The Beauty in Between: Too Close (A Beautiful Series Novella)

Too Close: The Beauty in
Between

a Beautiful Series
Novella

by Lilliana Anderson

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2013 Lilliana Anderson

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal
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of this author.

Copyright 2013,
 
Lilliana
 
Anderson
All
 
rights reserved

Without
limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this
publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a
retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means
without the prior written permission of the author of this
book.

This book is a
work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead is
purely coincidental. Any actual places, products or events
mentioned are used in a purely fictitious manner.  The author
acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various
places/products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been
used without permission and is by no way sponsored by the trademark
owners.

Dedication

Lucas, for his love of all good things

  

A single rose can be my garden... a single friend, my
world.

Foreward

When I created
A Beautiful Struggle, it was meant to be a stand alone book. It was
just a book about a girl and a guy who get seriously sidetracked on
their way to finding each other. But, after it had been released
for only a couple of weeks, I started getting emails asking me for
a continuation of the story.

As a result, I
wrote A Beautiful Forever, thinking that that novel, would be the
end of the series. I thought they would be A Beautiful Duo, and I’d
end it there. But after releasing Forever, I continued to get
emails and comments about both books.

Readers wanted
to see more of Katrina and David, both before and after A Beautiful
Struggle. They also wanted to know more about Paige and her past.
On top of that, I was getting emails asking me to continue the
series with Naomi as the centre of the next book.

My answers to
most of these questions/comments are The Beauty in Between
novellas. As the name suggests, they slot in between the Beautiful
novels, to show you what happened.

Right now, I
have three novellas planned. First, of course, is Too Close
(Katrina and David’s friendship before ABS, releasing July 30),
second is Phoenix (Paige’s story, releasing September 30), and
third is Commitment – I’ll bet you can guess what this one is
about, although, I’ll tell you anyway. Commitment will follow on
after A Beautiful Forever, it will follow David and Katrina home
from the BBQ and explore their relationship leading up to their
wedding.

I don’t have a
release date for Commitment as yet, because I’m also working on
Naomi’s story, which is called A Beautiful Melody and is due to
release November 30.

So, get ready
to have all your questions answered and more. Looks like the
Beautiful world is going to have a fairly long life. I’ll write it,
at least, until you’re all sick of it – that’s how much I love you
all! MWAH!

Acknowledgements

First and foremost I must
thank
my
beta readers for working so hard for me on this novella. Marion,
Mary, Betchy, Billie, Joy, Anna, Celsey, Candice, Kim and Retha,
without you all, my books wouldn’t be anywhere near what they
become after your input. I love the heck out of the lot of
you!

A big thank you also goes out
to everyone who has been watching my fan page closely while I wrote
this, your encouragement has been what got me through
the lonely writing
process.

Another thank you goes out to A.V Scott, for
being my buddy and listening whenever I had something to moan
about. She always pushes me to do more, to get out there more. For
that I am very thankful.

I also want to thank my family,
especially my husband for supporting me while I write and my kids
for cuddling up next to me while I type and waiting patiently until
I’ve finished my
thought – you’re all beautiful!

The very last thank you is to you, the person
reading right now – you are the whole entire reason that I have
worked so hard to create this book. Enjoy.

Prologue

“Oh god Trina.
Open your eyes, please be ok,” I beg as I burst through the doors
to the emergency room at Nepean hospital, carrying her in my arms
like she’s a baby.

Frantically, I
look around, ignoring the shocked gasps. I’m so overwhelmed that I
just yell. “Somebody help me!”

The entire room
turns to stare at us. It's as if all the sound is removed from the
room for a moment and all I can hear is the sound of my own heart
thudding in my ears.

Thump,
Thump.

Then all of a
sudden, the sound returns to me as Katrina is pulled from my arms
and placed on a gurney being swarmed by people who are asking me
questions that I’m only babbling answers to.

“Oh god!
Trina!” I yell out as they wheel her away from me. I try to follow
but there’s a man who’s holding me back. My hands go to my hair as
I grab chunks of it, trying to somehow stop the thudding of my
heart in my ears. It’s painful, and I desperately want to be with
her. “Please tell me she’s going to be ok,” I say to the man in
front of me.

“She’s in good
hands mate. You look like you’ve been through a bit too, why don’t
you let me have a look at you, and you can tell me what
happened?"

I nod once and
follow him into the general treatment area of the emergency room,
where he gives me an ice pack for my swollen face, and cleans up
the cuts and scrape marks on my hands and arms.

“I can’t lose
her. You don’t understand how important she is to me,” I ramble. I
guess I’m in shock because all I can think about is the sight of
all that blood over Katrina’s beautiful face. “She’s my world. I
can’t lose her.”

***

I’ve been
sitting in the waiting room for at least two hours now. I don’t
think my leg has stopped bouncing once. I lean forward on my knees
and that’s uncomfortable, so I sit back and rest my head against
the wall, but that feels horrible too.

My guts just
won’t stop swirling, and I need to see her. But no one will let me
– I’m not counted as family, even though I’ve known her virtually
all of my life.

