Authors: Renee Kennedy
Copyright © 2015 Renee Kennedy
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.
Editing: Flaming Pen Editing,
Cover Design: Allusion Graphics, LLC/Publishing & Book Formatting,
Photographer: Kristy Rogers,
Interior Design: Jovana Shirley, Unforeseen Editing,
Book Trailer: Back Cover Clips,
Love Me ~ Like That Copyright © 2015 Renee Kennedy
Published by Wildflower Indie Ink.
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
This is dedicated to my Granny and Papa. Without them this book would not have been possible. They really were that great. To know them was to love them. Some of the things in this book about
are true with a few little embellishments, but the story Papa tells, in the hospital, is one hundred percent true. I’ve heard it all of my life.
I miss them both more and more each day. Life isn’t the same without them, and I wish I could pick up the phone just one more time to call my Granny to hear her say, “Why haven’t you called me?” She was my best friend and the person I turned to a lot in my life.
To hear one of Papa’s stories again would be so welcomed. You truly don’t know what you have until it’s gone. I wish I had recorded them all. If only I could write a book filled with the little stories he told from his life. Some about his childhood were so heartbreaking, but he would laugh about them. I would give anything to be able to take him and get him one more milkshake or C.F. Penn’s Hamburgers.
I will always hold you both in my heart ~
Alan Eugene Stricklin: September 5, 1921 - January 16, 2011
Addie B Stricklin: December 25, 1926 - January 26, 2010
Married December 8, 1942 (That’s the reason I picked December 8, for my release.)
P.S. He really did cut my hair when I was in my late twenties. I told him I paid good money for those blonde streaks.
Someday someone will walk into your life and make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else.
– Author Unknown
Just when I thought I had everything figured out, Murphy’s Law reared its ugly head and smacked me right back in my place. I never expected to voluntarily give up a scholarship and a life I’ve always dreamed about. But dreams and plans are made to withstand being…altered. They aren’t broken, nope. They’ve merely been put on hold. My ultimate goals are still achievable. I know I can accomplish them, in the future because I have my hope, no one can take it away from me. This is simply a detour, not an end.
Life was hard growing up but now that I’m away at college my future has never been brighter. I never thought I would have the opportunity to go the University of Alabama. Woohoo, Roll Tide! Go Bama! I’m still amazed I made it.
I had a dream. I wrote my dream down. I made action plans on how to achieve that dream. Everything had been right on time and going so well. Then I get a call that unexpectedly changes my life, or at least, puts everything on hold.
The last time I went home, my family was great. We all got together out at my grandparents’ little house, and I had a great time hanging out with everyone. I miss them, but I want something different for my life. I want to live without worrying how I’m going to pay the bills. I want to have things that I will never have if I stay in my little hometown.
Mom called earlier to tell me about Granny and Papa. Those two people right there are my life. They’ve been there for me when no one else was. Now they need help, and I’ve decided I will be the one to help them. A decision didn’t need to be made. They need someone. I’m closest to them, and I want to be the one who takes care of them. Now, I have to tell Hendrix. He will be over in a few hours and I’ve planned an intimate sexy night for us. I do this in hopes that the news is well received.
Last night, before the bottom fell out of my well-ordered life, I had so much fun at Omega House’s spring formal. Hendrix was the sweetest guy ever. He arranged for me to be pampered all day with spa sessions to get ready. He paid for Lizzie to go with me, even though they’re always at each other’s throats. He really went out of his way to make the day special for me. I really thought he might ask me to marry him. He hadn’t, but in hindsight the time wasn’t really right. I still have another year of school.
We’ve been talking about our future so much that I know he has been thinking about marriage too. I can only imagine being on his arm for all the charity events he has to attend. We’ve been dating for nine months, and he has been my knight in shining armor. He took me from eating cheap microwave noodles and barely paying my rent to dining in the finest restaurants. Me. Bailey. In five star restaurants. Unbelievable, I know. This little country girl would have never thought a guy as classy as Hendrix would be interested in her. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
I wished Lizzie could see what I see in him. She thinks he is changing me, but she doesn’t realize how much I want to change. That’s fine. They’ll eventually grow on each other.
Hendrix arrives on time, and he looks as handsome as ever. He’s always so polished even when he is dressed in jeans and a polo shirt. Peeking through the blinds, I see he has a small gift bag in his hand. My sweet guy is always surprising me with thoughtful gifts. I open the door to the apartment I share with Lizzie.
“Well, hello beautiful. You’re looking mighty fine tonight,” Hendrix says.
“Hello yourself, lover boy! Have I got plans for us tonight,” I tell him, sinking into his arms. His strong arms wrap around me, holding me tightly, providing the security I need right now.
“I like the sound of that. Maybe I have plans of my own for us too.” He kisses me softly. “What is all this about, Babe? Don’t get me wrong, I love when you plan nights like these. They’re just very rare. How did you get rid of your pest?”
“Hendrix, be nice.” I take his hand and lead him into the kitchen. I have lit candles everywhere,
casting a romantic ambience around us and dinner for two on the table.
“Awe, Babe, you outdid yourself.” Hendrix leans over placing a kiss against my sensitive lips. Then he reaches over and retrieves the bag he brought. “I have a little something for you, Sweetheart.” He pulls out a box and opens it showing me a beautiful diamond studded watch.
“Hendrix! What is this for? I love it!” I jump out of my seat, going to him, throwing my arms around him.
“This is to remind you how much I enjoy our time together.” He picks up my arm and places the watch on my wrist. He lifts my hand to his mouth and kisses it.
I stare at the watch for a few seconds. What did I do to deserve this great guy? “I don’t know how to thank you. This is so thoughtful, you’re the best.”
He flashes me his gorgeous smile. I need to let him know of my new plans for school. I dread doing this, he graduates next month. I really think he’s going to be upset. He likes to have me all to himself. “I got some news from home today that wasn’t so good.” My gaze focuses on my lap as I collect my thoughts.
“What is it, Bailey? Is everything alright?” He pulls me to my feet and wraps me in his arms.