Authors: Elizabeth Ward
One year later…
I walk down the empty hall of the hospital with pain in my heavy heart.
The hallway feels so sterile and hollow.
My head drops to look at the ground as the thoughts crash through my head and my heart sinks even further.
I’ve had so many failures in my life…
So many opportunities…
Poking my head into an empty hospital room, the smell hits me.
It smells barren and vacant.
It’s amazing how all hospital rooms smell the same.
The smell sends me back to the days I use to spend in hospital hallways. My father died slowly when I was seven and I spent a lot of time in my early childhood playing innocently in busy hospitals. I wasn’t fully aware of what was happening then. I was just an innocent child with a father in hospital.
I never really understood how serious his condition was, and after a while, it became normal to come and visit him at the hospital. It was a part of my life.
Tears well up in my eyes as I remember his smile slowly fading away.
And today, I am back in another hospital.
Just the thought of someone lying in that bed, dying, fills me with sadness.
I turn and see Ted walking towards me. He is dressed in a perfectly fitted suit, the soft Italian fabric drifting beautifully over his strong, tall frame.
“I’ve been looking for you everywhere. Are you ok?”
I shake my head as he comes closer, “Just hold me for a moment.”
I rest into his hard chest and breathe the tears away.
“You don’t like hospitals, huh?”
“They bring back some sad memories.”
Ted pulls away from me and wipes the tear that has fallen down my cheek.
“Come on, there are some important people waiting for us.”
“Ok,” I nod.
As we walk down the hallway of the new hospital wing, I stop once we get to the entrance. Looking up at the entrance to the hallway, I feel proud.
My father would have been proud, too.
His name, Andrew Thomas Fellows, proudly sits above the entrance.
After Ted and I have been dating for twelve months, he has come to understand how much losing my father at such a young age affected me.
When he offered to call the new wing of the hospital after my father, I cried… and cried… and cried.
Ted had donated the money to the hospital to build two new wings – one, he named after my father, and the other, he named after his brother, who had also battled a long illness.
“Come on,” Ted whispers to me as I stare at my father’s name. “I have a speech to make.”
“Thank you,” I whisper back. “Thank you.”
About the Author:
Elizabeth Ward loves her wicked, lustful alpha males...
But she also loves writing about real women.
With magazines and advertising filled with perfect caricatures of what it is to be female, Elizabeth wants to create something more believable but still entertaining and fun. She likes to write about men and women who are floored but also strong, beautiful but not fake, sexy but not cheap.
She writes about people connected by more than just amazing sex, but by an inner link joining them together emotionally and intellectually.
Check out her bestselling books on Amazon – available now!
Also by Elizabeth Ward:
Romance: One Night with the Billionaire
Romance: Two Nights with the Billionaire
Romance: Three Nights with the Billionaire
Romance: Her Dangerous Stepbrother
Romance: Her Dangerous Stepbrother
Saying Troy Slater is a tough, cocky, arrogant asshole would be an understatement.
But he also happens to be the long lost son of my stepfather…
Troy ran away to the army when his mother died and his father hasn’t heard from him in over ten years. I never even knew that Troy existed. That is until he called my stepfather and said he was ready to reunite.
When I pick Troy up from the airport, I meet a dominant, rude alpha army boy. But there is something else about him. There is something vulnerable hiding under those haunting eyes.
Will my soft touch open him up… or send him away forever?
This is a stand-alone delicious contemporary romance story with mature situations. Readers should be 18 plus!
Available on Amazon!
Romance: Her Dangerous Stepbrother
“Why would you hide this from us?”
I glare at my stepfather and a nasty feeling is twisting in my stomach. I feel like I’m looking at a stranger, and that feeling scares me in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time.
“This isn’t like an old friend from college showing up — you have a son.”
And I now have a stepbrother.
We’re sitting in the tiny kitchen of my New York flat, located directly above the bookshop I bought just over a year ago. I never get sick of saying that I own a bookshop, and I still have mornings when I wake up believing the last few years were a dream.
As an only child growing up, reading had been my sanctuary. So after completing a college degree in business, I jumped at the chance to have my own book store.
When my stepfather, David, called and asked if he could drop in and talk to me before returning to the ranch, I’d thought he had some plan for my Mom’s birthday.
When I opened the door I was first struck by how tired he looked. His salt-and-pepper hair was still thick—if a little shaggy these days—and he still had that friendly smile that always reached his blue eyes, though I could tell right away that something was bothering him.
