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Authors: Victoria Wells

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The Sweetest Love (Love Conquers All Book 5)

BOOK: The Sweetest Love (Love Conquers All Book 5)
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The Sweetest Love

Copyright © 2012 by Victoria Wells

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

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form. For information, contact Heart 2 Heart Publishing Rights Department, P.O. Box 48186, Philadelphia, PA 19144.

Other Titles by Victoria Wells

♥♥♥

A Special Summer

When Love Comes Around

Key To My Heart

Caliente Nights

Second Chance at Love

Dear Reader,

I know it’s been a long wait for my next novel. Unfortunately, my mom became sick as I was halfway through writing
The Sweetest Love,
the fifth book in the Love Conquers All Series.

There are no words to describe the depth of my devastation when the Lord called her home. Many days I didn’t feel like writing or simply could not write. But then I remembered how proud my mom was of me when I wrote my first novel. This and the many emails, comments on my website and posts on my Facebook page from readers wanting to know how much longer they had to wait for “the next book” encouraged me to finish Roxy and Adam’s story.

Thank you so much for your support and words of kindness.

Much Love,

Victoria Wells

PS. Please feel free to drop me an email at:
[email protected]
after you get to know Roxy and Adam.

The Sweetest Love

Prologue

Eighteen-year-old Adam West didn’t have to do much convincing to get his latest conquest right where he wanted her. The frisky seventeen-year-old inched closer, stroking the bulge in his jeans, encouraging Adam’s roaming hands as he suckled the soft flesh on her neck.

“Mmm… Adam,” the young girl moaned as his hand slid under her skirt. The warm touch of his hand easing its way toward her crotch caused her to shudder in delight.

The horny teenager had hit the jackpot.
Yes!
he shouted to himself as she widened her legs giving him full access to her goodies. A few more strokes of his fingertips and she’d be wiggling out of her panties.

“Shh.”

Abigail West put her finger to her lips, motioning to her best friend to be quiet. Spying on her big brother and his girlfriends had become the ten-year-olds’ favorite pastime. Tonight was no different as they crouched down behind a loveseat, peeping around its side.

“Ewwwww! That’s nasty!” Abigail and Roxanna squealed in childlike disgust as they watched Adam slide his tongue into the teenage girl’s mouth. No way would they let some dirty boy touch them
or
kiss them! Yuk!

Giggling, the girls ducked behind their protective barrier as if doing so would make them invisible.

Adam and his date, startled by the girls’ outburst, immediately broke contact, their eyes nervously searching the room as they straightened rumpled clothing.

Irritation crept up Adam’s neck as he stalked over to the direction of his bratty sister and her annoying friend. Ever since the girl became friends with Abigail, she had become
another
thorn in his side, a nuisance. Every time he turned around they were underfoot.

Why did his parents always have to play good Samaritans? Why did they think it was their responsibility to take in the little stray? It wasn’t his family’s problem that her single mother worked a second job on the weekends, and had nowhere else to dump her annoying kid.

Adam had had enough of the brats’ interference. Glaring down at the ten-year-olds, he felt justified in the long overdue fury he was gearing up to unleash.

While their parents were out on a movie date, he had given them explicit instructions to stay upstairs in Abigail’s room. His thought had been without them in his face, he’d get to second base. And if he got really lucky, he’d be sliding into third base before his parents got home.

There was plenty for them to do. His sister was spoiled rotten to the core. She had everything at her disposal– a television, video games, Barbie dolls, collectible dolls, and a ton of board games to keep them occupied. But having all of that junk wasn’t enough to keep her satisfied. She and her nuisance of a friend had to be spying on him, minding his business.

“What the hell are you doing down here? I told you to stay in your room!” Adam angrily bellowed.

Abigail’s and Roxanna’s eyes became as wide as saucers as they looked at each other, stunned. Adam knew better than to say bad words. He was going to be in big trouble. Abigail was going to make sure of it.

“Ooh! I’m telling Momma and Daddy you cussing!” Abigail whined as she stood up, defiantly crossing her arms over her chest. To get further on her brother’s nerves she threatened, “And I’m telling you got that girl over here, too! Momma said you couldn’t have no company!”

Roxanna remained on the floor, shrinking back from Adam’s wrath. She knew he didn’t like her much from the way he always cut his eyes at her or grumbled “hello” whenever she spoke to him. However, she had never seen him so angry. His dark, angry eyes flashed as if he wanted to throw the both of them out the second floor window head first.

Shrinking further into the corner, Roxanna wished Abby would just keep quiet so he can stop yelling. He was really scaring her.

“Shut up, Abby! I’m sick of you and your little friend up in my face all the time! You should have stayed upstairs like I told you!”

