First Came You (Fate series #0.5)
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First comes a nickel,
Then comes a shove,
Then comes loss only conquered by his love.
This is the story of my first true love. The story of how the boy next door protected me, became my best friend, stole my heart, and rescued me from my darkest despair.
Loss. The recurring theme of the last few months.
First it was her parents—my second parents. They treated me like their own even if they had their doubts about my not-so-pure feelings towards their young daughter. Their death crushed me. I couldn’t let Gabriella see it because I had to be her rock. But my heart still clenches tight with hurt when I think about Mr. and Mrs. Rossi no longer living on this planet.
Then came the slow and gradual loss of the girl who means more to me than anything. I watched as all happiness and joy disappeared from her life with that one single phone call. She hasn’t been the same. She’s so distant and cold. Not just to me—to Gina too. We talk about it all the time. How much we miss the old spunky, vibrant Gabby. How we worry about her. How we have to let her go through the grieving process in her own way.
That part’s the worst because I can’t fucking stand watching her push me away. She’s dying inside—broken—and all I want to do is piece her back together. But she won’t let me. She won’t let me do what I know I can. So I bite my tongue and take my anger out on the basketball court or the boxing bag. Seeing me angry won’t send her running back into my arms.
But tonight? This rejection is the worse loss yet.
I’ve managed to smother her—her words—by caring for her. My selfish need to keep her close and protect her have caused her to let me go. For the first time in my life, I understand the pain of a broken heart. She’s the only girl who’s ever owned it, and without her I’m not whole.
When I get back to my house, head hung low like a beaten dog, I toss the red box on the table and watch it skid in my father’s direction.
“You were right. Happy?” I growl.
Swallowing back his beer, he arches a brow. “Told you so.”
Three words I never like hearing—especially from my smug asshole of a father. Instead of pounding my fists into his gray-bearded face, I turn my back to start off to my bedroom. I can make better use of my time by packing.
My old man stops me with a gruff, patronizing laugh. “Boy, your need to fix things don’t work on the unfixable. She’s damaged goods. Don’t waste your time.”
I suck in a deep breath, and tighten my fists so hard my nails dig into my palms. Do not deck your father, Tommy. He’s not worth it. Turning to face him, I stare hard into his bloodshot eyes. “You don’t know shit about me and Gabriella. And I would never give up on her because she’s not a waste of anything. And maybe it seems like things are dark right now, but there’s nothing damaged about the beautiful girl she is and the incredible woman I know she’ll become.”
He takes another pull of his beer, slamming the empty bottle down on the table. “Suit yourself. Throw your life away before it’s even begun.”
Rushing toward the table, I get within inches of his face and growl, “Just because you’re unhappy with the way your life turned out doesn’t mean you have to take it out on me. Stay the hell out of it and save your misconstrued sense of wisdom to yourself. I’ve never needed it before and I don’t count on needing it ever again.”
I stalk off to my room, grumbling under my breath. He’s a misery. Has been for as long as I can remember, and the fact I’m doing things he never could at my age makes him resent his own flesh and blood and the struggles of being a lesser man. And my poor mother is just a naïve victim to his shit.
I’m over it.
I can’t wait to get the fuck out of here. Away from their scrutiny, away from their disapproval. My parents never appreciated my passion for Gabriella and our future. They always told me I was being stupid with my heart by giving it away too soon. They didn’t want to accept that I’d found a kind of love in Gabriella and her family that I lacked here. My parents are decent people, just not loving people. The Rossi’s gave me more.
As I toss shit haphazardly into boxes, I replay so many Gabriella memories in my head with tears burning at the back of my eyes. The beginning—when we were kids and would laugh all day while we played man hunt in the scorching summer sun. The middle—when I admired Gabriella as she grew into a beautiful girl with curves that made my mouth water and lips that made my dick think things it shouldn’t be thinking at that age. The end—is this the fucking end?
Even before I started this novella, I knew that I was going to be in for one gloriously emotional story that would probably make me cry, feel a lot, and just experience everything this story had. First Came You made me do all of that and more, and I couldn’t be more happy about getting all of that. It was nothing short of breathtakingly beautiful to experience. Even the tears and heart squeezes this story gave me were oh so worth it because of what they let me experience with these characters.
I’m not going to lie that there was a very small part of me that was a tad apprehensive about reading this story because I knew where it would eventually lead, as I read and LOVED every single phenomenal word of Feel Again, the book that this novella prequels.
