Read Sweet Haven (The Sweet Series Book 2) Online

Authors: K.C. Lynn

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance

Sweet Haven (The Sweet Series Book 2) (22 page)

BOOK: Sweet Haven (The Sweet Series Book 2)
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Bold and arrogant had been more like it, but yes, that was what the women in town had said. Many of them. It was a cold reminder of why I had to leave before I fell under the same spell. The feelings I experienced in that moment were wrong.

Without so much as a dignified reply, I picked up my basket and gave him my most polite smile. I was a lady, after all. “Good day, Mr. Lawson.”

Awareness prickled my skin when I had brushed past him.

I didn’t make it far before he called out after me. “Don’t believe everything you hear, Miss Emerson. None of those women in town are near as beautiful as you are.”

Butterflies danced in my tummy when I realized he knew my name.

That was our first encounter and it wasn’t our last. I had gone back every day after and he was always there, waiting for me. With his charming smile and quick wit. I fell for him instantly.

It all started with subtle looks and touches. He had familiar eyes that felt like home. They were welcoming and warm. He also made me laugh and that was something I didn’t do often. Not anymore. Not since losing my entire family when I was only ten years old in a train derailment.

We spent a lot of time together in that grove and quite a few nights, too. The first time we met I knew we shared something special, something indescribable. But the first time we kissed, it was as if our souls had become one. Then he made love to me under a star-covered sky, and I knew I’d never be the same again.

It was the most beautiful time of my life, yet it was also a sin because I’ve been promised to another man. A terrible man who’s cruel and does not know what it means to really love someone.

My uncle took me in after I lost my family and promised me to his business partner’s eldest son, Kenneth Harold the third. Our marriage arrangement had nothing to do with love.

“It’s what’s best for the family.” My uncle always said.

Closing my eyes, I think about the night I told Joshua I was being forced to marry another. I’ll never forget the anger in his eyes. The possession. And his vow to me.

“I swear I’ll never let that happen. You are mine, Rose. You always have been. You always will be.”

Oh, how I long to be with him now. To have him hold me in his arms. To hear his voice, but instead I lie in bed the night before my wedding, tears of sorrow soaking my pillow.

Kenneth and my uncle found out about us and moved the wedding up to tomorrow. I searched all evening for Joshua, frantic and scared, only to find out he left town this morning after being paid a visit from my uncle. I can only imagine what was said to make him leave without saying good-bye.

The thought has me crying harder.

It wasn’t supposed to end like this. I was supposed to have time. Time to find a way out of this loveless deal.

A sudden bang sounds from downstairs and pulls me out of my turmoil. It’s so loud it vibrates my bedroom walls.

“Rose!”

I sit up quickly, trying to dispel my despair long enough to hear the commotion beyond my door.

“Get the hell out of my house!” my uncle yells.

“I’m not leaving here without her.”

Joshua.

Relief floods my body as a sob of joy tumbles from my lips. I dash from the bed, lifting my white cotton nightgown as I descend the winding staircase. I halt mid-step when I see Joshua standing over my uncle who is lying on the floor with blood trickling from his lip.

“Joshua,” I breathe. My mind is still trying to catch up with everything that is happening but my heart settles on the man before me, his dark eyes filled with love and determination.

“Don’t marry him. Come with me instead.”

“Where?” I ask.

“Chicago.”

My eyes widen in shock, a sliver of fear creeping up my spine for the unknown.

“The train leaves in thirty minutes. I have a job lined up at the fire department there.” He closes the distance between us, coming to stand at the bottom of the stairs. “I love you, Rose. I want to build a life with you. I want you to have my children. I want to wake up to your beautiful face every day for the rest of my life.”

Tears stain my cheeks and a smile dances across my lips. It vanishes though the moment I meet my uncle’s furious gaze.

“If you leave here with him, you leave with nothing but the clothes on your back. You will lose everything, including your place in this family.”

“I lost my family long ago,” I choke out. “I’ve been nothing but an obligation to you and you know it.”

“I’ve done right by you!”

“You are forcing me to marry a man I don’t love.”

“It’s what’s best for you,” he bellows. “I mean it. Leave here and you will lose it all.”

I turn back to Joshua and find him watching me, his dark eyes strong and filled with promise. He extends his hand to me. “Trust me, Rose.”

Those three words seal my fate.

