Read Driven By The Hero (Hero Romance 1) Online

Authors: Kalena Lyons

Tags: #Hero Romance, #Contemporary, #Alpha Male, #Romance, #Adult, #Fantasy, #Short Stories, #Fiction, #Erotic, #Firefighter, #Second Chance, #One-Night Stand, #Party Hook-Up, #Bachelor, #Single Woman

Driven By The Hero (Hero Romance 1)

BOOK: Driven By The Hero (Hero Romance 1)
5.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Copyright 2015 by Kalena Lyons- All rights reserved.



In no way is it legal to reproduce, duplicate, or transmit any part of this document in either electronic means or in printed format. Recording of this publication is strictly prohibited and any storage of this document is not allowed unless with written permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.


Respective authors own all copyrights not held by the publisher.




Note From The Author:


This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and incidents are product of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental. The author does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for third party websites or their content.


The models on the cover of this book neither endorse nor condone the contents of this book.



Contemporary Second Chance Hero Romance



By Kalena Lyons

Chapter One

“Thomas, you have to take off your pajamas and put on your big boy pants,” Elaine tried to coax patiently between a toothbrush hanging from between her teeth and her free hand holding up Thomas’ ‘big boy’ pants. They were corduroy jeans her mother had bought at the thrift shop down the street. Not that between the two of them they couldn’t afford a decent pair of pants for Thomas, but in a rare display of maturity, her mother had told Elaine to put the money away into Thomas’ college fund.

Those were the first few dollars that had gone into his college fund, and every time Elaine went to buy him new clothes, she’d put away the difference it would have cost her to get them brand new. His college fund was really starting to grow lately, but so was the three-year-old boy. “No,” Thomas told her as he crossed his chubby arms over his small chest.

He wasn’t usually this defiant. Elaine huffed and finished brushing her teeth before she tackled the task of getting her son out of his pajamas and into his pants. He’d had a bath the night before and she didn’t see the need to go through the ordeal again in the morning. She took a wet comb and brushed it through his fine, ash blonde hair that looked identical in color to hers.

The two of them were silent as she pulled her hair back into a bun and allowed a few strands to hang down around her face. When she turned around to see what he was doing, he was sitting on the edge of the tub watching her get ready for work. “Do you want to go see Mr. Jacob?” she asked softly as she held out her arms to him.

“Yes,” her son said a little loudly with excitement. Every time she saw his dark blue eyes light up with his joy, her heart ached a little inside.

He’s so much like his father, Elaine thought as she pulled the love of her life into her arms.

The two of them left the small, lime green bathroom and entered a subdued, beige hallway. Her mother hadn’t gotten around to painting it yet, but soon it would be some bright, tropical color, and Elaine would feel a small piece of her soul cringe. Thomas chatted idly about what he would do with Mr. Jacob. The elderly man next door’s last name was something Russian and hard to pronounce, so Thomas just used his first name. Elaine just called him Jacob.

“You don’t have to take him over there, you know. I’m not going to be too busy today, just one reading.” The woman who had spoken dipped her spoon into her runny grits packed full of brown sugar and pancake syrup and looked up from the crossword puzzle she was trying to solve.

“I don’t know why you look at those things,” Elaine said as she set Thomas down and fetched him breakfast. As she was smearing a hefty portion of banana across his Egos, Priscilla snuck him a few spoonfuls of her grits. Her daughter was her spitting image with shorter hair and longer legs. The two of them shared the same ash blonde hair and gray eyes, along with their tendency to burn in the sun rather than tan.

“Because if I keep my brain active, I won’t turn into an incoherent Frankenstein when I’m older,” Priscilla said in a baby voice as she fed Thomas a few more bites of her grits. By the time Elaine was finished making him a healthy breakfast of whole wheat waffles topped with banana, he was halfway full of sugary, syrupy grits.

