I know everyone is a little...confused shall we say about the epilogue from Saved!! Please don't read to much into it. Remember I love a HEA!
Faithful is set to be released in August , 2013.
Below is the Prologue, first and second chapter to Faithful. .
“Heather?” I heard Ari say my name, but I was so numb I couldn’t even turn around.
They left me.
I felt a hand on my shoulder as I closed my eyes. Why did I ever tell Ari my secret place to go when I needed to think?
“Heather, Ells and I are really worried sweets. Please come back to my house with me. You can’t be all alone in your house tonight.”
I felt a chill run through my whole body. How was I going to sleep in that house knowing they would never come back?
I tried to talk but nothing would come out. I looked up toward Ari as I felt the tears running down my face.
Ari dropped to her knees and grabbed my hands. She put her head on lap and just started to say how sorry she was.
“Heather, I’m so sorry sweets. God you know I would do anything to bring your parents back. Anything. Just please tell me what to do Heather. What can I do to help you?”
I smiled as I looked down at her beautiful dark brown hair.
Ari…she’s filled with so much spit and fire but also with so much love. I know there is not a damn thing she wouldn’t do for anyone of us.
“Will y’all stay with me tonight? I can’t leave the house but…I can’t stay there alone either,” I said as I started to stroke Ari’s hair.
She looked up at me and smiled.
“A slumber party?”
I let out a small giggle. “Yeah, a slumber party. You, me, Amanda and Ells.”
Ari stood up and reached her hand for mine.
“Will you give me just two more minutes?” I asked as I glanced back over to the water.
“Sure sweets. I’ll be in my Jeep waiting. I’ll go ahead and call Amanda and Ells too,” Ari said as she rubbed my back before turning to walk back to her Jeep.
I closed my eyes, took in a deep breath and held it for a few seconds. I’ll never forget the first time Daddy brought me to this gazebo. I felt like such a princess. He told me this was our special place. A place we could always come to and feel each other’s presence, a place to feel safe when we were scared, lost or lonely.
“Daddy…it isn’t working. I feel so lost. So completely, and utterly lonely without you and mom. I can’t do this. I can’t do this by myself.”
A warm feeling captured my whole body as I thought of my father’s last words to me.
“Princess, you’ll never find anyone who will love you like your mother and I do. Just remember to guard your heart and don’t let just anyone in. To love strong is a great thing…to be loved just as strong in return; well that is miracle in itself.”
I’ll never love anyone again like I loved my parents. No…I’ll guard my heart and never let anyone in so I’ll never again, be hurting like this again.
I stood up and took one last look at the river. I closed my eyes and decided right then I was not going to cry anymore. It did no good. They were gone and never coming back.
“I’m sorry Daddy. I’m sorry I couldn’t get there in time to say goodbye to you and Mommy. I love you both. Goodbye.”
I slowly turned and started to walk to Ari’s Jeep.
All because I wanted to go on a stupid date. If I’d just gone with them to Marble Falls instead of insisting on meeting them there the next day, I would’ve been driving. They would be alive today.
This was all my fault.
Sophomore Year of College
“Dude, how many times do I have to tell you, you’re gonna get in trouble,” Jeff said as we walked onto the football field for practice.
I let out a laugh. “Jeff, I’m careful. I’m not going to get a girl pregnant. Besides, I’m too damn young to settle down with just one girl. I wanna have fun.”
Jeff rolled his eyes as he looked over at Gunner who was talking to Smitty.
“Gunner agrees. You’ve got to take it easy Josh. You’re a fucking man whore.”
I looked over toward the bleachers and saw Victoria sitting there. Shit. I let out a sigh as I threw my stuff down on the ground.
Jeff glanced over to where I was looking.
“Your latest? She’s cute. What’s her name?” Jeff asked as he looked back at me and raised his eyebrows.
“Fuck off dude. I actually liked this one, but she’s so damn clingy. Gonna have to break it off.”
“Yeah, they tend to get that way when you sleep with them. You’ll have to forgive them Josh…most girls don’t want to put out for just a one night stand.”
I smiled at Jeff as I shook my head. “Most of the girls I meet have no problem putting out for a one night stand.”
“You ain’t all there,” Jeff said as he pushed my shoulder back and started off toward Gunner.
I glanced again over at Victoria and decided to just get it over with. As I walked toward her, I noticed that beautiful long dark brown hair. She had it down today and the thoughts that were running through my head were making my dick rock hard. I’d hooked up with her more than any other girl, and she knew it.
There was something missing though. I just didn’t feel it with her.
