A bitter end…

January 4, 2010 at 1:51 am (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all enjoying the New Year!  The holidays were wonderful, but it is time to start something new.  Another good thing that happened at the end of the year is that I finished the third book in the Club X series.  So, it is on its way to my publisher! 

Wish me luck!

Excerpt 12

Jackson stared at the ceiling overhead, his arm curled around Mallory.  He couldn’t sleep.  His mind was racing.  Nothing in his life could have prepared him for the way he felt about her.  When she told him that she loved him, he thought his chest would explode.  He had never intended to feel this way.  He had done everything in his power to make sure this didn’t happen, but now he knew that it had all been a wasted effort. 

A quick glance at the clock let him know that it was almost four in the morning.  She would have to leave soon.  His arm tightened around her instinctively.  He didn’t want her to go.  He wanted to spend the rest of the morning with her in his arms.  She stirred against him.  He couldn’t deny what he felt anymore.  He had fallen for her, and there was no turning back.  Somehow, they would find a way to be together.  Glancing over to the table, which was still shrouded in darkness, he spotted the envelope that lay on top was his future, a future that he had never shared with her. 

After what happened tonight, he had to tell her. 

Her hand moved across his chest, as she snuggled closer to him.  “Jackson,” she murmured sleepily.

He pushed a lock of her hair over her shoulder, the back of his hand skimming her cheek.

“What time is it?” she asked.

“Almost four,” he answered, his hand covering the hand that rested against his chest.

“I have to go,” she observed with a pout.

He bent to kiss her.  “I know, but I don’t want you to.”

She rose up on one elbow, a contented grin forming on her mouth.  “I know.  I wish I could stay here forever.”

He took a deep breath.  “I have to tell you something, Mal.”

“What is it?”

He sat up in the bed, his back resting against the headboard.  She scooted closer to him, nervously pulling her lower lip beneath her teeth.  “Jackson, what is it?  You’re scaring me.”

One hand came up to caress the side of her cheek, while the other imprisoned her hand against his chest.  His silence made her shift uneasily on the bed.  “You know I’m graduating in a couple of weeks…” he started.

At her inquisitive stare, he continued. 

“Well, I got a scholarship to Indiana University.”

Her eyes widened.  “Jackson, that’s wonderful!” she exclaimed, throwing her arms around his neck.

The feel of her naked breasts pressed against his chest made his manhood stir.  He gently put her away from him, knowing that he had to push forward.  If he didn’t get this out now, he wasn’t sure that he would have the courage to later. 

“I want you to come with me.”

Her mouth dropped open, as her eyes met his.  “What do you mean?” she asked, her voice little more than a whisper.

His hands came up to frame her face.  “When you graduate, I want us to get married.  I love you, Mallory.”

He stared at her, noting the way her breath rushed out of her lungs.  Her silence seemed to drag on for an eternity as he waited.  Finally, he could wait no longer. 

“Say something,” he demanded.

“Yes,” she mouthed, tears forming in her eyes.

“Yes?”

She climbed on top of him, her legs straddling his hips.  “Yes, Jackson.  I would love to be your wife…on one condition,” she informed, her eyes twinkling with mischief.

He edged down on the bed, his hands coming up to cradle her hips.  He lifted her over him, slowly easing her down to take him inside.  His eyes closed at the exquisite feeling of her closing around him.  Opening his eyes, a grin tugged at his lips.

 “And what would that be?”

Her hands covered his where they dug into her hips.  “That we spend every morning just like this,” she breathed softly, as she tried to follow the rhythm he set.  Her head fell back as the sensations began to sweep through her body. 

“I think I can live with that.”

His eyes squeezed shut, as he let her set the pace.   His hands covered her breasts, his fingers toying with the taut peaks.  Unable to contain himself, he raised his hips to meet her.  Her body clenched around him, sucking him deeper inside.  He felt her begin to convulse, as she cried out his name.

He looked up at the picture she made as she moved over him.  God, nothing had ever felt so right as when he was inside of her.  He loved everything about her.  He loved her smile, her humor, the rebellious streak that brought them together, the way she moaned beneath him, the way she kept him on his toes.  No other girl could ever come close.  And she was going to be his wife.  The thought made his body react, and his climax burst inside of her. 

She fell on top of him, both of them greedily sucking in air.  As he cradled her against him, he absently realized that they forgot to use protection.  His eyes widened.  Never in his life had he forgotten to use protection.  Lazily, his hand began to stroke the length of her back.  It wouldn’t matter.  Soon, they would be husband and wife.  If she got pregnant, they would just have to bump the date up.  He couldn’t deny that the thought was appealing.  After all, he couldn’t even begin to think about leaving her to go to school.  It would be the hardest thing he would ever do.  A part of him wanted to delay attending for a year so that he could wait for her to finish high school, but he knew that his mother would have his head.  She would say that he had worked too hard to risk losing the scholarship. 

