My life was a fairytale.
He was my everything.
All my dreams had come true.
But what do you do when you find out
that he isn't who you thought he was...
that lives might be lost...
and every truth you believed in,
is twisted and leveled into a lie?
Completely satisfied with her single life, Mel is blindsided when she meets an extremely sexy, accomplished, and irresistible doctor. But unbeknownst to her, there are those who've waited and planned for this moment. When all the truths twist and reveal the lies, it's up to her to save the lives of those she cares most about. Alone again, she's forced to seek help elsewhere. Frantically trying to eliminate the threat, she finds that help in the least likely of places: a tall, tattooed, and pierced stranger.
*Warning* This book contains material suitable for ages 18+.
“So, will you come?”
I really had no idea why she was asking. My sister’s not the type who takes no for an answer anyhow. I closed my eyes and inhaled slowly, trying to avoid telling her what I really thought about her Friday night dinners.
“Ugh, don’t make me beg,” she continued. “You know it’s not the same if you’re not there.”
As much as I loved spending time with her every day, I despised the thought of more time on Friday evening playing cards, eating, and listening to her play matchmaker.
“Okay, fine, but you are not playing Cupid this time!” I started to give her the evil eye as I finished my warning, but I could see the guilty look in her eyes before she had a chance to respond. “Oh, no. No, Joan. Don’t do this to me again!”
“Come on, this one’s different. I swear.”
“Forget it! I’m not going.”
I knew I was being loud as we walked, but she deserved it. Obviously, my kind requests to end this game had gone unnoticed. Besides, after a couple more blocks we’d be out of the business district and surrounded by homes and little driveways. Nobody would notice us then.
“I told you last time, I wasn’t going over there again if all you want to do is play Cupid with your endless supply of men. Where do they come from anyhow? Oh, don’t answer that. Why can’t I just be single? Why do you think I have to have a man to be happy?”
I could feel the heat rolling off my body and it had nothing to do with the ninety-degree weather outside. My ever increasing anger over this repeating pattern my sister and I had every few weeks was growing unbearable.
We continued walking home, but in silence. We only live two miles from our family florist shop in the suburbs of Chicago, but sometimes the walk seemed more like ten. This was one of those days.
It must have been the twentieth time this year that she’d tried to set me up with someone. She, on the other hand, was married, had two kids, and saw my “situation” as a fault. I was perfectly happy being single. I was in no hurry to find “Mr. Right.” And I definitely didn’t want to go on any more blind dates!
“I’m sorry, Mel. You’re right. I’ll tell Paul to tell him we need to cancel because the kids are sick.”
I could hear the defeat in her voice, and for a moment, I was thrilled. Ecstatic even. But then I glanced sideways and saw her shoulders slumped down, her head hanging low, and a damn tear rolling down her cheek!
Once again, I put my desires aside, and thought of my sister and her overly-large heart that continually tried to find a fairy tale ending for my life.
“You involved Paul too? Why? Oh, don’t answer that either.” I paused, trying to gather the strength to give in to her plans. Taking a deep breath, I exhaled slowly and prepared to do something I knew I’d regret. Again.
“I’ll do this one more time. This Friday and then never again!”
Before I finished my demands, she was walking with a bounce in her step and her cheeks looked like they were about to burst from her big smile. I shook my head as I watched her, wondering if she’d been taken acting classes and learned to cry on command to get her way. Her persuasive skills definitely seemed to be improving.
“You have to promise me that this is the end of it. No more after this weekend. I know you mean well, Joan, but I can’t do it.”
Maybe I should make her sign a contract. I highly doubted this would be the last time. Hopefully, it would at least give me a few months before she came up with some scheme like the last time when she “coincidentally” ran her grocery cart into a single man. The same man who just so happened to be “lost” in the store. It was all too convenient that I was with her on that excursion. The guilty look was written all over her face that day too. Yes, a contract sounded like a good idea after all.
“Okay, okay, I promise.” She held her pinky up to shake mine like we’d done since we were little girls.
Grudgingly, I put mine out and connected with her finger. It’s a good thing her pinkies hadn’t turned purple and fallen off yet for all the promises she’d broken.
“But just so you know, Mel, this one’s different. He’s breathtakingly handsome, kind, and…”
At that point I went on autopilot and tuned her out. “Breathtakingly?” Is that actually a word? Maybe that’s like the last three when she described them as, “horribly hot,” “sensually sexy,” or my favorite, “cutestibly cuddly.” If she wasn’t my sister then I wouldn’t care how harsh my words were, or how cruel I was when I turned her down. She may be three years older than me, but for as long as I could remember, I’ve been the one taking care of her. Thank goodness for her husband, Paul, who came along five years ago. He was an angel to step in and take over protecting and guiding her. For the most part. Some things a sister would always be needed for.
“Did you hear me?” she called out from behind me.
