Read Tristan's Redemption Online

Authors: Candace Blackburn

Tristan's Redemption

 

 

David has everything going for him—a successful career and marriage to the love of his life—until one act of carelessness leads his death. Luckily for him, an angel gives him the opportunity for a second chance. The only catch is that Abby, his grieving widow, has to fall in love with him in his new body, before she gives birth to their son.

 

Abby's husband cheated on her, and died, all on the day she found out she was pregnant. Still in pain over her betrayal, Abby meets Tristan in a survivor's group and finds herself inexplicably attracted to this stranger. Despite questions over the similarities between Tristan and David, she can’t help falling in love. What Abby doesn't know is that she is the key, the only way Tristan will ever get over his own hurt and find his redemption.

 

 

Tristan
’s Redemption

by Candace Blackburn

 

 

Tristan’s Redemption

Candace Blackburn

 

Published by Candace Blackburn at
Smashwords

Copyright © 2013,
Candace Blackburn

Edited by
Danielle Fine

Cover Art by
Syd Gill Designs

 

All Rights Reserved. This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or part in any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical without the express written consent of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

 

 

Dedication

 

God, to You,
I am thankful for everything. Mama and Daddy, you raised me to believe there was nothing I can’t do. Short of playing professional basketball, you were right. Carson and Logan, you two taught me another definition of the word love. I’m a better person because of you. And to Paul, I love you more than words can sa
y
.

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

There are so many things that go into writing a book. Faith in yourself and your writing ability is first and foremost. But when that fails, it helps to have the encouragement of a cheerleading squad, and I
’ve got one of the best. Tori, my beautiful cousin, Syd, my beautifully-awesome cover artist and friend, Kaycey who speaks to me with the patience of a teacher who deals with children all the time, Stephanie who provides the voice of reason (and support). All the people at Lori Foster’s RAGT (including one author who is apparently a vampire because her face never appears in pictures), the NOLA balcony crew (BINGO BITCHEZ!), the Betas, the group of friends who provide never-ending and unwavering support. Most importantly, there are two very special guys who realize when mom has the earbuds in and the computer on, dinner will be late and they have to be quiet. And Paul, who said, “Why aren’t you self-pubbing? You can do this.” I love you all and I thank you for helping me get here.

 

Chapter One

 

Abby Daniels was ecstatic. Her smile stretched from ear to ear. Abby’s dreams were coming true.


Good afternoon, George.” Abby greeted the security guard at the door.


Hello, Mrs. Daniels. You’re looking radiant today.”


Thank you.” The elevator door opened and she waved. “Have a good afternoon!”


Will do, Mrs. Daniels!” Abby pressed the button for the ninth floor and hummed to herself on the upward climb. Thankfully, there were no stops. She could not
wait
to see the look on her husband’s face when she handed him the slip of paper in her purse.

This, she decided, was the best possible Christmas present that she could give. For over a year now, she
’d had monthly visits with either her gynecologists or the specialists at the Greater Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine. Month after month had brought disappointment and the process was emotionally taxing. She’d had every test imaginable, from determining that her ovaries were still functioning to testing the patency of her fallopian tubes in order to make sure there were no blockages. David had even given a sperm sample to check that he had good swimmers, as he put it. Medically, there was no reason she shouldn’t have conceived. All the tests results were fine, but the pregnancy didn’t happen.

Until now.

Abby stepped off the elevator and into the unusually hushed office. Christmas was in a few days, so David’s law firm was only open for a half day . Theoretically, Abby could have scheduled the appointment for this afternoon and included David, but she hadn’t told her husband anything about it. There had been too many disappointments over the past year and she didn’t want to get his hopes up. They’d gone through so much lately—the tests, the procedures, the frustration, the expense...not to mention having to make love according to Abby’s temperature, but
this
would make it all worthwhile.

There was no one here. All of the offices were darkened and a quick peek inside the employee kitchen showed the coffee pots empty and clean. David
’s door was shut and Abby felt a pang of disappointment. Had he gone home already? She checked her phone and there were no messages. He had to be here.

The secretary
’s computer was still on and her coffee mug was half-full. Curious, Abby opened the door to David’s office and froze.


No!”


Christ Almighty, Abby! What, when...Shit!” David’s secretary was on her back on his desk, her skirt pushed up around her waist. Her panties were on the floor, David’s pants around his ankles.


Oh God.” Abby backed out of the room, her hand clasped over her mouth. David’s eyes were widened and he stumbled after her, trying to pull his pants up.


Abby, wait, please! Don’t go!”

Tears blurred her vision as Abby ran back to the elevator. She stabbed the call button again and again, but it seemed the elevator was never going to come. David
’s footsteps grew louder and she wished that she could just disappear. “Abby, baby, I am so sorry.”

She shook her head, tears falling down her cheeks. She faced the door and David tugged on her arm.
“Please come talk to me. I can’t let you leave this upset.”

Abby jerked her arm out of his hold. The stupid elevator still wasn
’t there, and her lips were quivering. “You want to talk to me, in the office, where you were just having sex with your secretary?”

David ran his hands through his hair.
“God, no, you’re right. We’ll go downstairs and talk.”


No.” She shook her head.


Abby, I can’t let you get behind the wheel of a car. You’re shaking.”

