Authors: S Moose
Next to Forever
Book Three in the
Never Letting Go Series
Next to Forever
All rights reserved.
Edited & Formatted by
Literary Editor, Rogena Mitchell-Jones
Rogena Mitchell-Jones Manuscript Service
Cover Design by
Ari at Cover It! Designs
All Rights Reserved.
This book may not be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from the author. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. All characters and storylines are the property of the author and your support and respect is appreciated.
This book is a work of fiction. The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
The author and editor have taken great effort in presenting a manuscript free of errors. However, editing errors are ultimately the responsibility of the author.
Table of Contents
There are no words to describe how happy and blessed I am to be on this amazing journey. I thank God, my family, friends and supporters, for staying by my side and always giving me the courage to never give up.
To my Prince Charming
—I love you so much and can’t thank you enough for being my number one fan. You’re my rock and my shoulder to cry on when I feel like I can’t go on, or when my stress level goes past 10. We’ll always be together, forever, and our love will only grow stronger.
To my Mom and Dad
—thank you for believing in me and always giving me little words of advice. I know that it’s hard to think that your daughter writes some hot and steamy books, but can’t write a crime or suspense book. Hehe. I love you both so much.
To my sisters
friends and my Angels. We have our moments, but at the end of the day, we’ll always be sisters, and I can’t imagine my life without you two.
To my family and friends
—thanks for pushing me and helping me find my way when I’m lost. I love you all!
—you’ve been an incredible friend, and I can’t wait to give you a HUGE hug in March! Thanks for being there for me and helping me out. Love you big!
To my fabulous babes
—thank you for everything! You’re the BEST team, and I appreciate all of your hard work and silly times. I love our little family and how much fun we have together. I hope to meet some of you soon.
To my incredible BETA readers
—you worked so hard to help me and encourage me. I’m very lucky to have you and am so thankful for your hard work.
To Alexis, Lindsey, Brandi, Stephanie, Danielle, Micalea, Evette, Kristine, Missy, Jennifer and Leslie
, for accepting the ARC and giving me such great feedback.
—thank you for helping me and being such a great friend!
To my editor, Rogena
with Rogena Mitchell-Jones Manuscript Services—thanks for all of your hard work and friendship!
To my Author 101 ladies
—I love you big!!! Thanks for the support and constant laughs.
To all of the bloggers
—a special thank you for helping me out and spreading the news about Next to Forever. Y’all are incredible and are a huge part of my success.
—thank you for being my friend and amazing photographer.
To Dave and Erika
—thank you for being my cover models and rocking it!
with Cover It Designs—thank you for my beautiful cover! You’re so talented, and I can’t thank you enough!
Lastly, to my readers
—I love you all and am lucky to have you! Every day I go through my social media sites and read the messages and reviews, and I smile because of YOU.
For everyone who
has experienced loss,
Just A Fool by Christina Aguilera & Blake Shelton
Small Bump by Ed Sheeran
Just A Kiss by Lady Antebellum
Make Me Better by Fabolous
The Way by Ariana Grande
Fall Into Me by Brantley Gilbert
Ride for You by Danity Kane
Mine Would Be You by Blake Shelton
Red by Taylor Swift
God Gave Me You by Blake Shelton
I Want Crazy by Hunter Hayes
Still Into You by Paramore
Everytime We Touch by Cascada
Never Say Goodbye by JoJo
Would It Matter by Skillet
Human by Krewella
Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake
The Other Side by Jason Derulo
Give It 2 U by Robin Thicke
Everything Is You by Eli Young Band
Will they have their
happily ever after . . .
or will they have to
say goodbye forever?
Thirty minutes. Eighteen hundred seconds.
That’s how long I’ve been waiting to hear about a possible new job with Vale Real Estate. I hate waiting and doubting myself. All I can do is wait at home, by my cell phone and pray that good news will come. I look at the clock again and I swear it’s been two PM for the last hour. I check my phone to make sure that I have reception and try to sit down but it’s useless.
I look around the kitchen to see if I can clean but everything’s done. The floors have been mopped, dishes done,
and cabinets have all been organized. I walk over to the oven and look inside, trying to decide whether or not it’ll be a good idea to start cleaning it. The oven doesn’t look bad, and it shouldn’t since I don’t do the cooking. Connor does. We have a cleaner come in twice a month, and it looks fine to me. Shutting the oven door, I try to relax my mind and think about something else, but nothing comes to mind. Laying my head on the wood kitchen table, I close my eyes and say a silent prayer. I’ve been out of school for three months, and this is the first job that I actually have a chance at getting. It’s been one interview and rejection after another. Sometimes I wonder why I spent the money on all the tests to get my license to be a real estate agent.
