Who Finds You is a novella, which tells the tale of what happened to Austin, Harper, and Liam after Liam’s return in What You Leave Behind. Who Finds You will be released in late 2014. Below are the opening paragraphs of the book.
No matter how he tries, Austin can’t manage to rid himself of the lump that makes a home in his throat as the minute hand of his watch swings its way toward the top of the hour. He’s remained vigilant of the time all day, mentally cataloging the numerical distance between himself and seven o’clock in increments of tick, tick, tick, and the gap has grown slim. Only three short minutes linger, and as the seconds escape his grasp for that intangible place known as the past, he thinks about the last time he was in the same room as her.
Shards of glass veiled the floor of the Reed family kitchen, glittering like the tips of ocean waves beneath the midday sun, and Harper stood among them, a monument of finality, cloaked in nothing but a towel and determination. The finer details of her are shrouded in the blur of tears that crowded his eyes that day, but he fills in the blanks with memories of her skin—the jut of her shoulder sharpens in his mind, her bare, blotchy cheeks color pink. He sees it all as if it was yesterday, but he knows the exact amount of time that has passed: there have been one hundred and nineteen days between January 10th and the present.
When Harper walks through the door of Rhodes, time stops completely.
An ache courses through him, a tangible reminder of how she broke his heart, and he stands, as if he could possibly escape the feeling through movement alone. It rises with him, though, follows him halfway across the bar, and fits its arms around Harper’s shoulders right alongside his own. It’s only there, with the warmth of her skin pressing against his own, that the feeling fades, and Austin sighs in its wake.
He feels Harper’s shoulders tense beneath his touch.
“Too much?” he asks, suddenly aware of his lingering hold on her. Before she can answer, he drops his hands away from her shoulders and shoves them deep into the pockets of his jeans. “I’m sorry, I don’t know—”
“Try not to overthink things,” Harper tells him softly, palming his cheek and smiling up at him. “You’re allowed to hug me, if you want to hug me. Friends hug, right?”
In lieu of an answer, Austin shrugs and turns to head back to the booth from which he came. He can sense her light steps filling in the ghosting sawdust outline his own thudding ones leave on the floor behind him, and with a frown pulling down the corners of his mouth, he wonders briefly how perfectly they fit there. By the time he reaches the table, he’s managed to push the thought aside—shoving it deep down, where it used to sit somewhere between his heart and his throat—and when he twists fluidly into the seat across from Harper’s, he’s all smiles again.
Nothing ever happened, he tells himself—his one hundred and nineteen day mantra.
“How are you?” he asks, a casual air breezing through the words.
“I’m good,” Harper tells him, and he can see the flicker of honesty in her eyes. “You?”
“I’m good,” Austin echoes less sincerely, wondering if she can see the burned out hope somewhere in his irises, if she is even looking for it. When she squints and cocks her head, he knows she looked and that she knows he’s lying. “Well, I’m getting there,” he adds. It seems to be enough to stymie her concern, but his mouth won’t stop moving. “I joined this thing—there’s a group of people—we get together and do all kinds of shit. It’s a singles thing.”