Restoration & Forgiveness (Renovate Book 2)

BOOK: Restoration & Forgiveness (Renovate Book 2)
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Restoration & Forgiveness

Copyright © 2016 by Mindy A. Carter

All rights reserved. No part of this e-book may be used or reproduced in any written, electronic, recorded, or photocopied format without the permission from the author as allowed under the terms and conditions with which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorized distribution, circulation or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author's rights, and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly. Thank you for respecting the work of this author.

Restoration & Forgiveness
is a work of fiction. All names, characters, events and places found in this book are either from the author's imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to persons live or dead, actual events, locations, or organizations is entirely coincidental and not intended by the author.

 

Editing & Formatting:
Hot Tree Editing

Cover Designer:
Sarah Eirew

 

 

Dedication

To my children.

Never give up on your dreams, and they will come true. I love you more than words.

 

Contents

Dedication

Contents

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Excerpt

Acknowledgements

About the Author

More from Mindy

 

Prologue

We are driving; it's clear, but cold. The winter months have become more frigid. When I hit the patch of ice, I try to do what I was taught in defensive driving and steer into the skid, but the car just starts spinning. Then the impact, and even her screams can't drown out the sound of the car hitting metal and concrete, and launching us into darkness. The last face that flashes through my head is the girl's who has held my heart since I was seven.

"Code blue!"

I open my eyes. I'm lying in a hospital bed, and the entire left side of my face is swollen. My body feels like it was hit by a Mack truck.

I try to remember what caused the accident that landed me here. I lost control of the car I was driving. I wasn't alone. A sharp shooting pain attacks the back of my head; an enormous bump is the source of my pain.

"You're awake." A nurse checks my IV.

My throat is sore and when I try to talk it comes out unintelligible. I slowly sit up in bed.

"There was an accident?" I ask.

"Yes, you and your girlfriend were brought in."

Then everything comes rushing back to me. I close my eyes and brace for the onslaught of emotions.

"Where is she? Is she okay?" I ask.

The nurse looks at me and her eyes look sad. She goes to speak, and then stops. I'm suddenly fearful that something terrible has happened to Gretchen.

"You're lucky. The accident you were in was pretty bad," she tells me.

"You didn't answer my question. My girlfriend's name is Gretchen Stanfield," I state.

"I'm sorry. I don't have any specifics. I was here when you were both brought in, and all I can tell you is that she was unconscious, and she was rushed into surgery. I can try and find out her condition for you." Her eyes soften as she speaks.

"Thank you."

She continues checking me over and taking my vitals. I think of her, and pray that she will be okay. I stare up at the ceiling, waiting for the nurse to finish. I think of Aimee in this moment, wishing she was still part of my life. I feel like an asshole because I have no idea if Gretchen is stable. The nurse's sympathetic looks make me believe that she may not be. Is this my fault? Please, let her be okay.

Guilt begins to take over. I'm not in love with Gretchen. One mistake has led us here, and I'm certain that I will never be able to give her what she wants. I gave my heart to someone else a long time ago. I'm afraid I won't ever be able to tell Aimee how sorry I am for my choices, with her, and Gretchen.

 

Chapter One

Aimee

 

I've always hated the smell of hospitals. The sterile smell has made my stomach churn since I was six years old, when I was forced to visit my mother in one. I had to watch the woman who was everything to me wither away. When she died I not only lost a mother, but also my best friend.

When I first met Keegan, I didn't understand the importance of having a best friend. I learned early on that friends come and go, but a true best friend is one who will be there for you through it all. I thought he was it; even through the hurt, he was always my best friend, and honestly, no one could ever replace him. He didn't fill my mother's absence as a friend, but became someone entirely different. He became my other half, the piece of me that always fit when we were together. Falling in love with him was inevitable. We were just too perfect for one another, but now I'm not sure if fate is just a jealous bitch. My heart is breaking in two entirely different ways. First and foremost for the man who raised me, who has loved me unconditionally for my entire life, and who is lying here in front of me in a hospital bed. The fear I experience right now is nothing I've ever felt before; my tears won't stop until he wakes up and I see for myself that he will be all right. The doctors were quick to work on him, and there was minimal damage to his heart. As long as he takes his medication and follows the doctor's orders, he should make a full recovery. When I received the call from the hospital I thought the worst, and I still can't believe it. My father is supposed to be invincible, and I don't know what I would do without him.

