Rebuilding Trust by Elison Grace
Release date: Nov. 3, 2015
Cover design: Cover Me Darling
The only thing Cory took serious was his career as a firefighter. His relationships consisted of nothing more than one night stands.
Until he met her.
After Carrie’s heart has been shattered she changed her life. Forced herself to become a strong-willed, independent woman. She didn’t need anyone to support her.
Especially a man.
Cory makes it his mission to win Carrie’s love and trust. Can he help rebuild her shattered heart or will their hearts end up in a pile of ashes?
July 2013 Carrie
There are those defining moments in life when your world as you have known it is ripped away from you. You have to decide if you are going to lie down and let it crush you or if you’re going to get up, strap on your big girl panties, and make a new life. I chose the latter. When my world and future were ripped away from me, I chose to redefine myself and become an independent woman. I have been dependent on people my entire life and it has gotten me nothing, but heartache and pain. Time for a change.
I could not believe that I was preparing to marry the man I have loved since I was sixteen years old. Standing in front of the mirror, I felt like a cake topper in my mother’s choice of dress. It was not me at all. You could barely see me or my figure amongst the mounds of tulle in the skirt. The top was long sleeved with lace resting along the collar bone and the back dipping wide, stopping just below my shoulder blades. My exposed shoulder blades were the only skin you could find in this dress. I wanted to take it off as soon as I put it on, but, for my mother’s sake, I came out to show the group. I don’t know why I bothered. There was not a dress in the universe that would make us both happy. This could be why my wedding dress was one of the last things I needed to pick for the wedding.
If I was being honest, it was one of the only things I really got to pick. My mother was trying to hijack that too. When she heard that Toby and I had gotten engaged, she immediately got on the phone with Lois, Toby’s mom. Together the two of them had been planning their dream wedding for us. They came together to pick the location of the wedding, reception, and over the top hotel ballroom. The colors, robin’s egg blue with ivory accents and ivory roses all around, are boring. I let them plan it all because they were paying and I didn’t care enough to fight. I just wanted to be married to Toby. He was my heart. We had been together since we were sixteen. Nobody knew me better than him. He was my constant, my strength, and I couldn’t wait to have that in my life forever. That’s I all I cared about. They could have the rest, except for the dress. I wanted to pick a dress that made me feel beautiful, confidant, and not like a cake topper.
“Oh, you look like a bride!” Mother cooed as Lois nodded her agreement. Rolling my eyes, I decided I had to take a stand or I would be stuck in this monstrosity of a wedding dress for my wedding.
“I hate this and I’m not going to wear it. I am going to go back in there, resist the urge to burn this dress, and come out in something I love. This is my day. I appreciate everything you two have done for me, but I need to pick the dress myself.”
Gathering the mass of tulle, I stormed off into the dressing room. The consultant followed me in.
“From now on we are just focusing on my picks. Let’s start with that one, please,” I said as I pointed to the dress that caught my eye as soon as I walked in.
Sliding the dress over my head, she zipped it up and I turned to face the mirror. Goose bumps pricked my arms and my breath caught. This is the dress that I would marry Toby in.
The dress was everything I never knew I wanted. It just felt right. The bodice was covered in intricate, flower patterned lace with pearl straps. The skirt was light ivory tulle with a shear organza overlay. The same lace from the bodice adorned the bottom of the skirt. The piece that made it perfect was the silver belt that was intricately detailed like the lace and had pearl accents throughout.
I had considered taking it off and having them ring it up. I really didn’t want the mothers to ruin this for me. There was no way that would have been acceptable to the mothers. I went out there to let them know that this was the one and I would not change my mind.
Stepping onto the podium, I looked at myself in the big mirror.
This was it and I just had to make them see it. I called the bridal consultant over and asked her if she could get me a veil to put on with the dress. I needed all the help I could get to get us all on the same page.
Turning toward the group, I waited for them to shoot the dress down so I could defend it. My mother’s hand flew to her mouth. Her eyes sparkled with unshed tears. She looked over at my future mother-in-law and they both nodded.
“This is it. You look gorgeous,” my mother-in-law said.
Yes! I have found the one! Turning back to the mirror I inspected myself. I looked like a bride. I was going to walk down the aisle and marry the man of my dreams in this dress. He was going to love it.
My phone chirped from my purse that I had left with my mother. I ignored it. This wasn’t the time for texts. It was time for my celebration. The phone chirped three more times consecutively so I decided that whoever it was must think that whatever they had to say was important. Stepping off the pedestal, I dug my phone from my purse and slid my finger across the screen to see who it was. There were four texts from Toby.
Opening the first one, I gasped. It was a close up picture of a girl with her lips wrapped around a dick. At first, I was like, what the fuck is this? Upon closer inspection, I saw the black tribal tattoo down his side that I knew so well. I sat beside Toby when he got it last year. My hands began to shake. I know I shouldn’t have opened the rest, but, I couldn’t seem to stop myself. The next one was a picture of Toby and a bleached blonde kissing. Tears streamed down my face as everyone watched me. I hadn’t said a word so they don’t know that my heart was shattering. Opening the third, my eyes landed on a picture that looked like it was taken by Toby. It showed the entire front of the same girl, fully naked and exposed, as she was riding him. My knees buckled as I looked at it and my future was ripped away from me. I switched to the final text.
Toby: Heard you were getting married. Wanted to show you who you were committing your life to.
I threw the phone as if the words had burned me. I sat there, on the floor, in a pile of tulle and organza crying over my shattered heart and demolished future.
They say that timing is everything and the timing of the job offer to be a teacher at Loveland Elementary in Colorado couldn’t have been better if I had planned it. I had just recently graduated from Iowa State with a teaching degree. Originally the plan was to try to get a position around Ames, get married, have the two point five kids, and live happily ever after with my high school sweetheart. It was the fairytale everyone talks about. That fairy tale had been crushed and it was time to create a new story featuring me alone as the heroine. I hadn’t applied for jobs at schools out of state so I was surprised when they called me asking if I would be interested in starting in the upcoming school year. I guess my professor had a friend there and called them to recommend me after she had heard that I may need a new start. I could kiss her for that because it was exactly what I needed. I accepted the position without any hesitation and began arranging my new life in Loveland, Colorado.
Through the internet I found a girl who was looking for a roommate. She was a nurse at the cancer center there and seemed really nice. My parents helped me with starting money because they really wanted me to move away. They didn’t like the way my tainted marriage plans and decimated future had ruined the Robinson family name. Apparently, I was now an embarrassment because Toby was sticking his dick in other women behind my back.
My car was packed to the brim with all of my possessions. If it didn’t fit in the car, it was staying there. Can you think of a better way to force a new start? I can’t. I didn’t have the room to bring my past with me so I had to go and start anew in a new place, starting with new stuff.
Waking up early, I slide into my Grand Am SE. I didn’t bother to say goodbye to mother or the rest of the family. What would have been the point? They wanted me gone so I’m gone. They were not getting any teary, heartfelt goodbyes. They would just be a lie anyway. Backing from the driveway, I start the long drive to Colorado; to my new life.
On sale now
Elison lives in Iowa with her husband, daughter, and naughty dog named Murray. She works on a blog and loves to read. She thinks that is a big reason she started writing. Elison writes contemorary romance and is currently working on the Loveland Series about hot firefighters.
Win a signed paperback of Rebuilding Trust and a love prize pack