LD Davis Crossword Puzzle
“I’m not having a good summer.”
He looked at me with concern now. “Why not? What’s wrong?”
“You’re not here,” I said softly.
He looked at me for a silent moment and then looked away. “You wanted me to stay away. So, I did.”
“I was wrong.”
His eyes met mine. He looked hopeful. He also looked doubtful. He fed me cake.
I was seven years old and I was mad as hell. I had been riding Emmet’s skateboard, even though he told me not to, and I had fallen off. My knees were scraped and so were my elbows. I didn’t just fall off of the board because I was a terrible rider. I was pretty good and getting better all of the time. I fell off because the punk big kid from a few streets over pushed me off. Benny was such a bully. He was Emmet’s age but he was always picking on kids my age.
Emmet was my best friend’s older brother, but he was a lot like my brother, too. We argued a lot and he was always yelling at me not to touch his stuff, but like the skateboard, I always did anyway. Even though I had no business being on that skateboard, when Benny pushed me Emmet dropped the basketball he had been bouncing around in the street and took off after Benny.
“Don’t ever touch my sisters!” Emmet yelled after he bloodied Benny’s lip. Benny ran away crying while I tried hard not to cry. Boy did my skinned knees and elbows burn.
“Are you okay, Donya?” Emmy asked, bending over me. She pushed strands of loose hair off of my forehead.
“I hate that kid!” I snarled and pushed myself to my feet.
“Come on, brat,” Emmet said. He picked up the skateboard in one hand and took my hand with his other. “Mom will give you a bandaid.”
Emmy took my other hand and we headed across the grass to the house.
“What in the lord’s name happened to you?” Samantha Grayne asked with her hands on her hips. She was wearing a flowery apron that I really liked. I liked her aprons. She always looked like a TV mom with her perfect blonde hair and big green eyes. But she wasn’t like a TV mom. She was kind of loopy.
“Benny pushed her off of Emmet’s skateboard,” Emmy said, stomping a foot. “I hate him!”
“I told you to stay off of my board anyway,” Emmet said, plucking me square in the forehead.
“Ow,” I murmured, rubbing the spot.
“Did you kick his ass?” Samantha asked her son.
“Yes, I kicked his ass,” he said, standing up straighter.
“Don’t curse,” she admonished and then put her hand on my shoulder. “Come on, honey. Let’s go get you cleaned up. You should feel blessed that you have a brother like Emmet.”
Blessed? He just plucked me in the forehead!
I stayed for dinner, like I did most days after school. I had my own place at the table, between Emmy and her dad Fred at the head of the table. He talked to me like I was one of his kids. Besides Emmy and sometimes Emmet, he was my favorite. My other “brothers and sisters” were okay, but they were so much older than me and I didn’t understand those mystifying teenage years.
After dinner, Samantha packed up a bag full of food for me to take home for my parents. My dad wouldn’t be home from work until it was almost my bedtime and my mom didn’t cook much. She didn’t clean much either. She didn’t do much of anything but sleep and watch television. Sam said my mom was sick, but I never saw any tissues or anything, so I wasn’t sure about that.
Sam told Emmet to walk me home. He argued. He was tired of me and Emmy. He put up with us all afternoon and even beat up Benny for me. Why couldn’t Freddy or one of the other girls take me home.
“Boy, if you don’t pick up that bag and walk that girl home I will slap your head sideways,” Samantha threatened.
Emmet huffed and he puffed and picked the bag up.
“Can I walk with them?” Emmy asked, hanging by the door.
“You need to go take a bath and get ready for bed,” her mother said. “You look like hell. How do you get so dirty? What happened to your hair anyway?”
Emmy rolled her eyes. “I like my hair in a side ponytail, mom. You always put it where I don’t like it. So I fixed it.”
“Well, it looks stupid,” Samantha spat out.
“Your shirt looks stupid,” Emmy sassed. “Nobody likes stripes anyway.”
“Let’s go,” Emmet growled, snatching up my hand. We stepped outside and the door closed behind us. I could hear Emmy and her mom arguing a little bit.
Emmet was quiet. He was probably still mad about the skateboard and then having to walk me home. He always got stuck walking me home. It made my chest feel funny to know that he was mad at me.
“I’m sorry you always have to walk me home,” I said quietly.
He looked down at me with green eyes. “It’s not your fault.”
“I come over every day. I can maybe not come over so much and you won’t have to walk me home every day.”
We were quiet again until we were almost to my house.
“You have to keep coming over,” he said when he started to talk again.
“Why?” I asked.
We stopped at the end of the sidewalk that leads to my door. He handed me the bag. It was a little heavy, but I tried to pretend that I could handle it.
“You’re special to my family,” he said. Then he plucked me in the forehead. “And you’re kind of special to me, too.”
He pointed to the house. I walked up the sidewalk, up the two steps and pushed open my front door. My mom was sleeping on the couch with the television on. Her eyes fluttered open and she looked at me and smiled, but it wasn’t a real smile. It was one of those smiles people give to kids when they really don’t feel like smiling at all.
I looked back at Emmet standing on the sidewalk. He made a waving motion like I should go in the house. He looked like he was ready to go. I waved, but just before I closed the door, he shouted “And stay off of my skateboard!”
Emmet had made my chest feel funny again when he told me I was special to him, but it was a different kind of funny. It made me feel like giggling and crying at the same time. I never forgot the day he said that and the way it made me feel and the way his green eyes looked at me. Like I was special.
Special or not, I didn’t stay off of his skateboard.
© 2014 L.D. Davis
I have a release date for Donya’s book!
April 3, 2014!
The book is still unnamed…and uncovered….but those things will follow soon!
Hey, people! We’re almost at 100 Reviews for Worth the Fight. If you haven’t done a review yet, you should go do that! When we reach 100 reviews, I will post the entire first (unedited) chapter of Donya’s story on my website!
