Authors: Dawn Martens
Copyright © 2016 Dawn Martens
All rights reserved. This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed, publicly performed, or used in any form without prior written permission of the publisher, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorized distribution, circulation or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author’s rights, and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly. Thank you for respecting the work of this author.
Edition Published 2016
Cover Art by Glenna Maynard
Photo from Shutterstock
Edited by Kendra Gaither
Proofing by Karen Hrdlicka
Formatting by IndieVention Designs
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Never Letting You Go is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, and events portrayed in this book either are from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, establishments, events, or location is purely coincidental and not intended by the author. Please do not take offence to the content, as it is FICTION.
Trademarks: This book identifies product names and services known to be trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of their respective holders. The author acknowledges the trademarked status in this work of fiction. The publication and use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
This one is for all of the authors out there who write the cliché/cheesy romances. I love them. I’m a sucker for them, and I just had to finally give in and go for it myself.
To my G-baby – You are my everything, woman. Thank you so much for just being you.
Nikki – you’re a dork, but that’s ok, because I love you no matter what.
Cori and Pami – You ladies keep me sane-ish.
To my Emmie-Poo – I just love you.
To each and every one of my friends— You are amazing. Without you, I’d be bored and have no one to talk to.
And to my fans – Sorry this isn’t an MC read, but I just needed a break! Love to you all.
For every reader out there
who loves those cheesy romances!
Table of Contents
When Avalynn fell in love with Cameron, she was sure he was the perfect man. Once she said I do, she realized it was all a lie. Marrying Avalynn secured Cameron's future as the CEO of James Enterprise and cemented the lies he told.
After thinking they were finally going somewhere, Ava sees Cameron on the news, with his very pregnant ex-girlfriend. With the marriage contract up, Ava files for divorce.
There's just one problem--Cameron never wants to let her go, vowing to show her she's more than just a security deposit.
This is book 1 in a brand new Novella Series. Each book is totally cliche and super cheesy ;) Also, all novellas will be standalones.
It’s my wedding day. I’ve been waiting on this day for months, ever since Cameron proposed to me. We didn’t date for long before he asked, and at first, I laughed in his face, considering we had only been dating three months. I thought he had to be kidding, but then I realized he was serious. He was kneeling before me, holding a huge diamond in his palm. My laughter changed to tears, and I said yes. People do this sort of thing all the time, and some actually last. My parents did. And ours would, too. I just knew it.
My parents are pretty amazing. Those two have been married now for twenty-four years, having gotten married just a month after they met. Crazy couple. My dad said when he met her, he just knew she was the one and didn’t see any point in waiting. I believe Cameron is my one; although, my mom cautioned me at first with this wedding. She is positive it’s some sort of ploy and that Cameron is only with me out of some type of obligation. What kind of obligation? I really have no clue, considering I’m not pregnant or anything. I told her she doesn’t need to worry about me. I love Cameron, and I trust him fully with my heart. The man swept me off my feet.
“Knock. Knock,” my mom says, opening the door.
“Hey, Mom,” I say, grinning at her.
She closes the door behind her and just stares at me, her mouth hanging open. “Wow, baby, you look beautiful,” she declares, tears forming in her eyes.
I hand her a tissue before she makes me cry.
I look back to the mirror and see my beautiful cream-colored dress. “I do, don’t I?” I say in awe. I’ve never been one to be conceited; I know I’m not ugly, but looking at me now, in this stunning gown, I know I look beautiful.
“Well, are you ready?” she asks me, handing my bouquet of calla lilies to me.
I take one last look in the mirror and turn back to her. “Heck yes!” All girls dream of their wedding day. Cliché, I know, but I have been dreaming of my fairy tale wedding for as long as I can remember.
I spot my dad hanging around, just outside the church doors, waiting anxiously for me. My maid of honor, Kristi, has just started her walk down the aisle, so now it’s my turn.
“Cameron is gonna shit himself when he sees you, baby girl. You are stunning,” my dad teases, taking my arm in his.
I giggle. “Oh, Daddy, you shouldn’t swear in church.”
He gives me a small squeeze as the doors in front of us open and we step through, walking slowly down the aisle. Pastor DeVaughn was supposed to marry us, but after the death of his daughter, he pulled away from the church. It was disappointing, because everything was already planned, but at least this new pastor didn’t make us postpone or anything. He kept everything as it was.
