From Best Selling Author, Zoey Derrick, comes a brand new standalone novel about getting a second chance.
She was his best friend’s chubby sister.
He was the star football player.
It never made sense that he would want her, but he did.
It’s been ten years since Dyson Cole walked out of the barn after taking Ireland McKidd’s innocence with him.
Another notch in his belt.
Then he was gone.
Ireland has lost everything she’s ever cared about. She’s trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered heart, when the last person to obliterate it barges back into her life – literally.
Dyson has everything – money, power, sex appeal – a real life Adonis and women line up outside his door. But he’d gladly give up his whorish ways for the one woman he walked away from.
She’s wrecked, broken, a shell of the girl he once knew.
He’s incapable of ignoring what she means to him.
IRELAND – AGE 18
The Sound of Silence – Disturbed
I remember it like it was yesterday. March 31, 2006.
It’s hard to forget something that happens right after your birthday. At barely fifteen, the only things that mattered to most girls was attracting the boy of their dreams, shopping and sleep overs.
To me, what mattered most was the boy. But he wasn’t just a boy. He was older than me by two years, a junior, the star football player, and my brother’s best friend.
He was everything to me; the reason I got up in the morning, the thing I thought about when I went to bed at night. It was always him.
From the moment he stepped inside our little school, I knew he would be everything to me one day. Over the years, we didn’t grow apart, no, we grew closer. My brother became his best friend and there was hardly a day that went by that I didn’t see him, usually at my house playing with Dusty.
As I got a little older, my feelings for him grew and morphed into something different, something unexpected and something…more.
I remember how our relationship changed, but I also remember how he changed too.
When he wasn’t spending time with my brother and me, he would spend it with some random girl I usually didn’t know. I remember Dusty would get butt hurt because his friend would ditch him for whatever girl he was wasting his time with.
I paid attention, listening closely to Dusty’s ramblings about how his best friend ditched him, but it quickly became apparent that his best friend wasn’t seeing just one girl, no, he had an entire harem of them. One day or week it would be one chick, then it would be Dusty, then it would be another chick, then another and another.
The summer before my freshman year that all changed. He seemed to ditch the girls in favor of my brother and they hung out all the time, which of course, meant I was around too.
I’ll never forget the day he was here, playing video games with my brother and he was getting bored. He’d said to my brother, “Let’s get out of here.” I was disappointed.
I had always sat on the couch, usually pretending to read, secretly watching him. Hoping to catch a glimpse of the smile I loved or his gorgeous violet eyes. I didn’t want them to leave. It had disappointed me enough that I remember fighting back tears. I don’t know why, but I’d come to expect him to be here every day, and on the rare day that he wasn’t, it was awful.
They’d turned off their video game and gotten up to leave.
Then the smile had come.
He had stared down at me over my book and I had looked up at him through my eyelashes. He had the most beautiful smile on his face. God, my heart had stopped in my chest. His violet eyes had sparkled in the sunlight coming through the window and I had quit breathing.
“You coming, VeeVee?”
I was so shocked that he had asked me that I sat there gaping at him like a fish. He raised an eyebrow at me; it was quite possibly the cutest thing I’d ever seen.
My brother had tried to argue with him and I remember him saying something about it not being fair to leave me alone in the house. In that moment, I felt protected, cared for even, and it made me smile.
That day started it all.
That was the day Dyson C. Richards noticed me.
That was eight months before he’d shatter my heart into a million tiny pieces.
It’s become abundantly clear that I need to let this go.
That day, the day he noticed me, was four years ago today.
It was the beginning of what would become the ‘summer of my life’. The only summer, really.
Being fifteen, I didn’t know what I had, not until eight months later when he said all the right things, had all the right moves, and I caved.
It was the night of March 31st.
I had been barely fifteen and not in the frame of mind to make this kind of decision, but I couldn’t help myself.
Despite my innocence, even I knew that Dyson was sex on legs. The girls knew it, I knew it. But Dyson and I had something special, something more than anything he’d had with any of the other girls I’d seen him with. I was the only girl, besides his mother, who had been in his life for more than five and half seconds.
I was special.
So was my innocence.
Only I didn’t know it at the time.
I handed it to him without a care in the world. Desperate to feel him, and be that close to him for reasons I didn’t understand at the time.
I will never forget the look in his eyes when he slid inside me the first time. His violet eyes had seemed to grow darker and his gaze had burrowed straight into my soul.
I was scared as hell, sweat had glistened over my skin, shivers from the coldness of the air and the desire I was feeling for the boy above me had racked my frame.
