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Authors: Shanora Williams

Hard to Hold On

BOOK: Hard to Hold On
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Hard to 
Hold On

(Hard to Resist #2)

Shanora Williams

Dedicated to my readers and the ones that
 
see the true potential in me. You’re the best for supporting me.

© 
2013
Shanora Williams

Chapter One

Natalie

The sun was just setting, yet the day still felt young. The breeze nipped at our skin that had grown completely thick with sweat from chasing one another back and forth along the shore of Miami Beach. It felt nice and removed the flushness that seemed sticky on my skin. No one was around. It was only us.

A
pair of hands caught me by the waist from behind and I yelped, spinning around to face my one and only. My everything. My rock. The only guy who could run back and forth through my mind and, yet, I still loved him more and more each day.

The breeze picked up and Nolan looked over my shoulder to the rippling sea water. He then looked down at me, reeling me in closer, his lips hovering above mine. Slowly, I reached my hands up and hooked them around his neck. Sparks began to grow between us, our heaving chests sank against one another’s as we molded into one. I couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t saying anything to me. He was so quiet, which wasn’
t normal from someone like Nolan Young.

Finally he smiled, and then twirled me around in his arms. He stepp
ed into the water and placed my feet on the ground and I giggled, unsure of how to be as calm as he was. He was so simple, so beautiful.

“I don’t know where I’d be without you, Bunny,” Nolan whispered to me. The cool water brushed against my legs and Nolan lifted my chin, making me look into his eyes. He began to move in closer and I took a step forward but it was the wrong move.
A dumb move. I ended up moving a little too eagerly and started to fall. Nolan caught my arm, but the fall continued for the both of us. I pulled him down with me and we landed in the shallow water.

I couldn’t help but laugh after gazing around. We were wet, and obviously it had been a turn on for him. His hand moved forward and crept beneath my
damp shirt. His grey eyes that were once soft turned hard as he pulled me against him. Hooking my arms around his neck, I climbed on top of him and felt the zipper and button of his jeans rubbing against me. The water was still cool but we were beginning to warm up. My lips crushed his and I tasted the salt of the water on his lips. I cupped his face, and he held onto my waist, pulling me in tightly. Groaning, his tongue slid into my mouth and I reached my hand down to unbutton his jeans. From the sunset, his low grey eyes glimmered, studying me intently.

His pant
were finally off and without even bothering to take an intermission, I slid on top of him and he grunted against my chin that was on his lips. He stood, cupping my ass as he marched for the sand. The wind had picked up but he didn’t stop. It seemed as if everything was spinning around us. The sunset had faded into night but Nolan was still going. The wind grew harsher, almost intimidating. It seemed as if a tornado was coming our way from being so strong. If I weren’t mistaken, chaos was trying to interrupt our perfect moment.

And then he just stopped. He stared down at me, his eyes confused. Hurt.
Lost. He didn’t say a word as he pushed himself into a stand. I couldn’t help but stare at him. I watched his every move. The way he buttoned his jeans sullenly. The way he ran his hand through his hair continuously. Nolan looked down at me, his eyes clouded with worry.

“I have to go,” he mur
mured, eyes glistening. “She needs me. I have to go.”

I couldn’t speak—I
wanted to so badly, but I couldn’t. Where did he have to go? Who needed him? I then noticed how I wanted to stand, but couldn’t. My body was frozen in place and the only thing that seemed to be moving was my eyes. He started to walk away from me, not looking back at all. I could hear myself crying his name but it was like he couldn’t even hear me. It was like I didn’t even exist—like somehow I had become invisible. Nolan’s walk turned into a sprint in the direction of the moon and I continued to watch until he was gone. Until he was completely out of sight and there was no remainder of his presence.

As soon as he was gone, I
happened to inhale and scramble to my feet. I was left in the dark, alone. Terrified. Confused. I raced in the direction he had taken off in and searched for him everywhere, but I couldn’t find him, no matter how hard I’d looked.

I couldn’t figure out why he had walked away from me.
It was a dream that had turned into a nightmare and it seemed to carry on and get worse, even after I had stopped searching for him.

I tossed and turned all night because the nightmare felt all too real.
At the end of the nightmare I had finally found Nolan but we had ended up breaking it off. After four months, I didn’t want it to end but it did. I begged on my knees for him not to leave me. I couldn’t figure out what I had done but he kept blaming himself. I wanted to help as much as I could but he continued to walk away—he continued to carry on as if I didn’t even matter anymore. He kept blocking me out and avoiding me when all I wanted was to have him close.

All I wanted was my Nolan back.

****

Waking up in cold sweat, I run the back of my hand across my forehead as t
he thick slits of moonlight shine through my thin white curtains. I swallow the heavy lump in my throat as I stare ahead until I feel stable enough to swing my legs around and drop my feet on the floor.

The first thing I check is my phone. I know it’
s around four in the morning and Nolan told me earlier he was at the hospital for his mother’s surgery. I shot him a few text messages a while ago but he hasn’t sent one back. I’m starting to worry about him and I’m hoping the surgery went well. Hopefully he’s just by his mother’s side, wanting no distractions. I can cope with that.

