Breakable- The Fragile Line Series- Preview

Breakable- The Fragile Line Series- Preview

Here's a preview of Breakable! I debated sharing snippets from throughout the book but decided to go with just the first chapter. This was one of my favorite books to write so far and I hope you love it!

a lot has changed since college


“Come on, Sadie,” my personal assistant Evy yelled harshly from the hallway. “You’re gonna be late and we still have to pick up Shawna.”

I patted my thigh at Jack, my six-month-old Golden Retriever, so he would know to follow me as I left the bedroom. Evy waited for me by the breakfast bar in the kitchen while shoving a bagel in her mouth. Her eyes lit up at the sight of Jack and he started wagging his tail and went to her as she knelt to pet him.

My vodka sat on the kitchen counter. My boyfriend Dave used to put it in the cabinet all the time, like it was some secret vice or something, and I finally asked him to please just leave it out. It was too much work to pull it out over and over again every time I wanted a drink. Which was always. I grabbed a coffee mug and poured the vodka into it before taking a drink. “Did Dave leave already?”

Evy stood, leaving Jack anxious at her feet. “No. He was talking to the security guy outside. Something about a camera being distorted.”

It had been four months since I’d been plagued with twenty-four-hour security, and honestly, I was starting to crack. I felt suffocated by constantly having someone around, hovering, cameras watching.

Dave’s laugh came from the foyer, followed by the sound of the front door shutting. A moment later he stepped into the kitchen, Liam behind him.

“What the fuck are you doing here?” I asked, ignoring my boyfriend’s presence and well aware my tone was nasty.

Liam stood on the opposite side of the breakfast bar with a smile. “Good morning, Ms. Montgomery.”

I raised my eyebrows, waiting for him to answer my question while refusing to acknowledge his greeting.

He smirked. “What?”

“Don’t call me Ms. Montgomery, for one. And I asked what you’re doing here.”

He pushed his palms into the granite countertops. “Watching you have vodka for breakfast.”

Dave chuckled from behind me. I turned and grabbed the orange juice from him, making a big show of adding a splash of it to my coffee mug of liquor. “That better?”

“Much,” Liam said. He looked away from me, grabbed a green apple from the fruit basket Dave insisted we needed. “My grandma died, so I was off for that.” He tossed the apple back and forth in his hands. “I’m back now. And on days.”

Evy and Dave offered their condolences, but I just stared at him. I was relieved when he stopped showing up for work. Ok, at first, I was confused, then hurt, and then mad. I guess maybe if I’d given him my phone number when he asked, he could have told me what happened.

Liam had been working evenings for the last few months through the security firm hired to babysit me. He was one of my personal security guards meaning he was around a lot; always watching, always listening. Dave and I had gotten to know him pretty well and found him likeable. It didn’t hurt that he was gorgeous with an amazing body.

The last time I saw him, there had been an incident between us that could be best described as ‘other duties as assigned’ in his job description.

“We need to go.” I grabbed my purse. “You have Jack’s stuff?” I asked Evy.

She nodded and held up Jack’s bag as we walked out the door. Thirty minutes later, we picked up my college roommate Shawna from my old house where she was staying with her husband Brent for a few weeks. We’d run into each other earlier in the year when Dave and I visited Disney World and had reconnected since then. I wasn’t much for apologies, but I gave one to her for letting our friendship fall apart since college. When I’d invited them to come to Los Angeles for a few weeks, offering my old house as lodging, they didn’t hesitate to agree. They’d arrived a few days ago and today was the first day of many I planned to take Shawna with me to see that my life, while so incredibly different, was still a disaster. Well, that, and she was curious what it was like to be a tabloid queen.

Shawna climbed into the back of the town car, sitting opposite me beside Evy, her eyes wide with awe. “Is this Jack?”

Jack lay beside me on the seat, his head in my lap. I rubbed his ears. “Closest thing I’ll have to a kid anytime soon.”

Evy rolled her eyes as Liam turned around from his spot in the passenger seat. Shawna and Evy couldn’t see how he looked me up and down. I looked away so I didn’t have to see him. “Do we need to stop anywhere, Ms. Montgomery?”

Working my jaw, I faked a smile. “Liam, this is Shawna, my college roommate. Shawna, this is Liam, the worst personal security guard on earth.”

“Awe, c’mon, I’m not that bad,” he said.

Shawna faced him. “Nice to meet you.”

“You’re terrible,” I said. “And the driver, his name is Brad…or maybe Charles.”

The driver looked at me in the rearview mirror. “Actually, it’s Sam.”

I looked out the window. “Close enough.”

Liam still watched me. “You gonna answer the question, Sadie?” He said my name like it was vomit he couldn’t wait to get out of his mouth.

