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Authors: Courtney Brewer

Road To Love

BOOK: Road To Love
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Road to Love

BY: Courtney Brewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2013

 

Cover design by Melody Simmons of

eBookindiecovers

 

All rights reserved.

This book is a work of fiction.  All locales, characters, and events were a product of the author’s imagination.  Any resemblance to actual locales, characters, and events is completely coincidental.

Prologue

 

Abigail Johnson looked over the food and smiled to herself.  She couldn’t wait for the guests to arrive; her graduation party was sure to be a huge success.  “Does it meet your approval?”  She smiled at her mom and nodded.

“You bet it does; you and dad have done so much and I could never thank you enough.”

Her mom laughed.  “Nonsense; it’s not every day that your youngest child graduates and heads off to school.  She looked away and Abigail knew she would begin crying for the hundredth time.  “Look at me; I am a mess.”

“Mom, you know that I will be back to visit and you can come see me often.”

She smiled; “I know honey; it’s just a big deal.  I’ll get over it.  I better go freshen up before people start to arrive.”

She nodded as her mother headed towards the house and disappeared in the back door.  “Is mom having another breakdown?”

She looked up and laughed as she saw her brother, Todd heading towards her. 
“Was she this emotional when you left the nest?”

“Uh…that would be a negative.  Remember, I didn’t go far.  I was still in town.  You’re going to New York City; that’s a totally different planet.

Abigail laughed and playfully slugged his arm.  “You’re right; what was I thinking?”

He laughed and shrugged.  “You obviously weren’t.”

She smirked; it was going to be tough not having her brother around.  They were always close, but she knew that it was time to stand on her own two feet.  She was going to be 18 in just a few short months and this was an experience she would never forget.

“Hey, I do believe your guests are starting to arrive.”

She looked up and saw her best friend Chelsea and Chelsea’s boyfriend Scott heading her way.  “See ya around Todd;” he laughed as she darted towards her friend.  “Hey girlie;” she gave her a hug.  “I’m so glad you’re here.”

They parted and she turned to Scott.  “Congratulations graduate.”

“Thank you;” she gave him a hug and then pulled way.  Chelsea and Scott were a year older and she was relieved that they made the trip from Texas.

“This is for you.”  Chelsea handed her a small box.  “I hope you like it.”

Chelsea opened the box and looked down at the small bracelet; it was inscribed
A&C Friends Forever.”

“I love it; thanks Chels.”

“I figured when you’re in New York, you can look at it and remember me down in Dallas.”

“I won’t have to look at it and remember you.”  She pulled her into a hug.  “You’re my best friend; you’re stuck with me.”

Chelsea laughed.  “That’s good to here.”  When they pulled away; she noticed tears in her eyes.  “People are starting to arrive; we’ll talk later.”

“Okay; thanks again for the bracelet.”

“You’re welcome;” they walked away and Abigail looked down at the bracelet.  She felt choked up as she reread the inscription.  She would make sure that Chelsea never doubted their friendship.

“Well Shrimp, I never thought I would see the day.”

She rolled her eyes as she turned around and saw Travis Jessup standing behind her.  “Travis, what a surprise;” she crossed her arms and glared at him.  “Who decided to invite you?”

He laughed.  “Who do you think?”

“Where is that brother of mine; I’ll have to give him a proper thank you.”

“I’m right here and I know what you’re thinking.”  She looked up at Todd and glared.  She doubted that.  It was her party and
Travis would only bring bad news.  “Isn’t it about time you both start liking each other?  After all, you have known each other since Abigail was born.”

Travis
put up his hands; “I have tried to make a truce, but Abby just doesn’t want to work with me.”

“First of all, it’s Abigail; only my friends call me Abby.  Secondly, maybe if you stopped treating me like an infant…I would consider giving you the time of day.”

“Hm…you don’t want me to call you Shrimp?”

She looked away in a huff.  “Not particularly, but thanks for asking.”

“I’ll think about it.”  He tapped his index finger on his chin and then shrugged.  “Um…sorry; I think I would rather you go on hating me.”  He smirked and turned away; leaving her there to watch him leave.