Fuck. I just want to meet a girl I feel something for.
As I got closer the smile spread wider on her face. Yeah. She was beautiful alright. Great in bed, smart as hell, but to fucking needy.
“Hey there, handsome. I thought I’d come and watch y’all practice. I thought maybe afterwards you and I could go…you know. Play around a little back at my place.”
“What’s up Tori?” I asked as I gave her my signature smile.
“I was hoping you were,” she purred back.
Oh god…I think I just threw up in my mouth.
“Listen Tori, I just don’t think this is working out for me,” I said as I noticed her friend Michelle standing next to her.
“What?” Victoria said, almost in a shout.
Ah hell, here we go.
“Listen, it was fun. It was um…it was a lot of fun, Victoria, but it’s just not working out. I’m not really ready to settle down just yet and to be honest you were giving me that vibe.”
She leaned over and said something to Michelle who quickly looked over at me and smiled before she turned off and walked away.
“Baby, let’s go back to my car and talk about this. I’m sure I can… change your mind,” she said as she glanced down toward my junk.
I let out a sigh. Damn a blow job from her would feel really good right about now.
I shook my head and cleared my thoughts. I really need to find a girl who is not ready to put out just because I smile at her. Fuck me…does one even exist?
“You’re thinking pretty hard about it, Josh. I’m feeling a little wet with excitement,” she said with a wink.
Yeah fuck this shit.
“Sorry, Victoria. It was fun but I’m done. Good luck with nursing school. You’re gonna make a damn good nurse.”
With that I turned and walked away. She called my name twice. Just keep walking Josh, just keep walking.
I felt her hand grab my arm and pull me to a stop.
“Wait! Josh, just one more time? Please. Just as a goodbye, that’s all. I promise.”
I looked back at the field where Gunner, Jeff and Brad were all talking. I reached in back pocket and pulled out my phone. Fifteen minutes. I could do that.
I glance back at her with a smile on my face.
“Lead the way to your car, baby,” I said as she smiled back.
Yeah, beautiful, great fucking sex, but defiantly not the one.
I glanced over to look at Ari. She was staring out the window and I could see the tears running down her face. I looked up to the front seat; Jeff was talking to Gunner on the phone, telling him about the accident.
Oh my god. I didn’t even say I loved him before I walked out the door. I just left.
Ari squeezed my hand. I guess I stopped my hysterical crying about 20 minutes ago.
“It’s gonna be okay, sweets,” Ari said with a weak smile.
I tried to smile back at her. My heart was pounding in my chest and all I could see were images of Josh flashing through my mind.
I leaned my head back and thought about two nights ago when he made such passionate love to me in the rain.
I was sitting on the sofa watching his every move. I saw him reach down and start his iPod. He walked toward me with that panty melting smile on his face, as he held out his hand.
My heart was racing. How does he make me feel this way?
I smiled as I reached up and felt his warm hand capture mine.
“Will you dance with me, princess?” he asked with a smile that just melted my heart.
“Yes.” I said as he pulled me into his arms and captured my lips with his.
As he led me outside, I could hear Ed Sheeran's "Kiss Me" playing on the outside speakers. Damn I love this song. He knows how much I love this song.
The rain was coming down at a steady pace as he led me down the steps and out to the patio. I looked up and felt the rain hitting my face. God it felt so good and instantly cooled me off. After days of having a fever, the cool rain felt like heaven on my skin.
As he reached for me and pulled me closer to him, he put his lips to my ear.
"I love you, Heather."
"I love you, Josh, more than anything."
Heart beat to heart beat. Dancing in the rain.
“Are you feeling better, princess?” Josh asked against my ear.
“Yes…especially here in your arms,” I said as I looked up into his beautiful green eyes. I was breathless looking into his eyes.
As the music played he slowly moved us over to one of the patio chairs.
“I’m going to make love to you in the rain, Heather,” he said with so much seduction it felt like my knees were about to go out from under me.
“Oh god…” I said as he slowly started to pull my T-shirt up and over my head.
Once the T-shirt was off he leaned down and kissed me so softly that I almost wanted to pull in him for more. I needed to feel him up against me, as close as I could get him. I needed him inside me.
He slowly turned me around and placed soft kisses from one shoulder to the other. I felt his hands move down as he slowly removed my bra.
Oh god. He’s trying to kill me with how slow he’s moving.
I glanced over my shoulder. “Josh, please…it’s been so long.”
He let out a small laugh as he pushed my bra off my body and wrapped his arms around me.
