Prologue: Love

It seems like all of the best songs are about love. Some of the best songs even contain love in the title. All You Need is Love, Love Me Tender, Love Me Do, and Can’t Buy Me Love.

So how is it possible that I never believed it existed until Emma came into my life?

Sure, I’d been in relationships before. Most were short and ended badly. The longest had been with the most shallow and unbearable person alive.

But from the very moment I walked into that English classroom, filled with students, I knew there was something about Emma Hatfield. I couldn’t help but see only her.

She was dressed plainly, trying desperately to fade into the background. It was so cliché, but as soon as I laid eyes on her, it was like there was a beacon of light behind her, calling to me, begging for me to introduce myself to her. Someone so naturally beautiful could never fade into the background.

My brother asked me repeatedly, how it was possible to fall into something I hardly believed in. But she brought out the emotion in me.

It was so strong sometimes, it took my every strength I had to keep from drawing her to me and holdings her tightly.

She had already experienced so much, more than some twice her age had.

Each time I put my arms around her the urge to protect her from
everything was overwhelming. The urge burned so much my body ached. It was an impossible task considering how hurt she has already been. I was beginning to make it my own personal mission to keep her safe from anything that might hurt her or come between us.

The smallest thing she did restored my love for her. The way her hand timidly slips into mine. The way she chews her lips when she’s distracted or worried. How she stomps her foot when she gets frustrated. The faintest dimple that surfaces at the corner of her mouth when she smiles. Every little thing about her makes me love her more. Even I didn’t think it was possible.

And I knew–a part of me felt we both knew– that from the moment

I kissed her and held her in my arms, I was never going to let her go.

No matter who— or what- tried to take her away from me.

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