Title:Planning An Addition, Book 4
Series:Love Under Construction Series
Release Date: November 1, 2014
Dating two younger men! Molly Walters never thought she’d be that woman. Younger Peyton Stokes is the perfect man, and sparks fly. When his much-younger best friend José Flores asks her out too, Molly decides she wants them both. That’s fine with José, but when the secret he’s never been able to tell Peyton comes out, things fall apart fast.
Is it true that blood’s thicker than water? The answer thrusts José into the biggest crisis of his life, and Peyton must decide if his self-imposed labels are worth losing his best friend forever. It’ll take a real man to make that leap of faith, but failing could cost him the love of his life – maybe even both of them.
As Peyton struggles, Nikki Walters grows weaker. Tony and his broken heart can’t survive without her, but will the tiny bit of faith he still has be enough?
Love Under Construction Series
Deleted Scene – Nikki’s Confession
Ever wonder just what DID happen between Nikki and Vic??????? Find out below.
Dinner had been good, but Nikki was exhausted. It was increasingly obvious to her that she was going to have to hand the cooking duties over to Vivian – she couldn’t take care of the kitchen anymore. She hadn’t said much during dinner, but neither had Tony. They’d sat at the table in almost total silence, the growling of Nikki’s stomach pretty much the only sound. It was obvious that something was bothering him, but she had no idea what it could be. Her attempts at conversation had fallen flat, and she was waiting, hoping he’d give her at least a hint. Thinking back to the last few days, she couldn’t think of anything she’d done; she hadn’t been anywhere or done anything. She was just too weak and tired.
Dinner dishes cleaned up and everything wiped down, Nikki dragged her way out to the great room and took a spot on the sofa, then picked up her electronic reader and looked for the book she’d been intending to start. So it was more than a little startling when Tony strode into the room, grabbed an ottoman, scooted it right up in front of her, and sat down. His eyes bored into hers as she sat, more than puzzled. “What?”
“Nik . . .”
This looked really serious. “Yeah? Is something wrong? What have I done?”
He put a hand on her knee. “You haven’t done anything. But we have to talk. I can’t stand it anymore.”
Now she was really confused. “Can’t stand what? What am I doing?”
“I have to know.”
“Have to know what?” Something wasn’t making the trip from his lips to her brain, apparently. Then he dropped the bomb.
“I have to know exactly what happened between you and Vic.”
Nikki felt her heart clench up. “But, baby, we’ve been over . . .”
He held up a palm. “I know. And I believe you. I really do. But I have to know exactly what happened. It’s been eating at me. I told you I didn’t really want to know, but I do. I have to. So let’s talk about it. Okay?”
Nikki started to tremble. This wasn’t something she really wanted to talk about. She wanted all of that to be in the past, and she’d thought it was. And here it was again. There’s no way to avoid it anymore. Might as well get it over with.“Okay. What do you want to know?”
“I want to know details. I want to know . . . you know the kinds of things I want to know. Tell me, baby. Please. I need to hear it from you.”
Where to start? She took a deep, shuddering breath. “Well, okay. Um, you were still in . . . well, you know where you were. I don’t like to think about that.”
“I don’t either. So yeah, that’s where I was.”
“Yeah, so I’d had a really rough day. One of the trucks had a flat tire and we couldn’t get equipment to a jobsite, and a couple of guys had quit because they didn’t like working on a job to build an adult store, and it was just crazy. And I was exhausted. So I went home as soon as I could to hide out.” She stopped. Courage, girl. You didn’t do anything wrong. “And Vic called and asked if I wanted to go to dinner.”
“Okay. So you went to dinner.”
“Yeah. We went to dinner at Brisbane. He came over and picked me up and then brought me back. When we got back here I started to cry. I didn’t want to go inside because I knew you weren’t there.” A tear slipped from her eye as she remembered how scared and alone she’d felt.
“So he came in with me. I got him a beer and me a glass of wine. And we sat in the den and talked. I told him about the stuff that had happened at work that day, and he told me I’d done a good job and not to worry about all of that; he said I had more important things to worry about. And that’s about the time you called.”
“Oh! Did you tell me that he was there?”
“Actually, I did. You talked to him for a couple of minutes. I guess you don’t remember.”
Tony shook his head. “No. I don’t. But I’m sure it happened. A lot of that time is a blur for me.”
“It’s not for me. I remember every painful minute.”
Tony patted her leg. “I know and I’m sorry for that.”
“Not your fault.” She wiped her eye with the back of her hand. “So anyway, you talked to him, then he handed the phone back and I talked to you for a couple of minutes. Then we hung up.” She shuddered. “And I fell apart. I just couldn’t take it anymore. We didn’t know if or when you’d ever get out of there. I missed you so much. It was just awful.” She started to cry.
The sadness he’d felt the whole time it had all gone on was right there on his face, knowing the pain it had all caused her. But he’d been powerless to do anything about it except to wait for the truth to come out. “Go on, baby.”
Nikki tried to stop crying but she couldn’t. She was already so sick, and now he was expecting her to think about all of that, live it, all over again. It was too much. “So I was having a come-apart. Vic pulled me over into his lap and held me. And I just cried into his shirt. I didn’t know what to do. I was so scared. I calmed down a little and he told me I should go to bed and get some rest. He carried me upstairs and sat me down on the bed, and told me to get ready for bed, that he was going to stay the night in his room so I wouldn’t be alone. It was Friday night so neither of us had to be at work the next day. He told me he’d take me to get pancakes the next morning.”
