjoyable to write if I didn’t have my parents, my siblings, and my partner Allen Tan behind me, wouldn’t have been as inspired if I didn’t have past reviews from book bloggers and beta readers to keep me motivated and fellow Amazon authors to emulate and commiserate with. It wouldn’t have ever been complete if I didn’t have my huge brood of cousins to keep me company while I type until the wee hours of the morning almost every day.



And lastly, Nick and Lilac would have never seen their story come to light if not for the readers I constantly come into contact with, those who leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, those who take the time to subscribe, to post comments on my site – and those who read and smile because they had fun reading my story. I wish I could thank each and every one of you here. The sentiment’s there, but it would be nice if I could tell you personally. J



So if I don’t get to talk to you personally, please know that I’m very thankful that you took the time to buy and read this book. It really, really, really means a lot because with every page you turn, you’re making my dream come true.





PROLOGUE



Three Years Ago



“I had no reason to be a slut.” Seventeen-year-old Lilac York’s voice faltered as she admitted the worst thing about herself. The words alone made her want to curl up in a ball of shame, unable to meet anyone’s gaze, not even that of her therapist.

For years, Lilac had thought of her therapist’s cozily designed clinic as her refuge, the one place she had nothing to be terrified and ashamed about. But by saying the words out loud, it was if old evils had been given back their power to hurt, and they turned her haven into another prison of guilt and self-loathing.

The next time she tried to speak, it had come back and tears of frustration welled up in her eyes. “I c-can’t g-get o-over t-that. N-no m-matter w-what I-I d-do, I j-just c-can’t.”

Dr. Petersen’s voice was steady when she spoke. “Take slow deep breaths, Lilac. You’re the one in control here – not your past, not the people who hurt you, no one but you have control over who you are and how you’re doing.”

Several minutes ticked by, the silence between her and Dr. Petersen comforting. It was only broken by the rhythmic beats of the therapist’s metronome.

“Anytime, Lilac.” Dr. Petersen’s soothing voice worked like a beacon of hope in the dimly lit room, the shades completely shutting out sunlight. “There’s no pressure.”

In a rush, Lilac confided bitterly, “I was in love with him.”

When the young girl didn’t speak again, Dr. Petersen said quietly, “It’s not a sin to fall in love.”

“But he was wrong for me!” Lilac burst out. “I’m not stupid---I knew from the start he was wrong, but I just…I just---” She broke off, hardening her jaw in an effort to push back the sobs trying to crawl out of her throat.

Lilac covered her face. She couldn’t bear for anyone to see her face right now, not when she was about to finally unburden herself.

“He l-liked making me nervous. He deliberately frightened me, goaded me, hurt me just so I’d start to stutter. And then he’d make me suck him.” Lilac moaned, the memory like shards of pain stabbing her mind, shredding her dignity.

“He won’t stop saying things…that made me stutter around his cock…my teeth would chatter and chatter and he’d love it and he’d come in my mouth even while I cried. And after that, he’d tell me I did a good job.” Her restraint broke. The tears gushed out, hard enough to cause her chest to heave.

“Every time I think of it, I feel like killing myself. I feel like hiding away from the world because every time they look at me, I feel like they know what I did and they think…they can do it to me, too.”

The cries that came out from the young girl were heart-wrenching, even for someone who thought she had heard it all. Gazing at Lilac’s bent head, Susan Petersen remembered the first time she had seen her patient– fourteen, slender, and eyes so old and dead Susan had almost thought there was no chance of recovery.

“Hello, Lilac.” Susan’s voice was scratchy, a permanent reminder of her own childhood tragedy when she had her throat slashed by her homicidal, pedophilic stepfather.

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