Chapter 1: KATE
“To love is to accept a soul entirely, not wishing that the person was otherwise, nor hoping for change, not clinging to some ideal past. To love is to cherish the individuals standing before you presently--charms, quirks, and all. To love is to give someone a piece of your heart that you will never, ever reclaim.”
“Way to go Katharine!” I mumble to myself as I step out of one of the work trucks owned by my husbands family farm. Just what I need when I’m trying to beat Quinn home. A damned flat tire! I take a deep breath and start to look in the tool box on the back of the truck. There has got to be something to change this tire with in here. I eventually find a jack and a tire iron and get started on trying to figure out how the hell I plan on pulling this off. Once I think I finally have the jack in place I start to loosen the lug nuts.... But they don’t seem to want to budge. I start to get a little irritated when they won’t turn and decide to use my feet to help them. I stand up and place my left foot on the tire iron and start applying pressure to it hoping it will loosen the nut but then suddenly the truck starts moving, the jack can’t support it any longer. I jump backwards trying to protect myself when I stumble into the middle of the road as a truck is coming. I look up just in time to see him hit his breaks and swerve as he comes to a stop behind my own truck. Here I am lying in the road when this big man jumps out of his truck, concern etched all over his beautiful face. Large shoulders, arms that screamed plenty of gym time. He is all man, light stubble across his jaws. Hell even his military cut hair was sexy as all get out. I’m stunned, can’t seem to move or think. Finally I snap out of my daydream as he is lifting me and saying something about a hospital. I jump. “No no no!” I bolted out of his arms and look up just as confusion hits his face. “I’m fine I really am just trying to change a tire.” I nervously motion to the truck and the flat tire. The man just looks at me, I can see in his eyes that he’s weighing options of some sort. Then he extends his hand to me. ” I’m Michael McAlister, but they call me Mac. I would be glad to change that tire for u ma’am.” I take his hand and shake it not
letting my eyes leave his. “Katie” was all I could make myself say. I stand aside as he effortlessly turns the tire iron and the lug nuts move with ease. My hands are on my hips now, slightly irritated that I could not do that. Then I notice his arms, his muscles flexing under his tight t-shirt. Oh my, my mouth is dry and I have the sudden urge to touch his arms. I take another step back trying to distance myself so that I won’t act on my urges. I’m watching him as he finishes, all thoughts leaving my mind as he starts to stand. Oh lord, my eyes drift from his nice built shoulders to his firm back and down to the amazing way his jeans hug his hips making his ass look glorious. I’m suddenly snap back to reality when my phone alarm goes off. Damn, Quinn will be home in 30minutes. I have to beat him there. My whole body shakes as the memory of what happened last time he came home and I was not’ there. I grab the left side of my face as the memory brings back
the pain. I quickly thank him and jump in the truck, I will have to race home and change clothes.
“What is it about him?” Alyssa Carlisle asked her best friend, Katherine as they stared at Quinn Blackwell swinging the rather heavy hammer as he repaired yet another loose board in the side of his family’s large ranch-style home. Katherine turned her head towards Alyssa, leaving her eyes on Quinn as she answered. “I don’t know. He’s...different? Mysterious? I’m not sure what I’d call him, but I want to know more about him.” Alyssa shook her head, expressing her hesitancy in the idea. “I don’t know Kat. I really don’t think he looks too approachable...or your type, for that matter.” With a curious gleam raging in her eye, Katie laughed. “All the more reason to investigate.” Alyssa sighed, “You know how your mother will feel about this...” She warned. Deidra Sanderson was adamant about Katie’s life and keeping it in the precise order in which she wanted her to live it. This sparked a fire that encouraged Katie to do everything in her power to go against
the cookie-cutter life that Deidra pressured her into daily. Katie rolled her eyes, “You know, sometimes Alyssa, I feel like I’m battling you and my mother and it becomes quite irritating.” Alyssa shrugged, “Sorry, I just don’t want to see you caught up in yet another drama whirlwind...which always happens when you do something you know is not’t such a great idea.” Katherine laughed a little, the truth behind Alyssa’s words soaking into her thoughts. Alyssa had been her best friend and neighbor since the Sanderson’s had moved to Savanah during Katherine’s first grade year. They’d shared countless sleepovers, sneaking out to talk boys and read books, and even a few disagreements that never seemed to last over a day or so. Now that they were facing their senior year of high school, Alyssa had her sights set on chasing her dreams and finding solace in a big city where she could be anonymous or the social butterfly that her inner soul craved. She liked
options, danger, and adventure. Katherine liked tradition, rebellion, and familiarity. It was their differences that helped them remain so close. While Quinn Blackwell remained oblivious to their conversation, Katherine and Alyssa continued to watch him as he worked. “So what would you do?” Katherine finally asked her. Alyssa crossed her arms, “You know what I’d do. I’d turn and walk away and pretend I’d never even him...he looks like he has secrets, Katie.” Katherine’s eyes were still focused and trained on him as she replied confidently, “Exactly. I want to know what those secrets are.” Alyssa realized that her mind was already made up and nothing she could’ve said was going to change that. Katherine began to walk towards him, her head held high and a sly grin on her face. “Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Alyssa called after her, before turning and making her way back to her own house.