I hate waiting
, and I’m trying to stay hopeful that this is the job that’ll be my career. It kills me to think that after all the money my parents spent for me to get a degree that it takes this long to find a freaking job! I’m smart and graduated from a prestigious college, yet finding a good job is like trying to win the lottery. I could go back to get my Master’s degree, but it’s just more school and there’s always that chance I’ll be in the same spot—jobless. No one really understands my reasoning for a job, but I hate depending on Connor. Yes, we’re wealthy and Connor’s doing extremely well at Optimax, but I don’t want to be that girl who stays home all day shopping, going to the spa, and playing the good housewife. No, that’s not me. I’m the girl that needs to be busy and making a difference. I need to be around people and helping out. My own life and career. I love Connor, and I’m happy he wants me to stay home so I don’t keep stressing, but he can be such a man-child. Always complaining and whining that he doesn’t want me working, so I can travel with him so we don’t have to be apart. I understand because I do miss him, but sometimes we need the distance to appreciate each other and learn how to miss one another.
I’ve never been tied down to just one guy
, so when Connor Simpson walked into my life, my world was turned upside down. It seemed as though I had to experience all the shit in my life, so that I could appreciate Connor. All of the flings, ex-boyfriends, and wasting my time—it was all worth it. There was an ache in my heart, an emptiness that was never filled. My parents gave me everything I ever wanted, but they were working all the time and I spent more time with my nanny than them. My nanny and driver were wonderful and I love them, but sometimes all a girl really wanted was to see her parents and tell them about her day. Phone calls and text messages didn’t count or mean as much.
When I got into college, away from home, my wild side came out. Getting drunk and high almost every night messed with my head. I was away from home and the freedom to be bad was more alluring than being the good girl I used to be. There was no one telling me “no” or reminding me that classy girls don’t do that. My inner wild child was out to play.
One night, there was this party at a frat house that was supposed to be the best party and I knew I had to be there. I was a freshman at the time, but since I was hot, no one cared that I was there. After about six shots of whiskey and funneling beer, I ended up in bed with the captain of the lacrosse team, Landon. We hooked up a few more times after the party, and he was great but it got boring. We were messing around for about a month before I broke things off with him.
After Landon, there was Eddie, the hot soccer player. He had a small dick and wasn’t good at all
, so he was just a one-time fling.
When I was done with Eddie, I dated Ash for a few
months. Things were great, and I was falling for him but when I caught him cheating on me, it was over. My heart broke that night, and I felt alone. More alone than ever before. I cared about him, and he tried winning me back, but I couldn’t trust him, so I had to move on. I stayed single for a while and focused on helping Sophia and getting together with my girlfriends. I still had dates here and there, but the one-night stands weren’t as frequent. With a broken heart, I didn’t believe in love. To me, it was just a silly feeling that people thought they felt.
My feelings and view on love changed the night I met Connor
, though. Right when our eyes met, something in me burst and I wanted him. He wasn’t like the other guys. Connor was special, and I couldn’t explain it then. He accepted me for me and my past was something that I couldn’t change. Connor tore down my walls and never gave up on me. I showed him a different side of me—the real Erin. He brought me back to life and out of my dark shell. He made me feel good and that I mattered. I wasn’t used to being called beautiful or special. The other guys called me sexy or dangerous. My mind flashed back to the night he told me he loved me.
I was on the laptop in the living
room, while Connor was watching TV. He kept looking over at me, smiling.
“Stop staring at me!”
“Why? You’re beautiful, and you should know how I feel.” He came over to me, reached down, and took the laptop away. He pulled me up to his chest and our lips met. The kiss wasn’t demanding or rough. It was sweet and passionate. His hands roamed my back, and at the moment, I felt alive.
I felt whole.
Out of nowhere, ‘If I Didn’t Have You’ by Thompson Square came on. Connor pulled away and looked down at me. “Dance with me.”
“Of course,” I blushed.
His arms wrapped around me waist and I placed my head on his chest. We swayed to the music and listened to the lyrics. Connor started to softly sing to the song to me.
The loving words of the song… telling me he couldn’t live without me.
I loved listening to Connor sing. I told him all the time his voice was amazing, but he was too shy to sing around anyone else besides me.
“I love when you sing to me.”
His chin rested on the top of my head. “I’ll always sing to you, Erin. Just to see you smile and make you feel happy.” His breathing quickens. I looked at him and wondered if he were okay.
“Connor? You ok, babe?”
He closed his eyes, and I felt nervous.
“I love you, Erin.”
The words hit me
, and suddenly my whole life had meaning again. I’ve been waiting for those words for so long. Even though it’s only been a few months, I knew deep down that Connor was the one for me. I wanted to spend my life with him.
“I love you too, Connor. I fell in love with you the first time we met.”
Without saying anything, Connor’s lips crashed into mine with such desire and need.
The ringing of the phone brings me back to the now.
“Oh shit,” I mutter. “Breathe, Erin. Just. Breathe.” I pick up the phone. “Hello?”
The voice on the other line is sweet and refreshing. “Hi, may I speak to Erin Costella