Long Way Down (Calloway Sisters #4)

A NOTE FROM RYKE   Fuck off.

Connor barely blinks before he says, “Normally I wouldn’t even waste words on someone who I find parochial and meaningless, but maybe I pity you just enough to say this: in the next two centuries, my wife and I will still exist. We will live beyond you through minds and words and hearts. If that makes you feel weak and insignificant, then maybe you should reevaluate your own stance in the world—and not attempt to beat at mine with two flailing hands.

He kisses my forehead, his lips brushing my cheek. “I wouldn’t trade our love for any other.

He never gives up on me, even when I disappear at night. Even when I wane like the setting sun. His love is unyielding and exists to cloak me through heartache, through misery, through laughter and pain. I love him in every moment.
In every smile. In every frown.
And I will love him after every long way down.

I am the biographer of my own life. And no one can take that away from me.

I breathe deeply, and he hovers above me.
“I’m going to fuck you,” he says, yanking off my pants. The cold nips my skin. “I’m going to have sex with you.” He kisses me strongly while lifting my sweater off my head. “I’m going to make love to you.” His eyes bore into mine. “All at fucking once.” His gaze dances over my features. “Not because of a fucking theory. I can’t think of a place I’d rather be right now than with you. Truth is, I can’t think of a place I’d rather be in fifty fucking years than next to you.

I flip him off. He mimes catching and pocketing it. “Thanks. I needed a fuck you for later.

I’m a man of extraordinary talents, but I need you.” He swallows. “Do you hear what I’m saying?

I miss my brother, and if you won’t fight for the thing that makes you happy, then I’m going to fight for you.

I’m scared,” I breathe.
“I’m always going to fucking be here,” he reminds me. “You won’t be alone, sweetheart.

I’m tougher than you think. You just need to believe in me. You know, like a fairy.

I never thought I’d love someone this way.” His hard eyes almost soften. “I never thought I could, but you’ve made me love my life more than I ever fucking have. I can’t even imagine spending the rest without you.

I’ve always fucking loved you in my arms.

I’ve heard that people spend a really long time finding their soul mates.”
I squeeze Lily’s shoulder. She’s been in her soul mate’s arms since she was little.
“It took you two long enough, didn’t it?” Lo says. “No thanks to me.” He pauses. “But I want you two to know— from the bottom of my black, decaying heart— I love you both, and the only perfect world has Ryke standing beside Daisy and Daisy standing beside Ryke. Anything less is fucked up. Remember that, will you?

I’ve watched Lo become sober.
I’ve watched Lily curb a relentless addiction. (I’m proud of you, sis.)
I’ve watched Rose blaze her own trail and put fire to stereotypes.
I’ve watched Connor fall in love. With more than just himself.
I’ve watched Ryke Meadows unclip his shackles and rise again.
And me. I’ve discovered who I am.

I want to fucking protect her from the pain that her friends bring, but I can’t shield her from people. I couldn’t do that four years ago. I can’t fucking do it now.
I’m just here when she needs me. Whatever she fucking wants. I’m here.

Never give up or back down on the things that fill your soul, Calloway. There is no worse life than a hollow one.

One-hundred-and-fifty miles per hour. No brakes.”
His eyes redden. Our gazes are locked, all of our experiences together rushing through us, every moment where we kissed death but never tasted it. Every time we lived life so terribly— so fully.
And then he snatches my hairband, my brown locks tumbling out of a bun. His jaw glides across my cheek, his hand protectively on the back of my head, his breath warming my ear. And he says, “I’m right beside you, Calloway.

… our favorite Sayings from Ryke Meadows.
My favorite: I fucking love you.
Willow’s: I don’t fucking understand Tumblr.
Lo’s: Fuck you, you fucking fuck.
Lily’s: Fucking fantastic.
Rose’s: No means no. Better yet, fuck no.
Connor’s: Connor Cobalt is a fucking narcissist.

People say you can’t describe love, but I have this theory that you can. It’s just subjective. Do you want to know what love feels like for me? It’s breathing and suffocating. Sobbing and smiling. Yearning and fading. To ache that much harder. To live that much larger. It’s every moment. Every single, tiny one.

Ryke belongs with nature, able to withstand the seasons and time just like the rocks he climbs. He keeps going, he keeps moving, and he picks everyone up when they’ve fallen behind.

She’s my fucking sun, and even though she’s set tonight, she means nothing less to me. I love her just as fucking madly.

So I pointed at the sun ascending in the horizon. Just as the darkened sky began to lighten. “Keep your eyes there.” Her green ones flickered to me before following my finger. Her pulse picked up speed. “And what happens when it disappears?” I would’ve loved to tell her that it never would. That no matter where we were the sun would always be present. But it wouldn’t have been true. The only thing we could count on was that the sun would rise again. “Wait for it to return,” I told her.

Somewhere along the way, she found her voice. Somewhere along the way, she found her stride. I’m just the grateful fucking guy who was given the chance to stand by her side.
Through it all.

What’s the point of speaking up when no one hears you?

Wherever you go, I’ll go.” As long as I’m alive, this will never fucking change.

You just wish you were part of the Weasley clan.

You know that saying: if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all? Yeah, Hales don’t do that. “He sounds like a loser.

You’re my favorite fucking wild thing.

Your lives have value, and your deaths have none.