Authors: L. D. Davis
|Worthy of Redemption|
|Accidentally on Purpose |
|L. D. Davis|
|L.D. Davis (2013)|
After his devastating actions in Accidentally On Purpose, Kyle Sterling is trying to move on. He has lost the love of his life and he does not believe he is worthy of ever being loved again.
Lily Whitman has been devastated by the ultimate betrayal and later tragedy hits her heart full force. She doubts she will ever be able to give her heart to anyone again. She hides her own demons behind a wall of colorful hair, piercings, tattoos and a style and attitude that is all her own.
Kyle and Lily find themselves thrown together when Lily takes a position at Sterling Corporation after her place of employment burned to the ground. Lily is the complete opposite of the type of woman that Kyle has ever had any interest in. Lily is rough around the edges and challenges Kyle at every step. Despite his dick-like disposition and violent past, Lily fights to prove to Kyle that he is worthy – of being loved, and worthy of redemption, but Kyle is afraid of repeating history and he can’t let go of his past…And maybe a very important someone from his past isn’t ready to let go yet either….
Worthy of Redemption
Accidentally on Purpose
New Year’s Day. I wake up in a rehab centre in Maine. I don't remember how I got here, but I have a feeling of dread in my gut. The last thing I vividly remember is going back to the company New Year’s party after Emmy sped off. I remember feeling severely uneasy, unfocused, and stressed out. I wanted to leave and go after Em, but as usual, my dad politely bullied me into staying. It was polite because we were in a room full of people. Jess tried to lay a guilt trip by using our fake engagement, but I wasn’t having it. I didn’t want her. The one I wanted had just driven away.
"You're not going an
ywhere," my dad had snapped after catching me outside asking a valet for my car.
"The hell I am," I grumbled back.
"There is business to be done in there. Hiroaki Yotamoto's flight leaves at noon. You have to go kiss his ass
. I'm sure Venner will move faster if he knows Yotamoto was in."
"Why don't you go kiss his ass, Walter
is a big guy, over six feet of bulky muscle and some extra padding. When he throws a punch, there's nothing playful or sissy-like about it. I was caught off guard when his fist connected with my skull. I stumbled back several steps, but I wasn’t surprised really. I didn’t fight back, but I tried to look unaffected even though my head was splitting. I couldn’t show him any weakness, but fighting him could have dire consequences for my mother.
“I’m not going to kiss his
ass, you little worthless shit, because I put you in charge of this operation," he whispered roughly in my ear as he painfully gripped my shoulder. "You're going to do whatever the hell I tell you to. I raised you and cared for you, you scumbag, while your mother was going out of her fucking mind. If you don't do what the fuck I tell you when I tell you, I'll take everything from you and I'll take her away and break her. Are we clear?"
"Crystal," I snarled, shoving his dirty hands off of me.
"Now get back inside, play the doting fiancé and get Yotamoto on board."
When my car arrived at the curb, I looked at it, weighing my decision. I could jump in the car and leave everything and lose everything; or I could do
what the bastard told me to do. If I left, he would fire me from Sterling Corp, and I wasn’t sure I had done enough yet to save the thousands of jobs that were in danger of disappearing. Furthermore, it would be very difficult to save my mother from his wrath, because he would convince her that I was the problem. Part of me was also hoping to just once have my dad on my good side and appreciate me not just as a business man, but as a son.
As I once again turned my back on the woman I loved and marched back inside to the party to swoon both Yotamoto and Jessyca, I felt my body vibrating with anger and angst. Walt breathing down my neck wasn't making me any less stressed. I downed several drinks to try to numb my feelings and ease my thoughts away from Emmy.
It wasn’t working. Reluctantly, I excused myself and locked myself into a bathroom stall to get high, even after I had promised Em I wouldn’t do it again.
I remember leaving t
he bathroom and shaking hands with and bowing to the Japanese businessman as he made his departure. I remember getting in my car again, fighting with Jess as I dropped her off, and I remember racing to Em's.
After letting myself
in, I could hear her upstairs moving around. I knew in my heart she was really going to leave and it was too much to bear. I silently moved into the kitchen, drank Tequila straight from the bottle and took another hit.
