Beginnings of the Heart

BOOK: Beginnings of the Heart
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Beginnings of the Heart

by J.J. Nite

Published by Astraea Press

www.astraeapress.com

This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters, and events are fictitious in every regard. Any similarities to actual events and persons, living or dead, are purely coincidental. Any trademarks, service marks, product names, or named features are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if any of these terms are used. Except for review purposes, the reproduction of this book in whole or part, electronically or mechanically, constitutes a copyright violation.

BEGINNINGS OF THE HEART

Copyright © 2014 J.J. NITE

ISBN 978-1-62135-325-6

Cover Art Designed b
y AM DESIGNS STUDIO

To my family
,
for their unwavering support
.

Chapter One

I grew up in what could possibly be the smallest town on earth. As with most small towns, people always knew what everyone else was doing. This never really bothered me much because I never did anything to hold the gossips' interest for longer than one minute.

Cole and I had been dating for almost a year, but until the summer when he got his license, we rarely saw each other outside of school. I lived in town, and he lived about ten miles outside of town. Not really a distance anyone wants to walk and neither of us could get a ride very often. So when he was finally able to drive, we had our first real date. My parents, especially my mom, were not overly enthused about it. They were civil to him, but they weren't sure about me dating quite yet.

“No teenage daughter of mine is going to get into a car with a sixteen- year-old boy. All he's going to do is want to show off for you, and I'd like you to get back home in one piece.” Mom said.

Fortunately for me, my father came up with a compromise. We would be allowed to go out, but we had to be back before dark. And if anyone saw him drive recklessly, then I wouldn't be allowed to go again. My dad was more willing than my mom to give a little trust. I'm also fairly certain he wanted to see how much he could give us before we really got into trouble.

Cole and I weren't thrilled with the arrangement, but we were still excited to get out just the two of us. No one walking through the room every ten minutes to check on us or sitting out on the porch eavesdropping. It would be nice to just talk without someone listening in.

We decided to go to Riverside, which was about fifteen miles away. It was the only town near us with a movie theater and Cole was going to take me out to lunch and a movie.

Cole came to get me around eleven o'clock. He pulled up in front of the house in the black pickup truck his dad gave him when he got a new one. I couldn't tell, but I think he had washed it for our date. This made the smile I already had on my face even bigger.

He took my breath away when he got out of the truck. No matter how many times I saw him, the air flew from my lungs and my stomach contracted in nervousness. He had on a blue T-shirt, making his eyes stand out even more than usual, blue jeans that hugged his legs, and tennis shoes. This was his standard way of dressing, but today for some reason I couldn't tear my eyes away from him.

It didn't matter I had taken at least an hour to get dressed so I would look
just right. I had finally decided on a blue jean mini-skirt and a yellow T-shirt with flip flops. My sister said the color made me look like I had more of a tan, as I was perpetually pale.

I started off of the porch to meet him halfway down the walk, my eyes never leaving his face, when I heard the screen door groan open behind me. I looked over my shoulder and saw my mother standing there.

“Remember what we said, home before dark.” She was staring at Cole with a disapproving look in her eyes.

I nodded my head with my bottom lip clenched between my teeth, trying very hard not to say anything.

“We'll be home on time, Mrs. Taylor. I'll take good care of her.” Cole said.

I heard my mom mumble something under her breath. Neither Cole nor I understood her though. We weren't listening.

As he took my hand and we turned toward the truck, I saw my sister in the window and I waved at her. I think her smile was as big as mine.

The drive to Riverside was more than pleasant. We talked about everything and nothing of consequence all at the same time. To feel so unrestricted was a heady thing, and I found myself wondering what the rest of our time together would be like.

We had lunch at The Black Stone, and then instead of a movie we decided to take a walk along the river, which not so coincidentally was named The Black Stone River. It was beautiful though. The walkway followed the path of the river as it ambled its way through town. There were trees with places to sit tucked under their sprawling limbs. We found ourselves on one of those benches after a while. My skin tingled where his arm was draped across my shoulders.

All too soon it was time to head back to Centerville. The trip back seemed to take half as long, and before either of us knew it, we were pulling up outside of my house.

“Thanks. I had a really good time. Hopefully the warden will let me out again soon. Maybe we'll even be able to go out after dark.” I said as I slid across the seat to open my door.

“Me, too. Don't look, but your mom is staring out the front window.” Cole whispered.

I fought the urge to turn around and look at her. Instead, I leaned back across the space between us and gave Cole a kiss.

“She needs something to lecture me about. I wouldn't want her to run out of ammunition.” I said with a grin.

He shook his head lightly and grinned at me. “Be careful, she might not let you out, and then I would have to take drastic action. Kidnapping you from your room, for example. It's the one in the back of the house, right?”

I just smiled at him and got out of the truck.

“I'll call you later. Don't get your mom too riled.” he said as he slowly pulled away from the curb and headed home.

I watched him drive down the street as I slowly made my way into the house. I closed the door behind me and headed for the hallway leading to my room. I was stopped by the sound of my mother's voice.

“Morgan, could you come in here for a moment?” Mom asked.

The voice was deceptively calm, and I was still on a happy high from my date with Cole so I didn't notice the reproachful tone to her voice at first. I walked into the kitchen and hesitated in the doorway.

My mom was standing in front of the sink staring out of the window. “Morgan, I have tried to be understanding about your attraction to
that boy.”

“Cole. His name is Cole, Mom.”

She turned around to look at me, and I saw a brief flash of something in her eyes I couldn't identify. I continued to look at her eyes, but I didn't see it again.

