Authors: Heather London
Tags: #Contemporary romance
Fall From Love
Copyright © 2013
Cover design by
Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations
reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted without
permission from the author. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of
copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.
is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real
locales are used factiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are
the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events
or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Thank you for giving me a life full of adventure and
Love you, always.
Tonight was supposed to be special. It was
supposed to be a night to remember and it was, just not in the way I imagined
it would be. Knowing what I know now, I would’ve done anything in the world for
him not to walk out the door.
“Come on, Holly, don’t give me that look,” Adam
says, looking away from me and back towards the clothes scattered across the
bed. “You know how that look makes me feel.”
Of course, I knew exactly how the look made him
feel. Why else would I be doing it? But as hard as I try, I’m not able to wash
the frown from my face. In all honesty, I hate sulking. It isn’t my usual
behavior and I actually feel pathetic for doing it, but with Adam, it seems to
always work… until tonight that is.
He sighs in frustration and shoves a sweatshirt
into his backpack. “I have to do this, okay. I signed up to be a part of the
rescue team so I have to follow through with it.” His voice holds mostly guilt,
but I also sense some irritation in there as well. I didn’t want to make him
mad; I just want him to feel a little sad about our ruined evening. He’s not
even acting like it’s bothering him that much.
He had just completed his training to be a part of
a volunteer mountain rescue team and I know he’s really excited about his first
rescue. When he first told me about signing up, he said that he
would be on call one weekend or so a month and I would hardly notice he was
gone. If this was any other night, I wouldn’t have minded so much, but since
him leaving happened to fall on our two year anniversary, I couldn’t help being
I sigh, realizing that I should quit the pity
party I’m giving myself and spend the last few minutes we have together not
fighting. Making my way across the room, I wrap my arms around his waist and
rest my head on his back. “I’m sorry,” I tell him. “I just wanted this night to
He turns around slowly, careful not to break the
hold I have on him, and grabs my chin, tipping it up and forcing me to look at
him. “I promise I will make it up to you. They say they really need me. They’re
one man short. Someone from the team had to cancel last minute, so my name was
up.” He finishes his explanation with a kiss on the tip of my nose.
“Fine. You’re off the hook for now, but I will
hold you to making it up to me. I’m talking massage, champagne, maybe even a
candlelit bubble bath… possibly all at once.” I smile and he rolls his eyes.
Adam is the ultimate man’s man. He loves anything
that involves danger or getting dirty. He hates anything romantic. That’s why
I’m so disappointed that the dinner he had planned for us, actually slaved over
all day, is canceled.
Sighing heavily, I gaze out his bedroom door and
see the candles still burning and the rose petals still scattered across the
hardwood floor. He had gotten the phone call from someone on the rescue team
just a few minutes after I arrived. It had been just enough time for me to hug
and kiss him, thanking him for being so sweet and romantic. Now, instead of
eating the dinner that he said he had spent the day preparing and probably
making passionate love afterward, I would spend the rest of the night with my
head buried in a book. Very romantic.
Adam finishes packing his backpack, places it by
the front door, and then walks back over to me. His arms wrap around my waist
as he gently kisses my neck. “I should be back before you wake up,” he says in
between kisses. “They said this rescue should only be eight hours round trip,
so, if all goes well, I will be back before the sun rises.”
“Be careful up there, okay?” I hug him tighter.
“I’ll be extra careful, knowing you’re worrying
enough for the both of us.” He pulls back, looking me in the eyes. “You really
shouldn’t worry, though, everything is gonna be fine.”
“Just come back to me soon.” I force myself to
smile and fight back the awful feeling I have in the pit of my stomach.
“I’ll be back before you open those beautiful
green eyes.” He kisses me once more, and then he’s gone.
The rest of the evening I feast on the dinner he
had made for us. He insisted that I eat it and not let it all go to waste. He
had cooked salmon and topped it with a garlic cream sauce. There was a side
dish of some fancy looking rice and a vegetable medley. It was all very fancy
not Adam. I smile just picturing him cooking all day and wonder
how many times he cussed in the process.
After a couple of hours of studying I slam my book
shut, turn off the light, and bury myself under the covers. Glancing at the
clock, I see that it’s almost two in the morning. When I finally close my eyes,
I look forward to Adam coming back home and snuggling into the bed behind me.
Sometime in the middle of the night I’m woken up
by a loud, annoying ringing sound; not a warm body pressing up against mine
like I hoped it would be.
Opening my eyes, I focus and glance around the
dark room, quickly remembering that I’m at Adam’s place and not my apartment.