My eyes snap open and I feel a cold chill race through my veins. I am surprised that my mind traveled to the day I met Quinn. I remember it vividly and the dream has only managed to recapture more of my regret. I should’ve listened to Alyssa. I should’ve walked away. “She was right.” I mumble to myself, grabbing a blanket and pulling it closer to me to knock out the bite from the crisp winter air that is pouring in the open window. I grab my phone and quickly see that the time is just after three am. “Shit.” I curse, realizing that I’ve been in this uncomfortable recliner all night and my back is now screaming because of it. I rise to my feet and reluctantly walk towards the bedroom that I share with my husband Quinn. I realize that I vowed myself to him for the rest of our days, I promised to love and cherish him, but in all honesty, keeping that promise was impossible when I think of all the things I’ve gone through. No one understands my pain. No one
understands my heart-wrenching agony. And no one can because he’s Quinn Blackwell and his family owns more of this town than anyone else. So I do the only thing I can to escape this wretched reality that has a deep lock on my soul. I go to that happy place in my mind, I have learned to thrive on the pain he puts me through. The pain evens out the anger. I come to need to pain to remind myself that it is real, that I am alive. This time, however, I somewhat fell into the path I’m now on. A flat tire, a back road, and a few years of pain and desperation have led me to the man that now has a deep hold on my thoughts and emotions. Emotions I haven’t felt before and emotions that scare the living hell out of me. His eyes burn down to my very core every time I close mine, and no matter how hard I try to push him away...he pushes back unknowingly and I seem to get a little closer to the edge I’ve been careful to avoid. We hardly talked, but when he touched me
it just felt right, felt safe. I have ached for that feeling all these years believing it was just as much of a lie as love is. Maybe I have finally cracked but I all know is how he made me feel like I want to leap right into the great unknown and grab onto the life that I crave. The only problem is, I won’t. I will stay right on the edge staring at the promises I could have, the happiness that could be mine. I climb into the bed next to Quinn as he snores and I’m not surprised as tears come to my eyes and I face the reality that this is my fate. This is the life I must lead and it is the prison sentence that I chose for myself. I close my eyes and I pray that the darkness swallows me soon and that sleep gives me a short escape from it all.
“Oh Mac” I can’t think, I can’t focus. I’m all feelings and emotions. Only he has done this to me. As he runs his hands down my back to the top of my jeans and pulls me closer so I can feel his growing erection. I moan at the overwhelming need I have for him. his lips so hot and possessive on mine. He’s kissing my neck, slowly moving down to my chest. He’s holding so tight I’m sure I will bruise but at this point I don’t care there is only me and him. He pulls away to take my shirt off and I take his. Our breathing now reaching a ragged, deep breathing full of passion and need. I need him in me, I’m desperate for it. He’s latched himself onto one of my breasts. Oh I’m going to lose it, I can’t hang on much longer. I have never felt like this. I’m not thinking I’m just acting. I reach for his jeans trying to undo them, once he realizes what I’m doing he steps back, he just looks at me. “You are so beautiful Katie, and all mine” oh his words are my
undoing. I rid myself of both our pants in record time and he has me up against a wall. I’m not even sure where we are, nor do I care. He’s kissing me grinding his erection into me making me cry out with need. I wrap my legs around his waist and he holds me up as we position me to take him in. Oh he growls his appreciation as he enters my slick entrance. Then all at once we are moving fast and hard. He slamming me into the wall trying to keep up with the need bedded deep inside him. And I love it. I can feel it the tightening and the tingling of my core, this is going to be amazing. “Come for me Katie,” that’s all it takes I’m coming around his throbbing cock as he continues to pound into me while reaching his own climax. I’m slowly climbing down from my climax as he’s kissing me. That’s when I feel it something I thought I would never feel. Happiness and safe...
