FORSAKING ALL OTHERS EXCERPT

May 27, 2016

 

Copyright © 2016 by Shannon Myers

 

PROLOGUE: BETH

 

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess. She didn’t see the world as everyone else did and that made her anxious. She thought she was destined to live a life of solitude locked inside the castle of her emotions until she met him. The dashing prince literally swept her off of her feet inside an enchanted bar one evening and she swore she’d never feel with anyone what she felt with him. The dashing young prince asked the beautiful princess to marry him and she agreed. They lived happily ever after…for a while.

The King died unexpectedly, leaving the prince to manage the entire kingdom alone. He was distraught and nothing the princess did could shake him from his grief. Even worse, there was an evil enchantress who was masquerading as the princess’s best friend. She waited patiently before casting a spell over the prince and claiming him as hers. In the meantime, another prince arrived from a foreign land. The princess fell hard for the new prince and spent all of her time with him. The prince and princess took their fairy tale and fucked it up beyond repair while their kingdom burned down around them.

 

CHAPTER ONE: DAVID

 

 

My Dad was the best man I’d ever known. He worked his ass off making a life for me and my mom. He’d be at work before the sun was fully out most days and he wouldn’t pull into the driveway until it set. He ran his own construction company and I wanted nothing more than to follow in his footsteps.

My mom said I was always tagging along, eager to be near him—needing to bask in his presence. I could call him up, no matter the problem, and he’d always be willing to offer advice He was just that kind of person. The man stood over six feet tall and had his arms sleeved in tattoos. He even drove a Harley just to complete his bad ass biker look. He looked a little rough around the edges, but I watched how he was with Mom. That man would’ve given his life for her at any given moment. It was like she was the fucking sun and he was content to spend his days revolving around her.

There were countless times that I’d walk into the kitchen or living room only to find the two of them making out like a couple of teenagers. At the time, I didn’t pay much attention to it—thought everyone’s parents were like that. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized how rare of a thing it was, this passion they still had for each other, even decades later.

I assumed I’d marry and my marriage would be just like theirs. Hell, I grew up surrounded by this love they shared, how could it not? I dated some, but with the bar set so high, I knew it was going to take someone special to catch my eye.

That night at Nick’s, I was beyond exhausted and had tried to get out of going out, but Mike was having none of that. I was just about to call it a night when the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen in my life fell into my arms, dousing me in pineapple and rum.

Beth was this teeny tiny little thing with a fetish for large heels that were damn near impossible for her to walk in. She was incredibly funny and sarcastic as hell and I knew she was the one within five minutes of talking to her. She was clumsy and had a tendency to say whatever was in her head without considering the consequences. And I wanted nothing more than to be her man, to wake up next to that mess of blonde curls for the rest of my life.

The first time I took her down to my parent’s house, my dad pulled me aside. He said he’d seen the look on my face one other time; when he was looking in a mirror thirty-five years ago. We were sitting on their back porch drinking beer when he spoke up.

“David, Elizabeth is something special. You love her?”

I grinned at him, “Yeah, I damn sure do.”

He tipped his beer in my direction, “Well, then don’t waste any more time and get a goddamn ring on that girl’s hand before someone else does!”

So, I listened to my old man and I proposed. We were happy, until the business took center stage and I stopped noticing the way her nose crinkled when she was trying not to laugh. I didn’t notice anything unless it was construction related.

One evening my dad called me up to talk about it. I tried making excuses, but he was having none of it.

“David, I watched her when we were there a week ago. She’s not okay with you being gone this much. A marriage can’t work like that.”

“Dad, I know, I just need to get this off the ground and I don’t know—we’ll take a trip. Get back to normal.”

“Son, I don’t think you need to wait. The business can wait, but I saw the look in her eyes—this resignation. You can’t put that on the back burner right now.”

“Fuck, Dad, I’m under a lot of pressure here,” I added sarcastically, “We can’t all run a business like you.” It was a low blow, but I wanted him to see all the labor going into Greene Construction, not get tied up with thoughts of my marriage failing.

“I love you and her both, David. I just don’t want to see you two grow apart. You’ve got something special. Don’t take it for granted.”

I didn’t answer him right away.

“David—”

“Yeah, Dad, I’ve got another call coming in. I’ll talk to you later.” I ended the call.

The next morning Beth and I sat on the patio together—the first weekend that we’d had to ourselves in a long time. I was watching her drink her coffee and I thought that maybe my dad was right when my phone rang.

“Hey Mom.”

“David—” Her voice broke and I knew something was wrong, “Your dad…he…he had a heart attack. Sweetie, he’s gone.”

I hung up after failing miserably trying to comfort her. Everything felt surreal. My dad—gone. The biker who never got so much as a cold—dead.

I told Beth and she immediately began sobbing and asking me questions. I got up and walked away from her—needing to be alone. It wasn’t until I was under the shower head, scalding water hitting my body that I realized I never told him I loved him back. My old man wanted nothing more than to see me happy and I didn’t even tell him I loved him during our last conversation.

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