Authors: Nacole Stayton
Tags: #New Adult
In the Lyrics
Copyright ©2014 Nacole Stayton
Nacole Stayton Publishing, LLC.
Discover other titles by Nacole Stayton at
Formatting by Angela McLaurin,
Cover Photography by
Toski Covey Photography
Cover Design by
Perfect Pear Creative
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 (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), 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 licensed authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction have been used without permission. The use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
All music lyrics used in this book are written by Nacole Stayton.
This book is intended for readers 17+ due to explicit language and sexual encounters.
Also by Nacole Stayton
The Upside of Letting Go
A Graceful Mess
To Danielle, for reminding me daily that music is the soul’s best therapy.
I wanted to take a brief moment to THANK YOU. Yes, you, the person holding their Kindle, Nook, or paperback in their cute, little hands right now. Because without you, my words would merely be unread writing, scribbled on paper, but instead you give them life by inviting them into your home and hearts.
I feel extremely lucky and humbled that you’ve taken a chance on one of my books. And although I may never top the charts or even sell a thousand copies, that’s okay by me, because I know why I write and it’s for no other reason than to touch lives. So as you prepare to take a journey into Colby and Hensley’s lives, know that I write for you, like a singer sings for his or her audience. You are my muse.
I hope after reading this, you find that my book mattered and if it did, or even if it didn’t and you think it’s a giant hunk of garbage, I’d love to hear from you. Your songs of praise or words of criticism help me grow as an author. So I ask that you please leave a review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It doesn’t have to be long, but your words matter – just as much as the lyrics in a song.
“NO, YOU LISTEN to me, Son, and you listen good. Your mother and I have bitten our tongues for far too long. This here music, you think you can do that forever? You think singing at these podunk bars is going to pay your rent? You better take a real good look around this farm. This is where you belong. Working like a real man should, providing for his family, not on some rickety-ass stage trying to make a buck, never knowing where you’re going to lay your head at night.”
Clenching my hands at my sides, I am doing everything in my power not to ram my fist into my father’s face. He knows what he is doing, and by my fuming facial expression, I’m sure he can tell it’s working.
“Say what you want, Pops. I’ve made my mind up and I’ve already been accepted to a college near Nashville. At the end of the summer, I’m leaving, so you better get your ducks in a row and hire another farm hand. God knows you’ll need it.” My eyes dart to the half empty bottle in his hand. “Seeing how your drinking has increased.”
He takes a step towards me, bottle in one hand and bridle in the other. The mare it belongs to is already in her stall. I can smell the liquor on his breath as he stands only inches away from my face. As he drops the bridle to the ground, a cloud of dust flies into the air from its impact. He doesn’t drop the bottle; the contents mean too much to him. The creaking sound of a door opening causes me to break eye contact with him. Turning my head slightly, I look towards the house just as Momma steps onto the porch. Her once-white apron is a dingy, rusty color, and the creases on her forehead tell me she knows what’s about to happen.
“Look me in the eyes, Son, and tell me you don’t want this life.”
My father’s eyes are filled with nothing but sadness and self-pity. I know he blames himself for the accident, and he attempts to drink away the anger he harbors from that day with cheap whiskey. But he is the reason I don’t want to live this life. The farm is falling apart, the workers hate him – hell, even I hate him. Staring into his eyes, eyes that used to be so gentle and full of life, I know for certain my decision is made, and I know it is for the best. I can’t – I won’t – sit here and watch everything our family has worked so hard to build fall apart. I wish I could take my mom with me, but she is as loyal as loyal can be, and she would never desert my father. Even at his worst, she stands by his side, which is something I cannot do any longer. I feel like this place, the farm, my father, have all been slowly suffocating me. Remembering my promise to my little brother that I would make him proud, I vowed to myself I would keep good on my end, and it’s a promise I intend to keep.
“I don’t want this life. Hell, Pops, I can’t even believe
want to live this life. Look around – the crops are dying, we’ve slaughtered all the cows and have no more funds to buy new ones. Eddie is overworked and underpaid, the roof needs fixin’, and the tractor still isn’t running. I mean, come on, when are you going to face the facts and throw in the towel? You and I both know when Levi died, the loving family we once were and the ‘family’ business we ran died with him.”
Without hesitation, my father brings his bottle up to his mouth and takes a long swig. He doesn’t say anything, and I can hear my mother gasp in the background, as my words not only sting him, but her as well. I knew that would push him over the edge, but I said it anyway. It was time someone had the balls to say it to his face. I watch as he takes a drink and swallows it. He lowers the bottle to the ground, careful not to waste a drop, then stands back up. His shoulders slouch due to his bad back and the alcohol running through his veins. When our eyes meet, I swear I am staring at someone other than my father. His are black, full of hate, and directed right at me.
“You motherfucker!” he shouts as his hand flies up, and he sticks his callused index and middle fingers in the center of my chest. The force is enough to cause my body to sway. I plant my boots firmly on the ground, trying not to lose my balance. Looking over his shoulder, I see my momma throwing her apron off and running down the front steps barefoot, towards us.
“Larry, you stop it right now!” she hollers as she nears, but he doesn’t listen. His fingers continue to press harder into my chest.