Today is the last day to get the Accidentally on Purpose Trilogy set for only $.99!!
So, literally, over the past week I decided to put AOP into a box set. THEN, I thought, hey, why not add some lost excerpts as bonus material? AND THEN I got REALLY crazy and said to myself “Self, why not sell the box set for only $.99 for two days for the New Year?” So, here you have it. If you haven’t read the books yet, or if you haven’t read all of them yet, or if you just want them all in one cozy little spot, here’s your chance for only NINETY-NINE CENTS!! I’ve uploaded the books to Amazon and Smashwords, so they will be available shortly!
I am doing some new things with my page, so be patient looking around! Thanks
I am at my best friend’s wedding reception dancing dirty with her husband. I grind, I shake, and shimmy, and drop it like it’s hot. He gets into it, dancing better than most guys I have ever known, and I’ve known quite a bit. I dare a glance at his wife. She’s watching us and laughing, smiling, and clapping. I love that she knows that I don’t mean anything by it. I love that she knows how happy I am for her and I’m not trying to screw her husband.
The song changes, and I am drawn in for a slower paced dance that does not require me to shake my ass. Luke Kessler looks ridiculously happy. He’s high off of his happiness. It makes me glad, and it makes me sad for myself.
“You look really happy,” I say.
“I don’t think it’s possible to feel any happier,” he answers with that big, beautiful smile. How has Emmy survived these panty dropping smiles? I bite back my own smile.
“Sweet,” I say. “Cheesy and corny, but sweet. I’ve honestly never seen Em look so happy.”
Emmy is dancing with her father Fred. I danced with Fred at my wedding, too. He was the only dad I had when I got married.
“I really like you, Luke,” I say, turning my eyes back on Luke. “In fact, I love you as much as a girl can love her best friend’s husband without it being scandalous. But…” I trailed off.
Like Emmy and especially like her mother Sam, I am notorious for speaking my mind. Speak first, and worry about the consequences later. But maybe this isn’t the time or place to say what I really want to say. Luke has been very good to Emmy, with the exception of a few months not that long ago, but that was kind of her fault. I don’t want him to think that I doubt him, because I don’t. But he is human.
“But?” Luke looks at me questioningly.
“If you fuck this up beyond repair, I will kill you,” I promise.
“I would rather die than to fuck this up beyond repair,” he says. I feel him stiffen ever so slightly under my hands.
“We all say that,” I say quietly. “We would rather die than to hurt the ones we love, but we do. She did it to you.” Under my breath, I say “Hell, I’ve done it.”
Luke frowns and looks at me with confusion and I realize with horror that he heard my last few words. He looks at my husband Jerry who is paying us no mind. He is surrounded by adoring baseball fans. Even if they are not Philly fans, they are drawn to the professional athlete.
“It’s my wedding day,” Luke says briskly. “I don’t want to talk about that, Donya.”
Me either, Luke. No one wants to talk about this unless it is happening to someone else and they don’t have to personally feel the effects.
“I just want you to always be conscious of your actions, Luke,” I say and look at him very hard. “It’s very easy to find yourself standing on the wrong side of the line without ever meaning to cross it.”
He looks at me startled like. I feel like the banquet hall is too small. I kiss his cheek and pull out of his arms.
“Just remember what I said,” I say in a rush of air.
I whirl around and rush towards the exit. It’s January, in Chicago no less, but I feel hot and my palms are sweaty. It feels very stuffy in here and I am having difficulty breathing. I promise myself I won’t turn around and look. There is no reason to look. I won’t look.
I’m only a few feet from the door. I turn my head and look.
It is as if there is a magnet that draws my eyes to his exact location every time I say I will not look. If I have looked in the past and he was not in my immediate eye sight, I may have turned away and been okay, but that never happens. My eyes always find him right away.
He looks stunning in his tuxedo. His deep blue bowtie hangs to one side and his shirt is unbuttoned a few buttons, revealing the beginning contours of what I know to be a well-defined chest. His dark hair is a little on the long side. Hair falls across his forehead. It’s sexy. His wife hates it. She must not like running her fingers through it. His hands are in his pockets as he speaks. He looks casual and relaxed.
I look away and escape the crushing pressure of the room.
I dig into the little purse strapped to my wrist and get my ticket for my coat. I thrust the piece of paper at the guy behind the counter and he retrieves my coat a few seconds later. I walk out of the building and away from the few people outside who also dared the cold. I follow a walkway until I find myself on the other side of the building, facing what is probably a very gorgeous garden in the warmer months. It was still pretty, even under the ice and snow.
I look around and am relieved to find myself alone. The sun is setting. The lampposts are flickering to life. It is cold as cold can be out here, but I needed to get out of there.
I open my purse and find my hidden cigarette and lighter. I put the cancer stick in my mouth and light it up. I inhale deeply. I close my eyes as I let the smoke out slowly through slightly parted lips.
Smoking is the bad habit I picked up during my days as a model. I got lucky. It could have been cocaine, heroin, pills, and so many other things that string a girl out. I quit smoking when I quit modeling, but on occasion, a cigarette is warranted.
I hear light footfalls behind me. The long invisible tether tightens. I know who is coming without having to look. I can feel him. My eyes always find him and he always finds me. I stopped questioning it long ago.
One strong arm encircles my waist. I shiver and it has nothing to do with the chilling weather. A hand plucks the cigarette from my lips and tosses it away. I watch as it lands in the snow a few feet off of the path. It is resilient. It burns on, despite the cold moisture under it.
Another arm closes around me. My head naturally falls back on his shoulder and his cheek naturally presses against my hair. I breathe him in and his scent settles my nerves better than any cigarette ever has. Feeling his body enveloping mine makes me feel safer than I ever do anywhere else.