He was so pissed he didn’t care that his sister was a little snitch and would follow through on her threats. An infraction he was sure would get him a lengthy lecture and strip him of driving privileges for the next two weeks. The latter punishment mentally tipped him over the edge.

Turning his wrath on Roxanna, he sneered, “Don’t you have somewhere else to go?” Breathing heavily, anger seeping from his pores, Adam continued to vent. “Why do you always have to come over here? I’m sick of seeing you in my house you stupid brat!”

Paralyzed, Roxanna was too afraid to move as tears welled up in her eyes. She wanted her mommy.

The petrified gaze the small child wore only infuriated him more. “Get out of here!” he roared, his hands balled up in tight fists at his side.

“Adam, that’s enough.” The stern, masculine voice of Nelson West, lethally warned from the doorway.

“Boy! What’s wrong with you?” Brenda West shrieked, visibly upset. She could not imagine what had gotten into their son. She had never seen him so mean-spirited. No telling what she and her husband would have walked in on if they’d gotten home a few minutes later.

“Come here, sweetheart,” Brenda coaxed the shaken child.

Standing up on wobbly legs, instead of going into the motherly figure’s arms for shelter, the child ran, out into the night, swearing never to speak to Adam West again.

Chapter 1

Sixteen years later

Roxanna Harris could not be happier. At twenty-six years old she had landed the job of her dreams. Well, not exactly, but it was a steady paycheck. Since graduating from college with a degree in accounting and studying for the CPA exam, she had worked for temp agencies, going from one assignment to the next. Although she had been offered a permanent position a time or two, she always refused the offer. It wasn’t that she wasn’t appreciative of the offers, she was just very particular about whom she worked for. The offers were usually made by small privately-owned companies. Roxanna had hung around long enough to get the picture that some of these companies didn’t exactly play by the rules, especially with how they kept their books. The last thing she wanted was to get caught up in some financial mayhem with the Feds breathing down her neck.

The reason she had prematurely ended her previous assignment was because the owner of the company had wanted her to falsify some figures. He had come to her with the lure of a hefty bonus if she made the numbers look as if the company had taken a greater loss than it had the previous year. Though she didn’t have years of experience in her field, she wasn’t an idiot. She was aware the greedy owner wanted to use this as an excuse not to give the workers the bonuses he had promised for improved productivity.

Although it wasn’t professional, she abruptly quit the assignment. Needless to say the agency had not been pleased with her. Therefore, the number of assignments she received had begun to dwindle. As a result, Roxanna updated her resume and e-mailed them to larger companies. She’d been granted a few interviews, which never materialized into employment. The reasons always cited were her lack of experience and not having sat for the boards to become a CPA.

She hadn’t let this discourage her. Roxanna kept right on putting her resume out there and studying for the exam.

After passing the CPA exam she still was having difficulty getting a position with a large firm. Roxanna had no choice but to rethink her position on employment with a smaller company. Her meager savings were dwindling down rapidly. Becoming desperate, she applied for an entry-level accounting position with Dawson Investments – a very small firm.

The interview process had been downright nail biting. She had been called in to interview with human resources two weeks ago. And now she was back today to interview with the firm’s president, Kevin Dawson. If she’d had any idea of any shady dealings, she had quickly learned during her second interview this was no fly-by-night operation. Mr. Dawson had presented a series of legal and ethical scenarios. Taking her time to think through every case he presented, she came up with what she hoped were satisfactory responses.

Roxanna was grateful when Mr. Dawson excused himself to go briefly speak with his secretary. Taking a deep breath to calm her nerves, her eyes surveyed the office. On a bookshelf was a pastel decorative alphabet picture frame with a photo of three adorable toddlers.
Triplets… how cute.
Next to the picture was a silver frame with a photo of a smiling woman.
She’s beautiful,
Roxanna thought as she looked at the photo, assuming it was the missus. Tilting her head, she gazed at the picture a little longer. She’d seen the woman before, but couldn’t figure out where. Shrugging it off, she figured the woman probably had one of those familiar faces.

Roxanna’s stomach began to tie into knots when Mr. Dawson walked back into the office and took his seat behind the desk. His features were unreadable. She hoped she hadn’t botched the interview. Doubt raised its ugly head and began to creep in. Maybe she hadn’t answered the questions as well as she’d thought. Her heart began to beat wildly in her chest. She really needed this job.

She had to plant her feet on the floor to keep from doing the church lady shout dance when Mr. Dawson casually leaned back in his chair and asked, “So when can you start?”

Skipping to the train station, Roxanna did not care that it was a sweltering ninety-seven degrees, an unusually hot day for mid-June. All she could think about was that she had a real job. And if she made it past the three month probation period, which she would, she would have a full benefits package. She was already feeling a sense of stability.