“I know, baby, but you had bronchitis, a sinus infection, the flu and god knows what else. There was no way I was going to get sick by getting near you, let alone have sex with you!”
I turned around and smacked him on the shoulder as he laughed.
“Nice, you just ruined one of the most romantic moments of my life you ass!”
Then he smiled that smile. The one that always makes me think of lunch with him in Marble Falls. That crooked smile with the dimple in his cheek. I felt the throbbing between my legs as his smile turned into a smoldering look that just about had me ready to get on my knees and beg him to make love to me.
“I love you, Heather,” he said as he took my hands in his.
“I love you more, Josh,”
“I love you… infinity,” he said with a wink.
“Make love to me, Josh.”
His hands released mine as he slowly moved them up my wet arms, down my chest to my shorts. By the time he had them off I was ready to explode. God, the way he makes me feel is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Every time is like the first time.
He stood back and stared at me. I wanted to cover myself so desperately but I knew how that upset him. He would always tell me how perfect I was and how beautiful I was. I don’t think I’ll ever get use to how he makes me feel so special. So wanted.
I watched as he took off his T-shirt and slipped his shorts off. I raised my eyebrows at him and smiled.
“Commando today huh?”
“Easier access for you, baby,” he said with a wicked smile.
I threw my head back and laughed but kept it back. The rain felt like pure heaven. Was this really happening?
I snapped my head back up and looked at him.
“We can’t do this!” I practically yelled at him.
“What? Why the hell not?”
“It’s your parent’s house, Josh! What if they come home? I mean, what if your mom…oh god, I don’t even want to think about it,” I said as I turned to grab my shirt.
Josh grabbed my hand and pulled me to his wet warm body.
“Princess, my parents are at their lake house and not coming home until tomorrow. It’s just you and me,” he said as he pressed his lips to mine and kissed me with so much passion I knew I was going to have an orgasm the moment he touched me.
He slowly sat down on the lounge chair and moved back allowing me to straddle him. The moment I sat down and pressed against him, I let out a moan.
“Oh god. I’ve missed you so much,” I said with desperation in my voice.
“Jesus, Heather, you feel like heaven. I love you, princess,” Josh said as he lifted me up and lowered me down onto him. He wrapped his arms around me and covered me in soft kisses as we made the sweetest most romantic love in my life…in the rain.
Heart beat to heart beat.
Ari’s voice suddenly woke me from my memory, “Heather, sweets, we’re at the hospital.” Ari said with sadness in her eyes.
As soon as Jeff parked the truck I jumped out.
“Heather, please slow down.” Ari called out from behind me. I had to get to him.
I kept walking at a steady pace. What if he doesn’t make it? I never even told him I loved him before I left. Oh. My. God. We were fighting.
As we walked toward the hospital I sent Elizabeth a text message letting her know I was there and asking where she was.
Elizabeth: Second floor surgery waiting room
I walked in through the ER room and headed straight to the elevator. I heard Jeff tell Ari that Gunner and Ellie were praying for Josh.
Don’t cry Heather. Do. Not. Cry.
As we stepped into the elevator I looked at Ari. Mistake. I immediately felt the tears building in my eyes. I turned away and looked at the floor.
“Heather…” Ari started to say.
“Please don’t,” I said as I looked back up at her and the doors opened.
Ari grabbed my hand as we walked to the waiting room. I saw Elizabeth and Greg standing there talking to a doctor who was still dressed like he just walked out of surgery.
I stopped just short of them, unable to take another step.
What if he’s telling them Josh didn’t make it?
Elizabeth glanced over and saw me. She immediately walked over to me and took me in her arms.
“He’s going to be okay baby girl. Breathe. Just breathe, Heather.”
Oh god. That was what Josh told me all the time when he knew I was upset or nervous.
I pulled back and looked at her. She took her thumbs and wiped away the tears from my face.
“He’s going to be okay? But I thought he was in critical…” I couldn’t finish. I started to cry as I felt Ari rubbing her hand on my back.
“Come on, Dr. Michaels was Josh’s surgeon and he literally just walked out to talk to us.”
As we walked over to the surgeon, Jeff’s phone started to ring. All I heard him say was hi to Gunner. Poor Ellie. She didn’t need this added stress.
“Dr. Michaels, this is Heather Lambert, Josh’s girlfriend,” Elizabeth said as she gave me the sweetest smile.
Dr. Michaels and I did our introductions and then he began to tell us about Josh.
