Title: New Forever
Author: Yessi Smith
Haunted by a past Max can’t seem to escape, he invests everything he is into Hayley. He pampers her and shows her a love she never knew she could experience. His entire life revolves around making her happy and eventually protecting her from his demons. Even if that means hurting her in the process.
While Max tries to pick up the pieces of his broken past, Hayley protects her own heart the best way she knows how - through laughter and mayhem.
But when secrets unravel, both must decide what is most important. Feeling more vulnerable than ever before, they must fight for each other and for themselves.
**This is an interconnected standalone for Love, Always. **
I wish someone would have told me what happened when love was stripped away from you. How defenseless you’d become, how vulnerable you’d be.
It was stupid of me to care about what others may think of me when they see me in passing. So stupid. But each person I pass is like a crux to my heart, damning me to a lifetime without everything I didn’t even know I wanted. As I walk past my spot from the night before, I’m not in my right frame of mind. I’m only thinking of Hayley and the many scars forever etched on my heart.
The first blow to my stomach doesn’t even register—that’s how far gone I am. But I feel it the moment my nose makes contact with a fist and it breaks for the third time. It happens slowly at first and then all at once. There are five, maybe six of them. Not very big in stature, but big enough in number for me to know I can’t fight them. Not with their fists, feet, and bats making constant contact with my suddenly battered body.
So I do the only reasonable thing I can think of. I take off my backpack and protect it and its contents with my body. I take the beating without a word, while I protect my only means of survival. As long as I have my laptop, I’ll be okay. I’d come out of this beating just as I had done in the past with previous beatings. This was no different than the others.
I see the boy from last night crouch down in front of me and I sneer at him when he spits in my face.
“Ain’t so tough now, are ya?” he asks and I laugh.
“Says the little shit who needs a posse to beat up one man,” I counter.
I see his foot slowly rise off the ground and feel it when it makes impact on the side of my face. Within seconds, everything goes black.
Yessi Smith lives in South Florida with her husband, seven year old son and newborn baby. She is also owned by a neurotic Border Collie and “ferocious” Rottweiler.
She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a Master’s in Human Resource Management and has held several jobs, from picking up dog poop to upper management positions. And now she hopes to leave the business world behind so she can live full time in a world that does not exist until she places her fingers on a keyboard and brings them to fruition.
She is the proud Momma of Life’s A Cappella and Love, Always
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