!!!!!!BOOKS!!!!!!

Home again on this winter day. As I sit watching the snow fall, and the plows go by at least 3 times an hour, I think to myself “wow, what a crappy day. Definitely a good day to sit home and read”. Who else feels this way when the weather is less than pleasant outside? 

As I don’t have much time to read lately with work and working on my own books, I do find time once in a while to read. A lot of the times it only ends up being for just twenty minutes, but any time I DO get is cherished. I am a book nerd myself. When I was a young child n school, I would get competitive with the other classmates when it came to reading: who could read the fastest or most pages in a given amount of time was always the race among us. I believe that was when I got into reading. After that, the Harry Potter books came out and I became an instant fan. I still am today. Once in a while I’ll even grab a book from my book shelf and start rereading it for the thousandth time ha-ha! I swear, that series will never die with me no matter how old I get. That was really when reading became a huge part in my life. 

As I got older, my reading tastes have changed a little, but reading was a way to “escape reality” for just a little while. Live in someone else’s shoes for a little while. Experience life the way the characters did for a little while. Connecting with characters that share the same thoughts and feelings about a certain issue/situation. That was what started my career path to be an author, because I always aspired to tell a story and make my imaginary life come to life. 

With that being said, everything in life has a chain reaction to it whether it be a positive reaction or a negative reaction. 

As I do miss reading all the time, I have some goals I am trying to set and reach with my career. I would love to be a book reviewer on the side when my writing career takes off. I’ve been part of book clubs and loved it, which is probably something I’ll eventually do again as well. Everything takes time. As a matter of fact, why don’t I make this blog a book club blog where we talk about books? 

So, for now, on the side of my editing, I’m currently reading 3 books at one time. I know, crazy, right? All of you are probably thinking, how can I keep up with every detail of each book? It’s easy, though I can’t multitask to save my own life, but my mind can multitask and manage to make sense of everything as well. Sometimes, I’m blown away by it. Is anyone else like this? 

The books I am reading, are Jodi Picoult’s book “Perfect Match” and Anna Zaires’ book “Twist Me part 1”. The third book I’m reading, I just started a few days ago and haven’t picked it up since, but the author is Danielle Steel. All three seem to be good books. I do have to say, though, the “Twist Me” book by Anna Zaires was a little rough for me to stick with because of the plot and all the characters. I didn’t seem to like any of the characters, I don’t know why. Then, what surprised me, was towards the end of the book (I am 85% of the way through it. Have a few more chapters to go) when she was waiting on the main character guy to come save her, I found myself ROOTING for him! I was like “Oh, my gosh, he HAS to show up!” My anxiety for her was kicking in big time, so yeah, it definitely surprised me there. 

“Perfect Match” by Jodi Picoult is also very good. I am halfway through it right now, but her books take time to get through. Some parts are a little rough and you have to keep reading to get through it. I think that’s the only thing I don’t like about her books, but even then through those parts, you’re mind is going “we have to find out what happens next!” Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, and she always produces really good books. 

I feel like a nerd, too, because I own 2 different libraries. I have a paperback library in my house on a book shelf, and I have an amazon kindle library on my tablet ha-ha! So many choices to choose from, but I always find myself looking for more reads! 

By the way, anyone who is looking for a new read as well, my book I’m working on now will hopefully be available for purchase sometime next week. I am so close to being done with the editing (just a few chapters left!), and my excitement gets stronger with each chapter I finish. It will definitely be a must read for those who enjoy a romance drama. Also, it is my first series I am writing. This book will be part 1 of a series of 3. So, I am very interested to see how well that goes. Along with writing the sequel  to the series, I will also be working on another side project more for teen readers titled “It’s Not Fair”. It will basically be about a young teen who goes through life fighting depression and suicidal thoughts. She finds herself within the wrong crowd of people and life just spirals out of control for her while she continues to rebel against her parents and friends. I can’t say too much about it without spoiling it, plus that’s all the details I have figured out about it so far. I will be working on that project on the side in between blogging and working on the sequel to my series. Talk about confusion…yes, I will definitely need to keep a notebook handy to write down notes for each book to keep myself straight. Busy, busy, busy. 

Also, I am not looking forward to shoveling 5-6 inches of snow later….

Well, I think I am going to leave this blog here for now. I will post another one in a few days. I need to really get some editing done, though. Happy Snow-Day!  

 

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~Another Day In The Life~

Good afternoon WORLD, 

The sun seems to be shining brightly on this mid January day. Very odd for this time of year ESPECIALLY in Central Wisconsin. We currently have no snow on the ground YIPPEE!! It is very cold out as well. Bitter…perfect weather to snuggle up under blankets and read a good book or watch movies. 

How am I spending my day? Editing my book. I’m about half way done, then off to publishing. I am really excited. I can’t wait to fully spend my days at home and write. 

The point of this blog today is to share some insight on being self employed. It is very hard work. I drive for Lyft right now to pay my bills until my writing career takes off, and you have to constantly put in the hours everyday to make anything. Those of you that are all like “it’s a get rich quick thing” you are wrong. I put in anywhere between 40-60 hours a week driving. I’m not shaming my job or the company, I’m simply stating make sure you know what you have to do before you decide if it is something for you. 

Some days, I feel like I’m not making any head way with it or even with my writing. I feel like I’m stuck some days or falling. BUT I mustn’t give up! Because that light at the end of the tunnel is so much greater if I don’t give up. Even though being self employed is hard work, it teaches you dedication and to work for the things you want. Nothing is handed to you. If you want to make something of yourself, you have to put in those hours and keep going through the tough times to make it to the end result. I am not that type of person that just quits everything when the going gets tough because how will I know if I can do it or come out of this rough patch if I quit??

