Hidden Beginnings

by Nicole Colville

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At fourteen, Valerio Capelli is a rising star in the world of Italian bike racing, an outgoing carefree ordinary person with an extraordinary talent. He already knows he is different from other boys, but until now that has remained his little secret and that's the way it will always be. But when his parents split him up from his usual group of friends and he is forced to attend another school in the next village, his life is turned upside down by his new friendship with the most beautiful boy he has ever seen. Valerio is drawn to Rafael Rovella in a way he doesn’t yet understand.

An innocent love affair slowly develops, but it is quickly taken from them both when, at fifteen, Valerio meets the mysterious Victor Gray at one of his races and his life changes forever. Valerio may have survived his traumatising night with Victor but what remains is far worse. Rafael and Valerio were in love and now that's gone, taken by a man who Valerio will never be able to forget. Hurt, angry and full of shame, he has to hide what his true feelings are from everyone, including himself.

Struggling with his hidden past, Valerio can control his memories and protect Rafael from the truth during the day, but while asleep, Valerio’s dreams become living nightmares for the young couple. A nightmare which will never go away, and the unconscious vicious hatred that is building up within Valerio is spilling out in his sleep. He has become the figure he hates so much and Rafael can't be protected in his bed or in his life.

So many years are lost, so much heartache. Both move on and find love elsewhere, but their relationships are following the same fractured, pain-filled path, one that they share with each other. Is it too late for that innocent love to be rekindled? Have both come too far and experienced too much to go back to what they had?