We stand quietly as the sun sets and darkness sets in. He kisses the side of my head and I close my eyes, both relishing and cursing the kiss. His breathing changes as his arms tighten their hold on me. I feel his breath on my neck and I know he wants to kiss me there. I hate that I want him to kiss me there.
Here it is. The line I spoke to Luke about. I have one foot on the right side of the line and one foot on the wrong side of the line. This was the third time this week I have found myself standing like this, with the line between my legs, but it has happened so many times over the years, I cannot keep track. The line gets blurrier and blurrier every time I even poke a toe over it. If I am not careful, the line will dissolve, and so will so many other things. I know this, yet I cannot make myself pull away. I cannot push him off of me and walk away. He will always find me again. He will always tug on that tether and I will always return.
Eventually, the line must be cut. Or we are all in big trouble.
I turn around and look into those green eyes I fell in love with as a child, and speak his name.
I was seven years old and I was mad as hell. I had been riding Emmet’s skateboard, even though he told me not to, and I had fallen off. My knees were scraped and so were my elbows. I didn’t just fall off of the board because I was a terrible rider. I was pretty good and getting better all of the time. I fell off because the punk big kid from a few streets over pushed me off. Benny was such a bully. He was Emmet’s age but he was always picking on kids my age.
Emmet was my best friend’s older brother, but he was a lot like my brother. We argued a lot and he was always yelling at me not to touch his stuff, but like the skateboard, I always did anyway. Even though I had no business being on that skateboard, when Benny pushed me Emmet dropped the basketball he had been bouncing around the driveway and took off after Benny.
**Want the rest of Chapter One? If you haven’t given an honest review of Worth the Fight yet, you should go do that. When I get 100 Honest Reviews (even if you hated it), I will post the rest of Chapter One of Donya’s book.**
My cell phone was wedged between my shoulder and my ear as I listened to Claire bitch about my lack of commitment. I juggled my briefcase and my duffel bag as I unlocked the door to my apartment before kicking it open. I dropped the bag on the floor by the door as it closed behind me and set my briefcase down with more care.
“Claire, I told you in the beginning I wasn’t looking for anything serious,” I said tiredly as I pulled open the fridge to get a much needed beer. “I was very clear about it and you said you were fine with it.”
I should have known better than to believe that she would be okay for more than a few weeks. Claire wasn’t a casual sex kind of girl. Claire was a settle down and get married and have kids kind of girl. I knew that very well about her since I had dated her for a year before moving to Philly many years ago, but she seemed so adamant that she could handle a casual relationship.
“I thought you just needed some time to deal with whatever the hell you were dealing with in your head,” she whined. “I thought you would come around.”
I rolled my eyes at this bullshit. I didn’t realize Claire was so stupid. I took a pull on my beer and said “Have I ever been anything but straight forward with you, Claire? Have I ever said one thing and meant another in all of the years that you’ve known me?”
She paused for a moment before answering. “No, but…but you were never…brokenhearted before. The circumstances are different.”
I closed my eyes for a moment. The last thing I wanted to talk about was the state of my heart.
“Yes,” I reluctantly agreed. “The circumstances are different, but that doesn’t change my direct approach.”
“I turned down other guys for you, Luke!” Claire yelled.
“You could have ended our agreement at any time if you wanted to be with someone,” I sighed as I walked into the living room and dropped down onto the couch. “Listen, Claire, I don’t mean to hurt you. I really don’t. The last thing I want to do is hurt anyone, but…”
“But what?” she snapped. “But you want to sleep around with other women? Is that it, Luke?”
“Not at all,” I said patiently as I glanced at the pile of mail on my coffee table, remembering that my sister Lena told me I had a letter delivered by a courier yesterday. “I don’t sleep with more than one woman at a time, Claire. You know me better than that, but I don’t want a relationship either.”
She said something in response, but I didn’t really hear her. The envelope on top of the pile caught my eye. I wasn’t sure if I was seeing it right until I picked it up and held it only inches from my eyes. Emmy sent me a letter.
I was disappointed that my heart rate suddenly increased, and further disappointed that my hands were itching to open the letter, but a large part of me wasn’t sure if it was something I wanted to open. After months of trying to push any memory of her out of my head – only to be repeatedly reminded of her when I saw her mother – I had at least gotten to the point where she wasn’t the first thing on my mind when I woke up and the last thing on my mind when I went to sleep. I had finally gotten to the point where my pain was dulled and more often than not forgotten. I was able to go days without thinking of her more than once or twice a day, opposed to the constant torture of hearing her voice in my head and smelling her skin in the weeks and months after I broke up with her.
“Are you listening to me?” Claire whined again. I realized at that moment that Claire whined a lot. Even when we were having sex, she did this weird whining thing that she probably thought was sexy, but it really wasn’t. Not even a little bit.
“I gotta go,” I said distractedly. “I’ll call you soon.”
I didn’t give her an opportunity to respond before ending the call and dropping my phone on the couch beside me. I stared at the letter, weighing it in my hands. What could she possibly have to say to me after all of this time?
“Only one way to find out,” I sighed heavily before beginning to slowly peel open the envelope. I pulled out the folded letter inside and weighed that in my hands, too. I could burn it or push it into the garbage disposal and not worry about what Emmy had to say. I could put it back in the envelope, reseal it and send it back without looking at it. I was very tempted to do any one of those things. I had finally moved on and I didn’t want to find myself stuck on someone that didn’t deserve my time and my thoughts, but I knew I had to open it even though I had a gut feeling it was about to change my life.
I unfolded the letter and began to read.
I have rewritten this letter a dozen times already, but I feel there is no smooth way to lead up to what I have to say, so here it is: You are the father of a five month old, beautiful baby boy. His name is Lucas, in honor of his father, and he was born May 18th.
