This is the FINAL installment of my excerpts from Meant to be Different which is releasing this July! Pre orders will be available on June 29th and I have a TON of stuff planned leading up to the unleashing of my darling asshole Wyatt onto the unsuspecting population. You don’t want to miss it and should definitely check back for more updates.
Until then you can grab a copy of the first book in the Meant To Be series on Amazon today, Meant to be Kept (free for KU subscribers!). Keep reading for the second half of one of the more heartbreaking chapters in Meant to be Different.
If you’ve missed any of the previous three sneak peeks, catch up here
Twelve Years Earlier
Georgia stared sightlessly as the gleaming cherry surface was lowered into the nearly perfect rectangle carved into the dark soil. Her father sat beside her, silent tears streaking down his face. Beside him her grandfather held her much more vocal grandmother whose loud sobs echoed through the valley and lanced through Georgia’s no longer beating heart.
Dead. She might as well be lying in the coffin beside her mother because she certainly couldn’t survive this.
A warm hand encircled hers and drew her attention to the abnormally hat-free head of her boyfriend. She blinked three times. He had been present every day since the call. Unwavering in his support and tender care of her. Their barbs traded for silence, tears, and sleepless nights spent curled around each other with the surprising blessing of her father.
As long as they remained uncomfortably ensconced on the sofa in the living room. A communal room his own grief induced insomnia often pulled him toward at unspeakable hours.
His eyes lifted from their joined hands and penetrated the dam she’d erected to make it through the day without succumbing to another headache manifested from the countless tears she’d cried. Love and compassion poured from his gaze and shattered the final wall of her resistance. Her entire body shook from the consuming sobs and she melted into his waiting embrace.
The voice of the minister performing the final portion of the service fell on deaf ears as Georgia allowed her stupid freaking cowboy to shoulder her pain. When they stood to leave, her knees buckled and she crumpled against him.
Without a moment’s hesitation he hooked an arm beneath her legs and scooped her up, holding her tightly to his chest. The dark cloud of grief held her in an alternate reality, suspended from any awareness of the activity swirling around her. By the time the fog lifted enough for her to find some consciousness of her surroundings, she was sitting squarely on Wyatt’s lap in her backyard. Roxy and Roscoe obediently at his feet.
A new emotion overcame her as she looked in his face and she trembled with its ferocity.
Wyatt pushed a wet strand of hair back from her face. “Can I get you something, Angel?”
Her molars ground together and thick, violent rage coursed through her veins. “This is your fault.”
His brows knitted together beneath that stupid hat he once again had planted on his head. “What’d you say?”
Georgia jumped off his lap, her breaths coming in short, swallow gasps. “I said,” she ground the words out from between clenched teeth, “that this is all your fault.”
The color drained from his face and for a brief moment hurt flickered in his sapphire depths. His lids closed and when they opened the understanding and patience had returned to his steady gaze. “You’re not thinking logically right now. I know that deep down you don’t mean this.”
A mirthless laugh strangled her throat. “Just because my mother is d—” The single word caught in her throat, as if speaking it would somehow make this all more real. “Just because my mother is gone you think I’m being irrational and ridiculous? Try again, Cowboy.”
He stood and the dogs did with him, nervous glances from the canines darting between them before they both wisely loped away.
“I didn’t give your mom cancer. I didn’t tell her to stop her treatments. I didn’t move you here, even though I am damn glad you did because I can’t imagine my life without you.” His voice rose with every sentence. He put his hands on his hips and paused, taking a deep breath. “How exactly is this my fault?”
Georgia’s eyes narrowed into slits. “I wasn’t here because of you. If your Rhinestone Cowboy persona hadn’t taken over and forced your lifestyle on me I would have been here. I would have held her hand and told her I loved her and had five freaking more minutes with her.”
His shoulders dropped and his head hung down. The ache Georgia had been certain couldn’t get any worse after her father called amplified to an impossible degree as her words hit him with the force she’d intended.
But once they started coming out, she couldn’t stop them. “You needed fresh meat to fawn all over you at your practice. You needed a new pet project so you insisted I come to your house so you could teach me to ride.” Her finger collided with his solid pec, punctuating each damning statement. “You took over every aspect of my life and disguised it as care and concern for my well being when it was really all about you growing your fan club, wasn’t it?”
His jaw clenched and unclenched several times in rapid succession, but he remained silent, not even breathing a refute to her accusations.
“Why don’t you just do all of us a favor and get the hell away from my house and out of my life?”
She sprinted through the sliding glass door, past the table overflowing with casserole dishes and baked goods, and didn’t stop until she was safely barricaded in her room. Only then did the vicious, cruel words register. Only then did she cover her mouth, appalled at what she’d said. Only then did she allow herself to hate the person she’d just been to the boy who had seen past her prickly exterior to identify her need and attempt to meet it.
And she’d just exiled him from her life.
Two losses within a few days, one completely and wholly on her.