“I got ready for bed. Brushed my teeth, washed my face, put on my night gown, everything. I went in and sat down on the bed. He came back to check on me in his pajama pants and a tee. He wanted to know if I was okay and did I need anything.” Nikki’s face paled and her hands started to shake. “So I told him yeah, I wished he’d . . .” She stopped and took a big, shuddering breath. “I told him I wished he’d brush my hair. You brushed my hair every night and I missed it so much.”
Uh-oh, Tony thought. This doesn’t sound too good.That was a ritual they’d had ever since they’d been together, and he loved it. It made her feel loved and special, and it was something he really enjoyed doing for her, something he missed since she’d lost her hair to the chemo. Problem was, to him it was very intimate, and that wasn’t something Vic should’ve been doing. But Vic couldn’t have known that. Maybe Nikki didn’t realize how much it meant to him. “Nikki, you probably shouldn’t have done that.”
“I know, I know. I realized that later, but it seemed so innocent to me. I just wanted somebody to brush my hair like you did. I never really thought much about it. So I turned around with my back to him and he sat down on the side of the bed and started brushing it.” Big tears started to fall down her face. “And then, and then . . .” She stopped.
“Go on, Nikki.” Tony didn’t even flinch.
She swallowed hard. “So then he brushed it and brushed it. And after a while he said, ‘All done. It’s beautiful,’ and handed me the brush. And our hands touched.” She started to cry again. “I leaned back into him and rested my head on his shoulder, and he wrapped his arms around my waist. And then he kissed the side of my neck.” Any attempt at composure now was a lost cause. “I turned my face toward him. I don’t know who kissed who. All I know is that the next thing I knew we were kissing, and we weren’t stopping, and the covers were already pulled back, and he rolled up onto the bed with me and we kept kissing and then . . .”
Now Tony was getting pissed. “What? Tell me, Nik. I need to know.”
She sobbed. “We were on the bed and we were kissing and I pulled my nightgown off and he pulled off his tee and pajama pants. And we were skin to skin and still kissing. And then he stopped. I don’t know if I said something or what, but he said, ‘Nikki, I’m not Tony.’ And when I opened my eyes I was looking right into his. I think I thought when I opened my eyes I’d see you, but it wasn’t you. It was Vic.” She was sobbing hysterically and Tony wanted to hold her, but not until she finished. Not until he knew for sure. “His arms felt just like yours, and he kissed me just like you do, but it wasn’t you – it was Vic. And I started crying and trying to find my gown and he was saying, ‘Nik, this isn’t your fault. I shouldn’t have done this. I don’t know what I was thinking. Please, honey, it’s okay. We didn’t do anything, Nik. Really. It’s okay.’ I mean, I still had my panties on, and he still had his briefs on, and we really didn’t do anything, but I felt so awful.”
Tony’s heart broke – for her. She’d been so lonely and so afraid. He hadn’t been able to do anything about it. He’d given Vic free rein, but he was pretty sure this wasn’t anything that Vic had planned or done intentionally. They were both alone, they were both vulnerable, they were trying to comfort each other, and everything had aligned just right to put them together in that instant. Yes, it was stupid and yes, everything they’d done had set the stage for disaster, but there hadn’t been anything premeditated about it. Vic had been almost as broken and hurt by all of it as Nikki was, plus he was worried about her too, and trying to take care of her like Tony had asked. What a nightmare.
Before he could say anything, she added, “So he pulled the sheet up over me without looking at me again, got up, picked up his pajama pants, and said, ‘Get dressed. I’ll be back in a few minutes.’” Yeah, I know what that was about, Tony thought. He went to do the same thing I did every night after I talked to her on the phone. Can’t blame him for that.“When he came back, he told me to get in the bed and pull the covers up. And I did. And he lay down on top of the covers and said, ‘I’m going to watch you sleep. You’re safe. It’s all okay.’ He was stroking my hair and I fell asleep. When I woke up the next morning, he wasn’t there. I went downstairs and he’d started some coffee and he took me to breakfast just like he said he would. And we never talked about it again.”
“Nikki, I just . . .”
Nikki started to wail. “Oh, Tony, I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so . . .”
He grabbed her and pulled her up against him. “Shhhhh, princess. It’s okay, really. It’s fine. You didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Please don’t be mad at Vic! He didn’t mean to! Neither one of us did!”
“I know, baby. Shhhhh. It’s fine.” As soon as his lips touched her forehead, her crying slowed. “I’m sorry I made you talk about it. I really, really wanted to know, but I shouldn’t have done that. I believed you, but I don’t know – I just had to know what happened, that’s all. It’s been bugging me all this time, and I had to ask. I needed you to tell me before . . . before I dreamed up any more stuff that bad or worse in my mind.”
Before I’m gone. That’s what he was going to say. He wanted me to tell him before . . . Nikki understood. And she’d already accepted that it was all going downhill. “I know what you meant. It’s all right.”
“No, you don’t. I was just tired of what my imagination came up with and, trust me, it was a lot worse than the truth.” He stood and reached for her hand. “Come on. It’s bedtime and you’re tired, and I’m partially to blame for that. You need some sleep.”
Nikki let him help her to her feet and up the stairs. She counted the steps as they went and tried to commit them to memory. There’d soon come a time when he’d walk up these stairs by himself. It wouldn’t be much longer.
About The Author
Deanndra Hall is a working writer living in far western Kentucky. A free spirit and chronic jokester, she and her partner of over 30 years enjoy visiting their two adult children and their partners and playing with their three crazy little dogs. When she’s not writing, Deanndra can be found kayaking, working out at the gym, cooking something healthy, or reading. After writing for business, industry, academia, and non-profits for years and having her work credited to others, she jumped into the fiction realm, particularly erotic fiction and erotica, and had so much fun she never looked back. Look for her on Twitter and Facebook and on her website and blog.
Connect with Deanndra
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B00I397U08
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B00I397U08
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