I smiled at him, tipped my head to the side a bit. “Much better. Thank you. I don’t need to stop.” I patted my purse. “Got my vodka right here. Evy, you need to stop anywhere?”

She thumbed through the planner she carried everywhere. “I’m good. We’re already fifteen minutes late.”

“We can just blame it on Jack.” Jack’s ears perked when he heard his name, but he didn’t move. “Or Liam.”

Liam laughed but didn’t turn around again.

“So today is a photoshoot, right?” Shawna asked.

I nodded and met her eyes. “Ryan will be there. I don’t know if I told you that.”

She shook her head. “You didn’t.”

“You don’t have to be any nicer to him than you ever were.”

Evy laughed. “However, everything goes smoother when we’re nice. Plus, he hasn’t been that bad lately.”

I scoffed. “Yes, a few months of being nice makes up for everything.”

When we arrived at the set for the photo shoot, Liam took my arm and led me inside, Shawna and Evy behind me with Jack. “Why are you on days?” I hissed at Liam.

He didn’t get a chance to answer because when we walked in, we were immediately greeted by a frazzled looking assistant who practically yelled at me because we were late. “My dog had to take a shit.” I shrugged. “Nature calls and all that, you know.”

She frowned at Jack with distaste. He got that a lot. People like me were expected to have tiny little dogs that fit in purses. And if stupid bitches like Serena Rivers got to carry their ugly little chihuahua everywhere, then I can take Jack everywhere too. Jack was a good boy, but some people just had a problem with big dogs.

Once I was seated and the stylists got to work covering all my ugly, Liam disappeared. “Evy,” I said trying to get her attention. “Did you know he was coming back?”



She shook her head. “Why would I?”

“I thought he was gone for good.”

She eyed me skeptically. “Does he need to be?”

I lifted my chin. “No.”

“What happened?”

A smile played on my lips. “What do you mean?”

Shawna leaned in, wanting to know the scoop, I guess.

Evy’s eyes widened and she leaned closer to me. “Sadie, you cannot be fucking your security!”

My jaw fell and I laughed. “I’m not.”

Voices behind me caught my attention. In the reflection of the mirror, I saw my bandmates Corey and Eric had come into the room. I locked my eyes on Corey, waiting for him to see me. When he did, his face lit up and made his way to me, Eric behind him. Corey grabbed a chair on his way over.

“Hey.” Corey set his chair beside mine and grabbed my hand, giving it a squeeze. He tried to drop it, but I didn’t let him. I watched him watch me in the mirror and smiled softly at him. He smiled back, his eyes bright.

“Corey, Eric, this is Shawna, my college roommate.”

Eric leaned on a beam nearby, held out a hand to Shawna. “Nice to meet you.”

Shawna smiled as she took Eric’s hand. “I think I’ve met Corey before. Back when they first started playing.”

I laughed. “You’re right. You did.”

Corey looked confused. “I have no memory of this.”

“Sure you do,” I prodded. “It would have been when you met Aaron.”

He frowned now. “This falls into the category of things that obviously happened that I have zero memory of.”

“Y2K,” Shawna said. “New Year’s Eve.”

Corey smiled now. “That’s the night I met Jenny.”

I dropped his hand. He didn’t notice. Eric noticed. His eyes darted from our hands to my face. I looked away.

“Was she there?” Shawna asked.

“She was definitely there,” I said dryly.

The conversation continued around me while the stylist twisted my long hair into two god-awful buns on the top of my head. Liam reappeared, standing off to the side. Trevor arrived and said nothing to any of us.

“Is that Trevor?” Shawna asked, nodding her head in Trevor’s direction.

I watched Trevor in the reflection of the mirror as he sat down and opened a book. Every time I saw him anymore, he was reading a book. “Yeah.”

Shawna smiled. “He’s the hot one.”

My eyes shifted to her. “The hot one?”

She nodded and everyone looked at Trevor, oblivious to us talking about him.

“What do you mean?”

She looked at me. “Like, the hottest one in the band.”

I screwed up my face. “What?” Trevor was good looking, sure, but he wasn’t Ryan, or even Corey. “Ryan’s the hot one.”

Evy scoffed. “No, it’s Trevor.”

I glared at her. “Seriously?”

Evy shrugged. “It’s true.”

“Glad to know where we rate,” Eric said to Corey with a laugh.

“I mean, none of you are bad looking,” Shawna said. “But Trevor is just on a whole other level.”

My eyes met Corey’s in the mirror. “If you say so.”

“His body…it’s so nice.”

I looked at Shawna again, feeling annoyed. “You think his body is nicer than Ryan’s?”

“Yes,” Shawna and Evy said at the same time.

I looked at Corey again and shook my head.

“When was the last time Ryan went to a gym?” Corey asked.

“How the hell would I know?”

