Lara Johnson is coping with the emotional scars of losing both parents in a tragic incident and facing the challenges of starting a new school. Getting involved in a relationship isn't on her priority list. Certainly not this illicit desire for a man, who demands the best from her, yet leaves her breathless in his presence.
All Ike Thomas wants to do is to keep out of trouble and get through the one year internship required for his degree program. But trouble finds him, in the form of an intelligent and brave girl who turns his world upside down. Falling in love is forbidden. So why does it feel so right?
A love like theirs cannot be denied. But catastrophe lies in wait and one night changes their lives forever.
Bound to Fate is a story about surviving tragedy, forgiveness, and the overwhelming love that pulls through against the odds.
Content warning: This book contains scenes that might be triggering for some readers.
She turned to him, hands fluttering, clinging onto this last verge of hope. “But you’ve never taken advantage of me. You’ve always taken care of me.”
“Lara, it’s my job to do so. I’ve never treated you any differently from the way I treat other students, and I can’t treat you any differently now.”
She rubbed the back of her neck. “Sir, I’m not asking you to treat me differently. I’m just asking you to love me.”
He was the only person she’d connected with in months. This whole school year. Yes, she got on well with Ada. But the girl was the picture of perfection. Perfect home. Perfect parents. Perfect life. Lara sometimes felt inadequate in comparison.
With Mr. Thomas, she knew he wasn’t perfect. Knew he hid his troubles beneath the confident exterior. Just like she did.
“Can’t you see what you’re asking for is too much? Do you even understand what a relationship with me involves? Have you ever had sex?”
Her face heated up and she looked away. She remained a virgin. Was this the reason he rejected her? Did he want a more experienced girl? From the moment she’d fallen for him in her classroom that cool October lunchtime, she’d decided to save herself for him. Would he send her away because of it?
“I haven’t. I want you to be my first,” she muttered as her body trembled. “I’d never thought about sex, never thought about being with anyone in that way until I met you. You make me feel things I can’t explain.”
His breath hitched and his grip on the steering wheel showed tight knuckles. The car slowed and stopped. She glanced out of the window. They’d parked alongside the wall surrounding her house.
He tipped his head back and closed his eyes, puffing out a heavy breath.
Her heartbeats became stronger and the sound of whooshing blood seemed loud in her ears. He was going to send her out of the car and leave her hanging. She wanted to climb above the console separating them onto his lap and cling onto him, begging him until he relented.
Opening his eyes, he turned to face her.
Her breath caught in her throat. Her mouth dried out at the consuming expression on his face. It was like that brief glimpse of the tortured boy she’d seen months ago.
This time, his eyes shone as if a light had been kindled behind his irises and his pupils appeared blown out. Leaning forward, he reached across and cupped her cheek, his palm warm and rough against her skin.
Her breath quickened as she pressed her face against his hand, relishing the tingles across her skin.
As he touched her skin, surely, he felt this same craving that vibrated through her body and threatened to drive her insane. Surely, he’d realised her feelings were genuine and he’d soon reciprocate it, sweeping her off her feet.
“This is a beautiful gift you are offering me. But I’m not worthy of it.” He dropped his hand, leaving her bereft of his touch. “I don’t love you.”
His words cut through her like a knife.
“What? You don’t mean it.” He couldn’t mean it. He was just trying to save her, surely.
She gripped his thigh as panic rose. She swallowed excessively, darted her gaze around the car and settled back on his face. Oh, God. Let him not mean it.