Un-Shattering Lucy (The Lucy & Harris Novella Series) (Volume 4)

BOOK: Un-Shattering Lucy (The Lucy & Harris Novella Series) (Volume 4)
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Copyrights

Un-Shattering Lucy

The Lucy & Harris Novella Series, Book 4

Written by Terri Anne Browning

All Rights Reserved © Terri Anne Browning 2016

Edited by Lorelei Logsdon

Cover picture and design by Sara Eirew

Models
Pierre Charbonneau & Elana Kraus

Formatting by IndieVention Designs

All rights reserved by the author. This is a work of fiction. Any characters, names, places or incidents are used solely in a fictitious nature based on the author's imagination. Any resemblance to or mention of persons, places, organizations, or other incidents are completely coincidental and subjects of the author’s imagination. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any other means without written permission from the Publisher. No individual/group has resale rights, sharing rights, or any other kind of rights to sell or give away this book. Piracy is not a victimless crime.

 

 

Table of Contents

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Epilogue

About the Author

Excerpt of Defying Her Mafioso

 

 

Dedication

To the lost and the broken.

 

 

Prologue

Lucy

January

The cold January rain was numbing my body while the pain in my soul numbed my brain. I’d been moving on autopilot for the last few days, but today I couldn’t do that. My life was on the line and I couldn’t leave California without at least trying to fight for it.

I was leaving in just a few hours. Mom had spent the last two days packing up all the clothes she thought I would need for school. All the pictures on my bedroom walls were in boxes. All my favorite books had been carefully packed and everything was waiting so neatly by the front door at home. My parents were flying out to D.C. with me and would stay two days while I got settled in for the spring semester at Georgetown.

Georgetown.

I’d spent most of my life dreaming about going to Georgetown, but now it felt like it was going to be my prison. I’d made the choice not to accept the early entrance spot they had offered in their English program. I had been set to start UCLA in the fall. I didn’t want to move across the country when everything I needed—everyone I needed—was right there in California.

All those plans had gone to hell when Tessa Conway had turned my life—
our
life—upside down.

She hadn’t just destroyed my plans. She’d obliterated my future with Harris as well. She’d taken everything from me when she had nearly killed Harris by drugging him. I was still unable to get the videos she had sent to my phone out of my head, was haunted by every groan and sigh that had left Harris while he’d done things with her that I’d been aching for from him.

None of that had mattered, however, the second that Harris had thrown me out of his hospital room. Having him toss me out had been the kick to the chest that had made me realize that no matter what had happened with Tessa, I wanted to fight for him.

Fight for us.

That he didn’t want to fight for us had hurt more than seeing those fucking videos. That he hadn’t even tried was slowly killing me.

With my hair dripping into my face and my lips trembling, I blindly reached for the doorbell. I heard the footsteps on the other side, waited while someone looked through the peephole and paused. Several long moments passed and I wrapped my arms around myself in an attempt to keep from falling apart right there on the Cutters’ front steps.

I’d snuck out of the house when I couldn’t get Harris to answer his phone or anyone else to pick up on the landline. I couldn’t leave that night without at least talking to Harris first. I couldn’t just walk away without trying, damn it.

Finally, the door opened and Natalie Cutter looked down at me with a mixture of concern, pity and determination darkening her blue-gray eyes. I sucked in a deep breath, watched as the air misted with my exhale and met her gaze with my own determination. “I need to see him, Nat.” She opened her mouth and I knew she was going to turn me away. I reached for her hand, held on like my life depended on it—because it fucking did—and whispered the only word I could. “Please.”

She jerked like I had slapped her and carefully pulled her hand free. Instead of pushing me away like I had feared, her arm wrapped around me and gently pulled me inside her home. “You’re soaked, Lu,” Natalie gently scolded as she pulled me into the living room. “Dev, bring me a towel,” she called.

“Be right there, baby.”

There was a fire already blazing and Natalie urged me closer to it. The heat hurt against my cold, damp body and I shied away from it, not wanting the numbness to go away. I needed that numbness to help hold myself together.

“You’re going to get pneumonia, honey.” Natalie pushed my dripping hair back from my eyes and ran her blue-gray eyes over my face as if looking for something. After only a moment her eyes darkened and she turned away with pity still shining in her eyes.

I swallowed back a small sob, hating that this was hurting her just as much as it was me. She’d nearly lost her stepson less than a week ago. The thought of having nearly lost Harris had almost killed me on the spot so I knew she was still hurting from what had almost happened.

Footsteps had me turning just as Devlin Cutter came into the room. He stopped when he saw me standing by the fireplace. “Lucy…” He shook his head like he didn’t understand what was going on. “Honey, what are you doing here? You’re soaking wet.”

His gentle tone had my throat tightening with fresh tears. I was nearly hoarse already from crying so much and the lump in my throat made it nearly impossible to breathe through the pain. “I…” I swallowed hard, hoping to ease some of the throbbing. “I need to see Harris, Mr. Cutter. He…I…We…” I stopped, took a deep breath and tried again. “Mom and Daddy are sending me away. I leave for Georgetown tonight, but I couldn’t go without at least telling him goodbye.”

Devlin’s face, so much like his son’s, tightened. “Honey, I know your parents wouldn’t just send you away. They love you, Lucy. This is to help you.”

