Authors: Sandra Edwards
Tags: #contemporary romance
(A Crazy For You Novella)
Copyright © 2013 Sandra Edwards
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from Sandra Edwards.
Published by SE Press
United States of America
Electronic Edition: September, 2013
Digital ISBN: 978-1-934342-19-0
Kindle ASIN: B00ELV01B2
This book is a work of fiction and all characters exist solely in the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Any references to places, events or locales are used in a fictitious manner.
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**SARA’S SONG is a CRAZY FOR YOU novella featuring Sara Bronson, wife of British rock star Kirk Bronson.**
In the fall of 1984 Sara Bronson suffered the worst humiliation ever after her husband publicly claimed to be the father of another woman’s child. With the marriage over, but the press still hounding her nearly two years later, Sara leaves her native England for the States, where she’s accepted a position with a newspaper in Fireside, CA. In this small town, Sara expects to settle into a quiet, no-chance-to-be-recognized-here lifestyle. Then she’s saved, literally, by an oh-so-sexy firefighter.
Clay Darlington has lived his whole life in Fireside, save those few years at USC and his short stint in the NFL. But that was a long time ago. Ten years. He’s put all that behind him, and is now enjoying a quiet life as a firefighter back in his hometown.
Sara and Clay were destined to meet. Will things finally go their way, or will fate once again ruin their chances for happiness?
ara Bronson turned as her husband Kirk said to her, “I’ve done something…something you’re not going to like.” His declaration was accompanied by his guilt-ridden face and it set Sara’s senses on edge.
“What…?” The inquiry tumbled out on her shaky voice.
“I don’t know why I did it. I didn’t mean to.” He defended his mistake, whatever it was.
“What did you do?” Sara asked softly.
“I never wanted to hurt you.” He shook his head. “But this is going to.”
“What did you do?” Sara’s frustration echoed out in her tone.
“They were all talking at once, hassling us, trying to catch us off guard.”
“Kirk, just tell me what happened.”
“Well, you know how much Roxanne doesn’t want Frank to know about her baby…”
Not those two again. It was bad enough that Sara had had to live on the outskirts of Roxanne Simon and Frank Garrett’s insane world for more months than she cared to remember, and all because Kirk had starred in a movie with Roxanne.
Sara’s frustration turned to fear. “What did you do?” she repeated the question, barely above a whisper.
Kirk was trying to say something, but he only managed to get out the first bit of a word she couldn’t make out, and it seemed to grind on his voice. He shook his head and that kickstarted him talking. “He came from out of nowhere and called her by her real name.”
Kirk had been with Roxanne Simon in L.A., for the premiere of their movie
. Sara hadn’t gone because she’d had the flu.
“I told them I was Frankie’s father.”
“Why would you do that?” Sara’s voice delivered the inquiry in a surprisingly calm manner, considering the implication had her heart pounding furiously against her chest.
“Everything happened so quickly.” Kirk stood there, looking like a deer caught in the headlights. “It was the guy who’d called her by her real name. He mentioned Frank Garrett, and asked if he’d seen the baby. I knew she didn’t want him to know, so I just said it.” He gave an impromptu shrug and shook his head. “It came from out of nowhere.”
ix months later
Sara didn’t understand why Kirk had come to the penthouse to deliver the news. She knew the divorce was final. She didn’t need him to tell her that. But there he was, standing just inside the living room door—now her living room. It used to be
. Not anymore.
“There’s no reason why we have to part as enemies,” he said, as if he wanted her to let him off the hook.
Like that was going to happen. “We can’t be friends,” she said with little emotion.
“I never betrayed you.”
She looked up at him, hatred burning in her eyes. “You betrayed me in the worst possible way, Kirk.”
“Someday...” He had this distant, faraway look in his brown eyes. “You’ll get your song, Sara.” He shook his head and reached for the door. “I’m just not the one to sing it to you. I don’t know the words.”
To Sara, that meant he hadn’t really loved her. Not like he’d loved Roxanne Simon—obviously.
Sara’s consolation prize for coming in second wasn’t exactly chopped liver. In the divorce, the courts had awarded Sara half of Kirk’s current and future earnings on all of his music to date.
At the age of twenty-seven, Sara Robbins—formerly Bronson—was starting over. This time, she swore it’d turn out differently. This time, she was going to find
song. One that no one else could take away from her.
ara wasn’t the sort of person to run from her troubles, but after nearly two years of being hounded by the Press over her husband—make that ex-husband’s—very public yet faux indiscretion, leaving England seemed like the only way she’d get any peace.
She’d deserted the last name Bronson in favor of her maiden name Robbins in hopes that she’d actually stand a chance at hiding out in the States for a while. She’d thought about writing a book or something. Then again, Roxanne Simon had done that while she was hiding from Frank Garrett, and look how that turned out. Sara had quickly nixed that idea.
Instead, she’d opted to pull out her cameras and go back to the world of photography. That’s how she’d met Kirk. She’d been hired to do a photo shoot with his band. In light of how that had turned out, she intended to steer clear of high profile photo shoots.
In an effort to keep a low profile, she’d applied for and won a position as a photographer at a newspaper in a sleepy little town tucked away in the Sierra Nevada Mountains called Fireside, California. Not that she needed the money. She’d gotten plenty from Kirk. But she didn’t want to end up as one of those shut-ins that all the neighbors called crazy. She needed to keep busy, to preoccupy herself with something. And taking pictures, well, that’s what she knew.