Though I did know where Tommy and Gabriella’s story would eventually take them both, First Came You offers the extraordinary opportunity to see where it all began with them. You get the beginning where their magic started. Where their pathways crossed and began weaving together, and where this unforgettable story with these exceptional characters began.
That beginning is wondrous, phenomenally emotional, and life changing in every way.
I loved, and I mean loved every single piece of this novella. Faith Andrews is one of my favorite authors for a reason. Not only does her writing allow you to slip right into the magnificent world that she creates in her books, the way she writes and develops her stories and characters allows you the exceptional chance to feel what you’re reading. You’re not just going to read this story, you’re going to feel it with every ounce of everything you’ve got, and that just pulls you and connects you into everything.
It brings it to life. It makes you feel and think and experience everything right along with Gabriella and Tommy. You feel their joy, their wonder, their longing, and their butterflies. You experience the heartbreaking moments, you cry for them, and you break for them. You also get the incredible opportunity to get them. To understand them, and to love and care for their characters with all that you’ve got. That is everything, and it’s a huge part of why I loved every word of this story.
What Faith Andrews gives you in a story allows you the chance to connect to wholly unique and endearing characters while becoming fully enraptured in their world and enthralling story. First Came You was no different, and just reiterated why I love this author’s books so much.
One of my favorite things about this story was getting to know Tommy and Gabriella better. This novella allows you the amazing chance to see them at so many different points in their lives and relationship. You see them grow and develop and change. You get to see how their feelings for one another evolve and deepen, and that just amplifies everything that you’re reading. It also invests you more and more in the both of them. You will truly feel how deeply these two feel and care for one another. When you meet them and read their story in First Came You, you will just want more of them, more of their magic, and more of the thoughtfully crafted feelings and emotions that come with them.
Gabriella’s character was simply wonderful. She was real and so easy to relate to, and I loved getting to know about how her character came to be who she was in the past and present. Reading about this part of her life was just phenomenal, and I have to say that it connects so well into the story that comes after this one. Gabriella goes through so much in this novella, and experiencing that with her hurt my heart at times, but then at other moments, especially those with Tommy, it made my heart melt right along with hers. Gabriella is such an endearing character that you will emotionally connect to the instant you begin this story. You will love and care and feel for her immensely throughout every page of this story and the next. (This goes without saying, but you must read the next one!! You simply must read Feel Again!!)
Now Tommy’s character pretty much stole my heart from the moment I met him. I shouldn’t be surprised at that though because Faith Andrews knows how to create a male character I practically want to marry the instant I get to know them. Tommy was no different. He was just an all-around good guy with a heart of gold that shined brightly and seamlessly throughout this story. I was just enamored by his character, and I loved getting to know him even though it was immensely bittersweet. My heart broke for him at times in this story, but through all the ups and downs this story threw at him and Gabriella, my heart mainly just went to him and all that he was doing for her. He fought for like crazy for her, he believed in her and in them, and he never stopped pushing for everything he knew they wanted and deserved.
This novella gives you the incredible chance to get to know his character and to realize why he is so important to Gabriella and to the story itself, while also giving you the beautiful foundation to these characters and their stories and their lives. It also just gives you the chance to love Tommy’s character, and even in the moments when my heart almost hurt because of how much I loved his character, it was all worth it because he was so worth it, and Gabriella and Tommy together were so brilliantly worth it.
First Came You is a novella that gives you so much. So much thoughtfully crafted emotion and feeling that you’ll feel deep in your heart. So much love and connection that will grow and grow the more you read. So much of everything that makes a story simply wonderful. This novella gives you it all, and when you reach its end, you will just want to keep feeling and experiencing all of its amazingness.
Faith Andrews gives you one heck of a story with Gabriella and Tommy. It’s breathtaking and beautiful and emotional as all get out, and that is just a fraction of what makes it utterly outstanding. The writing, characters, and story itself will just enrapture you within it all, and in the end you will be thrilled with every wondrous thing it gave you.
First Came You gives you Tommy and Gabriella’s emotionally beautiful journey together. It’s a story that will have you feeling and thinking and experiencing many things, but most of all, it’ll have you believing whole heartedly in the power and beauty of all consuming, deep in your heart, love. And there’s nothing more perfect or wonderful than experiencing and believing in that. Trust me.