Waiting on the platform for the train, she thought of all the things she could do now that she had a steady income. The first thing she was going to do was take her mom out shopping.

As a single parent Reba Harris had gotten used to not buying herself anything new. For years she’d been buying her clothes from thrift stores so Roxanna could have new things. The familiar tears of gratitude stung the back of her eyes at the sacrifices her mom made so she wouldn’t be an outcast in school and get teased for wearing shabby or used clothes. It was time for her mom to have something nice, something new.
A pretty dress from Ann Taylor would look really good on Mommy.

Lifting her hair and wiping the back of her neck with her hand, Roxanna giggled. The next thing she was going to do for goodness sakes was replace that ugly pink and purple flowered sheet posing as a curtain on the only window in her studio apartment. A nice fresh coat of yellow paint might also brighten up the small space. Maybe she could even get rid of that nasty, old futon she’d gotten from the Salvation Army and buy a real sleeper sofa.
A brown leather one would sure be nice
, she mused. Then she would no longer have to sleep on the floor to get a good night’s sleep. The lumpy futon was useless. The only reason it hadn’t gone out in the trash months ago was because she needed a place for her mother to sit when she came to visit.

Yes, things were looking up for Roxanna and she could not be happier.

Chapter 2

Run!
Her mind screamed as panic set in and her heart began to pound in her chest. After all these years she was not prepared to see him face to face. After that night so many years ago, when he had been so cruel to her, Roxanna had made it a point to steer clear of Adam. She avoided him like he was walking salmonella.

Though she desperately wanted to turn around and go back to her car, her legs would not cooperate. Nor would her eyes turn away from the most handsome deep dark chocolate face she had ever seen. As a child Roxanna had had a huge crush on her best friend’s big brother. Although she acted as if seeing him kissing all of those girls disgusted her, secretly she wished she was all grown up so he could kiss her, too. That was until he had become a mean, angry beast.

She could not believe how much Adam had changed. No longer was he a tall, lanky teenager. He had morphed over the years into a six foot five, broad shouldered, muscular hunk of a man.

When Adam opened the door to his parents’ home he had not expected this visitor.

“Roxy, is that you?” he inquired of the young woman he was sure was his sister’s childhood friend. It had been a long time since he’d seen her. Boy, had she changed. What had once been a skinny little thing with a terrible overbite and long, thick braids was now an incredibly beautiful woman.

Flawless cinnamon skin with a hint of a golden undertone shimmered from the sheen of perspiration, giving her a dewy appearance. The once skinny frame had grown several inches taller, filling out in all the right places. She was the perfect size. Not rail thin and not plump either. That awful overbite had been corrected by braces. And those thick braids were now dark brown, naturally curly tresses that framed her face and rested on her shoulders.

Roxanna’s stomach did a flip-flop as she watched her childhood tormentor appraise her. Taking a deep breath and straightening her spine, she lifted her chin. She had to remind herself she wasn’t that scared little girl he could push around anymore.

“Yes, it’s me. Is Ms. Brenda here?” she coolly asked.

Roxanna fought to keep her voice firm and strong, although she was shaking on the inside. She promised herself she would never be bullied by Adam again.

“Yeah, she’s back in the kitchen,” he told her as he stepped back to allow her entry.

Roxanna passed through the doorway, being ever so careful not to touch Adam as she entered into the house.

As she passed him, the soft, feminine floral scent of her perfume tickled Adam’s nostrils. He could not take his eyes off her as she walked farther into the house. The navy blue business suit she wore showed off a set of long, gorgeous shapely legs.
When did she get so tall?
The four inch heels she wore gave her a statuesque height of five-nine. It was evident to Adam that Roxanna was comfortable with the added height as she walked with a straight back and squared shoulders.

It wasn’t lost on Adam that Roxanna had worn a mask of indifference and hadn’t spoken to him.
And why should she?
Adam acknowledged. As a moody teenager he had treated the shy child terribly.

Rarely had he lashed out at his sister. Whenever he did, guilt would immediately swallow him up. Abigail had been a very sickly child. As her only sibling, he felt it was his responsibility to baby her, to give her whatever she wanted. This, however, became old when he became a teenager and wanted out of having to always accommodate the spoiled child. Abigail was very good at using her illness to get her way, nagging him to no end. So when Roxanna was integrated into the West family, she became the target of his frustration.

Whenever Adam thought about Abigail, Roxanna was never far away. Over the years he’d often wondered what had become of her. He also often wondered how she had dealt with the hurt and the pain.

BOOK: The Sweetest Love (Love Conquers All Book 5)
4.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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