One of the few white kids in a rural Kentucky town, Logan Whyte always kept to his own kind out of self-preservation. He never considered himself racist, but that didn’t stop him from falling in with the wrong crowd that celebrated hate as much as he fought it – or from ending up in prison for eight years on an armed robbery charge.
A successful and educated black woman, Katie Andreassen is tired of being accused of betraying her own race. Her lonely isolation, coupled with her grief over losing her mother, inspire her to create a new pen pal program at Capshaw State Penitentiary, where her father is a warden.
The program brings together the unlikely pair, but Logan and Katie soon find themselves forced to overcome past fears and prejudices. Their friendship doesn’t come easily – threatened by a crooked lawyer with a grudge and a best friend who betrays her promise to help.
When faced with a world that forces them apart, Logan and Katie must show everyone else what they have discovered: that love is, in fact, colorblind.
“I feel like I’m in high school again,” Katie admitted with a smile. She was of course talking about the good days in high school when she was being teased or ignored.
Scott chortled in what sounded like disbelief. “What? How so?” Katie didn’t want to sound like a moonstruck fool, but waiting by the phone for a guy to call brought back good and bad memories.
She cuddled up under her blanket, moving the phone to her other ear so she could get comfortable. “Well, I guess you wouldn’t know what I’m talking about since you weren’t the one sitting by the phone waiting for a guy you liked to call you.” He groaned, and Katie smiled at the affect she had over him at times.
“So you do like me? And here I thought you only tolerated me because you had nothing else to do but wait for your novel to come back from the editor.” Katie could hear the laughter in his voice.
“Maybe it started that way, but things change.” She wondered if things were different, if they’d spontaneously met, if he would be interested in her. She didn’t know what he looked like, but his damned voice made her stomach drop and her heart thunder.
Scott’s voice grew serious. “What changed, Kristen?” At the sound of her fake name, Katie realized how silly it was to think that the two of them could ever be anything more than pen pals. What was even more ridiculous, was the fact that she had told him about the night she’d lost her child, but she couldn’t tell him her real name. She wanted his time and honesty, but she hadn’t given him a hundred percent of what she demanded of him.
“Kathryn Andreassen,” she blurted.
“Who?” The confusion in his voice almost made her laugh, but fear that he’d be pissed she lied kept the laughter at bay. “Scott, when I first signed up for this program, I … I didn’t give my real name.”
“Oh yeah?” There was an edge to his voice that she’d not heard before. It didn’t sound like disappointment or even anger. “I was nervous about what I was doing and I—”
“You wanted anonymity,” he finished. “I get that.”
Yeah, well, at least she had wanted it at that time. “So you aren’t mad?” She sat up, comforted by how well he’d taken it.
“Not at all.”
Confused, Katie asked, “Why?” A beat of silence passed before Scott spoke. “Because I did the same. My name isn’t Scott, its Logan. Logan Whyte. I lied for a different reason, though.” The relief she’d just felt plummeted, and goose bumps settled over her skin. “I didn’t want you to look me up and see what I’d done before I had a chance to tell you myself. By the time we’d gotten to the point where we could be straightforward with each other, I honestly forgot to tell you my real name.” Katie was about to speak when the one-minute warning sounded, alerting them that the collect call was about to disconnect. “Kris— I mean Kathryn—”
“Call me Katie, everyone does.”
“Okay. I’ll call you right back, I need to talk to you about something.” Logan hung up before Katie had a chance to reply. She pressed the end button, got out of bed, and went to glance out the window. The snow was coming down in sheets, but in Vermont that wasn’t a big issue. It was the low visibility that worried Katie. The phone sounded and she placed it to her ear, listening as the automated voice droned on.
Once she pressed one, Logan’s deep voice came on the line. “Sweetheart, I want to talk to you about your phone bill.” Katie groaned and sat down in her desk chair; she was scared as hell to look at her bill. “Yeah, I know, but I enjoy talking to you. Your voice is the highlight of my day, but I have an idea.”
Katie perked up. “I’m listening!”
“Good, that’s my girl.” Whenever Logan called her things like his girl, honey, or sweetheart, Katie’s heart fluttered. “I’m going to get my lawyer to add money to my canteen. That way, I can call you and they’ll charge it to me. How’s that sound?”
Katie bit her lip. They hadn’t talked about financials, and she wasn’t sure what money Logan had … if any at all. “Are you sure? I mean, I haven’t gotten my bill yet, so it might not be too high.”
Logan grunted, and Katie had heard that sound enough to know that he didn’t agree. “No, it’s going to be sky high, and if you have a hard time paying it you let me know.” He sounded so sincere that Katie’s stomach fluttered.
“I’ll be fine,” she whispered.
“Don’t be shy. If you can’t pay it, you let me know.” He repeated.
“I will.” She knew she could afford it, but she wasn’t excited about seeing it. “So your lawyer is going to give you the money?” Seemed like a nice thing to do, but Logan had expressed to her many times that he didn’t like the man.
About Inger Iversen
Inger Iversen lives in Virginia Beach with her tree-hugging boyfriend Joshua and her overweight lap cat Max. When not reading or writing she spends her time watching reruns of True Blood or killing zombies in Call Of Duty. Of course, if the world was to change into some World War Z type situation, she’d probably be the only chick running around searching for a Ray Gun!
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