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Authors: Erika Ashby

No Going Back

BOOK: No Going Back
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Prologue

She tells me that she never had a miscarriage.

She tells me that our daughter is alive and well.

She tells me that she was paid to lie, run off, and give our baby up for adoption.

She tells me these things as if a fucking epiphany is supposed to hit me smack between my damn eyes. But it doesn’t. The shock and realization of her words doesn’t slow down long enough for me to grasp the full extent of the situation.

She continues to tell me that the man who paid her had claimed to be my father and would make sure at any cost that her and our baby wouldn’t come between me and my dream of becoming a musician.

As if him acting like he has my back and my best interests at heart makes this situation and everything he’s done close to being okay. It doesn’t.

As if I even know who this man is that's been going around behind my back claiming to be fucking father of the year is. I have no fucking clue who he could be. This guy has apparently been mapping out my life without me even knowing it, and fucking Allison didn’t think to find out that one important detail before claiming her cash prize and taking off to wherever he sent her.

She tells me there’s still a chance we can get our daughter back and that this whole time she’s been trying to figure out a way.

She tells me that the only for sure, without a doubt way it’ll work is for us to get married. How fucking convenient is that?

She tells me all of this important life changing bullshit the night before Derek and Jesika’s wedding.

She tells me all of this the night before I was planning on making things right with Mallory.

Chapter One

*MALLORY*

I’m wide awake a good hour before my alarm is set to go screeching off. Typically I’d be pissed about losing out on an extra hours’ worth of sleep, but not today. The reason I’m awake does everything but irk me. The light flapping around I’m feeling in my stomach does resemble what some might call butterflies. You know the kind. The ones that magically appear when you’re around that someone special, and every time you see them, you get butterflies. Who would have thought that the man who use to give me butterflies is indeed the reason behind the ones I’m feeling now.

Feeling the baby that’s slowly growing inside of me, moving around, has given me a new meaning to life. At first I was scared beyond belief, and wasn’t sure how this would all play out. But now, all I can do is beam because I cannot wait to hold her little body in my arms. I call her a
her
, well, because that’s what I’m hoping for. I wouldn’t mind having a little boy, but I just know he’d be a spitting image of his daddy, and I’m not sure how well I’d be able to handle that on a daily basis.

It’s been a month since I backed out of telling Seth I was pregnant. And one month since he unknowingly ripped my heart out. Hell, he might have known, but if so, he had his poker face fully intact. I was really pathetic to think that maybe the biggest playboy around had actually grown feelings for me. It’s not like he had grown any balls either, letting his new bride-to-be break the news to me. Man, did she love every second of it. I handled myself pretty well, even though I had an unruly amount of rampant hormones coursing through my veins. I wanted to ‘hulk smash’ her ass, his too, but I just did the untypical Mallory thing by smiling, telling the happy couple congrats and quickly walking away to cry alone.

Well, the alone part didn’t last, because my amazing friend Jesika found me before the real emotional breakdown took place. As if it wasn’t bad enough that he shot me down when I admitted to him that I wanted more than what we were, before I found out he had knocked me up that is, but now he is engaged. What the hell? It just doesn’t make sense. He wasn’t ready for a relationship with me or anyone else, so he said, and now he’s fucking getting married? His trampy ass ex who made him the man douche he is now strolls back into town, and they are instantly in love again? I call bullshit. Jesika had asked me why I didn’t tell him I was pregnant when we were hiding out after I ran off.

“Because I don’t want him to fucking only want to be with me because I’m pregnant. Shit, he probably wouldn’t anyways since he’s back with her. God, Jesika. I don’t want to be like all the other girls. I don’t want his money or to trap him into being with me. He made his choice. And I still have mine to make.”

She knew exactly where I was going with that statement. Like hell I would ever go through with an abortion. The idea of it gives me chills. Not that I judge the women that do. I mean, I do believe there’s always the choice of adoption, but I can’t condemn them for the decision they make. But the sluts out there that use abortion as a form of birth control are nastier than the scum that’s on the bottom of my shoes. They make me sick to my stomach, and it’s not just the pregnancy talking, because the whole morning sickness thing has seemed to have bypassed me. Good riddance, because my ass isn’t complaining.

So besides mending my broken heart from the man responsible for the tiny beating one that’s growing inside me, I try to keep myself busy with work, saving every penny possible. Time to put a hold on buying any new heels. Not that I’m going to start dressing like a granny, but I’m really not trying to break my neck walking around in some damn heels while I’m growing more top heavy by the day. Plus, my damn feet have been sore these days, so I’ve resorted to breaking out the cute flats I’ve accumulated over the years but have rarely worn. I might as well embrace my shortness while embracing the wideness that’s set to take over.

According to my doctor’s little round grid and the measurement of my uterus, I’m now three months pregnant. This makes me due around the end of December. My poor child is going to be cursed with the dreaded Miracle on 34
th
Street birthday — dreaded because you get ripped off with the presents. Everyone just gets you two presents blended into one.

