Authors: Shawnté Borris
Published by: Shawnté Borris
Copyright © 2013 by Shawnté Borris
Twitter / Shawnté Borris
Copyright © 2013 by Shawnté Borris
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This book is a work of fiction. Characters, places and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, placed or events is purely coincidental.
This novel is dedicated to my wonderful husband, Ricky,
and to our beautiful children, Remi and Gavin.
Ricky, what can I write that I haven’t already said to you? There have never been enough words that could ever fully express my love for you. I am so grateful and blessed that you are my better half and my beloved life companion. You are my soul mate.
Every day you entertain me, dance with me, and most importantly, you love me. You watch me succeed and guide me when I fall. You are always in my cheering section, and for that…
~ I will ALWAYS love you. ~
Remi and Gavin, I will always love you unconditionally, protect you from any harm, respect you, laugh with you, and cry with you. I will encourage you during your struggles and help you with your talents. Most importantly, I will always be there for you.
Thank you both for being the joy of my life and the reason why I get up each morning.
You both have made your Dad and me very proud.
~ I love you most. ~
To my Mom and Dad ~ I love you.
To my Grandparents ~ Thank you for always being there.
Thank You …
I don’t even know where to begin!
I guess the first person that I need to thank is Lacy Almon. Without her, my book would not have been finished as soon as it was. Your guidance and support have meant the world to me. I love that when I text you at 6am, you always reply with a smiley face.
Thank you, Chris and Avery, for sharing Lacy with me.
Lisa Harley, thank you for the laughs during the writing process when I had writer’s block. I can’t wait for your book to be finished because everyone needs a whipped-cream-vodka-drinking-cowboy-riding good time.
To my world-famous cousins, Kim and Angie! This should go without saying: If I didn’t mention you, there would be no more fun times in the sun or getting tattoos. I love you both like there is no tomorrow.
I also need to thank my wonderful beta readers—Marybeth Provence, Jean Findlay Bowden, Lisa Harley and Lacy Almon—for taking time out of their busy lives to help edit, read, and re-read this book. Your dedication will never be forgotten.
Tina Moreau, thank you for setting me up with publishing and all that goes into that.
Also, thank you to Jovana Shirley at Unforeseen Editing and Sarah Hansen at Okay Creations.
To the BDHM board!!! OMG, how you make me laugh ~ almost to the point of peeing my pants. I love you all and would be lost without you.
I also want to thank other authors that have inspired me: Lynda LeeAnn, Kelly Elliott, Amanda Stone, R.L. Mathewson, L.B. Simmons, Jamie McGuire, Molly McAdams, the soon-to-be Lisa Harley, E.L. James, Sylvia Day, Kathryn Shay, Melody Anne, S.C. Stephens, Sylvain Reynard, Marie Kelly, Delia Delaney, and of course, the one who started it all…Stephenie Meyer. Thank you for your
and for placing them on paper to share with us.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank
! That’s right! I want to thank
for taking a chance and reading my novella.
My name is Alyson (Ally) Almon, and I am twenty-eight years old. I’ve started a new life that is so unrecognizable from what it was before—when he stole my heart at the age of eighteen.
As I left the city airport, the sun shone brightly upon my face, the warmth sending a tingling sensation throughout my whole body. It was the best feeling that I have had in a long time—or so I thought.
It all started ten years ago in a small community high school with a population of eleven-hundred students. Throughout high school, we had a few classes together. I never really noticed him—and that’s when he fell in love with me.
When Sam would tell me this story, I would be tightly cuddled into his chest with his hand gliding through my hair. Sam always said it was unbelievably hard to gather the courage to ask me out. “When I thought I’d had enough courage, you’d flash your beautiful smile, and there I was drowning in your beauty.”
As I waited for the taxi driver to gather my luggage, I stared hopelessly into the warm sun, remembering the story Sam told me of the first day he knew that I was the one.
It was in eleventh-grade English class when we were re-enacting the play
Twelve Angry Men
. I was playing the part of the court deputy, and Sam was the witness.
Sam said he knew I was his when I placed his soft hand on a book and looked into his eyes.
After that encounter, he tried asking me out. Usually, I’d say something like “I wish these mechanic students would wash up after class, so we
don’t have to smell like oil,” and then Sam would back out. I found out later that an oil pan had dropped on Sam’s shoes right before class ended.
About a month or so after that, I was trying to cram all my textbooks into the smallest locker possibly made. Frustrated, I yelled, “Come on!” Noticing how pissed I was, Sam offered to give me a helping hand. “Thanks, Sam,” I said with a half smile. “I don’t know what I would have done without you.” As I walked away, I looked over my shoulder to say thanks again, but all I noticed was a big grin on Sam’s face.
When I got into the taxi, the older man with grey hair asked me, “Where to?”
I didn’t know how to answer the question—because I didn’t know the answer. “I guess...to a hotel close to the beach,” I said with hesitation.
