Read Not Alone Online

Authors: Amber Nation

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Contemporary Fiction

Not Alone

BOOK: Not Alone
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Not Alone

 

Amber Nation

 

 

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

Copyright © 2013 Amber Nation

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Title

Dedication

Acknowledgements

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-One

Epilogue

 

 

 

Dedication

 

To my two beautiful daughters, Alexis and Olivia: follow your dreams as well as your heart and you can achieve anything. I love you two more than anything in this world.

~Mommy~

 

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

I first off want to thank all of my readers, Facebook followers, and just everyone who has supported me and encouraged me along the way. I appreciate everyone more than you know! This journey hasn’t been entirely easy but it definitely has been an incredible one. And even though I second guessed myself on a daily basis, you all are ultimately the reason I decided to put my story out there.

To my husband,
Jarrod
, who is my biggest supporter, thank you for pushing me to achieve my dream: you are my rock, my best friend, and I know this wouldn’t have been possible without you by my side.

My girlies, thank you for allowing mommy to work, even though it was more than you both liked. I want to be someone who you can look up to, be proud of and who can show you that it is ok to chase your dreams.

To my three Beta readers, my three best friends, my three chicas:
Melanie Brock, Amanda Evenson,
and
Keesha McCallum,
thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy lives to read my book and giving me honest feedback- no bullshitting. J Thank you for talking sense into me whenever I doubted myself, which was quite often. And overall just thank you for just supporting me, and lending an ear or a suggestion. I am so very lucky to call each one of you my friend. And
Keesha
, even though we live 18 hours apart, we will reunite again, SOON!

Thank you to the many talented authors throughout the indie community who kindly offered your support, tips and advice. I greatly appreciate it! It is so surreal to be on this end of it all now. But in the end I am a true indie fangirl. Y’all make me strive to be better. I especially want to point out one Author who went above and beyond my expectations, and ultimately took me under her wing without any questions asked,
Andrea Smith
. You are a truly gifted author and I’m so glad to call you a friend.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for answering my eleventy billion asinine questions! J I can’t wait to finally meet you at the Chicago event next year, I’ll definitely be fangirling!!

And to new indie friends, especially Tara Paradise and Delisa Lynn, we newbies gotta stick together! Thank you for the long conversations and advice throughout the way. One of these days I will make it to New York! J

Many thanks to Robin from Wicked by Design for my fabulous cover, it is absolutely gorgeous and I couldn’t love it more. You are absolutely fabulous! And to my editor, Mary Ann Inabinet and formatter, Erin Volf, through MAI Editing Services, thanks so much!

And last but certainly not least, a big thanks to all the bloggers who participated in my cover reveal and blog tour, and to Enticing Journey Book Promotions, who hosted everything. Ena Burnette you are so freaking awesome and you truly made everything entirely easy on me.  I greatly appreciate everything! THANKS SO MUCH!!!!

 

 

 

Prologue

 

Driving down a dark highway at night, while it was storming, was the icing on top of the proverbial cake as to how my day was going. Things weren’t getting any better at home, which honestly didn’t surprise me one bit. Bryce was currently on one of his tirades, which seemed to be happening more often than not. I don’t know how much more of his constant verbal abuse I could stand. I said I would stay with my husband for the sake of our four year old son, but I couldn’t have Tucker seeing Bryce’s moods shift from horrible one minute to worse the next. It wasn’t healthy for him or me.

“Dammit, Emmalynne, step on the gas! I would like to get home before the fucking game starts,” Bryce muttered to me in his usual pissed off tone. “I knew I shouldn’t have let you drive. This is just another thing that your fat ass obviously can’t do right.”

“Bryce, seriously, it’s coming down in sheets out there. I’m not looking to get into an accident.” I knew lashing out towards him wouldn’t help matters any, in fact it may make things worse. I was just so tired of his nasty remarks.

The streets had already started to flood, making them treacherous.
 I know I have to find a way to get out of this marriage
, I thought to myself. I understood I had taken a vow of until death do us part and to always be by his side, but who was by my side? I was a royal screw up in Bryce’s eyes. I was not allowed to work, he left me a list of ‘chores’ every day and I have to follow the directions to a ‘T’ or else I am under attack. Bryce has never physically put his hands on me, no nothing that would leave a mark. Bryce rendered his pain with words. Considering my father was the ex-Sheriff of Brown County, where we lived in Georgia, Bryce knew a physical mark would land his hind end in jail.  Even though Bryce is an utter asshole, Tucker was my ultimate accomplishment, and therefore without Bryce I wouldn’t have Tucker.  I don’t know what I would do without that kid.

The rain picked up even more and I could barely see three feet in front of the car. The car started to slide due to the wetness of the road, causing us to hydroplane. Veering to the right, Bryce reached over me and yanked the steering wheel to the left. “Bryce stop!!!!,” I screamed in a panic, trying to smack his hands away. I tried to correct the car, but it was too late, we were directly in the path of an oncoming semi.

