Her Love Lost (Love Shattered Series Book 1)

BOOK: Her Love Lost (Love Shattered Series Book 1)
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Her Love Lost

              Love Shattered Series, Book One             





Her Love Lost

Loves Shattered Series, Book One

Copyright © 2015 Cat Brown

All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission, electronic or mechanical, except for brief quotations in a book review.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Cover Model: Megan Corum

Cover Creator and Photographer: Katie Hannuksela

Editor: Laura Wyatt


To all of my sisters. Laura, Katie and Megan.

Without your help and encouragement

this book wouldn’t have happened.

Thank you for believing in me.



My younger sister, Lillian was over to spend the day with us while my husband Dave was out of town working at a construction site in Charlotte for a few days.  He usually worked here in New Bern where we lived, but some strong storms in Charlotte caused a bunch of damage to a site his company was working on, so they sent a bunch of guys over to Charlotte to get caught back up so they could stay on track with the deadline next month.

“I can’t believe Miley is almost two months old,” Lillian sighed, “time sure does fly by these days.”

“Don’t I know it, growing like a weed and learning something new every day.” I said, “Pretty soon she will be chasing her brothers around and driving them crazy.” I winked at the boys.

That earned a chorus of UGHHHS and moans from both Jason and Caleb my oldest two kids. A handful and then some these two were.

“Hey Courtney, let’s check the weather maybe it will clear up and we can take the kids to the zoo today. Something fun while auntie is spending the weekend?”

“Just trying to earn that best auntie award aren’t ya there Lil?” I laughed and shook my head.

“Hey I don’t see the other two bratty sisters here do you? WINNING!!!!” she shouted that last part and twirled around in victory.

“Fair enough, but don’t bother checking the weather on the TV.  Better use your phone, because the only thing you’re gonna find on the television is news coverage of that explosion at the construction site in New Bern. Thank goodness Dave is working in Charlotte today or I would be worried sick right now.”

“Oh, I hadn’t heard about it! You know I don’t hardly ever get on the TV or watch the news like ever. Have you heard from Dave at all today?”

“No not since he left this morning but he doesn’t usually call during the day when he’s working, no cell phones on the job and all that.” I was actually getting a little concerned because I would have thought he would have called to see if I had heard the news and just to reassure me that he was in fact okay. I just didn’t want to tell Lillian any of that no use worrying everyone about it when I am sure he is just fine.

Lil had turned on the TV and was watching the new coverage. “Well” she said in shock, “looks like you were right about the news. Wow this is terrible. I don’t see how anyone would surv….”

Her words were cut off by a knock on the door. “Here Lil. Take Miley for a minute so I can get the door. I wonder who that could be.”  I handed my baby girl off to my sister and headed for the door.

Once I got to the door I opened it and I was completely stunned to see two police officers on the other side. “Hello Officers. May I help you?”

“Yes ma’am. Are you Mrs. Bedford?” The older looking cop of the two asked.

“Yes that’s me.” I replied nervously my hands were starting to shake and I could feel sweat building up on my face. When two cops show up at your door asking for you your immediate response isn’t going to be a great one.

The older cop hesitates and the younger guy looks pale like he’s seen a ghost and I almost yell for these guys to get on to the point of why the hell they are here at my door asking for me. The younger cop jumps in and says the words I was afraid to hear.  Somehow in my heart I knew before I even opened the door that my life was about to take a drastic turn I could just feel it deep in my bones.

“Ma’am, we are sorry to tell you this but your husband” he looks down at his little notepad and continues, “Dave Bedford has been in an accident. There was an explosion at a job site in New Bern County this morning and your husband was among the…”

I immediately cut him off, “oh no, no, I am so sorry officers but there must be a mistake, Dave was not working at that job site today. He is in Charlotte working at a different building this weekend.” I am not sure if I was trying to convince them or myself because I had a very terrible feeling about all of this.

The older cop looked down at me with pity. ”Mrs. Bedford I am so sorry that you were under the impression that he was working at a different job site today. However we have been informed that Dave Bedford clocked into work at six seventeen this morning at the Newbern County Construction site. There were no survivors in the explosion.”

“No, no, no you have to be wrong. Lil, grab my phone I need to call Dave right now” Lillian just stood there eyes wide frozen in place. “Lillian my phone NOW.” I shouted.

Lillian brought my phone to me, and I dialed Dave’s number frantically. It went right to voicemail. That was weird he never cut his phone off. All the sudden it all started to sink in. My husband was gone. I looked up into the eyes of the cops who had to deliver the bad news. Their pity filled faces would forever be etched into my memory. This would be the last memories I ever had because after falling to my knees I heard Lillian asking where we needed to go to identify the body. I am so glad she is here at least one of us were thinking clearly. She was on top of things, that’s what she did best. Once I thought that I was regaining my composure enough to stand again, I heard the officer say the final words that broke me to my core. “There is not a body to identify Miss. There is nothing left of the building or any persons that were inside at all.” I knew right in that moment I would never get closure with my husband’s death. There was no proof he was even really gone. I would never be able to believe it if I didn’t see it myself. After those final thoughts, I don’t remember anything my whole world went black.

