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Authors: Rachael Orman

Yearning Devotion

BOOK: Yearning Devotion
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Y
earning

D
evotion

 

 

B
y
R
achael
O
rman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yearning Devotion

Copyright 2013 by Rachael Orman

All rights
reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of
this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or
by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior
written permission of the author.

The scanning,
uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via other means
without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law.
Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in
or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the
author’s rights is appreciated.

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

 

 

 

 

Thank you
to my husband and beautiful daughter. Jennifer, Wendi, Tracy, Rebecca and all my
wonderful friends that have kept me motivated and inspired along the way, I can
never say thank you enough.

 

 

Prologue

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blood was everywhere. It pooled around her bare feet. It
covered her hands. It covered her tattered ill-fitting clothes.

Her breath was coming short and fast as adrenaline pumped
through her body. Her heart beat hard in her chest as she looked down at the
body at her feet. Her hand still gripped his knife tight.

The fools had thought she had grown complacent and she had.
She no longer fought them, no longer argued with them. But she would never let
an opportunity to escape pass her by. When she saw he had left his pocket knife
on the kitchen counter when he’d entered, she knew that time had come.

She hadn’t moved fast enough after he told her to get
undressed. She was never quick enough. He grabbed her hair and slammed her face
into the wall, breaking her nose. Again.  She whimpered once, quietly, as blood
gushed from her nose. The hold in her hair eased as his attention shifted to
getting his pants undone. That was when she slipped the knife out of her shorts
and slashed his throat ear to ear without hesitation. He had looked up when she
turned on him. It had been years since she had truly put up a fight and he
hadn’t expected it.

She stepped back from his collapsed body and the expanding
pool of blood. He wouldn’t be getting up. She ran for the kitchen and his keys.
His blood coated her hands and made the keys slippery as she struggled to get
the right key into the lock on the door. She had to get out of there. Sometimes
they visited her alone.  Sometimes they arrive only minutes apart. Sometimes
longer. She couldn’t waste time in case the brother showed up.

Once she got the door unlocked, she grabbed his large coat
and used it to cover her blood soaked clothes.  She flung the door open and ran
as far and hard as her feet would carry her.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter
1

 

 

 

 

 

