Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sample Sunday

Sharing another unedited excerpt from I WANT YOU BACK, Nick Stafford's story, Book Five in the Stafford Brothers series.
Cherilyn broke down as soon as she closed the door. Her bridesmaids rushed to her aid, helped her sit on one of the white ottomans in the middle of the salon. One of them fanned her with a paper plate from the table with the appetizers that had been provided for the bridal party. Her maid of honor poured her a glass of cold water and pushed it into her hand.

Her mother paced around the room ranting about Nick being an ignorant barbarian, and then she asked, “How could he intrude on your special day like that? What is in the box?” She reached for the gift, but Cherilyn snatched it away and clutched it to her breast.

“It’s personal, Mommy,” she sobbed, her professionally-applied makeup beginning to run down her cheeks. Another one of her attendants dabbed her face with a tissue.

“Girl, what is wrong with you? You are getting ready to marry a wonderful man, and you’re letting that…that boy get you all upset. Nick Stafford is your past. Don’t let him ruin your future!”

“Your mother is right,” another one of the bridesmaids agreed, tipping the water glass up to Cherilyn’s lips. “Forget about him. If he’d wanted you, he would’ve married you when he had the chance.”

“That’s the problem,” she blubbered. “I didn’t want to admit it to anyone, but I still love Nick, and he’s realized he still loves me.”

Her mother stopped pacing and stood in front of her daughter with a red-faced scowl. “How can you be sure that’s why he came? Maybe he just resents being beaten out by a better man.”

“Stop!” Cherilyn waved them all away. “I need time to think.”

“Baby, you don’t have time. Derrick is waiting for you at the altar.” Mrs. Vernon pressed a hand to her forehead and grimaced as if she were in pain. “You can’t do this to him.”

“Would you rather I married him knowing I’m still in love with Nick? That would be starting our marriage out with a lie.”

The bridesmaids all stared at each other as though they were at a loss for anything to say.
Shamika, her maid of honor, took her hand. “What do you want us to do, Cher?”

“Go get Derrick, please, and everyone leave us alone for a few minutes. I have to tell him this face to face.”

“Tell him what?” her mother asked, looking at her as though she already knew the answer.

She clenched her jaw to kill the sob in her throat. “That I can’t marry him.”

“Oh, Cherilyn,” her mother moaned. “Don’t you know how that will hurt him?”

“It would hurt him more to know I married him but was still in love with Nick.” She dropped her head into her hands and covered her face. “Somebody go get him, please.”

“I’ll do it,” Mika said, standing and smoothing her gown. Ladies, let’s go downstairs to the ballroom, so they can have some privacy.” She stuffed a wad of tissues into Cherilyn’s hand and kissed her cheek. “I’ll stay in the hall in case you need me.”

Girding herself with resolve, Cherilyn imposed an iron control on herself while she waited for Derrick to come upstairs from one of the wine cellar rooms he and the groomsmen had on the lower level. How was she going to say this? 

Several minutes later, Derrick stood in the doorway looking suave and handsome, yet his face was clouded with uneasiness. “What’s going on, Cherilyn?”

She slid the box Nick had given her underneath the ottoman and stared wordlessly at him, her heart pounding and lower lip trembling as she returned his gaze. “I…I can’t…”

“You can’t what?”

“I can’t go through with the wedding.” Her voice was fragile and shaking. So were her hands as she dragged them over her face smearing her makeup.

Derrick moved closer and knelt in front of her. “Oh, sweetheart, it’s just cold feet.” He took her hands, held them between his and gazed into her eyes. “Let me get you a glass of wine. That’ll help calm you down.”

Cherilyn grabbed his hand as he went to stand. “I’m still in love with Nick.”

The tension between them increased with frightening intensity, “And you didn’t know that yesterday or last week or last month?” His voice was absolutely emotionless and it chilled her. “How could you?” He pulled the door open with such intensity it slammed against the wall and he stormed down the hall.

Mika ran in and pulled Cherilyn into her arms. “What happened?”

“When I told him I wanted to call the wedding off, he thought I just had cold feet.” She sniffed and blew her nose into a tissue. “But then I told him how I felt about Nick. Oh, God, Mika, the way he looked at me was so awful! Did I make a horrible mistake?”

“Not if you love Nick,” Mika said with a hint of a smile. “Let me help you out of this dress. Do you want to put on what you wore here?”

“Yes, and could you take me home, please?”

“Sure, honey, but you’re still pretty shaky. Maybe you should sit for a few until you calm down. Stand up for a sec.” She started unbuttoning the first about twenty buttons at the back of the gown but stopped when Cherilyn’s parents entered the room. “I’ll go get you a drink,” she whispered in her ear.

Two previous excerpts are posted below on Dec. 13 and Nov. 29.

The Stafford Brothers series is available on Kindle - Nook - Paperback - UK series link -

In case you haven't seen it, here's the video trailer for the series: 


1 comment:

Umeki Brown said...

Omg I cant wait until this book comes out.I love those Stafford brothers...