Just when she has learned to trust again Stevie's life is once more thrust into uncertainty. Left with only the memories of her deeply passionate relationship she tries to piece together what is left of her heart.
Shocking news leaves her reeling once again as she tries to help her first love Jason's brother, Dillon, to rebuild his life.
Will Stevie's heart ever be mended? And if so who will be the man worthy of her trust? And will she ever get her happy ever after?
Available from 5 Prince Publishing
Genre: Fiction, Romance Contemporary
Release Date: February 5, 2015
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-097-8 ISBN 10: 1631120972
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-098-5 ISBN 10: 1631120980
Purchase linkAbout Lisa J Hobman
Lisa is happily married to her soul-mate and they have a daughter and two crazy dogs. She especially enjoys being creative and now writes almost full time.
In 2012 Lisa and her family relocated from England to their beloved Scotland; a place of happy holidays and memories for them. Her new location now features in all of her books.
Writing has always been something Lisa has enjoyed, although in the past it has centered on poetry and song lyrics. Some of which appear in her stories.
Since she started writing in 2012 she has loved every minute of becoming a published author.
How to Reach Lisa J Hobman
Excerpt for Reasons to Stay
Stevie observed Jason as he read, his face a confused mask. The line between his brows deepened. What the hell was in that letter? He peered down at the envelope, pulled out a photo, and stared at it for a long while. From where Stevie was sitting, she leaned forward and could see that it was a photo of Jason with another girl. Judging by his fresh-faced appearance in the picture, it must have been taken just before he disappeared. Handsome eighteen-year-old Jason. The man she had loved so deeply.
She touched his leg. “Jason? Are you okay?” No reply. “Jason? Who’s that girl in the photo with you?” Still nothing. Panic rose within her and she nudged him. “Jason!” She raised her voice this time causing him to look up.
“What?” he snapped. His face had paled. Drained of all colour. But in his narrowed eyes she saw anger. And maybe a little fear.
“What’s in the letter?”
“Sorry? Oh…it’s...” His shook his head and looked back at the letter and the photograph again. His eyes widened. He was clearly horrified at the contents. He opened and closed his mouth as if searching for the right words. Disbelief washed over his features. He stood slowly as if in a trance like state. “I’ve…I need…I need some air.” He almost staggered toward the door, clutching the papers and photograph in his grip.
Stevie stood too and followed. Something was very wrong. “Are you all right? You’re worrying me.” She followed him down the stairs and watched as he pulled on his leather jacket, shoved the scrunched up letter and photograph into the inside pocket, and walked out of the front door. “Jason, for goodness sake, will you please tell me what was in the letter? And who was that girl in the photo with you? Please!”
He stopped and turned to face her. “I…I can’t do this now. I need to go. I need some time to think… I can’t talk…not now. I need to go… Please let me go.”
“What do you mean you need to go? Go where? What the hell’s going on, Jason? Talk to me!” Her chest heaved, and she felt tears needle the back of her eyes.
Whatever was in that letter had changed him. It was like someone had flicked a switch. Loving, sweet, playful Jason had gone. The menacing mask descended once again. Jason from the first days in Scotland was back. He stalked toward her with an angry determination and leaned in until his face was only inches from hers.
His jaw was clenched. “I. Need. To. Go.” Each word was uttered in a staccato rhythm.
She automatically stepped back. “B-but you’ll be back? I mean…when you say you need to go, you mean for a drive…or for…for some air…don’t you? And there’s your dad’s funeral…and Dillon.”
His nostrils flared, and he stared blankly at her. “I already said I can’t fucking talk about this now. Just leave it, for fuck’s sake. Why do you always have to push things?”
Tears welled in her eyes, and she bit back a sob. “I’m not pushing things. You’re scaring me. Just tell me the truth… Are you running again? After you said you wouldn’t to Dillon…and to me for that matter. Is that what’s happening here? I know we agreed that you and I were temporary, but I don’t want you to leave without explanation. Not again. I don’t think that would be very fair of you.”
He snorted. “Think whatever you like. At this moment in time, I don’t really care. The world doesn’t fucking revolve around you. All right? It’s. Not. All. About. You!” he shouted, pointing at her.
Her eyes overflowed with angry and confused tears, and she watched helplessly as he pulled his helmet on, swung his leg over the bike, started the engine, and sped off up the street and out of sight without looking back once.
She ran back into the house. A feeling of dread washed over her as she pulled out her phone and dialled Dillon’s number with shaking fingers and a racing heart.
“Dillon, it’s Stevie. I need to speak to you urgently. Can you get out of work for ten minutes?”
“I…erm…yeah, okay. What’s wrong? Has something happened?” His voice was filled with concern.
“Yes…I mean no…I mean… I can’t explain over the phone.” She was aware that her words were a jumbled rush.
“Okay…Okay, calm down. Where shall I meet you?”
“Come to my house. I’ll be there in ten.” She hung up, locked the door, and ran to her car. Once inside, she fumbled with the keys in the ignition. “Come on, Stevie, calm the hell down!”
Exceeding the speed limit wasn’t something she usually did, but it felt warranted right then. She pulled up to her house and climbed out of her car. Her legs felt like jelly, and her heart was doing its best to escape its casing as it pounded in her chest. She could hear the blood whooshing in her ears and felt a little nauseated. After several attempts of trying to get the key in the front door, she finally succeeded.