Just as I reach the front of the church, I look up, meeting the eyes of my soon to be husband. God, he’s so handsome, with beautiful hazel eyes and short light brown hair. He’s tall, so damn tall I swear the man is gonna break his back one of these days when he bends over to kiss my small five-foot one-inch self.
When we say our vows and promise I do, I tear up. This is one of those life moments that you want to keep safe in your heart forever. I will remember this moment always. Cameron smiles at me, taken aback by my tears. He wipes them away with his thumbs and says, “I hope I can make you happy, Ava.”
“You already are,” I say, smiling back with a little nervous giggle. I can’t wait to be alone with him.
I stare at the ring on my finger in awe.
We really just did this. I hope Cameron and I are going to make each other as happy as my parents are.
They smile as we walk down the aisle. My mom is crying again, and my dad is grinning from ear to ear.
My mom mouths, “I love you,” clutching her hanky. I blow her and Dad a kiss as Cameron rushes me through the doors.
The reception is lively, and everyone is having a great time. It’s been the best day ever.
Music is playing, champagne is flowing, and the cake has been cut. Today has been amazing, a real dream come true.
The DJ calls for Cameron and I to take the floor for our first official dance as husband and wife.
I sigh happily until I notice my new husband is nowhere to be seen. That’s strange. I swear he was just next to me a moment ago. I get up from my seat and smile as I pass by all our friends and family, excusing myself to go find my husband for our dance. I step outside the reception area and make my way down the hall.
Figuring that if I’m going searching for Cameron, I may as well get rid of this craving at the same time, I stop at the coat closet to grab my smokes. Before I even turn left down the hall, I hear him, his voice slightly raised, talking with a woman, a voice I recognize as that stupid bitch, Becky.
She is always hanging all over Cam, and I don’t like the way she looks at him, or the dirty looks she gives me.
“I can’t believe you actually married her!” she says, sounding pissed. I put my back to the wall and eavesdrop. Part of me thinks I shouldn’t, that maybe this will be the worst thing I’ve ever done, but the other part wants to know what the hell he’s doing out here with her on our wedding night. We haven’t even been married an hour.
He should be on the dance floor, holding me tight as we gaze into each other’s eyes.
“I told you it was going to happen, Becks.” Becks? What the fuck?
“Yeah, you told me your father’s will said you needed a bride to secure your future in his company. Why couldn’t I have been that bride?”
“Because my father said, if I married you, the company would automatically go to my uncle. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to tell you this. I told you before.” What? Oh my God, Cameron only married me for his company?
I don’t even know why, but I keep listening. Maybe his next words would be that he fell in love with me as deeply as I did for him. The Cameron talking to this bitch doesn’t even sound like my Cameron. My Cameron that spent weeks wooing me, that listened to my problems, that offered a shoulder to cry on when I had a rough day. This Cameron sounds like a user asshole.
“What about us?” whiney, stupid Becks asks.
“I told you before what we have isn’t what you think. It’s sex. We’re friends. The sex has been amazing, but now, I need to think about my future. You know this
” Cameron says, calming her down.
I peer around the corner and see him rubbing her shoulders attentively and pressing his lips, the same lips he kisses me with, against her neck. My stomach turns sour, and my breath quickens as my chest grows tight.
I’m going to be sick. How could he?
“So we’ll never see each other? Make love? For six damn years?” I hear Becky ask in disbelief.
“I don’t know. We’ll play it by ear, okay? I’m sorry. I really am. At least Ava is nice, not some sort of crazy person,” Cameron says, trying to lighten up the mood.
“Yeah, that’s true. She is a nice girl, even if she is married to my man,” Becky says, sighing.
Cameron says more, but I block him out. My ears sound fuzzy.
I don’t listen to anything else. I take off down the hall and out the doors of the church, losing my shoes on the way to get me out of here faster, and pulling my dress up so I can run. With nowhere left to go, I sit on the steps as tears stream down my face. My makeup runs down my neck, my mascara dripping and soiling my dress. Cameron used me. He doesn’t love me. He only married me to keep his company.
How could I have been so blind?
Because I love him. And I thought he loved me.
Where do I go from here? What am I supposed to do
I just said, “I do,” and promised until death do us part. I always swore that when I married, it would be forever. How can I spend forever with a man who doesn’t even love me?
Wonder if there is a way for me to get out of this…
Hearing the doors of the church open behind me, I stiffen. I know it’s him because I smell his expensive cologne.
“You heard, didn’t you?” he asks from behind me.
“Yeah,” I say simply. What more is there to say? I don’t want to cause a nasty scene and draw attention to this travesty.