 

~~~ 10 Years Later~~~

Gwen Black leaned back in her spot
on the ‘R’ Line of the New York City Subway system. She had her ear buds in her
ears, listening to music from her phone to tune out the noise from the other
passengers on the subway.  Music was her life. She was always listening to one
thing or another.

She had had a hard life. That was a
fact. She hadn’t lived a normal day her entire existence. She didn’t even know
what that was like. She’d only survived by pushing the horrible experiences
into compartments in her mind, refusing to let the hard times destroy her.
They’d molded who she was as a person enough already. Now she’d simply found
the path that worked for her. The path that she could live with, for she was
the only one that had to live with her decisions.

She had gotten her GED a few years
ago and was now enrolled in her first semester to study Fashion Design.
Sketching had been something she’d done for years. One day it occurred to her
that she could hone her skills at school and even get a job doing something she
loved. It’d be better than her current job.

She rode the subway to school every
day. She would pass the time either sketching or watching people. Watching
people was entertaining to her. It made the wheels in her mind turn and gave
her new ideas for her sketches. She glanced at the guy hunched over in the
corner sleeping. He looked and smelled like he hadn’t bathed in weeks. Gwen had
been homeless for years so she understood what it was like. You didn’t have a
bed to sleep in. You slept wherever you could find that was comfortable and
that you’d be left alone for a bit. Every day she bought him a breakfast
sandwich from the little place down the street from her apartment. She walked
by it on her way to the subway and she knew just how hard it could be to find
food when homeless. She had known what it was like to go days without food, so
she made it her goal to help one person at least get one meal a day. It was a
lot more than anyone had done for her when she’d been in that situation.

She looked away from the homeless man to the opposite end of
the train car. She watched as two young kids fought and shoved each other over
a toy. Their mother was bouncing a baby. It softly cried, but it was
progressively getting louder. She was so distracted trying to calm the baby
that she wasn’t paying her other children any attention.

Parents… What made people want to
have children? Gwen had absolutely no desire to have children.  Ever. She often
wondered, what made people want to give up so much of their life, to sacrifice
so much for those little people that were usually so needy and demanding? She
didn’t get it. She didn’t know her parents. She’d been abandoned by them early
on. It was partially because of them that her life had been so rough. She vowed
never to bring a child into the world for fear that they would go through what
she’d gone through.

Shifting, Gwen swept her eyes
around the car looking for more interesting people. Ah, yes, the business
people. They were always abundant on the subway at seven in the morning, which
is the time she was normally sitting here on this exact bench five days a week.
She watched as most of them sat or stood in their suits and ties, playing with
their phones or tablets. Life was so busy for them. They couldn’t even stop and
sit quietly to take in life for the short time they were on the subway. Gwen
rode the subway for about thirty minutes each morning; she lived near the start
of the line so there were few people riding when she first got on. She watched
as the car filled and shifted as the masses of people were picked up and
dropped off at various exits. She loved living in the big city; she was just
one in the crowd here. She could sit here listening to music and thinking about
other people’s lives and no one even noticed her. It was blissful to be just a
face in the crowd.

She noticed the man she had named
‘Green Eyes’. She had seen him many times in the morning ride in the last
couple months since she started school. It seemed they had similar morning
routines. She looked him over as she normally did; it was a little treat for
her eyes. He was very good looking - clean shaven with a strong square jaw, and
dark brown hair. Judging by the way his suits fit, he had a very well cared for
body. He had beautiful green eyes, that Gwen had never looked directly into, but
she was fascinated with them. They seemed to change colors from a wide variety
of greens to almost blue and even to colors like brown or gray. Yes, she
feasted her eyes on him as much as she could without being caught staring. She
knew nothing about him except that he always looked like each suit had been
very carefully tailored just for his body and that he rode the subway in
towards the city the same five days of the week that she did. She doubted he
even knew she existed and she was okay with that.

Gwen had big brown eyes, long
slightly wavy dark brown hair, thick eyebrows, and pale pink lips. She didn’t
try to draw attention to herself.  It wasn’t that she was shy, she was
confident in nearly everything she did. When she was on her own time she didn’t
want people talking and touching her. If she could avoid it, she did. She
wasn’t one of those women who had to talk all the time. She would rather sit and
let lyrics float through her mind and keep her mind busy rather than let
thoughtless things flop out of lips all day at anyone who would listen.

With her stop coming up, she picked
up her black clutch purse from her lap and stood on her 4 inch black stilettos.
Smoothing down her dark purple pencil skirt as she stood, she made sure she
didn’t leave anything behind on the bench. She adjusted her black silk tank as
she made her way toward the door nearest her. As she moved, she tucked her
phone into her clutch. She didn’t want to have someone snatch her phone from
her. She had bought a top of the line phone just so she could stream her music
on it anywhere she went. She had her bag grabbed by a thief once. Ever since
then she preferred small purses that she could keep close to her body, making
it much harder for someone to grab it from her.

As the doors opened to the subway
platform, she tightly tucked her clutch under her left arm and moved with the
crowd as the rush to get on and off ensued.

 It’s Moody Monday Again.
 Gwen
smiled at the thought as she blended into the thousands of people going about
their lives. Mondays were always the worst day to try to get through the crowd.
Everyone was running late and were crankier than normal - since it was the first
day after the weekend. Flicking her long hair back over her shoulder as she
moved through the crowd, she thought maybe it was time to cut it. It was almost
halfway down her back now. She had taken the time this morning to make it all
spiral curled.

Thinking about a possible haircut,
she was distracted and tripped over something - probably over her own feet. She
hadn’t seen anything to trip over, but suddenly her face was fast approaching
the sidewalk. She threw out her hands to catch her fall, they snagged on cord
of her earbuds, roughly pulling them from her ears. At the same time big hands
grabbed each of her arms and stopped her downward progression. She was tugged
up and her back was brought against a hard chest.

“Whoa, almost had a spill. You OK?”
A deep, male voice said right into her ear. He was so close, her hair moved
against her ear when he spoke.

Gwen was a bit dazed. Her brain was
trying to piece together how she went from expecting to hit the ground with her
hands to having this firm chest against her back and a sexy voice in her ear.
She turned her head slightly and her eyes connected with the bright green eyes
of ‘Green Eyes’ over her shoulder. She sucked in a breath at being so close to
him.  She shook her head a bit, turning around to come face to face with ‘Green
Eyes’. His hands lifted off her as she turned but were once again softly
gripping her upper arms, still keeping her close. Once she'd fully turned he
repeated his question, “Are you okay?”

Gwen stood there gazing into those
eyes. She must’ve gotten lost in them for too long because she saw concern come
over his features and his eyes turned a slightly darker green. As a small
crease appeared on his forehead, she had the urge to run a finger over it. That
thought brought her back to reality.

“Erm.. I think so.” She coughed
slightly before she tried to peer over his shoulder to see what the heck she had
tripped on. He was a few inches taller than her and his broad shoulder blocked
her view. That was impressive and something she hadn’t noticed before now. She
was kind of tall for a woman at 5’7”. Add in her 4 inch heels and she was
guessing he had to be at least 6’5”. She cleared her throat quietly before
saying, “Thanks for saving me from crashing! I’m so clumsy sometimes!”

“Trust me, the pleasure was all
mine.” He replied in that deep sexy voice of his.

“Well, thank you, Mr…” Gwen tilted
her head, still gazing at his eyes. She forced her eyes away when she realized
that her hands were resting against his chest - a very hard and muscular chest.
She took a quick step back, breaking all contact between them. She took a deep
breath as she slid her hands down over her hips. She noticed his eyes followed
her hands before returning to her eyes.

“Cressley, Cole Cressley. And what
is the name of the beautiful woman who trips on her own feet in busy subways? ”
he said giving her an easy natural smile that she couldn’t help but return.

“Mr. Cressley, I owe you one. See
you on the subway.” Gwen winked before stepping back and turning away. She was
quickly absorbed into the mass of people making their way out onto the street.
She disappeared before ever giving him her name.

.

BOOK: Yearning Devotion
11.08Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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