“Sure thing,” he replied with a slight nod and smile.
As we drove away, I smiled and looked out the window, thinking of our first date.
It definitely wasn’t the easiest first date that I have ever been on. Sam picked me up on a Wednesday night in his 1987 red orange two- toned Chevy Wrangler truck with matching red interior and subwoofers that vibrated your back while the music blared.
To this day, I can still smell the inside of his truck.
It was a forty-five minute drive to the movie theater—a very silent and awkward drive. I don’t think that I could have sat any closer to the door of his truck because I was so nervous. When we arrived, the only seats available were in the make-out corner.
, I thought to myself with a large sigh.
I remember Sam telling me later he wanted to grab my hand in the worst way.
After the movie, the drive home didn’t seem as long. We shared a few laughs and told embarrassing stories about our childhoods. Before I knew it, we were already at my house. Sam walked me to the door.
“Thanks for coming out with me. I had a really good night,” he said and then took a deep breath. “So I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.”
As Sam turned away, I thought to myself,
Why didn’t he try to kiss me good night? That’s a first.
“Um…yeah, tomorrow,” I replied.
“We’re here,” the taxi driver announced as he drove up to the hotel, pulling me away from my thoughts.
The hotel had a beautiful cream exterior with rich gold and red accents. When I was getting out of the cab, I couldn’t help but notice the smell of the nearby ocean. I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply, taking in the refreshing scent. As my eyes opened, I saw the taxi driver handing me my luggage.
“Thanks,” I said startled, grabbing my luggage from his hand.
I walked through the lobby of the hotel to the front desk, not knowing what to expect.
“Hello. Welcome to Haven Hotel. May I help you?” greeted a young woman.
“I need a room, please.” I paused for a moment, staring at her.
“Do you have a reservation with us?”
“No,” I said while I slightly shook my head.
“How long do you plan on staying with us?”
“I’m not sure. Maybe a few days? For a while.” I looked at her uneasily.
“Well, let’s see what we have available. Have you even been to Aventura, Florida before?”
“No, this is my first time. I’m from Flavanna, Virginia”
“I have a beautiful room facing the water on the third floor. Will that work for you?”
“Yes, that will be fine,” I said, fidgeting with the pen on the counter.
Really at that point anything would have done
, I thought.
Riding on the elevator with the bellhop, I realized that I was in uncomfortable territory. When we arrived on the third floor, I stepped out of the elevator and noticed a beautiful gold-framed mirror. It reminded me of the one Sam and I saw while we were on our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic.
As the bellhop placed my luggage in the room, I felt the warmth of the sun again, shining through the balcony windows. I pulled the curtains aside a bit more to let in more light. Then I opened the French doors, revealing an outdoor terrace.
I walked outside and leaned on the balcony for a while, watching the crowds of people on the beach. Before I knew it, enough time had passed that there was hardly anyone left. The sun was an amazing color, setting on the water and sparkling with each flowing wave.
I headed back into the room and saw all my luggage was on the bed. I didn’t even notice when the bellhop left. While I was unpacking my things, I heard a light knock at my door. It was a fruit tray from the lady at the front desk with a note:
Thought you could use a snack.
Nibbling on the fruit, I put away the bathroom essentials—products on the left side of the counter, all four toothbrushes in the glass holder, and a hand towel by the right side of the sink.
As the setting sun disappeared, I started to undress.
I noticed Sam’s favorite T-shirt in the corner of one of my suitcases. It was an old, thin hockey shirt from his college days. Still smelling like Sam, I slipped it on. I also placed two old and ratty teddy bears on my nightstand.
That was the first night when I realized they were not here. I was alone.
Pulling back the covers ever so slowly, I quietly slipped in and felt the tears running down my cheeks. As I lay there, I thought about how big and empty the bed felt.
The next morning sunlight peeked through the opened window. I slightly tossed back my hair away from my face, staring toward the early sunrise. I lay there for a while, closing my eyes and listening to sound of the ocean waves crashing into the shore.
I decided to start the day with a hot shower. While waiting for the water to heat up, I turned on the radio, hoping that it would fill the sound of the empty room. In the background, I could hear Brad Paisley singing “Wrapped Around.”
It felt so good to have hot water flowing over my body. I stood in the shower in a daze. In no time at all, I remembered the first time Sam ever saw me naked.
We had been dating for two years, and it was a cool, crisp night. We sat in the back of his truck, watching the northern lights and listening to the radio. That was the first time in my life I felt safe.
I had never had anybody look at me like the way Sam did. His warm fingers softly touched the side my face, staring into my eyes as if trying to gather my every thought. His lips were silky soft with a slight smell of peppermint gum. His kisses were always light. His fingers ran down my neck, slightly pulling my hair toward the center of my back. With his trembling hands, he undid the clasp of my bra ever so lightly. Feeling the cool air on my back gave me a slight shiver. Sam looked at me with his steady eyes.