I didn’t tell you because I know you hate me, and my biggest fear is that you will hate my son, too. Maybe that fear is unreasonable, but I have had a very hard time getting past it.
I am in Chicago for a day or so, at the Fairmont, room 317. If you would like to meet your son, I will be here all day today.
I am sorry for keeping this from you, and I am sorry for forcing my mother to keep this from you. Please don’t be angry with her. It is my fault entirely.
The paper fluttered to the floor as I stared at nothing with my mouth hanging wide open.
This had to be a joke. This couldn’t have possibly been true. Even Emmy wasn’t that cruel to keep a child away from me, and her mother was the bluntest person I knew. Surely, she would have been falling over herself to tell me about my son, if I really even had one.
And then I realized something. Samantha didn’t go out of her way to spend much time with me as she did with my sisters. I didn’t think anything about it because they were all women and women tend to cluster together, but what if she was avoiding me? What if those looks of pity weren’t for the fact that her daughter had destroyed my heart or that my sister was near death, but because she knew a big, earth shattering secret?
“Shit!” I yelled as I jumped off of the couch and dashed for the door. I took a detour into the small kitchen for my keys and then ran out into the hall.
Emmy would fuck someone else throughout our relationship and lie about it, but Emmy wouldn’t lie about something like this after over a year long absence. Samantha would hold this secret for her daughter or risk losing her and her grandson.
I rocketed out of the parking garage and onto the street, just barely missing oncoming traffic. I hate driving in the city and usually take public transportation, but I was anxious to get to the Fairmont. My mind was racing all the way there and I couldn’t keep any one thought in mind before another rushed forward to take its place. It wasn’t until I had rushed into the lobby a little while later that another thought occurred to me, halting me in my tracks and knocking the breath out of me.
What if this Lucas wasn’t really my kid at all? What if he was Kyle Sterling’s?
“Can I help you, sir?” the woman in guest services asked me.
It took me a few seconds, but I was able to tell her why I was there before I started towards the bank of elevators.
“Miss Grayne stepped out,” she called after me. “Can I have your name?”
I stopped and took a few steps back until I was standing in front of her. “Luke Kessler,” I said, curious as to why she needed my name.
She smiled at me. “Yes, I was expecting you yesterday. Miss Grayne and the baby went out a little while ago. Maybe you can wait for her in the lobby,” she said, gesturing towards the fancy furniture behind me.
I nodded and wordlessly walked away from her. There was nothing to say. One thing was confirmed, there definitely was a baby. The question was whether or not he was mine. I immediately felt a little bit like a dick for thinking that. This was definitely something Emmy wouldn’t drag me into if Lucas was not my kid, but what if he wasn’t? How would I know? But what if he was – what would I do about it?
I suddenly felt like an ass for showing up to meet my son for the first time empty handed. I got up and marched to the gift shop. There were little shirts with Chicago scrolled across them, but I didn’t know what size the kid was. There were little sippy cups and a few other baby items, but I didn’t like any of it. I wasn’t going to give my kid some cheesy gift shop gift – if he was my kid. I told the woman at guest services that I would be back shortly. I rushed out of the hotel and used my cell phone to find a store to buy Lucas a gift. Once I was inside the baby store, I felt overwhelmed by all of the possibilities. There were so many baby items, things I had never even seen before with my nieces and nephews. Emmy and Sam probably made sure Lucas had everything he could ever need, so I walked away from the many gadgets and headed towards an aisle of toys.
What did I like as a kid? Hell, he was five months old. He probably liked anything that tasted halfway decent when it went into his mouth. I picked up a little stuffed whale. It reminded me of a vacation my family took to Sea World when I was a little kid. My parents were hard working lower middle class people. Trips to Sea World and the like were far and few between, if ever. It hit me then how hard it must have been for them to afford that trip and continue to feed us and keep a roof over our heads the months preceding and following that trip, but my parents wanted to make sure that we actually went somewhere and did something. They wanted to give us a little more than what their parents were able to give to them. If Lucas was indeed my kid, I wanted to be able to give him more than what my parents gave me, too.
I took the whale to the checkout line. Lucas or Emmy may not understand the significance of the whale, but I would. Besides, it was a sensible gift to give to my son that I was just meeting for the first time, though nothing about the situation was sensible.
I returned to the Fairmont and sat back down in the chair I had sat in earlier. I had an unobstructed view of the entrance. I didn’t take my eyes off of it. I’m not even sure I blinked. I don’t know how long I was sitting there staring before I saw first a stroller full of bags roll inside, and then the waves of brown hair, stuck to her face from the October wind. I watched as she pushed the strands off of her smooth cheek and smiled at the blond hair, blue eyed infant in her arm before continuing to push the stroller with her spare hand. Even from where I seemed to be stuck in the chair, I could see that Lucas was my son. His startling blue, smiling eyes were my own.
Somehow I pushed myself out of the chair and moved across the lobby until I was standing in their path. As soon as our eyes met, I felt immeasurable pain, anger, fear, and remarkably, love. For a half a moment, I wanted nothing more than to take Emmy and Lucas into my arms and make everything the way it should have always been, but then I remembered that she fucking broke my heart. I inhaled sharply as that old knife twisted in my heart, and then I turned my attention to my son. My son.
I fought back emotions as I offered him my finger, before remembering that I had touched all kinds of gross things since leaving my apartment and I didn’t want my fingers in his mouth.
“You didn’t come,” Emmy blurted out.
I felt bad for her for a minute. It must have been torture for her as she waited for me to respond. She must have thought that I didn’t want Lucas, and I couldn’t imagine how that must have felt.
“Yeah, I’m sorry,” I said. “I was out of town. My sister just happened to be in my apartment dropping off some things I left in her basement when the letter came. I didn’t read it until this morning when I got in.”
I looked at her, hoping she believed me.
“I understand,” she said, shifting Lucas from one arm to another.
