A DISTRACTION NOVEL
GENRE: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
PUBLISHER: UNTOLD PRESS
*The Final Book in The Distraction Series*
Four years of college is coming to an end, and Tristan Daniels and Elle Richards are ready to take the next step toward a future together. Tristan gets drafted into the NFL, and a small newspaper offers Elle her dream job. Their happiness is within reach.
But life has a way of intercepting everything they’ve worked so hard to accomplish.
Love is defined in moments of weakness. Though it’s been months since Elle’s miscarriage, the pain remains an agony that threatens to undo her. True to form, Tristan is the rock, even as he watched the love of his life rushed to surgery. Thrown into chaos, the couple learns to work through their hurt and find solace through the heartache.
Until someone from the past resurfaces and seeks to shatter them for good.
From the beginning, no distraction could keep the best friends apart. Love became an addiction too strong for them to ignore. Now, before they can have a future, they must learn to conquer hardships and embrace what is truly important—
Born and currently residing in Texas, Angela shuffles three active children (not including her husband) all over the place. She works in a busy pediatric doctor’s office as a nurse during the day and writes at night. Addicted to coffee and chocolate, Angela laughs a lot, often at herself and is willing to try anything once. When Angela isn’t rushing kids around, working or writing, she’s reading. Other than life experience, Angela turns to a wide variety of music to help spark her creative juices. She loves to dance and sing though her kids often beg her not to.
✯ ☆҉‿➹~✯ ☆҉‿➹⁀⁀☆҉ ☆҉
(subject to change before release date)
Every day started with the same routine: morning jog, classes, football drills, homework, and repeat. Elle and I were always busy, so last night I set aside time for the two of us. You know, candles, dinner, the works. Only she didn’t show, which led to the current standoff in the living room when I tried to leave.
“Not now, Elle, I’ve got shit to do.”
“Awesome. I’ll be at the paper. Rixon’s meeting me.” She turned. “Not that you give a damn.”
The fuck! My scalp stung from scraping my nails through my hair. Didn’t want to argue with Elle, but I snapped. One mention of the guy’s name—the same asshole who monopolized her time, and I lost my calm.
“Go fucking figure. Run to another guy when shit gets rough.”
Damned if she didn’t fight back. Elle whipped around. “But it’s okay to hang with Kim? Still getting over our ‘time-out’?” Elle air quoted. “Oh, wait? Cooking classes and shit’s apparently fair game?”
Of course, she’d mention the chick I met in culinary class, wouldn’t she? I stepped forward, my shoes kissing her socks, and held her heated gaze. Adrenaline surged through my veins. What I really wanted to do was thread my fingers through her silky hair, pull her to me, and own her. But pride was a mother.
“Kim isn’t trying to fuck me, sweetheart.” Five short seconds was all the time I had to prepare for the sting of her palm against my cheek.
Tears mixed with the anger in her eyes. “How dare you?” she seethed. “I figured you’d give me a little more credit.” Elle swirled around and headed down the hall to the bedroom. Pictures knocked against the wall when the door slammed.
“Goddammit!” My cell in hand, I snatched the keys off the coffee table and left. The house vibrated when the front door shut, but at that point, I didn’t care.
The engine roared, and tires squealed as I raced down the street. Hadn’t driven but five minutes before the phone buzzed. Without checking the caller-ID, I answered the phone.
“Someone needs to get laid.”
“Paul?” I shook my head, hardly believing it was him on the other end. I hadn’t heard from him since the last email he sent from the Middle-East.
Paul razzed me more. “Lemme guess, Elle get smart and leave your dumb ass?”
The light changed from red to green, and I advanced down the street, calmer than when I left Elle.
I fucked up. Never should have gone off on her. Elle wouldn’t leave me for another man. But I didn’t like Rixon and her walking away after a fight, to go with the same prick, was like pouring alcohol on a wound. It burned.
Paul interrupted my internal debate. “Silence won’t help, bro. Give me something.”
Hard plastic from the steering wheel cut into the creases of my fingers. Didn’t matter, I gripped the wheel tighter. “Nothing, man.”
Had to love his verbal brutality. The truth was, I missed the skinny bastard. Paul and I’d been best friends, thick as thieves since we made Mrs. Webber cry in first grade. I remember the day clearly. Fresh from the playground, we’d put a stiff dead frog in the teacher’s chair. Never heard a grown woman wail so loudly. Good times. After high school Paul enlisted, so now communication consisted of emails with the occasional phone call.
