Never Let You Go - Monica Murphy

Author’s Note

Dear Readers,

I’m assuming you’re reading Never Let You Go because you read Never Tear Us Apart and you want to know what happens next with Ethan (Will) and Katie. Again, I must warn the reader up front that this book deals with difficult subject matter (Katie is a rape victim at the hands of a child serial rapist/killer). The story is dark, there’s no way I can get around that.

But I also feel like this part of Will and Katie’s story is filled with hope. These two are trying to overcome their past and find happiness with each other. Despite the way they met, despite everyone telling them they shouldn’t be together, they can’t resist each other. They want to be together. They’re in love. And you can’t get in the way of true love now, can you?

Thank you for reading their story. Thank you for not holding the cliff-hanger ending in NTUA against me. Thank you for understanding that this story needed to be told in two parts. A huge thank-you to my editor and publisher for believing in this story and in my writing.

Again, I’d like to thank Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard, and Michelle Knight for being brave enough to tell their stories of suffering at the hands of their kidnappers and how they survived. My Katie was lucky—her kidnapper held her captive for only a few days. Jaycee and Michelle were gone for years. That they survived, that they were able to so bravely tell their stories to the world, still blows my mind. They are heroes, women we should never forget.

I also want to mention the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They work hard to help in the search for missing children and to keep our children safe from harm. For more information, please visit www.missingkids.org.

I cry. I can’t stop. I cry at night before I go to sleep. I cry throughout the day when I should be doing something, anything to remind myself that I’m alive. I should be living.

But instead, I cry for what I’ve lost.

I cry for what I’ve found.

And then . . . one day, there are no more tears. They’ve dried up, like they never existed in the first place.

Gone is the girl I once was. Gone is the woman I was slowly becoming.

Now there’s only this void. And there’s only one person to blame for what I’ve become, what I’ve turned into.

And his name—his real name—is Will Monroe.

She is relentless in her pursuit of me. The constant calls, the texts, the voicemails, the emails. No wonder she’s one of the top investigative journalists on TV.

Lisa Swanson is a serious pain in my ass.

After three weeks of constant harassment, I give in and answer her call. She sounds surprised to hear my voice and I’m pleased that I could shock her. I don’t think much gets past her.

“You answered,” she says.

“It’s either answer or try to ignore you for another three weeks,” I tell her, sounding bored. Inside I’m a wreck. I’ve remained undercover since that moment Lisa texted me and Katie . . .

My heart thuds. Hard. Like it came to a complete and utter stop. How am I still alive? Just thinking about her wrecks me. Twists me up inside until I feel like I’m going to be sick.

When Katie discovered the text from Lisa and left me, I shut down. Physically and emotionally shut down for days. Only within the last week have I once again tried to pick up my normal routine. Working on projects. Talking to clients. I behave normally, move through life as