They say that before you die, you see your entire life flash before your eyes. But not me. I didn’t see scenes from my childhood, I didn’t see the little time I had with my mother, I didn’t see my wedding, and I didn’t see the day my son was born. The only thing I could do was to think of Tucker and hoped to God that he would be alright without either of his parents. I knew that I wasn’t ready to go, but it was looking like the end. But, the fact that my entire life didn’t flash before my eyes, didn’t dawn on me.

And not even noticing the lack of ‘I love you’s’ coming from either Bryce or myself. Surely that meant something.

Tires screeching, steel crunching, glass breaking, and then total darkness….

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

5 years later

Emmalynne

 

BEEP BEEP BEEP! Seriously, was it six am already? Not falling into bed until well past two a.m., I was nowhere near rested. But, alas, I had to get things ready for Tucker’s first day of school, as well as get my baking out of the way for the store. That was the typical life of this single mother.  My life was predictable, it was safe, and it worked. Getting up from under my cozy fleece covers and throwing my legs over the side of the bed, I begrudgingly did my morning stretches to strengthen my stiff left leg. Ever since the accident, I had to give myself a few extra minutes since I wasn’t able to move quite as fast as I used to.

Standing at five foot four I, Emmalynne Morgan, was anything but average, with some extra pounds in my midsection. I have always been pretty self-conscious about my weight. After starting my morning routine by showering, I styled my auburn shoulder-length curly hair, put on my deep purple framed glasses, picked out my favorite pair of jeans and my standard band t-shirt. Now I was ready to wake up my crank-pot son.

Turning on his light, I took in the scene in Tucker’s room. Covers kicked off onto the floor, and one arm draped across his face. He definitely reminded me of his father; he slept exactly like him. Tucker was four when Bryce died. I thought back to that dreadful night that left me with a shattered leg, a widow, and my son fatherless. After several surgeries, the mobility in my left leg was as good as it was going to get. So now, five years later, my son was nine and entering the fourth grade. He didn’t talk about Bryce much, I think this is because the memories he had of him, weren’t positive.

Bryce was my high school sweetheart and we were practically attached at the hip. Things weren’t always bad with Bryce and me. In the beginning, I thought he was my prince charming. I got pregnant with Tucker at the age of nineteen, it was totally unplanned but we were completely over the moon, well I know at least I was. It was exciting to think we would have a little family.

Things drastically changed when Tuck turned two and our carefully constructed happiness fell apart. I wasn’t sure if it was the stress of everyday life but, Bryce became distant and extremely cold and callous. He refused to let me work and things had to be completed to his standard. He started drinking heavily, and then came the verbal abuse. I was rarely acknowledged as Emmalynne, it was usually “fat ass” or “fucking cow”, his two favorites.  It wasn’t until his funeral that I learned he was cheating on me, which really didn’t surprise me knowing we hadn’t been intimate in well over a year. Before then it was often forced on his part. Apparently it was beneath him to initiate intimate contact with his “fat ass” of a wife. The skank actually had the balls to confront me in front of our friends and family, acting like the grief-stricken wife and not just a piece on the side. The conversation turned extremely heated, and she was ushered right off of the premises. Sometimes it was nice having a Sheriff for a father, even if he was retired. 

So, using Bryce’s life insurance money, I opened our son a nice, hefty college fund to make sure it was well and taken care of, and I bought what would be my bread and butter, the shop that became my bookstore.

“Tucker it’s time to get up.”

“Mooommm, I don’t want to get up,” he groaned while stretching out his arms towards the ceiling.

“Tucker Allan Morgan, you get your cranky hind end up and get dressed for school right now, young man! Once you’ve finished come and get breakfast.”

 

---~~~---

 

Driving to the school I reminded Tucker that his poppy would be picking him up and staying with him until I got off of work at five. My father retired Sheriff Sam Johnston, also known as ‘poppy,’ was my son’s best friend. Those two together were a real hoot. Having grown up just the two of us, he was and still is an amazing father. My mother passed away when I was just Tucker’s age from Ovarian Cancer, and not a single day goes by where I don’t miss her. My father took her death pretty hard, but he was always there for me.

Pulling up in front of my store, I sat and looked around at the entrance. My sign was handmade and completely gorgeous. I had made it to where my store had a homey feel. I wanted everyone to feel comfortable and welcome.

Fall was just around the corner and soon I would be able to set my Halloween display up in the storefront windows. I absolutely loved fall around Brown County. The festivals and activities would be in full swing in the upcoming months. Brown County, Georgia was a small town and everyone participated in the Annual Fall Harvest Festival. It was amazing to know everyone around town, and everyone was friendly.  Of course you have the few rude people who couldn’t take the time to smile much less wave, but for the most part they were all friendly. The downside, everyone knew everyone so, unfortunately, they also knew your business.

BOOK: Not Alone
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