Authors: Nancy Beaudet
I had woken up a hundred different times in his arms before the day was over. Every time I would roll over and kiss him until we shivered and rid our bodies of the sheets and covers.
I was full and tired and overworked, but I felt like I could still party until even my brain hurt. Mal’s finger slowly moved downwards, springing me to life once more. He kissed my shoulder and smiled into my hair. “You smell like a rainstorm,” he muttered. “That’s how I know that you’re here, that this could be forever.”
I guess that’s a start.
I feel better. I feel better because I know that my best friend no longer feels worse. I’m still here, somewhere.
A distant star in the atmosphere or a whisper when Mal brushes back her hair. I am a part of Cadence because I felt her heart. I’m not quite as jealous as I was before, although it still hurts. I know that Cadence needed a safe harbour. Now Mal is hers.
They grow together. Laugh together and love together even when they fall apart. I love her like a sister. I want to love her like a sister. That’s how close I feel to her. Like a piece of my own heart that someone broke but sewed back together. When I look at myself in a mirror I kind of see her.
So yes, I feel better. I feel worse. Our story still matters. Our love is like the stars, always there but only visible in the dark. I felt her pain; I felt her dying on her kitchen floor as my entire world was pulled apart. I wanted her to get a second chance, I wanted to live through her. I was selfish, her heart was pure. Our love is like a star.
I’m still here, but I don’t want to be here anymore. I still don’t feel like this is fair, Mal. Don’t leave me here, at least not for forever.
Are you still there? Oh whatever. I stomp my feet and dance in a circle. I’m nowhere and everywhere. I can’t touch anything. I can still see and hear. I’m still all over what is now hers.
I’m the former owner.
The rejected loser.
I really am stuck here.
I hear Cadence’s own words.
Stay tuned for a preview of the continuation of Ache for You, with the next book in the series:
For Torrance and Emelia, nothing has ever been simple. From the outside in, with his light gaze and blonde surfer hair, Torrance looks like the golden boy with everything he could ever want in the world.
Unfortunately, at twenty-four years old, nothing could be further from the truth.
Years of heartache and loss have made him rude, closed off. His heart is ice cold. The only person he’s close to is twenty-nine-year-old train wreck Cadence Smalls, the sister of his dead best friend. With her gone off with her new, cougar bait boyfriend Mal, Torrance becomes even more cut off and alone. It will take a miracle to reach him now.
For Emelia Winters, she never planned to be the kind of girl who could simply vanish off the face of the earth at only nineteen years old. The daughter of the mayor of Three Hill and his alcoholic wife, Deliria. Emelia has never gone unnoticed, until now.
Her life has always looked spotless, the cracks covered with paint and the bruises fading too quickly for any outsider to see. Two-and-half years after her disappearance, something big and untouchable will bring Torrance and Emelia, two strangers, together.
Torrance doesn’t believe in fate. He hates the word and the idea of ghosts is purely absurd. Emelia opens her big blue eyes to a world that moved happily along without her. Will she be able to understand, and figure out what happened to her?
Can fantasy and a pull unlike any other truly bring two completely different people together? Torrance and Emelia would do absolutely anything for one another. Life is hard, but living alone without the person you are meant for is a lot harder.
TRAPPED IN THREE HILL, BOOK # 2
ANYTHING FOR YOU
I only planned on disappearing for a short while, I just wanted to vanish. I wanted to be my own ghost.
The beautiful blue eyed, dark haired angel that everybody used to know, the so called
I had always been small, even at nineteen years old I was petite and could have easily been mistaken for a child.
I wasn’t weak though, I refused to be picked up or moved unless I wanted to move myself. You could not make me do anything that I didn’t want to do. It just wasn’t possible.
My name was Emelia Isabelle Winters, I was nineteen-years-old two and a half years ago when I vanished down a beautiful back road. I packed my beloved pick up truck full of everything that I had ever owned, all of the things that I still needed and I wanted to keep close.
My blue striped pick up truck wasn’t fancy, or clean. Internally or externally, the sides were muddy. It was built in the early 1990’s.
There was a CD player I had installed; a necessity no real human can do without. We don’t have any cool radio stations in Three Hill.
The windows and door locks were manual so whenever I felt vaguely creeped out, I would lean across the front bench seat and push the locks down. It was October now and the weather outside was beautiful. I had decided to cut my thick hair all on my own. I used an army knife, cutting awkwardly. The green and yellow trees fading into grass that was quickly turning gold, where it wasn’t already covered in snow.
I had a backpack full of my favourite clothes, hoodies and leggings. I was wearing my favourite pink and brown cowboy boots.
My dark hair now cut to shoulder length was hidden under a baseball cap. My blue jeans had holes in the knees. It was early on a Monday morning and the fresh air that time of day was always freezing. The hood of my truck was covered in frost from the previous night so I turned on defrost and cranked the heat.
The ice on my window was melting.
This was my way out, I hadn’t told anyone where it was that I had planned to go, or that I was leaving at all. I kept it to myself mostly because I didn’t have it all mapped out.
