Love in Disguise (Preface)

The heart is an exquisite machine—a little fist pumping life into your body, from the day you are born until you fall in love.

And then, it stops working properly.

The clockwork mechanism becomes faulty and unreliable. The cadenced heartbeats turn erratic until the pounding threatens to tear a hole through your chest. Then they falter and turn slower, soundless until you fear your heart has stopped working altogether.

Love is an irrational, painful feeling.

And yet, as I bolted into the cavernous room, I couldn’t bring myself to regret one ounce of the love I bore for Charlotte. Shuddering at the desolation that stretched mercilessly all around me, I pushed forward until the faintest glimmer of light penetrated the darkness.

Then I saw her. Floating like an angel, the light creating a halo around her head.

I pulled out my gun, aimed for my target, and took one precise shot. Charlotte collapsed right into my arms, her hair stuck to her face, her lashes powdered with frost, caressing the soft peaks of her cheeks, her lips blue and parted as if she was about to confess a secret.

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