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Authors: K. Renee

Lyndley (6 page)

BOOK: Lyndley
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I hear my phone beep, breaking me out of my daydream. Looking at the screen, I see Amie's name.

Amie:
Hey, girl. Wanna go out for drinks?

Me:
I can't. I'm in Texas.

Amie:
You're what?! Are you serious?! What about your apartment and Tyler?

I didn't tell any of my friends I was leaving New York because I didn't want them to look at me with pity.
 

Me:
Yeah, I'm serious. Everything in Tyler's name was seized and he was arrested. I had nowhere to go, so I came home.
 

Amie:
OMG! He got arrested? Why?

Me:
Embezzlement and insider trading.
 

Amie:
WTF! Why aren't you standing by your man?

Me:
He blamed everything on me, but I didn't do anything wrong.
 

Amie:
Oh girl, I'm sorry. I love you. If you need me to come out for a few days, I can.
 

Me:
I'd like that, but only if you have some free time.

We text for a while, making plans for her to come visit. I think it will be great to get a few days of fun with Amie.
 

Lying on my bed, I think about all the things I need to do. First, I need a job. I don't want to have to rely on my parents the rest of my life.
 

I think about texting Jax, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to talk to me right now, so I send him a text with only three words.

Me:
Gracilyn Marie Harper.

Turning off my phone, I plug it in to charge, then try to fall asleep.

The next morning, I make my way into the kitchen and see that it's empty. I wonder where my parents went. Once I finish making myself breakfast, I sit at the kitchen table and think of my next move…looking for a job. Once I finish, I clean up my mess and head to the shower, then get dressed and make my way out of the house.

Walking into the diner, I ask Stu if he has any openings. “For you, Lyndley, I will make some room,” he states with a grin.

"Thank you so much, Stu! I promise to be the best waitress you have." I hug him.
 

"We are just glad you are home, Lyn. Your momma and daddy really missed you.”

I nod and try to keep the tears at bay. I know I made a lot of mistakes over the years, but not visiting them was probably the worst. I was always afraid what they would think if they knew the truth about the baby, the marriage, and Tyler.
 

Sometimes I feel like an idiot for keeping them in the dark all these years. They would have only done what they could to help me, just like I would have done with own my daughter.
 

I make my way down to the creek, hoping to get away from things for a while. As I walk down the steep hill, I slip and tumble the rest of the way. When I slam into a rock, I feel pain radiate through my leg. When I finally come to a stop, I grab my phone, wincing, and try to call my mom, but no one answers.
 

When I try to stand up, I can't put any pressure on it.
Shit. How the hell am I going to get out of here
? Taking a deep breath, I do the only thing I can. I call Jax. Before the voicemail has a chance to pick up, Tate answers.

"Hey, Lynnie. I'm not sure he wants to talk to you right now. He’s in a bad way,” he slowly states.

"I know he probably hates me right now, but I need help. My parents aren't answering and I have no one else to call. Can you please come help me?"
 

"What’s wrong?” he asks curiously.
 

"I think I broke my leg or something. I fell down the steep hill by the creek. I can't put pressure on it and I can't get back up on my own. Please…,” I beg.

"Shit,” he mutters. "Okay. He’s coming out of the bathroom. I'll let him know."
 

"Please hurry, Tate,” I groan, hanging up. Jax is going to be mad. He probably has a million better things to do than help me.
 

I try to move, but I just end up getting muddy. Wiping my leg off the best I can, I see the bruise already forming. I have a bump the size of a softball, and the bruise is even bigger. I touch it softly and wince at the pain. It's not the worse pain I've ever had, but it’s still pretty bad.
 

Sighing, I sit and wait for the cavalry to show up.

Chapter Six

After about fifteen minutes, I hear voices. One sounds like Tate, but I can't make out the other one. Looking up, I wait. When I see his face, I instantly feel better. He's wearing his cowboy boots, a pair of worn jeans, and a black t-shirt that perfectly shows all his muscles. My mouth waters at the sight of him.
 

Mentally smacking myself, I try to get myself in check. I need to leave him alone. After today, I will wait for him to decide when he's ready to talk to me.
 

"Lynnie,” he says. I watch his muscles ripple as he makes his way down the embankment. He slides a bit when he gets near me and I brace myself for him to fall, but it never happens. Instead, he catches himself and slowly inches to me. "Are you okay?" he asks, looking unsure.
 

"I can't put pressure on my leg. I hit it on a rock."
 

He squats down beside me and gently cleans the mud off my leg. "Shit, Lynnie. You never do anything half-assed, do you?” I don’t think that’s a compliment and, to be honest, it stings a little. I turn my head, trying to hide my embarrassment. He grabs my face with his forefinger and thumb, forcing me to look at him. "I didn’t mean anything by it." I nod and look away again.
 