Then there is Keegan, whose love was all I thought I needed. I was blinded by that love and let myself ignore what was going on around me the entire time. Keegan had a different life while we were apart, one where I wasn't important to him. He lied to me; he let his assistant—who I learned is his business partner—bully me. I did my best to ignore her and not make an issue of it. In my heart I knew he was mine, but she just wouldn't leave me alone. He must have seen it, what it did to me. I'm not sure if I'm madder at him or myself at the moment. How could I be so stupid and ignore what was going on around me the whole time? I was so blinded by Keegan's effect on me that I acted like a fragile doe-eyed woman. How could he work so closely with this woman he'd slept with? What hurt the most was watching them together, and him not being honest about what happened between them. She attacked me with the truth, and he just watched it all unfold.

I saw the pain in his eyes when I left, and how badly he wanted to be there for me. I would have gladly accepted him to accompany me back home in a heartbeat before all the drama unfolded. It's funny how much things have changed again for me, in the blink of an eye. The safety and security I felt just yesterday has exploded all around me.

I grab another tissue as the tears begin to escape my red, puffy eyes. The nurses have been sympathetic, giving me looks of concern. I dab at the tears with the tissue, which is coarse like sandpaper. I have become accustomed to the raw feeling.

I grip my phone in my hands, contemplating if I should turn it on or not. I know I must have plenty of messages from Reese. I texted Kate once I got off the plane to let her know I arrived safely; other than that I haven't wanted to speak to anyone. The only person I care to hear is my dad. I stare at the steady rise and fall of his chest, and it comforts me to see him look so peaceful. I'm willing him to open his beautiful blue eyes that match mine. I look down at what I'm wearing—the dress from last night—and wish there was someone who could bring me a change of clothes from my dad's. The dress feels like a vise on my body and reminds me of last night's events. I don't want to think of that right now, but I can't help remembering how excited I was when I slipped the dress on. That makes me feel selfish, because who cares what I have on, and who cares about Keegan. I should only be thinking of the man resting in front of me.
Dad, please wake up. I need you.

As if he hears my thoughts, I see a tiny twitch from the finger resting on his chest. My heart pounds out of my chest. I close my eyes tightly, praying I'm not seeing things. When I reopen them, I'm looking directly into my father's eyes. I let out a strangled sob, and he looks confused. I plaster on the biggest smile; I've never been so relieved in my life.

"Hey, Peanut," he says in a raspy voice.

"Hi Daddy."

"Why so sad?"

I look at him with relief and then the tears fall again. I try holding them back, but my heart just doesn't listen to my head. I stand up and bend down hugging him.

"I was so worried! I thought I might lose you," I tell him, with my head buried in his chest.

He holds me tight, rubbing my back to calm me, just like he did when I was a child.

"Aimee, it's going to take a lot more than a little heart attack to take me down."

I lift my head, staring at him in disbelief. He is being so nonchalant. He's lying in a hospital bed after suffering a heart attack, and I'm sure he's just trying to comfort me with his joke, but I'm still waiting for my heart rate to slow down.

"Apparently." I look at him with concern.

It's at that moment the nurse comes in, one I haven't seen. She greets us, and asks me to step out while she takes my dad's vitals.

I step into the hall and rest my back against the wall next to the door. It's eerily quiet for some reason. I take the opportunity to power on my phone, and the dreadful feeling I've been avoiding since I left Keegan's creeps up. It takes less than a minute for my phone to light up, and several messages pop up. Most are from Reese, but there's one from Keegan. I delete his immediately, knowing if I listen to it I may just call him. I send a text to Reese giving her a quick update on my dad. A few minutes later my phone rings; as I expected, Reese is calling. I let it ring twice before giving myself the courage to answer.

"Hi."

"Aimee, are you okay? Do you need anything? Is your dad going to be okay?" She rattles off her questions in one single breath.

"I'm fine. No, I'm okay for now. His prognosis looks good."

Reese lets out a sigh of relief. "Thank God! I was so worried, and then all that shit with Keegan last night…"

"Reese, I don't have the energy right now to talk about Keegan," I tell her.

I know she's worried about me, and if I were going to talk to anyone right now about my devastation it would be her; she's the one person besides my dad who won't let me down. I've become too comfortable looking through these rose-colored glasses. This thing with Keegan is done; I need to go back to how things were before he came back into my life. Concentrating on my father's recovery is the most important thing right now, and that's all I care to talk about.

"I'm sorry, Aimee. I'm here for you, whatever you need, morning, noon, or night."

I look into my father's room, where the doctor is motioning me in. "The doctor is in with my dad and wants to talk to me. I'll call you later. Okay?" I say in a rush.

"Okay, tell your dad I'm thinking of him. Love you."

"Love you too. Bye." I disconnect the call and make my way back into the hospital room.

BOOK: Restoration & Forgiveness (Renovate Book 2)
9.7Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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