Trent (Redemption Romance Book 4)

BOOK: Trent (Redemption Romance Book 4)
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TRENT

A Redemption Romance

Book 4

 

 

Anna Scott

 

She pushed him away so he'll have a future. He's back to show her she's all he wants.

 

A Texas deputy will do anything to show his true love they're made to be together. But first, he'll have to save her from his own past. Will nearly losing everything finally convince her that all they need is each other?

 

Trent Harris, Texas lawman, is a strong man who'll protect and serve the people of Allen County, TX with his life. The deputy chases down wrong-doers and puts them behind bars. But when the love of his life pushes Trent away, his own hands are tied by Amber's pain. He can do little except remain true from a distance.

 

Amber Moore tries her best to stay away from Trent, no matter how much she still loves him. He deserves a clear shot at happiness with another woman, one who can give him a family. But it's hard when they have a hometown, friends and so much else in common. Especially when he keeps finding ways to be close to her.

 

When someone from Trent's past threatens Amber, he'll move heaven and Texas to save her. But even then, can he make her see that their lives would be so much richer together, even if the future's not picture-perfect?

 

Don't miss this sexy, heart-warming tale of love redeemed—get your copy of Trent today!

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Anna Scott

All rights reserved.

DEDICATION

 

 

For my husband. Thank you for being my support, my strength and my protector.

Your patience as I get lost in a book is never ending.

I love you.

Trent

 

“No, Jesus, come on sweetness, don’t do this,” I pleaded through the closed door to Amber’s house. Raindrops beat down over me, drenching every piece of clothing I had on, but I didn’t feel them. All I felt was the grief of loss.

“I can’t, please, just go.” Her sobbed words, muffled by the solid wood and the pelting water almost drown out her heart-wrenching tears. Her muffled gasps and sniffs were clear to me, though, I focused only on the sound of her deep, saddened breaths, and the sound of her hand slapping down against the barrier, keeping me from her.

My hand lifted of its own accord, and I imagined I was touching hers. My fingers splayed out over the cold, wet wood, and somehow I knew that her hand was in the same place on the other side. Our foreheads were against the door too, the only thing holding us up, was keeping us apart.

Standing there for what felt like hours, I listened as she whispered, “I won’t be the one to hold you back.”

My throat was clogged, my eyes wet, and my chest ached more than I ever thought possible.

“I love you,” I whispered back into the desolate void. There was no response in the darkness. “I’ll never give up on us.” Tears began to fall, mingling with the raindrops coating my cheeks. That was only the second time I had cried since I was sixteen-years-old.

I stood there for an hour, at least, her cries silenced after a while, then there was nothing else.

She was too far gone, so lost in her anguish that she couldn’t see past it, she wouldn’t allow me in to help her anymore. I needed to bide my time, to wait, but I would be ready the moment I thought she was.

Later that night, I laid in my big, cold bed, alone and shattered. I felt the pain of too many losses. The pain was so strong that the only thing I couldn't feel were the tears streaking down my face, dampening my pillow.

I could see the image of myself standing on that porch in the rain. It was a poignant vision. As I stood alone, outside, it was like I could see through the door, inside to Amber. I could see her crumpled form, weeping on the floor. What she didn't seem to remember, though, was that I had always been able to see through her, her act, her facade, into her true spirit, into her heart. I knew her. I could see her pain; it was one I knew well, as I shared it with her.

Sleep never came that night. Instead, images of my far too brief relationship with Amber ran through my memory like an old movie reel. I remembered the first time we met, her huge smile and electric personality had pulled me in. I had been casually seeing someone else at the time, so I hadn't allowed myself to linger on Amber - too much, but even then she enchanted me.

The night I finally got the balls to ask her to dinner, I was so nervous. I could recall it perfectly. Amber had been wearing a beautiful blue dress and some fancy ass heels. She had her back to me, locking up the store and preparing to walk to her car. I stood off to the side and watched her, trying to find my nerve. I had known that she was alone in the store since I had talked to Nolan earlier in the day and he told me that Aurora and he were going to dinner. I needed to approach her when we were alone, deathly afraid that I would crash and burn, but to my relief, she agreed to dinner, and our relationship began.

