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Authors: A D Holland

Tags: #bbw romance, #plus size contemporary romance, #strong silent hero, #wall flower heroine, #curvy girl romance

Redemption Rains

BOOK: Redemption Rains
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Redemption Rains

By

A D Holland

Redemption Rains

Copyright © 2012 by A D
Holland

Copyright A D Holland
2012

Published at
Smashwords

This is a work of fiction.
The characters, incidents, and dialogues are products of the
author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any
resemblance to actual events or person, living or dead, is entirely
a coincidence.

Smashwords Edition, License
Notes

This ebook is licensed for your
personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given
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it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to
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the hard work of this author.

CHAPTER ONE

Rain, that's all it had
done for days now; rain.
Elizabeth Windsor
put on her too small raincoat that would not button and turned to
her friend Louisa Anderson. Elizabeth had only worked with Louisa
at the women’s shelter for a month, but they had bonded instantly.
Although she was several years older than Elizabeth, Louisa did not
treat her like a child. She listened to Elizabeth’s ideas and asked
her opinion on matters concerning the shelter. Louisa had suffered
both an abusive father and husband in life but was now blessed with
the love a good man, Richard Anderson. He cherished Louisa and had
taught her to trust again, providing her not only with financial
security but even more importantly, emotional strength. That is why
she had opened the shelter, to help other women see that there is
love and happiness out there and that they didn’t have to stand for
the abuse they received.

Elizabeth admired Louisa for standing
up for what she believed in and not giving into those snooty, over
privileged matriarchs who looked down their noses at what they
referred to as an unfortunate situation when anyone mentioned
Louisa and Richard’s marriage. Being CEO of his own oil and
refinery company put Richard Anderson in a class of society that
few people were allowed into. But that mattered little to him,
Richard had not reached the top of the world by bowing down to
anyone and he backed his wife 100% when it came to her wishes.
Elizabeth thought it perfectly romantic the way Richard had saved
Louisa one night on the side of the road. He had witnessed the
abuse first hand that night as Louisa’s first husband welded his
cruelty over her until Richard arrived and called the police.
Without hesitating, he brought Louisa home and took care of her.
Louisa insisted that it was months before she realized her feelings
for him, but Richard states that it was love at first sight. Maybe
that is why Elizabeth had grown so attached to Louisa; she gave her
hope that there was someone out in the world who could love her
too, no matter what she looked like.

"I promise to call you in a day or
two," Elizabeth said. "I just can't seem to shake this cold and I
don't feel productive if I spend all of my time sneezing on
people.” Louisa smiled at her with warmth and concern.

"Don't worry honey. I can handle this
place without you for a while. You need your rest and a little
pampering. Go home, have a hot toddy and a warm bath and you'll be
a new person."

Elizabeth quickly grabbed her friend
and gave her a hug. For once she was grateful for the drops of
rain, which splashed her cheeks and mingled with the tears there.
She had felt the wave of emotions come on without warning and knew
that she had to get out of there before she became a blubbering
idiot. Splashing her way through the parking lot, she unlocked her
car and climbed in. As Elizabeth pulled out of the lot and headed
her car toward home, she concentrated on the traffic and the rain.
It was just past seven in the evening and the glare from the
headlights mixed with the rain splattered glass of her windshield
made the drive nerve racking. A little over an hour later she
exited the interstate and turned down the road that led to
home.

Elizabeth thought that it was strange
how she could refer to that apartment as a home when she had only
lived there for a few short weeks. It was small compared to the
grand ranch house she had lived in with her mother and stepfather.
But the fact that it was Elizabeth’s alone made it feel more like
home than the house she had lived in for the past twenty years. To
be free from her family, to spread her wings without continuous
verbal abuse from her mother was the most liberating feeling in the
world for Elizabeth. It wasn't that she didn't love her mother. She
just didn't like her. Marjorie Lindsey was not exactly the epitome
of motherhood. But Elizabeth could not hold that against her. It
was those little jibes and taunts her mother was always so quick to
add to any of their conversations. Recently, when Elizabeth was
speaking with her mother regarding the holiday season ahead, her
mother did not miss her chance to drop an opinion on
her.

"Lizzy?” Marjory loved to use the pet
name knowing how it set Elizabeth on edge. “Why don't we try having
a healthy holiday this year? It never hurts to cut back, and maybe
you could find a husband someday if you lost a few of pounds."
Elizabeth could hear the scorn in her mother's voice.

Marjory hated the fact that her
daughter did not take after her side of the family. All of the
Masterson women were small, petite red heads. Unfortunately,
Elizabeth took after her father Charles Windsor. Her mother and
father met in high school and two weeks before graduation they were
married, seven months later, Elizabeth was born.

"It's not like we were in love, we HAD
to get married."

This was her mother's explanation.
When her father died a year later in an accident, her mother packed
up and left town with her baby in tow. Less than two months later
Marjory married again. This time it was love, or so she thought.
Larry Ambry was a foreman for a construction company. Elizabeth
remembered the times when he would come home from the site drunk
and angry. Marjory always said that it was because he was not given
the respect he was due at work. She later found out, after giving
birth to Elizabeth's half-sister Alexis that he was just angry
about everything and drinking only made it worse. He was not
physically abusive to them; his was a verbal abuse applied daily.
He would refer to Elizabeth as "Lizzy the cow" extending the
nickname her mother gave her. Even now, Elizabeth had to battle
with the hatred she felt for Larry Ambry. That was one reason why
she was working with Louisa at the shelter.