It had felt amazing.
It was everything to me.
I watched our relationship shift and morph in his eyes. I could feel it; every ounce of what I felt for him was poured back at me.
Then it was gone.
Shattered into jagged pieces that I would be forced to walk on for the next four years.
He left that barn after saying some devastating things to me and I had tried to tell myself it was because we’d connected, I knew it, and he knew it.
I didn’t know what I was going to say to him the next day. Talking to Dyson was nearly impossible to do because he always managed to muddle my brain. He’d had an uncanny ability to make my mind go blank. But I was determined.
I had marched the three blocks to his house. My determination was only sidetracked by the fear of what I would find when I got there. Both emotions rolled through me like waves in the ocean, bringing with it a fight or flight decision.
As I drew closer to his house, something wasn’t right. Something wasn’t- my heart dropped to my toes as it hit me. Everything that I’d noticed and dismissed in the couple weeks leading up to this came crashing down on me. His absence from school and my house. Dusty’s piss poor attitude about everything, and even the way my mom behaved, but no one had bothered to tell me. The house had stood there empty.
For the second time in less than twenty-four hours, my already broken heart was crushed.
He was gone.
He didn’t say good-bye.
He never even told me he was leaving.
Happy fucking April Fools’ to me.
I’ve held on to this for way too long. Four years too long.
I’m back, standing in front of the house that held so much promise that April morning. I was going to tell him everything, but I never got the chance.
I never got to give him a piece of my mind and most importantly, I never got to say good-bye.
I never told anyone what happened in the barn that night.
I went through it all, all the stages of grief. First, denial. I was convinced he would show up at school. That he’d just moved across town, that he wasn’t gone. After about four days of him not showing up, I got angry as hell. That was the longest phase. I was mad at my mother. She was friends with his mom, how could she not tell me they were moving? I was furious with my brother. He’d argued that Dyson swore he was going to tell me himself, that’s why he was here alone that day. I didn’t believe him.
I had tried to convince my brother to let me talk to him, but he refused, denied even knowing where he was or how to reach him.
That’s when the depression finally set in. I didn’t eat hardly at all, I barely got through school, though my grades never slipped, and I guess I’ve been living in that depressed little bubble for the last four years.
I knew somewhere, deep down in my gut, that he would come back for me.
After Dusty graduated – Dyson had too – I thought maybe he’d show up back in Joplin, but he didn’t. Dusty had made remarks the last couple of years about missing his friend or bitching that everyone in school seemed to have it out for Dyson. He’d rumble on about how it was unfair the way they were treating Dyson. Just because he’d moved away, people needed someone to blame, but I think most of the girls in our school just needed someone to hate. Dyson was a player, but every girl seemed to think they were in love with him. I was no different. Then the summer ended, Dusty went off to college in Chicago, leaving me to finish high school. Alone.
When I graduated from high school a month ago, I’d hoped he would show up, like Dusty did, and surprise me, but he didn’t.
And now, I stand here in front of what was his house. Twirling the rock in my hand. Consumed with the memories of the man I loved, the man I desperately wanted to talk to, the man who would never come home again.
It was an acceptance I was unwilling to face, but I had no choice.
The rock in my hand grew heavier by the minute. It was the last thing connecting me to him. It was the sister to the rock I’d given him on his first day of school in Joplin.
“He’s never coming back,” I said through tears. “You don’t know where he is or what he’s doing, but obviously, you aren’t part of that plan.” The pep talk I gave myself worked. The tears streamed down my face as my new reality washed over me and I threw the rock at his house. It pinged off the door. That rock was my heart that rock represented everything about the man I loved and it landed on the steps, where it would stay, forever.
Best Selling Erotic, Paranormal and Contemporary Romance author Zoey Derrick comes from Glendale, Arizona. Zoey, was a mortgage underwriter by day and is now a romance and erotica novelist full-time. She writes stories as hot as the desert sun itself. It is this passion that drips off of her work, bringing excitement to anyone who enjoys a good and sensual love story.
Not only does she aim to take her readers on an erotic dance that lasts the night, it allows her to empty her mind of stories we all wish were true.
Her stories are hopeful yet true to life, skillfully avoiding melodrama and the unrealistic, bringing her gripping Erotica only closer to the heart of those that dare dipping into it.
The intimacy of her fantasies that she shares with her readers is thrilling and encouraging, climactic yet full of suspense. She is a loving mistress, up for anything, of which any reader is doomed to return to again and again.