“It looks like we were able to stop the internal bleeding from the blunt force trauma to his abdomen. His spleen was lacerated, probably by one of the two broken ribs, but we went in using a procedure called exploratory laparotomy. We were able to stop the bleeding by using a heat probe to seal the blood vessels. He lost a lot of blood so we also had to do a transfusion. His brain scans show that he suffered a slight blunt force trauma to the head resulting in minor swelling. We’re treating that with IV diuretics, mannitol, and will observe him. We won’t really know anymore until he wakes up. He is stable now and breathing very well on his own. His blood pressure is good and all vitals are normal.”
“What about any brain injury? Do we know if he had any significant injury to his brain?” Greg asked as he tried to clear his throat.
“He definitely had trauma to his head, no question about that with the swelling. We’re going to have to wait until he wakes up to see how significant it was. The swelling is steadily going down and all the brain scans appear to be normal, so I didn’t see the need to do an induced coma. I’m confident things will be okay.”
Dr. Michaels looked over at me and gave me a weak but genuine smile. I smiled back the best I could, but my heart was racing.
He was going to be okay.
“We’re going to keep him in ICU over night and move him to another room tomorrow. If y’all would like to go in, of course he’s not awake. We just ask only two at a time.”
“Of course, of course,” Elizabeth said. “Heather, darling shall we go in?”
My heart started racing even more. Oh God.
“Um, why don’t you and Greg go in first? I think I need a moment or two to let this all settle.”
“Sure baby girl. We’ll be right back,” Greg said as he leaned over and kissed me on the check.
I watched as they followed the doctor through the double doors. Jeff must have sensed what was about to happen because he was by my side and holding on to me when my knees gave out.
With Ari on one side and Jeff on the other, we walked over to the small sofa. Ari and I sat down and I just let go. I have never cried so hard in my life. Even after my parents death I tried not to cry. I couldn’t hold it in. Every emotion I felt in the last 48 hours was coming full circle. The beautiful moment in the rain when Josh made love to me, anger over him and Lynda, the fight we had before I left, the excitement about Alex, Josh’s car accident and how scared to death I was that I lost him.
Ari gently held me in her arms as I just let it all slip away.
We would be okay.
****Twenty four hours before the accident****
I looked down at my cell phone in my hand. Fuck, why is Lynda calling me again.
Heather was staring at two dresses sitting on my bed, trying to decide which one to wear to my mother’s Christmas party for the office tonight.
“I’ll be right back, babe.” I said as I turned and walked out into the hall and down the stairs.
“Lynda, what do you need?” I said in a hushed voice as I quickly made my way through the kitchen and out onto the back patio. Last thing I wanted was for Heather to hear me talking to her.
“I’m so sorry to bother you, Josh. I’m just really having a hard day. Christmas is so close and I feel so alone. Can’t we just meet for lunch, please?”
I took a deep breath and looked out toward the pool. I looked at the lounge chair that Heather and I had made love in the day before and smiled. I slowly let out the breath I was holding.
“No, Lynda. We can’t meet for lunch. You have your family. You’ll be fine. You need to get out and meet someone.”
“I don’t want to meet anyone else. What we had was such a good thing. You know it was.”
“No, what we had was nothing. You knew from the beginning that I loved Heather, Lynda. I’m tired of having this conversation with you. Listen, I need to go. You’re gonna be okay. Please just trust me, and get out there and look for someone. You’re a beautiful girl and you’ll have no problem finding someone. I promise.”
I turned around to find Heather leaning up against the door listening to me.
“Listen, I have a Christmas party to get ready for. I have to go. Later.” I hung up the phone and started to walk toward Heather.
She put her hand up to stop me from coming closer.
“You felt the need to come outside to talk to her? How often do you sneak away to talk to her on the phone, Josh?”
“Heather, I know it upsets you so…”
“So you snuck outside? Why can’t you see this girl is playing you? This whole ‘feel sorry for me’ shit is getting old.” Heather said as she turned and walked back into the house.
“Heather, wait. I’m trying the best I can here.” I said as she stopped walking and turned to look at me. The look on her face told me I had just said something very wrong.
“You’re trying your best? No, you’re not trying your best. You drop everything when she calls to comfort her and she knows it. You need to ignore her. I’m tired of this Josh. I’m ready to move on and leave all of that behind and we can’t because every other week she’s calling you with some sort of breakdown. She’s lying to you. Why can’t you see that?”
I pushed my hands through my hair and let out a long breath. I looked over at the clock. My parents would be home any second and the last thing I wanted to be doing was fighting with Heather when they walked in.
