Authors: Jessica Wood
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #General, #Contemporary, #Erotica
The Day to Remember
Emma’s Series – Book Two
What happens when the dream is over and reality sets in?
Copyright © 2013 by Jessica Wood
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.
First Edition: August 2013
There are many people that deserve my sincere gratitude. This book would not have been possible without your part in it.
To my family
—my lifeline, thank you for not only tolerating my often-crazy ideas, but embracing them with me and allowing me to be who I am as I started this journey towards something I truly love. Your constant support—both spoken and unspoken—means more than you can imagine.
I want to also thank
everyone who read and loved
A Night to Forget
. Thank you for taking a chance on a brand new author. It was your interest and support that encouraged me to continue writing, and for that, I’m forever grateful.
A special thanks to
J.S. Cooper for being my writing buddy from afar. I’m really excited for us to finally be living in the same city again!
A big t
hanks to my beta readers for reading this book while it was being drafted. Thank you for putting your valuable time and effort into this book, and into me. This was especially true for the following people: Dawn Collins, Maria D., Angie Durnin, Katrina Evans,
Marci Flores, Gillian Hedges, Gloria Herrera, Madelyn Medina-Nunez, Diane Robson, Kathy Shreve, Tanya Skaggs, Sweetdee, and Carrie White. Thank you for clearing your schedule to read my last draft the second you received it. I appreciate your time more than you will know.
Thanks to my
amazing street team for all that you do. You guys are the best! I cannot thank you enough for all of your support and encouragement from the very beginning of my crazy journey as an author.
Table of Contents
who believes that in dreams and in love, there are no impossibilities.
“If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.” – Michel de Montaigne
I found myself standing in the middle of a large, dark clearing surrounded by trees. A brilliant, icy-blue, full moon casted its gentle light down from above. A cool breeze blew through my hair, bringing the sounds of a melody to my ears. I looked around the clearing, searching for the source of the soothing tune.
I found it. From about a hundred yards away, soft lights illuminated from the edge of the forest where the trees were sparse. From where I stood, the lights were like twinkling stars suspended around the trees. There, I saw someone—a man—standing
among those trees. Instinctually, I moved towards him. The thick grass was lush and damp under my feet at every step. Then, as if sensing my approach, the man looked up and saw me. He smiled, and I froze at the sight of his deep-set dimples—the same dimples that had once melted my heart. It was
My heart raced and I was consumed with an irresistible urge to run from this clearing—to run away from this man. But my body would not listen. Instead, I felt myself walking across the clearing, closing the distance between us. As I came closer towards him, I saw thousands of small lights wrapped around the trees and
thousands more dangled down in long, thin strands like falling stars. Brandon stood in the middle of these lights, playing a guitar. His fingers melodically strummed Elvis Presley’s “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” His eyes were full of emotion as he watched me approach him. By the time I was standing in front of him, my eyes were filled with tears that were threatening their way down my face.
At the end of the song, he placed the guitar on the grass and he reached for my hands. “
Hi. You came.” He gave me another smile. “I want to be that fool that rushes in with you, because I can’t help falling in love with you,” he said sincerely as he echoed the lyrics of the song.
I looked at him and felt my heart ache with happiness and sorrow. I blinked and hot tears streamed down my cheeks. “But … but what about her?” The image of the other girl—the stunning girl I saw at the door
the other morning—was all I could think about when I looked at Brandon.
He smiled at me as he held my face with his hands and gently whipped away my tears. “She means nothing to me.
are the one that I want to be with. You are the world I want be in. Forever and always.”
Our eyes met and I felt my anger towards him waver at his words. “I am?”
“But—but why was she there?”
“I don’t know.” His face was full of regret. “She shouldn’t have been there. I’m really sorry you had to meet her.”
I looked at him in confusion. His brown eyes were gentle and sincere, and I knew I believed him. No matter how much pain he had caused me, for some inextricable reason, I believed him. “You broke my heart, Brandon,” I said softly. I looked down to avoid his gaze. I could not bear for him to see the pain that was undoubtedly reflected in my eyes.
“I know, and I’m so sorry. Please believe me when I say I would never intentionally hurt you.”
His hands were warm again
st my face and his thumbs gently stroked my cheeks. I closed my eyes and allowed my face to sink into his touch—to feel the familiar roughness of his hands against my skin. “I want to believe you,” I whispered. I felt torn between what my heart and what my head was telling me.
