Authors: Lindsay Paige
A Bold as Love Novel
Copyright © 2013 by Lindsay Paige
All rights reserved. Except for the use of short passages for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without prior written permission of the copyright owner.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.
Cover Design by Damonza
Edited by K² Editing
For those who love Jake and Emily.
Thank you to Damonza for my beautiful cover and for always being a pleasure to work with.
Thank you to Kathy at K² Editing for working with me and editing this book.
Thanks to my betas, Michael, Mary, and Peggy. I appreciate the time you took to read
and to help me make it better.
Thanks to all of the Bold as Love fans out there who waited patiently for me to bring Jake and Emily's next installment to the world. Thanks for sticking with me and being just as excited as I am about this couple and their story.
Jake's face is somber as he enters our apartment. The smile on my face disappears as I ask him what's wrong. His feet are bags of sand as they drag their way over to the couch, where I'm sitting. Jake turns his body so that he is facing me. My stomach clenches, expecting to hear bad news, and I wonder what it could be.
“Sweetness, I need to talk to you about something.”
Okay...” I trail, my heart picking up pace because it's never good when he needs to talk to me.
I've been asked to go to a hockey camp in Canada for two weeks and word is that scouts will be there.”
That's great! This is so exciting, love.” And it is! This is huge, and my stomach is tingling with anticipation at what is to come for Jake's career in hockey.
Let me finish, Sweetness.” His voice is calm, sobering me immediately. Is it bad that he's going to this camp? I don't understand why he's being so serious. “It's an incredible opportunity for me and I don't think that I shouldn't not go. I have to give them a decision by Friday.”
What's the problem then?”
He doesn't say anything. His eyes search mine, waiting for me to figure it out, so he doesn't have to tell me himself. What would Jake not want to tell me? I replay his words in my mind. For two weeks... It dawns on me that it must be the two weeks we're planning to spend at the cabin — the only two weeks we would be able to go. Even though Jake is trying to hide it, I can see the excitement brewing in his eyes.
I'm pissed at the timing though. Friday is two days away. Surely, they wouldn't give him that short of a time to decide. Anger burns like a slow fire within me at the revelation.
How long have you known, Jake?” I ask evenly.
Since Valentine's Day.” His voice is full of regret to match his green eyes.
Are you kidding me? Jake, that was months ago! Why are you just telling me this now? You've known all this time that I would say go. You've known that we weren't going to the cabin. Yet, you've led me to believe that we were! Seriously, Jake? Ugh!”
I get up and walk out the door, ignoring him when he calls out my name. I drop to sit on the steps. I'm angry. Angry that we aren't going to the cabin, but more so that he waited until now to tell me. It's hard to tamper down my excitement, though. This could be Jake's year. Still, he should have told me as soon as he knew. How could he keep something so big from me? Sure, he could have been nervous about me being upset about not going to the cabin, but this is so much bigger than that. I would have understood. I
understand. After about five minutes, I'm more calm than before. Jake takes the chance to come outside and sit with me.
I'm sorry, Sweetness.”
Yeah. Go ahead and tell whomever that you're going.”
I wish it wasn't during those two weeks,” he tries to console.
Yeah. Me too. We'll get over it.” I'm being bitchy, I know, but now that he's back out here, I'm annoyed with his decision to wait until now to inform me about this.
Sweetness, don't be like this.” His soft tone breaks me.
Jake, it's fine. The main reason I was mad is because you waited until now to tell me. It's over. You're going to Canada and I'm going home.” A light bulb appears over my head, lit. I know what I could do. Why shouldn't I do it? We are still good friends and I really want to meet his little boy. “I know what I'll do. I'll go down to Conrad's and visit with him. He's been trying to get me to go down and see his little boy anyway. See? No worries. I'll let Conrad know.”
I jump up and head inside, Jake following closely behind me. My phone is laying on the coffee table in front of the couch. Before I can pick it up, Jake reaches around me and does so instead.
“What are you doing?” I ask.
You're going to spend two weeks with Conrad?” He raises an eyebrow almost as if he's challenging me.
Not the entire two weeks. Don't be silly, Jake.” But the wheels are already turning as I see where he's going with this, and I can't believe he doubts me. After everything we've been through, he still doubts my love for him when it comes to Conrad. I close the distance between us and wrap my arms around his neck. “Why do you still doubt me?” I ask quietly, looking into his forest green eyes.
You do.” My arms slip from his neck as I walk around to the couch and flop down with disappointment. I don't understand where Jake is coming from. I'm with him after all. Not Conrad. He sits beside me a few seconds later and pulls me into his lap, making him sit forward and me with my legs stretched out on the couch. Jake rests his chin on my shoulder and my heart swells at the small action of him moving my hair back to reveal my neck.
Would you worry if I was going to spend two weeks with another girl?”
It's not two weeks,” I begin but Jake cuts me off.
I'm serious, Sweetness.”
I trust you, Jake.”
I trust you too, but...”
But nothing, Jake.” I'm getting frustrated with him. He needs to just spit it out.