“Seriously;” she looked at Todd.  “You have got to be kidding me.”

“Abby, he was teasing.  He’s by best friend; I was hoping that before you go off to school a couple thousand miles away you would make amends.  I don’t know why you both never saw eye to eye, but it’s high time you both just grow up and move on.”

“You’re going to accuse me of not growing up?  He is 22 year
s old and all he can do is give me a hard time; well, I don’t have to deal with that.  You can be friends with him, but don’t expect me to.”

“Don’t worry; that would be too much to ask.”  He walked away from her and she shook her head.  She
couldn’t worry about him; in only 3 days she would leaving the small town of Jasper, Oklahoma and head to New York City.  She would make things right with her brother, because she loved him.  However, she would do just fine if she was never teased by Travis Jessup again.

Chapter 1

Five Years Later

 

Travis drove in circles; he didn’t know where to go, but he knew that he didn’t want to go home.  When he had asked his girlfriend Josephine to move in he expected their relationship to escalate to the next level.  However, he had soon discovered that what he thought was love was just an infatuation.  They had been dating for over 2 years, but he wasn’t seeing the romance that he once believed was there.  Instead he found himself bored and wanting to find a way out.  She was a sweet girl and he didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but he had decided that it had reached the point of no return; he just didn’t know how to tell her.  He knocked on his best friend’s door; he prayed that he wasn’t interrupting.  Todd clearly had luck in the romance department and soon he was sure he was no longer going to be on the market.  When Todd answered the door he was smiling, but quickly his expression fell.  “Oh, it’s you.”  He left the door open and went back into the house.

“Gee, thanks a lot.” 
Travis remarked with a laugh.  “I’m glad to see you too.”

“I’m sorry
Travis; I just have a lot going on and very little time to do it.  I had to work late and the food almost burned; it’s been a nightmare.”

Travis
looked around the dining room where he saw the place setting was for two.  “I can leave; I see that you’re expecting Carolyn.”

“I’m not expecting Carolyn, but you might want to leave.”  Todd chuckled intriguing him.

“Don’t tell me you have another woman coming over here.  Carolyn is great; I thought you guys were serious.”

Todd laughed.  “I have another woman coming over here, but it’s not what you’re thinking.  Abby is home.”

“Oh;” Travis’s face fell.  He wasn’t exactly the most pleasant around her.  He remembered their last encounter and he felt horrible about it.  It was her graduation party and he pretty much laughed in her face.  He was sure that he would be the last person she would want to see.  “Is she staying here long?”

“She is moving back to Oklahoma; once she graduated she didn’t have very much luck finding a job, so she decided to try her luck here.  I think she missed the family, but she would never admit to that.  Have you seen her since she’s left?”

“No;” he thought for a moment.  “That’s probably for the best.”

“Yeah; you two didn’t always
get along so well.”


Let’s say we never got along.  I teased her quite a bit; I really wouldn’t expect her to ever want to talk to me.”

“I don’t know; my sister has grown up since leaving this town.  She
isn’t the scrawny little runt you used to be pick on.  She ditched the glasses, went blonde, and most importantly she doesn’t hold grudges.  5 years has passed; I am sure that is enough time for her to get over the relentless teasing you provided.  She’s not exactly innocent.”

“I gave her no choice, but this is your time with her and I will gracefully bow out.” 

“Suit yourself, but if she is moving back here you’ll have to see her sooner or later.”

“I’ll go for later; I’ll talk to you soon.”

“Okay; goodbye Travis.”

Travis
hurried to the front door and was about to leave when he bumped into her.  “Oh; I’m sorry.”  He pulled back and stared.  Todd wasn’t kidding; she had changed.  “I…I…hello Abigail.”

“Hello
Travis; fancy seeing you here.”

He laughed nervously and looked away.  ‘’I was just leaving, but it was good seeing you.”

He started to brush past her when she began to laugh.  “You don’t have to rush off on my behalf.”

