Authors: Dawn Martens,Emily Minton
Tags: #Romance, #Adult, #Contemporary
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DAWN MARTENS AND EMILY MINTON
Copyright © 2013 Dawn Martens and Emily Minton
"Cover design © Arijana Karčić, Cover It! Designs"
Edited by Hot Tree Editing
Whiskey Lullaby is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places and events portrayed in this book either are from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, establishments, events, or location is purely coincidental and not intended by the author. Please do not take offence to the content, as it is FICTION.
Trademarks: This book identifies product names and services known to be trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of their respective holders, The authors acknowledges the trademarked status in this work of fiction. The publication and use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
I want to thank all of our awesome betas Mo, Skye, Carey, Tiffany, Vi, Mia, and Justine. Your input was invaluable.
, L., and Ty, Thank you for everything. Without your words of encouragement, I would have never made it this far. You rock!!
Kendra, Thank you so much for all your help. You are the proofreading queen!
David, Jess, and Bailey, Love you all! Thank you for standing by me during this process. Special thanks to Bailey for helping us with the epilogue. Your part is awesome!
Dawn, Love you girl! I could have never done this without you. Cannot wait to write book two with you.
I want to thank my readers! Love you all!
I want to thank my besties – Nikki, Amanda, Angel, Melody, Erika, Shanora, Maureen, Brandi, and Bec – for everything, all the
chats, and the encouragements! Love ya’s.
Emily – Thanks for being so awesome to work with and becoming my second mom (because you are old and like pretty much the same age lol)
To my mom for always grounding me as a kid, and left me with nothing else to do except read! ;)
And to my hubby, for just being awesome, and weird, although I could do without you licking me ;)
For Aunt Shirley, I miss you every day. I wish your Whiskey Lullaby had ended with a happily ever after.
For anyone that has ever been cheated on but had the heart to forgive and move on. - Dawn
By: Dawn Martens and Emily Minton
I’m just finishing making Jase's birthday cake. It’s his favorite, chocolate with vanilla pudding in the middle. We’ve been living together for three years, and I still get butterflies whenever I think about him.
Jase and I have known each other since we were just kids, but we didn't become a couple until I was a freshman and he was a senior. I remember talking to my two best friends, Kristen and Bec, when he came up and told me we were going out. Yes, he told me I was going out with him that night. Since then, we’ve been inseparable.
He was, and is, the sexiest thing I have ever seen. He has thick, light-brown hair that hangs just below his chin, and beautiful dark-brown eyes that sparkle when he laughs; they turn nearly black when he is inside me. He’s tall, a little over six feet. He’s slim but muscular. He was the star quarterback on the school’s football team. All the girls wanted him; I couldn’t believe he wanted me. Sometimes, I still can't.
I was just the normal girl that really didn’t do anything except study. I was shy and quiet,
and I kept mostly to myself. I only had a few friends. It was really just Kristen, Bec, and me against the world.
Kristen is my cousin, but she is really more of a sister. My brother and I have lived with h
er family since I was seven. See, my mom ran off with some trucker and left me and Brandon alone in our little trailer. He was just nine, but he tried his best to take care of me. Three days after she left, we ran out of food; the next day, the Department of Children's Services was at our door.
We haven’t seen
Mom since. My dad was never in the picture. Honestly, I wonder if Mom even knew who he was. Luckily, Mom’s brother Mack was more of a parent than she ever was. He and his wife took us in. They have two kids of their own, Kristen and Will. We had never even met them before we moved in, but it didn't take long for us all to become one big family.
A year after Jase and I started dating, he gave me his Grandpa's dog tags. He’
d been wearing them since he was just a kid. When he gave them to me, he said they use to be his most prized possession, but now I am. He said when people saw them around my neck, that everyone would know that I was his. I’ve been wearing them every day since.
We moved in together my senior year. My uncle and aunt flipped out when I said I wanted to move in with Jase. They knew him, and his
dad was Uncle Mack's best friend, but they’d been really protective of me since my brother Brandon and I moved in with them.
After lots of long talks and lots of pleading from me and Jase, Uncle Mack and Aunt Angie relented and allowed me to move in with Jase. But not before they gave him the
‘talk’. I wasn't allowed in the room, so I'm not sure what was said, but Jase was as white as a sheet when they were done. A week later, they helped me pack up my things and moved me into Jase’s place. We've been living our own ‘happily ever after’ ever since.
