Chapter 1 teaser for Finding Forever (available 8/30/13!)
1 - Take Me Away
That first time, when he presses
his lips against mine and kisses the words ‘I Love You’ right down into the
very heart of my soul, that’s when I knew we were about to be ripped apart.
TEARS TUMBLE DOWN MY CHEEKS AS I
watch Ben sleep. My heart aches knowing this might be the last kiss I give him
as I lean over and press my lips against his forehead. “I love you, Ben. We’ll
find each other. Never give up. It won’t be long—I promise,” I whisper,
uncertain of my own promise.
He tosses, turns, curls up next to me, and traces my lips
with his thumb. “What’s wrong . . . ? Why are you crying?”
“It’s . . . it’s time. They’re pulling me out
of here. The . . . the other people. I don’t want to go.” I sob
and exhale heavily. “I can’t be without you. I-I just can’t. I’ll die if I go
back! I can’t live without . . .”
“Shh.” He rises to his knees, bringing me up with him, and
moves forward, lips almost touching mine. “You have to get control of yourself.
You have to be positive for both of us. How will anything we’ve talked about
ever work if you can’t control your emotions?”
He speaks soft but stern before his breathing turns ragged.
“I’m not trying to be harsh, but I love you and I need to know you can do
scent drives a passionate urge deep within me and in this moment, he
sweeps me into the sweet bliss of a deep kiss. His touch is like no other, lifting the darkness, soothing my soul, he
makes me feel whole, complete, and . . . I have to get a
grip on my emotions. I need to be strong for both of us.
“You’re my life, too, and I’ll hold you right here.” He
places his hand over his heart; his head falls against my shoulder and he
nuzzles my neck. Wrapping my arms around him, I squeeze and clench his shirt,
entwine it between my fingers. I only wish this would be enough to pull him
through with me.
“Remember what I said.” He raises his head, his blue eyes
hopeful underneath the disheveled mess of blond hair. “Focus on details, even
the smallest ones. More importantly, mark a path and make sure you’re—”
A chill sweeps over me like icy fingers clawing at the back
of my neck. “Ben? Oh, God! Ben. Ben! I can’t hear yyyooouuuu.” The words echo
and I know this is it, the end of it all.
“B-Beh—” I cry again, but the strength of the pull feels
like a weighted ball crashing against my chest, shoving me backward
A high-pitched wail pours into the very core of my heart. Ben!
I see tears spill down his cheeks as he dives toward me. I think he reaches
me, but he falls right through me, as if I were a mere shadow—visible but
transparent, and then he disappears.
Please, oh please, God, bring us back together. I can’t
live without him.
☼ ☼ ☼
Green, red, black, purple and white colors flash before my
eyes. Vibrating sounds buzz in my ears. My head thunders with explosions of
pain. Each breath I take burns. I cough and retch with each force of the tug in
my throat, poofs of air drawing upward with each wrench. I try to grab at it,
but warm, callous fingers press against my cold hands.
My eyelids flutter and I wake to a blinding light. “Ben?
Ben, where are you?” I choke on the words. I search with my hands and pat
frantically at the shadow standing next to me. I gulp hard at the deep burn of
raw pain crowding at the back of my throat.
“Hey, hey, calm down, Morgan. It’s me, James. You’ve had a
bad accident. Do you remember anything?”
The silhouette of a man with dark wavy hair leans over me. I
blink several times before I notice his big, brown eyes staring at me. James?
The name forms around my lips but I can’t say it.
Where’s Ben . . . Danny . . .
the mansion. Where are they? Hot tears trickle down my cheeks.
The lines in James’ forehead deepen and his brows furrow.
His eyes droop as if he’s sad.
Do I know him?
I cry relentlessly. “Ben! Danny. Everybody. The mansion.
Where are they?”
“You were in a coma, Morgan. Maybe you were dreaming of
people, but there’s no Ben or Danny . . . and no mansion. You
don’t know anyone with those names. Maybe you were dreaming? I’m sorry, but
this is me, James. Remember me, your boyfriend?” He shoots me a hopeful smile.
“You?” I whisper. “You can’t be my boyfriend.”
I stare at him as he tucks his hands into the front pockets
of his faded jeans, shaking his head and lowering it. Without another word, he
turns and walks away.
Who does he think he is, passing himself off as my
boyfriend. Ha. Tall, dark wavy hair, copper eyes—he must be Italian. But
to say he’s my boyfriend? No, no. I have a boyfriend.
Ben? I need you.
I let my head sink back into the pillow and examine the
tubes and wires connecting to my arms, head and chest. Monitors beep and
there’s the drip, drip, drip of the I.V. White walls, bright lights,
medical equipment—I’m in the one place I hate, the hospital. I close my eyes
wishing it all away.
☼ ☼ ☼
Waking with a start, I glance around the room for any
unwanted visitors. A dozen balloons float near the window and there are flowers
with cards tucked into their forks. Thoughtful, but unnecessary.
As I continue to scan the area, I see something familiar. My
iTouch! And a crumpled hospital bag most likely containing my clothes.
Without permission or knowing whether I can stand on my own
two feet, I slide off the bed and grip the railing. Hmm. I’m steady enough and challenge myself by grasping the I.V. pole, and
take a step forward. After a few more steps, I snatch the bag and my iTouch.
Safely back in bed, I examine the iTouch. It’s covered in
pink goo. I poke my head in the hospital bag and then dump the contents on my
lap. The tattered dress has a thick layer of pink goo on it, too.
What does this mean? What. Does. This. Mean!
Frustration sets in. I close my eyes, and rub my pink gooey
hands against my temples, and then . . .
Explosions erupt in my head like a volcano . . .
liquid oozing from it, flowing through my brain with bits and pieces of
There was lightning.
And, something eerie.
Like a twilight zone.
I recall the voices.
The creepy voices that whisper-shouted my name. “Moooooorrrrrrgaaaannnn!”
Oh, god! I’m there and I don’t know where ‘there’ is.
Where am I, where am I!
My pulse pounds against my ears and my head is spinning.
Splattering, splattering, splattering!
I see myself.
I’m splattering at the bottom!
“No, no, no,” I say breathlessly as I slowly open my eyes . . .