Chapter ONE


2 years later


CRASH! BANG! PING.. PING.. PING…!! “What the hell was that?” I gasped jumping up out of bed from a deep sleep. “Oh No! I forgot to set the alarm last night!” panic was taking over.

I stumbled out of the room to search the house for what could have caused such a loud noise at 3:00am. “Go figure, the one night I forget to set the alarm, I am gonna get robbed.” I was mumbling to myself walking down the hall.

I tip toed through the dark house cautiously, trying to make my way to the kitchen to grab a knife, or whatever I could get my hands on to defend myself. I snatched up the first thing my hand could grab. I looked down to see I had grabbed a spatula. “Oh Great, a spatula, that’s really gonna scare them off.” I rolled my eyes. I started searching the drawer for a knife when I heard something from the pantry across the room. Oh well, a spatula is better than nothing, you would be surprised at what a mother will do to protect her kids.

My heart was pounding as I started to sweat and my hands were trembling. I was about to head down the hall to check on the kids and grab my phone to call the police. Something I should have already done get with the program Courtney gahhhh, I heard a rustling again in the large walk in pantry. I crept over to the pantry door with the spatula held out defensively in front of me. I spotted a box of cereal on the floor as well as a container of macaroni noodles, scattered in front of the door. Peeking around the corner of the door I looked around until I spotted the intruder. On the third shelf of the pantry sat my two year old daughter Miley, smiling and eating Oreo cookies.

“Here you go Mommy, Cookies!” she mumbled in an adorable toddler voice.

“Now Miley, It’s the middle of the night, let’s get you cleaned up and back in bed before you get a tummy ache from all the cookies you devoured.” Half of the Oreo cookie pack I just bought at the grocery store the previous afternoon was now empty.

“But I saved some for you Mommy, here you go.” She stuck out her hand filled with Oreo Cookies that had the centers licked out and had been stuck back together. I couldn’t help but chuckle quietly to myself as I picked up my daughter and cleaned her face and hands then headed for her bedroom.

“You scared Mommy half to death girlie, you can’t be getting out of bed in the middle of the night and wandering around the house by yourself, it’s not safe. Mommy almost called the police, she thought you were a bad guy.” Thank goodness I didn’t call them first, what a laughing stock of town I would have been when the cops showed up guns blazing to apprehend a 2 year old cookie bandit. For once my procrastination skills pay off. I fist pumped the air. Whoop!

“I sorry mommy, I just need a cookie, Miley was hungry momma.” Miley said with a pout.

Once I got Miley all tucked into bed, I headed to check on the boys. They shared a room. Caleb who was six years old didn’t mind sharing a room with his older brother. He looked up to his brother Jason and always felt safer when he was around. Jason however, wasn’t quite as thrilled with sharing a room with his younger brother. Jason was twelve years old and getting to a point in his life where he “needed privacy” as he always said.

We lived in a nice Cape Cod style home, with three bedrooms it was perfect for us, plenty of space in the yard to play outdoors. It had 2 bathrooms which was a plus, the living room and kitchen were a decent size and it was affordable. We could use a house with more bedrooms, but the price for rent for just one more bedroom increased drastically, and I Just couldn’t afford that on my own. So because of that the two boys had to manage with sharing a bedroom at least for a little while longer.

I have been a stay at home mom for the past twelve years, and had no experience in the working world. I had Jason while still in high school, married my high school sweetheart Dave at the age of nineteen, I didn’t go to college, and I had no reason to. It had been my dream to be able to stay at home with my kids without having to send them to a daycare all day when I should be the one taking care of them. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My husband Dave provided for our family and always made sure that we were always taken care of. We were so in love and there wasn’t a care in the world when we were together. He always surprised me with flowers, cards, random love notes around the house. Each night Dave would run me a bubble bath with a nice glass of wine- usually Moscato-my wine of choice. Then he would light the bathroom up with candles. He understood that a nice relaxing bath was just what I needed after a long day of cleaning, chasing the kids around, soccer practice, dance, homework and dinner. The weekly routine that never got old to me.