“I don’t think there is a coherent Frankenstein,” Elaine shot back as she set down Thomas’ breakfast in front of him and put her hand on her hip. “Mom,” she chastised quietly, “I told you I don’t want him eating that stuff. It’ll make him too hyper for Jacob to handle and-” she stopped mid-sentence and narrowed her eyes.

The gleam in Priscilla’s eyes told her everything. Her mother had been planning to make Thomas a handful so she could spend the day with him instead of Jacob. It was almost a daily occurrence, and Elaine had grown tired of fighting about it. She finished off the second half of Thomas’ waffles when he wouldn’t eat the rest and kissed her mother on the cheek before she grabbed her purse off the coat rack by the kitchen door.

“I’ll be back around four. Good luck with the reading.”

“I won’t need it, but Janice might,” Priscilla called after her daughter with amusement in her voice.

“What’s Frankenstein?” Thomas’ small voice rose up from beside her as he walked and Elaine reached down her hand to take his. She relished the feel of his small, pink fingers wrapped reassuringly around hers.

“He’s a big, scary monster. Maybe we’ll watch the movie when you’re a little older.” Elaine readjusted her purse on her arm and knelt down at the bottom of Jacob’s stairs to say goodbye to Thomas. He gave her a sloppy, syrupy kiss on the cheek and she pulled him in for a tight hug. “Now, you’re going to behave today and not break Jacob’s lamp, right?” Thomas gave a weak nod and avoided her gaze. “Alright, now go have some fun.”

He climbed the stairs by himself and walked up to Jacob sitting in his rocking chair on his screened in porch. Elaine waved when he smiled at her and raised his cup of chai. It was never coffee.

“Good morning,” he called out to her. Elaine watched the sun glint off his bright, white hair and returned the sentiment.

Her walk to work was only three blocks away from the townhome she lived in with her mother, and on a bright, sunny morning like the one she was currently in, it was a pleasure. The dark days of winter were far out of sight and the trees were full of light green leaves. Few cars passed through the streets as most everyone in town walked to their destination. It was only two square miles, so there wasn’t far of a distance to go when one wanted to get somewhere. Overall, it was a nice, small town.

Rarely anything bad happened in Hunts, Pennsylvania. If someone had asked Elaine two years ago if anything bad happened, she would have respond that nothing ever bad happened, but something had happened. And it’d changed her life forever.

Chapter Two

If she had the money, she’d be at home gardening and caring for some tomato plants right then, but she had to work to support her son. The only place that would hire a woman with two Bachelor’s Degrees, one in Computer Science, and the other in Accounting, was the grocery store. There wasn’t a need for someone skilled in electronics and accounting in such a small town. Everyone drove over to the next one to do their taxes at the H&R Block, which was more costly than doing it on their own.

Elaine pushed back the resentment she felt and walked up to the door. The metal was cold to the touch as she swung it open and stepped inside. Light music played over the audio system and the interior was spotless as usual. Haley, a dour redhead who hated her position, raised her hand off the still conveyor belt of her checkout lane in a lazy wave. Elaine had returned it before she started for the back of the store where the lockers and break room awaited.

“Elaine,” a voice echoed down the boxed pasta aisle at her and she immediately recognized it. Her footsteps increased slightly and she pretended she hadn’t heard, but when the voice was directly behind her after a series of heels clicking on the floor that sounded like gunfire, she had to acknowledge it.

Elaine turned around and was assaulted with the smell of rose perfume before the rest of her senses could register what she was seeing. Jody Gallant stood in front of her with a two-year-old slung on her narrow hip and a chubby hand clutching her blouse. Unfortunately, the poor kid had no idea he was revealing a very lingerie style bra with red lace and padding.

“Jody,” Elaine said as she plastered on the smile she used for her customers in the checkout lane.

“I’m so glad I caught you! I wanted to ask you if your mother’s doing readings today. I’ve got this man I have my eyes on and he’s coming to the party I’m attending this evening! I’m just so excited-” And that was the point where Elaine stopped listening. She was painfully aware that it would make her look like she was late this morning when she clocked in because Jody was holding her up.

