Her life is turned upside down by the one man who should have protected her from it all.
Emma is a survivor. Her father, who has taken off to avoid paying his debts to a well known drug dealer, has kept her down her entire life and she’s learned enough from living in his world to take care of herself, because no one else will.
She finally gets her shot at love when she meets the handsome and protective Braden Holt, only to be forced to turn her back on him to protect him from her father’s enemies.
Tragedy strikes and Emma has to decide if she is going to do what she always does, build up walls to shut everyone out, or pick herself up with the help of her friends and the man who loves her.
I see bruises and cuts on my arms, face, and neck. My normally petite nose has definitely seen better days. There is a little bit of blood and mucus coming out of my nostril, so I wipe that up with a tissue.
My brown eyes are both black and swollen. I have a small lump with a cut on my right cheekbone and a busted lip. I don’t even look like myself.
I lift up my hospital gown to see that my knees have scrapes and bruises all over them. My midriff is killing me and I have a mother of a headache. Other areas of my body are sore, but that is not something I want to deal with right now. I know what happened. This is not the time to focus on that. Maybe later, but not now.
There is a soft knock at the door. “Em?”
I don’t respond. I study my hands, trying to tune out everything around me. Why can’t I just disappear already?
This is not only painful, but it is utterly humiliating. I can’t stand for him, or anyone for that matter, seeing me like this.
The door opens and Braden enters.
“Hey,” he says in a soft whisper.
I ignore him. What was I thinking, going to him last night?
It was last night, wasn’t it?
He scoops me up and carries me back to the bed, lays me down, and draws the covers over me.
I lie back and glare up at the ceiling. Maybe it will swallow me up if I stare at it long enough.
“Em?” God, his voice is so soft and kind.
“No,” is the only response I can muster.
“Emma, look at me, baby.”
“Emma, we need to talk about what happened to you.”
“I. Said. No.”
Braden exhales slowly. He comes in close, our noses almost touching. I move my head feeling his warm breath on my cheek.
“When you’re ready, we are going to talk. You’re going to tell me everything that happened to you. Then you’re going to tell me who did this to you. After that, I am going to go out and find that motherfucker—“
“Braden, please. I—“
He kisses me on the side of my forehead.
“I’ll give you all the time you need. You’ve been through hell and back. I get that.”
His eyes hold mine. I am unable to break free from his pull. I am trapped. I suck my bottom lip between my teeth.
Braden’s focus moves down to my mouth before settling back on my eyes. He nodded.
“I’ll send the doctor in.” He spins around, walks to the door, and opens it. Before he closes the door, Braden turns back to me. “This time, Emma, I won’t let you push me away.”
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Jen Khan is that very unassuming gal at first sight due to her quiet nature, but look out when she lets you into her world. Buckle up and get ready for an adventure. You will find her at a party, or just out and about with friends sitting in the corner taking a minute to assess her surroundings and the people in it before she dives in with her quick witt, charm and slinging her endless supply of sarcasm. She’s a mom, aunt, teacher, dancing puppet to little people, chauffer, walking ATM, and master of all things domestic. She loves her son, family, friends, wine, giggling, singing out of tune and dancing like a fool. She has a zest for life that rubs off on everyone in her presence.
Jen has always been an aspiring writer/author. She woke up one morning realizing that it was time to make it happen. She is a teacher by trade which allowed her to put her skills to use. You will find adventure, suspense and always romance in her books.
Jen lives in Northern Virginia with her son. When she needs a break from the daily chaos of her life, you can most likely find her going out for a run, on her treadmill or with her beloved Kindle in hand.
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