Authors: Desiree Wilder
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Erotica
By: Desiree Wilder
Copyright © 2013 by Desiree Wilder.
All rights reserved.
First Print Edition:
Limitless Publishing, LLC
Kailua, HI 96734
Formatting: Limitless Publishing
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to locales, events, business establishments, or actual persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.
This book is dedicated to those of you who inspire, and those of you who allow yourselves to be inspired
Table of Contents
As I sat on the couch between Jo and Dana, I felt hopeful. They were the two best friends I’d ever had and they’d always been there for me. I knew they’d help me get my life back, and as much as I hated to admit it, I needed help.
“I’m really screwed up
, huh?” I whispered, still looking down at my hands.
“No, Gia, you’re not screwed up. You just need some help dealing with the terrible things you’ve
been through,” Dana said. “I know of a place that I’d like to tell you about, but I think you need a shower and something to eat first.”
“Is the deli still open
, Gia?” Ethan asked. He was so considerate even after I blew him off for the last twenty-four hours and then cussed him out when he showed up to help me. I looked at him and he gave me one hell of a smile.
Fuck, he’s gorgeous.
gave him a half smile, which seemed to make him happy.
“Your usual?” He was
, please.” He asked the girls if they wanted anything before he left.
, Gia. You did good, you did
good,” Jo said. It felt great to giggle with them.
took a shower. It felt warm, and as I let it wash over me, I felt hopeful again. I thought of what Ethan said about me being the only woman he’d ever said “I love you” to. It warmed me even more and I knew he was there with the best intentions. I washed my hair, got out of the shower, and brushed my teeth. I was really disgusting after what I’d done all day. I put some shorts and Ethan’s t-shirt on. It still smelled like him and it made me feel close to him.
When I walked back out to the living room
, Jo and Dana were talking while Ethan was sitting at my little dining table waiting for me to emerge. His face lit up when he saw me. He stood and pulled my chair out for me.
“I love your clothing choice,” h
e said as he sat down beside me.
“I love it
, too,” I told him. “Thanks for the deli run.” I was starving and dug in immediately.
’re welcome. I told them to put extra tofu on it, since I know how much you love it.”
I laughed out loud. I wasn’t expecting that at all.
“Settle down over there, you two!” Dana joked from the couch.
I leaned over and gave Ethan a soft peck on the lips. Then
, while I continued to eat, he made small talk about the things he’d gotten done around The Lock earlier. I knew he wanted to talk about so many other things, so I appreciated him letting me off the hook for a little while. I finished eating and we joined the girls.
, how would you feel about a thirty day Depression Treatment program? It’s private, it’s for women only, and it focuses on relationships, depression, loss, grief, and pain. It’s an in-patient program and they practice with therapy, not medication,” Dana said. They all looked to me for an answer.
“Thirty day in-patient?
” I started to panic. I didn’t want to stay somewhere strange for a month.
What about my job?
I was getting really nervous very quickly.
“We know it sounds extreme
, Gia. But this place is really nice and comes highly recommended. Just think of it as a little vacation, and in thirty days you’ll be back, good as new,” Jo said, trying to make it sound like I was going to a spa or something.
“A vacation? I’ll be back? Where the hell is this place?” I asked them. They looked at each other nervously and I knew I wasn’t goi
ng to like the answer.
,” Dana said carefully.
I started crying. “No. I can’t. Please don’t ask me
to do this.” Ethan wrapped his arms around me.
He looked at
the girls. “California? What the hell? I’m sure there are places a lot closer than that.” He put his hand on my hair and stroked it.
“Of course there are
,” Dana said. “But Jo and I did some research a couple of months ago when we thought you were seriously considering doing this, and Gia, this place is the best.”
“They actually have a program specifically for severe postpartum depression and miscarriages. Gia, we would never suggest something so drastic for you if we didn’t believe it was the best option
,” Jo told me. “I know you weren’t trying to hurt yourself today, but you know how dangerous it is to take sleeping pills and alcohol, yet you did it anyway. That should prove to you how seriously you need to take this and I don’t want to see you end up in some mediocre therapy group with some guy who doesn’t have a clue what you’ve been through.” She started getting teary-eyed. I felt bad. I knew what I’d put those girls through when I’d tried to overdose after my last miscarriage.
“Do some research tomorrow and think about it. I’ll write down the name of the place Jo and I are talking about so you can check it out
,” Dana said as she dug through her purse looking for the info. “We know it’s ultimately your decision and we’ll be behind you one hundred percent no matter what you decide, okay?” Then she looked at Ethan. “We know you want what’s best for Gia too, don’t get me wrong.”
