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Steeling My Haart by Lizzy Roberts Sneek Peak (@Authorlizzy)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 2015
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Steeling My Haart
Eight years ago a tornado devastated the community of Glen Springs. That same night my heart was torn to shreds when he left. Now, all I have to live for is work. I’m successful and have a good life, just like he wished. So, why am I so unhappy?
A tragedy is bringing me home and I’m now finding my well ordered and successful life hurled into a whirlwind of uncertainty. The biggest threat of all comes in the shape of Charlie Haart, the number one reason I have stayed away from Glen Springs for so long.
30 - something Mum of two from the North of England (Yorkshire to be precise AKA Gods own Country) who regularly seeks refuge in fictional characters minds. Prefers the hot and hunky men with a romantic side but not averse to a dominant man, nor ones with a dark side too!
She decided, after much persuasion from both her friends and especially her husband to pursue her dream of one day publishing her own book!
So after much deliberation (and nagging from him indoors), her first book Steeling my Haart due for release March 2015!
*Unedited and subject to change*
Just as he stopped in his usual spot under the carport of the house the tornado-warning siren sounded and as it did all hell broke loose. The wind whipped up and out of the corner of his eye he saw a huge tornado heading across the fields behind the house and straight at where he was standing. Without a thought he jumped from his truck and ran inside the house screaming for Emma. The telephone was ringing off the hook and he wondered just where Emma had gone. He could see out of the kitchen window that they had seconds to react and he knew this old timber framed house would be destroyed along with half of the sparsely populated neighborhood.
Charlie ran into the corridor, running down the center of the house and straight into Emma’s room where he found her listening to the iPod, oblivious to the scene unfolding around them. Mother Nature was unleashing what would turn out to be her worst evening of destruction on record and Charlie and Emma were caught right in the middle of it. Wasting no time, Charlie grabbed Emma and as he ran from the house with her in his arms he ripped the earphones from her ears and shouted, “Where is the nearest Tornado Shelter, Em? We need to get there now?”
Seeing the terror in his eyes, she clung on to him so tightly that her knuckles went white with the strain. She felt safe in his arms despite the absolute carnage that was unfolding just a few hundred meters away from them now. Charlie ran as fast as he could, holding her so tightly but she realized she was hindering him.
“Over there, Charlie” Emma pointed to the old Fitzgerald place just opposite her parents’ house, an old colonial style villa, which had in the past housed a substantial and well stocked tornado shelter in the grounds. Sweet old Mrs Fitzgerald had recently moved into a home near the big city and the place was now empty but she hoped that the shelter was still there and open. Mrs Fitzgerald had always made sure that her parents knew to use the shelter with them being her nearest neighbors and also without a shelter themselves. Emma wriggled from Charlie’s arms and they ran for their lives toward the side of the property and into the undergrowth by the shelter entrance.
Ripping at the overgrown foliage surrounding the doorway, Charlie managed to ease the door open just as the full force of the tornado hit the neighborhood. Debris and huge items were swirling around just meters in from of them and the noise was thunderous. The pressure changes were causing havoc with their ears. That coupled with the deafening volume the wind was creating, there was no way they could communicate.
Charlie turned to grab Emma to pull her into the safety of the shelter and he found she had vanished. His heart failed when he realized that she could be anywhere by now if she had been caught in an updraft because the power of this storm was terrific. He stood from his position near the entrance and glanced around in every direction. Even though it was pointless he started frantically shouting,
“Emma, Emma where are you? Emma!”
*Unedited and subject to change*
He reached into his jacket pocket and palmed the small box he had been carrying close to his heart now for a few months. It contained a modest diamond solitaire he had tirelessly saved from his meagre wage but was going to be the icing on the cake for him and Em. Looking at it now though, it seemed so small and insignificant and he needed to give her the world, not some cheap, tiny second-hand diamond ring.
His plan was to propose to her when they found their first home. Making love for the first time was to be the first night alone in their new bedroom, a room he wanted to adorn with candles and rose petals and give her the romance she so deserved. But now she was moving on to much bigger things, asking her to marry him now was the wrong thing to do. He had wanted at least one ring on her finger before he took the next step with her.
He hadn’t had a lot of experience in romancing a girl and although Emma wasn’t his first, he had wanted them to be in a meaningful stage in their relationship because he wanted to prove to her that she meant far more to him that just sex. She had stolen his heart and soul and he felt like he had a purpose in life when he was with her. But by being weak and selfish in the spur of the moment the night before, he had not only tainted that special moment for them both, but he felt he had dirtied his precious Emma in the process. And thank goodness he already knew she had those pills that protected from pregnancy. He was clean and knew Emma was but he never even broached the fact he didn’t have a condom. He hated himself for not thinking this out and ruining his dreams for them but wouldn’t regret ever taking those precious moments with her especially if that was all he would ever have to take. And that made him no better than his own goddam loser of a father, and that made the fact he was about to walk away that bit less of a bitter pill to swallow.
He took in the sight of her before him right now and tried to take one last mental picture of her. Tears pooled in his eyes as she breathed deeply, looking so serene in the depths of her slumber. Leaning in, he took in one last discrete breath of her scent, and kissing her gently so as not to wake her, he whispered, “Please forgive me, Em, for what I am about to do and I hope you can do what I’m about to ask. Be happy, sweetheart. That is all I want for you. I will be eternally sorry for the way things have happened but please, sweetheart, know that I will love you forever.” Choking back a sob, he collected a few essentials he had found in one of the old metal boxes and he headed out of the shelter and up to the reality awaiting him.