Together We Heal by Chelsea M. Cameron

  Together We Heal

  Copyright © 2015 Chelsea M. Cameron

  Editing by Jen Hendricks

  Cover by Sarah Hansen at Okay Creations

  Formatted by Shore Thang Formatting

  License Notes:

  This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

  Publisher’s Note:

  This ebook is protected under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without express written permission from the publisher. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

  Together We Heal is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are use fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, business establishments or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Any trademarks, service marks, product names or named features are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if we use one of these terms.


  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three



  About The Author

  Novels By The Author

  Contact The Author

  WE MET AT a funeral. Not the most auspicious start for a relationship, but whatever. I was dealing with a lot of shit and then there was a boy with blue hair and a smile that made my heart do funny things, even though it was already broken.

  He didn’t know the truth about why I was so torn up about Ric. He was her cousin, but knew what she was like. A raging bitch most of the time. They say not to speak ill of the dead, but Ric was Ric. She was a cheater, a liar and a pretty terrible person, but that didn’t stop me from caring about her.

  He didn’t ask why I was so upset and then he said something about zombies. It was totally inappropriate, given the circumstances, but it made me laugh anyway. It didn’t hurt that he was disgustingly cute. Like, painfully cute. It was hard to look at him for too long.

  Of course my brother and my stupid friends saw me laughing with someone of the opposite sex and automatically assumed something. Okay sure, I didn’t smile all that often, or laugh, but mind your own fucking business.

  Things moved fast after that. We decided to date and that was that. For the most part.

  “Hun, can you hand me my pencil?” Max said as the pencil he’d placed on the table rolled to the floor of the library.

  “Sure thing,” I said, leaning down and picking it up. So I wasn’t much of an academic, but I got my homework done. Max had been a good influence on me since he studied harder than anyone I knew, except for maybe Audrey. The guy had worked three jobs (now he was down to two) to put himself through school, so he took his study time seriously.

  And then there was me. School was never my thing, but when you had an older brother that was a self-described “fucking genius”, you had no choice but to join in.

  I still hadn’t picked a major, but I’d been taking all my general education requirements and after those were done, I’d figure it out. I still had time.

  I handed the pencil to Max and he grabbed my hand and kissed the back of it. I rolled my eyes, but inside my stomach fluttered. I thought that feeling would go away by now, but nope. Still there every time he looked at me.

  “Shit, I have to get to work,” he said, looking at the time on his phone. It was time for his night job sitting at the desk in the gym on campus, swiping people’s cards and occasionally washing people’s gross and sweaty towels. It didn’t require a lot of (if any) brainpower, so he usually got a lot of his homework done.

  “Pick me up later?” he asked. I currently had a semi-working car thanks to my brother Stryker, who was always tinkering with one vehicle or another and made money as a mechanic to get by as well as working as a TA and interning part time at one of the labs on campus. He was on track to getting a sweet job, as long as they were cool with tats. And the bar in his eyebrow and the ring in his lip.

  “Uh huh,” I said and he came around the table to give me a goodbye kiss. The contact zipped through my veins, igniting a need that I’d been denying for a long time.

  “Bye, Trish,” he said, his voice soft and full of promises and so many other things.

  “Bye, Max,” I said, giving him a wave and hating the way my voice got breathy sometimes when I talked to him. I hated the way my laugh changed around him. I hated the way he made me feel like a warm puddle of goo with just one look. I hated everything about him.

  That was a lie. There wasn’t a thing about Maxwell Arthur Greene I didn’t like. That seemed impossible, but it had happened. I watched him leave the library, admiring the way his jeans cupped his ass. There were things about Max I liked more than others and his ass was near the top. It was just perfectly shaped. Funny, because he didn’t really work out, or put forth any effort to get it that way, but perfect it was nonetheless.

  His other physical attributes included his royal blue hair, which was currently gelled into a swoopy mohawk and was naturally curly when he let it air dry, his matching blue eyes, the way his body was a little on the skinny side, but still gorgeous. He was my blue-haired daydream and I couldn’t believe he hadn’t run for the hills yet.

  I was still waiting for the day when he figured out I wasn’t the girl he wanted and would leave. It was coming, probably soon.

  My phone vibrated with a text as I got back down to my homework.

  Ugh, my stupid brother.

  Are you coming over?

  I still lived on campus, but Stryker had his own apartment, which he had started sharing with his girlfriend, Katie. I was still pissed at him for not getting a place with two bedrooms so I wouldn’t have to stay in the dorms, but I guess it made sense because of my financial aid.

  In a few.

  I wanted to get some more work done before I went over to his place. It was Thursday night, but he was having a bunch of his friends over to have a music session. They were generally just called The Band and were all crazy talented. I knew Katie was perfect for him when I heard her singing voice the first time. Up until then, I’d been extremely skeptical, but things had worked out for them somehow.