That first night, we'd closed down the restaurant, sitting and talking, laughing and for hours. The time flew by so quickly; the hours seemed like minutes. That night, I walked Amber back to her car, and she let me give her a little kiss. It wasn't much, but it was enough to have me walking on cloud nine all the way home to my condo in downtown Dallas.

~~~

The days, weeks and months that followed, I struggled, ached and needed my girl, but I waited and watched her for a sign that she was ready for me. The only thing that kept me sane during that time were the memories of our time together. The biggest regret I had was that we'd kept our relationship a secret from our friends. Amber had explained that things would be strange with the group if we only dated a few times and discovered that we weren't compatible. I understood her concerns. I just didn't like them.

I thought about the first time we made love one night, the feel of her silky skin, the smell of her long, soft hair. It had been the best sexual experience of my life. In some deep recess of my mind, I knew that I had fallen in love with her that night. When our bodies connected, we stared into each other's eyes. It was like I was looking into her soul and she was looking into mine. Our shields were down, and we moved together perfectly. There had been plenty of women in my past before Amber, but I had understood that there wouldn't be any after her.

Amber was a huge help to Aurora just a couple of weeks after our horrible loss when Aurora's brother Nolan committed suicide. He had succumbed to years of dealing with PTSD after his last deployment. Nolan had been shot multiple times in the Middle East, thanks to a roadside bomb and then a sniper. He spent years in physical rehabilitation, but I knew that he blamed himself for our friend Dylan's death on that battlefield. Dylan had been killed pulling Nolan to safety. Nolan struggled silently, hiding so much of his inner turmoil from us all and no one grasped the full weight of his pain until it was too late.

It was after Hope was attacked by her ex-boyfriend that we were all in the hospital visiting her and Jake. I had finally been able to corner Amber again. I took her into an empty waiting room down the hall from Hope's room. There in that quiet space, Amber and I shared a hot and desperate kiss. I pleaded with her that day to hear me out, to come home and talk to me, but I quickly discovered that she still wasn't ready.

That day after watching Jake and Hope's relationship hit hyper drive, I started to spiral down into a new level of Hell. Amber hid her pain so well, wearing a happy smile for the world, her quick wit and sarcastic humor were her shields. I loved her still but had begun to believe that she'd never lower her walls enough to let me back in.

When we made it to Jake and Hope's wedding, just a few short months after the attack, I watched Amber's private struggle. She danced and drank as if all was perfect in her life, but the light that had once shone in her eyes had been extinguished. We shared one amazing dance, where I was able to hold her in my arms once again. As soon as the song was over, she was gone. She fled to the bar and did her best to flirt with every single man in attendance.

The night I saw her walking down the street in downtown McKinney, I stopped in the shadows and watched her like the starving man I was. Amber paused in front of a small children's boutique just a few doors down from Indulgence, where she and Aurora worked. I couldn't see the longing in her eyes or the tears that formed, but I knew they were there nonetheless.

I went to a local dive bar that night and drowned myself in a bottle. I got lost in self-pity and despair, my heart full of regret and guilt. I called Gavin to pick me up. When we got back to my condo, I told him more about what had happened between Amber and me than I ever had before. Thankfully, though, I was lucid enough to keep our biggest secret. I had done enough to hurt Amber, and I was glad that I hadn't hurt her more by betraying her trust.

When Luke and Aurora's wedding finally came, I decided that her time was up. I was going to make my move. I was done waiting and wasn't going to let her hide from me anymore.

 

Amber

 

“Hey, you ready?” Jake Thompson asked as he stood on my front porch.

“You bet, let me grab my case of condoms, my clutch, and my wrap.” Jake’s chuckle followed me as I moved to the couch to grab my things, then headed out behind him. I didn't have condoms. I wouldn't need them. There hadn't been anyone since Trent, and I wasn't sure that there ever would be again.

