Pretty When She Cries – Black Mountain Academy Read Online A. Zavarelli

Categories Genre: Angst, Dark, New Adult, Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 108
Estimated words: 101348 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 507(@200wpm)___ 405(@250wpm)___ 338(@300wpm)

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Pretty When She Cries - Black Mountain Academy

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

A. Zavarelli

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Your first kiss is supposed to be sweet. Ours was baptized in fire. I was the new girl trying to find her place.
Landon was the brooding neighbor I tutored over the summer.
I didn’t know he was a legend at Black Mountain Academy. I didn’t know they worshipped him like a religion. But I fell for him before I knew those things.
To me, he was just the tortured soul who drew me in like a magnet. And then he did something so unspeakable, so unforgivable, it shattered me.
I ran away then because I was weak, but I’ve shed my tears. He stole my heart and my dignity, and I’m here to take it back.
The only problem is… he’s not giving it up without a fight.
Books by Author:

A. Zavarelli



People always say you should trust your instincts. I wish I’d trusted mine. I wish I could rewind time to the day I knocked on his door. I wish I’d never looked into his eyes. And most of all, I wish he’d never looked back into mine.

My toes sink into the sprawling green lawn as though I'm standing in a pit of quicksand. A part of me hopes it might just swallow me up. Because then I wouldn’t be here, staring up at Landon Blackwood’s mansion with this empty feeling in my chest. If I could rewind time, I might go back and unlearn what my best friend just told me. I might rewind it all back to the day I first stood on his veranda with a plate of pineapple in the hot July sun, waiting to introduce myself.

I’ve been here more times than I can count over the summer. Two hundred steps from my driveway to his. I know what the marble in his foyer feels like beneath my bare feet. My fingers have memorized the roughness of the etched glass table on the patio. And when I breathe deeply, I can still smell the lingering notes of spicy vanilla and sweet tobacco that haunt the halls where Landon Blackwood lives.

Time never existed in this place. Nothing else existed here. Landon is an entire universe, and I always thought it was so strange he didn’t seem to realize it. Until him, I always just assumed beautiful people knew their value. They knew the effect they had on the rest of us. But Landon is an enigma. A strange, tortured boy I spent an entire summer with, yet I don’t really know him at all. I don’t think anyone does.

I tutored, and he listened. It never felt right. It always felt like I was holding my breath, waiting for the truth to come out. I was an imposter and didn’t belong to this exclusive club. I didn’t belong in his orbit with his tall, muscular body that moved like a piece of poetry. He gave me a new appreciation for art, and I wanted to study him every day. Some colors can never be replicated, and they exist in his eyes. Those gray orbs hit me like bullets every time they move, shredding me open and making me bleed. He’s an entire world. An energy. The subject of song lyrics, and the reason for wars.

When he looks at me, my heart gallops. And then it shatters to pieces. I’ve never seen anyone so achingly empty. He’s a house with four walls but no pulse. His insides are covered with dust, broken furniture, and memories long forgotten. In the echoey cavern of his heart, I can only imagine a dark, shadowy landscape where dreams go to die.

This house is a reflection of him. Impossibly beautiful, but hollow. Everything he owns is expensive and orderly, but there’s no life inside. I’ve felt that way from the moment I first entered his sacred space. It’s always been too quiet. Too clean. Too still.

Tonight, it feels unfamiliar and ugly, like betrayal. The behemoth white mansion is lit up like Gatsby’s fictional residence on Long Island Sound. Music blasts from the open windows, and partygoers stumble about with raucous chatter. I imagine this was exactly what Fitzgerald envisioned when he wrote the magnum opus on self-indulgence. But that fictional setting doesn’t make sense in this reality. Landon hates everyone. He’s the boy who grumbles responses and tosses dark looks around like candy. He doesn’t throw parties.

So why the hell did he leave this note on our front door, asking me to come over tonight?

I glance at the piece of paper in my hands again. Landon’s handwriting is artistic. I should know because I’ve had plenty of time to study it. But this looks like it was written in a hurry. Just three little lines.

My house.

8:00 PM


My chest feels weird. Maybe I’m coming down with a fever. Or having a heart attack. It’s possible, right? I think I need a sick note to get out of this party. But as much as I don’t want to go in there, another part of me is desperate to see why he wants me here.

“You really didn’t know?” Courtney peers at the scene from beside me, her eyes shooting laser beams into the mansion and everything this town represents. Her face is carefully neutral, never allowing any emotion to bleed through.

My bestie throws off a hate-the-world vibe, and the only color that exists in her wardrobe is black. She’s not a ray of sunshine. She’s a hurricane. And if you told her the world was ending in two seconds, she would simply shrug.

Court doesn’t come from old money either, and therefore, she’s an outcast like me. I met her in the cafeteria at Black Mountain Academy, bonding over the only table that didn’t require a gold-encrusted invitation. After disproving her initial doubts that I was one of the brainless urchins, as she likes to call them, she eventually let her guard down, and we became good friends. But she’s been gone for the entire summer, visiting her dad in Georgia, and she came over to see me as soon as she got home. While I’ve been getting her up to speed on what’s been happening in her absence, she’s been getting me up to speed on who Landon Blackwood really is.