Jase works at his
pop’s garage. He comes home smelling like gas and covered in grease, but it’s good money. His brothers work there too, and I think he enjoys being with them every day. It seems like he works all the time, but he's doing what he loves. That is all that matters to me.
After I finish cleaning up the kitchen, I head to our bedroom and put on my
new knee length blue dress. I look at myself in the mirror and like what I see. The dress hugs all the right curves, but doesn't show any of my extra bits. Bec's been telling me I need to lose a little weight, so I've been trying to diet. I've lost a few pounds, but I don't think Jase has even noticed.
Bec's been telling me a lot of things lately, all bad.
Like I'm getting fat, my hair is stringy, I'm too clingy with Jase; the list goes on. I am not sure why she keeps acting this way, but I know that I am getting tired of it.
I fluff up my long dark
-brown hair, take one more look in the mirror, and head back downstairs. I plan to surprise Jase at work. I’ve never done this before, but I think he’ll love it. He turned twenty-two today. It is his first birthday since his mom died, and I want to make sure it’s the best birthday he’s ever had.
Jase has been having a really hard time since Michelle died, but he won't talk about it. It's been almost a year, and he still won't even mention her. He's drinking a lot. He even stayed out all night a time or two. I'm kind of worried, but Aunt Angie says everyone has to grieve in their own way. So I'm trying to give him his space, but
it’s hard to see him struggling so much and not try to help.
Settling into my car, I place his birthday cake in the passenger seat. I imagine the look on his face when he sees me carrying a cake into the garage. He loves my cake, but he loves me more. I know he'll be happy to see me, but he'll be even happier when he sees what I’ve got on under my dress.
I pull into the parking lot and make my way inside. I don’t see him when I first go in. That’s strange
; I figured he would be out in his bay working. I wave at the guys, but no one waves back. Not one of them will look at me. Even Jase's baby brother Shane is looking the other way. I'm not sure what’s wrong, but I know it’s bad.
ervous butterflies flutter in my stomach. My heart starts to beat fast and I feel hot all over. I hear noises coming from inside the office, so I head that way. As soon as I open the door, my heart rips in two. Jase's pants are down and a pair of long legs are wrapped around his back. They’re on Pop's desk, and they’re going at it so hard that the desk is squeaking.
, Jase, harder, baby. Fuck me like you can’t fuck your innocent little Julie.”
God, Bec! Jase grunts and starts to speed up. My head starts to spin and my stomach starts to roll. How could they hurt me this way? I feel like I’m going to be sick. Maybe I’m seeing things that aren’t real. Jase wouldn’t do this to me. I take another look in the room and see that I wasn’t wrong. My best friend and boyfriend are screwing each other behind my back! I back up slowly so they don’t hear me and bump into Shane's chest. He places his hand on my back and walks me out front.
Shane drops his arm and looks at me.
Pity’s etched on his face. "I'm sorry, Jules. I should've stopped you. You never should have seen that, but I thought you deserved to know."
I look up at him and shake my head.
I somehow find my voice. "This isn’t your fault. Can you do me a favor though?" My voice cracks a little.
"Anything for you
"Don't tell Jase
I was here. Make sure the rest of the guys don't tell him either."
Shane nods his head. "I'll make sure no one says a word."
I look down and notice that I'm still carrying his stupid birthday cake. I walk over and sit it by the garage door, and run to my car.
When I make it back home, I run up to our room.
Grabbing my suitcase from the closet, I quickly pack as much of my stuff as I can. I look around the room, our room, with a heavy heart. Removing his Grandpa’s dog tags from around my neck, I head toward our bed. I know that taking them off means that we are truly over. I place them on Jase's pillow and run to my car. Before I can get in the driver’s seat, Matty, Jase's brother pulls up. When he gets out, his eyes go alert.
“Where are you going
“I don't know."
"What the hell happened?"
I surprise myself when the words tumble out of my mouth.
"I went to surprise Jase, and he was having sex with one my best friends.” Tears threaten and finally win as I sob heavily. Immediately, Matty wraps me up in his arms and starts to rub small circles on my back. I look up at Matty and the tears fall even harder. He looks so much like Jase that it hurts to even look at him. “I have to get out of here before Jase gets home. I can’t face him right now.”
“You don’t have to leave.” Matty whispers, guilt lacing his voice.
