Cabin Fire: A New Adult and College Romance (The Billionaire Romance Redemption Series Book 4)

BOOK: Cabin Fire: A New Adult and College Romance (The Billionaire Romance Redemption Series Book 4)
13.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Cabin Fire

~~*****~~

 

The Billionaire Redemption Series,

Book 4

A Contemporary, New Adult and College Romance

by

Bella Love-Wins

This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.

 

CABIN Fire

First edition. May 20, 2015.

Copyright © 2015 Bella Love-Wins.

Written by Bella Love-Wins.

 

 

 

 

~ Do you believe in love at first sight? And can the look in her eyes redeem him from his past? ~

Join my Exclusive Reader list! You are just one click away.

Follow the link below and enter your email address to get notified of
free days
and new Bella Love-Wins titles once they are off the press.

>>>
Click here for FRESH Bella Love-Wins freebies and updates
<<<

Once again thank you, I hope you enjoy Cabin Fever!

Sincerely,

Bella Love-Wins

Website:
http://bellalovewins.com/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/BellaLoveWins

Chapter One

ANDREW knew if he could just see her, he could make everything right again. He would sit with her, force himself to look her in the eye, explain everything that had happened, and hopefully on the other end of such a gruesome and tragic story, she would come to understand why he had kept it from her.

It wasn’t quite accurate that he had kept it from her. After all, it had still only been a week since they had met. He needed time to get the story out in a way she would understand, and where he would not have a total meltdown at the same time. That in itself was a tall order. Tragedy had struck two years ago, and the mere thought of it was still too much to bear.

He couldn’t muster the words sitting in the therapist’s chair. He had been a shell. He was still in denial back then. Everywhere he went, he would see her face. The entire scene would replay over and over again. And at night, he would relive those moments.

And then, there were the dreams. The worst of them all back then were the ones where his mind would try to re-create what happened, except with a different ending. The absolute worst of those was the one where he would magically swerve away from the driver approaching from the other direction, and Emma would tell him it was a close call, and they would be on their way home again. When he woke up from that particular dream back then, he would cry uncontrollably. Face-to-face with the therapist, there were no words at all.

If he were honest with himself, he would have to admit he still couldn’t share what had happened, even now. There had been so many opportunities to tell Abby. He had frozen that first time, when she had asked him about the scar on his arm. And when they had sat at dinner, he could have told her then too. Even a sliver of a soundbite of the story would have made it easier to share the rest. Now, he would have to do it all in one sitting. It didn’t matter. He had to do it.

Back in the therapist’s chair, it had felt like all had been lost. And for him, it was. There was nothing he felt he could gain, back then. To him, life was over. Life had left him in his body, probably to punish him. Now, with Abby, there was so much more at stake. Therapy felt like reliving the past, but telling Abby was something he needed to do for his future—for their future together. Finally, this beautiful, warm, giving woman was now in his life, and wanted to be with him. She didn’t care about the scars. She didn’t care that he had left the medical field. She only cared about him and his heart. And she loved him. He had to tell her. She deserved to have the whole picture, before deciding whether she would go any further with him.

He hated the fact that he had hurt her. Seeing that disappointed and painful look in her eyes at his front door before she left—it was brutal. It was worse than how he imagined she would feel telling her everything. The timing had been all wrong, but that was his fault. He had the entire week. It wasn’t her fault she had asked him ten minutes before flying back to San Francisco.

He had to find the words, even if it meant a complete breakdown in front of Abby. Hopefully she would understand the pain he carried. And if she didn’t, he would have to live with it. Avoiding and hiding were no longer options. There was no room for any more excuses. It was time to man up, tell the truth, and leave it in her hands to decide what she wanted to do next. Abby deserved to know, and he was tired of avoiding it.

Holding back now was going to cost him dearly. Yes, he could lose either way. He could lose if he told her, but he would definitely lose if he didn’t. Avoidance was no way to start a relationship. He had come to feel so close to her, keeping this from her would just create a distance between them that he knew would grow until there was nothing left. She had asked, and refusing to tell her would only come off that much worse.

Now that he had called and apologized to her over the phone, he felt a little better, but not much. He had to see her. It was a shame she had left so late in the evening. He had to wait until morning to travel again. At least she had accepted his apology on the phone. She was probably tired when she didn’t answer his call the second time he phoned. She needed her rest.

He went online and scheduled an early afternoon flight time with the private airline service. He got changed and settled into bed. He would fly out there, see her after her shift, and tell her everything.