I lowered my eyes. That was what everyone had said. That Jesse and Layla Thornton were only trying to help me. That I needed time away and the space to clear my head. To give not just myself time to heal, but Harris as well. My brain knew that they were all right. But my heart was screaming that it was wrong. That I was needed right there so I could help Harris move on. So that we could move on together.

I’d cried and screamed and thrown the worst tantrums I could ever remember throwing. I’d yelled and thrown things at Mom. I’d sobbed and pleaded, trying to get Nik and Shane to convince Aunt Emmie not to let Dad do this. I’d called Lana and Drake countless times, demanding my sister and brother-in-law help me stay.

No one had listened. No one had helped. They all wanted me to go just as much as my mom did. They all thought it was for the best. Everyone but me.

I shifted on my feet, the fire finally unthawing me enough that I could feel the pain in my foot once again. While the pain from the cut I’d self-inflicted throbbed to the beating of my heart, I welcomed the physical pain. It helped block out the pain in my chest and made it just a little easier to breathe.

“I know they just want the best for me,” I whispered and slowly lifted my head. “I-I just want to say goodbye.”

It was a lie. I wasn’t there to say goodbye, but I knew if he or Natalie knew that it would be a thousand times harder to get them to let me see Harris. Maybe if they thought I was just going to hug their son and walk away, they would give in.

Mr. Cutter crossed the rest of the living room and wrapped the towel he’d been carrying around my shoulders. His strong hands rubbed the thick cloth over my hair for a moment before he glanced at his wife. “Nat?”

She pushed her waist-long dark hair back from her face and grimaced. “I don’t know, Dev. I don’t want to upset him any more than he already is. He won’t eat…” She broke off, her gaze going back to the fire as she swallowed hard.

“He’s going to be pissed if she leaves and he didn’t get to say goodbye, baby.”

My heart sped up. He was going to let me see Harris. I closed my eyes as relief washed through me and waited quietly while the Cutters continued to debate the pros and cons of letting me up to see their son.

“Lu?”

My head shot up as Mr. Cutter stepped in front of me once more. “He’s in his room, sweetheart. I’ll give you five minutes.”

Pulling the towel off, I handed it back to him and made a dash for the stairs. As I hurried down the hall to the room Harris had grown up in, I passed Trinity’s open door but didn’t stop to think about what would happen if the little girl heard me and her big brother talking. Nothing mattered right then but getting to him and begging…

I didn’t bother to knock on the bedroom door. Didn’t want to waste even a few seconds by stopping or giving him the chance to lock me out. I walked in and shut the door behind me before turning to find Harris lying on his bed.

Seeing him lying on his back, the paleness of his face as he glared sightlessly up at the ceiling above him, was like a kick to the chest. In the few days it had been since I’d last seen him, I could tell that Harris had lost weight. Natalie had said he wasn’t eating. Even from where I stood I could see the dark shadows under his eyes. I ached to wipe them away. Wanted nothing more than to lie down beside him and wipe those dark smudges away along with all the bad memories Tessa had made for us in so short a time.

As if I were watching a movie in slow motion, Harris slowly turned his head. When he realized it was me standing there, his entire body seemed to jerk like he’d been electrocuted. “Lu?” he muttered as if he didn’t believe his own eyes. “Why are you wet?”

Tears filled my eyes and I was blinded as I tried to blink them back. “I had to see you,” I told him as he sat up and got to his feet. He took a step toward me, seemed to sway but quickly righted himself. “Please don’t send me away. I just…I want to talk.”

His jaw clenched and he locked his eyes on something above my head, refusing to meet my gaze. “There’s nothing to talk about, Lu. Tessa screwed me over.” He let out a bark of laughter that was in no way humorous. “In more ways than one it seems.”

“I don’t care about that—”

“Bullshit,” he said, cutting me off. “There is no way you can just wipe the sight of those videos away, Lucy. I sure as fuck wish you could. I wish
I
could. But we can’t.”

“I can,” I told him honestly. “I already have. We can work through this, Harris. I love you.”

He tightened his jaw even more and he turned his head away instead of echoing the words I was dying to hear, words that he had never held back from me before. Not hearing them returned was a stab to the heart, but I ignored the pain.

“You should go, Lucy.”

“I can’t go.” I took two steps toward him, my hands shaking just as much as my voice was. “My parents are trying to send me away.” That had his head snapping back around and he actually looked at me this time. I nodded. “They want me to go to Georgetown for the spring semester. My plane leaves in a few hours.”

“You’re leaving?” His eyes became hooded even though his face was full of shock. “Tonight?”

“I tried to call you, to talk to you about it, but you wouldn’t answer.” I wrapped my arms around myself and took another step closer to him. “Everything is set to go.”

His mouth opened and he sucked in a deep breath. Lifting his head, he gave me a long, hard appraisal as if he thought I was playing games with him. Seeing that I was completely serious he turned away, looking out the window so he didn’t have to look at me.

“Tell me not to go, Harris.” I was begging, but I didn’t care.

What was pride when everything I wanted was falling through my fingers? It didn’t matter what my parents wanted. Didn’t matter what I had to do to make this all go away. All that did matter was me and Harris. All I needed was for him to give me a chance to fix us and I would gladly go against anyone and everyone. I could give up everything I knew, but not him. Never him.

His head shot around to frown at me.

“Please. Tell me not to go and I won’t. Tell me you love me and we can work all this bullshit out. I won’t go. I won’t leave. They can’t make me.”

BOOK: Un-Shattering Lucy (The Lucy & Harris Novella Series) (Volume 4)
3.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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