Read Reasons to Leave (Reasons #1) Online

Authors: Lisa J. Hobman

Tags: #Highlands, #Scotland, #Love and loss, #contemporary romance, #second chance

Reasons to Leave (Reasons #1)

BOOK: Reasons to Leave (Reasons #1)
7.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Reasons to Leave

By

Lisa J Hobman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Prince Publishing

Denver, CO

This is a fictional work. The names, characters, incidents, places, and locations are solely the concepts and products of the author’s imagination or are used to create a fictitious story and should not be construed as real.

 

5 PRINCE PUBLISHING AND BOOKS, LLC

PO Box 16507

Denver, CO 80216

www.5PrinceBooks.com

 

Digital ISBN 10:1631120913 ISBN-13:978-1-63112-091-6

Reasons to Leave

Lisa J. Hobman

Copyright Lisa J. Hobman 2015

Published by 5 Prince Publishing

 

Front Cover Viola Estrella

Author photo by Craig at
www.craigphotographystudio.co.uk

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations, reviews, and articles. For any other permission please contact 5 Prince Publishing and Books, LLC.

 

First Edition/First Printing January2015Printed U.S.A.

 

5 PRINCE PUBLISHING AND BOOKS, LLC.

Acknowledgements:

Mum and Dad, thank you for being such creative people and for encouraging me to pursue my dreams. I love you a million bags of sugar.

Thank you to the amazing people I have met throughout this journey and to the authors I used to admire from afar but now call friends. You know who you are.

A massive squishy hug to my friends for putting up with me either not being present or for talking ‘book stuff’ constantly!

To the growing family that is The Happy Hobman Dancers – thank you for being you! You guys RRROCK!

A shout out to Ginny at Gin’s Book Notes – I’m so glad I found you and it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with you!

Much appreciation to Viola for the wonderful cover – you have a knack of getting inside my head and coming up with the goods!

Thanks once again to the wonderful team at 5 Prince Publishing. Authors and staff alike.
What a team! A hug across the ocean to my editor Linda – you manage to teach me something new every time I work with you and I appreciate you so much. 
And to my lovely friend Bernadette for changing my life.

 

Dedications:

 

 

To Rich, my hero and my true love. You keep inspiring me after all these years. You have my heart.

And to my Puddleduck for being beautiful, entertaining and the best hug giver.

 

Prologue

“Oh darling, look at you. You look so grown up.” Stevie’s mum clasped her hands in front of her face, her eyes welling with tears.

Stevie rolled her eyes. “Um…Mum I hate to break it to you but I’m
eighteen
which legally means I
am
grown up.”

The sales assistant at the suburban London boutique had come to join the
let’s stare at Stevie
party, and she was beginning to feel a little like a museum exhibit in a prom dress.

“What do you think, darling? Is this
the
dress?” Her mum looked so hopeful.

The dress was ankle length and had a bodice that fit a little like a vice, but she loved the purple iridescent fabric and how it shimmered under the halogen spotlights of the dressing room.

The Leavers’ Ball was only a week away and as usual Stevie had left purchasing a suitable dress until right at the last minute. Her mother had been urging her to get organised for weeks, and all of her friends had long ago purchased their outfits and accessories. Carrie, Stevie’s closest friend besides Jason, had had hers hanging on the door to her walk-in closet for over a month. Carrie was like that though—uber organised—Stevie wondered why it was
she
who’d been allocated the role of Head Girl and not Carrie.

Baffling really.

Stevie bit her lip. “Um…yes. I think it’s the best one I’ve tried.”

“I agree…and I’m sure that Jason will think you look stunning too.”

She rolled her eyes again. “Muuum.”

Her mum was always fishing for information about her relationship with Jason. She had lost count of the number of times her mother had subjected her to
the talk
. And she had also lost count of the number of times she had informed her mum that she and Jason were
not
having sex.

Not even close.

However, this was not through want of trying on her part. She loved her boyfriend and had been with him since they were thirteen, for goodness sake. But Jason insisted that he was just not ready to take that next step. He wanted it to be special, not rushed and fumbled like the first times their friends had experienced.

She had presumed at one time that the real reason was because he didn’t want her, but his words and actions—and his body—showed her otherwise. He was just a gentleman. He had told her that they were a permanent fixture in each other’s lives, and so there was no rush to lose their virginity. In the end, she surmised that she was just a ball of raging hormones and that she could wait too, if she must. Although she had a sneaky suspicion that after the Leavers’ Ball things might take a step in the right direction. After all, her mum would be out with her best friend Jilly, and Jason would be escorting her home. For this reason, the dress had to be perfect.

“I’m just saying, sweetie. You look so beautiful.” A wistful look washed over her mum’s features. “You have a look of your dad now that you’re older.”

Dana Watts was a wonderful mother. She did the job of two parents, and she did it to perfection. Stevie’s dad, a failed musician and the exciting older man, had been a roadie and sound engineer working for London based bands after he left college. His passion for music, especially Fleetwood Mac, had given Stevie her name. He had apparently doted on Dana, and although at twenty-four years old was initially shocked at discovering his nineteen-year-old girlfriend was pregnant, he was excited about being a father.