“Fine then, your attraction to Cole.” She said his name with a fair amount of animosity. “I just think you are too young to be serious about a boy. Any boy. I don't want you to get attached and then get your heart broken. You're just…”

“Yeah I got it, Mom.” I interrupted her. “I know how you feel about my relationship with Cole. And I also understand you think my feelings are too deep, but we really do have a lot in common. We enjoy being around each other and before you go into something embarrassing for us both, there is no pressure to do anything beyond hang out with him.” I finished my little speech looking at the floor.

“Well, at least we know where the other stands. I do hope you had a good time with him. Cole, with Cole.” She said, sounding a little stiff.

“Yeah, we had a good time. I'll be in my room.” I left the kitchen and, with it, the happy high I had come home on.

Cole was my first and only real boyfriend, not counting Tommy Simpson in the third grade, and like most parents, mine didn't want me to get too involved with anyone. They had hopes and goals for me, like going to college and getting a degree. I was even looking forward to college, but as a soon to be sophomore in high school, it seemed a little far away to worry about just yet. I was too caught up in my first love to look beyond the end of the day.

Who wanted to think about three years away when I had everything I really wanted right in front of me? Cole was, in my estimation, the perfect guy. He was taller than me by about six inches, and had dark hair falling just right across his forehead. But what really caught and held my attention were his eyes. They weren't just blue. The meager description didn't do them justice. They were the color of the sky on a cloudless day in the middle of the summer. A blue so deep they drew me in and made me feel safe.

Cole always made me feel like I was the most important person in his life. Even at sixteen, it was as if he was years older. Unlike the other guys his age, he actually listened to me when I talked to him instead of looking at my chest and participated in the conversation instead of just grunting in response.

He was more than I deserved. I was also certain I had no right to love him as much as I did and expect him to return my love in full measure. Some days I would sit and look at him thinking about what he saw in me. I had trouble understanding what attracted him to me and how I held his attraction.

“You don't see yourself the way other people see you, Morgan. You are beautiful, and smart, and you're my best friend.” He told me once when I asked him what he saw in me.

I just shook my head and decided not to ask again. It seemed to frustrate him I didn't just take his word for it. I considered myself very ordinary. I had dark blue eyes, long, painfully straight light brown hair, and pale skin with freckles over the bridge of my nose. Cole seemed to like the way I looked so I guess I shouldn't really worry about it, but I couldn't help myself.

By August we spent as much of every day as we could with each other. My mom had loosened up on her restrictions a little, so when we were both free, we would go for a drive and usually end up off of this back road in a little clearing. You could just see the sky through the branches of the trees. During the day the light dappled the ground around us, and at night we could see the stars.

One night after the county fair, we went up there. Neither of us had to be home for hours yet, and we had become frustrated with the crowds at the fair so we left early. Cole got the blanket out from behind the seat of the truck he had thoughtfully started to bring after our first visit here and spread it out on the ground, and then we both lay down. Cole curled his arm around me and pulled me into his side. I rested my cheek on his chest, and I felt him kiss me on the top of my head.

“What are you thinking?” His voice was whisper soft as he spoke into the quiet night.

“How much I love you. I've never been so… happy.” I slowly ran my hand over his T-shirt. It was warm from the heat from him, and I could feel something close to an electric current running between my hand and his body. I couldn't get close enough. “What are you thinking?”

“Life is pretty perfect. I never thought I would find exactly what I wanted so early in life.”

I stiffened automatically at his words, my hand stopping its path on his torso, not understanding what he meant. Even though I had accepted he loved me as much as I loved him, I still couldn't get past the fact he had chosen
me
.

“Don't tense up on me.”

I could hear the smile in his voice as he squeezed my shoulders and then slowly rubbed my back.

My hand began trailing up and down again.

“All I meant was usually high school relationships don't make it. I mean, can you think of anyone else who has been together as long as we have? I can't, and I'm being totally serious when I say I
will love you forever. You're everything to me.” Cole said.

His words touched a part of my heart I didn't know existed. It was almost painful, but in a good way. I felt tears choke my throat to the point I couldn't take a deep enough breath, and my brain literally emptied of everything but him and this one moment.

I propped myself up on my elbow and looked at him and encountered those sky blue eyes. Our lips met and melded together while the electricity ran between us. We wrapped ourselves around the other, peeled clothes off, and lost ourselves to the moment.

Later, as we lay in each other's arms, I turned and snuck a look at Cole. He was on his back with his eyes closed and a small smile on his lips.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

“Yeah.” I answered, feeling my cheeks warm under his tender gaze.

He smiled and tried to hide his amusement.

“Stop laughing at me. It's not funny.” I buried my face in his chest and let my hair fall over it.

“I'm sorry Morgan. I just find you so cute when you're embarrassed. I really am sorry.”

“It's okay. I'm just feeling a little unsure of myself. Forget about it.” I rolled away and sat up with my back to him and got dressed. I heard him doing the same and then I felt his hands on my shoulders. He leaned down and kissed the side of my neck.

“I umm… I really want to tell you something, but I don't want you to… think I'm just saying it because of what we just did.” Cole said.

He stopped, and it seemed like he needed some response from me to continue. I nodded my head, and I heard him sigh behind me. His hands tightened on my shoulders and turned me around to face him. He put his hand under my chin to tilt my head up so he could see my eyes.

“I love you so much. I can't begin to tell you how happy you make me just by being in my life. I don't want to ever leave you, and I know I have to drive you home and let you go. And it doesn't help one bit knowing I'll see you again tomorrow and the day after. I just wanted to remind you before I have to take you home.”

I wrapped my arms around his neck and inhaled his scent, hoping it would carry me through to the next day.

BOOK: Beginnings of the Heart
4.38Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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