“Can I hold him?” I asked.
Carefully, Emmy passed Lucas to me. Again I had to fight back emotions as I looked at this perfect baby boy that I helped create. I had a great relationship with all of my nieces and nephews, and at one point in my life I had wanted children, but after what I went through with Emmy, I didn’t think about it anymore. However, only moments after meeting Lucas, I knew I’d never be the same, and I felt so grateful to hold my son.
I stayed with Emmy and Lucas all day that day. I played with him, I talked to him, I held him, I changed him, and I only released him long enough for Emmy to feed him. I should have looked away when I saw how uncomfortable she was to breast feed him in front of me, but it wasn’t about her. It was about Lucas. Everything about him was perfect and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him, even though he was feeding off of his exposed mother.
I had only been with him for a short time, but I could not imagine just leaving and having to deal with child custody agreements and the distance that would surely be between us when Emmy went back to wherever the hell she came from. Moreover, if she was with Kyle, I was going to have to fight to make sure that Lucas knew who his father really was. The idea that I would have to go up against Kyle again for someone else I loved infuriated me. I let him win last time, because Emmy stopped being worth the trouble when she allowed the situation to continue, but I wasn’t going to let him win my son.
As the day wore on, I became angrier and angrier with Emmy for keeping our son from me. It stirred the pot of negativity I had been carrying around for her. When Lucas took a nap, I threw myself into my work, virtually ignoring her so that I wouldn’t snap, and I was very close to snapping. I had never in my life hit a woman, but the urge to put my hands around her throat and squeeze was pretty damn overwhelming. My sense of right and wrong and the fact that our child was sleeping a few feet away are what saved her from my wrath that day. I couldn’t even look at her, but I chanced one glance and immediately regretted it.
Beside the fact that she looked like a scared, trapped, and scarred animal, Emmy was breathtaking. Her hair had grown significantly and the extra pounds she put on from her pregnancy gave her curves she had never had before. Her skin looked so soft and I so badly wanted to touch her to find out, but instead I made some ridiculous comment about her hair growing out and the sound of Lucas waking from his nap stopped me from saying anything further.
I went back to virtually ignoring Emmy until Lucas went to bed for the night. Still seething mad, I turned to her to confront her but I bit my tongue when I saw the look on her face. She was actually pouting a little. What the hell? I scratched my head trying to figure this out, but then I realized I had completely taken over all day and Em didn’t get much time with Lucas herself. I couldn’t blame her. He was a remarkable kid.
“I’m sorry. I totally took over today,” I said.
“I’m not used to sharing him,” she said, looking at her hands in her lap. She had not looked me in the eyes since I first saw them in the lobby earlier in the day.
“I’m going to go pick up some dinner,” I said, moving towards the door. “We’ll talk when I get back.”
She probably wasn’t going to like what I was going to suggest, but I had to make some kind of effort to hold on to Lucas.
“Hold on,” she said and hurried into the bedroom. She held out a room key to me. “You can let yourself back in. I’m going to take a shower.”
When I took it from her, my fingers grazed hers. I was pissed off at the tremors of electricity that shot up my fingers and through my arm. I was pissed that she still had that effect on me after all she had done. I quickly pulled away and rushed out of the door.
When I returned later, Emmy was still in the shower. I set the food down on the coffee table and pulled my phone out of my pocket. Claire had called several times during the day, and there was no way I was in the mood to sort through her many text messages. I made sure the phone was still muted and put it down on the table before going into the bedroom to check on Lucas.
I leaned over the crib and watched as his little mouth made suckling motions as he slept. I couldn’t believe I had missed not only the first five months of his life, but all of the time that he was growing inside of his mother’s womb. I missed sonogram pictures, measurements, and most of all his birth. I would have given anything to have been there when he was born. The fact that Emmy denied me all of this made me want to snatch my son out of his crib and take him from her so she would know how it felt, but I pushed those irrational thoughts away and just thanked god I still had a chance, albeit late. I looked at his little fingers attached to his little hands, and the wisps of blond hair across his forehead. His little chest rose and fell easily and his soft snores made me smile.
The bathroom door opened and I heard Emmy’s sharp intake of breath when she saw me.
“Sorry,” I said and glanced over at her, taking note that she was wrapped in a towel. I looked back at Lucas. “I’m just…amazed. He’s perfect.”
“Yes, he is,” she agreed softly.
I looked up at her again. Her wet hair clung to her bare shoulders. The towel didn’t hide her curves or the swells of her full breasts. If things were as they should have been, I would have relieved her of her towel and made love to her damp body. But things weren’t as they should have been. Emmy cheated on me for months after I had given her my heart. Even after I told her that I hoped that Kyle broke her heart and made her choke on it, if she would have dropped everything and everyone and came after me in Chicago, I would have given in and I would have taken her back, but she didn’t, and that crushed me, too. Then she hid her pregnancy from me, probably had plans to raise my son with that dick Kyle. She hid Lucas’s birth, and for five months of his life denied him his father. I never did anything so horrible as to deserve this disgusting treatment from Emmy. I did nothing but love her and then let her go so she could be with that asshole, and yet she punished me relentlessly. My heart was breaking all over again as I looked at her in that towel, and this time the pain was so much deeper because my absence from Lucas’s life was also heartbreaking.
I did what I needed to do so that I wouldn’t do anything I’d regret with Lucas in the room. I turned away from this woman, the only woman in the world who had the power to break me.
I am giving away 2 Worth the Fight ebooks a day both on Facebook and Twitter leading up to the release date on 12/16. All you have to do is comment on, share, or retweet any post I make during the day.
I am giving away ARCS of Worth the Fight (Accidentally on Purpose #3) to 5 lucky winners. You can enter the contest by clicking on the link below and leaving a comment about your favorite AOP moment.