I was already an adult when he married my mother two years ago, and though he wasn’t the father figure I needed growing up, he’d become a good friend.
“I’m sorry, Isabel,” he replies. If anything, he seems to shrink into his chair, his hands gripping the cup of coffee I’d just handed him. “I never intended to hide him from you or your mother. He’s from a life I thought was long gone. I haven’t heard from him in fifteen years, and it took me a long time to even believe I was hearing his voice over the phone yesterday.”
I take a sip of my own coffee and stare at him.
What could have happened between them to make his son unable to even call or send a letter over such a long period of time?
As if reading my mind, David smiles then looks very sad again.
“It’s my greatest shame. After five years looking for him and hearing nothing, I had a choice: let him go or lose my mind. So I let him go. He was a grown man, strong and stubborn and smart. If…if he didn’t want to know me anymore…”
He coughs, and my heart aches at the tears glimmering in his eyes.
I tuck my short, black hair behind my ears and wrap my fingers around my own hot cup of coffee. I want to reach out to him but something in his expression, in the set of his shoulders, tells me that it would be a bad idea right now.
I can see him fighting for control, so I let him.
Seeing him cry wouldn’t lower my respect for him one bit, but it’s clear that crying in front of me would hurt his pride.
He takes a shaking sip and smiles. “You always know how I like my coffee.” He shuts his eyes and takes a deep, trembling breath, seeming to come to a decision. “So did Eleanor, my first wife. Of all the things I remember about her, I think it’s the coffee that makes my chest ache. She added this spice to it…” He shut his eyes, remembering. “I loved her so much and I loved our family and the life we’d build together. But I was in my prime and full of myself. I’d just managed to land the promotion nearly all the guys I worked with had been vying for and I just got more arrogant, more entitled. I had it all, but clearly I thought I deserved a little more.”
He shakes his head, looking like he might laugh before his face crumples, and takes a few more shuddering breaths before continuing. “I started having affairs. I don’t even know why. Eleanor was beautiful and funny and smart. There was nothing lacking in our marriage. I just…deserved more, apparently.”
I nod, “It’s ok…”
“One afternoon I returned home and my wife confronted me about it. I don’t know how she found out. Maybe she just guessed. Regardless, I confessed, begging her to forgive me. She just stormed out, saying she needed to think. Troy, my son, was still living at home and he overheard the whole thing. Three hours later a police officer was standing at our door, telling me that a drunk driver had skipped a red light and smashed into Eleanor’s car. She was declared dead at the scene.”
My hands clasp his and hold them tight. “Oh, David.”
I don’t know what else to say.
Words are meaningless in that face of so much pain.
“Troy never forgave me. The last six months with him were hell. I lost count how many times I was called down to the police station to pick him up, and it’s anyone’s guess how he managed to finish the school year without getting expelled. Then one day, he was just gone. I found out from a couple of his friends that he’d gotten a job and moved to the city.”
He suddenly smiles, sniffs, and wipes his eyes.
“But yesterday he called. Out of nowhere. I think I might have been weeding the garden when the phone rang. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve imagined picking up the phone and hearing his voice. We both had so much to say and the phone wasn’t big enough to hold it all, so I invited him to come stay for a bit.”
“That’s wonderful!” I’m shocked by my rush of excitement. “When do we get to meet him?”
“Well, that’s kind of the reason why I’m telling you first. I’m going to make your mother a nice dinner and tell her the whole sordid story tonight. Troy been in the army these last ten years, Iraq and Afghanistan apparently. He’s just gotten home and I was wondering if you’d mind meeting him at the airport.”
“Of course, I’d be happy to, but wouldn’t you rather it was you?”
His face drops and he suddenly looks sad again.
“It’s been such a long time. I don’t want our first conversation to happen with us both trapped in a car. I’m not sure how to explain it.”
“I think I understand. It would be my pleasure to help. Is it still okay for me to stay for the long weekend too? Or would you…”
He swatted at me, giving me a playful smile that instantly made him look younger again.
“Don’t be silly, of course you must stay. Your mother’s been looking forward to having you over. Besides, you and Troy might like having someone closer to your own ages to talk to.”
“We’re not twelve.” I laugh, slapping his arm.
He hugs me at the door and thanks me again. As I watch him make his way to his car, the thought just keeps repeating over and over.
I have a stepbrother.
Romance: Her Dangerous Stepbrother
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