“Sorry, man. Caught me at a bad time.”
“You and Elle working through something?”
My laugh sounded harsh and cold. “Something like that,” I admitted.
I loved Elle, too much at times. Waking up with her side of the bed vacant was a reality I’d faced not long ago, and I never wanted to experience that type of emptiness again.
“You talk to your girl?”
“Nope.” I seethed, driving in circles for the fuck of it.
“You afraid she’ll bail?”
My mouth dried. Yeah, bail, hightail it out of my house and my life forever. Sometimes that fear seeped down deep to a place I ignored because I didn’t want to face certain demons—being a pussy was safer.
Maybe I was tired of denying the truth. At that moment, I decided, to be honest and put my insecurities out in the open. Paul had that effect.
“Yeah, man. So much it makes me a little crazy.” I turned onto a residential street and parked. At the sight of homes—with open yards for kids and dogs to play in—my heart knocked against my rib cage. I pictured a future with Elle, starting out in a place similar to these. Those chances were slim if I didn’t get my shit together.
Skepticism messed me up when I had time to think. But during the heated moments when I cherished her body, explored the dips and curves along her silky skin, and relished every sound of pleasure she released, I didn’t think. Didn’t have to.
“When Elle left last year, I didn’t deal with it well.”
“Dude, I remember your sloppy-ass messages when she kicked you to the curb.” His deep laugh vibrated through the line. “Did she give you any indication of moving on since you two worked your shit out?”
I laughed, shaking my head. “No, Dr. Phil.” Which had been my problem. Elle promised not to shut me out, but the what-if lurked, cluttering up my head more days than not. “What do you care?”
“Working through your issues is easier than dealing with mine.” Paul dove back in before I could take a go at his problems. “Talk to Elle, man. You’ve got a good woman, and don’t be a pussy about it either.”
I groaned, raking a hand down my scruffy face. Easier said than done. “Any other advice?”
“Don’t be a dick, dick.” He laughed, and I joined him.
“Thanks, man.” Hair fell into my eyes when I shook my head, and I pushed it away. “When you getting out?”
Paul enlisted in the Marines to run from the only woman he’d ever admitted to loving: Alyssa, Elle’s best friend and pain in the ass I nicknamed Amazon.
He never brought up why he walked away from her, and I never pushed. Paul and Alyssa’s history was their business. On occasion, he’d ask about her until I mentioned Bret, her current fling and another buddy of mine. He hadn’t mentioned her name since.
“Soon as the year’s up.”
I whistled. “Good, good.” I shifted the car into drive. “Coming home?”
“Don’t know. So, how’s ball? You and the old man still getting along okay?”
Nice subject change. Paul understood how strained home used to get with Dad back in the day. Growing up, the old man had issues with Elle and her family, and as a result, didn’t approve of me wanting Elle in my life.
Apparently, miracles happen because dad dropped the hostility with Elle and her mom. Not long after our truce, Elle’s sister, Heather, overdosed. All hell broke, which is when Elle shut me out of her life. Worst pain imaginable.
Had I not lied to Elle, repeatedly, kept Heather’s whereabouts a secret while she sobered up in rehab, Elle probably would have stayed. Upon Heather’s request, I didn’t tell Elle. When Heather got out, life was great, until it wasn’t.
The devastation Elle suffered killed me, but she wouldn’t let me help her or hold her during the pain. I probably would’ve died had Dad not been around to intervene, seeing as I dealt with losing Elle by drowning in hard liquor.
Too lost in the past, I hadn’t caught whatever Paul spouted until he said, “Didn’t hear a word I said, did you?”
I shook my head, grinning. “Guess not, but uh, gotta get back.”
“Yeah, ‘aight. I expect a full report next time.”
“Got it, man.”
“Talk soon, bro.”
I tossed the phone in the passenger seat, ready to head back to Elle, my peace, my everything.
Her car sat in the same place when I hauled ass out. It felt like a fist jammed into my gut. She didn’t leave.
She didn’t leave.
Inside the house, the silence suffocated the mixture of pride and anger, mostly toward myself, and pushed me down the hall. Tension rolled across my shoulders with each step closer to the room, but I forged on. Loving Elle was easy, but trusting each other was a game we’d forgotten how to play.
The hinges creaked when the door opened. Elle snapped her head up. Her red nose and puffy eyes shredded the center part of my chest. Though my heart begged me to inch forward and quiet her cries, my feet were cemented to the floor.
I shoved my hands in my pockets. “Spud.”