Read Love Song Series Box Set Online

Authors: Emily Minton,Dawn Martens

Love Song Series Box Set

The Love Song Series Box Set

 

 

By
Emily Minton & Dawn Martens &

 

Whiskey Lullaby

Broken

I Hope You Dance

 

 

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’s rights, and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly. Thank you for respecting the work of this author.

 

DAWN MARTENS AND EMILY MINTON

 

Copyright © 2014 Dawn Martens and Emily Minton

 

Published 2014

 

Cover Art by Kellie Dennis at Book Cover by Design

www.bookcoverbydesign.co.uk

 

Edited by
Kendra Gaither at Kendra’s Proofreading, Line-Editing, and Reviewing.

 

Whiskey Lullaby is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places and events portrayed in this book either are from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, establishments, events, or location is purely coincidental and not intended by the author. Please do not take offence to the content, as it is FICTION.

 

Trademarks: This book identifies product names and services known to be trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of their respective holders, The authors acknowledges the trademarked status in this work of fiction. The publication and use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

 

Dedication

This one is for our fans!

Whiskey Lullaby

By: Dawn Martens and Emily Minton

Prologue

J
ulie

I pick up the towel and wipe my hands as I stare down at Jase
’s birthday cake. It’s the first time I’ve ever made one by myself, and it’s his favorite; chocolate with vanilla pudding in the middle. It’s the same kind his momma used to make, the same one she taught me to make for him. Since she’s not here anymore, I want to be the one to make it for him.

Jase and I
have been together for years. We started dating when I was just a teen, but I think I’ve been his girl my entire life. We’ve known each other since we were just kids, but we didn’t become a couple until I was a freshman and he was a senior. I remember talking to my two best friends, Kristen and Becca, when he came up and told me we were going out. Yes, he told me I was going out with him that night. He didn’t ask, and he didn’t wait for an answer. He just told me then kissed my cheek and walked away. Since then, we’ve been inseparable.

He was, and is, the sexiest thing I have ever seen
, with his thick, light-brown hair that hangs just below his chin, and beautiful dark-brown eyes that sparkle when he laughs and turn nearly black when he’s inside me. He’s also tall, a little over six feet, and slim but muscular. He was on the school’s football team. All the girls wanted him; I couldn’t believe he wanted me. Sometimes, I still can’t.

I was a shy
bookworm, still am most of the time. Back in school, I never did anything except study. I was quiet and kept mostly to myself, though I really only had a few friends. It was just Kristen, Becca, and me against the world.

The phone rings and I shake off my thoughts.
“Hey, cuz. I was just thinking about you.”


Only good things, I hope,” she says with a soft laugh.

Kristen is my cousin, but she is really more of a sister. My brother and I have lived with her family since I was seven. See, my mom ran off with some trucker and left me and Brandon alone in our little trailer. He was just nine, but he tried his best to take care of me. Three days after she left, we ran out of food
. The next day, the Department of Children’s Services was at our door.

We haven
’t seen Mom since. My dad was never in the picture. Honestly, I wonder if Mom even knew who he was. Luckily, Mom’s brother Mack was more of a parent than she ever was. He and his wife took us in. They have two kids of their own, Kristen and Will. We had never even met them before we moved in, but it didn’t take long for us all to become one big family.


Everything about you is good.”


I didn’t call to get my ego stroked.” She laughs before going on. “Is Jase home? I wanted to tell him happy birthday.”

Jase and I moved in together my senior year of high school. It was two weeks before my birthday, but he swore he just couldn
’t wait to share a home with me. My uncle and aunt flipped out when I said I wanted to move in with Jase. They knew him, and his dad was Uncle Mack’s best friend, but they’d been really protective of me since Brandon and I moved in with them.

After lots of long talks
, and lots of pleading from me and Jase, Uncle Mack and Aunt Angie relented and allowed me to move in with Jase, but not before they gave him the ‘talk’. I wasn’t allowed in the room, so I’m not sure what was said, but Jase was as white as a sheet when they were done. A week later, they helped me pack up my things and moved me into Jase’s place. That was three years ago, and we’ve been living our own happily ever after ever since.


