No Naked Ads -> Here!
The arrangement 23, p.15

The Arrangement 23, page 15

 part  #23 of  The Arrangement Series

 

The Arrangement 23
 


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font   Night Mode Off   Night Mode


  My eyes can barely focus anymore. I rub them with the back of my hand and pull up the website I was looking at the other day. Confession is good for the soul and since my spirit feels like it’s dying, I want to try it. Anything that will ease my agony is worth the risk. Every last part of me is drowning in pain and this little act could give me a handhold on reality. Maybe it’s living in the past, or maybe it’s because I know these things were real and it anchors me. The words do something, they mean something. The letters aren’t something static, stuck on a page. They live and breathe. I don’t know how to explain it and I can’t verbalize what compels me, but I want to do it.

  Staring at the screen, I wonder if I do it—if I hit publish—what trouble will this bring? It’s silly to even think anyone will see my story. Odds are that it will fall into the vast wasteland of ebooks that no one ever finds, so what am I afraid of? There’s no one to pass judgment on me, and if one person reads it—isn’t that what I want? The confession? Maybe I should be talking to a priest and not pouring my tormented soul onto the internet. My finger hovers above the ENTER key. Neil would condemn me for this. I know he would, but this isn’t for him. It’s for me, and sometimes the only way to move forward is to take a good look back and see where you’ve been. God knows I’ve been through enough turbulence that I can endure this, but it doesn’t feel like it right now. When the Sheriff arrives in the morning, I don’t know how I’ll manage to walk away.

  My throat tightens as I mash my lips together and the ache at the center of my chest throbs. Inhaling slowly, I close my eyes and picture my Dad’s face. I think about what he’d say. When I look at the screen again, I know what I’m going to do. Tapping the button on the mouse, I click publish.

  Chapter 2

  Pieces of my past tangle together inside my mind. Emotions, memories, and thoughts pass behind my eyes during the day and wait until night to unravel. Feeling frayed doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel. It’s as if a black hole opened up and swallowed my entire life. Suddenly, everything is uprooted and destroyed. There’s nothing I can do, there’s no way to change it. And the cruelest part is that I was spared. There’s no family to comfort me, no mother to hold me.

  Until now, it was just me and Dad, and I was fine with that. Actually, I loved it. I’d come home after class and talk about my day. He’d have dinner on the table and we’d laugh. Some people don’t get along with their father, but I got along with mine. Maybe because it was just the two of us for so long. His attention was always undivided, singularly focused on me.

  There’s only been one other person in my life who treated me like that, but I lost him. Bryan Ferro was every father’s nightmare, and every girl’s fantasy. He was a bad boy to the core with a soft spot for me. That’s another piece of my past that I’ll never get back. But that’s the past, and this is now.

  Neil is my boyfriend and he cares about me. We’ve been together for a long time, long enough for him to know my quirks and not care that I’m a little bit nuts. The way I see it, we’re all a little bit crazy, and that’s what makes life interesting. Neil agrees, but it makes his life interesting because he wants to fix their broken brains. Me, I’m not like that. I see the things that he wants to fix as patina, a wonderful glaze of cray cray over an otherwise boring sculpture.

  We’re at opposite ends of the spectrum, Neil and I, but that’s okay because we both care about each other.

  Neil opens a container of my things and looks inside. There are small piles of boxes, stacked up like a fort in the bedroom. Considering it’s a lifetime of clothing and objects, there isn’t very much. Since I tried to keep the house, I sold off anything of value. It killed me, but the reward was worth it. I’d get to keep a roof over my head and my father’s house. The memories would still be there for me while I mourned my Dad’s loss. I’d have a chance to go through his things when I was ready, but that’s not how things played out. There was too much debt, too many people that he owed too much money to, and nearly every dime went to my education, which is on hold until I figure out what to do.

  “Unpacking would be a good start,” Neil offers and holds up one of my shirts. His sandy hair is brushed to the side and he’s wearing a polo shirt with a pair of khakis. He’s always dressed like an old guy. Think casual Friday at some firm, and that’s Neil’s go-to outfit. I thought he slept in those perfectly pressed pants until I moved in. It turns out that Neil is a jammies man.

  “You’ll get over this, Hallie.” Over is the wrong word. I’ll get through this, but I’ll never get over it. Neil doesn’t understand how I feel or what’s going through my head right now. Experiencing loss and reading about it are two different things.

  I nod because my words will be too sharp and he’s trying to be kind to me. I see it in his eyes. “I’ll unpack, Neil. I just don’t feel like it right now.” My butt has been glued to this recliner for the past seven days. I don’t watch television, play on my phone, tweet, or do anything except stare out the window. I need down time, away from everything and everyone. It makes my life more bearable.

  Neil sighs and shakes his head. “I wish I could make you happy.”

  “You do.” The lack of emotion in my voice is noticeable, even though I try to convey some. I just don’t have it in me right now.

  Neil shakes his head, and walks over to the recliner where I’m sitting. He crouches before me and tilts his head to catch my eye. My gaze had been unfocused, staring at the wall, until he did that. “It’s been a week and you’ve barely moved from this chair.”

  “I know.” But I haven’t cried or completely lost my mind. I want to tell him that, but I don’t because he’ll know that I’m a lot more banged up inside than he thinks.

  “Hallie, I bought you something. I wasn’t going to say anything until we got there, but I know how much it matters to you.” Neil looks awkward as he says it, his dark eyes shifting away from mine.

