Echo and her sister Melissa are trying to rebuild their lives after a tragic house fire took not only everything they have ever known, but also their parents. In an attempt to begin again, Echo has purchased a new house for them to live in and items to fill it.
The first day in their house, with the aid of Melissa’s boyfriend Ollie and Echo’s best friend Dolen they get everything moved in and begin to unpack. When Echo finally collapses into bed, she discovers the house is not quite as perfect as it seems.
Echo is drawn into a private fantasy computer game that she created for herself. She soon discovers that within five days, if she can’t defeat the wormhole that claims her during sleep, her reality will be lost.
It changes everything in her life.
Dolen and Echo are the best of friends, but have always avoided personal, sexual questions. Echo has based her avatar Nico on Dolen, but it’s only when faced with the question of who Nash was created to look like, she realizes it’s one of Dolen’s friends Matt.
According to her avatars, the two real life men must love her enough to protect her, but they may be lying. As they searches for the clues that will help her remain alive, secrets from Dolen’s past are brought to light.
Will their newfound romantic interest help keep Echo safe or will it leave Dolen and Matt crushed as she disappears forever?
Echo slid into one of the living room chairs. She spun her body, and dangled her feet over the armrest as she turned her head to look at her friend Dolen. “I don’t believe we finally did it. Everything is moved in, and now all we have to do is unpack.”
Dolen smiled. “Yep, your aunt has her place back, your storage bin is empty, and we did it all in one day. Now you owe us a pizza.”
That she did. “All I have to do is find my wallet.”
Her sister Melissa giggled from the sofa. “It is in your purse which I think is in your bedroom.”
“Thank you so much. I do believe I can find it.” With a chuckle, she pushed herself from the chair and walked into the disaster that would be her bedroom. Her purse was where she had left it on the dresser, laid between the boxes of her things. So far the only her bed had been assembled, but the mattress was still leaned against the wall.
With a groan, she walked across the room and snatched her handbag. Lee pulled her phone out as she strolled back into the living room and sank wearily into the chair. “So what does everybody want?”
Melissa shrugged. Her sister would eat just about anything.
“I want pepperoni and meatball,” Dolen commented.
Melissa’s boyfriend Ollie raised his hand like a young schoolboy. “I vote for onion, bacon, and artichokes.”
Echo thought that sounded delicious. She ordered two large pizzas and hung up. “They said twenty-five minutes. Maybe we should get the table cleared off for our first official dinner in our new house.”
Unpacking the kitchen was just one more project to be completed. To move the things into the house and have the space be livable were two different things.
Everyone got wearily back to their feet and walked into the kitchen. As Melissa and Ollie cleared the table, Echo and Dolen began to put some of the kitchen items away. The task of figuring out where to put all everything seemed daunting, but she reminded herself it would get done. It had to get done. This was the beginning, a new start to their life.
Dolen wandered to the refrigerator, and gazed into it. He took out a bottle of water. “Anyone want something to drink while I’m here?”
“Can you grab me a seltzer?” Echo replied. She wanted him to grab more than that. The man had a gorgeous ass and she stole a quick glance at it even as she reminded herself he was only a friend. He never seemed interested in anything more. Dolen handed her the bottle, and she had to grin. The man was irresistible. “You’re so sweet.”
Dolen tapped the tip of her nose as he often did rather than say thank you. His soft touch was a private, personal expression, one of many small gestures they shared.
Dolen had been her friend since junior high school. Echo often hinted she wanted more, but either he didn’t get it or—Echo sporadically wondered if the problem wasn’t with her, but with Dolen. On more than one occasion she had watched his actions around other men and wondered if maybe she was just the wrong sex. If Dolen chose to remain in the closet, then it wasn’t her place to try and talk him out of it. She considered asking him a hundred times, but always heard her mother voice saying to let sleeping dogs lie. If his reluctance to reveal his sexuality was an uncomfortable subject for him, she wasn’t about to push him.