It was good to see the formerly brooding jerk known as Jake, turned into a regular softy with my friend Hope’s help. They’d become the sweet couple.

“I assume that since you came up to get me, Hope couldn’t get out of the car?”

“Shut up, I swear to God, if you make her cry, I’m going to duct tape your mouth shut.” Jake rushed, worriedly, as we made our way to their new family friendly SUV.

“I won’t come on. I’m not an idiot.” I defended, almost affronted that he thought I would say something to upset Hope.

Jake let out a deep breath, and for the first time, I noticed the underlying worry on his ruggedly handsome face. Pausing on the walkway, I turned to look at him. “Are
you
okay?”

He gave me a questioning look, then nodded slowly. “Yeah, I’m fine, you know, it’s getting close, that’s all.”

A sharp pain tore through my chest with the thought of holding their sweet baby soon. Would I be able to let it go? Maybe they’d let me come over and hold it every day. I wondered for a moment if they’d think that was strange.

I nodded my understanding, then climbed into the backseat when Jake held the door open for me.

“Hey, little mama, how are you feeling?” I asked Hope, as I settled into my spot.

“I’m fine, but Jake is driving me nuts. He - shit, I’ll tell you later.” She said, just as Jake opened his door and climbed inside.

“You feeling okay, baby?” Jake asked, looking over at Hope. All the love in the world was gleaming right there in his eyes.

“I’m good, thanks. Let’s go!” I chimed in from the backseat, breaking into their moment. Jake rolled his eyes at my familiar antics and Hope burst out laughing.

Placing a hand on Hope’s enormous belly, Jake scolded, “Hope, don’t laugh that hard, it might hurt the baby.”

Was he kidding? I couldn’t help but wonder if he was like that all the time. It made me think back and wonder, nope, no fucking way, was not going there. Not today, not now, not fucking ever again. I wouldn't allow myself to get lost in that pain again.

Hope raised her eyes to the heavens and shook her head slightly as if she were talking silently. She looked exasperated but exceedingly happy at the same time.

The drive to the church only took about fifteen minutes, so I pulled out my phone and played Candy Crush. I was trying to make myself look busy so I could momentarily fall into my pit, without the happy facade. Sometimes, it was just too tiring. I found in recent months that it was easier to act busy, so no one delved too deep. It was even better when I actually was that busy.

Carefully, I held the rose colored chiffon skirt close, as I climbed out of the back of the car. The last thing I wanted was for my dress to get dirty on Aurora’s big day. Hope, Dawn, Aurora’s cousin Trinity and I were all bridesmaids. We all selected dresses styled to suit our own personalities, in the same beautiful shade. Our shoes were an amazing metallic platinum, but again, all different. Mine were hot, of course, I had a major shoe obsession. A slim five-inch stiletto heel, with rhinestone, encrusted straps that wrapped up around my ankles. The shoes were awesome and made my legs look long and slim. Hope had complained because Jake made her select the low heels. Apparently, he worried that she would fall over and hurt their baby. I learned that day that he was over the top with how much he worried about her and their baby. His behavior bordered on obsession, or so Hope thought.

The sun shone bright and clear in the early summer sky, providing perfect weather for Luke and Aurora’s wedding. The church was one of the original buildings in the area. The classic white facade was small and still had the original steeple and bell. It was a beautiful place to get married.

I had dreamed of my own wedding since I was a little girl. I remembered talking to my mom about her and Dad’s wedding. We looked at the beautiful pictures, and I imagined the day I found my own prince.

Sadly, now I didn’t think that would ever happen for me. The dream I held so close to my heart all those years ago had died. I had been pretty sure that Trent could have been my prince. Unfortunately, now I wouldn’t saddle him with an unfulfilled life with me. He deserved so much more than this broken woman. I knew that he wouldn’t agree with me, that he would never admit to wanting more, but I didn't want to see the sad regret in his eyes somewhere down the road. Somehow, I would find another way to be happy.