My first thought is that the annoying sound is an alarm clock, but the sound
begins to sound vaguely familiar and then I realize that it’s my cell phone
I stumble around the dark room and see the glow
from the dresser in front of me.
“Hello,” I answer, squinting my eyes at the clock
in front of me, seeing that it’s four twenty-seven in the morning.
“Is this Holly? Holly Treadwell?” The man’s voice
on the other end is urgent and serious.
Instantly, my heart starts to hammer against my
chest. I’m not sure why, but images of my family run across my mind. Has
something happened to my mom? Dad? Brother? Even through my foggy
just-woke-up-mind, I know something is wrong. There is no other explanation for
a strange man calling… especially at this time. A horrible pain starts in the
pit of my stomach and with my free hand, I grip the dresser in front of me,
expecting the worst.
“Yes, this is Holly.”
“Holly, there’s been an accident,” the urgent
voice comes back on the line. He pauses for a few seconds and the silence is so
painful, I feel like I’m being sliced in two. “It’s Adam. He’s being air lifted
to St. Anthony’s hospital. I think you should head over there as soon as
I hold the phone to my ear and, even though I
heard everything that the man has just said, it almost feels like I’m
dreaming... or maybe it’s that I want to be dreaming.
“Holly.” The man’s voice is louder now. “Did you
hear what I just said? You need to get to St. Anthony’s as soon as you can.”
Somehow, I snap myself out of the daze I’m in.
“Yeah, I heard you. I—I’ll be there.”
I put the phone down on the dresser and stumble
backwards, falling onto the bed, feeling as though my knees are about to give
out beneath me.
This isn’t happening; this can’t be happening.
I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard
way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear
beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking
the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen
next. Delicious ambiguity.
~ Gilda Radner
“Come on, Holly.
I’ll beg if I have to,” Jenna tilts her head at me, pleading. I see the
desperation and determination in her eyes and I wait for the guilt to hit me,
the desire to go out and have fun, but it never comes. I feel absolutely
“Just give it up,
Jenna. There’s nothing you can say or do that will convince me to change my
Her shoulders slump
over in defeat. “Nothing? You’re gonna make me go alone? I’m sure Becca will be
there. You know how she annoys the shit outta me.”
“Then don’t go,” I
start back next week. One last weekend to have a little fun before our senior
When I don’t
respond to her, she juts out her lower lip, giving me her best pouty face.
Normally, that face would make me do anything she wants, but that was back when
I actually cared if I hurt her feelings. A few months ago, I would’ve sworn
that face could’ve melted the blackest of hearts, but as I sit here and stare
at her, it does nothing to me.
“It’s open mic
night at Sterling’s... you love open mic night,” she adds, trying her best to
My heart tweaks a
little and I almost feel relieved, knowing that there still may be some life
left in it after all. The memories and happy times I’ve had at Sterling’s flash
through my mind. The energy from the crowd, the total feeling of freedom I felt
when I sang up on stage, the laughing, the having fun—enjoying life. I close my
eyes and try to shut the memories out, not wanting to travel down memory lane.
to love open mic night at Sterling’s.
answering her, I collapse down on the couch, grab the blanket that’s laying on
top of it and pull it up to my chin.
“How about we have
a girl’s night in then?” She knows she’s losing me and the desperation in her
voice is starting to sound like whining. “We could order Chinese, watch some
movies, and talk.”
I know what she’s
trying to do. She doesn’t want to eat Chinese or watch movies and she doesn’t
to talk, she wants
to talk. Why couldn’t she just
leave me alone?
“No, you go and
have fun.” I turn on the TV, getting more comfortable on the couch. It’s not
that I have a favorite show to catch up on or anything, I just like the noise…
anything to drown out the silence.
“But I won’t have
fun if I know you’re here being miserable. Please, you’ll have fun, I promise.”
I sigh, realizing
that she isn’t going to give up easily tonight. I blink away from the T.V. and
look over at her. Again, I wait for the guilt to hit me. I wait for my heart to
feel bad at the way I’m treating her, but nothing comes. Without saying a word,
I look back towards the T.V. and begin to flip through the channels, thinking
that maybe if I just ignore her, she’ll go away.
I don’t answer or
look at her again. After a few seconds of silence, I can feel the tension
between us build.
“So you’re just
going to ignore me?”
I can sense the
irritation in her voice, but it’s still not enough to get me to respond.
“So, this is what
it’s come to, then?” The tone in her voice has escalated to the next level. We
have had this same argument before and I know that an explosion is just around
the corner. Then, she will storm off and leave me alone.