I just knew that I wanted out.
I felt like there was more waiting for me outside of Three Hill. Something undeniable and real. Three Hill was my home town and the town where my parents had moved with me when I was super little. Still drinking out of a bottle and drooling on myself.
I had grown up as an only child.
My father was the mayor of Three Hill, we had the biggest house on the tallest hill which overlooked the entire town. The fortress itself was hallow and cold, but isn’t that always the way it goes?
This isn’t a story about a poor rich girl, drawn to the wrong side of the tracks and a boy hidden in the shadows. The boy I wanted and loved, was beautiful, and built of gold. Torrance Clearwater had been his name, and he had glowed. He had no idea who I was though, we were separated by a few years so we never had any classes together in school.
I saw him one day from the opposite side of the hall, he was tall, probably about six foot two.
His natural blonde locks resting against a strong jaw that made him look ruggedly handsome. His pale blue eyes would sometimes sadden, as if the light he carried had sudden been extinguished. He would flex the muscle in his arms as he stood, quietly frustrated.
He had obviously been glaring at someone or something that wasn’t present. He would seem lost in his memory and in faded moments. I wanted to save him. The longing to know him was undeniable, but I ignored it anyhow. Pushing the feeling down.
Numbing myself. I would see him all the time after graduating from Three Hill high school, I would see him around town. I even saw him at the park, sitting by himself on the ground. He would be watching the soft water of the lake, seemingly waiting for it to come in and go back out, even though it never moved.
Torrance Eliot Clearwater looked damaged, but indestructible. Even though I don’t think that those two things, together, are at all possible.
I really don’t think so.
I only knew his middle and last name because I used to stalk his graduation photo that hung in the halls of our old high school. I thought about him when I decided to leave town.
I couldn’t help myself.
I shifted into drive and started to coast, I had chosen this road because I knew how often it went unused.
It was an old gravel road, connected and hidden behind the only known way in and out of Three Hill. The most tended too road was the one most known about, this one on the other hand was full of pot holes.
I clenched the steering wheel, careful to keep my hands at ten and two. I breathed in and out, trying to calm myself.
I only planned on disappearing for a short while, I just wanted to vanish. I wanted to be my own ghost. The beautiful blue eyed, dark haired angel that everybody used to know.
I drove and thought to myself, that one day, when I was ready, I would just, I don’t know, come home?
I didn’t think it would be a big deal. I thought the world would figure out that I vanished under my own free will. I didn’t think anyone would look for me, or that I wanted them too.
I didn’t know.
The world doesn’t move on the way you want it to after you lose the one person who means everything to you. I sit alone in the dark waiting for you to come home. It’s been nine years now, and it still doesn’t feel real. Nine years since I was in that mini van with you. You swerved just a little, the headlights coming at us were all too predictable.
You died Alexander Smalls, but you didn’t die alone. Your sister and I were with you. She was drunk and stoned, traumatized and crying into the carpet in the back, where all of the seats had been pushed down. She was curled into a ball.
How did she survive? She wasn’t even wearing a seatbelt.
Why didn’t do you live to tell the awful tale? You, Alexander Smalls, were wearing a seatbelt. You were driving us down the busy, dark two lane road. You invited me onto a rescue mission.
Your sister had gotten herself into trouble.
Didn’t she always though?
We’ve spent nine years without you now. How has it been nine years now? The time goes by so fast, yet so slow when you sit and think about it all. You were only a child at sixteen years old.
You were my best friend Alexander Smalls and I miss you. Every single day I miss you, your fucked up sister is mine to worry about, but no longer mine to rescue. She went and got herself a fucked up boyfriend, isn’t that just swell?
I really am alone now.
I sit in the park, drinking even though the warm sun went down hours ago. I rest my arms on my knees and look out at the lake. The water doesn’t move, it actually kind of smells awful. Even though I’m not sitting all that close. The park is a refuge for homeless people.
The lake has become a dumping ground where they go to the bathroom, I wrinkle my nose taking another sip from my empty beer bottle. I’m tired, and cold. I just want to go home.
I can’t though, because I know that the two-bedroom apartment I moved into with Cadence several years go, will be dark and cold.
She has all but officially, moved out. I toss my empty beer bottle and It rolls around the soft, grassy ground. Cadence lives with her boyfriend now, somehow, even though they argue and break up every other day or so. He always calls after it all, and she goes home.
It makes my blood boil.
I push myself up and stumble a little. I burst out laughing at myself. No one in Three Hill was surprised by my downfall. I’m sure that they could see it coming for miles, I lost myself when I lost you and you are not even officially dead and buried at all.
You’re alone and immobile in a hospital room. Hooked up to breathing machines and tubes. Kept alive by technology even though your brain stopped working nine years ago.
You are dead, but they won’t let you go.
I miss you but I can’t see you. It hurts too much. This is sad and pathetic and selfish, I know. I just can’t find the strength in me to go into that room and see you, on a bed. As white as a ghost, you’re being fed through feeding tubes. You are obviously unwell.
I miss you.
Why can’t you just wake up now?