Avowed (The Manipulation Trilogy Book 3)

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Authors: Alicia Taylor, Natalie Townson
regret fills me. I planned to hurt the man I now love, and he did nothing wrong. That’s hard to take in.
    I feel sick at how much I loathed Damon, and it was for no reason. I loved my sister, still love her, but she was ill. That’s no one’s fault. 
    “It’s not your fault Damon.”
    He tenses against me, his arms tightening around me. I pull back to look at him and agony fills his face. I gasp at the pain I see flashing across his features before rage fills his dark eyes. The laugh that leaves his downturned lips is anything but happy. Mirthless.
    “Isn’t it?”
    “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” He snaps. “I’m not a good person Ella. I’m not this perfect man you seem to see me as. I’m a fucking monster.” His voice is angry but I know it’s not aimed at me. It’s anger towards himself.
    “You’re not!”
    Untangling himself from me, Damon climbs from the bed and begins pacing. Naked. Every muscle is contorting with his movement. His chest heaves as he stops and grasps his hair, fisting it in despair. 
    “You’re not a monster Damon,” I say quietly.
    “You don’t fucking know me!” he shouts, slamming his palm flat against his chest. “You don’t know what I’ve done.”
    “Tell me then!” I shout, as I climb to my knees on the bed. “You keep saying that you’re a monster but I don’t see it Damon. Why are you such a monster in your own eyes? What have you done to deserve such self hate?”
    “I’m a killer!” he roars. He pants but I hold my breath. Everything slows down, everything stops. I can’t think straight. Did I really just hear him right? I look at him begging for more, needing to know what he’s talking about but he can’t look me in the eyes. He’s looking anywhere but at me.
    “What?” I whisper.
    “I’ve got blood on my hands Ella. I may not have taken their lives but their blood is on my hands nonetheless.”
    My heart feels like it’s working overtime as it pounds against my ribs, like a sledgehammer to concrete. I search his face looking for denial but there is none. What has he done? Tears sting my eyes and my throat closes.  
    When he looks back to me his eyes are wild. Taking a step towards me he looks in complete despair. “ I’m a killer Ella ,” he rasps, before turning and slumping down at the bottom of the bed. His shoulders slump, head hanging low, hair fisted in hands, and elbows on knees.
    Defeated .
    I want to go to him, I want to wrap myself around him and comfort him, but I can’t. I can’t move. I’m frozen to the spot, scared to speak and break him further. He’s open, completely cut open and bleeding right before my eyes.
    “My life has been one massive mess. It’s been hit after hit after hit.” He sighs and shakes his head. “I thought I had it all, a bright future ahead of me. I was cocky and sure of myself. I had a fun girl on my arm, good mates, and parties every weekend. It was just assumed Abbi and I would marry, but it never felt like I needed her to be mine. I never had a need to claim her. I was just rolling with it.”
    “She was talking about marriage again and I just wasn’t interested and it pissed her off. We said some stupid shit, it got nasty with words and she left. We met up later for a night out and we argued again. I left. She went to a party and got trashed, slept with some punk. Losing her didn’t make me lose control, but being on the receiving end of pitiful looks fucked me off. Girls turned to sharks, circling their prey, me. They all wanted me, wanted to be the shoulder I’d cry on. I took advantage of them, fucking girls everywhere. Drinking and fucking became routine for me, made me forget the loss of control.”
    I sink back to my heels, trying to be as quiet as possible. I don’t want to disturb him now he’s talking, finally letting out all his haunting secrets. I stay silent and wait for him to gather his thoughts and continue.
    “Spencer eventually had had

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