Splintered Heart

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Summary

Lexi—widowed, single mother. She doesn’t have time for love in her life, nor does she want it. She’s had the great love of her life, and she lost him before their daughter even turned one. Five years later, she’s still grieving, still not letting anyone in except for Ms. Christine, her elderly neighbor who she sees as her mother, and her daughter, Ellie, sees as a grandmother. She knows she’s missing something, but she’ll never find another love like the one she had with Brandon. Colton—Single, sexy, ridiculous man who’s not really looking for love either. But on Halloween when the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen and her daughter end up on his front door, and somehow he gets Lexi to come out of her shell, he falls for her—as a woman, as a mother, and as a widow. Lexi vowed not to move on until she finds someone who makes her feel like Brandon did. She didn’t think it was possible. But with Colton, it is. It’s difficult to navigate because even though he’s long gone, she’ll always love Brandon, he’ll always have a piece of her heart. But Colton doesn’t want her to give up her whole heart. Can they navigate their new relationship while healing Lexi’s splintered heart?

Genre:
Romance / Erotica
Author:
Violet Bloom
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
27
Rating:
4.9 63 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Prologue

2001

Dear Diary,

A new boy moved in to the house next to us. His name is Brandon. He’s the first boy I’ve ever seen that I think might not have cooties. When I fell down and scraped my knee, he helped me up. I told him we could be friends and that he could sit with me at lunch. He said okay.

It’s always nice to have a new friend.

2006

Dear Diary,

Brandon asked me to be his date to the homecoming dance today. He’d been my best friend since he moved in five years ago. I’d had a crush on him since that day. When I said yes, he kissed me. My first kiss! His brown eyes looked so happy; I’d never seen them sparkle so much. After he asked, he ran towards the boys’ locker room to get ready for his game. I was walking towards the front of the school when Brandon chased me down, handing me his away jersey and asking me to wear it at the game. And then to the homecoming game in three weeks.

The dance was three weeks away and mom promised to take me shopping for the perfect dress.

She didn’t seem surprised when I told her Brandon asked me to go to the dance with him.

Dear Diary,

Yesterday was the homecoming dance. I was so nervous. Mom helped me pick out a dress. It was red and sparkly, matching our school colors. Brandon made sure to have his tie match. Our parents fussed over us, taking endless pictures. Neither of us could drive, so we rode with an older boy and his girlfriend. I didn’t know either of them, but Brandon played football with the guy.

In the weeks between asking me to homecoming and the dance, he’d taken me on two dates. One to the ice rink and a second to the arcade. He held my hand and kissed me. Cora asked about the bases we’d gotten to, but apparently we hadn’t reached any of them. We weren’t even at first because we hadn’t made out yet. Maybe that meant he didn’t want to be more than friends? But if that was true, why would he have held my hand in the back of the car on the way to the dance?

My answer finally came during the last dance of the night. My arms were around his neck while his rested at my waist. We’d been dancing closer and his hands had been lower, but a chaperone had told us to leave room for the Holy Ghost and pushed Brandon’s hands up from my lower back. As soon as she was gone, he pulled me close again, his hands dropping lower, fingers grazing the curve of my butt. “Yellow,” by Coldplay, played as we swayed to the music. Just before the song ended, Brandon kissed me. A real kiss. At least according to Cora. His lips started moving against mine, and when he licked across my bottom lip, I gasped in surprise. Then he pushed his tongue into my mouth, against mine. And that’s when I knew what kissing truly was.

Cora said the first kiss was always awkward. But this. This wasn’t. It was like his lips were made to be kissing mine, fitting together like we were two puzzle pieces, perfectly fitting against the other’s curves and edges.

“Lexi, will you be my girlfriend?” He’d whispered softly as the lights flicked on, signaling the end of the dance.

I’d answered yes immediately, throwing my arms around him and kissing him again. When we’d finally broken apart, I was breathless and dizzy with happiness.

2007

Dear Diary,

Today was the last day of sophomore year. We were halfway through high school. But something even better happened. Brandon told me he loved me. We were driving home from school when he suddenly pulled into the ice cream shop. Without even asking, he ordered me a brownie sundae with extra caramel sauce and peanuts. The only thing I ever ordered when we came here. We sat on a picnic bench, laughing and eating and making summer plans. Brandon was eating rocky road and cotton candy ice cream in a waffle cone. I thought it was the grossest combination I’d ever heard of, but he ordered it every time.

When we were finished, Brandon had kissed me, licking at the corner of my mouth where I still had caramel sauce. “I love you, Lexi,” he said when he pulled away.

I’d smiled so hard I thought my cheeks would break.

“I love you too, Brandon.”

2008

Dear Diary,

Yesterday was the junior prom. Brandon and I have been together for over a year and a half now. I’ve always been shy and self-conscious. Brandon has been so patient with me about the physical aspect of our relationship. Which until recently, hasn’t progressed past kissing. Cora has been telling me for over a year to have sex with him. But I wasn’t ready. Not until last night.

I thought I couldn’t love him anymore. But now, I do.

