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Thriver -- EPUB

  • A sixteen year-old girl fights to survive the end of a violent relationship by hiding the truth from everyone in her life, including her absentee soldier father.
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Gwen Phifer

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Alexis Brewer's survival rests solely in her trembling, inexperienced hands.

A vicious break up with her high school's quarterback leaves sixteen year-old Lex isolated and with no real friends. Even her widowed father, who channeled his grief into a prodigious military career, doesn’t notice the bruises on her arms. Or the terror that stalks her. In order to move forward, she makes the only choice she can—hide her abuse from everyone.

Lex knows her plan is far from foolproof, but she must break free from the violence holding her hostage to find some kind of peace.

The problem is, she may not remain alive long enough to do it.


Two heavy footfalls sounded on my right. I stilled.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Cal hissed from just behind me.

A tremble scurried down my spine. Creeping to my feet, I tried to drag my stampeding pulse back under control. I circled around to stare into his cold blue eyes, an easy smile anchored to my face. “I’m getting my Works Cited information together for one of Scottie’s essays.”

“Don’t play stupid.” He stalked closer, forcing me back until my shoulder blades brushed against the stacks. “You know what I mean.”

My smile held. “No, I don’t. You asked what I was doing, and I told you. I’m working on my essay.”

“You turned me in to Dr. Tuttle.” Cal reached both arms out, caging me between his body and the shelves.

Damn. I’d let him back me into a corner. I knew better.

He leaned in. “You told him I was threatening you.”

All pretense of good humor fled. “I—I didn’t—”

“Yes. You did.” The corners of his mouth turned up in a mockery of a smile. “Dr. Tuttle told me all about it... after I explained to him how psychotic you’ve been since I dumped you.”

“But you didn’t dump me, I—” I blinked a few times in shock. Nothing made sense. I never could focus when Cal closed in. I took a deep breath and struggled to repeat the lie Miss Sanchez had coached me on. “Uh—Miss Sanchez, she saw that file you left on my thumb drive and confronted me about it. She figured it was you and forced me to admit it.”

He tsked at me softly. “You never should have admitted it, Lexie.” His eyes narrowed. “You should’ve known that would only make me angry. And neither of us likes it when I’m angry.”

Blood pounded in my ears and my temples. My legs went numb. “I begged her not to report you, I swear.”

“That doesn’t matter, sweetie.” He traced a fingertip along my cheekbone. “The damage is done.”

No. No, no, no.

I was trapped, and Cal was bent on punishing me.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five...

Even my mom's mantra couldn’t calm me now. I didn’t want to fight to stay alive.

My eyes darted left and right, searching for a way out, but I didn’t dare move. I scanned the convex mirror above our heads. Nothing. No one. Not even the librarian.

Cal crushed his lips to mine, jamming his tongue between my teeth.

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