Series-Second Chances Book #1
Publication Date- August 26th, 2013
On the outside, Liberty Davis appeared to have it all…a loving family, a tight knit circle of friends, and a bright future ahead of her. Everything was perfect. That is until her brother tragically took his own life, turning her whole world upside down.
Left to pick up the pieces of her broken family, Liberty is faced with focusing all of her attention on helping her parents cope with the loss of their son, while putting her own life on the back burner. But what no one seems to realize is that she is just as broken inside.
Now, four years later, twenty year old Liberty is taking back the reins of her life. She leaves behind everything she’s ever known, hoping to make a fresh start…one where she isn’t faced with the constant reminder that her brother is nothing more than faded memory. What she didn’t expect to find along the way was Shayne.
Tall, dark and tattooed, Shayne Thompson has developed quite a reputation for being a player. Despite everyone’s negative perception, Liberty still finds herself drawn to him. When she learns that Shayne knows all too well what it feels like to lose someone you love, she finds that they have a lot more in common than just a physical attraction.
When Liberty discovers a secret from Shayne’s past that threatens to tear them apart, she begins to question everything she’s ever felt for him. Will Liberty choose to follow her heart or will she give up the one person who finally made her feel whole again?
“Liberty, there you are! Where the hell have you been, darlin’?” With a beer in hand, Brett definitely wasn’t done partying.
“Sorry, I was just outside talking to Shayne. I couldn’t hear over the music, and I wanted to get some fresh air.”
“Yeah, I was surprised when I saw him waltz into my apartment like he owned the place. I didn’t realize you invited him.” He smiled at me, but I could tell it was forced.
I didn’t understand what he had against Shayne, but I could’ve really cared less. Brett would just have to deal with the fact that Shayne might be around more often, especially if our date next weekend went well.
My buzz was starting to wear off, and all I wanted to do was get some sleep. I could already tell tomorrow I was going to have a wicked hangover.
“Do you know where Maddie is? She was my ride here,” I said as I scanned the room.
“Yeah, she already left with some guy…Josh, Jeff, Jeremy…something like that.” Left? How could she just leave me here? Did she expect me to walk all the way back to our apartment this late at night?
“No worries, darlin’. I already told Maddie it was fine if you stay here tonight.”
“Fine, I’ll take the couch. Do you have some clothes I can borrow? There’s no way in hell I’m sleeping in this dress.”
“Actually you’re going to have to stay in my room. I don’t trust Travis to keep his hands to himself when he’s drunk. Well…I don’t really trust him when he’s sober, either.” He laughed, but I didn’t find the situation humorous at all. First I’m informed I’m stranded here, and now I have to share a bed with Brett. Could anything else go wrong?
“As long as you stay on your side of the bed, I don’t really care. I just want to get some sleep.”
Brett led me back to his room and tossed one of his t-shirts at me, shutting the door behind him so I had some privacy to change. It only hit me about mid-thigh, but it got the job done. I crawled under the plush covers and passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow.
I’m not sure when Brett came back in the room, but the sun was just barely beginning to peek through the curtains, and there was now a warm, shirtless chest pressed up against my back. His hot breath tickled the back of my neck as I felt his chest rise and fall next to me. I started to freak out when I realized there was a hand under my shirt, flat against my bare stomach, just inches away from my lace panties. The other was clutching my breast with nothing more than the thin material of Brett’s t-shirt that I had borrowed providing a barrier from his hand. Oh no…no, no, no! Please tell me this isn’t happening! I was in full-blown panic mode as I sprung out of his bed, searching the floor frantically for my dress and shoes.
“Whoa, Liberty, calm down! Why are you freaking the fuck out?”
I buried my face in my hands. “Brett…please tell me we did not have sex last night!” I peeked through my fingers to gauge his reaction.
“What? No! Of course not! Darlin’, I’m pretty sure I’d remember something like that.” A smug grin spread across his face, but I was not buying it.
“Then why the hell were you pressed up against me with your hands everywhere!?” Oh God, this could not be happening! I had to hold back the tears that were quickly welling up in my eyes. There is no way I had lost my virginity and missed out on the whole thing…with Brett of all people! Oh. My. God. This would ruin everything!
“Liberty, shhh, it’s okay.” He cautiously pulled me towards him, gently rubbing my shoulders to help me relax. “I swear we didn’t have sex. You were passed out cold when I got in bed, and I fell asleep on my side, but I guess I must have gravitated towards you during the night. I’m sorry if that made you uncomfortable, but honestly, I didn’t do it on purpose. I would never make you do anything you didn’t want to do, especially after you were drinking. You know I would never do anything to hurt you, right?”
My heart rate gradually came down and returned to normal when I realized that what he was telling me was the truth. How could I honestly believe that Brett would ever take advantage of me like that? He was like a brother to me for fuck’s sake! When I turned to look at him I could see the hurt in his eyes, and I immediately regretted jumping to that conclusion.
“Jesus, Brett, I’m sorry, too. I didn’t mean to assume anything. I know you would never do anything like that. I just freaked out. I mean, with the position we were in...it…it just looked bad. I really am sorry. Do you forgive me?”
Brett waved his hands in front of him, dismissing my plea. “Liberty, you don’t need my forgiveness. You didn’t do anything wrong.”
He bent down and placed a kiss on my forehead before walking over to his closet, pulling my dress down from one of the hangers and placing it on the bed next to me. He must have found it after I drunkenly tossed it across the room last night. That was sweet of him to hang it up; most guys were slobs and would have just left it on the floor to wrinkle.
“Why don’t you go get changed, and I’ll give you a ride home. If you’re a good girl, I just might grab you some coffee on the way there.” He smiled and winked at me over his shoulder before shutting the door behind him.
I had to laugh. He always knew how to cheer me up, and nothing made me happier than a jolt of caffeine first thing in the morning. He caught on pretty quick that I had a slight obsession with Dunkin Donuts’ blueberry coffee, and he now made a habit of bringing it over to the apartment every morning just for me. Clearly he paid attention to what I order because he got my coffee right every time…a little bit of cream and LOTS of sugar. Maddie would bitch every time when she saw that he didn’t bring any for her, but that girl was so full of energy, one drop of caffeine would probably send her into hyper-drive.
I sat down on the edge of his bed and let out a heavy sigh. My heart sank a little when I thought about the repercussions of what had just happened. Brett surprisingly didn’t seem fazed at all by his actions, but I couldn’t help thinking that things might become a bit awkward between us now. I mean, Brett, who had become one of my best friends and a second brother, practically fondled me in his sleep! That’s not something I could just forget so easily. More than anything, I hoped that this wouldn’t create any problems for us, especially at work. That was one area of my life I prayed would remain drama free.
**This story contains language and sexual scenes, some of which may be unsuitable for younger readers.**
Maureen Mayer was born, raised and currently resides in Buffalo, NY with her loving and supportive family and boyfriend of 8+ years. She’s always had a love for the outdoors, and when the city isn’t buried under snow, she can be found hiking, fishing, camping or lying on the beach. She’s a sucker for off-color humor, but holds a sweet spot for sick and twisted horror films.
Thanks to authors like J. K. Rawling, Stephanie Meyer and E. L. James, Maureen has rediscovered her love for reading. When she’s not writing, you can find her curled up in bed with her kindle, diving into a steamy romance novel. She is currently working on her first new adult novel and hopes to self-publish it late this summer.