She stirred on top of him, lifting her head to stare down at him dreamily.   His eyes met hers as he pulled her head down into a heated kiss.  Later, as they stood by her car their fingers intertwined, she leaned up on tiptoes to fuse her mouth against his.  When she finally pulled away, they were both breathing hard.  He rested his forehead against hers. 

“So, I’ll see you tonight?”

“Are you sure that your mother won’t mind me coming over for dinner?” she inquired.

His eyes twinkled.  “Not when she finds out that you’re her future daughter-in-law,” he mused.

She smiled, excitement dancing in her eyes.  “I can’t wait,” she explained, reaching up to place a tender kiss on his mouth.

Jackson watched her drive away, his arms crossing over his chest.  He couldn’t wait to make her Mrs. Jackson Hart.  As he climbed the steps to the cabin, he realized that he would have a lot of explaining to do once his mother returned home.  She would have a lot of objections to her son getting married so young, but he didn’t care.  He loved Mallory, and he was going to spend the rest of his life showing her just how much.

 

Mallory snuck into the kitchen as quietly as she could.  She closed the door behind her, listening carefully to the sounds of the house before moving toward the hall. 

“Mallory Westfall!”

She spun on her heel, her heart in her throat.  “Daddy?”

He thundered toward her, his eyes blazing.  “Where the hell have you been all night?” he demanded, the anger on his face evident even with the poor lighting.

Her mind searched for a suitable answer.  “Nowhere, I thought I left my purse in my car, and I went to check,” she stammered.

Towering over her, his hand grabbed her wrist to hoist it high.  He ripped the keys out of her hand painfully.  “Is that right?”

He pulled her out to the garage, the grip he had on her wrist biting into her skin.  Reaching over, he touched the hood of the car.  “Then, why is the engine still warm?  Did you decide to take the car out for a test drive, too?”

She winced at the pain he was causing, her mouth falling open.  Fear raced up her spine.  “I’m sorry, daddy!  I just went for a drive.”

His sneer left little doubt that he knew she was a liar.  Dragging her behind him, he pulled her through the kitchen and up the stairs.  “Do you really think I’m that stupid?” he yelled, pushing her into her room and slamming the door behind them.

Her eyes widened as he came toward her.  “It’s not what you think, daddy!”

Looming over her, his eyes narrowed.  “Where the hell were you?”

Panic seized her heart.  The look in his eyes told her that the time to lie was over.  It was obvious that he knew more than he was letting on.  Lying would only serve to make him angrier, and by the look on his face that was something she could not afford to do.  “I was with Jackson Hart,” she confessed, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“Goddamn it!” he yelled furiously.  His fist rose as if he was going to strike her.

She crouched on the floor, her arms coming up to defend herself.  “It’s not what you think, daddy!  He’s asked me to marry him!”

Grabbing her by the arms, he hauled her to her feet.  “Are you out of your mind?” he screamed, as he shook her violently.  Her head bobbed like a rag doll.  “There is no way in hell you will ever marry that boy!  You go out in the middle of the night to whore around with trash and have the nerve to come into my house and tell me you’re getting married!”

“But I love him, daddy,” she cried out.

He shoved her away from him, her back hitting the wall.  She slid to the ground in a heap.   He turned to leave.  Reaching the door, he spun on his heel to face her again.  When he spoke, his voice was ominously low. 

“I’m taking your car keys.  You will not see that boy again.  Do I make myself clear?  If you do, I will destroy him.  Do you hear me, Mallory?  You don’t want to know what I’ll do if you push me on this.”  He took a deep breath to calm himself, before continuing on.  “The Langes’ are coming over for dinner tonight.  If you do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or embarrasses me, I’ll make sure that that boy is run out of town by the end of the night.”

She shook her head, her eyes squeezing shut.  “You wouldn’t do that?”

“Wouldn’t I?  Just try me.  I don’t give a damn if you think you’re in love.  You obviously haven’t thought things through.  If I have to save you from making a mistake, I will…even if I have to do it with you kicking and screaming the whole way.  Do you hear me?”

Mallory’s lower lip quivered as she reluctantly met his gaze. 

“Answer me,” he commanded, his lips forming a grim line.

“Yes, sir,” she bit back.

He walked over to the nightstand, grabbing the telephone and ripping the cord out of the wall.  “Just so you don’t get any ideas,” he bit out, before storming out of the room.

Mallory lay on the floor, unable to move.  Her head fell into her hands.  She reached out for her nightstand, slowly pulling herself upright.  Pain seized her back as she slowly got to her feet.  Sweat broke out on her forehead, as she drew in deep breaths.  Wincing with each step, she walked over to the full-length mirror.  Pulling her shirt over her midriff, she turned around to see a large bruise forming on her back.

