Madness or Love is out in the world, and I feel very proud of the coming reviews. I know you're curious about Victoria and Ian's friendship/love. So, here is a little spiced up excerpt.
I have warned you! SPOILER ALERT!
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"Victoria searched for the right words, but at the exact moment she opened her mouth, her phone rang. A simple “Ian” brightened up the display, and her heart jumped involuntarily. Her finger hesitated over the accept button. Her eyes met Thomas’s.
“I need to take this. I’m sorry.”
“No problem. Take your time,” he reassured her.
She stood up, took the vibrating phone, made several hasty steps, and took the call.
“Hey,” came Ian’s voice on the other end of the line.
She reached the front door and stepped out. “Hey.”
They both paused, savoring the moment of complete joy and mutual understanding. Despite all the turmoil inside her soul, she smiled.
“I’m sorry,” were his first words. “I should have called sooner.”
“Don’t be. I know you were busy,” she said quietly.
“That isn’t a legit excuse. I’ll make it up to you.”
“Be careful.” She laughed. “I might actually wish for something.” I might wish for you, echoed in her mind. “It’s nice to be back home, huh?”
“I thought that, too, but sitting in an empty apartment alone is not the best idea I have for a fun time.”
“You need to get away. Lose yourself in some tropical island and shut out the rest of the world. A couple of days in radio silence could do wonders,” Victoria suggested.
“I’m not convinced. Lying on the beach alone; I don’t—”
“Then ask someone to come with you.” A lump formed in her throat. She knew the meaning behind her words, but he deserved to be happy with someone. She did too. A group of giggly girls passed by her.
“Where are you?” he asked, ignoring her suggestion.
She hesitated. “Out.”
“A fun girl’s night out?”
She paused again. She had never lied to him; she wasn’t about to start now.
“No,” she said weakly, fighting the guilt. “I’m having a dinner . . . A date.”
It was his turn to fall quiet. “Oh, I didn’t know you . . . were dating someone.”
Victoria felt the accusation in his voice, but she couldn’t be sure if it was because she hadn’t told him or because she was with another man. “It’s our first date.”
“Have you know him a long time?” Ian sounded tense.
“No, not really. I’ve met him once. He’s a friend of Kim’s.”
The silence stretched. She had never felt so uncomfortable talking to him. “Ian—”
“So,” he interrupted quietly, “you’re out with a man you know nothing about.” After a sharp intake of air, he exploded. “Are you out of your mind?”
It took her a few seconds to process his reaction. “Excuse me?” She frowned at her phone.
“Do you live in a vacuum? Don’t you read the news? What if he’s a sadist, a serial killer, a rapist, or a pedophile, or any kind of creep for that matter?”
“You’re joking, right?” she asked.
Ian felt his rage rising; the room darkened, and his vision blurred. Damn you, Victoria, he thought. He clenched the phone tighter. “Do I sound like I’m joking? Do you have any idea how many perverts are out there?”
Victoria felt torn between the warm feeling that he cared and the anger. “This is ridiculous. Thomas is a great guy, and I actually was having a great time . . .” She swallowed the last three words “before you called” and bit her tongue. The sentence hung in the air, but he got the meaning.
Ian ignored the comment and the pain in his chest. “Please don’t tell me you’re planning to go home with him.”
Was that fear or disgust in his voice? Victoria opened her mouth to protest or reassure him, to defend her actions, to tell him she’s sorry, but in the end, her anger took over. All of the frustration and confusion from the past few days seeped into her bitter words. “And how’s that any of your business?”
“V . . .” he started with a softer tone.
“You had no problem when I went out with you the first time.”
“That was different,” he growled.
She hated fighting with him and shivered involuntarily. “And how was that different?”
“I would never hurt you.” His words came very slowly and quietly, almost whispered in her ear.
She felt angry tears stinging in her eyes. “Really? Are you sure about that?” she asked, desperately trying to control her voice.
Ian took a breath. Fighting with Victoria wasn’t easy. The need to comfort her, to have her in his arms, took over the anger. “V—”
“You know what?” she interrupted. “I’ll hang up now, before you or I say anything we’ll regret.”
“Victoria!” Her name lingered in the air, but she pressed the red button. Her hands were shaking slightly. She blinked rapidly to chase away the stinging reminder of her love. She starred at the phone—the last and only connection she had with him. The display brightened again, lit by Ian’s name. She turned the phone off."