I remember hearing the small bumping sound of something falling to the floor, reminding me that she was packing to get away from me. I remember the feeling of my hands flexing and closing into fists. Flex. Fists. Flex. Fists. I remember moving down the hall towards the stairs, and I remember nothing else until I woke up in rehab.
I look down at my hands because they hurt. I stare at the bruised and scraped knuckles as understanding begins to wash over me.
“I didn’t,” I say aloud to myself. “I wouldn’t have.”
But, did I? Was it possible? Even to
I leap off of the bed, ready to rush out of the room to ask someone to fill me the fuck in, but a folded piece of paper on the desk catches my attention, as it was meant to do. My name is written in large letters on the front in
my dad’s handwriting. With my heart beating hard in my chest and my lungs barely able to take in the air I needed, I picked up the note and opened it.
Only one sentence was written, but it is enough for me to fully understand my injured fists. It is enough to make me, a full grown
man, cry like a little boy.
“You broke your toy.”
I broke Emmy.
A year and a half ago…
“I don’t know when I’ll be back,” Emmy said in a hoarse, nearly unrecogniz
able voice. “Honestly, it could be a very long time. You can handle
I didn’t want to be the one to break it to her that I had been “handling” the bar since she hired me. I did all of the hiring and firing and ordering and organizing. I made sure everyone got
paid; I made sure the business was always up to code and I fixed anything that needed fixing. Emmy was a good boss, but she was an owner in name only.
“Of course I can handle it,” I said. “If I need anything –”
“If you need anything, call Mayson,” she said quickly. “I’ll call periodically to see how things are going and sign whatever paperwork I have to through fax and FedEx, but you can talk to Mayson for anything else.”
I knew something was terribly wrong. Emmy was quiet about her ownership of the bar. Most of the employees just thought she was a regular, not their boss, but I was privy to that i
nformation. She wasn’t my best friend or anything, but I had to admit my feelings were a little hurt knowing that she was basically cutting me off.
“Are you okay? Is the baby okay?” I asked.
“The baby is fine…” she said carefully. I thought she was going to give me more information, but she didn’t. She reiterated a few things, wished me luck, thanked me and ended the phone call.
“This is exactly why I need to take this place off of your hands,” I whispered as I hung the phone up.
A month after Emmy’s disappearing act, deep into a Saturday night, Kyle Ste
rling walked through the door at
. He always caught my attention. He was a good looking man, and even though his relationship with Emmy was as volatile as it was scandalous, I liked him. He was my exact opposite of course – regal, rich, preppy and well put together. I always thought he looked like he just stepped off of the cover of
. I never had a problem with my short and slightly plump stature, and I didn’t have any issues with having blue or green stripes in my dyed black hair or having tattoos and piercings. I was a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl and I was always comfortable with the way I looked, except when Kyle was around. I know I worked in a bar, but whenever Kyle walked in the door I felt underdressed and otherwise overdone. I found myself fidgeting with my clothes, adjusting my hair and even wiping away some of my makeup if I was able to steal away to the bathroom.
When I saw him walk in, I immediately began to feel my usual inadequacies, but then I took a good look at him and forgot about myself for a while. Kyle’s hair was disheveled, like he had just woken up, and he had a beard that was at least a few days old. His shirt was hanging loosely on his slightly thinner frame, not tucked in and definitely not ironed.
When I didn’t see him after Emmy left, I assumed it was because they had either gone off together, or they had a mutual break up, but looking at his pale face and sleepless eyes and thinking about how badly Emmy sounded that day, I was positive that something terrible indeed did happen. Kyle always exuded confidence, extreme amounts of confidence in fact, and I never got the impression that there was anyone or anything that could make him come undone. That is, until I saw him walk into the bar that night.
“Hey,” he said when he reached me at the bar. He looked around the room with a hopeful expression. “Is Em around?”
I shook my head very slowly. “She’s gone.”
He threw his head back in frustration. “Why does everyone keep telling me that?” he more demanded than asked.
“Probably because it is true,” I said softly.
“Do you have any idea where she went?”
“No, and I am under the impression that she does not mean to come back for a long time. I have to talk to Mayson if I have any issues with the bar.”
“Fuck,” he whispered harshly. He stared down at the
worn mahogany bar with his fists clenched in front of him. I watched in shock as his expression changed from anger to angst, from angst to self-loathing, and from self-loathing to torment. The torment warped into resignation, and the resignation finally returned to anger. I just wasn’t sure whom he was angry at.