Emily,” Jake begins as I go to get off the couch, stopping me in my tracks at using my name. I sit back down and wrap an arm around his neck, resting my head between my arm and the crook of Jake's neck while I wait.
It's the fact that it's Conrad,” Jake finally shares. That pushes a button and Jake immediately knows it. “Let me rephrase that,” he starts.
No. Get your thoughts together, okay? I'll be in our room.”
I remove myself from Jake. I feel as if we were stuck together and I have to pull myself away quickly as if snatching a band-aid off. Tossing myself onto our bed, I bring my arms up to my head and rest my head on them. I'm really trying not to argue with Jake. He's making it so damn hard though.
Or am I the one making it hard?
To get my mind off this mess, I grab a book to read. Only Jake's history textbook is the closest thing to me, and I'm bored to death within five seconds. Two hours after scouring the book to find something of interest, Jake peeks around the door.
“Love, please come save me,” I beg, rolling over onto my back and away from that wretched book. Jake smiles, knowing that the storm has passed, and jumps onto the bed beside me. He has his torso on mine with his elbows propped up on each side of my head. My love leans down and places the sweetest, softest kiss upon my lips.
I love you,” he whispers, his eyes bore into my own.
I love you too. I'm sorry.”
For what?” he asks.
I knew mentioning time with Conrad would piss you off. I was simply upset. I'm sorry and I'm fine now. Have you made the call yet?”
No,” he mumbles while attacking my neck with kisses.
Why not, Jake?”
He takes a deep breath and looks at me. “I wanted to make sure you were okay before I called.”
I push him off of me and tell him to go make the call. He leaves the room to retrieve his phone, and I hear him pacing.
Vaguely, I hear, “Yes sir. I am going. Thank you sir. Bye, bye.”
Jake returns with a smile on his face. He's so excited about this and so am I. Sitting on the bed, he tells me that it's an intense program where only fifty of the top college players are invited. He'll get up early in the morning and go to sleep late at night, while playing hockey in between. After he has calmed down, he looks over at me.
What are we going to do today?”
Immediately, I know what he is talking about. Today marks the one year anniversary of my miscarriage. I have been thinking for weeks on what we could do in remembrance and a couple of days ago, I finally had an idea.
Crawling over Jake, I go to find two sheets of paper and two pens in the kitchen. When I return, Jake eyes the supplies and me curiously.
We are going to each write a letter to our baby, then attach it to a balloon and let it float away to heaven.”
Are we going to read each other's letters?”
I shake my head. This is our chance to write to our baby on our own. A final goodbye. After handing Jake a piece of paper and a pen, I slide his textbook over for him to write on. Informing Jake that I'll let him know when I'm finished, I leave the room and head to the kitchen, where I sit down and write my letter.
I sure wish I would have gotten the chance to meet you. I think of you every day and wonder if you would favor me or your dad more. You would have loved your dad. Jake and I would have made sure that you had the best life possible.
Writing this letter is hard for me. I had a really hard time with the miscarriage and accepting the fact that I was never going to meet you. For a while, I thought it was completely my fault. I even blamed your father. Now, I see that no one is to blame for our loss.
Even though I never got the chance to meet you, I love you so much. I wish I could hold you and share you with the world and our family. Drake, your uncle, is amazing. He would protect you just like a big brother would. I'm positive that between him and Jake, you would be a hockey player no matter what.
Oh, how I wish you were here. To be able to hold you in my arms, rock you to sleep, and play with you. To be able to hear you giggle when your dad makes a funny face, cry when you aren't feeling well, and watch as you sleep peacefully.
Your dad means the world to me. I could never do without him. He always tells me that we'll have a family when the time is right. After losing you, I'm worried that the time will never be right. I'm sure if he read this, he would stop reading, give me a kiss, and assure me that everything will work out. He's the sweetest man I've ever met. I just know that he would be a wonderful father. Just for that reason, I wish you could have met him.
This letter is getting a bit long, but I don't want it to end. One year ago today, I lost you forever. Even though I never met you, I felt as if I had. You were with me but for a short amount of time and you taught me so much. You taught me that I can love someone so much that it could never end. You taught me to trust your father completely, although that took me a while to learn. There's one more thing I wish to tell you before I go.
My mom was really good to me at first. Then she changed and wasn't so nice and caring anymore. I just want you to know that I never would have been so cruel to you. If you got in trouble, you may not like me at the moment and you may think I was being unfair and mean. But no matter what could have happened in my life, even if your father and I parted ways, I never would treat you as my mother treated me.
Your father would tell me that I'm being ridiculous to point this out if he were reading this. However, it makes me feel better to say that I would love you no matter what and that I would always treat you with the unconditional love that I have for you.
Your father loves you too. I'm sure he'll tell you that in his letter. I'm not just saying these great things about your father because I love him. I'm saying them because they are true. He would have treasured you and adorn you with affection as he does me. Your father is the best thing that ever happened to me and I can only hope that I don't let him down as I feel I have you. Jake would tell me that I haven't and I know that maybe I haven't let you down. My behavior tells me otherwise.