Elizabeth had not been an ugly child.
She had been a chubby child who had grown into a chubby adult. She
had battled with a weight problem her whole life and had always
lost. She did not inherit her mother's looks but her father's
stature. Instead of the pretty auburn hair her mother and sister
both sported with stylish cuts, Elizabeth had dull brown, naturally
curly hair that was near too impossible to control. Her light blue
eyes were nowhere near as vibrant as her mother's bright green or
sister's ever-changing hazel ones. What Elizabeth didn't see when
she looked in the mirror was the beauty that was there. Instead of
the beautiful creamy, ivory complexion reflected in the mirror,
Elizabeth saw a round, pale face. The full lips that and near
perfect nose were over shadowed in her mind by the freckles
sprinkled across her cheeks.

No, all she saw was an overweight
woman who should always wear brown, black, or blue. Stick to your
dark colors and you will not look so wide. This is not to say that
she didn’t sometimes long to wear the pretty pastel prints that her
sister Alexis could so easily don and parade around in. One of her
greatest attributes was her intelligence and she was smart enough
to know that she would never be able to stick a leg in any of those
clothes.

Suddenly she heard a loud pop and the
wheel of her small eco-friendly car jerked to the right. Elizabeth
steered toward the shoulder of the road and rolled to a bumpy halt.
The rain was still falling down in sheets and she sat there
pondering the situation. Knowing full well that she had a blowout,
Elizabeth still sent up a little prayer that it was not bad.
Digging out the flashlight that she kept in her glove box,
Elizabeth climbed out of the car and headed around the hood to
inspect the damage. The right front passenger tire was in shreds,
which meant it would have to be changed.

Elizabeth knew that she was in trouble
when she could not locate the jack to go along with the spare tire
in her trunk. Looking around the area where she had pulled her car
off the road, she realized that it was very isolated and dark. For
one moment she panicked, but only for a moment. Elizabeth had
always been very level headed as a child and this had only become
more evident when she reached adulthood. Just a few feet down the
road she spotted a beat up mailbox. In a moment she had made up her
mind, took the only option she had and started down the dirt drive
leading to the house that hopefully belonged to that mailbox. It
was starting to clear out, with the clouds and thunder fading along
with the rain.

Slowly she made her way down the dark
drive concentrating on the millions of mud holes in her path, when
she heard muffled voices. Looking up in the distance, Elizabeth
shined her flashlight down the road. She could see the silhouettes
of three men. Suddenly her heart lifted knowing that help had been
found and she would be all right. With more purpose, she walked
toward the group of men. They were standing in a semicircle next to
a dark sedan. Elizabeth could just make out the faces of the two
men facing her. Both were dressed in dark suits with white shirts
and dark ties. They reminded her of Laurel and Hardy, one short and
stubby with a hat on his head, one tall and thin with a bald spot
that reflected the moon. The third member of the group was facing
away from Elizabeth and therefore she was unable to see his face,
but she could see that he was several inches shorter than either of
the other men and was not dressed as well. He wore a t-shirt with
blue jeans that were too short for him.

Because the three men seemed so
engrossed in their conversation, they had not yet noticed Elizabeth
walking toward them. Suddenly, the voices grew and the third man
dropped to his knees in a pleading fashion. Elizabeth froze in her
footsteps. The tall man was speaking to him with a grim look on his
face. Just as Elizabeth drew close enough to make out what was
being said, the short man raised his hand which held a gun and
fired several shots at the man on his knees. Elizabeth could feel
the scream in her throat freeze as the man's body slumped to the
ground.

Her heart raced as her brain
registered what she was witnessing. Willing her legs to move, she
turned and headed back in the direction she had come. It felt as
though she were crawling, her knees were jelly and her stomach
chaotic. She had never run so hard in her life from anything.
Elizabeth did not know if the men had seen her or heard her, all
that mattered was getting away, getting away alive. As she drew
near the end of the drive, she could just make out her car. Parked
along beside it was a State Trooper vehicle with its yellow caution
lights flashing. Elizabeth ran up to the state trooper, who was
leaning over her windshield.

"You have to help me!" Elizabeth
screamed at the officer.

"Lady, is this your car?" the officer
asked.

Elizabeth's response was breathless
and shaky with fright. "Yes . . . but first . . . you have to help
the man . . . he's dead . . . he's dead."

The officer looked up from his ticket
book once again, but this time with eyes that were alert. "Who is
dead?"

"The man back there," Elizabeth
cried.

The officer took her by the arm and
slightly shook her, "lady, calm down and tell me who is
dead?"

"The man back there," Elizabeth turned
and pointed back down the dirt drive. "They shot him . . . you have
to help," she said this last plea on a shaky whisper.

“Lady, just calm down and tell me
where," Elizabeth turned once again and glanced over her shoulder,
her face pale and eyes full of fright.

"Down that dirt drive,” a shiver ran
through her as she turned back. “I was walking down there to the
house to see if I could get some help with my tire when I came upon
three men. Before I knew it, one was laying on the ground dead."
Elizabeth sucked in air as if she had not breathed in
years.

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