The REASON Series - the Complete Collection

CONTENTS

COPYRIGHT

Dedication

Chapter One - Give Me Reason

PROLOGUE

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SIX

SEVEN

EIGHT

NINE

TEN

ELEVEN

TWELVE

THIRTEEN

FOURTEEN

FIFTEEN

SIXTEEN

SEVENTEEN

EIGHTEEN

NINETEEN

TWENTY

TWENTY-ONE

TWENTY-TWO

Chapter Two - Give Me Hope

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty-One

Twenty-Two

Twenty-Three

Twenty-Four

Twenty-Five

Twenty-Six

Twenty-Seven

Twenty-Eight

Twenty-Nine

Thirty

Thirty-One

Thirty-Two

Thirty-Three

Thirty-Four

Thirty-Five

Thirty-Six

Thirty-Seven

Thirty-Eight

Thirty-Nine

Forty

Forty-One

Forty-Two

Forty-Three

Forty-Four

Forty-Five

Forty-Six

Chapter Three - Give Me Desire

Prologue

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SIX

SEVEN

EIGHT

NINE

TEN

ELEVEN

TWELVE

THIRTEEN

FOURTEEN

FIFTEEN

SIXTEEN

SEVENTEEN

EIGHTEEN

NINETEEN

TWENTY

TWENTY-ONE

TWENTY-TWO

TWENTY-THREE

TWENTY-FOUR

TWENTY-FIVE

TWENTY-SIX

TWENTY-SEVEN

TWENTY-EIGHT

TWENTY-NINE

THIRTY

THIRTY-ONE

THIRTY-TWO

THIRTY-THREE

THIRTY-FOUR

THIRTY-FIVE

THIRTY-SIX

THIRTY-SEVEN

THIRTY-EIGHT

THIRTY-NINE

FORTY

FORTY-ONE

FORTY-TWO

FORTY-THREE

FORTY-FOUR

Chapter Four - Give Me Love

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SIX

SEVEN

EIGHT

NINE

TEN

ELEVEN

TWELVE

THIRTEEN

FOURTEEN

FIFTEEN

SIXTEEN

SEVENTEEN

EIGHTEEN

NINETEEN

TWENTY

TWENTY-ONE

TWENTY-TWO

TWENTY-THREE

TWENTY-FOUR

TWENTY-FIVE

TWENTY-SIX

TWENTY-SEVEN

TWENTY-EIGHT

TWENTY-NINE

THIRTY

THIRTY-ONE

THIRTY-TWO

THIRTY-THREE

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

THIRTY-FOUR

THIRTY-FIVE

THIRTY-SIX

THIRTY-SEVEN

THIRTY-EIGHT

THIRTY-NINE

FORTY

FORTY-ONE

FORTY-TWO

FORTY-THREE

FORTY-FOUR

FORTY-FIVE

FORTY-SIX

FORTY-SEVEN

FORTY-EIGHT

FORTY-NINE

FIFTY

FIFTY-ONE

EPILOGUE

Thank You!

Acknowledgements

Find More Zoey

About Zoey

Copyright © 2014 Zoey Derrick

All rights reserved.

ISBN-13: 978-0991525348

All rights reserved. Without limiting rights under the copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, introduced into a retrieval system, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including without limitation 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 reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. The scanning, uploading, and/or distribution of this document via the internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and is punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrightable materials.

For permission requests, email [email protected]

The entire Reason Series is dedicated to all the men and women around the world who are or have been a victim of Domestic Violence.

CHAPTER ONE
Give Me Reason

PROLOGUE

An angel is he

Alone in this world

With the wealth of three

He'll meet his true love

Answering her song

His wings he will grow

His heart will respond

Him she will follow

His wife she will be

Two joined making three

What had at first appeared to be a faint birthmark slowly morphed into something more. The lines became more defined. Smooth to the touch but appearing shadowed, three-dimensional. And they seemed to flicker, to dance, to be alive.

In the beginning, the lines grew quickly. It took his mother years to realize that they weren’t merely random, that they appeared to form a shape or pattern. Of what, it was hard to tell.
 

Doctors could never explain it because they could never see it; the lines remained a concern with his mother throughout his childhood. Then, when he was eight, the lines stopped changing.
 

They remained the same until tragedy struck: He’d been helpless to save his family. The changes began anew, with the lines morphing and becoming more pronounced over time. Soon they started sending tingling sensations across his skin. Sensations that were rare and seemingly random.
 

Until today.
 

Normally he’d be able to go about his day without too much trouble from the markings on his back. But over the course of today’s celebrations — groundbreaking on a new condo project his company has invested in — the pulsing prickles have gone from an irritating nuisance to downright painful. Finding the sensation to be too much to handle around other people, he leaves the cocktail social he’s been attending.
 