“I’m just saying, he’s put on some weight and never works out anymore.”

“Yeah,” Evy agreed. “Definitely doesn’t look like the guy who knocked me up.”

“Shut up,” I told her. Like I wanted to think about my ex-fiancé cheating on me and getting her pregnant.

She shrugged and looked at her nails, muttering something in Spanish. Eric started talking and I tuned them out. I couldn’t believe I had just tried to defend Ryan’s physical appearance. Past Evy, I saw Liam watching me.

“Corey,” I interrupted. He and Eric were telling Shawna the story about when they met someone more famous than us and Eric called him by the wrong name. “Do you remember when we met?”

He stared at me in the mirror, his face blank of emotion. “Kinda.”

“Tell that story.”

Corey chuckled and rubbed his hands together. “It’s not noteworthy.”

I shrugged. “Maybe not the first time.”

He looked at me inquisitively through the mirror.

Facing him, I said, “We didn’t really know each other until that day by the pool.” As Corey laughed, my eyes moved past him to Liam who turned to look directly at me. “Tell that story.”

“We don’t need to hear about the first time you guys hooked up,” Evy said. “Gross.”

“We didn’t hook up,” I said.

“I’m not telling that story,” Corey said with a laugh.

“Telling what story?” Ryan’s voice came from behind us. None of us had realized he’d come in. He approached, crouching down to get Jack’s attention. Stupid dog ran over to him. Traitor. I stared at Ryan in the mirror, noticing he had put on weight and his stomach had a curve to it, whereas it had always been flat with well-defined muscles hidden under his shirt.

The stylist was working on my makeup now. “Ryan, you remember Shawna, right?”

“Shawna?” He straightened and came the rest of the way over, his eyes settling on Shawna. “Yeah, lots of fond memories.”

She smiled at him. “Good to see you, too.”

“Is it?”

She tipped her head to the side. “No.”

Ryan cleared his throat, pushed his hands into his pockets. “You and Brent still together?”

Shawna nodded. “He’ll be at Sadie’s party tomorrow. He can’t wait to see you.” The sarcasm dripped from her voice.

Ryan chuckled. “Maybe another time. Pretty sure I’m not on that guest list.”

I smiled at him in the mirror. “Oops. Honest mistake, I swear.”

He smiled gently at me as a second stylist came over and asked the guys to follow her. Alone with Evy and Shawna, and Liam lurking within earshot, I said, “Six months, six more months.”

“Six months?” Shawna asked.

“That’s how long until they say the album will be done,” Evy explained. “Then she thinks she will never see Ryan again.”

“Last night, Dave told me the roughs of my songs are ready.” I’d been working with Dave over the last few months writing my own songs. We’d finally recorded three of them. “I need to talk to John because I’m not sure I want to continue to work with Vine when this contract is up.”

Evy nodded. “I’m sure you’ll get other offers.”

“The guys are gonna hate the songs.”

“Why?” Shawna asked.

I scrunched my nose, and the stylist told me not to do that. “They’re more pop than rock. Like, Dave supports me, but wanted to go a different direction than I did.” I shrugged. “They’re my songs and I wanted them how I heard them in my head.”

“I’d love to hear them,” Shawna said. “I can’t believe this is actually your life. It’s like a dream come true.”

I smiled at her. “Nightmare is more like it.” I didn’t wait for her to reply. “Where’s John?”

Evy looked at her phone. “Should be here in, like, thirty minutes.”

Glancing around, I noticed the wardrobe rack wasn’t anywhere nearby. “Where’s the wardrobe?”

Evy’s eyes darted around. “Let me go find out. Shawna, come with me. Sometimes they’re hard to push.”

When they were out of earshot, I looked at Liam. “Hey.”

His eyes shifted in my direction as he raised his eyebrows.

“I don’t want you on days.”

He didn’t say anything for a moment. “I don’t think you know what you want, Ms. Montgomery.”

“I swear to God, Liam, if you don’t fucking stop calling me that I will fire you.”

He smirked. “Well, then I wouldn’t be on days or nights, would I?”

Closing my eyes, I drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly. I met his stare when I opened my eyes.

“Missed me, didn’t you?”

I shook my head. “Not at all.” Evy and Shawna were returning sans wardrobe rack. “I thought you’d quit and was relieved.”


With a roll of my eyes, I focused on Evy as she approached, frustration on her face. “Well?”

“Yeah, so, there’s no wardrobe.”


“They want you naked.”

“What the fuck? Are you serious?” Evy nodded as she stood in front of me. “I am not going to stand around naked in front of…them,” I said, waving my hand in the direction my bandmates had gone. “Absolutely not.”

Evy shrugged. “What do you want me to do?”

“Go get Marc or whatever his name is. The photographer.”

