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Authors: Audrey Carlan

Justice Falling

BOOK: Justice Falling
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Justice Falling

by Audrey Carlan

 

 

Text copyright © 2014 by Audrey Carlan

 

ISBN Electronic

ISBN-10: 0-9915351-6-2

ISBN-13: 978-0-9915351-6-3

 

 

Print ISBN

ISBN-10: 0991535170

ISBN-13: 978-0-9915351-7-0

 

All Rights Reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any printed or electronic format without expressed permission by the author.

Dedication

 

Sarah Saunders

 

You single handedly made me a better writer. What an incredible gift to an author.

I wanted to impress you and in the end I impressed myself. Something I know you would applaud, because that’s the type of person you are. I am so honored to have a friend and critique partner that’s not only epically gifted, but strong, talented, and loving. This novel is for you.

 

Namaste

 

 

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Epilogue

For the Readers

Excerpt from Trinity Trilogy Book 1

Acknowledgements

Bad Ass Blogs & Authors

Audrey Carlan Bio

Books and Coming Soon by Audrey Carlan

 

 

Over excessive reaction or a reaction that doesn’t make sense
.

Chapter 1

 

 

Ten thousand dollars. That’s how much my silence cost me. In my defense, I had no choice. Eighteen. Pregnant. No money. No family. No concrete place to live. I did what I had to do.

When it happened, I thought it a joke. Who gets a woman pregnant, asks her to abort their child and when she won’t, buys you off? One person did, and I was the messed up girl who let him. For me and for the life I carried inside of me, it had been my only option.

Thinking back, I should have pushed harder, made him take responsibility. Even though my life was hard now and I barely had enough to pinch two pennies together, Tanner was worth it all. In spades. The room started to change as I thought back to that day four years ago, when I approached my son’s father for the last time.

 

“You’re nothing but a two-bit whore. I should have known the sweet and innocent thing was just an act. You are a gold-digger. I’ll bet you planned this to trap me!” he roared.

“I … I d-didn’t” The words left my lips on a choked sob. I tried to reach for his arm, anything to hold onto the man I thought I loved. He shucked off my advance as if revolted. His face held in a menacing scowl.

“Oh please. The moment we fucked you got pregnant? I’ve been with my wife for five years. Five. Fucking. Years! We’ve never so much as had a pregnancy scare.”

Wife. He had a wife? That one word rang like a gong in my ears, deafening, blocking out all sound. Finally his words came back, “You and I fucked a handful of times, and you get pregnant?” He shook his head and scowled. “It’s probably not even mine!”

“This is your child! You’re the only one, Tyler, I’d never be unfaithful. I was a virgin!”

“Well not anymore, sweet cheeks. Now you’re going to take that tight ass right down to the clinic and purchase an abortion. Here’s the money.” He pulled out a handful of hundreds.

“I’m not killing our baby, Tyler. Let’s be reasonable. We can work through this,” I pleaded, tears streaming down my face, wetting my shirt. I placed my hand over my abdomen protectively. He scanned me with a grimace, noticing the same pair of jeans I wore every Friday, the one pair of shoes I owned scuffed even after I scrubbed them clean in the hotel bathroom’s sink.

“Are you fucking insane? You must be.” He flicked his index finger hard against my temple as if knocking on a door. I winced, realizing in that moment that he was not the person I thought he was. How could I have been so stupid? Naïve. His eyes blazed with white hot fire. I stood still, trying to be strong though I was petrified. “Get it through your stupid-fucking-little-itty-bitty-brain. I do not want you. I do not want your child. You will get rid of it.”

“I will not!” I held my chin stiff as he gripped it painfully. I stared into his blue eyes. They were squinted together so tight I no longer was able to see the ones I so loved. Now they were glacial, cold, with intent to harm.

“I’m not going to take care of this bastard child or you.” He walked over to his desk, opened a drawer, and pulled out an old-fashioned cash box. He counted out ten stacks of crisp, one hundred dollar bills. He piled them up, grabbed my hand, and slammed them into my palm so hard I stepped back, afraid he might do something and physically hurt me. After my last foster parent, I was used to taking a beating, but now that I was pregnant I’d do anything to avoid one.

“You’ll take this money and get rid of it. I don’t care what you do or where you go. This is all you’re ever going to get out of me. Do you understand, you fuckwit?”

I couldn’t believe his response. It was my nightmare come true. I gripped the money tight, holding onto it as if it were a talisman, a way out of this hell. I didn’t know what I was going to do beyond this point, but I had to figure it out and fast. I stared at the ground and nodded.

This was it. My path chosen in the blink of an eye. I was going to be a single mother.

 

A shudder rippled through me as I sat at my beautiful, solid oak desk at the front of Jensen Construction. I had been working here for the past three months, a quasi-receptionist/secretary/personal assistant to Hank Jensen.

The job was a dream come true. More than that actually. It was everything. My ticket out of poverty. Well, almost. I still had the
other
job. I wasn’t proud of my after hour’s employment. Would never tell Tanner I’d done it, and would lie through my teeth if he, or anyone for that matter, found out about it. Only my roommate Jin knew, and that’s because she did it too.

Sometimes you had to do things you wouldn’t ever see yourself doing. Drastic measures had to be taken when you were providing for a life. My four year old son, Tanner, was worth every bit of hell I had to go through to take care of him. He was my world, and I’d do anything necessary to make sure he had a good life. Growing up, I’d been bounced around from foster home to foster home for as long as I could remember. Some were okay, most of them were unbearable. Once I turned eighteen, I took what little savings I’d been able to scrounge up and left New Jersey behind for the Big Apple.

