Shadows Have Gone, the third book in the End of All Things series, will be released on March 26. I'm doing a countdown during the two weeks leading up to its release with a new excerpt every day. Stop back tomorrow for something new!
"I need someone I can trust watching over him until we know if he’s going to be able to stay here or not.”
“Why do you think he’s worth it?” Pearl approached the screen door and laid her fingers on its wooden sill. The late afternoon sunlight streamed through it, casting a golden grid on her light brown skin.
“Because I was once a worthless little shit myself,” Justin said. “I was picked up by some people who thought I had worthy attributes. Turns out they were some pretty bad people. But they saw me and they rescued me from what would have probably been a short and wasted life. In the end, I know I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for those people.”
Pearl didn’t look at him as she spoke. “Justin, I—I’m sorry, but . . .”
He saw her hands tighten on the frame of the screen door. He pressed on. “I look at that kid and I see someone who got a pretty rough shake. Someone who ended up in a place he probably would have preferred not to be but did his best to survive, like anyone would. Now, here we are, looking at him and wondering if he’s worth saving. I don’t know if he is. I guess that will be up to him, but I’d like to give him this one chance to decide his own fate. To decide what sort of person he wants to be. I don’t know how he’ll decide, so that’s why I want him with someone I know can take care of themselves. I want someone who knows how to watch. And I trust your judgment. If you tell me in a couple of weeks that the kid is a fuckin’ waste, we’ll toss him out and be done with it. But if you agree with my initial assessment that we might have something to work with . . . well, maybe we can save a life, you and I.”
“Justin . . .” Pearl closed her eyes. “I don’t want to be responsible for someone again.”
“Help me do the right thing,” Justin said. “This fucked-up world gives us far too few chances to do that. Here we have a chance. And maybe I’m being foolish and soft-hearted. Maybe I should have just shot the little bastard in Clayton and been done with it. But I don’t think so.”
The kid the yard shuffled his feet and kicked at a small rock in the gravel. He looked up at the house and then quickly away, as if he were afraid to be caught peeking.
“Justin . . . dammit . . .”
“Do me a solid,” Justin said. “Come on, what can I give you in return?”
“Your promise not to make me do any more of this kind of shit,” Pearl grumbled.
Justin gave her a smile. “Sometimes you gotta do things just because you’re the only person who can.”
Pre-order Shadows Have Gone from Amazon, or stop by Goodreads to check out the reviews and add it to your own shelf.