Jesika comes with me to every appointment. They take place when Emma and Jaxon are in school, so she only has to tug along Miss Journey. She’s the most precious little girl ever. She’s filled with such peace and just has an amazing calming affect about her. Definitely a far stretch from all the other babies I’ve ever come into contact with.

“So, only six months left to go. How are you feeling the closer and closer you get?” Jes asks as she buckles little Journey back into her car seat.

“I feel fine, but I hate that my baby is being born so close to freaking Christmas. My damn luck I’ll pop her out then.” She looks up, raising her brow at me.

“Her?”

“Yes, most definitely a girl. God, it better be a girl. I don’t think I can deal with toting around a little mini Seth.” Jesika gives me a sympathetic nod.

“I understand Mal. Jaxon is a replica of Jake. It was really hard after he died…but even harder when all the lies came to the surface. But now, now all I see when I look at my son is the good that Jake represented. I don’t know the details of everything that took place, but I can’t help but believe that there is so much more to it. That he wasn’t this horrible man he’s now being painted out to be. I have to believe that because I refuse to believe that
everything
we had was a complete lie.” I pull her in for a hug. I can’t believe that Jake was such a heartless man either, but without any proof saying otherwise, it’s hard not to think the worst.

I have to change the subject. It’s what I’m best at anyways. I’m supposed to be the one who can make light of any situation. “So, back to my kid being born on Jesus’ birthday.” I sigh and continue, “I guess it could be worse.”

“How so?” Jes asks.

“Well, it could be Halloween. We know how much I love All Hollows Eve. My luck I’d shoot out a goblin.”

Jesika laughs. “I hate to inform you dear, but Halloween or not, most kids come out looking like a goblin-ish thing. Smooshed face, slime all over their bodies, funny shaped heads. But they are the cutest damn goblin-ish looking things you’ll ever see.” I shudder. Realizing where that goblin-ish looking thing has to come out of makes me ache between the legs; and not in the good way.

Chapter Two

*SETH*

It’s been a month now since I gutted Mallory to the core. She’ll never admit it to me, but I could read it all over her face. She stood as tall as her short frame would allow with her head held extra high. She even managed to give me her award winning smile, even congratulating me before she high-tailed it out of there. I swear that woman should be an actress, because she gave me an Emmy winning performance that night. The pain that I saw flash in those baby blue eyes of hers, the ones I was falling for, was almost too much. I knew then that it was too late, that I had already fallen for her no matter how much I lied to myself, but now with this shit that had just got thrown in my lap there is no way I can fix whatever I had just broken between Mallory and I. I had made my decision the night before when the woman I hadn’t seen in three years showed up on my doorstep.

I almost slammed the door shut as soon as I saw who was standing beyond the threshold. It was really damn convenient of Allison to show back up on my doorstep a few days before our tour was scheduled to kick back off. Suspiciously convenient. I didn’t want to believe anything she told me. In fact, I didn’t at first, but the more she talked the more I held onto the hope of it being the truth. After all the shit that had recently taken place with my brother and Jesika, I started to get a little hopeful about life…about loving again…about me and Mallory having a future.

That wasn’t until after I was an ass and booked it when Mallory had told me she had wanted more from me. I was a pussy. A scared little pussy and I ran. That’s what I’m best at doing —running from anything that could possibly end up hurting me. I had made up my mind that I was going to finally open up and let her in. Fuck the possibility that I could get burned again. I was willing to go through it all over again for Mallory; she was worth the risk. Then Allison had to walk back into my life. Go fucking figure. Isn’t that how it works? Once you start working through your own personal demons and start to see a light at the end of the tunnel…BAM! Something from your past resurfaces causing all the progress you had to just
POOF
evaporate as if it was nothing and you’re right back at square one.

As if the universe didn’t screw up my life enough with her drifting back into it, the next day I was to be the best man at Derek and Jesika’s wedding. The wedding I had been planning on trying to fix things with Mallory.
Fuck.
I was ready to at least try and take what we had to the next level. The exclusive level. I was lying to myself to think I’d be okay without her in my life, or okay with any other douchebag having her. It pisses me off that she wasn’t even able to finish telling me what she had to say. Leave it to Allison to screw that up.
Bitch.

We only had two more days in town after Derek’s wedding before we were to load back up for the tour. I made sure to drink heavily anytime Allison was around, which was all the time. I couldn’t shake her off my nuts. When she showed up I made sure to ask her as many questions as I could come up with to try to find a loop hole in this Godforsaken mess.

“Okay, so why exactly do we have to get married for this to work?” I examined her features as she shifted on the couch to answer me.

“I already told you Seth. My lawyer said that no judge will grant me back custody after willingly putting our daughter up for adoption. He said that if we were married and proved that I was basically forced to do so, and that we want to be a family and raise our daughter, that the chances will be higher for it to happen.”

“So there isn’t a hundred percent fucking guarantee that this is going to work?” What the hell am I even getting myself into?

“Is our daughter not worth the chance? Doesn’t she deserve us to fight for her…together?” God, how I hated this woman. I hated the fact that she knows just what to say to grip me by the balls even tighter.

BOOK: No Going Back
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