Soon after her birth, Stevie’s father had been offered the chance of a lifetime to leave London and tour the world with some famous rock star and had grabbed it with both hands, leaving Dana to bring up her daughter alone. After keeping in touch for a while and sending birthday cards and letters, there was a long telephone conversation in which he informed Dana there would be another tour with another band immediately after the current one. He claimed to still love Dana but said that the long distance thing wasn’t working, that it was unfair to their daughter to be a
dip in and out of her life
kind of father and so it would be more beneficial, although not easier, for all concerned if he broke ties.

He chose never to return, and so Stevie had never met him. Thankfully, she was so young when he left that she hadn’t been cognisant of the heartbreak her mother went through. Her mother’s best friend Jilly had been the one to pick up the pieces and she didn’t have many positive things to say about him. All Stevie
did
know as she got older was that her mother was very careful with her heart.

There had been a lovely man in Dana’s life, when Stevie was around eight-years-old, who had been special to Dana, and Stevie had adored him. Her mother had broken up with him when he had announced he would be working in Ireland for a period of three years. Dana wouldn’t even consider the relationship continuing as she presumed the inevitable would happen; he would figure out that the long distance thing would not work for him and she would be left alone yet again. There had been no one else since. As far as Dana was concerned—and Stevie was reminded regularly—Stevie was her life and it would stay that way.

She knew little of her father, other than what her mother or Jilly had deigned to share. Although from the photos Stevie had seen, it was evident that she took after him in so many ways, physically that is. Her long auburn hair and bright blue eyes were all Jed Marks. And her height for that matter; she was tall just like him. It was moments like this though, standing there in a prom dress and being told by her wonderful mother that she looked like
him
, when anger bubbled up for what that man had put her mum through. But as always she smiled sweetly and said nothing.

 

****

 

Two Days Later

 

“So…do I get to see what you bought?” Jason rubbed her shoulders and breathed heavily into her hair just above her ear. Shivers travelled down her spine, melting each vertebra in their wake. They were propped on his bedroom floor, Stevie sitting between his thighs as the DVD played to itself and the popcorn lay untouched.

His voice was low and tinged with a kind of sadness. Trying to lighten the mood, she slapped his leg playfully. She glared over her shoulder at him. “You certainly do
not,
Jason Reynolds.” She smiled and leaned up to nibble his chin.

He pouted and fluttered his eyelashes. “Pretty please.”

She turned fully in the space between his thighs and kissed him on his protruding bottom lip. She adored him. There was no other way to put it. He was the centre of her universe. And she was his. He was every bit the stunningly gorgeous bad boy with his collar length, scruffy, thick, dark hair and a chiselled jaw. His dark eyes held a kind of mystery that she vowed one day to get beneath. He’d been blessed with the looks of a male model and—from the ridges and striations of his abdomen tangible through his T-shirt—he had the body to match.

He’d been a little quiet and sullen lately, like the weight of the world rested on his shoulders. She put it down to all the pressure of finals and revising. Add to that the stress of college applications and the prospect of several years of university apart from each other, if things didn’t go according to plan, and you had a recipe for one unhappy Head Boy. Tonight, however, he was hers again. He was the playful Jason she had always loved and had known for what seemed like forever.

It felt good.

She reached up and ran her fingers through his luscious, messy hair. “You’ll see it next Friday when you pick me up for the Leavers’ Ball and not a minute before.” His gaze dropped as he picked at a thread on the hem of his duvet cover. “What’s wrong?”

“Ah, nothing. Just a little sad that it’s all going to be over soon.”

“Jace, we’re leaving school. We’re not lining up for a firing squad.”

He smiled and rubbed his nose on hers. “Duh…I know that… It’s just…well, it’s the end of an era, that’s all.”

“Yes and the beginning of a whole new one. And if I get into Brunel, we’ll still be close to each other and not too far from home.”

Jason clasped her hand in his. There was an almost pained expression in his eyes. “Have you ever thought about…oh, I don’t know…
not
going to uni?”

She frowned at his question. “No…never. It’s what I’ve always planned. It’s what
you’ve
always planned too. You’ve studied so hard. Don’t worry. I just know you’ll get the grades the Oxford board is looking for.”

He huffed the air from his lungs. “Yeah…I know…I just…I don’t know…I wonder what it would’ve been like if I’d been an average Joe. You know…
average
intelligence. There would’ve been a lot less pressure on me.”

BOOK: Reasons to Leave (Reasons #1)
7.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Baby, Come Home by Stephanie Bond
Child of a Dead God by Barb Hendee, J. C. Hendee
Black Water Rising by Attica Locke
Payton's Woman by Yarbrough, Marilyn
Highland Burn by Victoria Zak
Legacy of the Dead by Charles Todd
The Prince's Nanny by Carol Grace