Once inside, she paced the lounge and chewed at her nails, periodically peering out the window until Dillon pulled up in his flashy executive’s company car. She watched as he jogged up and was about to knock.
Pulling the door open, she blurted, “Something’s happened. He’s gone. I don’t know what it said… He looked like he’d seen a ghost and there was the photo—”
Dillon held up his hands. “Whoa, whoa, Stevie. Calm down.” He gripped her upper arms firmly in his hands and bent to look into her eyes. “Slow down, okay? Tell me what happened.”
She led him into the lounge and slumped onto the sofa. “We were clearing out his room and listening to some music. I was…we’d…I was…tidying his bed up.” Dillon raised his eyebrows knowingly, but she ignored him and continued. “Anyway, I was straightening his pillow and underneath it there was an envelope addressed to him. In it there was a long letter which he said was from your mum.”
Dillon rubbed his hands over his face. “Shit…really?”
“Yes…anyway, he read it and sat there staring. He went pale and shaky. There was a photo of him from before he left, but he was with a girl. She was pretty… I didn’t recognise her… Oh, my God.” Shivers travelled down her spine. “I…I think I’ve figured it out.” She widened her eyes and covered her mouth with her shaking hands.
“Figured what out? Can you tell me what the hell is going on, 'cause I’m lost here.” Confusion etched his features as he ran his hands over his head and stared pleadingly at her.
A sob escaped through her fingers. “The girl in the photo… He had an affair, Dillon. That must be it. The photo was of him with a woman…well, a girl of about the same age as we were just before he left. She seemed familiar, but I couldn’t quite place… Oh God, I bet she got pregnant. That woman had his bloody child, and now he’s finding this out after all this time. Your mum must have found out after he’d gone! It’s freaked him out that he has a nine or ten-year-old child out there somewhere and your mum was the only one who knew. It makes sense… He looked horrified, Dillon.”
Tears sprang from her eyes, and she let them fall as she began to gulp for air. Her heart was thumping so hard it was almost painful, and she began to see stars. She leaned over as panic took hold of her. Clenching her hands into fists, she fought for air as her lungs began to sting.
Dillon crouched before her and grasped her by the arms again. “Hey, hey stop this. We don’t know… You can’t presume all that, Stevie. You need to calm the fuck down, right now!” He raised his voice and shook her lightly. “Just stop or I’m ringing for an ambulance, okay? Please…breathe.”
His distress snapped her out of her panic, and she began to take deep breaths, ringing her hands in her lap. “Sorry…sorry…I’m so sorry.” She sobbed.
Leaning forward and placing his knees on the floor, he pulled her into his arms. “Come on, it’s fine…just breathe…breathe.” He stroked her hair until her heart rate slowed, and she was breathing normally again.
He tilted her face up so that she looked at him. His words were softly spoken. “I don’t mean to be harsh, Stevie, but you don’t actually seem to know what was in the letter and so jumping to your own conclusions is probably not a good idea, is it?” She shook her head; he had a point. “Now where did he say he was going?”
Fresh tears escaped. “That’s just it…he didn’t. He said he had to go and that I could think what I liked. He seemed angry with me. It was as if I’d hurt him. I don’t get it. But he promised both you and I that he wouldn’t run without explanation again. What if he doesn’t come back?”
Dillon seemed to calculate his next words carefully. “I think…if he doesn’t come back, you’re going to have to move on and get over him. He’s pretty messed up about things as it is, and there’s no wonder. But I think you maybe need to let him deal with whatever the hell this is in his own way. He was never going to move back here, realistically, and you can’t say you really thought he would. Can you?”
She dropped her eyes to the floor. “I love him, Dillon. I’ve always loved him. No one else has ever come close to him in my heart. I hoped that would be enough…enough to make him see that he could make a life with me here. I showed him all the places I love and tried to make him see—”
Dillon took her face in his palms. “Stevie, please. Think about it logically. He ran away for a very good reason the first time. Being here again was hard for him. If I were Jason, there would be no way I’d live here again. And if you’re honest with yourself, I think you know…and please don’t take this the wrong way as I know how much you think of him, but expecting him to move back here would be…would be selfish.”
His words hit her like a brick wall, knocking the air from her lungs. She pushed him away and leaned forward again, resting her elbows on her knees, her head in her hands. “You’re right.” She rubbed her face. “I was stupid and selfish. I didn’t want to lose him all over again. I keep losing him. And now he may have gone again and I have no idea why. I have no clue what was in that letter that would have affected him so badly. Should I chase him? Should I go up to Scotland and see him? What should I do, Dillon?”
He took a deep breath and pulled her to face him once again. “Stevie…please…for your own sake…just let him go.”
Later, Stevie sat home alone, clutching a photograph of Jason and her when they were aged around seventeen. She had swiped it from his noticeboard before she piled the boxes and bags of his things into her car. She had no clue if this was what he wanted her to do since he had simply gone without explanation, but she figured at least this way he had something of his past if he chose to return.
She stared at the image. Jason’s face smiled back at her. Just thinking about what he had been through that made him leave the first time caused her heart to ache, but something equally as painful or hard to bear must have been in that letter, making him bolt again. The pain and anger in his eyes as he had glared at her had both terrified her and made her want to grab him, hug him, and tell him that everything would be okay. But she really didn’t know if it would. He had been through enough, surely. Whatever it was, she hoped someday he would return and explain, but there was a pretty good chance she would have to get used to life without Jason once again.