Evy walked away to find Marc; Shawna stayed with me. “They can’t make you do that, can they?”

I met her eyes. “No one can make me do anything I don’t want to. A lot has changed since college.” My eyes darted around for my purse. “Can you get my water bottle out of my purse?”

Shawna did as I asked. “Guess this is something that stayed the same,” she said as she handed the bottle to me.

I twisted off the lid and took a long pull, barely noticing the bitter taste of vodka. “I’m going to detox in a month.”

“Sadie, what is it, dear?” Marc said as he approached from behind.

“Hi, Marc. So good to see you,” I started. “I’m so excited to have the opportunity to work with you on this project.” One of the many things Dave had taught me was how to speak with people in the industry. Fake little niceties went far.

“Good to see you too. Looking amazing as always. Raylene does amazing work, doesn’t she?”

I pretended to admire my reflection, inwardly repulsed by the amount of makeup Raylene had caked on my face. “I love it.” Frowning, I shifted my eyes back to Marc. “What I don’t love is that I just found out I’m expected to be nude in the shoot.” Putting on a sympathetic face I added, “I don’t pose nude, Marc.”

Marc looked taken aback. “It’s art, love. I have a vision.”

“And I respect your vision, I really do. But I have to ask that you respect my boundaries.”

He stood there and blinked at me, his stringy gray hair falling from behind his right ear. “There is no wardrobe.”

“Someone will need to get one together then, I suppose.” I tilted my head to the side.

Marc seemed to consider my words. “No, no.” He waved his notebook in the air, turning and walking away. “We don’t have time for that. No changes.”

Watching him walk away, dismissing me like I was irrelevant, my jaw fell. “Well, Raylene, do you have some makeup remover handy? I can’t leave here with all this shit on my face.”

Marc spun around. “Do not remove her makeup.” His eyes locked on mine, challenging me, clearly overestimating how much I care about this photo shoot or his vision or anything, really. “Give me some time to gather my thoughts.”

I smiled at him, not that he saw because he was walking away as soon as he stopped talking. “Get John here,” I told Evy. “Now.”

By the time John arrived, the guys had all reappeared wearing tuxedos. “What kind of fucked up vision does this asshole have that involves them being in tuxes and me being naked?”

Evy looked skeptically at the guys. “I don’t know exactly, but if I’m being honest, they do look kinda hot.”

I glared at her. “Really?”

She shrugged.

“What’s the hold up?” Ryan asked.

“They can’t find my tux,” I said. Evy and Shawna laughed; even Liam snickered.

“Sadie,” John said loudly, out of breath as he approached me. “You can be nude in the shoot. You will not be nude in the pictures. Well, you will, but there will be things blocking the view of your…privates.”

Silence filled the large space. “Great, thanks, John. Can we talk privately about my privates?” I grabbed his arm and led him as far away as I could go, Liam following. He never gets too close when we’re in public; just close enough to protect me if some evil villain blogger jumps out at me. “I am not going to stand around naked in front of these assholes. Period. That’s all there is to it.”

John furrowed his brow. “No disrespect, but haven’t they all seen you naked before?”

I laughed, ignoring Liam obviously eavesdropping as usual. “Wow. Well, not that it’s any of your business, but that’s not the point.”

“You’re making it my business, so tell me then, what is the point?”

Leaning in close, I drew in a breath. “I have some bruises.”

John looked confused. “They can be airbrushed. That’s not a problem.”

“Maybe I don’t want anyone to see the bruises. Specifically where the bruises are at is what I don’t want them to see.”

John’s eyes wandered the length of me, surely looking for bruises. “From whom?”

“Again, none of your business.”

“Sadie, is Dave hurting you?”

I stared at him for a moment, my mind still on the bruises along my inner thighs and the hickey on my right breast, not realizing immediately that John thought Dave hit me and that’s the bruises I was hiding. “No,” I said quickly. “He would never.”

“I’m sure you once said that about Ryan too.”

I forced a laugh, hating how no matter what, everything always went back to Ryan. “For fuck’s sake, John. They’re bruises from sex. And not from sex with Ryan.” I crossed my arms, realizing I probably spoke too loudly. “I just bruise easily some places.”

John stared at me for a moment. “They can be airbrushed.”

“You don’t get it. I am not standing naked in front of these assholes for a photoshoot. I will leave. I have no obligation to do this.”

“Sadie, this shoot is costing thousands and you’re being ridiculous.”

“I literally do not care. Let them be naked and I’ll wear a tux.” I tried not to grin at the image in my mind.

John exhaled loudly. “You can be so difficult.”

I shrugged as he turned to walk away. “I can always find a different manager.”

He glanced over his shoulder. “No.”

“Love you, John,” I called out after him.

He acknowledged my affection with his middle finger.