He turned to face her.  “I figured it would be easier this way.”

“Yeah; I get that.”  She nodded.  “It was good seeing you Travis.”

He couldn’t tell if she really meant that; he was betting she didn’t.  “Goodbye.”  He turned away and hurried down the steps.  When he reached his truck he faced the house.  He saw her reflection in the window as he drove away.  He couldn’t understand his heart as it rapidly pounded in his chest.  It was a long time since he got that excited being around Josephine and he was only in Abigail’s presence for 30 seconds.  He took a deep breath.  If he would have known she was going to grow up like that; he
was sure he would have never teased her like he did.

 

***

 

Abigail watched as Travis headed out of the driveway.  She couldn’t understand why he acted the way he did, but she never could.  “Uh, oh; did you run into Travis?”

“I almost literally ran into him;” she chuckled.  “Your friend is weird.”

She turned to face her brother and hugged him.  “It’s good to see you Abby.  I’m curious; why is he weird?”

“I don’t know, but he definitely didn’t look at me like he used to.”  She la
ughed thinking about him.  “He used to look at me like I was the dirt beneath his feet.  However, when he looked at me just now…I don’t know; it’s strange.”


Okay; I decided a long time to give up on figuring him out.  I would have thought you did too.”

She laughed.  “You have a point there.  It’s good to be back in Oklahoma.”

“I can’t wait to hear all about New York.  Dinner is served.”

She looked at the table and frowned.  “I was hoping I would get to meet Carolyn; I feel like I already know her.”

“There will be plenty time for that, but tonight is about a sister with her brother.”

Abigail laughed.  “Okay; I guess I will deal with that.”

“Whatever;” he laughed.  “Take a seat and I will be right back.”  He left her there as he went to the kitchen.  She was brought back to the time that Travis and her had their last conversation.  He at least hadn’t called her Shrimp; he used her name, which was a plus.  She chuckled.  She didn’t usually hold grudges, but it was the way that he teased her that bothered her the most.  He always acted like he was too good for someone like her.  She shrugged; it didn’t matter.  She had gotten past it a long time ago.  “I prepared your favorite.”

“Spaghetti;” she replied with a smile.

He frowned.  “No; your other favorite,” she laughed.  “How about Chicken Cordon Bleu;” he laughed.

“Yeah; that’s the one.”

She smiled as he passed out the food and then took a seat.  “Do you mind if I say the prayer.”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

They grabbed hands and bowed their heads.  “Heavenly Father, we thank you for this day where you brought my baby sister back home.  This is where she always should have been and I am glad that she’s here.  You have given us blessings that we can’t even imagine and I am grateful for that.  Watch over us as we get reacquainted.  We ask you this in your name; Amen.”

“Amen;” Abigail whispered.  “Thank you for that.”

“No problem; now, tell me about everything that has been going on.  Have you seen our parents yet?”

“Nope; I came straight here.  I figured that I would see them tomorrow.  I’m going to get settled in the hotel tonight.”

“I really wish you would stay here; I have plenty of room.  You wouldn’t even have to know that I was here.  Believe me; you could have a whole wing to yourself.”

She laughed.  “I know that being a CEO pays well and all, but your house isn’t that big.”

“Okay; maybe not a whole wing, but you could definitely be comfortable.  Besides, it’s not like it’s forever.  You can start looking for a place to stay and a job and be out of here in no time.”

“Already trying to get rid of me?”

“You know what I mean; I would like you to stay.”

Abigail looked around the house and wasn’t sure she was making the best choice, but it was true there was a lot of room.  “I guess we could try it out.”

“Perfect!”

“If you and Carolyn decide you need some alone time, feel free to kick me out.”

He laughed.  “No need to worry there; I will.”

She laughed.  “As lo
ng as that’s clear.  “You know, I did miss this.  New York was great, but nothing beats family time.”

“I totally agree.
  I told Travis that you were missing your family.”

“Oh really; what else did you tell
Travis about me?”

“I just said that you had changed and I was sure you wouldn’t still hold ill feelings towards him.  Do you?”