***

Andrew sent a text to Abby after he woke up the next morning. He told her he was coming out to San Francisco, and he would see her when she got in that evening. Her reply was simply ‘okay’. He understood she was probably busy, but a one-word answer? It was so unlike her. He wondered if she was more upset than she had let on when he called last night.

He spent the morning at the cottage. He worked out as he did on most days. It felt good, getting back into his routine. While he was in his home gym, he couldn’t help smiling. He remembered Abby doing her stretches on the mat, smiling up at him whenever their eyes met. He couldn’t wait to see her. After his workout, he had a shower and spent the rest of the time before the flight in his office.

His housekeeper phoned. She planned to come by on Tuesday morning. She also reminded him the Persian rug she had sent out for cleaning would arrive at any time that day. He told her he would listen out for them, and less than an hour later it arrived. The two servicemen brought it into the house, and opened it in the living room for Andrew to inspect before they left.

The rug looked as good as new. It was almost as though the night John got injured so badly had never happened. Of course John—and probably Trina too—would never have to look far away for a reminder. It was on John’s arm. The arm was a symbol. His memory of the attack, the pain of the injury, and the long and arduous healing process were more than enough for reminders. Andrew knew that from life experience. He thanked the stars again, grateful that night had not turn out to be worse for John.

He made a mental note to drive down on the weekend or sometime the following week to check in on them again. In a small way, John was his one and only medical patient. Being able to help him in such dire circumstances gave Andrew a sliver of hope. Maybe he could one day return to the practice.

The day seemed to move in slow motion but finally, it was time to fly out. The chopper had arrived on time. Andrew was ready to get out there and make things right with his woman. The chopper ride and flight were uneventful, and by that night, the private jet touched down in San Francisco. He sent Abby another text, telling her he was on his way. She replied that she had worked a twelve-hour shift, and was tired but okay. There it was again. Okay. The word okay seemed so unlike her.

The limo service was waiting on the tarmac. Andrew asked the driver to stop somewhere they could pick up some flowers. This apology required more than a dozen. Thankfully, there was a 24-hour store that sold beautiful roses and carnations. He bought a few dozen of each for good measure. He had to ask her what her favorite flowers were—for next time. Hopefully the next time would not be for another apology, but to celebrate something.

The driver stopped in the parking lot of Abby’s apartment. All of a sudden, Andrew was scared out of his mind. He still had no idea how he would start, what he would tell her, or where it would all lead. Panic took hold for the first few minutes, and he sat in the limo, trying to pull himself together. There was too much to lose. He would have to summon all of his inner strength, and subdue all of his demons long enough to tell her everything.

Taking a deep breath, he picked up the flowers and rushed to her front door. It was time. It was the moment of truth. There were no lights on inside her apartment. He pushed back the temptation to leave and come back the next day. He had to do this now. He gave a gentle knock and waited for her to answer.

Chapter Two

ABBY was looking forward to starting a new placement. It was outpatient care in the oncology wing of the University hospital. This assignment was close to what she saw herself doing, possibly as a life-long career. It meant she could spend time getting to know and help cancer patients as they received a range of cancer treatments.

The placement meant more to her than words. Her family had been tremendously grateful for the care and support her mother had received during the first months of her diagnosis. Of course, she had been diagnosed quite late and did not respond to the treatments as well as had been hoped. Still, the care she had received was top-notch. It was the reason Abby chose this stream of nursing. And now, this placement allowed her to give back in a way that meant so much to her back then.

She was grateful for an early start to the day. It meant she could put things out of her mind, including Andrew, the news of his past, and even Becky. Being able to focus on her orientation and training on that first day gave her exactly the escape she needed from the disaster that was now her personal life.

She was still in utter disbelief about that call from Becky, in more ways than one. She had to wonder about her best friend’s priorities—and maybe even her agenda. Coming to think about it, Becky had not taken a spare minute to call her to see how her ankle was doing. She had not replied to Abby’s earlier text after the blizzard ordeal. Yet now, she could spend hours trolling the Internet for dirt on Andrew? It was more than enough to think about.

To make matters worse, what on earth was Abby supposed to do with this new information? She had gone to bed after she hung up on Becky. She didn’t think twice about it—not until she had woken up. Even then, Abby didn’t check her emails. She had an early start time at the hospital, and she was not going to let it get in the way of a great first day at work.

Still, she would have to deal with it sometime. She was certain Becky was exaggerating when she said Andrew was a murderer.
Good God, what the hell have I gotten myself into
? Nothing made sense anymore. There was not a hurtful or unkind bone in Andrew’s body—not that Abby and her friends had seen, anyway. But that was the thing, she guessed. She had only known him for a week.