*On Knees* Please forgive my absence!! My excuse? Laziness? Business? Does it matter? I’m back.
The Third Installment of AOP:
Title: Worth the Fight (WTF for short. ha)
Release Date: December 16th
And here’s the cover!
Someone brought to my attention that I didn’t post the Fanterview I did with my readers last month. I posted it on Facebook, but not on my webpage. Here it is:
In Accidentally On Purpose, there were references made to Jessyca’s money being a part of the first bribe Walter Sterling offered to Emmy. Whose money was it really on both occasions?
I didn’t say it directly, but the first bribe offered by Walter to Emmy was indeed Jessyca’s money. Originally, I was going to go deeper into that aspect, but I really didn’t want to focus on her and Walter Sterling too much more. The idea is that Walter and Jessyca were collaborating to get Emmy out of the
At the end of Worthy of Redemption, right before the epilogue, Emmy says “Maybe there will be a place for us in another lifetime” and Kyle replied “I have no doubt about it”…I can’t stop thinking about those lines. Will these words foreshadow their future?
Oh, boy. I see many of you are having a hard time letting go of Emmy and Kyle as a couple. There was no secret code in those words. Emmy and Kyle still love each other and will always feel connected, even on a miniscule level. Of course I think ahead to the future – what if a spouse dies? What if one of them divorces? Will they seek each other out? I’ve thought about it, and I don’t have an answer to that. All I know right now is that everyone is with who they need/want/should be with. As much love and obsessive passion that was between Kyle and Emmy, it wasn’t necessarily…reasonable, safe, or sane…When I wrote this part of the book, I only meant to impart to you, the reader, how much Emmy and Kyle still care for each other. I needed you to feel that as much as they love each other, that they are both willing to let the past stay in the past and carry on.
What was the deciding factor for Emmy to end up with Luke instead of Kyle?
Maybe this won’t be the answer you are looking for, but…It felt right. Obviously, many of the circumstances in the books aren’t real, but the emotions are based on real life. I FEEL that Emmy belongs with Luke. In my mind when I put Emmy and Kyle together, it’s HOT and SEXY and EROTIC and VOLATILE and CRAZY and MANIC and EXPLOSIVE and DANGEROUS and……..DISASTEROUS. Who doesn’t love that kind of relationship? Been there and done that, but in hindsight, those guys weren’t good for me in the long run. Emmy wasn’t good for Kyle in the long run and vice versa. I don’t know how I’ll feel about it a year from now or six months from now or six hours from now. This is how I feel about it now.
Why did you decide to make waves in Luke & Emmy relationship?
Well. Had I not made waves, I would have been bored. You would have been bored. All of us would have been bored. But that wasn’t why I did it. I did it because shit happens in life, and I related to their situation and I’m sure many others did, too. Also, I needed to prove to you that despite the hiccup in her home life, Emmy was still able to walk away from Kyle without regrets. I love a HEA like anyone else, but I didn’t feel that a few chapters of cheer and sloppy love crap was going to work for my Em and Luke. Why did I make waves? Because I like waves. I don’t like flat.
How do you come up with such insanely sexy/steamy love scenes?!
I think I should tell you the truth…I’m a pervert. What I have printed for your reading entertainment is kind of tame to the things that bounce around in my head.
How do you feel about people commenting on your books and making suggestion of how they wanted the book to end, etc?
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I won’t lie. Sometimes I say “then you write the next book!” Regardless of the comments I get about how the reader believes the story should have gone, I will not change direction to accommodate someone else’s vision. “I really expected and/or wanted Emmy to end up with Kyle in the end” and similar comments have been made often, especially since the release of Worthy of Redemption. I only take positivity from such comments. That tells me that the reader had expectations that are usually met with other books – the guy always gets the girl and vice versa, but AOP and WOR aren’t the usual books. Therefore, they don’t have the usual outcome. If I managed to surprise you or infuriate you or sadden you because I chose a different route than expected, then I’ve done my job. I would rather my readers be pissed off because Emmy chose Luke over Kyle and Kyle chose Lily over Emmy than to be pissed off because I consistently end books with a cliffhanger (because that pisses ME off – you have NO idea…).
Is there any chance of a third book in the Accidentally on Purpose Series – perhaps a book for Marco?
Mayson has her own story. Tabitha has her own story and Marco deserves a piece of the action, too. So, I guess now is as good a time as any to announce the following:
My next book will be a book of novellas. One will be about Marco and take a guess who else….The next novella will be another brief look into Emmy’s relationship with Luke, and lastly, Mayson’s story will bring up the rear. Tabitha has a whole novel – half of it has been written for a long time. I started Mayson’s story before Tabitha’s and Tabitha’s before Emmy’s. Mayson’s was always going to be a novella, but Tabitha’s will probably be longer than Emmy’s.
How has your life changed after publishing AOP and all the positive response you got?
When I first published Accidentally On Purpose, I didn’t know what I was doing. My sales sucked, no one even knew it existed, and the editing wasn’t that great. I was working in an overnight stocking position at a store that rhymes with Fall Part. I hated it. I hated everything. I hated everyone. I never saw my family, my marriage was running on fumes – and the fumes were dissipating, and sleep was but a fantasy. Then suddenly, months after I first published AOP – BAM! It rocketed up the ranks on Amazon and the next thing I knew I saw my name on the New York Times Best Seller’s List. Right then, I made the decision to work only a few more months at that store. Now, I’m still not sleeping because I’m writing/editing/networking, I’m home with my kids and sometimes I want to run away, and I’m sad that I no longer have the bed to myself. But…I’m doing what I love. The majority of the feedback from AOP has been positive, and I feel a great sense of accomplishment. What is fantastic is that my kids have been pushing their own creativity a little harder and taking it more seriously after watching me realize a dream. Like anyone else, I still have my problems – tons of them in fact, but life could be so much worse than it is. I have my dream job and I’m having fun doing it.