“Okay, Heather. You’re right. I need to learn to just ignore her. I care about her though and I worry so…”
Her mouth dropped open and she shot me the dirtiest look.
“What? You care about her?”
Jesus H.Christ! I can’t believe I just said that.
“Okay this is getting fucking ridiculous, Heather. I love you. I’ll only ever love you. I only want to be with you. Why are you getting so fucking jealous over someone who means nothing?” I shouted.
I watched as the tears started to build in her eyes as she lowered her head.
Oh holy shit. Why did I just yell at her? I’m just nervous about asking her to marry me tonight and I’m taking it out on her.
She started to shake her head as she looked back up at me. “She’ll never go away will she, Josh? How would you feel if I talked to Jerry on the phone all the time? If I told him how handsome he was. If I snuck outside to talk to him and then told you I cared about him?” Heather said as she tried to hold in her sobs.
“Baby, I meant to say I cared….as in past tense. I feel nothing for Lynda. I just worry that she’s going to do something stupid.” I said as I moved closer to her.
“She. Is. Not. Your. Problem. The problem you have right now, Josh, is the fact that you can’t open your eyes and see she’s coming between us. She’s doing the very thing she set out to do the day we walked into that hospital room together.”
“Heather, Lynda is not out to keep us apart. That’s just stupid and why do you even keep saying that?” I asked as I watched a tear roll down her cheek.
Jesus…my whole world just stopped at the sight of that tear.
“Because that’s exactly what she’s doing, whether you want to see it or not.” Heather turned and started for the stairs. Just then I heard my parents coming in.
I watched as my mother and father came into the kitchen laughing. I put on a smile and tried to act like nothing was wrong.
“Josh, darling! Is Heather here also?” my mother said as she looked out toward the family room.
“Uh, yeah. She’s upstairs trying to figure out what to wear for the party.” I said as I looked at my father who gave me a knowing look.
How the hell does he know when I’m putting up a show?
Turning to head up stairs my mother called back and said, “Perfect! I can’t wait to see what she has planned for tonight. I’m going to go up and say hello and see if I can help her pick out a dress.”
Once she was gone my Dad looked at me. “What happened?”
“Lynda called, I took the call outside, Heather overheard and that led to a fight.”
“Josh, you need to cut these ties with Lynda…now.” my dad said as he reached into the refrigerator and took out a bottled water.
“Oh fuck, you too dad? What exactly am I doing wrong? The girl has problems, I’m just trying to be a friend.” I said as I sat on the bar stool and put my head in my hands.
My dad let out a laugh that caused me to look up at him. “What the hell is so funny?”
He stopped laughing and just looked at me.
“Are you kidding me, Josh? The only problem that girl has is the fact that you love Heather and not her. Michael Hannock told me the other night he saw Lynda out with his nephew and she was hanging all over the kid. Wake up, Josh. Stop acting like a fucking idiot and give yourself hundred percent to the girl you love. She at least deserves that. I think she’s been patient enough with your ass.” my dad said as he reached for an apple and took a bite.
“Well shit dad. Don’t hold anything back.” I said as my mother walked into the kitchen. She stopped and placed her hands on her hips and gave me ‘the look’ she always gives me when she’s pissed.
“What the hell did you do to Heather?”
“Oh. My. God. You too?” I said as I started to walk past her. My mother grabbed my arm and told me to stop.
“She just left, Josh. Said she wasn’t going to the office party tonight and for me to tell you she’s heading to Mason. So I ask you again, Josh. What the hell did you do or say that caused her to walk out of my house with tears in her eyes?”
My father cleared his throat as my mother and I looked at him.
“Lynda,” he said as he raised his eyebrows up.
Bastard traitor father of mine.
“Josh, oh no, Josh you didn’t.” my mother said as she started to shake her head.
“I didn’t what?”
“Will you just kick that girl to the curb already? Can’t you see she’s trying to pull you two apart?”
Holy hell…not her too?
“This is bullshit. I’m going upstairs to take a shower and get ready for your Christmas party, mom.”
“Josh, what about Heather? She left!” My mother said as she pointed toward the front door.
I reached down and felt the ring box in my pocket. “I’m not going to force her to go to the party. If she doesn’t want to go with me, she doesn’t want to go.” I said as I walked out of the kitchen. Before I hit the stairs I heard my father.
“Stupid bastard is going to lose the only girl he’s ever loved over some twisted nut case who can’t let go of him.”
My heart starting beating faster with each step I took.
I can’t lose Heather. I’d rather die than live without her.
What in the hell am I supposed to do?
Copyright Faithful 2013 Kelly Elliott