No, he had to work late.”


On his birthday?” She sounds pissed for him, but I’ve gotten used to his long hours.


They’ve been busy at the shop lately, so he’s been pulling a lot of overtime. Hopefully, we’ll be able to buy us a house before long.”

Jase works at his pop
’s garage. He comes home smelling like gas and covered in grease, but it’s good money. His brothers work there too, and I think he enjoys being with them every day. It seems like he works all the time, but he’s doing what he loves. That is all that matters to me.

Kristen and I talk for a few more minutes before saying goodbye.
Then, I finish cleaning up the mess from the cake and head to mine and Jase’s bedroom. I plan to surprise Jase at work. I’ve never just showed up at the shop before, but I think he’ll love my surprise. He turned twenty-two today. It is his first birthday since his mom died, and I want to make sure it’s the best birthday he’s ever had.

Jase has been having a really hard time since Michelle died, but he won
’t talk about it. It’s been almost a year, and he still won’t even mention her name. He’s drinking a lot. He even stayed out all night a time or two. I’m kind of worried, but Aunt Angie says everyone has to grieve in their own way, so I’m trying to give him his space. It’s hard to see him struggling so much and not try to help, though.

After a quick shower, I put on my new knee length blue dress. I look at myself in the mirror and like what I see. The dress hugs all the right curves, but doesn
’t show any of my extra bits. Becca’s been telling me I need to lose a little weight, so I’ve been trying to diet. I’ve lost a few pounds, but I don’t think Jase has even noticed.

Bec
ca’s been telling me a lot of things lately actually, all bad; like I’m getting fat, my hair is stringy, I’m too clingy with Jase. The list goes on. I’m not sure why she keeps acting this way, but I know that I am getting tired of it. Maybe she’s just feeling a little lonely. I don’t get to spend a lot of time with her anymore.

Thinking about her and the reason for her change in attitude, I shoot her a quick text.
Maybe if I try to reach out to her a little more, she’ll quit being such a witch.
Thanks for helping me pick out the dress. I’m on my way to give him his present now. ;)

Her response is instantaneous.
Good Luck

I slide my phone into my purse and run some gloss over my lips.
Then, I fluff up my long dark-brown hair, take one more look in the mirror, and head back downstairs. After grabbing the cake, I head to the car. Just as I’m stepping outside the door, I hear my phone ding. Another message.

Pulling it out of my purse, I see Bec
ca’s name and click on it.
Are you on your way yet?

Hmmm…
That’s weird.
Getting in the car now.

I wait a second
, but she doesn’t respond, so I pull the door open and climb into my car. I place his birthday cake in the passenger seat and start the car. As I drive, I imagine the look on his face when he sees me carrying a cake into the garage. I hope it isn’t too much; I don’t want to embarrass him in front of the guys, but I do want to do something special for him. Nah, he won’t be embarrassed. He’ll be happy to see me, but he’ll be even happier when he sees what I’ve got on under my dress. The sixty dollar bustier I’m wearing under my dress is his real present.

I pull into the parking lot ten minutes later and make my way inside. I don
’t see him when I first walk through the door. That’s strange. I figured he would be out in his bay working. I wave at the guys, but no one waves back. Not one of them will look at me. Even Jase’s baby brother Shane is looking the other way. I’m not sure what’s wrong, but I have the feeling something is off.

Nervous butterflies flutter in my stomach as I walk further into the garage. I look around and see a bright red purse
sitting beside Jase lunch box, and my heart starts to beat fast. It only takes a second to realize who’s purse it is. Becca. I feel hot all over, but cold chills run down my spine at the same time. What in the hell is she doing here? Why didn’t she mention she was coming to the garage?

As I take a step forward, I hear a noise coming from inside the office.
It sounds eerily familiar, a lot like the sounds I was making last night in bed. Another low moan slips through the wall, and I start to shake my head. No, No, No! There is no way that Jase is in there with Becca. No way.

