Ari at Cover It! Designs- Thank you for everything. You know how much I love you.
To my sister Tee- Thanks for all your help with the boys while I was writing this book. If it wasn’t for you it would have taken me a much longer time to finish it.
Rose and Tash at Forever Me Romance- I can’t thank you guys enough! You are both amazing, wonderful people and I appreciate all the time and effort you put in to help me.
Love you both!
Kara Brown, Stephanie Knowles, Kimberly Brower and Stephanie Felix thanks for your help.
JC Emery- Love our daily sprints. Thanks for everything!
Rachel Brookes- Thanks for your help and all your support! See you in Sydney!
Kitty Kats Crazy About Books- a big thank you to you.
Jenny Sims- Thanks for making time for me!
Readers: Please note this is not a dark romance.
I hope you enjoy it!
Love, Chantal Fernando.
“People will love you. People will hate you. And none of it will have anything to do with you.”
― Abraham Hicks
I stare at the old motel building in apprehension, taking in its brown brick exterior and dirty windows.
Not the Hilton, that’s for sure.
Feeling sorry for myself is a foreign concept for me. I normally consider myself a strong woman. I need to be one, with the parents I was given and the career I have in mind for the future. I have a strong will and I’m not afraid to open my mouth and say what’s on my mind. I don’t mince words or back down. I find humor in awkward situations and try to make the most of my life.
I guess there is a first time for everything, because here I am, tail tucked between my legs, feeling more than sorry for myself.
I’d think sixty dollars would have gotten me a better motel than this, but I was wrong. It has been known to happen.
I check in at the reception, paying for a one night stay and trying not to stare at the mold on the wall. The bored looking girl at the counter hands me my key. Then I drag my feet to my room, taking one bag with me. Inside are my toiletries, clothes, and a few valuables-- including my purse, passport, and food.
Unlocking the door, I walk in and check out the room. A small bathroom, a couch, bed, fridge, and a TV. Eh, it could be worse. I don’t know how—but I know it could. I put my bag on the couch and take off my sandals. Placing them neatly in the corner, I pull out one of the plastic containers and open the lid.
I munch on the cut fruit as I contemplate my life. I have five thousand dollars saved, a growing belly, and no clue what the hell I’m going to do. One thing I do know for sure is that I need to keep moving. Two nights here, and then I’m going to keep on driving. I want to get as far away from my old life as possible, that shit does not need to catch up with me.
I take a long shower, then take my time rubbing moisturizer into my skin. I have cherry blossom lotion that I use every night without fail, and tonight is no exception. I brush my teeth, comb my wavy auburn hair, and climb into bed. Wishing I had brought my own sheets, I ignore the musty smell and fall asleep.
This is my life now.
One night passes and then I’m back on the road, heading farther north. Soon exhausted, I check into another dodgy motel and all but collapse onto the bed. I spend the next day looking for a job—applying anywhere and everywhere. I’m not fussy, I will do just about anything right now. Well not anything, but I’m not opposed to working in a grocery store or cleaning houses. Anything that makes some money is good enough for me. A quiet knock at the door makes me groan. I force myself to get up, expecting housekeeping. I open the door slightly, just enough to see who it is through the chain lock.
My jaw drops open and panic sets in.
Definitely not housekeeping.
“Open it, or I will,” he demands, his eyes blazing. I consider my options for a few seconds before I slide open the lock. He could just break down the door if he wanted to. I open it and take a few steps back as he enters.
Crystal blue eyes narrow on me. A muscle ticks in his jaw as his gaze rakes over me, as if checking to make sure that I’m okay. He’s wearing worn, ripped jeans and a long sleeve black t-shirt that accentuates his muscular build.
“Just in my part of the neighborhood?” I ask, hope filling my voice.
“What the fuck, Faye?” he rasps, gripping the door frame.
I take another step back. I don’t know what he is capable of right now. The old Dex would rather cut off his arm than hurt me, but do I really know him now? And I don’t know how the hell he found me.
Does he know? Of course he does.
Nothing gets by Dexter Black.
He bangs the door behind him, the noise making me flinch.
“Pack up your shit,” he demands, eyes searching the crappy motel room, which is now looking considerably smaller with his hulking presence. He doesn’t look happy with what he sees. In fact, his scowl deepens. He crosses his arms over his broad chest and stares me down, waiting for me to move.
“I’m not going anywhere,” I say, putting my hands on my hips and glaring at him. He’s not the boss of me. Yes, he’s a badass, sexy man who I had one night of hot, passionate sex with, but that doesn’t mean he gets to tell me what to do. I might have liked him bossy in bed, but this right here is a different story.
He takes a deep breath, as if calming himself. “I’ve been looking for you for two days. I’m trying not to lose my fuckin’ temper here, Faye, but you’re pushing me. I don’t think I’ve ever been this patient in my fuckin’ life.”
This is him patient?
“I’m not going anywhere,” I reply, lifting my chin up.
We stare at each other, the tension building.
I can actually feel the moment before he snaps.
His fists clench, and the tightness in his jaw looks almost painful.
I step back, into the frame of the open bathroom door as he loses it.
He picks up the TV and throws it into the wall. The crashing sound makes me jump, but he doesn’t stop there. He punches the wall several times, then slides the few glasses off the table in one smooth movement.
He turns and points his finger right at me.
My eyes widen as he grabs my bag and starts packing anything of mine he comes across. I walk up to him and try to grab it away from him, but one deathly look has me retracting my hand.