By Laney Wylde
Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: November 12th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
What if you woke up from your worst nightmare, only to find the world watching it? On repeat. With relish.
What if those viewers found you? Cornered you until you performed the nightmare live?
Would you run? Fight?
Or charge admittance?
This is Sawyer’s reality. She’s a survivor—gritty and determined—but the struggle to put it all behind her is something that’s with her every second of every day. Her abuser is in jail now, but he’ll never truly let her go. When she tries to shelter in something good, the darkness inevitably follows. The effects of the abuse flow through her life like ripples of pain in this raw, at times darkly comedic, coming-of-age saga that explores what it means to survive the unthinkable—and find the courage to rise up and keep fighting.
Sure to satisfy fans of SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK and 13 REASONS WHY, Never Touched is a New Adult contemporary drama by breakout author Laney Wylde. Richly written with complex characters and a compelling storyline, it’s perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover’s HOPELESS, Rebecca Donovan’s REASON TO BREATHE, and Jessica Sorensen’s THE COINCIDENCE OF CALLIE & KAYDEN.
Please Note: Story contains graphic sexual content, including mentions of abuse. Strong language throughout.
My pillow was covered in sweat when I woke to screaming. It took me a full two seconds to realize it was coming from my lungs. My heavily sedated roommate didn't flinch, but Nurse Trevor was at my side by the time my throat was hoarse.
Full disclosure, I had a girlish crush on Nurse Trevor. He had a gentle demeanor and phone-book-tearing arms. I was a sucker for that kind of thing. The night-shift nurses were in amazing shape. And tan. Apparently, that was what happened when they worked only three to four shifts a week and had the sun and gym all to themselves during business hours. Even so, the last thing I wanted to see was someone with a penis. I grunted I was fine and pushed past him to the bathroom.
I stripped off my cheer tee shirt and slouched to sit on the linoleum with my dewy back against the chilled wall, the only barrier between it and my skin being my soggy sports bra. The darkness made the tiny room feel unending. I flicked the light on to try to stay awake and off Third Street. To say I was fucking tired of that Third Street dream was a disgusting understatement. I'd even broken my own rule and tried to take medication to sleep the other night. The trazodone just made the colors brighter, Simone's cries higher, and escape impossible—like I was paralyzed but awake while undergoing some kind of gruesome surgery.
So, I played a game in the bathroom to stay awake: what in here could be used to kill myself? It was an exceptional challenge and against our contracts as patients. Yes, I actually had to sign a contract to stay alive. The way they violence-proofed this place, my word clearly meant nothing. It did, however, make this game extra fun.
I started with the shower curtain, wondering if someone had ever tried to hang themselves from it. It was suspended from flimsy metal clips that wouldn't hold any significant amount of weight, so I figured anyone who attempted was unsuccessful. If the clips could be unfastened, they could be sharpened. Even so, I doubted they could do much damage. The cutters would have some ideas. They were the most creative here. And resourceful. One girl actually used her teeth and fingernails on herself.
There was no shampoo or body wash in the shower or toothpaste by the sink. They rationed these to us in travel-size containers each day. My bet was that someone swallowed too much once.
Hygienic blades were out. Dark hairs still clung to the shower from yesterday. That was the first time I shaved since I was admitted. A CNA handed me a cheap razor and watched the entire time I used it. It was why I'd waited until my legs and armpits were covered in soft fur to shave. Eh, it was February, not exactly shorts weather. Besides that CNA and the nurses who did the strip search, excuse me, skin check, on my first day, no one saw me naked.
I bet my navel ring could have done something if I had been able to sharpen it, but the nurses made me pull it out during the nude inspection. It was currently in safekeeping with Cash.
The underwire in my bras would have provided a warm, easy death, if the staff hadn't taken those away at the door. "I can remove the metal if you want to have them here," the orderly said while holding my favorite violet, black-laced push-up. The horrific image of her with a murderous grin as she sliced away at my lingerie made my stomach flip. I ripped it from her hand as if she had threatened to cut open my child. Then I frantically dug through my bag for the rest of them, as if the hospital staff had plans to slowly torture all my expensive bras. Cash had those stashed away for me, too.
I ran out of trouble to look for. Congrats, hospital designers. You did a thorough job. I woke up with my cheek pressed against the linoleum, opening my eyes to my roommate peeing in front of me.
"Good morning!" Tori smiled as she wadded toilet paper around her hand. After living with this crazy-eyed middle-aged woman for five weeks, I still didn't know what she was in for. All she said in group was, "I didn't refill my medication. I guess that was important." I propped myself up on my hand, feeling the rippling aches over my ribs and hips as I rolled upright. Tori flushed the toilet, and then did a cursory rinse of her hands without soap. Gross. "See you in group?" she asked before drying off on my paper-thin towel.
Laney Wylde is enamored with all things southern California--the traffic, smog, surprise earthquakes, and nonindigenous palm trees. Consequently, it's the landscape her strong and sometimes lovable female leads paint their stories on. Her New Adult novels Never Touched and the After Twelve series are bright with provocative themes, steamy romance, and inappropriately timed humor.
When Laney isn't writing, she's singing Taylor Swift with her little boy or asking her husband not to tell her about his work as a surgical resident while she's eating. She daydreams about using her math degree to get into law school, then realizes that would be too much work and that she should just play pretend court on paper instead. While she loves a good book, nothing beats 30 Rock with a bag of popcorn and M&Ms.
From one bookaholic to another, I hope I’ve helped you find your next fix.
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