Coming to sit next to me with a sigh
he places my forgotten shoes by my feet.
“I’m sorry you found out this way.” His hands are in his hair, a solemn expression on his face. His cufflinks are unbuttoned, hinting at the muscles underneath his sleeves.
He’s still so damn attractive. Jerk.
I snort. “Really? I should have known from the start that you didn’t care about me, that you were only marrying me because of my nice girl image to keep your company. I feel so stupid. God, I have been so blind. I wanted my happily ever after with you, and I thought you wanted the same with me.” I can hardly look at him. I feel sick. It would serve him right if I threw up all over him.
His face falls at my words, and I turn away. He seems genuinely upset, but I can’t trust anything that comes out of his mouth at this point.
“I do like you, Ava, and I knew that you never would have married me if you knew about it before,” he confesses. It’s the most truthful thing he has said. He knows how seriously I take marriage, how the word ‘divorce’ isn’t in my vocabulary.
“Well, ain’t that the truth. Of course not. I wanted to marry for love, have children, the whole nine yards. Not be in a loveless marriage that has a time limit,” I snap at him. I deserve to be happy. I thought he made me happy, that he would continue to make me happy until we were both old, gray, and wrinkled.
“You are one of the good girls, the kind of girl any man would be lucky to marry.” He tilts my face up to meet his sorrowful gaze. Part of me wants to take my ring and force him to choke on it. The other part wants to tell him I’ll take him any way I can have him. But mostly I want to just cry. And so I do. Fuck the hour it took the makeup artist to make me look beautiful for the day that I thought was the first of the rest of my life with Cameron.
“Just not the kind a man can love?” Big fat tears roll down my cheeks. I’m not one of those girls that can cry prettily. Oh no, not me. When I cry, my face and neck blotch, and my eyes swell so big anyone would think I went a round with Ronda Rousey and obviously lost.
“I didn’t mean it that way. You know that.” He strokes my cheek, wiping away my fallen tears.
“Look, we can just explain to everyone, and then get Pastor Graham to not mail in the marriage licence we signed. Not a big deal. I’ll survive. That way, you can be with Becky.” I shrug, trying to pretend it doesn’t sting and hurt my ego, but it does. It burns. I try to pretend I don’t love him either.
“That’s not going to happen. We’re staying married,” he says, appearing appalled at the idea. Wow. So it’s like that. I’m not so delusional to think his obvious distain is because he loves me. The fact that there is a time limit, I was unaware of until moments ago, proves that not only does Cameron not love me, but I married someone that I don’t even know. Someone who deceived and manipulated me to get his way. God forbid he lose his precious company.
I look at him and glare. “I’m not staying married to a man who doesn’t love me.” Is he crazy? Why would I agree to this sham? He tricked me. He made a fool out of me. This man played with my heart. He broke my heart. I’ll never trust another man, he made sure of that.
He rubs his face. “How about in name only. We can live together and stay married until the terms are up. You’ll never have to ask for anything. My money is yours. You can go back to school, have your own life. I value you as a friend, Ava. Please. At the end of the six years, you can go. You’ll have more money than you’ll ever know what to do with, and we’ll still be friends.”
The offer is tempting, but I don’t know. I mean, I fell in love with him. I thought we were in love. We were getting married, starting a life together, and now this. On the other hand, this could just be a job. A job that would allow me to have the future that I wanted with him, but with someone else…later on, down the road. You know, like…never. I could take the money and fulfill some of my dreams, though. I’ve always wanted to travel, but my middleclass upbringing hasn’t really afforded much of that. My mom and dad both worked, but we did go on trips every year as a family. Usually camping, but once we went to Disneyland. So yeah, I could totally prostitute myself out for six years, take a nice settlement, and go on my way. No one would know but us. We could be the epitome of marriage on the outside, but live in separate rooms and have a long-term friends with benefits situation.
Wait a second, I think to myself, he said in ‘in name only.’ I’d read enough romance novels to know that means no sex. Ok, so usually in those romance novels, attraction wins and they end up having sex. But in the real world, that means no sex. I’m a virgin. My wedding night was supposed to be the night Cameron and I were finally together. Is he going to go without sex for six years?
“What about sexual needs?” I blush as I ask I have to know, really… is he going to go without sex for six whole years…
He rotates his head and then looks at me. “Can we just get through one thing at a time? Please?”
I take that to mean I’m going to be a virgin still. I chew on my bottom lip and sigh. “Fine,” I relent.