All morning long at work, in fleeting moments, the conversation with Becky would surface again and again. Abby would push it away, but every time, there were a few questions left swirling around her mind. Was it true? Was this the reason he had been avoiding all of her questions about his past? Could it explain the scar on his arm? Was that the person he was talking about when he said she died? Did he kill Emma?

There were more than a few questions. And all of them deserved to be answered. It first, she wasn’t sure whether to confront Andrew, or read the articles herself. She was relieved when he sent her a text, letting her know he’d be back in town that night. She didn’t want to be told through a bunch of articles. She wanted to know from him. She wanted to know Andrew’s story. His words, from his lips, in his own way.

Now that he was flying in, they could have that talk, and put it behind them. After all, it was the past, and as long as he really wasn’t an axe murderer, they could figure it out. She laughed silently at the thought. It was obvious to her he was not a violent criminal. He was gentle, and so kind. Thinking logically, no matter what happened, clearly he was a free man, with a driver’s license, able to cross state lines, and was a guest lecturer at her university. Whatever it was, it couldn’t be that bad. Even if it were bad, at least she would know the truth. His truth. Besides, if she wasn’t satisfied with what he said, she could check the articles Becky had sent—after he told her.

Once she had made her way through that level of reasoning to a decision, her mind was at ease for the rest of the day. By the second half of her shift, she was introduced to some of the patients and their families, and the rest of the day flew by. She loved this part of her job. Sure, it was difficult, being there for patients and their families at the worst, most uncertain, most tumultuous and emotional times of their lives. But that was the point. Being there for them meant they didn’t have to go through it alone. And she could relate.

When her shift ended, she almost didn’t want to leave the hospital. Leaving meant it was time to face the reality of whatever it was Andrew needed to clear up about his past. She wasn’t looking forward to it. For a moment, she almost wished she had not answered the phone when Becky had called. Maybe it was Andrew’s call she shouldn’t have taken. Maybe she should have ignored his text messages. If she had, he may have stayed at the cottage, and she could immerse herself in work all week.

As difficult as it was going to be, avoidance was not going to get her anywhere. Andrew’s avoidance was what made her so unprepared for Becky’s news. Had he told her anything at all, she would have something—an idea. All she had were the pieces she put together herself. Andrew’s scar and his nightmares; his quiet and somewhat reclusive nature; shouting out Emma’s name; and finally his sole admission that he had loved someone and she had died.

On their own, they were unsettling enough. With Becky’s unsolicited revelation, all these details together—well, they were downright disturbing. She was tired of wondering. She was sick of guessing. She needed to know. It was time for Andrew to come clean, and she hoped that by the end of it, her fantasy of being his would not be shattered into a billion pieces.

Andrew had mentioned he would get in quite late, so Abby stopped at the grocery on her way home. She was looking forward to making a home cooked meal, and relaxing with a glass of wine until Andrew arrived. When she got in, she made a point of not turning on her laptop. She did not want to read any of those articles before he arrived. He deserved to have his chance. The more she thought of it, the more she believed it was the right thing to do.

Had they been seeing each other for months and months, it would have been a different story. It had been just over a week, and no reasonable person should expect a love interest to lay everything on the line in that short amount of time. She needed to hold on to what she felt for him before Becky had jumped the gun.

Abby decided on a simple chicken casserole. She changed out of her clothes and put on an oversized T-shirt and sweat pants, found her apron and got to work in the kitchen. When everything was ready she placed it in the oven, turned on the timer, and opened a bottle of wine.

She looked around her apartment as she sat on the couch. She had barely spent a few hours in the place over the last three weeks. She smiled when she remembered her time with Andrew on the sofa, kissing him, making love to him in the bedroom, and that walk they had taken so late that night on their way to the diner. Her body reacted, warming her from her core. She couldn’t wait to see him. She took a breath. She needed these memories to ground her. This was what Andrew was really like. She took a sip of her wine, closed her eyes and waited for him to arrive.

Abby woke up to the sound of the doorbell. Andrew was finally here and she was nervous as hell.
Oh God, please don’t let him be an axe murderer
.

 

BOOK: Cabin Fire: A New Adult and College Romance (The Billionaire Romance Redemption Series Book 4)
13.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Blue Damask by Banks, Annmarie
CamillasConsequences by Helena Harker
Dragon (Vlad Taltos) by Steven Brust
A Lady Most Lovely by Jennifer Delamere
Sleep No More by Iris Johansen
Strike Out by Cheryl Douglas