S
he was supposed to be done more than ten hours ago, though. He would have called me if everything were okay.

I’m hoping
my nightmare doesn’t become my reality because losing Nolan is like losing everything. I don’t think I can deal with another heartbreak or even the depression again.

All I can do is hope
for the best.

Chapter Two

Nolan

The
wait has been endless. It’s the evening of my mother’s surgery but by the passing hours and the looks of things as the nurses rush up and down the hallway, I know something’s gone wrong.

Mills
left before nightfall because he couldn’t bear with it. She’s been in there all day. I was told she would be done by six but it’s now nine at night and I still haven’t been updated on how she’s doing. It reminds me of the time when my father was in the hospital. Since then I’ve hated being anywhere near one but I don’t want to leave until I know for sure that she's alright.

After a few hours, my head tilts back and my eyelids become heavy
but I force myself to stay awake. I take a glance down at my phone as it vibrates and a text message pops up.

Bunny: Is everything alright?

Reading her message makes me cringe inside. I can’t answer because I don’t know and I don’t want to give her a bullshit reply that may get my hopes up. I don’t know if my mother is going to recover from the surgery. I don’t know anything right now.

As I
shut the screen off, an older man with mussed grey hair comes into view from around the corner. As soon as he spots me, his gaze saddens. I stand quickly, watching as the familiar doctor carries himself forward with slow strides.

“I’m hoping you have good news,” I sigh.

He swallows, his Adams-apple moving down and then up beneath the blue fabric he’s wearing. “Mrs. Iris was doing fine in the beginning. Everything was running smoothly and she was breathing . . . but then she just . . . stopped.”

I stare
at him, wide-eyed as my heart pauses before reaching the next beat. “Did um . . .” I shake my head and fight myself to get the words out. “Did she pull through?”

He
swallows again. Placing a hand on my shoulder, he leans forward and blinks rapidly. “I’m sorry, but she didn’t. There was a high risk and the lung surgery failed, Mr. Young.”

As he says it, I feel like a bullet has just hit my chest. I feel the cold running from my fingers to my toes. It feels just like it did when my father died . . . maybe even worse this time
because both of them are gone and they’re never coming back.

“I’ll give you some time—”

“Can I see her?” I ask before he backs away.

He hesitates, looking
me over. “Her body isn’t in good condition. I don’t think that would be best.”

My lips press
together as I glare at him but as I think on it, maybe seeing her isn’t so wise. If I see her lying down breathless, I’ll feel the emotions. I don’t want to feel the emotions yet. Right now I still feel numb and feeling numb is better than feeling anything at all. It hasn’t hit me yet.

“You can come by tomorrow for the papers,” the doctor murmurs.
“We’ll be sure to take care of the body.”

He c
laps my shoulder twice before pulling back and walking off. I watch until he’s completely out of sight before turning slowly and pushing against the glass door to get outside. The feeling in my chest hurts like hell. There’s an ache—a hole, and I don’t know how to fill it. My world has literally just shattered.

As soon as I get into the car
I smell her rosey scent. I fight the tears that come along with the memories. The teasing as I hug her. The way Mills and I used to make fun of her purposely just to get her to laugh after Dad died. It won’t be the same without her. It was already hard without my dad. He was my role-model in life. I looked up to him so much. He gave me my start in life and even with my music. After his death it seemed as if everything had crashed and destroyed but this . . . this is so much worse.

Mills is going to hate what I have to tell him but I have no choice. He was more of the momma’s boy than me. He spent more of his time with our mom than our dad so
I know it’s going to kill him.

As I crank the Altima
and head home, the numbness is still intact. I can’t seem to make myself cry or wrap my mind around it. I don’t want to face the truth. She’s gone and now we have no one to call our parents physically. We have nothing to hold onto but the memories.

It’s killing me but I can’t feel again. I can’t
hold onto the freedom I once had before.

E
verything feels completely demolished.

Chapter Three

Natalie

“Are you still waiting around
for Nolan to call?” Harper asks me as she steps out of her bedroom. I glance over my shoulder before running a finger across the screen of my phone. I’ve been waiting all night for Nolan to text me back. I had even given his phone a call but it went straight to his voicemail. I’m beginning to worry about him.

During the past four months we were fi
ne. At one point he thought his mother was going to be more than okay. He called me every day and gave me the details but on this one night when I need him to talk to me most, he isn’t responding.

Harper slouches down on the sofa beside
me but my eyes don’t drift from the movie that’s playing. I’m not sure what movie it is. I just turned the TV on, hoping it would block my worry. It’s obviously been a complete fail.

“Nat?”

I f
inally turn to look at her, taking in the hint of worry behind her glass-blue eyes. “I’m okay, Harp.”

“No you’re not okay.
” Her head falls against my shoulder as she stares at the TV screen with me. “Do you think his mom is alright?”


If we’re being honest, no,” I say through a dry laugh. “If so, he would have called me by now. The surgery was last night and it’s been more than twenty-four hours.”

Harper
sits up to look at me. As she fixes her lips to speak, my phone buzzes and I snatch it up quickly.

Nolan
.

My heart pounds against my chest as I hop from the sofa and answer. “Nolan?”

BOOK: Hard to Hold On
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