When he steps out the front door, he finds his driver.
 

"G'day, sir. Done so soon?"
 

"Aye," he says, looking at his driver. Just as the car door opens, the left side of his body hums harder and faster, pulsating, and a strong tugging sensation pulls on his arm. He stops, unsure what to make of it. The tugging has him curious. "I'm going to go for a walk."

"Sir," the driver says and closes the door.
 

"Stay close, though," he says, and turns to his left.
 

The moment he takes a step in the direction of the tug, the hum across his back dims slightly. After a couple of pulses and another step, the sensation spreads across his back in a starburst from between his shoulders. Another step and the pulse increases – marginally, but it's stronger still.
 

Another and another.

With each passing step the sensation gradually increases. After about three blocks it's starting to become painful. He sags under the heavy weight of the pain he is beginning to feel, which forces him to slow down.
 

Up ahead, the word
diner
is shadowed backwards across the sidewalk. His eyes flicker up to the source of the shadow: light pouring through the windows behind large letters stickered on glass. Normally he wouldn’t have even noticed the rundown restaurant, but the hum in his back has turned to pulsing again, as if in excitement or anticipation.
 

With each step he takes, the pulse radiates across his entire body, the sensations across his back pushing him forward.
 

He glances up the sidewalk, and there’s a flash of bright white followed by ghosted stars. Rubbing at his eyes, he sputters, "What the hell?" He opens his eyes again, looks from side to side to check that his vision has returned to normal. His gaze lands upon what he’d subconsciously seen the first time.
 

Bright white light surrounding a red-haired, blue-eyed angel. Gorgeous.
 

The pulsing turns to a pleasurable buzzing sensation as the young lass walks toward the diner and goes inside. Her shoulders are slumped protectively around her body. He cocks his head, puzzled.
 

Suddenly his mind fills with a quick series of images — blurred and unrecognizable, but he has a sense of what he needs to do now, though it’s not clear to him what’s driving the need.
 

He takes a step and the hum ceases. Feeling the need to test his invisible guide, he takes a step backward. It roars across his skin in response. He turns around, takes a step away from the diner, and there’s a stab of pain between his shoulder blades so sharp it causes his knees to buckle.
 

Quickly, he turns and heads back toward the diner. The sensation levels out to a pleasurable buzzing as he closes in on the restaurant.
 

He can see
her
through the window. She’s heading toward a door in back, bright blue and white light engulfing her form. It’s beautiful. And so is she.

ONE

The chilly October air has me huddled inside my hoodie. My feet are swollen and sore, and I'm flat-out exhausted, but I slowly stagger into the diner that I started working at about a month ago.

Waitressing at Garrison’s Diner is far from my ideal job, but what can I say? It's a job, and the tips are...well, they’re tips. I've managed to survive. For now. It's Tuesday, usually a day off for me, but Nyssa, one of the other girls who works here, needed the evening off, so I stepped up to take her shift. Right now, every little bit helps.

"Hi, Viv," Laura calls from behind the counter as the bell on the front door announces my entrance.
 

"Hi, Laura," I say back, fake enthusiasm in my voice.
 

"How are you doing today?"
 

"Fine, I think." She gives me a quizzical look. The same look she gives me every time I give her that answer. I just nod slightly at her.
 

Laura is in her mid-fifties and has been working in this diner for at least the last thirty years. Her hair is nearly all gray, and the wrinkles in the corners of her eyes only appear when she smiles, which makes me think her smiles are genuine. She is very warm and motherly. Maybe this is why I find her so hard to handle some days.
 

I head toward the back to stow my bag, shed my hoodie and change into my stark white tennis shoes: a uniform requirement to go with your typical diner garb of a pink and white smock that flatters no figure.
 

I slide my hoodie off — not that the sweatshirt does much against the chilly Minneapolis rain — and notice the small bump rising from between my hips. I shiver. I've lost so much weight since the trip to the hospital two months ago that everything seems bigger and more pronounced on my body. My knees seem huge compared to the rest of my leg. My collarbones, shoulders and ribs are eerily prominent.

Looking back down at the bump, I realize that my boss, crabby old Bartie, is going to have a field day when he figures this out. He’s quick to think about the impact his staff may have on him and his precious diner. Thank goodness it's covered by my apron. For now.
 

I take a seat on the bench in front of the four lockers in the employee area and sigh. "How did we get here?" I say to no one. I can't believe that it's been two months since that asshole put me in the hospital. With each passing day going a little more quickly than the last, I'm finally beginning to feel more like myself, but the overly friendly, bubbly personality that I used to have after I got away from my mom is still lost inside.
 

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