Abigail shrugged.  “It was a long time ago, but I won’t make it easy on him.”

“I wouldn’t expect it to be any other way.”

She smiled.  “I still think he can be strange; I don’t know why you chose him as a friend.”

“You sometimes can’t pick your friends.  He’s a good guy Abby; you may never see that part of him but I know it.”

She wasn’t convinced, but like he said you couldn’t always pick your friends.  Sometimes it just happened.

 

***

 

“I’m home;” Travis called from the foyer.

It was only a few seconds before he heard the padding of Josephine’s feet on the hardwood floor.  “Hey; I expected you home sooner.”  They kissed, but he was careful not to let it linger.

“I had to see Todd; his sister came home.”

“Oh; that’s nice.  Do I know this sister?”

He shook his head.  “No; we weren’t really close.  She’s younger and I was the older one that would always rag on her.”  He started to laugh.  “I was pretty brutal with her; I…”

“I’m sorry honey to cut you short, but dinner is going to get cold.”
  She walked away from him; interrupting his words.  He shook his head.

“Oh; that’s alright.  I was through talking anyway.”  She grabbed his hand and led him out the kitchen. 
“Do you need help?”

She smiled and kissed him.  “Nope; you can just sit down.”

He took a seat and he began to fidget; he knew that he had to tell her it was over, but he needed to be tender.  “It smells like tuna.”

“I hope you like it; I tried a new recipe.”

He made an inward groan; she wasn’t the best cook, but to try something new…it actually scared him.  “I’m sure that I’ll love it.”

She placed the dish in front of him and removed the lid.  His stomach fell.  “What is it?”

“It’s chicken with tuna over it.”

He scrunched his nose; that seemed like a strange combo, but he quickly put a smile on his face.  “I’m all for trying new things.”

She smiled happily as she took her seat.  “I was worried about this transformation, but the past 4 months have been the best time of my life.”

“We need to have a talk.”

She smiled.  “I know; that is why I am trying new things, because when we’re married I want to be able to provide for you.  I know that I don’t work, but I will make you happy.”

“You don’t have to work; I am okay with that, but…”

“Let’s eat before the food gets cold.”  He wanted to laugh at that, because as far as he knew the tuna would be cold.

He took a bite and nearly had to choke it down; there was a
taste that wasn’t tuna or chicken.  “What is in this besides tuna and chicken?”

“There’s basil, mayonnaise, and…oh yeah; mushrooms.”  Yep; that was it.  He didn’t like mushrooms and he was sure he had mentioned that before.  He just smiled and continued to eat.  It was better than the alternative of having to tell her that they were finished.  They ate in silence; except for the chatter of Josephine telling what she did for the day.  He almost got to the point of wondering what he saw in her.  Finally, he was able to choke down the last bit of food and she was putting the dishes in the dishwasher.

“The dishes can wait; I really need to talk to you.”

“Okay;” he stood up and grabbed her hand.  They walked into the living room and took a seat on the couch.  He let go of her hand, because he didn’t want her to get any ideas.

“Josie we have known each other for 2 years and when I asked you to move in, it was because I felt we belonged together.  However, over the course of these 4 months I don’t know that I feel that anymore.”

Her eyes got big and she moved further away from him.  “What?”

“I know that you feel it too.  We barely see each other; we don’t touch anymore and the few times we’re together we aren’t really together.”

“W…What;” he stared at her; she wasn’t getting it.

“I loved you, but over the course of living together I am sorry to say that I have fallen out of love.  I don’t know what else to say, but I know that you feel there’s something off in our relationship too.”

“I…I…” she began to sob and he reached over for a tissue.  He hated to see her cry, but he hoped that she realized it was for the best.  “I thought you were going to propose tonight.”

“You did?”

She nodded as she blew her nose.  “I still love you.”

She looked at him with her big round eyes and he had to look away.  “I’m sorry; I’m only being honest with you and myself.”

“I understand that, but I sold my things and I moved in here.  Are you kicking me out?”

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