Chapter 1 of Promise Me Always

So with my cover reveal coming soon I thought maybe you all would like a little teaser of my debut novel!!

Chapter 1
(Tessa)
Here we go again…

There I was again, crying my eyes out, driving down the street, in the middle of the night. I cannot believe this was happening again. Why didn’t I just stay away from him the first time?I thought to myself. I reached for my phone and tried calling my sister for a third time. Damn, still no answer. What the hell was she doing?

Two red lights later I heard a buzzing noise and my phone was finally ringing. I swear that better be Palmer. I looked at the screen and saw a picture of Jared blowing me a kiss. Fuck, it wasn’t Palmer. What the hell could he possibly have to say to me after what I just caught him doing? I didn’t feel like talking to him so I ignored it. A few minutes later my phone buzzed again. It was a text from Jared.

               Baby I really need to talk 2 u. Plz call me back. I am so sorry.

 No thanks. I switched the phone off vibrate so I would hear it when my sister finally called me back and threw it down on my passenger seat and just started sobbing again.How could I be so stupid? I never should have taken him back after the first time. He swore he would never do it again and that it didn’t mean anything to him. He was just drunk. I was really hesitant and it took over three months of him apologizing and trying to make it up to me. He was really convincing and I figured any guy that asked for forgiveness for that long really must be sorry.

Then my phone started to sing “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer”by Billy Currington and I knew my sister was finally calling me back.

I answered with a pathetic “Hey.”

“Sorry, Tessa, we walked down to the liquor store because weran out of beer already and I left my phone in the apartment, what’s up?”

“Jared’s what’s up. He did it again, Palmer.” I said with a crack in my voice.

“That asshat!” Palmer screamed into my ear. I could tell she had already had a lot to drink tonight, and I couldn’t help but laugh to myself over her word choice. “Where are you? Do you need someone to come pick you up?Matt is sober and I am sure he wouldn’t mind.”

“No, I’m driving, just got on the highway. I should be therein about fifteen minutes.” I said, while fighting back tears. I knew the momentI saw her I would break down.

“Alright, Tess, I’ll watch for you and meet you in the parking lot so we can talk.” She told me, then she started talking to her boyfriend, “Cole, pour Tess a shot…..yes he did…..no, we don’t need to go find him, not yet anyway.” She said with anger in her voice. “Tess, we are getting your shots all ready for you, doll. See you in a bit. Love you.”

I hung up and turned up the radio and “Wide Awake” by Katy Perry was playing. Very fitting, I thought to myself.

I was already feeling better just from that short conversation with Palmer. She always had a way of making me calm down. That washer specialty though. She was the complete opposite of me in every way, even down to the way we looked. She had long blonde hair half way down her back and gorgeous hazel eyes that would bring any man to his knees. Standing at six feet tall she stood out in any crowd, no matter where we went. She had just as much attitude to back up her look too.

Right before I made it to Palmer’s I received another text from Jared.

                R U home? I’m outside. Plz call me 😦

 Right after I parked I shot him a quick text back just so he would leave me alone for the night. I knew I was going to have to talk to him eventually but I just couldn’t do it right now.

                Staying at my sister’s. Don’t come over unless you want your ass kicked.

 Hopefully that will keep him away for the night. He was very persistent, and he didn’t give up very easily, even if he knew what he did was wrong. He went after what he wanted, and I guess that is part of the reason I fell for him.

As soon as I got out of the car, Palmer’s arms were around me and I broke down. Really, I didn’t know why I was crying so hard. It isn’t like this was the first time he did this to me. I should have seen it coming.Once a cheater always a cheater, isn’t that how the saying goes? We had been together for two years the first time it happened, well, the first time he got caught. I couldn’t help but think back to that night while I cried in Palmer’s arms.

It was early December and it was the day of his company’s Christmas party. Jared was an executive at his father’s commercial construction company. It was a very large company with over three hundred employees. Jared had just finished college and was already lined up with the position, thanks to his father. Really, I don’t even know why it was so important for Jared to get his degree. His father was going to give him the position whether he had it or not.

 The whole day started out perfectly. Jared sent me down to the Hyatt where the party was being thrown. When I arrived he had a personal stylist make me over from head to toe.Then she escorted me to a luxury suite where the most gorgeous gown was waiting for me. It was a strapless, long flowing dress, in a striking, crimson red and it had sequins on every inch of it. It was the perfect dress for an elegant,black tie Christmas party.

He arrived right on time and we were off. We got down to the party and everything was just remarkable. His father had gone all out for the event.  There were over three hundred people there and you could hardly tell the ballroom was so big. There were four huge Christmas trees in each corner of the giant ballroom. White drapes were lining the walls and the custom lighting effects made it look like snowflakes were falling all around us.

Dinner was exceptional and there was a band playing soft classical style Christmas music the whole time we ate. Jared was being so sweet, too. He kept saying the most romantic and naughty things in my ear all throughout the night.

 After dinner we were all escorted into a different ballroom where everything was set up just like a giant high end lounge. There were white sofas and chairs circling an enormous dance floor. The lighting was a dark blue color and the same snowflakes from dinner were falling all around us, the whole room screamed winter wonderland.There was a DJ in front of the dance floor getting the party started.