I’d told him a week before prom that I was ready. He wanted to make it special, so he got us a hotel room.

We fumbled, and it was a little awkward since we were both virgins. Cora had given me advice about giving him a blow job. I hadn’t asked him if he’d enjoyed it at the time, but he hadn’t complained. I need to work up the courage to ask him if it had been good. Because I’d felt nothing but pleasure when his mouth and fingers had been on me and in me.

Cora had told me what an orgasm would feel like, but her explanation didn’t do it justice. I’d felt like my body was going to explode. He’d called me beautiful and whispered how much he loved me.

It had been so painful when he pushed inside me for the first time. I’d cried because of the pain. Brandon offered to stop, brushing away my tears with sweet kisses, but I didn’t want him to stop. I’d never felt that close to him before and I couldn’t imagine ever feeling that with anyone else for the rest of my life.

We’d been safe and used a condom.

He’d held me all night while we slept. And when we’d woken up, we’d had sex again. It was so much better than the first time, even if I was a little sore. We knew what we were doing more than the first time. Brandon promised it would keep getting better and better.

Mama keeps saying to be careful and that first love never lasts. But Brandon’s and mine will. We’re made for each other.

We’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.

2009

Dear Diary,

Brandon and I graduated high school today. We’re having a joint party tomorrow. Not because we’re a couple, but because we were neighbors. Our parents had become best friends over the years.

Cora had been such a bitch all through the last semester. She called me stupid for going to the same college as Brandon. She said we needed to break up so I could get real life experience. I didn’t understand what everyone else’s obsession was with my love life.

It was mine.

Brandon is going to major in business while I am going to major in graphic design and minor in marketing. I want to work for an ad agency, but want to do the design part, but still marketing would be a handy minor.

Our parents wouldn’t let us get an apartment together, so we were living in the dorms. We’d been assigned to the same one. Brandon was one floor below me.

After freshman year, we were going to get an apartment together.

2013

Dear Diary,

We graduated college yesterday! And, even better than that is that, Brandon and I both got jobs. Brandon was going to start as a junior business analyst while continuing evening school to get his masters in business. He’d explained to me multiple times what it was he’d exactly be doing. I got confused every time. I’d learn about it someday.

But I haven’t even told you the best news yet.

Brandon proposed! I cried. The ring is gorgeous. It’s a three stone ring with a white gold band. For as long as I live, I’ll never forget what he said when he got down on one knee in front of all our friends and family.

“Lexi, I’ve loved you more than half my life, since we were ten years old. We grew up together, literally. You’re the first girl I ever kissed and you’re the only woman I ever want to kiss. We grew up together and now I want to grow old with you. I love you more than I can put into words. Will you marry me?”

I’d tackled him, pushing him to the ground while he wrapped his arms around me. I kissed him deeply while our friends and family celebrated us.

2014

Dear Diary,

Brandon and I are getting ready to leave for our honeymoon. We’re going to Puerto Rico. Our wedding was hands down the best day of my life. If his proposal had brought tears to my eyes, his vows had turned me into a faucet of tears.

“Lexi, you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, inside and out. You make me laugh every day. Everybody thinks I’m crazy, but I knew I was going to marry you when we were ten years old. You came out of your parents house in overalls and red t-shirt. Your hair was pulled back into a braid and your brown eyes were the prettiest I’d ever seen. You were so shy, but you took my hand and offered to be my friend. Thirteen years later, you’re still holding my hand and being my best friend. I don’t ever want to let go, Lexi.”

At the reception, we’d danced to “Yellow,” by Coldplay for our first dance, holding each other the way we did the first time we’d danced to the song.

I can’t even remember what I said, but I know it wasn’t as good as what he said.

2014

Dear Diary,

We’ve been home from our honeymoon for a few weeks now and we’re settling into a routine as a married couple. Not much has changed since we’d been living together for years before the wedding. Brandon had been right, our sex life had gotten better and better.

That was the reason that one very important thing had changed.

I’m pregnant.

I’m going to tell Brandon tonight. I’m going to tell him tonight by putting a bun in the oven.

We weren’t trying, but my mom was a nurse and warned me off of birth control my whole life. So far, natural family planning had worked for us. We’d gotten a little risky in our behavior since being married.

But he’ll be ecstatic.

2015

Dear Diary,

Today we brought our daughter home from the hospital. We named her Ellie.

She’s perfect. Everyone says she looks just like me.

Brandon cried. That’s the fourth time I’ve seen him cry. When we first slept together. When he proposed. When he got married. And now at the birth of our first child.

She’s perfect.

Our little family is perfect.

When Brandon put her down in her crib for the first time, he sang her “Yellow” by Coldplay.

2016

Dear Diary,

I don’t know how I’m supposed to go on living, but I know I have to for my little girl.

We buried her dad today.

Brandon died a week ago. A car accident, single car, no explanation, just a freak accident that had taken him from us. My husband. The man I was supposed to grow old and grey with. The father of my daughter. Now it’s just the two of us.

And it’ll only ever be just the two of us.

Because I’ll never get another chance at a love like the one I’d already been given.

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