Max has never been in love. She knows what it looks like after years of studying the phenomenon but her autism keeps love at bay… until she meets Ruby. My latest novel, THE RULES OF LOVE, is available now on Amazon.
Read the bonus scenes below.
Ruby talks to Megan
They had started out as friendly exchanges, two girls who used to date catching up and asking each other about their respective grad school experiences. Megan was always the brainier of the two of them, and she was going to medical school to pursue her dream of becoming a forensic pathologist just like Temperance Brennan in Bones – or at least, that’s how Ruby always thought of it.
Megan said that school was going well and she was acing all her classes, and then she said Northwestern was a little emptier without Ruby. That tugged at her heartstrings, and opened the wound left by their breakup all over again.
The text messages kept pouring in all week, and every time Megan found a way to show Ruby how lonely she felt without her. Ruby wondered if she regretted her decision not to make an honest go of their long-distance relationship, and her heart hurt more in this past week than it had all summer since she moved back to Chicago to live with her parents.
That ridiculous nickname, given to her in jest while they were pledging the sorority together freshman year, had stuck and become a term of endearment when they finally admitted their feelings for each other at the beginning of their third year at Northwestern. I miss you – what did that mean? As a friend? A sister? A lover?
Ruby had no idea whether all of this was genuine, or a mind game Megan invented to pass the time now that she didn’t have sorority duties eating up her extracurricular hours, or simple loneliness after an intense two-year relationship that felt a whole lot more like a lifetime.
Ruby reflects after slapping Max
“I fucked you because I thought we wanted the same thing,” Ruby said, her voice having gone steady and severe while she glared at Max. “And we were having a good time until you decided that wasn’t good enough and you had to get all clingy and weird.”
Max opened her mouth to object but Ruby cut her off.
“Having Asperger’s is no excuse to become a level five clinger until the other person doesn’t even have enough room to breathe,” she said, feeling at that very moment as if her throat was closing up. She knew the moment she said it that it was a mistake, that was something that Mira had told her in confidence, but in the heat of the moment it was hard to control her words. It was also hard to separate the things she was mad at Max about from the things she had residual anger toward Megan for, and she knew some of the things she just said weren’t fair. She’d said them now, though, so she had no choice but to stand by them.
So she put her hands on her hips and defied Max to challenge her.
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