 We were dancing for about an hour when I started to feel ill. I ran to the bathroom and made it just in time to see my whole dinner come right back out.

 When I was finished and I had freshened myself up I opened the rest room door and Jared was standing there talking to his father’s secretary. Pamela was a short, busty girl with bleach blonde hair. I had met her before and something about her just screamed slut to me.

She was obviously drunk because she kept swaying back and forth. She was also touching his arm a lot and it was making me even sicker just watching it.  When Jared saw me he walked right past her and asked me if I was okay. I told him I was feeling ill and that I wanted to go back to the room. Jared said he couldn’t leave yet because he was in charge of the raffle giveaway that was going to be happening in about thirty minutes.I told him it was no big deal and that he could just come up after he was done.He agreed and I made my way back up to the room to get some rest.

As soon as I made it to the room around nine thirty, I changed out of my dress and passed out. I woke up later and looked at the clock. It was midnight and Jared still wasn’t back yet. I tried calling his cell but it went straight to voice mail. I texted him but got no reply. Finally at twelve thirty I decided to get some clothes on and I went downstairs to find him.

When I got back to where the party was there were still a few people hanging out on the dance floor but Jared was nowhere to be found. I spotted his father at the bar and asked if he had seen him anywhere. He said he thought he saw him go outside with some co-workers. I headed outside. At first I didn’t see anyone. Then I heard some noises coming from around the corner. When I peeked around there he was with Pamela.

He had her pushed up against the brick wall of the hotel with his pants around his ankles. Her legs were wrapped around his waist and her dress was bunched up around her chest. I was going to be sick all over again. I must have let out a gasp when I saw them because I heard Jared yell out for me when I was making my way back inside.“Tess….wait….Oh god…Babe, come back. Tess!” he yelled.

I couldn’t even speak. Here I was, sick as a dog and he was fucking some slut against a hotel wall. I was devastated. Luckily I beat him to the elevator and the doors closed right before he got to it. I went straight up to the room.Grabbed my purse and then took the stairs back down to the lobby. I made it to my car without running into him. Once I was in my car I called the first person I always called, Palmer.

So here we are again. Me in my sister’s arms crying like a dope, in the parking lot of her apartment complex, because the man I love is cheating on me again. I was totally having Déjà Vu.

“So how did you find out this time, Tess?” Palmer asked mewith concern in her voice.

“Oh, Palmer, it was horrible. Way worse this time.” I said,sobbing into her shoulder.

“I swear I am going to cut off his dick, Tess. I wanted to do it the first time but now I am determined. I will go Lorena Bobbitt on his ass if I ever see him again.”With that one statement I was laughing again. God, I loved my sister. She always knew just what to say to make me feel better. “So spill it, how did you catch the little bastard this time?” she asked.

Trying to hold back the tears I filled her in. “I called Jared this morning after my portfolio class and asked him if he wanted to catch dinner after he got off work. He told me he was working late tonight on some new building contract and that he would be home around eleven. He told me to go ahead and eat without him and to just come over later and we would watch a movie together.I thought it would be a nice surprise for him if I was waiting in his bed for him when he got home. I went over to his house around ten thirty with a bag full of candles and champagne.” I couldn’t help the tears. They just started falling. I took a deep breath to try and control them. “When I unlocked the door I heard talking and laughing coming from his bedroom. I thought he had left the TV on again like he always does. When I went in to turn it off, boy,did I get to see a show.”

“Oh, Tess, I’m so sorry so you walked in on them. Was it Pamela again?”

“No! It was Monica, his assistant! I am so stupid. God know show long this has been going on.” I cried to her. “Palmer, why would he do this to me again? Do you think he was ever faithful to me at all?”

“I don’t know, sweetie, but who cares now if he was. He isn’t worth the tears. Does he know you were there?”

“Yeah, he knows. After I walked in and saw them the only thing I could think to do was chuck the bag of candles I was holding right at his head.” I giggled at the memory of the candles hitting Jared in the head and then falling to hit Monica as well.

“Has he called you yet?” Palmer asked with concern in her eyes. She looked at me with those big hazel eyes and I knew she was worried that I would take him back again.

“Yes, but I didn’t answer. He has sent me some text messages, too. I texted him back and told him I was coming here and that if he stopped by Cole would beat his ass. Pretty sure he won’t be calling me until tomorrow now.” Her face relaxed a bit when I said that like she was relieved that I hadn’t let him talk me into forgiving him.

Palmer started to laugh. “Well, Cole isn’t the only one that would beat his ass. All the guys are here tonight. They are all drunk and pissed as hell that he did this to you again. I almost had to chain them down to keep them from going and kicking his ass.”

“Who are all the guys?” I asked confused.

“You know, the usual, Cole, Devin, Blake, Matt, Shane and some other people I don’t know. Lexi, Avery and a few other people should all be here soon, too. Apparently there is a party here tonight and of course I was the last to find out. Come on, love, the boys are all inside and there is as hot or two with your name on it.”

**all subject is copyrighted by Kari March and is subject to change***

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