“So is she doing the readings?” Jody asked and broke Elaine from her daydream about getting to the clock-in machine on time.

“Huh? Oh, yes, she’s doing the readings this afternoon. I think she said she only had one person she was going to do them for, but I’m sure she’ll see you if you give her a call.” Elaine watched the baby on Jody’s hip roll its eyes to the ceiling and wanted to give the same sentiment, but she was an adult.

“Oh, that’s awesome!” Jody gushed and gave the toddler a gentle shake up and down. “So I’ll see you around seven?” she asked innocently.

“What?” Elaine tried to remember when she had agreed to anything, and what it was.

“At the party? You said you’d bring the beer,” Jody coaxed gently. Nothing in her gaze or her posture suggested she was upset about Elaine’s obvious blunder.

“Oh, yeah. I, uh, well I have to find someone to babysit Thomas and-”

“I’m sure your mom will.”

“Right, yeah. My mother,” Elaine stumbled as she tried to come up with an excuse. It had been two years since she’d gone out to anything social or something that could be considered fun. It had been two years of taking Thomas wherever he needed to go and going to and from work. She’d become a hermit.

“So I’ll see you at seven,” Jody confirmed before she raised the toddler’s fist off her shirt so that he could wave goodbye. Then she was clomping down the aisle in her pointy shoes and sounding like bullets before she left the store.

Did she come here just to nag me? Elaine wondered as she hurried to the back of the store. The clock told her she was four minutes late, but it had felt like an eternity before Jody had left.

All through her shift she wondered if she could just call Jody or not show, but she was reminded of the fact that she had promised to bring something. What if the party was terrible because she had not brought the beer? Her face was of complete rapture as she listened to the men and women who came through her checkout lane. Not once did she actually hear what they were saying.

When Elaine’s shift was through, she pulled the name badge off her shirt and stuffed it into her pocket. Then she cleaned up her register, said goodnight to her shift manager, and clocked out. Everything was a blur as she hurried from the store and started down the street toward her home at a purposeful pace. She had to get to a phone and tell Jody she wasn’t coming before the entire party was ruined.

As she tried to block images of the last party she’d attended, one where her husband had been blissfully beside her, she almost tripped over a bump in the sidewalk. The jolt flung away the visions and she walked a little calmer back home. As she ascended the stairs to Jacob’s home, she could hear the happy noises of a toddler emerging from inside.

Thomas had known when he was just a year old that something was wrong when his father hadn’t returned. He most likely didn’t have any memories of the events that happened after, but she knew there was an absence in his life. It pained her to think that she might be the cause of that absence even though she hadn’t been the cause of the accident.

Elaine listened to the joyous sounds a few minutes longer before she raised her fist and knocked gently on Jacob’s screen door. His face appeared a few moments later with a splattering of blue frosting on it.

“I hope they were healthy cupcakes this time,” Elaine said as she put her hand on her hip and adopted the scornful mom gaze.

“Sure, sure,” Jacob told her with a reassuring smile. “Made with bananas, whole wheat flour, and a tinsy bit of sugar,” he said as he held up two fingers with a tiny bit of space between them. Thomas sounded as if he were still busy cleaning up from the late afternoon fun.

“Listen, I might be going somewhere this evening and I’m going to have my mom watch Thomas,” Elaine stated without believing she was actually saying it aloud. “I might need someone to, uh, check up on mom every now and then?” It wasn’t the first time she had asked Jacob to check in on her mother when she was supervising Thomas. It had been a year since the incident with her mother, and she understood that mistakes happened, but that was her baby in there. If she lost him, too-

Elaine stopped the thought and smiled when Jacob assured her he would be over to have some tea with her mother. She supposed he actually liked her company since he was always quick to agree.

Jacob came around the corner without a trace of icing on his clothing or his skin, and she assumed he had been thoroughly washed before she showed up.

BOOK: Driven By The Hero (Hero Romance 1)
5.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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