Tensions run high when Bradley rocks the boat of wedded bliss by inviting Gabe, Sam, Ryan, Joe, and their families to spend Christmas Day with Gabby and him.
Sam finds herself torn between the man she loves and the ones she thinks she doesn’t.
Will the rift between Gabby and Sam continue to spread? Will everyone be able to finally leave the past behind?
When tragedy strikes, will they realize everything is temporary except Forever?
“What you see from the road doesn’t come close to doing it justice.” I nudge Ryan. “Right, babe?”
He startles. “Huh?”
“I was just telling Rebecca and Joe the view from the road doesn’t do it justice.”
He shakes his head. “She’s right.” He smirks. “The woman’s always right.”
Joe’s eyes scrutinize me furtively. “Not always.”
I try to swallow, but my mouth is parched once again. “I’m gonna have one last drink before we go. Some wine to warm my veins against the cold.” Reaching down, I pick up the nearly empty bottle. “I’d offer some to y’all, but looks like Gabby and I have about finished this one.” I salute Ryan, then Joe, and ignore Rebecca. “Bottoms up.”
Joe blinks, but holds his lids closed a little longer than usual. His legs, which are touching mine, tense before he snatches the bottle. “I think you’ve had enough.”
“I’m not drunk, and seriously, what do you care?” I puff my chest out at him. I’m sick of him acting like he’s my babysitter tonight. I peek past him at Rebecca. “How do you handle his bossiness?”
She smiles, but it doesn’t reach her eyes. “I guess he feels like you’re his little sister, and he’s just trying to protect you.” She winks at me, and I want to slap her. No. I don’t. Because I’m not an aggressive drunk, and I’m not even all that loopy anymore. I’m not my father. Maybe Joe’s right. Maybe I’ve had enough. “Anyway,” she says. “He seems to prefer me bossing him around, if you know what I mean.” Maybe me wanting to slap her has nothing to do with the fact I’ve been drinking and everything to do with her being a bitch?
Joe’s head whips back to her. “Really?” Thoughts of when Joe mentioned dropping to his knees and begging me not to move pop into my mind. Maybe he likes being on his knees. Everything in me tries to contain the smile that wants to curve on my lips and the giggles that want to fall out of them.
Ryan bursts into laughter. “So, you’re a dominatrix, Rebecca?”
“I guess you could say that.” Her tone has changed. It’s not as perky, warm. “See, there was this guy in college I screwed around with. Everything was always on his terms and never mine. He treated me great in private, and like I was a piece of trash in public.” Did she date my sister’s ex too? Because I swear she’s describing Ian, but he’s a good bit younger than her. They wouldn’t have been at Tech during the same time. My head twists between the two of them.
“Maybe he liked you, but didn’t know how to show it. Maybe he was afraid. Maybe it was bad timing for a relationship.”
Sometimes Ryan can be a complete idiot, and I’m ashamed of what comes out of his mouth. I interject, “So bad timing for a relationship gives the douche permission to treat her like trash?” Even if I’m not her biggest fan, hearing her story is like listening to my Gabby’s. It’s too personal. The fact Ryan is even attempting to defend such horrible behavior appalls me. “Last time I checked, the answer is no.”
“Exactly. Thank you, Sam. Anyway, he made me realize the best way to protect my heart was to control every aspect. So, I guess you could say I’m a dominatrix if you want. I’m not really into my men having to be beaten into submission to have sex with me, though.”
She cuts her eyes at Joe, who has his head down. I hear him mumble something, but can’t make out the words. He’s rubbing his palms on his pants. Why is he letting her say all this? “Anyway, I prefer my men begging for me, but I need the control. First rule is in order to have sex with me, you have to court me.”
J.B. McGee was born and raised in Aiken, South Carolina. She is the mother of two beautiful children and a stay at home mom/entrepreneur. She finished her Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina-Aiken in 2006. During her time studying children's literature, a professor encouraged her to become a writer.
In 2011, it was discovered that both her children, she, and her husband have Mitochondrial Disease, a disease that has no cure or treatments. Being a writer allows J.B. to remain close to her family, raise awareness for mito, and to lose herself in the stories that she creates for her readers.
J.B. McGee and her family now reside in Buford, Georgia. She is an Amazon Top 100 bestselling author of her debut series, the 'THIS' Series.