“Give me a double shot of Hennessey,” he demanded.
“Oh, I don’t think that is a good idea,” I said, shaking my head. “How about a beer? We have that Blue Moon you like on tap.”
Kyle’s dark brown eyes honed in on me. “A double. Shot. Of Hennessey.”
“Fine,” I said, slamming a shot glass down on the bar. “But if you puke on my bar again, I’ll throw your ass out myself.”
“I’m not going to puke,” he said and tossed his keys onto the bar. “You may as well take them now.”
I snatched up the keys, gave Kyle one last look and went back to work. I kept an eye on him through the night as he tried to drink away his emotions. He spoke to no one but me or my other bartender Vic when he wanted another drink. After a while, he stopped asking and just held up his glass or pointed to it. Twenty minutes before closing, I put on my favorite song
by Semisonic, indicating the end of the night. It was a fun and polite way of telling everyone to get the hell out.
“I’ll call a cab for you,” I told Kyle as I cleared away his empty glasses.
“You have my keys,” he said, clearly intoxicated. He swayed a little on his barstool and he looked a little green.
“I will return your keys when the cab gets here,” I promised. “Please don’t puke on my bar.”
He snorted. “It’s not your bar. It’s Emmy’s.”
“Thank you, Captain Obvious,” I said, rolling my eyes. I took the glasses to the back to be washed. When I returned, I picked up the phone to call a cab.
“You drive me home,” he said, swaying again.
Vic stepped up beside me and crossed his beefy arms as he glared at Kyle. “This isn’t a chauffeur service, buddy. We’ll call you a cab.”
Kyle didn’t even look at Vic. He focused on me with those troubled brown eyes, those troubled,
brown eyes. I didn’t even really like guys like Kyle, typically. I usually went for guys like me – tatted, pierced, and dyed – not straight laced guys like Kyle Sterling, but I couldn’t deny my attraction to him. His gaze holding mine damn near made me breathless.
Lily will take me home,” he said with a small cocky smile.
“Listen, pal,” Vic started, pointing a finger at Kyle.
“Vic!” I snapped. “Go clean something!”
“You aren’t seriously considering taking this douche bag home,” he said i
He had some nerve to talk about douche bags. Vic very often used his big mu
scled body to intimidate people. He was a good worker, but his self-inflated ego was a problem.
“Dude!” I yelled at Vic. “W
hat do I need to control you? A cattle prod?”
“No one controls me,” he said darkly. He threw Kyle one last look of disdain and disa
ppeared into the back.
“And I’m douche
,” Kyle called after him.
“So…” I said, slightly confused. “In essence you are a douche
“Yes,” he nodded as he swayed.
“If it’s any consolation, I don’t think you’re a douche puddle.” I turned away to wipe down the counter behind me, but Kyle’s soft declaration made me turn back to face him.
“I’m much worse than that,” he said. His cocky smile was gone. He still swayed, but his eyes were so damn sad, I had to look away.
“I’m sure that isn’t true,” I said, returning to my task.
“I hit her,” he said so quietly I wasn’t sure I had heard him right. I froze and looked at him in the mirror. “I don’t remember it, not really. A little bit. I hear her screams in my sleep, but I really don’t remember. I was high and drunk, but I should be able to remember hitting her and I don’t.”
“You’re drunk,” I said quickly. “You don’t know what you’re saying.”
I didn’t want to believe him. His admission totally fucked with my image of him. I knew he had a temper, and I also knew he wasn’t exactly the friendliest pe
rson, but on the rare occasions I saw him smile or heard him laugh, I knew there had to be a decent guy beneath all of that. The way his eyes blazed with love and lust when he looked at Emmy always made my heart ache. I wasn’t too sure that she quite appreciated it. Yeah, I knew the story – she had a boyfriend for a while and Kyle had a serious girlfriend, but why would she stick with him through all of that if he didn’t have something great to offer? No, I didn’t want to believe he had hit her like he said, but even as he started to speak again, I knew in my heart it was true.
drunk,” he admitted. “But that doesn’t make me a liar.”
I turned around to say something, but Kyle opened his mouth and sprayed my bar with vo