Settling into Fireside—population 7,792—had been easy. Sara had rented and settled into an apartment that was located about two miles outside the city limits. The six-month lease afforded her plenty of time to figure out if she wanted to hang around Fireside for a while. If she did, in a couple of months she’d start checking out houses. Hopefully, she’d find one that suited her, and she could put down some actual roots.
Fireside was secluded and quiet and tucked away in a thick forest, and quite unlike anything Sara was used to in London. She was scheduled to start work on Monday, and she was going to enjoy the scenic solitude of the daily drive to and from the paper.
She’d been in Fireside three weeks now, and she’d yet to see it rain. She couldn’t ever remember this much time passing in London without rain. But her neighbors had told her she’d see plenty of precipitation in the winter—in the form of snow. Something else she wasn’t used to.
She turned right off Embers Lane, her street, and headed east toward town. A hill, one long stretch, and two curves, and Sara would pass the city limits sign. Near the end of the stretch, she caught sight of a newly placed sign on the right side of the road. Bold colors in red, white, and blue proclaimed “Justin Walraven for Congress”.
After the first curve, another sign, same colors but a different design declared that “A vote for Micki Darlington is a vote for progress”.
Sara shook her head. She was glad she didn’t have the right to vote in this country, and she wondered if voting was as useless here as it was in England. At twenty-nine, Sara, like most young people, wasn’t interested in politics.
As Sara rounded the second curve, a deer darted across the road.
lay Darlington motored the fire department truck along Highway 49, heading back toward Fireside. He’d been in Oakhurst, to the high school down there, overseeing a fire and earthquake drill. No one else at the department had wanted to go, but Clay didn’t mind. He liked being out and about, soaking up the beauty of the countryside that he’d called home for most of his life.
He’d run into Tim Weaver while he was there. Clay and Tim used to play together at USC, back in the day. Tim was the high school’s coach now. The NFL had shown some interest in Tim, but they were hem-hawing and Tim needed a job pronto because his girlfriend was pregnant. In the end, Tim had stayed in Oakhurst and the NFL became a dream that slipped further and further away until it drifted completely out of sight. Tim Jr. was thirteen now, and Tim Sr. had proudly declared that his son was showing some talent for the game.
Even at thirty-five, Clay couldn’t imagine being the father of a teenager. Still, he wondered what would’ve happened if he and Meredith had had a child. Someone else would be raising his child, that’s what. He offered up a silent prayer of thanks for dodging the nightmare of being tied to Meredith forever.
The road was quiet today, not much traffic as Clay neared the outskirts of Fireside. Embers Lane represented the two-mile mark, or thereabouts, to the city limits. He checked his watch. 10:45. Maybe after he got back to the station, he’d volunteer to make a lunch run. Anything to get back out of doors.
Rounding the first of two curves before the city limits sign, Clay spotted the deer lying in the middle of his lane. He braked and rolled off to the shoulder of the road, hitting his emergency lights before stepping out of the truck.
He checked the deer. It was dead. And it needed to be moved before it caused a wreck. Just when he’d decided to get his gloves from the truck and move it, he took particular notice of the skid marks. They were fresh, and ended on the side of the road where he’d parked his truck. He looked at the deer, but quickly decided it’d wait long enough to check the ravine. The vehicle that’d hit the deer had probably moved on down the road, but he needed to make sure that’s what happened. If a car or truck was down in the ravine, somebody was almost certainly hurt. Hopefully, not too badly.
On the other side of the truck, he saw the break in the fledgling trees lining the roadside. Moving in closer, he spotted the car about fifty feet down in the ravine, lying upside down.
He yanked open the passenger door and grabbed the radio mic. After talking to Chip at the station, he tossed the mic onto the seat and scaled the side of the hill like he’d been doing it all his life.
Clay dropped to the ground beside the upside-down sports car and peered inside. A woman. Blonde hair hung in her face, and she looked lifeless. The impact had shattered the windshield and windows. Clay reached inside and checked her neck for a pulse. It was there, and strong. She must’ve been knocked out during the rollover. Clay brushed her hair out of her face, checking for injuries. A few scrapes, nothing serious. Thank goodness. At least she wouldn’t have a disfigured face to contend with, on top of any other injuries she might have sustained.
She moaned and her eyes fluttered open. “What…?” she muttered, taking in her surroundings. “Somebody… help me, please…” Her words, spoken in a British accent, tapered off as her voice faded.
“It’s okay, sweetheart.” He used his charismatic voice, the one he’d quickly learned in college could charm the girls to do his bidding. This time he used it, hoping to keep her from going into shock. “I’m right here with you. I’m not going to let anything happen to you.”
“There was a deer.” She sounded scared. Rightfully so. “Did I hurt it?”
She was worried about the deer. Clay’s heart melted a little. “No. The deer’s fine,” he lied. “What’s your name?”
“Sara,” she said.
“Well, Sara, my name is Clay and I’m with the Fireside Fire and Rescue.” He kept the charm flowing, hoping it would do its job of calming her. She reached up, feeling for him. He wrapped his hand gently around hers. “My buddies are gonna be here real soon and we’re gonna get you out of here.”