Forever Family (Forever #5)

BOOK: Forever Family (Forever #5)
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Contents

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

Chapter 1: Corabelle

Chapter 2: Jenny

Chapter 3: Tina

Chapter 4: Jenny

Chapter 5: Corabelle

Chapter 6: Tina

Chapter 7: Jenny

Chapter 8: Corabelle

Chapter 9: Tina

Chapter 10: Jenny

Chapter 11: Tina

Chapter 12: Corabelle

Chapter 13: Tina

Chapter 14: Jenny

Chapter 15: Corabelle

Chapter 16: Tina

Chapter 17: Jenny

Chapter 18: Corabelle

Chapter 19: Tina

Chapter 20: Corabelle

Chapter 21: Tina

Chapter 22: Jenny

Chapter 23: Tina

Chapter 24: Corabelle

Chapter 25: Tina

Chapter 26. Corabelle

Chapter 27: Tina

Epilogue: Gavin

Also by Deanna Roy on Amazon

About Deanna Roy

Dedications

Forever Family

The Final Book of the Forever Series

By Deanna Roy

www.deannaroy.com

Join her mailing list for new releases and freebies at

Deanna’s List

Other books in the series

Forever Innocent (Corabelle and Gavin’s story)

Forever Loved (Corabelle and Gavin’s story, continued)

Forever Sheltered (Tina and Dr. Darion’s story)

Forever Bound (Jenny and Chance’s story)

Copyright © 2016 by Deanna Roy. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, taping, and recording without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

This is a work of fiction. All the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.
 

Casey Shay Press

PO Box 160116

Austin, TX 78716

www.caseyshaypress.com

E-ISBN: 9781938150524

Also available in paperback: ISBN: 9781938150517

Library of Congress Control Number: 2016932204

v1

For my fans

My happily ever after

is with you

Go see all your
dedications

•*´`*•

•*´`*•

Chapter 1: Corabelle

My father used to have a T-shirt that read “If it’s too loud, you’re too old.”

Maybe I was getting too old.

I stood at the very front of an outrageous screaming crowd in a concert arena that I would swear held the entire student body of UC San Diego.

Next to me was Jenny, huge pregnant belly and all. I winced every time she jumped up and down, sure she was going to bounce the baby right out. Her happy voice squealed like a teenager. She kept bumping up against the chest-high metal wall that separated us from the stage.

The noise made my ears ring. Girls screaming. Guys shouting. The occasional screech of a lead guitar set to the wrong level.

Nobody was actually playing a song yet. The new wave of excitement came from some hunky guy in black who was testing a guitar. He had it cradled against his thigh, one shoulder thrown back, his fingers picking out an unbelievably fast set of notes that everyone else seemed to recognize. Or maybe they’d just scream for anything. The concert was already a half hour late. The crowd just wanted something to happen and encouraged anything that made it seem like the show was starting.

The lights blacked out onstage and a million colored beams rolled from the ceiling to the floor. It was just a test, but the cheers crescendoed one more time.

I tried to feel the magic of being amid all this energy. But it was so — pushy. Literally. I was getting shoved and manhandled from every direction. I wished Gavin were with us. I could have used the strong, broad protection of his body from the crush of the crowd. I didn’t know how Jenny was doing it. When I was as pregnant as her, I barely ever left the sofa.

Except…I’d never been as pregnant as her. She’d passed the mark when I’d gone into early labor with Finn two weeks ago.

I squashed those thoughts immediately. I was not going to let my past intrude on this crazy night. Her husband-to-be, Chance, would be playing an opening number, not directly for megastar Dylan Wolf, not yet, but for the band that would open for Dylan. Chance was not on the fast track, for sure, but he had a record in production that everyone was pinning their hopes on.

Jenny didn’t mind either way. Her face glowed happy in the blue light, waiting for Chance to come on. This was his last performance before their wedding next weekend. Then the baby would come in a few weeks.

I refused to harbor any jealousy over her happiness. It took willpower and control to keep my thoughts positive and happy, but I had managed so far, even when Jenny raced into my apartment with her DVD sonogram to show me the heartbeat. These were all moments I also remembered fondly. The real test would be when she brought her baby home.

I never got to do that.

The hunk with the guitar set it carefully in a stand and strode offstage. The crowd settled again. A few attempts to shout “Dylan, Dylan, Dylan!” started, then died out.

I glanced around. The floor of the arena was packed with the hard-core fans who had close-up tickets, and the first tier was pretty full. Up top, though, fans who didn’t care about the opening singer were still filtering in.

I checked my watch. So behind schedule.

“Are they always late?” I asked Jenny.

She shrugged. “They watch how many are still coming in the gates.”

 
We’d hung out backstage with Chance and the Sonic Kings until a security guard came for us. Since Chance played first, we had to be out there before the concert began. When Dylan came on later, his wife, Jessie, would join us in the front row.

The crowd was our first indication that something was about to happen. The roar surged again. They must see something we couldn’t, up so close.