She made her way back to the bed, collapsing on top of it.  Her sobs racked her entire body as she curled on her side.  What was she going to do?  Without her car, she couldn’t run.  The thought of Jackson waiting for her made her chest squeeze in pain.  What would he do when she didn’t show up tonight?  She hated her father!  He never loved her.  Her fingers curled in the bedspread. 
           Please don’t hate me,
Jackson, she thought as she curled her knees into her chest.
****
         Jackson waited on the couch, his knee shaking impatiently.   His mother stared at him from across the room.  He knew what she was thinking.  After the fight they had had about the choices he was making, her feelings were very clear.  Glancing over at her, he saw the look of pity in her eyes.  Anger coursed through his veins.  He got to his feet, walking out on to the porch. 

Where the hell was she? 

Had she changed her mind? 

This morning she had seemed so sure of him, of herself. 

Had she reconsidered when she got home? 

He heard the screen door slam behind him moments before he felt his mother’s comforting hand on his shoulder. 

Jackson,” she began slowly.  “Maybe we should start dinner.  It is after eight.”

He pushed away from her, shaking his head.  “She’ll be here, mom.  She probably just got hung up,” he assured, even though he didn’t really believe the words.

“All right, Jackson.  We’ll wait,” she relented, before walking back into the house.

Damn it! 

His hand raked through his hair, before gripping the wooden railing tightly.  What happened?  Did she regret what they had done?  His mouth formed a grim line.  Curling his hands into fists, he banged them on the railing.  Why?  Why hadn’t she come to him?  They could’ve talked things through.

Jackson, are you alright?” his mother called out through the screen door.

He stalked down the stairs, heading for his bike.  “I’m fine.  I just need to take a drive.”

“But what about dinner?”

When he reached the bike, he looked over his shoulder.  “Go ahead and eat.  I’m not hungry, anyway.” 

Before she could protest, the bike roared to life.  He drove down the dirt road, ignoring her cries of protest.  He drove through the streets like a man obsessed.   All he could see was Mallory.  Mallory leaning over him, her eyes glazed with passion.  Mallory pressing tender kisses to his mouth.  Mallory professing her love to him.  Mallory saying she wanted to be his wife.

Before he even realized his intent, he pulled into the parking lot at Dick Clark’s.  He wasn’t sure what he expected to find.  When he climbed off the bike, his eyes searched the crowd.  His gaze stopped when he saw Leah chatting with some friends.  He closed the distance between them, watching the eyes of the crowd around her widen.  She spun around to see what they were looking at, her gaze colliding with his. 

“Can I talk to you for a minute?” he asked, his voice firm.

Her eyebrows drew together.  “Sure,” she replied uneasily.  She took a few steps toward him.

“Hart, what the hell are you even doing here?” a voice cried out from the crowd.

Leah shook her head, turning to face them.  She rolled her eyes as she pursed her lips.  “David, shut up!” she scolded, walking over to Jackson‘s bike with him.

“Sorry about David.  Sometimes, he can’t control his mouth.”

When he reached the bike, he spun on his heel to face her.  His eyes met hers, his look intent.  “Where’s Mallory?” he demanded.

Her eyes widened, as she shrugged her shoulders.  “I don’t know.  I haven’t talked to her today.”

Closing his eyes, he nodded his head.  He turned away to climb onto his bike.  “But…” she began slowly.

“But what?” he asked, his eyes narrowing.

She sighed heavily.  “Well, I don’t know if it’s true…”

“If what’s true?”

She huffed a sigh of aggravation.  “Well, I heard Derrick talking, and he said that he was going over to her house for dinner tonight,” she confessed, her eyes full of the same pity he had seen in his mother’s eyes.

His heart hammered in his chest, as his jaw clenched painfully.  He looked away, not wanting her to see the pain her words caused. 

“Look, I’m sorry,” she offered.

 His hands gripped the handlebars, as he started the bike up.  “No problem,” he lied.  “Thanks for letting me know.”

“Like I said, I don’t know if it’s true,” she yelled over the sound of the bike.

But Jackson didn’t want to hear anymore. 

He pulled the bike out on to the street, feeling the wind whip through his hair.  All this time, he didn’t want to see the truth.  She had never loved him.  Oh sure, she might have felt something for him.  After all, he was the one to take her virginity, not Lange.  But in the end, she realized that being with him would be nothing more than a mistake.  A mistake because he didn’t have the kind of money that Lange could offer.

Damn her!

This morning he had believed every word she said.  Maybe she had even meant it?  But when push came to shove, she had sold him out.  Why had he ever thought she would want to live hand to mouth with him, when she could live with everything Derrick’s family had?  Maybe she had just been using him from the start, using him to make Derrick jealous?  The thought made his stomach turn.  He was a fool.  He had been too caught up in her to realize what was happening.  As he drove through the darkened streets, he made a vow. 

He would never be that stupid again.

He would never again fall for a woman like Mallory Westfall. 

Stay Tuned for more of Choices… 

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