He pulled me into his warm embrace and I buried my face into the contours of his
hard chest and inhaled his scent. He gently kissed my head and whispered back, “Tell me what I need to do for you to believe me.”
I sighed against the heat of his body. Being with him, in his embrace, was home to me. It felt right and I knew there was nowhere else I wanted to be but here. “Just don’t leave me. Don’t let me go.” I pressed myself against him and felt his arms tighten around me.
“I won’t. And I don’t ever want to.”
I moved my face up to look at him. He looked down at me and I saw the love in his eyes—the same love that I felt in my heart for him. Our lips met in a deep all-consuming kiss, and all my worries melted away like ice cubes in the heat of his touch. My lips eagerly explored his—soft and salty. Our tongues found one another, moving in unison, swirling and sucking.
His hands moved down the small of my back and he pulled me closer against his body, pressing his manhood against my lower stomach. I gasped in surprised by how hard his erection had grown against me.
“Can you feel how much my body responds to you?” His voice was ragged and I heard the need in his voice.
I nodded and gasped again, “As much as my body wants you.” I rubbed myself against him, hungry for his touch and desperate for him to be connected to me.
, suddenly, something from the corner of my eyes caught my attention. Just a few feet away from us stood a full-length mirror in a gold, ornate frame.
Was that there earlier?
I pulled away from Brandon’s embrace and looked up at him, frowning in confusion. “What’s that doing here?”
He didn’t seem to hear my question and pulled me towards him again, kissing my neck as his hands explored my back. I moaned in pleasure, and tried to push my curiosity for the mirror out of my mind.
But I couldn’t. Something compelled me towards the mirror and I found myself moving away from Brandon’s embrace and towards it. I walked the few feet in the direction of the mirror, holding Brandon’s hand and leading him with me.
When I positioned myself in front of the mirror, I gasped in shock at its reflection and dropped Brandon’s hand. There in the mirror, staring back at me, was
—the stunning brunette I saw at the door that morning, the one that had looked at me with disgust, the one whose words shattered my hopes of happiness with Brandon—his
. But, she wasn’t next to me and she wasn’t behind me. She
me. I was her and she was me.
My eyes flew open and I sat straight up in bed. My body was covered in cold sweat. My heart was pounding
violently against my chest as I tried to catch my breath and shake off the images I just saw from my mind. That was another dream—no, not a dream, a nightmare. Brandon had professed his love to
. He desired
was his world. Not me.
It was 6:35 a.m.
and I was wide awake. I have not been able to fall back to sleep since the dream three hours ago. It was Tuesday morning, and it had been two days, 21 hours, and 15 minutes since I last saw Brandon and two days, 10 hours, and 40 minutes since I spoke to him. Yet, for the last three days, he has plagued every second of my thoughts since that heart-wrenching moment Saturday morning when I came face to face with Brandon’s girlfriend. The words, “Brandon’s girlfriend”—a title that had so recently belonged to me—now felt like a sharp, cold dagger to my heart. A wave of excruciating pain washed through me and my heart tightened at the thought of Brandon with someone else.
Despite my best efforts, I
was again pulled back to the memories of that morning. Brandon and I had just made love for the second time and I had never felt as happy as I had that morning in his arms. I thought I had finally found the man that had made me feel whole, alive, and loved. But that happiness was as fleeting as an elusive dream, and within minutes, my world had tumbled down like a stack of playing cards built on lies.
When I saw the shock
, recognition, and guilt in Brandon’s eyes at the sight of the gorgeous brunette at the door, I just knew that she must have been telling the truth and that she meant something important to him.
Everything after that point was a blur. I remembered
grabbing my purse at the end table next to the door and immediately running past the brunette and out of his condo without looking back. I must have been in hysterics when I rushed out because I have flashbacks of me hyperventilating as I huddled in the corner of the elevator floor as it took me down to the lobby. At some point, I must have gotten up from the floor, left Brandon’s building, and found my way back home, because there I was, standing in the doorway of my studio apartment with no idea of how I got home.
My body trembled, yet I knew it wasn’t cold.
I was in a daze, as if in a foggy dream with no understanding of where I was, how I got there, or even who I was. My body felt numb as disbelief seemed to encapsulate me in a cocoon that temporarily sheltered me from the pain that would eventually come.