He sighs. "Come on. Let’s get you out of here. Wrap your arms around my neck.” Without saying anything, I do as he says and let him pick me up. The moment his skin touches mine, I feel the familiar jolt of electricity that is still between us.
 

"You okay, Lyn?" he whispers.
 

"Yeah,” I say, blushing.
How do you tell your estranged husband you still feel sparks when you touch
?

He looks at me and smirks. "Lynnie, I know you better than that. Tell me." As we start to climb up the hill, I look at him.
 

"I just still feel the spark when we touch. I know it's stupid–”
 

"No, Lyn. I feel it, too."

His statement knocks the breath out of me. He feels them, too? Maybe I'm not as crazy as I think.
 

He continues to walk us up the hill, sliding a few times. At one point, we almost go tumbling down the hill again. By the time we get close enough to the top, Tate grabs Jax’s hand, helping us up.
 

"Hey, Lynd. You okay?" Tate asks with an odd expression, almost like he doesn't know whether or not to be nice to me.
 

"Yes. Thank you for helping,” I state quietly. He just nods and hands Jax a bottle of water. He takes it and pours some over my leg, gently cleaning the mud off the huge lump on the side of my shin. Every time his fingers touch it, I want to cry.
 

"Shit, Lyn. This looks bad,” he murmurs, and I wince as he runs his hand over the bump. "Sorry, babe,” he says. "Come on. Let’s go get you cleaned up." I nod and he picks me back up, walking me to his truck.
 

"Jax, no! I'm muddy!" I yelp.
 

He just laughs and sets me on the front seat. "I can clean the truck. It's fine."
 

Once Jax and Tate get in, the atmosphere is really tense. I can tell that something is bothering Tate, but he doesn't say anything. Finally breaking the tension, I say, "Tate, it’s obvious you know what I kept from Jax, so why don't you just say what you want to say. I'm a big girl. I can handle it." I look over at Jax, who is looking in the rearview mirror at Tate.

"What I don't get is why you didn't tell Jax about having a daughter. You leaving was selfish enough. Why would you do that to him?” he sneers.
 

I try not to take offense. Before I can say anything, Jax looks at me. "Lynnie, you don't have to explain yourself to him.” He looks back in the rearview mirror. “Don't be such an asshole, Tate."

“It’s okay, Jax.” I turn and face Tate. "I know you may never understand why I did it, but I did it because I thought it was the right thing to do at the time. The day Jax told me he was staying because his father needed him, I knew things weren't going to be the same. I couldn't stay. I knew I would come back eventually, but I never counted on getting pregnant and losing her. I was ashamed that I couldn't even bring a baby into this world, and I was too young to make the right decision on my own. I regret that I never told Jax. He was right when he told me I am the reason he missed out on his daughter’s life, but there is nothing I can do to change that."

Tears start falling down my face. "I couldn't get out of bed for months. I was so angry, I shut myself off from everyone and everything. After a few months, my roommate forced me to go to group counseling. After a while, I was able to live a little again."

By the time I finish, we have pulled up in front of Jax’s house. Tate gets out of the truck and slams the door, walking into the house. Jax gets out of the truck, making his way to my side and opens the door. “Lyndley, you don’t owe Tate anything,” he whispers, staring into my eyes.
 

Licking my lips, I can’t help but feel the fire burn like it always has for him. “I know. Part of that was for your benefit, too. I know you feel like I kept it from you on purpose, but I didn’t. I just didn’t know how to come to terms with what happened, and I couldn’t bear the thought of having to tell you. I love you way too much to ever let you go through something like that.”
 

I take a deep breath, he leans his forehead on mine. “I am pissed as fuck at you, Lynnie, but I still love you way too much to hate you.”
 

Sighing, his shoulders drop. I can see how much this is affecting him. “Come on. Let’s go clean you off so we can get a better look at your leg.”
 

He picks me up and carries me into the house. I can see the anger in Tate’s expression as we walk by him, but Jax just ignores it. “Jax, I’m gonna go start on the chores. Come find me when you’re ready to work,” he sneers, walking out the door.

“Ignore him,” Jax says with a frown.
 

As he walks me into the bathroom, I start to get nervous. He’s going to insist that I shower or something, but I have no clean clothes. He sets me on the tub and starts the water, testing the temperature before plugging up the bath. Oh, great. He hasn’t seen me completely naked since I was eighteen, and I definitely don’t have the same body I did back then.

BOOK: Lyndley
7.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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