She pointed toward the office.
“You weren’t thinking about my feelings back there.”


I did! I always have. You are my life, baby.”


Don’t call me that!” The word made her cry harder. She pulled away as he tried, again, to touch her. “And don’t touch me.” David reeled back as if she had slapped him. She looked up at the numbers, wondering if the damned elevator was broken.


Abby...”

Thankfully, the door opened and Abby stepped on. She turned to face him and pressed the door hold button.
“I came here to tell you that I’m pregnant, David. My doctor confirmed it while your secretary was on her back.” David paled and Abby released the button. “Don’t follow me, I’m going home to pack.”

David stood there, his chest heaving, as the doors closed. He screamed her name as the elevator, mercifully, carried her away. When it stopped after only two floors, she donned her sunglasses, hoping the people getting on wouldn
’t notice her eyes. David worked here, after all, and she didn’t want the stigma of a visibly-upset wife to follow him.

Wife
… Oh God.

Would she stay married to him? David was the love of her life. They
’d been together since college, inseparable even while he finished law school. Everyone said they were the perfect couple. During their wedding, David followed up as long as we both shall live with a whispered “Until the end of time, baby. Even death can’t touch a love like ours.”

Five years later, a baby was on the way, but David
’s heart obviously wasn’t interested anymore. The door opened and Abby had to wait for the people to finish their holiday well wishes and get out before she could move. She took the extra seconds to breathe. When she got to the car, she was going to fall apart, but not until then.

Only a few more minutes. Just keep it together.

But when the crowd finally cleared, George stood in front of the doors with a frown.


Mrs. Daniels, could you wait here for a second?”


What?” George had never detained her and there could only be one reason he was doing so now. “I realize David probably called you but I need to go.”


Are you okay, Mrs. Daniels?”

I feel like I
’m dying.
“Just in a hurry to get home.”

George appraised her.
“Just take care of yourself young lady. You look a bit pale.”


Thank you, George. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family.”


You too, ma’am.”

The door swooshed open and Abby stepped through, too numb to feel the cool December air.

Hold on. You’re almost there.

Keys out, Abby walked faster, hoping that David hadn
’t made it onto the elevator.


Abby! Wait!”

He ran up behind her and grabbed for her arm, but missed when she jerked away.

“Abby, baby, just listen—”


To what?” She rounded on him, tears pouring, fists clenched around her keys. “An explanation of why you needed someone besides me? Why I,” her voice cracked, “wasn’t enough for you?”


No!” David’s hand slashed through the air. “Don’t you
ever
think that. You are my life, Abigail Marie. I love you.”

Hearing those three words hurt too much after what she just saw.
“You have a funny way of showing it.”


I’m a bastard, Abby. A complete and total bastard. What just happened up there was the worst mistake of my life.”


I can’t do this. I’ve got to go home.”

David moved closer.
“I’ll follow you, Abby. Let me go lock up my office and I’ll be right there.”

Abby shook her head.
“I’m going to my mom’s. I can’t be in our bed tonight.”


Just wait for me before you leave. Please, baby?” His voice cracked as he spoke.

Abby unlocked the car and got in, not answering. David walked up to the side of the car and placed his hand on the window.

“I love you, Abby.”

She started the car and left David standing in the parking lot, with an anguished expression on his face.

Abby got home before the tears came.

~

Abby waited. She’d chickened out, not able to go into their bedroom and fill the same suitcases they’d used on their honeymoon. Instead, she sat on the couch and closed her eyes. When she opened them, the room was dark and the phone was ringing. Her mom’s name was on the caller ID screen.


Hello?”


Thank God. Abby, honey, I’m on the way.”


Mom? What’s going on? Are you crying?”

Her mother made a poor attempt to cover the phone as she talked to someone else.
“She doesn’t know. Sweet Jesus, she doesn’t know.”


Don’t know what? Mom, you’re scaring me. Where are you?”


Abby, honey, no one’s called you?”


Just you. I fell asleep on the couch waiting for David to get home. What’s happened?” The doorbell rang. “Mom, someone’s at the door. Let me talk to you—”


No! Keep me on the phone with you, honey, okay?”

Her stomach churned and the iced tea she had a few hours ago threatened to come back up. Her emotions had been haywire after she
’d left David’s office and now her mother was scaring her senseless.


Just let me get the door.”

Abby heard her mom tell someone to drive faster as she turned the doorknob. Standing on her doorstep was a policeman.

“Abby Daniels?”

Oh God.
“Yes?”


Ma’am, I’m Officer Jones with the Atlanta Police Department. Are you married to David Daniels?”

Abby nodded.
“I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but your husband, David, was killed this evening.”

Abby fell to her knees, screaming
no
over and over. A car screeched to a halt in the driveway. Her mom and dad got to her side quickly, but nothing they did would make it better. David was gone and she would never have another chance to tell him she loved him.

 

Other books

Giada's Feel Good Food by Giada De Laurentiis
Captain James Hook and the Curse of Peter Pan by Jeremiah Kleckner, Jeremy Marshall
Wayward Son by Heath Stallcup
All That Is by James Salter
THE TRYSTING TREE by Linda Gillard
She Fell Among Thieves by Yates, Dornford
Angel Of Mercy (Cambions #3) by Dermott, Shannon