Suddenly, a thought passes through my mind.
I remember all those nights that he didn’t come home until the early hours of the morning, stumbling into bed, too drunk to even undress himself. The next day, his clothes would smell like whiskey and perfume. He always had a good excuse; Matty’s girl gave him a hug, he was drinking with the guys from the shop, and so on and so on. I brushed it off, thinking he would never betray me, and that he was only having a hard time dealing with his mother’s death. God, I was stupid.

Straightening my shoulders, I walk to the office and crack the door open.
The sight before me rips my heart in two. My head starts to spin, and my stomach begins to roll. How could they? How could they hurt me this way? I feel like I’m going to be sick, so I start to back up slowly, hoping they don’t hear me. I can’t face either one of them right now.

I
barely take a step back before bumping into Shane’s chest. He places his arm around my shoulders and looks down into my eyes. Pity’s etched on his face. He pulls me close to his body and walks me out front.

As soon as we step outside, I pull away from him.
“How long has this been going on?”


Jules, please, you gotta understand. He’s my brother.”

I glare at him, my anger finding a target.
“Yeah, and I thought I was your friend.”


You are my friend. That’s why I didn’t stop you from going in there, but I was wrong about that. I should’ve stopped you. You didn’t need to see that shit, but I thought you deserved to know.” He looks toward the ground and shakes his head. “I’m so sorry, Jules.”

I look up at him and shake my
own head, my anger slowly fading away. At this point, I’m just hurt. I can save being angry for later. I somehow find my voice. “This isn’t your fault.”

He jerks his head up and focuses on my face.
“I should’ve told you.”

In other words, this has been going on for a long time.
I store that bit of information for later. Like my anger, I will deal with it when I have the strength.


I know why you didn’t tell me. I don’t blame you.”

He
starts to respond, but I stop him. “I don’t really want to talk about it right now. If you want to bare your soul, we can do it over a beer later. Right now, I need you to do me a favor.” My voice cracks a little as I formulate a plan.


Anything for you, Jules.”


Don’t tell Jase I was here. I need a little time to myself.”

I need t
ime to come up with a plan… time to get the hell away from the bastard and his whore.

He nods.
“I won’t say a thing.”


Make sure the rest of the guys don’t tell him either.” The last thing I need is for Jase to come home while I’m packing my stuff.

Shane nods his head again.
“I’ll make sure no one says a word.”

I look down, trying to will my tears away, and notice that I
’m still carrying his stupid birthday cake. I walk over and set it by the garage door, not willing to hold it a moment longer, then run to my car. I hear Shane calling my name, but I don’t look back. I can’t talk to him or anyone else right now. I start the car with one thought on my mind; I have to get out of here. I have to get as far away as I can.

Once
I make it back home, I run up to our room. Grabbing my suitcase from the closet, I quickly pack as much of my stuff as I can. Not caring, I shove everything into one bag. Clothes, shoes, makeup; everything goes in together. When I’m done, I look around the room, our room, with a heavy heart. Removing his Grandpa’s dog tags from around my neck, I head toward our bed.

A year after Jase and I started dating, he gave them to me. He
’d been wearing them since he was just a kid. When he put them on me, he said they used to be his most prized possession, but now I was. He said when people saw them around my neck, that everyone would know that I was his. At the time, I was proud to be known as Jase’s woman. Now, the thought of him having some sort of claim on me makes me want to throw up.

I know taking them off means we are truly over, but we were over the moment I saw him with
Becca. After one last look at the dog tags, I place them on Jase’s pillow and run to my car. Before I can get in the driver’s seat, Matty, Jase’s middle brother, pulls up. When he gets out, his eyes take me in. His normal carefree look is replaced with confusion, and he starts to walk toward me.


Where are you going, Jules?” he asks as he looks at the bag in my hand.


I don’t know.”

He lifts a brow.
“You don’t know?”

I don
’t respond, just nod my head.

He takes a step closer, invading my space.
“What the hell happened?”

I
’m just as surprised as he is when the words start tumbling out of my mouth. “I went to surprise Jase, and he was having sex with one of my best friends.” Tears threaten and finally win as I sob heavily.

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