Smiling, I take his hand, my heart leaping with anticipation, excitement, and yes, love. I knew I was gaining so much more than I was losing.

“Don’t you ever come back, Rose! You hear me?”

I ignore my uncle’s furious voice and run behind Joshua, trying to keep up with his fast strides. The night air is warm as we make it outside and bound down the porch steps. I smile as the cool grass tickles my bare feet, the taste of freedom teasing my heart as we flee our past to start our future.

Joshua stops halfway across the lawn and pulls me in for a soul-shattering kiss. I wrap my arms around his neck, my tears of joy mixing with our passion as he lifts me off my feet.

“I can’t believe you came back for me.” My heart is so full, nearly bursting at the seams with love for this man.

He places me back on my feet, his strong hands framing my face as he pulls back to look at me. “I’ll always come for you.”

They are words I’ll remember forever.

“Are we really doing this?” I ask with a laugh.

He quirks a brow. “Second thoughts?”

I shake my head. “Never.”

He graces me with that charming smile. The same one that melted my heart all those months ago when we first met. The same one I can’t imagine living without.

“We’re going to have a good life, Rose. I promise.”

I reach up and cup his strong jaw. “I know.”

“We’ll get you new clothes as soon as we arrive. Anything you need,” he promises.

“As long as I have you, I have everything I need.”

He gives me one more toe-curling kiss before we head to the train station, catching it just in the nick of time.

We made it to Chicago safely and were married in a small ceremony shortly after we arrived. We couldn’t wait to start our lives together. Joshua supported us, working as a firefighter, and I found a job as a teacher in a local school. We were happy. We made love often and laughed everyday. We were ready to start our family.

But fate had robbed us of our destiny. Two years later, the Great Chicago Fire took three hundred souls, including my beloved husband. But the child he sacrificed his own life to save, lived. Because of him.

I lost so much more that day than the man I loved. I lost a piece of my soul forever. I never remarried. I knew I would never be able to love someone the way I did Joshua. Even knowing our outcome, I will never regret the decision I made that night to leave with him. Those two years were the best of my life. Every second I had with him was magic. I lived in the memories we created together and carried them with me into eternity.

It wouldn’t be until 2016 when the stars realigned and fate had its say once more for Joshua and Rose. Samantha and Jase lived a long and happy life together, building the family they’d always dreamed of and sharing a love that would span many lifetimes to come. Soul mates until their dying days, only to find each other somewhere down the road once again.

Most likely…in another peach grove.

The End…for now.

Make sure to check out my website
www.authorkclynn.com
for what’s coming next.

Acknowledgements

I’m blessed to have so many amazing people who love and support me in this beautiful journey I’m on. Most of them have been with me from the very beginning. They’ve had my back, believed in me, and wouldn’t let me give up when times were daunting.

To everyone who has been a part of this amazing journey with me—family, my beautiful editor, betas, friends, my author groups, bloggers, and readers around the world. You know who you are. Thank you. I love and cherish every single one of you.

A special shout-out to the brave men of Fire Station Two and Captain Gyepesi aka Captain Gypsi, who so graciously allowed me to be a part of the family for a night. I found you funny and admirable. I knew the moment I met you, I would make you the captain in my series.

Thank you to the rest of you for the courageous, honorable work you do and for welcoming me into your station. An extended thanks to Kevin Royle for continuing to answer any questions I have and extending an open invitation to the station. I appreciate it more than you know.

You men are true heroes.

About the Author

K.C. Lynn is a small town girl living in Western Canada. She grew up in a family of four children—two sisters and a brother. Her mother was the lady who baked homemade goods for everyone on the street and her father was a respected man who worked in the RCMP. He’s since retired and now works for the criminal justice system. This being one of the things that inspires K.C. to write romantic suspense about the trials and triumphs of our heroes.

K.C. married her high school sweetheart and they started a big family of their own—two adorable girls and a set of handsome twin boys. They still reside in the same small town but K.C.’s heart has always longed for the south, where everyone says ‘y’all’ and eats biscuits and gravy for breakfast.

It was her love for romance books that gave K.C. the courage to sit down and write her own novel. It was then a beautiful world opened up and she found what she was meant to do…write.

When K.C.’s not spending time with her beautiful family she can be found in her writing cave, living in the fabulous minds of her characters and their stories.

BOOK: Sweet Haven (The Sweet Series Book 2)
2.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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