I open my eyes as the alarm sounds on the table beside my bed. It takes a minute to realize that what just happened was just a dream. I slide my hand under the covers to make sure, yes I came in my sleep. I slide my now wet finger into my mouth and smile as I hatch a plan to get Mac McAllister out of my mind.
I plan on bedding Mac, maybe then I can get him out of my dreams. I am so great full that I didn’t talk in my sleep last night! Sometimes I speak out loud while I’m sleeping that dream would of gotten me in serious trouble with Quinn. I really must gain control of these feels and I’m sure fucking Mac would help with that. Who knows he may even be as good in bed as he was in my dream. First I have to see him again, see if he is interested in what I’m offering.
“Katherine!” I can hear the anger in Quinn’s voice, I wonder what I have done now. I quickly get up, whatever I have done now I don’t need him any more mad. As I make my way to the kitchen my fear is rising. How does he make me this upset without even looking at me. Once I reach the doorway I see him in his suit, he is as handsome as he was the day I met him. “Yes sir” I coon as sweetly as I can. He doesn’t even turn to took at me. ” Katherine, how many times must I tell u that I want you up and dressed before 5am.” He turns and I see his eyes, cold and black as sin. Oh no. “maybe if you didn’t stay up all hours of the night doing God knows what then u would be rested enough to know your place in my house” he’s walking towards me now. Oh God, here it comes. “I’m sorry Sir, I was reading and lost track of time, its only 4:40amI can be ready by 5. I’m so sorry Sir. It won’t happen again.” He’s I front of me now. I try hard to steady my whole body but I
can’t it’s shaking uncontrollable. It knows what’s coming. He slides the back of his hand down my cheek. ” such a beautiful face, it’s a shame.” And he hits me, hard. Square across the jaw. Causing my teeth to cut a long gash in the inside of my cheek. I know better then to cry he will only do it again. I close my eyes and pretend I’m somewhere else. ” it’s a shame I have to do that, maybe one day u will learn to do as your told. Now get dressed, and cover that cheek up I need you to make appearance at the office at 2 to show mother and father what the wonderful couple we are.” As he starts to walk away and I can feel my courage faltering. He turns when he reaches the door. “Oh and Katherine, please do look nice this afternoon. You know how I like you to dress. Until then darling.” He smiles that sweet smile at me and I want to puke. I wait until I hear his car headed down the drive before I fall to the floor and let the tears fall. As I’m getting ready
to go see Quinn at the distillery I think about leaving. Just packing up and disappearing. I’m stronger and smarter then I was the first time I decided to leave him. Chill bumps creep up all over me when I think about that night. He found me in Corinth, Mississippi. Over 9 hour drive and I had stopped to sleep in a small motel. He broke my left arm and 3 ribs once he got me home that night. I still remember his drunken words, “no women leaves a Blackwell! Try it again and I will kill you Katherine.” Then the next morning when he came to apologize . He was so sweet I believed him when he said he didn’t mean it that it was the drinking that made him do it. I believed him when he promised it would never happen again, when he swore to me that he would never lay a hand on me again. We had the perfect marriage for a month after that. He bought me a beautiful diamond necklace and took me out sailing the next weekend after I had recovered. The whole week
smiling and whispering how much he loves me and how special I am to him. I thought we were going to be happy again. But a week later I left a wet washcloth by the sink in our bathroom. I smelt the whiskey on his breath when he stood behind me asking me where that cloth belonged, before slamming my face into the sink and running water over me. He nearly drown me that night. I wish he had of drown me, he would of saved me from 4 more years of hell. I take a deep breath and push all thoughts of the past aside as I apply the thick makeup that is going to cover the slightly bruised and swollen cheek. I take a deep breath and look at my self in the mirror. I am wearing a light blue sun dress that draws attention to my body in all the right places. With matching blue sandals. Simple diamond stud earrings and a solitaire diamond necklace. Simple, classy, and sexy. Hopefully Quinn will approve this. I left my hair down and it is in soft curls that frame my face
with light brown strands. ” time to shine Katie” I say to myself as I take one last look before heading to met my darling husband at work. Once I pull in to the Jake Dillard distillery, that my husbands family has ran for years, my heart starts pounding faster and my nerves start to falter. I’m wondering why I feel the pull to the building when I spot that truck. The one that almost ran me over nearly two weeks ago. The one who’s owner has haunted my thoughts and dreams since. My body starts to clench and ache as I see him walk to his truck to retrieve something from his drivers seat. I find myself walking towards him before I even realize I’m out of my car.