“David!”

I look up and
see Katrina’s whole family rush through the automatic doors with
frantic looks on their faces. After answering all the questions I
could about Katrina to the doctor, or nurse – I don’t know what the
hell he was - I called them.

As they move
closer to me, Mrs Mahoney gasps upon seeing my swollen face and
blood-stained shirt.

“Oh god, is
that your blood? What happened?” she practically whispers.

I drop my head,
feeling responsible for what happened and shake it slowly from side
to side.

“Where is she?”
her father asks urgently.

“I don’t know,
they won’t tell me anything.”

Mrs Mahoney
spins on her feet and heads straight for the reception desk, asking
after her daughter, with Mr Mahoney hot on her heels. Her brother
Tom stays with me.

“What
happened?”

Closing my eyes
as the images of that day’s events flash through my mind, I shake
my head in an attempt to clear them away. “Christopher
happened.”

“I knew I
didn’t like that guy,” Tom says through gritted teeth.

“He came home
early, and you know he isn’t a fan of mine. But Tom, I never
expected him to lose it like he did. You should have seen his face.
It was all twisted up and vicious. He decked me and threw me out of
the flat, locked the door. Then I heard her scream…” the rest of
the words seem to lodge themselves in my throat as a weakness
overcomes me, and I drop back into my seat.

“What
happened?!” he repeats, more desperately this time.

“He put her
through the glass sliding door. I’m sorry. I couldn’t stop it.”

Chapter One

I remember the
first time I ever saw Katrina. I was probably ten years old at the
time, and she was a little younger than me - the new kid in the
school. I noticed her because she was so much taller than all the
other girls, and she had two long braids that sat over her
shoulders and were tied with blue ribbons.

Something
inside me, made me really want to either pull on her braids or undo
the ribbons. But I restrained myself – experience had told me that
girls didn’t really like that. Even though it was all in good
fun.

We both lived
out in Cranebrook, which was the last stop along the bus route
travelling from Penrith Primary School, and it took me a couple of
weeks of watching her to finally decide that I was going to sit
next to her.

She just looked
too lonely to me, and I figured that we may as well be friends
since the bus was completely boring once everyone else got off.

“Can I sit next
to you?” I asked her. She had her bag sitting on the seat next to
her. It meant that she didn’t want anyone to sit there, but I was
going to try anyway.

“I guess,” she
said, bouncing her shoulders and pulling her bag onto her lap,
hugging it close to her chest.

“I think you
get off at the same stop as me,” I told her, even though I knew
this for sure.

“Do I?”

“Yeah, I see
you get off the bus before me every day.”

“Oh. Where to
you live?”

“Etchell Place,
what about you?”

“Tornado
Crescent.”

“We’re only a
couple of streets away from each other,” I informed her. “How come
you don’t catch the bus in the morning?”

“My dad drives
me.”

“Lucky you…” I
commented, thinking for a moment before I came up with, what I
thought, was a brilliant plan. “Hey, if we become friends, do you
think he could drive me too?”

“I don’t
know…maybe.”

“That settles
it then. Besides, you look like you could do with a friend.”

“I do?”

“Yeah. I’ve
seen you around school. You don’t really talk to anyone much.”

“I don’t have
much to say.”

“I’m pretty
sure you’ve got plenty to say. You just haven’t found the right
people to talk to.”

“Maybe. Those
girls don’t want to listen to me anyway.”

“I want to
listen you. You can talk to me all you want,” I said, attempting to
peer into her face. She shrugged and turned her head and was
watching the world fly past us through the bus window.

“So how do you
like catching the bus?” I asked, just trying to get her to talk a
bit. I remember thinking it would be really cool to know someone
from my school who lived near me. Not many kid’s parents were happy
to make them travel so far for school, especially when there was a
local one within walking distance of our house.

“I hate it,”
she said, turning to look at me. “I hate that my parents moved so
far away from my school. I hate that I have to catch the bus. It
stinks. It smells like armpits and butt holes and rotten fruit. The
fabric on the seats prickles the backs of my legs and itches. It
sucks!”

I was a bit
shocked when this tirade of words spilled from her mouth, but when
she finished, I started laughing.

“What so
funny?!” she demanded, her face set in a scowl.

“You’re right.”
I laughed even harder at the indignant look on her face. “It does
smell like armpits, butt holes and rotten fruit!”

She looked at
me for a moment. I guess she was trying to decide if she was angry
with me for laughing, or whether she thought it was funny too.

Thankfully, she
chose to laugh along with me, because it was that moment our
friendship started.

Chapter Two

While we were
in primary school, it never seemed to be an issue for Katrina and
me to be best friends. Sure we got questioned or sometimes, even
teased a bit, for hanging out together, but once we showed them
that we didn’t care. They didn’t either.

Once again, our
parents sent us to a high school that they considered to be
‘better’ than the local high school near our homes, and we were
once again relegated to long bus journeys.

Penrith High
was a ‘selective’ high school. It’s a government school, but to get
in you had to sit an entrance exam. They only took the brightest
kids from all the primary schools in the Western Sydney area.

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