Things worked out wonderful in our little world of happiness. That was until Dave passed away unexpectedly while at work 2 years ago, leaving me with no job experience, and a family to care for. Nothing could have prepared me for this. We had our whole life figured out. We were supposed to grow old together. Had dreams of what we would do once the kids were grown and out of the house. That was always our plan. We had kids young so that once they were out of the house, Dave and I would still be young enough to take on the world. We had been saving up for the day that we could build a house on an island off the North Carolina Coast. Now that will never happen, dreams shattered in the blink of an eye because of someone else’s careless mistake on the job. Dave was a construction worker. An explosion accident cost him his life, and almost two years later and four months later, here I was still expecting him to walk in the door at any given moment with roses for me, ready for a nice home cooked meal.

I leaned against the door frame to the boy’s room and let out a sigh of relief when I peeked in to see the boys fast asleep and safe in their beds. I loved watching the kids sleep. It was like a peacefulness that took over their faces, and it was good to see them without the hurt in their eyes that they sometimes had, the loss of a father that they loved very much. It was hardest on the boys, Miley didn’t remember him at all, she was too young, just a baby a couple months old. I had put together an album for Miley, she knows who her Daddy is, just doesn’t quite understand yet why he isn’t around. I longed for the time when I would see that happy childhood sparkle in the boys’ eyes once again.

“These two can sleep through anything.” I whispered, and kissed each boy on the forehead, then headed back down the hall to my room a little teary eye at the thoughts running through my mind. My emotions are running high right now after that scare in the kitchen. I guess I better get some sleep. It’s nearly four in the morning and I have to be up at seven when Elise drops off Chelsea.

Chelsea was one of my best friends little girls. I babysat a few of my closest friends and families children just to make some extra money until I could come up with a more permanent long term plan. I also worked at the church nursery when they needed me, but unfortunately that wasn’t very often. I had put in several applications but no one was willing to give me the chance I needed to be able to take on a full time job. I couldn’t blame them really. I was quiet, shy and had no experience what so ever. Twenty-eight years old and I have never had a real job a day in my life. Pathetic

Before I climbed back in bed I made sure to set the alarm from the keypad in the bedroom. I laid down and pulled the covers up tucking myself deep into the blankets, hoping to drift off to sleep. Instead I lay there in bed tossing and turning, my mind drifted off in thought. Wondering about how I could have forgotten to set the alarm, of course that was always my husband job, but I have had to do it a couple years now. I shouldn’t be forgetting to do that anymore.

Once I thought about it for a moment I wasn’t surprised, I have so much on my mind, and I was really taking on too much trying to do it all on my own. My family and friends often offered to help with the kids and this and that, anything to make things easier. I would deny any help from them and insist that everything was okay. We were pretty set financially for a while with the settlement, and the money we had saved up for our island dream home but the funds were dwindling rapidly after all this time.

I assumed I was doing a pretty good job putting on a front when my friends and family were around, but deep down inside I was breaking down piece by piece until soon enough there would be nothing left for me to give. It had been two years. Enough is enough, I was determined to push aside this sadness and depression and move forward with my life. It was time for some happiness again. Tomorrow will be the start of a brand new Courtney, I thought. But why does it make me feel so guilty saying that? I guess it’s because a small part of me thinks it’s not fair to go on when Dave is not here to move on with me.

How does something like a stupid security alarm put me down in the dumps? For real something has got to give here.

I just can’t believe I didn’t set the alarm. Yes I know back to this again. I knew I was rambling on and on about the alarm but it had really upset me. The thought of what could have happened to me or the kids sickened me. What if that had actually been someone robbing the house tonight? A sob started in my throat. I tried to push the thought out of my head. “I miss you Dave” I whispered, sobbing uncontrollably into my pillow. “I love you so much, I don’t know what I am supposed to do without you. You were my world, my everything, and now you’re gone and I am left feeling empty inside.” I screamed into my pillow, the anger too much to take.

“This just isn’t fair, not to me, not for the kids. How in the hell am I supposed to get past this? I can’t find a damn job, I barely have enough money left from the settlement, I’m pinching pennies, and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.” The cries grew louder and more intense until there were no more tears to fall. My cries turned into soft sobs again and I soon had cried myself right to sleep, just like so many previous night before.

I awoke to the phone ringing at six in the morning.


“Hey Girl, Its Elise Listen, Chelsea is sick, so I will not be bringing her by today, but don’t worry I still plan paying you for today since you were planning on keeping her and all” she said in a rushed voice on the other line. 

“Elise you know you don’t have to do that, it’s not a big deal” I lied knowing I needed every penny I can make now a days, but my friends were always so good to me. I hated feeling like I was taking advantage of them in situations like this.

“Well I am going to. I will swing by with a check on the way home from taking Chelsea to the Doctor, I’ll talk to ya later girl, I gotta go” Elise hung up the phone before I could argue. I took the opportunity to catch up on the sleep I missed last night when the cookie bandit struck. The second my head hit the pillow I was out.

BOOK: Her Love Lost (Love Shattered Series Book 1)
5.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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