The church was full of friends and family. Reed walked Aurora down the aisle, bringing a tear to many an eye. We felt Nolan’s loss so strongly, knowing it would have been her brother escorting her if he’d been able to find the help he needed. Ironically, it had been Nolan’s despair that had brought me out of my own hopeless depression.

“I need another!” I shouted hours later, after downing my fifth Jack and diet.

The reception venue was lovely, a large white tent with open sides looked out over vast green fields generously dotted with wildflowers. A wooden floor had been laid for the party, enabling us silly girls to walk in crazy shoes without sinking into the grass.

The bartender, a young, cute dark haired boy-man chuckled and handed me another cocktail. “Looks like you are enjoying yourself.” He said flirtatiously, a sexy grin on his face.

“Looks like it,” I said, grinning back at him.

Spinning around to face the room once more, I caught Trent’s eye. He was standing on the other side of the tent with Gavin and Dawn. Dawn was tucked tight to Gavin’s side, smiling dreamily up at her fiancé. I was happy to see them together and settled. They’d been in their new house now for a few weeks, and the gorgeous ring on her finger was surely the cause of her perma-grin. I almost wanted to hate her for her obvious happiness.

Trent was scowling my way, his angry blue glare bouncing between the flirty bartender and me. As I had been doing for the past several months, I smiled and ignored him. If he thought I was happy, he wouldn’t feel guilty about what had happened. He would be able to move on with his life and live the life he deserved. That was what I wanted for him. I knew he hadn’t dated anyone in the months since we'd broken up. Now, he needed to believe that I was good so he could move on. The frightening truth was that if anyone could see the real me behind the disguise, it would be him.

As my body was facing the dance floor, I was able to sneak glances at Trent out of the corner of my eye. He was still staring, but the anger had faded. That was his way. He was slow to anger and quick to move past it.

Luke and Aurora were dancing - again - lost in one another, just as they should be. He spun her on the floor, their movements completely in tune with the other. It was almost ridiculous how perfect they were for each other. For a moment, I wondered why it had taken Luke so long to make his move, but it didn't matter now.

Setting the empty glass down on the bar, I moved around behind the bar and escaped to the nearby bathroom. Luckily, when I got there, it was empty. I just needed a minute, to pull myself together. Keeping up this charade of easy-going happiness all the time was exhausting and difficult to maintain for such a long time.

A padded chair was placed in front of a beautiful vanity, so I sat down to relax for a moment. Thinking back, I remembered my time with Trent.

It had been a Tuesday night, just about a year ago, when I was walking out of Indulgence, alone. Aurora was already gone for the night, so I had assumed that Trent had been looking for her. He was good friends with her brother Nolan, after all, and Aurora hung out with the guys sometimes.

“Hey there,” he’d said as he moved in next to me.

“Hey, um, Aurora didn’t work tonight. She might be at home.” I offered, trying to be helpful.

“Yeah, I know. You want to grab a late dinner?”

I was surprised, of course, I noticed Trent and his amazing good looks when we met the first time, a few years before. I was working at Indulgence by then and pretty quickly had been pulled into Aurora's tight-knit group of friends.

Aurora and I had been friends in high school and college, which was how we'd ended up going into business together. She’d invited me out for her brother’s birthday party one night, and I went. The number of sexy, attractive men she was friends with had blown my mind. Trent though had caught my attention, and he’d starred in every dirty fantasy I had since.

Trent and I went to dinner that night at a little bistro nearby. It was so easy to talk to him. We completely lost track of time and didn't realize it until the waiter came over to inform us that the restaurant was closed. After kissing me, back at my car, he asked me out again. I was so flattered by Trent's attentions, but was wary too, unsure of his true intentions.

“I would like that, but Trent, I don’t want to make a big thing, with everyone, you know?”

The puzzled look on his face had almost made me laugh, he just looked at me with a furrowed brow and shook his head in confusion.