I didn’t know what I’d do when I got there. It wasn’t as if I had any special talents, but I figured I’d work retail, go to school, and become a school teacher. It was my long-term dream. Still is. Though of course meeting Tyler Thornton, and being swept off my feet by a rich loser hadn’t been part of the plan. Then again, getting pregnant at eighteen wasn’t planned either. The pregnancy definitely halted my immediate goals of jumping right into college after high school.

That first year I worked at a diner. Back-breaking, pain-inducing manual labor, but I never complained. The owners kept me on even when I was ready to pop, knowing I needed the money. It’s where I met my roommate Jin. I was living out of a crummy hotel, and she had a place and needed a roommate. I was a few months pregnant at the time, and knew I had to save every dime of that ten grand for my child. Turned out she’d already had a one-year-old of her own. Together, we shared a crummy apartment on a dingy side of town, worked like dogs for scraps and raised our children as one happy family unit. It was the best decision of my life. Jin and I get along famously, and our children treat each other like brothers. It’s the family I’ve never had.

Our apartment wasn’t much, but we kept it clean, warm, and stuffed with food for the boys. Her son, Zach, was a five-year-old fireball, where my Tan Man was an angel child. Polar opposites those two, but the best of friends, just like Jin and me. They say God only gives you what you can handle. I don’t know if that statement bears any truth, but as far as children go, I definitely had the best.

“Hey Sweetie, do you have that purchase order from Bill’s Lumber?” My boss knocked his knuckles on my desk, the sound unusually loud, due to his size. The man was huge. All muscle and man in a hunky cowboy package. Even his southern drawl made my belly jump a time or two.

“Who are you calling, Sweetie?” An agitated voice from behind him proclaimed as the door opened and closed. I knew that voice. Without turning around, my boss, Mr. Hunky Hank Jensen himself, grinned wide and shuffled a paw through his sandy brown hair shaking his head.

“Angel,” he said wistfully, then waggled his eyebrows at me. I beamed a smile back at him knowing he was about to get an earful.

God, these two made me believe true love existed. I had seen it every day for the last three months. Hank spun on his heel and there she was. Hip cocked to one side, long blond hair flowing like a golden wave over her shoulder. She had on a sexy form-fitting siren red dress that hugged every curve. Most specifically, the huge basketball-sized baby bump. Aspen Jensen was a knock-out. Pregnant or not, she’d make any man drop to their knees and worship at her feet, which is exactly what Hank did. First he fawned over his wife, then he got down on his knees and rubbed and kissed the bump. It made me wish I had a man who loved me and Tanner that way.

“How’s my baby girl doin’? You comfy in there, Darlin?” he asked Aspen’s stomach sweetly. She allowed his overt public display, running her fingers through his hair and smiling as only a woman completely in love would do, regardless of who was watching them.

“She’s good, Stud. Rolling around like crazy, but that’s to be expected.”

“What week are we in?” I asked, knowing what was coming next.

Hanks eyes lit up as he covered his wife’s belly with both hands affectionately. “We’re now a head of lettuce, Baby,” he said happily looking up at Aspen. “Twenty six weeks and counting. Whoa Nelly!” Hank spoke to his child. “You be nice to your Mama now. Don’t be kickin’ too hard. ” He stood, shook his head, and pulled his wife in for a kiss.

It boggled the mind how hands-on my boss was with his wife. He did not care who was around or what they were doing. He was constantly touching her, kissing her, and overall being the most doting husband I’d ever seen. It was pretty storybook. It didn’t seem possible that a couple so different in every way could be so perfect for one another. For them it worked. I’d never been so lucky, but I had Tanner and he was all I needed to be happy.

“How are you feeling Mrs. Jensen?” I asked as Hank stood, rubbed her stomach and held his wife close.

“Sleep deprived, need to use the restroom every five minutes, hungry and then stuffed. It’s all encompassing.”

“That’s because you’re growing the world’s most perfect little girl in there!” Hank palmed her belly again. I had to give it to Aspen. Hank couldn’t keep his hands off her and she handled it like it was the norm. I couldn’t imagine a man putting his hands all over me all the time. It made me claustrophobic thinking about it. Then again, if the man looked as good as her husband I might have a change of heart.

“Have you guys picked out any names?”

They both nodded and smiled. “We have, but we’re keeping it a secret. We don’t want anyone to sway our decision. I hope you understand.” Aspen rubbed her hand over her belly.

“Oh I understand perfectly. When I was preg … “ both their eyes widened, and I realized what I’d almost admitted to. “Um, what I meant was, I understand the need to be private.” Aspen squinted, and tilted her head to the side to assess me. Those crystal-blue eyes were sharp, the kind that saw everything, especially when you didn’t want them to. That’s probably why she was a ga-zillionaire, and owned the entire skyscraper Jensen Construction was housed in.

“Cami, do you have children?” Aspen asked point blank. Hank’s eyes widened in surprise at the question. I know my face turned completely white. I could feel it going numb around the edges. Before I answered, Oliver, Aspen’s personal assistant and BFF, rushed in, saving the day, just like he did the day he found me in that diner three months ago and told me he was going to change my life. Oliver’s pointed pristine features were set in a scowl, and his manicured hands in fists. I was pretty sure I had never seen him so flustered.

BOOK: Justice Falling
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