Then I caught movement at the back of the stage. Jenny clutched my hand as Chance came out. The response was tremendous, then faltered a little as the crowd realized it wasn’t Dylan. But Chance was old hat at this by now, and started with a quip in his best southern drawl. “Y’all are waiting on the Dixie Chicks, right? Cuz I put on a bra for this.”

The crowd laughed and settled in. He didn’t introduce himself, not yet, but jumped right into the opening licks of one of his rock songs. On his own, he tended to stay a little closer to the country end of the spectrum, but he knew what Dylan’s fans were looking for.

I held on to Jenny as she jumped in place. I tried not to picture the baby sloshing in there. Her ankles and wrists were something to behold, swollen to the point that she could only wear flip-flops, and her six-inch tangle of bracelets was a thing of the past.

Luckily, San Diego didn’t get all that cold, even in November. So she was getting away with her summer footwear. Although she might lose a shoe if she kept jumping like she was.

Chance looked our direction and beamed. The song wasn’t romantic, just a rock anthem about partying on a Saturday night, but Jenny was feeling it. I was happy for her. I really was.

I squeezed her hand and moved along with her. “He’s so great!” I shouted in her ear.

She nodded at me. “I know!”

The lights shifted and turned as Chance moved across the stage. He didn’t get the big treatment like Dylan would later, but it was a nice set. I moved with the music and let the party atmosphere take me away from my piles of work back home. Papers to grade as a lowly first-year teaching assistant at UCSD. My own courses to study for. A thesis to think about. I was just glad to have my bachelor’s degree behind me. Life was moving forward. Most of it.

Chance finished out strong and the crowd roared. They had been won over. I knew Jenny always held her breath at this moment, worried they would start chanting for Dylan instead.

He didn’t pause but went straight into the next number. Jenny relaxed and pressed her hand to her chest. “I think I might have jiggled my pee out,” she said with a frown. “No more jumping.”

“Good idea,” I said.

She moved her hand to her belly. “He’s kicking up a storm, though. The baby always gets riled at concerts.”

My willpower faltered, and I swallowed the envy that threatened to rise up. I’d been lucky these past few years to avoid pregnant people. College was generally good like that. But here it was, right beside me, about to pop right out. I drew in a deep breath and focused on the music.

My life was happy. I had Manuelito, Gavin’s five-year-old son, and he was good for me, just the most amazing kid. He was spending an extended holiday in Mexico with his mother. She would have him for Thanksgiving and Christmas and wouldn’t be back until after the first of the year.

And Gavin would be graduating soon. We’d be able to build some savings soon, and maybe, just maybe, we could get his vasectomy reversed.

I couldn’t act like my life hadn’t gotten started. It wasn’t true.

I was at a concert with my best friend, who was about to marry the hunky singer onstage.

I had the love of my life back and a sweet little family.

I had graduated — finally — and made my goal of becoming a TA in graduate school.

Everything was fine. I would not be shaken.

I would live each moment as it came. I’d keep believing that the thing I wanted most of all, a baby of my own, would happen eventually. I would have faith.

Chapter 2: Jenny

I swear I could feel each drumbeat in my belly.

The sound crashed over me, thumping through my waterlogged middle like a rock-and-roll sonogram.

I swayed with it, hoping I was keeping the baby chilled out despite the noise. Sometimes the little bub would startle at a loud noise, making a swift little lurch.

I kept my hands on the metal gate that held us back several feet from the stage. This was the first time I’d encountered it. But after a few girls had climbed up and gotten way too frisky with Dylan at a concert in Atlanta, the security guards decided to limit direct access to the stage floor.

I didn’t like it. The wall caused a couple of problems for me. One, it bummed me out because this was the last concert I’d be able to attend for Chance before the baby came. And I couldn’t get up to him. He often reached down and took my hand during our favorite song, and this time, he couldn’t.

But also, these creepy girls were pushing against me. Hard. As they jostled, I had to hold on to the gate and keep my arms strong so that I wouldn’t crush my belly.

Another overly energetic woman fell into me, and I snapped. “Watch where you’re gyrating!” I yelled. “Baby.” I pointed to my belly.

She rolled her eyes. “You shouldn’t even be here.”

That was it. I’d had it. I turned in to her and shoved my elbow straight into her gut. Corabelle grabbed my arm. “Jenny!”

“You’re crazy!” the girl said, but had the sense to head away from us.

Corabelle kept her grip on me. “You all right?” she asked. Her eyes darted nervously up to the stage.

Chance was on the other end, making his way back, singing his heart out. And I was missing it. “I’m fine,” I said, and lifted my chin.

The song rollicked along. My anger drained out of me, and suddenly I was super exhausted. I clutched at the gate. Maybe we should have stayed in the stage wings instead of coming out on the floor. I’d have been more comfortable.

But it just wasn’t the same back there. For his last concert, I wanted to be out here.

I took deep breaths and steeled myself to make it through. We wouldn’t stay for the other bands, not even Dylan. Just hang out in the dressing rooms with Chance and listen to the concert piped in. There was always a buffet and lots of fun talk. I could put my feet up and soak up the last of the fun life before the baby came.

BOOK: Forever Family (Forever #5)
7.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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