,” Ethan said. “We’re all on the same page here.” He hugged me tighter.
“Gia, do you want to come back to my place and stay tonight?” Dana asked. I knew I didn’t want to be alone, not that any of th
em would’ve let me anyway, but I didn’t want Ethan driving all the way back home tonight.
I looked up at Ethan. “W
ould you stay here with me tonight instead?” I asked. I knew Jo and Dana would understand.
. “Yes.” I leaned my head back on his chest.
“You two are super cute, you know that
, right?” Dana said. Then she and Jo just stood there smiling and gazing at us.
u two can quit staring at him anytime now,” I told them and they giggled.
“Talk to you both
tomorrow then,” Dana said. They pried me out of Ethan’s arms and hugged me. “Thanks, Ethan,” Dana added and they hugged him, too.
, girls,” Ethan said as he hugged them back. “I’ll walk you two out.” He turned to me. “I’ll be right back.”
I sat on my couch and took a deep breath. I couldn’t believe Jo and Dana wanted me to go to California for thirty days. I didn’t know if I could do that. I mean, I would if I
to, but I certainly hoped we would find a closer solution.
I called Lilly. I knew I’d really worried her and I felt bad. She
had a family to take care of. She didn’t need to be bothered by my selfish behavior.
, Lill,” I said when she picked up.
“Gia! Are you al
l right? I was so worried about you when you never called me back! Dana told me what you were doing all day and I wanted to come over there and kick your ass! What’s got you so down?” She tried to be mad but she couldn’t. She was too relieved.
“I’m sorry. I
had an eventful weekend and it brought up a lot of old stuff, ya know? But I’ve decided to get some professional help.” I knew she’d be all for that.
that’s awesome! I’ve wanted that for you for so long and I’m proud of you for making that decision.” She sounded emotional.
, sis. I don’t have to work tomorrow, so I want to come over to see you and the kids. Then we’ll talk about everything, okay?” I was looking forward to seeing them.
I love you, G,” she said.
I love you, Lill.”
Ethan came back in and sat beside me. He took my hand and put his arm around me. I could feel his
love. I didn’t deserve him. I was going to try to earn him. I snuggled into his warm, welcoming chest. “I’m sorry.”
“I know you are.” He squeezed
my hand. “I’m sorry, too. About the Bridget thing. I put myself in your shoes and it wasn’t a fun place to be. I’m also sorry I left you yesterday when I knew you were hurting. I’ll never do that again.”
, baby.” That time I realized I’d said it as soon as the word left my lips, but it had come so naturally I couldn’t regret it. “I’m going to get ready for bed.”
, could I ask you something first?” He sounded serious.
“Of course.” I was curious.
“What would be your ideal situation for the therapy?”
“Well, obviously not California. That scares the hell out of me
, Ethan. I haven’t given it a lot of thought yet, but I guess if it were ideal, I’d still be able to work and be here with my family and friends.”
“Would you be able or even willing to take some time off work if that was the most prac
tical approach?” I had the feeling he was going somewhere.
“I guess I’d be willing to consider
all the options,” I said.
When I’d finished in the bathroom, I went back out to the couch but Ethan wasn’t there. “Ethan?” I said.
” I heard him say. I turned around and walked back toward the bathroom. “Gia, I’m in your room.”
Of course. That’s where most people go to bed.
topped in the doorway. He was lying on my bed with his boxers on. He looked good enough to eat.
“Nothing. I’ve ju
st never slept in here.”
up. “You’ve never slept in your bedroom?”
“No. I sleep on the couch.
” It sounded immature and I was embarrassed.
“I don’t know. I’m more comfortable out there, I guess.” It was true.
“Well, I don’t think we’re both going to fit on your couch. Would you sleep in here with me tonigh
t?” I knew he was right about the couch so I said yes.
I told him he could use my toothbrush if he wanted and he went into the bathroom. I sat down on my
bed. I felt out of place. I knew it would be fine since Ethan was going to be with me, but I didn’t like being in there alone.
When Ethan came back, he
was carrying a bunch of pillows from the living room. He tossed them on the bed and disappeared again. He returned with the flowers he’d sent me. He put them on the dresser, turned off the light, and we crawled under the sheet. He put his arms around me and kissed me softly.
, Gia,” he whispered.
, baby,” I whispered.