  What could he possibly buy me? I don’t want anything that’s remotely attainable and Neil’s strapped, so it’s not like he could go throw around his millions and fix everything. He has enough to keep his head above water and that’s about it.

  “Oh?” I try to be polite.

  He nods and smiles up at me, taking both my hands in his. “Yes, it’s kind of an odd gift, but I know how much it matters to you, so I bought a plot at the cemetery. I know you wanted a grave for your father. They transferred the body already and finished the headstone today. He should be there now, if you want to go and look.”

  “Is that why his ashes weren’t ready?” I sniff once, hard.

  He nods. “Yeah, baby. I thought you needed a place to mourn.”

  The corners of my lips pull up and falter. “I don’t know how to react. I wanted…” my voice quivers and I snap my mouth shut. Neil nods like he knows. I lean forward and throw my arms around him.

  He got me out of the chair.

  Click here to continue reading this story.

  COMPLETED SERIES BY H.M. WARD

  ROMANCE

  ~SECRETS & LIES~

  ~STRIPPED~

  ~THE PROPOSITION~

  ~DAMAGED~

  ~LIFE BEFORE DAMAGED~

  ~SECRETS~

  ~SECRET LIFE OF TRYSTAN SCOTT~

  ~SCANDALOUS~

  TEEN PARANORMAL

  ~DEMON KISSED~

  MORE FERRO FAMILY BOOKS

  Trystan Scott

  ~BROKEN PROMISES~

  Jonathan Ferro

  ~STRIPPED~

  Bryan Ferro

  ~THE PROPOSITION~

  Sean Ferro

  ~THE ARRANGEMENT~

  Peter Ferro

  ~DAMAGED ~

  Nick Ferro

  ~THE WEDDING CONTRACT~

  Please turn the page for a suggested reading order.

  SUGGESTED FERRO READING ORDER

  THE ARRANGEMENT 1

  THE ARRANGEMENT 2

  THE ARRANGEMENT 3

  THE ARRANGEMENT 4

  THE ARRANG
EMENT 5

  THE ARRANGEMENT 6

  DAMAGED 1

  DAMAGED 2

  SECRET LIFE OF TRYSTAN SCOTT 1

  SECRET LIFE OF TRYSTAN SCOTT 2

  SECRET LIFE OF TRYSTAN SCOTT 3

  SECRET LIFE OF TRYSTAN SCOTT 4

  SECRET LIFE OF TRYSTAN SCOTT 5

  THE ARRANGEMENT 7

  THE ARRANGEMENT 8

  THE ARRANGEMENT 9

  THE ARRANGEMENT 10

  THE ARRANGEMENT 11

  SCANDALOUS 1

  SCANDALOUS 2

  STRIPPED 1

  THE PROPOSITION 1

  THE PROPOSITION 2

  THE PROPOSITION 3

  THE PROPOSITION 4

  THE ARRANGEMENT 12

  THE ARRANGEMENT 13

  THE ARRANGEMENT 14

  THE PROPOSITION 5

  THE ARRANGEMENT 15

  THE ARRANGEMENT 16

  THE ARRANGEMENT 17

  THE ARRANGEMENT 18

  THE WEDDING CONTRACT

  SECRETS & LIES 1

  SECRETS & LIES 2

  SECOND CHANCES

  LIFE BEFORE DAMAGED 1

  LIFE BEFORE DAMAGED 2

  LIFE BEFORE DAMAGED 3

  LIFE BEFORE DAMAGED 4

  LIFE BEFORE DAMAGED 5

  LIFE BEFORE DAMAGED 6

  LIFE BEFORE DAMAGED 7

  LIFE BEFORE DAMAGED 8

  LIFE BEFORE DAMAGED 9

  LIFE BEFORE DAMAGED 10

  THE ARRANGEMENT 19

  THE ARRANGEMENT 20

  MANWHORE

  BROKEN PROMISES

  THE ARRANGEMENT 21

  STRIPPED 2

  SECRETS & LIES 3

  SECRETS & LIES 4

  SECRETS & LIES 5

  SECRETS & LIES 6

  THE ARRANGEMENT 22

  SECRETS & LIES 7

  DAMAGED 3: A DAMAGED WEDDING

  THE ARRANGEMENT 23

  EASY 1

  EASY 2

  EASY 3

  EASY 4

  EASY 5

  MORE BOOKS BY H.M. WARD

  SCANDALOUS

  SECRETS

  COLLIDE: THE SECRET LIFE OF TRYSTAN SCOTT

  DEMON KISSED

  CHRISTMAS KISSES

  OVER YOU

  HOT GUY

  And more.

  To see a full book list, please visit:

  www.hmward.com/BOOKS

  CAN'T WAIT FOR H.M. WARD'S NEXT STEAMY BOOK?

  Let her know by leaving stars and telling her what you liked about this book in a review!

  ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  New York Times bestselling author H.M. Ward continues to reign as the queen of independent publishing. She is swiftly approaching 13 MILLION copies sold, placing her among the literary titans. Articles pertaining to Ward's success have appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, and Forbes to name a few. This native New Yorker resides in Texas with her family, where she enjoys working on her next book.

  You can interact with this bestselling author at:

  @HMWard

  AuthorHMWard

  www.hmward.com

 


 

  H. M. Ward, The Arrangement 23

  (Series: The Arrangement # 23)

 

 


 

 
Thank you for reading books on Archive.BookFrom.Net

Share this book with friends
share


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Turn Navi Off
Turn Navi On
Scroll Up
Scroll