Of course, I’d no idea that she’d asked anything and didn’t notice she’d stopped until I was about ten steps ahead of her.
Coming to a stop, I turned to see her with her hands on her hips, foot tapping against the sidewalk.
“Yeah, of course I was listening. Sure.” I quickly replied.
“Really? Then you don’t mind going skinny dipping after dinner?”
“You did not ask me that, Joan. Did you?”
“I knew you weren’t listening!” She sighed in defeat and jogged the few steps to catch up. “Oh, never mind. Just bring something for dessert, okay?”
“No problem. Do you want whipped cream? Or maybe I should bring extra beer in bottles so we can play spin the bottle?” I knew I was being a bit sarcastic, but she got what she wanted, so I wasn’t going to make this easy.
“Funny. Maybe you could make mom’s cherry cheesecake. It’s been so long since either of us has made that, and it’ll go good with dinner.”
“Fine. Cherry cheesecake. Anything else? You know, I have an awesome little piece of lingerie that makes me look just like a naughty little school girl.” I wiggled my eyebrows and shook my butt suggestively.
“Mel, seriously, this one’s different. I promise.” Oh, yes, promises. If only I had her pinky on this one too!
“Okay, Joan, cheesecake. Anything else for real?”
“Nope, just that, and your beautiful smile.”
I looked at her, ready to respond with another snappy reply, but she’d already started to sing and skip ahead of me. If I didn’t know differently, I’d truly believe that I was the older sister and she the younger, wild child. I silently wondered what mom would think if she were still alive? Then again, she’d probably be just as bad and have every available bachelor within fifty miles prescreened, and on a stand-by list.
By the time we reached my house, my shirt was soaking wet with sweat, my feet were aching, and I had a splitting headache from the heat and disagreement. Yet, somehow the happiness radiating from my sister made it all worth it. Yes, I may hate the things she puts me through, but to see her smile like that puts everything into perspective.
Until Paul came along, she rarely smiled. Our parents died in a car accident seven years ago and Joan was the one driving the car. She completely shut off. She didn’t speak for almost a year and practically stopped eating. I took her to endless therapy sessions, worked with different medications to try to find one to help her, and spent countless nights sitting and holding her when the nightmares would keep her awake. So, if spending another Friday evening in the company of a different man made her happy, then that’s exactly what I’d do.
Coming to a stop in front of my driveway, she waited for me to catch up. Her long brown hair was still perfectly styled and she didn’t have a drop of sweat on her anywhere. I was the lucky one who inherited the sweaty-pig gene.
“Hurry up already, it’s hot out here!” She yelled.
“You think? I look like I ran through the last three sprinklers we passed!”
As I walked up to her, she held her arms out for a hug.
“I’m off tomorrow, but I still have to stop in to do payroll.” I had to remind her; otherwise she’d be calling me at seven in the morning wondering where I was. Never mind the schedule on the wall next to the phone, she never read it. “I’m gonna go get a shower and go to bed early tonight. I’m exhausted.”
“Okay, see ya tomorrow.” Once again her huge grin returned as she began walking backward. “And don’t worry, Mel, you’ll see. This one’s worth it!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah…Love you, sis. ‘Night.”
Shaking my head, I walked up the steps to the front door, laughing as I unlock it. Crazy, annoying, lying sister, but I loved her!
About the Author:
A native of the Chicago area, I've traveled the world and had the opportunity to work in refugee camps, medical camps, and in community assistant groups. Although I could write many nonfiction stories about these places, I much prefer fiction and the creativity that comes with it. I currently live in Indiana, among the cows and flat lands filled with row after row of corn. There are many words that could describe me: mom, wife, sister, the 'crazy aunt,' the first to jump into any adventure (while pulling you by the arm and insisting you join me), or even the quiet one that feels for others on a level that few understand. But what you really need to know is why I write.
For me, writing is more than just a window into my head...it's the chance to share things I've seen, I've dreamt, and things I long for with fellow readers. It's nothing short of magical to bring that to life for others to experience it with me!
I tend to write more in the romantic genre, but also adventure into paranormal, thrillers, and Sci-fi. Regardless of what it is, there's always some humor involved. Life is too serious, books and stories allow us an escape. Bringing a smile or laughter to someone's day is one of the best things I can do in life. Creating the world for them to feel that happiness while they explore and adventure it with me, that is simply an honor and a joy!
I'm currently working on a Sci-Fi, young adult book that is challenging my ability to pull the many ideas and pictures from my mind and put them into words so the reader can fully see, feel, and even smell what it's like to venture into another dimension and fight for your way back home. Tentative publication date is December 8, 2016. In the meantime, please enjoy my first book, Twisted Truths & Leveled Lies, in the romantic/suspense genre. It's an intense book that will keep you flipping page after page, while falling in love with the characters!