I have a feeling that he knew what was going on with Jase and Bec, but I am afraid to ask. Matty has been my friend for years. It would hurt too much if he had kept this from me.
“I have to go. There is no way that I can be around him.” I explain.
“I’m sorry, Jules. He doesn’t deserve you,” Matty says and continues to rub my back.
I jerk away
at his words and nearly shout, “No, he doesn’t. That’s why I’m leaving.”
He’s quiet for a moment, just staring at me. Then a sad smile spreads across his face. “You could give it a little time before you
leave. You know that my brother isn’t the only man in town.”
I shake my head. “No! I can’t even think about that right now.”
He loses his smile. "Where are you going?”
“I don’t know yet, but far away from here.”
He nods. “Will you at least call me when you figure it out?"
My tears catch in my throat. I’m afraid to answer. Nodding my head is all I can manage.
“And you better call me every once in a while just to let me know you’re okay.” My chest expands with emotion. What the hell went so wrong? I nod again then give Matty a quick kiss on the cheek before I hop into my car.
around me as I look toward our home one more time before hitting the road. Tears stream down my face as I whisper, "Goodbye, Jase.”
I finish up my shift and clean up before going home. I had a good lunch break with Bec today. Well, I got off, so I guess that makes it good. I didn't even want to do it, but Bec wasn't willing to take no for answer. I figured the best thing to do was just fuck her and get it over with.
The guys didn't make me feel any better. Not one of them would
even talk to me. Hell, they'll hardly even looked at me. Well, they can just suck my dick. None of them know what it's like being in a relationship. Maybe when one of them gets their own woman, I'll give a fuck what they think.
What the hell am I saying? Julie's not the problem. She's the best thing that ever happened to me. This is all about Mom dying. This shit does not have one fucking thing to do with my Julie.
Only Matty and Shane know what I’m going through. Losing a mom isn’t easy. Losing a mom like mine is fucking intolerable, especially when it was all my Dad’s fault. He just had to get him some on the side. If it wasn’t for that shit, my mom would still be here.
The irony isn’t wasted on me. I guess I’m just like him.
Even Bec looked ashamed today
; she even froze up right in the middle. I don’t even think she got off, but I don’t give a damn. Maybe she'll leave me the hell alone now. It was a mistake, never to happen again. At least, that’s what we always say. Bec promised she wouldn’t tell Julie. She never has, thank fuck for that.
I come out of the garage and notice a cake sitting by the door. What the hell? I bend down to grab it, when I notice my name written across the top. Guilt slams me even more than before. Julie was here!
Shit, she probably saw me and Bec. Why the hell didn't anyone tell me?
I race over to my truck and drive as fast as I can to get home. I pull into our driveway and notice that my brother Matty's truck is here, but I don’t see Julie’s car anywhere.
As soon as I walk into the house, I’m thrown back from Matty punching me in the face. “You are a fucking stupid son of a bitch. You lost the best thing that ever happened to you, and for what? A quick lay that you could have gotten from your own girl?” he yells at me.
“What do you mean, I lost her? Where the
hell is she?” I yell back. I run up the stairs without letting him answer me. Our bedroom seems empty. The bed is unmade. There's no make-up or perfume on the dresser, and even the pictures of her family are missing.
Panic consumes me as I run to the closet. All of her things are gone, except for the stuff I bought her.
I walk out of the closet and head to the bed. Grandpa's dog tags are lying on my pillow. She hasn’t taken them off in years. She knows how important they are to me, and she knows that wearing them makes her mine.
Realization hits me hard. I know that her taking them off means she's done. Sinking to my knees, I cry. This is the first time that I've cried since I was a kid. I didn’t even shed a tear when my mom died, but I can’t keep the tears away now. It seems forever that I’m sitting on the hard floor, crying at my complete and utter fuck up. I cry for Julie. I cry for my mom, and I cry because I know my life will never be the same.
I’m startled from my t
houghts at the sound of Matty’s voice. “Told you, man, you fucked up, and you have no one to blame but yourself.” I look up and Matty’s standing in the doorway.
“Where is she?” I pull myself together and stand up.
My body is tense from trying to swallow the pain of losing my girl.
“I don’t know
, man. She packed her shit and left. She’s gone. You should have seen her. She was fucking broken," he sneers, shaking his head. "Shit, brother, I told you when you started with her to keep your dick in your pants. Where ever she goes, I hope she’s happy.” Contempt fills his face as he looks at me with disgust.