What book have you read that you thought “wow”, wish I wrote that?
Harry Potter? Twilight? Hunger Games? Those titles are money in the bank!
Totally shallow question, who is your embarrassing celebrity crush, (past or present), you have to be honest!
Does Donnie Wahlberg count as embarrassing? Because he’s hot and I want to tear his clothes off. I don’t care if he’s from a late eighties, early nineties boy band and he’s now forty something. Doesn’t matter. Give him to me.
What actors and actresses do you see playing Emmy, Kyle, and Luke?
I want to try something different. I like doing interviews with bloggers, but how about I let you, the readers, do the interview this time? You can ask me any two questions regarding my books or upcoming projects, etc. Make them good. Make me have to really think before answering. Challenge me (without being a dick about it). Depending on how many I get, I may not be able to answer all of them, but I will pull several questions together to form one big reader based interview. I’ll post it here and on my Facebook page. PLEASE ONLY SUBMIT VIA EMAIL: email@example.com Put: INTERVIEW in the subject line. Your deadline is next FRIDAY AUGUST 2 at 11:00 pm Eastern and I will post the interview by TUESDAY AUGUST 6. Remember to only submit by email or it may get overlooked. If you have basic questions that you don’t want to use as an interview question, proceed as usual. OH AND WAIT…
ONE PERSON will win my souvenir from Atlantic City, plus a paperback copy of either AOP or WOR – your choice. Have fun
If you didn’t know it already I am releasing the sequel to Accidentally On Purpose on JULY 23. We’re only HOURS AWAY from the COVER AND TITLE reveal. I will start releasing little snippets from the book tomorrow, too and in the days leading up to the book. I will be running a contest soon and will give a few books away as prizes. I’m as excited as I can be after the crazy day I’ve had and hope that you will be excited, too!
To answer some questions….
Will Emmy be back? Emmy does make an appearance. In what context, you will have to wait and see.
Will Emmy and Kyle get back together? I don’t know – you tell me when you’re done reading the book.
Is this book from Kyle’s perspective during his time with Emmy? A few parts are, but for the most part it is life post-Emmy.
Who the heck is Lily – we want Emmy! Lily is her own bit of awesomeness and I think you will like her.
Is Kyle still a dick? Pretty much!!
See you guys in a few hours for the cover/title reveal!!!
I was very hurt by some unverified and false connections today. So, let me set you straight: MY novels are MY work and MY work alone. Anyone that has taken the time to read my books already knows that they are unique work – I’m not saying unique to be conceited – I am saying that unless someone has cheated me, there shouldn’t be another one of either of them out there under a different name and title. The people that had mistakenly put me in a cesspool with literary thieves have either taken down the comments they made or have posted a statement to put me in the clear. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t damage done and I hope that it isn’t significant. I am all about ousting imposters, but I am also all about getting facts straight, asking questions, and investigating. Do your own research, don’t rely on someone to tell you what’s what. And if someone would have just done that today, all of this could have been avoided. It was a mistake that I hope won’t be repeated.
When I first published Accidentally On Purpose and Pieces Of Rhys, I was unaware of so many things – like ARCS, bloggers, and blog tours. Even when AOP hit the NYT list, I didn’t really know what I was doing as far as promoting and social networking. Many have offered their services, but since I didn’t know what they were talking about, I didn’t take them up on the offer. There were some very nice bloggers out there that started following me on FB and Twitter and Goodreads, and I will always appreciate them. I don’t want them to think that I didn’t want their help or to work with them – gals, I just didn’t know any better.
Another author has really been great to me, though. She has given me unmeasurable assistance and I value our friendship except when she’s not fanning me and feeding me grapes – dude, come on…It’s really not a lot to ask…. I won’t name her, but she knows who she is! Thanks, She Who Shall Not Be Named!
Also, one of my readers started blogging just recently and she has really gone above and beyond to kick off my first ever blog tour. I still ask her dumb questions even though the event starts in two days, but she’s been very patient. Thank you, Karleigh!
The Accidentally On Purpose Blog Tour starts on June 1 and runs through June 16. It’s hosted by Confessions of a Book Heaux (love that name). There will be two grand prizes, one at the end of each week, and you never know, there may be some little things in between! I will also say that I did some pretty interesting interviews….wouldn’t you like to see which one of my characters did an interview? Yeah, I’m a tease. Get over it
I’ll be back tomorrow with more details!
I’m giving away a paperback copy of Accidentally On Purpose and souvenir from my recent trip to Hershey Park! Give me your best/worst vacation experience on my Facebook page. The contest ends Wednesday night at midnight. The contest is limited to the U.S. and Canada, but all stories are welcome.
Most of these songs are a few of MANY that I listened to while writing AOP. A couple of them I heard later or were suggested by readers, but they go well with the book. These are the songs that I listened to the most while writing certain sequences. Of course Wonderwall played a major part, but Feel Good Drag by Anberlin played on a loop at one point, as did Breathe Me by Sia, and The Kill by 30 Seconds To Mars (my favorite song of all time). Ready To Start by Arcade Fire came on the radio on my way to work one night, and somehow from that song I got the idea for AOP (my brain works in funny ways). Sorry you couldn’t play it from this page – I haven’t figured that out yet. I need to talk to my tech guy (prepare yourself Joe). I believe you need a Spotify account, but Spotify is free.
Onward with the music. Just Click Below. Enjoy.
