Read Counting Stars (A Donnelley Brother's Novel) Online

Authors: Alannah Carbonneau

Tags: #romance, #loss, #adult, #emotional, #love story, #healing, #country boys, #new adult, #country boy city girl, #heart breaking romance

Counting Stars (A Donnelley Brother's Novel)



A Donnelley Brothers

Book 1



by Alannah Carbonneau

Counting Stars

2014 Alannah Carbonneau

All rights reserved including the
right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any

This book is licensed for your
personal enjoyment only. This book is a work of fiction. Any
resemblance to actual events, persons living or dead, is
coincidental. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this

Cover Art is provided by Fotolia
and iStockphoto.

Formatting: Integrity


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the hard work of this author.



To my fiancé

~ because you truly are the life
of this story.

I love you.





Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27


Author’s Note

Other Books by Alannah Carbonneaux



I never got to say goodbye.

We didn’t fight that
morning—the last morning we were together—that wasn’t why I
regretted our last moments. No, I regretted them, because looking
back I couldn’t help but feel at fault.

I never got to say
goodbye—not a proper farewell with soul-filled promises that I
would one day see you again—nothing.

I wasn’t so lucky as to
face a diagnosis with you. I know, I shouldn’t be wishing for
something devastating like cancer. But I am. For the last year,
I’ve been wishing for time. Any time with you, really. I just wish
I could have told you how deeply I loved you with one last
whispered breath. I wish I would have known, so then maybe I would
have some semblance of closure.

Our friends and family
all tell me you were blessed. The impact, which your life was
taken, was quick and painless. But I know you. And I know you would
have taken the pain of cancer over leaving me so quickly—without
one last kiss.

Ah, you were always so
desperate for one last kiss.

Even now, I can see you
standing by the open door of our little home. The home I put up for
sale today—I can’t be here without you anymore. Please understand
and forgive me. I know how hard you worked to get us this
house—this home.

I don’t have to close my
eyes to see you standing there, beckoning me closer. Your lips are
curled into a half-grin as you coax me from the stool at the
counter where I work in the mornings. The sun behind you is so
bright and your sandy hair looks almost golden. Looking back now,
it’s like you have this halo hovering over you. And God, I know—I
just know that was my sign. I’m not religious—but I have a feeling
you went somewhere better. And I’m so happy for you—but I miss

I miss you so much it
hurts. It hurts so deeply in my heart. It’s like there’s this hole,
and with every beat of my heart, I feel the emptiness you left
behind inside me. God, I miss you.

I’m watching that
morning again. I’ve watched that morning a thousand times over. I
woke up with you—like I always do. We bantered as you threw your
lunch together and I made you breakfast. Eggs simmered in garlic on
rye. You never really deviated from your eggs. By the time you were
finished eating, I had a steaming cup of coffee beside me, and the
warm French Vanilla aroma wafted up in a swirl of flavored vapor
from the mug. My laptop was already powered on and you were leaning
over the back of my chair, pushing for a kiss. With a sigh I never
really mean, I turn to kiss you. I love the way your lips feel
against mine. Warm and slow—every morning. And then you’re walking
to the door. Sipping my coffee, I watch you. And then you open the
door and step onto the front porch. Poking your head back into the
entrance, you crook that finger at me.

“One more kiss,” you

I laugh. Taking my sweet
time, I walk toward you. And that’s when I see it. The golden orb
of light hovering around you. My mind makes it out to be the
stretch of the sunrise, but now I think it’s more.

Leaning forward, I kiss
you. And then I kiss you again, and again, and again. Your bag is
on the floor now and I’m in your arms. I don’t really know how long
we kiss for, but I know you should have already been in your car.
You should have already been on your way to work.

You’re never late . .

But I gave in to your
last plea. I kissed you. One action, so insignificant, was the
catalyst that led you to your last moments. I’m so sorry for

My mind picks up in the
memory of our final conversation. It’s like these concluding
moments have been on repeat in my mind. And it’s agony.

“I’ve gotta go, baby,”
you sigh. “We’ll pick this up tonight.”

“I love you.” I call as
you jog down the driveway. “Text me when you get there!”

“I will. I love you.”
You close the door of your car and back out of the drive. Like
always, I walk back to my computer and begin working.

You never texted me that

Actually, you never
texted me again.



“Are you sure you want to do
this, Reese?” Kat dipped dainty hands into the pockets stitched
onto the butt of her jean shorts. She leaned her hip against the
white painted railing of my front porch and squinted at the sign
impaling the grassy earth of my front yard.

“It’s done now.” I
mumbled, twisting the thin white gold bands around my ring

“It ain’t that hard to
pull it out!” Kat stated matter of fact. “If you want, I can do it
right now. We’ll burn it in my back yard over a bottle of

I frowned at Kat, my
best friend, and neighbor, as she glared daggered green eyes at the
‘For Sale’ sign sticking up in my front yard, where it demanded to
be seen. “No. This needs to happen, Kat.” I sighed. “It’s

“Oh,” she huffed, “I
don’t want you to move, hun. Where are you even going to go?”

“I haven’t figured it
out yet.” I shrugged. “But I will.”

“You know you have us,
right?” She pulled a hand from the pocket of her shorts to rest it
against my arm. With a gentle squeeze, she assured. “You’re a part
of our family.”

“I know, Kat.” I offered
a small smile that didn’t quite feel real. They haven’t felt real
in a year. “You’ll always be my family—but I have to do this for
me. If I stay here, I’ll never heal.”

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