  Stryker and I were more than a little rough around the edges and Katie was never what I would have picked for him. Our childhood was the kind they make tear-jerking
memoirs out of and I definitely didn’t like to think about it much.

  Katie was sweet and cute and had these big brown eyes. Bouncy and loved pink and she annoyed the hell out of me for a while. But then I got to know her and my opinion changed. She also changed when her father died a few months ago. Now I thought of her almost as a sister.

  Weird how things happened like that.

  My next interruption came in the form of my best friend, Lottie. She skipped over and sat down in Max’s empty chair.

  “Hey, what you working on?” Looking at us, you wouldn’t think we’d get along either. Lottie was cute and upbeat and smiled a lot. Add blonde hair and blue eyes and she was Miss All-American Sweetheart.

  I was… not.

  “I don’t even remember at this point,” I said, wanting to rub my eyes, but not wanting to smudge my eye makeup.

  “Want to come over for dinner?” she asked.

  “I’m going over to Stryker’s anyway to hang out with The Band.”

  “Sweet, I’ll come up then.” Lottie and her boyfriend Zan lived just below my brother’s apartment. Even when I wanted to escape my friends, it was pretty much impossible.

  “Sounds good,” I said, slamming my books shut and shoving them into my bag. My citrus-colored hair was in my eyes and I blew my bangs out of my face.

  “You okay?” she asked. I hated how perceptive she was. And how she wasn’t scared of me like some people were. I had a carefully cultivated bitch face combined with a glare that put most people off. Not her.

  “Yup, fucking peachy,” I said. I was fine. Pretty much.

  “Okay, sorry I asked.” I never used to feel bad about being an asshole to other people, but Lottie made me feel bad about it. When the hell did I catch feelings?

  “It’s nothing, I swear. Just stressed about finals.” That wasn’t the truth, but it sounded good enough.

  “Oh, I know. I can’t believe our first year of college is almost over. I feel like just yesterday Will and I were moving in.” She had come a long way from those days. We all had.

  “Anyway, I need to get home and feed Zan.” She rolled her eyes when she said it, but I knew she loved it. She and her boyfriend had had a rocky road to get to their love story, but it was the kind of stuff romance novels were made of.

  “See you later,” I said, getting up and slinging my bag over my shoulder. She gave me a little wave and then got her phone out, probably to text Zan.

  A HALF HOUR later, I was trying to find someplace to sit in Stryker’s crowded apartment. It was big and open and had an industrial feel to it, but at the moment it was packed with a bunch of college-age people all passing around instruments.

  “Hey, Trish,” Allan said, giving me a wink. He was a terrible flirt and drove me crazy. He was also hopelessly in love with Zoey, but he was shit out of luck because she only liked girls.

  The rest of the crew, Perry, Cort, Baxter (Ric’s Ex), Pepper and Theo were all talking over each other, trying to decide what song to sing. They weren’t an actual band, but they jammed at least once a week.

  “Where’s Stryker?” I asked Allan, finally choosing to sit on the floor by his feet. He was tuning his guitar.

  “Well, he and Katie went into the bathroom a few minutes ago and haven’t come out, so I’d guess one or both of them is getting lucky,” he said.

  Gross. My brother and his girlfriend could be disgusting sometimes. In fact, most of my friends were like that. It was like living inside the plot of several romantic movies at once.

  You’d think this would make me happy, since I was a huge romance novel fan, but really, it just made me bitter.

  “Where’s the Blue Boy?” Allan asked. Ugh. I hated how he gave everyone stupid nicknames.

  “Working,” I said as Stryker and Katie finally emerged from the bathroom. Their faces were identical shades of white and it was easy to tell that nothing sexy had gone on in the bathroom after all.

  I immediately popped to my feet and walked over to them.

  “What’s wrong?” I asked. Sure, I might be a bitch most of the time, but that didn’t mean I didn’t love anyone. I loved my brother (and by extension Katie) more than anything. I’d kill or die for him, no questions asked.

  They both stood there like they’d grown roots or something and Katie pushed her hair back from her face with shaking hands.

  “Um,” she said, looking at Stryker. He just stared at her, with is mouth gaping a little.

  “What is it?” I said in a low voice. I didn’t want to draw too much attention. Everyone else was busy talking and laughing and hadn’t noticed the three of us standing here like this.

  “You’re scaring me,” I said. I didn’t love a whole lot of people on this planet and losing even one of them wasn’t something I wanted to begin to comprehend.

  All sorts of bad things stomped through my head and I was about to fucking lose it when Katie whispered, “I’m pregnant.”

  I SERIOUSLY HATED my job, but when you needed money, you took what you could get. My life would be so much easier if my parents weren’t total assholes who refused to pay for college.