In case you can’t get Spotify….Here’s a list of the music:
Blackout – Breathe Carolina
Feel Good Drag (Acoustic) – Anberlin
Animal – Neon Trees
Wonderwall – Oasis
Time Is Running Out – Muse
Addicted – Kelly Clarkson
Criminal – Fiona Apple
One More Night – Maroon 5
Unfaithful – Rihanna
Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back) – Eamon
What Goes Around Comes Around – Justin Timberlake
Love The Way You Lie Part II – Rihanna feat. Eminem
Breathe Me – Sia
No Light, No Light – Florence and the Machine
Dare You To Move – Switchfoot
Fix You – Coldplay
Tonight – Seether
Like A Virgin – Madonna
Safe – Britt Nicole
All I Want Is You – U2
You Will Leave A Mark – A Silent Film
The Kill (Bury Me) – 30 Seconds To Mars
Shake It Out – Florence And The Machine
Walk – Foo Fighters
Ready To Start – Arcade Fire
A former coworker used me for a project in one of her classes. She had to read my book and if possible get an interview with me. I really hope she got an A plus plus. She isn’t a blogger, nor does she write professionally or have anything to do with the writing world, but I really liked her interview. I hope she will consider blogging in the future. Thank you for using me T.B. You used me so well
Give a quick bio on yourself – not every detail unless you feel like sharing.
I never know what to say about myself. I’ll start with the basics. I’m almost 35, sadly, and I’m a mom of five and I’m six years deep into my second marriage. If this one doesn’t work out, I’m really okay with becoming crazy cat lady.
From prior conversation, I know that a lot of story and character development has been derived from life experience. How so in this book accidentally on purpose?
AOP is a novel about addiction, and I don’t just mean Kyle’s addiction that made him literally lose his mind. Emmy once described Kyle as being her drug, and it was clear that she was his. I know how this feels, to be addicted to someone who is generally unhealthy for you. This one particular guy looked good on paper, but he wasn’t as nice to me as he should have been, and I allowed myself to be bullied into making decisions that I’ll regret for the rest of my life. Something about him made me feel like I couldn’t breathe without him, even though he was toxic to my mind and heart. I won’t deny that we had some good times, and he freely took care of my family financially, and he isn’t really a bad guy (I guess…), but he was all bad for me. Without giving too many personal details, because I respect his privacy, too, I will also say that even though his father didn’t pay me millions of dollars to go away, in a way, I was compensated in the hopes that I would go away.
That guy never hit me, but I have been hit by others. I was a different person back then. I’d like to say that if that happened to me now, I’d fight back (and win) or allow my many excellent girl friends to take him down, but I really don’t know that. I’m only hoping I’d be that way. It’s easy to say how I think I would be… People question Emmy for wanting to be around Kyle after what he did to her, but I can understand wanting to believe that the person you love would never purposely harm you.
I can also relate to the whole liking two guys at the same time thing. It wasn’t something that happened on purpose , but once I found myself at that crossroads, it was very difficult to let go of one of those men, because I didn’t want to make the wrong decision. It wasn’t anything as deep as Emmy’s triangle, but I’m not going to pretend that it was a light matter either.
Though my mother was never a nag like Emmy’s mother, I definitely felt a big rift between myself and my fairly large family. The rift hasn’t necessarily reduced in size, I’ve just learned how to deal with it.
How has the success of this book affected your life if at all?
I think for the first time in a very long time, I actually truly believe in myself. At the same time, I feel a lot of pressure. This all happened very suddenly and I wasn’t prepared to appease the masses and pop out another book. Regardless of how well I do from this point out, I will always feel thankful for being able to make the NYT Best Seller’s list and have even this level of success.
Critics can be harsh but also helpful. Who are some of your best and worst and why?
Some people are not going to like my book, regardless of how well it’s edited or anything else I can do. I can’t satisfy everyone. However, the most helpful criticism – and the most embarrassing – is those that have pointed out some kind of editing issue or discrepancies in the story line.
What do you want your readers to take away from your book?
All I can say is that I have personally experienced most of Accidentally On Purpose : the addiction (to people AND alcohol – it’s a perfectly healthy “I need a margarita” addiction), the lust, the love, betrayal, the seclusion from family, and more. I’m still working on forgiving myself for parts of my past, like Emmy, but also like Emmy, I have moved on with life. Life doesn’t end after a series of poor decisions. Every day you wake up can be a day to start to fix yourself and find redemption.
What made you decide that your writing career was something you wanted to pursue and what if any negativity did you receive from this decision?
When I realized how many people actually enjoyed reading my work, I knew for sure this was what I wanted. I wanted it when I was younger, but I never pursued it because I didn’t think it was at all possible. The only negativity I’ve really received is from those that question whether or not it was wise for me to quit my job in retail to pursue my writing career full time. I have to let it roll off of my back, because I don’t think there are many people that can say they’re actually pursing their dream. Some people are just doing what they have to, or they just happen to like what they’re doing, but it’s not what they dreamed of. Well, I’m doing what I actually dreamed of and I won’t let anyone else’s negativity follow me around like a rain cloud. Trust me, I can do that all by myself!
Would you go to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts if you wanted coffee and a brownie?
I’d make two trips and get the brownie at Starbucks and the coffee at Dunkin!
The question: “When will your next book be out?” is the most common question I get. The truth is, I don’t know. I realize many of you are excited to read a book all about Kyle, and I am working on it, but I don’t want to rush through it and then all of us hate it. Since I am not under any kind of contract to push my books out within a certain period of time, I can’t give you a date. Just know that it is coming. Eventually. I want to give you a good book, not just give you a book just because you want it.
If you’ve read my preview for a book featuring the characters Kyla (not Kyle!) and Chase, I’ve been working on that more than anything lately, because it is going so well. There have been many nights I have fallen asleep with my laptop open and my fingers still on the keyboard. Fortunately, it hasn’t been damaged by drool yet…It is going so well in fact, that I think I may be finished writing it very, very soon. I’m not even reading anything right now just so I can concentrate on writing. I’m going through withdraw, but I think I can power through it.
I hope you like my new webpage – I can’t even take credit for it. I am not that savvy!