“I mean, if we go out again, let’s just keep it between us, okay? I don’t want to make things awkward since we share friends. Does that make sense?”

He hadn’t been happy about it, but he’d agreed. It didn’t take long before we were going out almost every night, then the sleepovers began. Having Trent in my bed, or being in his every night certainly wasn’t a hardship. He was amazing, thoughtful and his stamina... well, he was just about the perfect package.

“Here you are,” Hope said, as she walked into the ladies' room, bringing me back to reality.

Fumbling with my clutch, I retrieved my lip gloss and began to apply it in the mirror, avoiding Hope’s inquisitive stare. Thankfully, with pregnancy, she needed the facilities, so I was able to busy myself until she moved on.

Walking back into the tent with Hope, I joined her at her table to visit for a few minutes. Her yawn caught my attention. I smiled at her, and she explained that their little one was very active at night, so her sleep was compromised. Also, she found herself needing a lot more rest these days. Apparently, the other thing that disrupted her sleep was her sexy husband who couldn't get enough of her ever changing body. Hope's cheeks reddened as she confessed that little tidbit, but I laughed happily to ease her embarrassment.

Dawn joined us at the table and, as she crossed her legs, I was able to admire her beautiful pointed toe Mary Jane strapped shoes. Instead of a buckle, there was a small cluster of crystals shaped into a flower. They were fabulous.

“I didn’t see those,” I told her, gazing admiringly down at her foot.

“They were last season’s. Remember you wouldn’t look at those?” She teased, knowing I would be irritated with myself. With our employee discounts, we were able to get amazing pieces for the wedding, without breaking the bank. My discount equated to almost as much as my salary some months. I did have an obsession with shoes.

“Why can’t we be the same size?” I grumbled at her, reaching down and softly caressing the toe of her beautiful heels.

"You have a fetish," Dawn giggled. Shaking her head, she smiled and lightly kicked the palm of my hand.

“Ouch,” I exclaimed, feigning injury. “I bet Gavin likes it when you’re rough like that. If those were in black, they could almost be dominatrix shoes.”

“Mmm, good idea,” Gavin moaned as he bent down and whispered into Dawn's ear. I had no idea what he was saying, but whatever it was made her cheeks turn pink, and she glanced down at the floor.

Forcing the fucking smile to stay plastered on my face, I jumped up, muttered some excuse and rushed back to the bar. There was one thing I knew for sure if Gavin was near, Trent wasn’t far behind. I was doing my level best to avoid Trent. I knew that my resolve was starting to waiver. If I wasn't careful, he'd have me backed into a corner in no time. He would have me promising him things that weren't good for him, regardless of how wonderful they would be for me.

When Trent and I were dating, he and Gavin didn't spend as much time together. Now that Trent was single, Gavin and Dawn were together. I imagined that they still weren't able to spend much down time together with Gavin otherwise occupied. The guys worked together every day, though, and still did some of the proverbial guy stuff. They had a special bromance. It was good to see such totally similar, yet vastly different men maintain such a close relationship.

Sure, they were both jovial, easy going and sometimes ridiculous, but Gavin was so laid back, he would easily fade into the background. Trent, on the other hand, was charming and charismatic as well. His presence seemed to fill up a room, never allowing the occupants to forget him. Both men were kind and protective, but Trent’s need to shield and protect those weaker than himself from anything that could ever hurt them was almost fanatical.

He taught a self-defense class for women twice a week. He worked it out with the local YMCA to make the class completely free. He donated his own time, as well as had another local female officer who volunteered with him. He told me a long time ago, that it was his opinion, that every woman and child should be able to protect themselves from anyone who would try and hurt them. I knew that there was something driving him, something in his past, but he never told me what it was. We hadn’t gotten to that level of intimacy in our relationship yet.

BOOK: Trent (Redemption Romance Book 4)
12.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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