  My dad was a HVAC specialist and wanted me to be part of the family business. Nothing else would do. Well, too bad, Dad. I’m not going to spend my life miserable and installing air conditioners. Seriously, fuck that.

  So here I was, working multiple jobs, barely able to get by, hardly ever getting to see my girlfriend.

  Thinking about Trish made me smile. So many people bought her prickly façade, but I’d seen what was under that, and … hell, it was beautiful. I was damn lucky I got to see it.

  I was well into my shift when I got a text message from Trish. Another perk of this job was the fact that as long as I swiped cards and replenished towels, I could do whatever the hell I wanted to.

  I’m freaking the fuck out and I need to talk to someone.

  Uh oh. Code Red. I found one of my coworkers and told her I had an emergency and needed to make a phone call. She was fine with covering for me, so I rushed outside into the cold. It was barely March and winter was still holding onto the state of Maine with her icy fingertips.

  “Hello? Trish?” I said, panicking as I held the phone to my ear. I wasn’t wearing my coat and I was already freezing. But this was more important.

  “Sooo, it looks like I’m going to be an aunt.”

  I almost asked her to repeat herself.

  “You’re going to be an aunt?” I said.

  “Yeah. My brother knocked his girlfriend up.” She didn’t sound happy or upset. Just shocked.

  “Wow. Holy shit.”

  “Yeah. Exactly. I’m freaking the fuck out here, Max. I just… I don’t even know what the fuck to do.” It was no secret that Trish had a complicated and dark past and I always kept that in mind when she seemed to freak out about something most people wouldn’t.

  “Talk to me,” I said. Usually getting her to open up was worse than trying to break into a bank vault, but it didn’t stop me from trying.

  “I don’t even know,” she said and I could tell she was smoking and pacing.

  “Do you need me to come over?” It would mean leaving work, but I was a good employee, so this one time it wouldn’t matter.

  “No, no. I’m fine. Everyone’s here. They’re all singing songs with the word ‘baby’ in them.” I could just barely hear the sound of singing in the background.

  “How’s your brother doing?” She snorted.

  “I think he’s still in shock.” No doubt. I couldn’t imagine. “Listen, I’m fine. I don’t know why I texted you. I’ll see you in a few hours when I pick you up.” She hung up before I could protest. I thought about calling her back, but she probably wouldn’t pick up.

  I went back to the desk and relieved Annie.

  “Everything okay?” she asked.

  “Guess so.”

  “Are you sure?” She put her hand on my shoulder and I wanted to shake it off. She was nice and all, but she wasn’t Trish and Trish
was the only girl I wanted.

  “Yeah, it’s all good.” I gave her a thumbs up and then went back to my homework. Or at least I tried to. My mind was wandering, thinking about Trish and hoping she was okay.

  FUCKING. PREGNANT. MY brother got his girlfriend pregnant. After all the times he’d lectured me about safe sex and condoms and the pill and shown me graphic pictures of STDs and all that bullshit and he couldn’t even follow his own advice.

  He seemed happy on the outside, smiling and laughing as everyone congratulated him. But I knew better. He was freaking the fuck out. Just like me.

  Katie was doing better at hiding her own fear and was laughing as everyone suggested names. Guess they were keeping it.

  I texted Max when I was outside having a smoke and I should have known he’d call me. I felt guilty for panicking at him, so I hung up before he could offer, again, to come over.

  I went back inside and found Lottie, Zan, Simon, Brady, Will, Audrey and Eddie had arrived. It was a full fucking house and so loud I was sure someone was going to call the cops on us. We’d be screwed since there was a lot of underage alcohol consumption happening.

  They were all clustered around Katie, who was accepting congratulations. Stryker was deep in conversation with Zan, and I walked over to them.

  “I have no idea how this is going to work, but I’m going to make it fucking work,” Stryker said, running his hand through his hair. I bleached it blonde for him every few weeks and his roots were showing. That probably wasn’t tops on his list of priorities right now.

  “How?” I asked, crossing my arms. He turned to face me.

  “I don’t know, Trish. But I will. This is my responsibility and we’re going to do this together. It was going to happen at some point, it’s just happening a bit sooner than we planned.” Yeah, right. I knew my brother and I knew he didn’t want kids for at least five years from now. More like ten.

  “Well, you’d better. I’m not going to stand by and watch as you abandon your kid,” I said. The words came out harsher than I intended, but whatever.

  Zan just stood there and watched us with his dark eyes. He was tall and mostly silent and my brother’s best friend. I hadn’t been his biggest fan, but that was all resolved when we found out he hadn’t caused the car accident that had landed Lottie’s best friend in the hospital with a permanent brain injury. He’d been covering for his brother and that was something I could understand. You made sacrifices for family.

No Previous Page Next Page
Should you have any enquiry, please contact us via [email protected]