I have to start at the bottom. Building from the bottom up. Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

I’ve come to believe that as long as I get out of bed every day, continue to go to work even if its just a few hours at a time or even if it is a slow day; and continue my path as an author on top of that that things will work out because I’m not giving up. I am constantly trying every day even if some days/weeks are tough. That goes with anything in life not just my job and career. 

Let me back up a second and say that I had been so used to the regular 9-5 grind. With that, the set paychecks every week/bi-weekly. When you decide to do the self employment whether it be a Lyft driver, an author, or even simply starting your own business selling cosmetics, that 9-5 grind goes away, yes, but you have to train yourself on a completely different…budget I should say. The extra money you were so used to having every two weeks from your paychecks goes away which means no more shopping when you want for a while. You also need to set up a new routine to live off of which includes bill paying and grocery shopping. Basically, everything you once knew and were used to goes away. Now, you’re all sitting there going, “Wow, no one tells you this when they advertise.” 

I’m not saying all of this to scare anyone away from doing their own self employed business. In fact, I encourage it! Times may be tough at first with getting used to a whole new life, and you may fall a little bit, but keep trudging through those waters and build your business. One day, all the hard times will be behind you, and you will sit there and say, “I can’t believe I made it”. It is worth every mile. Just because you see on TV stating  you can make $2000/week by starting your own business and it doesn’t happen right away, doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen. It just means that it needs time to build up and that time takes a while. 

This is what most of our country is too famous for…giving up. This is why I wanted to shed some insight on the self employment business for anyone having trouble out there. I feel no one informs us of these inside facts when we get started so it is a learning process, but most people take it as “the company lied”. The company didn’t necessarily “lie”, it’s just that you didn’t give it enough time to grow and become something. I’ve been there, too. I’ve wanted to quit many times, but these thoughts are what keep me going every day. 

Take it from experience, don’t give up, and continue to do what you have been doing every day. Sometimes you have to work everyday to build that client based business and get yourself out there. 

I am truly amazed at myself and how much I’ve gathered with this industry. I never thought I would grow to be the person I am today that thoroughly thinks through things such as this to find the true meaning and correct way. Even though things are a little tough right now, I’m proud to be in the self employment industry. I know I will come out on top in the end as well as everyone else that doesn’t give up when the going gets tough. Remember, things get tough before they get better. Keep plucking away at your goals and positive results will arise from it. 

I know it has been a while since I posted a blog, and one of my 2018 goals is to produce more blogs more often so please follow me if you would like to see more of my posts 🙂 Also, don’t forget to leave any comments if you have any!

 

~What has happened?~

I feel lost…or at least that’s how I’ve felt the last 2 months. I don’t know where to begin…

Everyday has been a constant struggle for me to get through…well it was in the beginning. Not so much anymore as I surround myself with positivity and completely consume myself in writing and my job and my house. 

Most of you are probably thinking What is she talking about? What happened? It has taken me this long to accept what is and to come out and tell my story without feeling depressed and saddened. For a while, my writing was failing and I just wanted to give up. I had to find some way to channel my thoughts and feelings and emotions into my passions. 

Almost 2 months ago, my fiance left me for another women. It was actually on the night we sat down and started planning our wedding and he just got up grabbed his stuff and left. The next day he shows back up at my house telling me he left me for someone else. Talk about feeling completely crushed. How do I feel? How do I cope? Why has this happened? Were the questions constantly going through my mind every second of every day. I couldn’t get myself to go to work…I was on the verge of losing everything I worked for. I couldn’t bring myself to sit down at my computer desk and write so much as a paragraph. When I did, thoughts of him would cloud my mind. I cried for days…the feeling of being alone completely took over. 

It wasn’t until my eyes began to open up to the true person he is that he hid from me for 2 years that I started to take a stand in my life and move on. He wanted me to basically drop everything in my life for him and cater to all his attention needs. He began to treat me like the pile of dirt he walked on and expected me to kiss his shoes. He didn’t think I would ever eventually see it, but I did. It took me blocking him from everything to leave me alone. It took many nights of me crying and hurting to fully move on and move past this. I had to constantly remind myself of the person he is. How can people be so sickening and disturbing and think that’s ok to live? How many drugs does it take to truly mess up the thought process and make you become disturbing? 

I started writing again. I’m working again and constantly surrounded by the positive in my life. That is the only way I’ll be able to stay sane and keep my eyes on my goals in life. I have no other words to describe the pain, the hurt, the sickness, every other emotion possibly felt in the book. I was going to marry this guy…so what does that make me? Crazy? Just as disturbing as him? Some days I feel that way even though I know it’s not true. He played me like an old school piano and left me blind to it all. He refused to grow up into a man so instead he’s happy living as a man child the rest of his life going after vulnerable women. The thought makes my skin crawl all over because that is exactly what he did to me. Made me believe every day he was in love with me when he was only in love with what I did for him. 

My life is better now. I haven’t spoken to him in almost 2 weeks. The feelings are starting to go away and subside making me feel even better as each day passes. I’m getting more into my life routines and writing more. I’m being happy just being me and being alone. I had to work on repairing my shattered heart every day…it’s still not fully put back together yet, but the wounds are healing nicely. I never really noticed how much of myself he took from me when he was with me until the day he left me. My book I’m writing now…the girl is just like him. I started putting more emotions into my book without realizing I made the girl to be just like my ex. I am going to finish it and finish the series…just means that there is going to be alot of my own emotions put into this series. It may be hard for me at times to write because of it, but I know I will finish it eventually. Just know, that if you read it when it is done and published, you will feel what I’ve been feeling. I’d rather people experience that through a book instead of real life. 

Anyway, I’m going to leave this blog here. I just wanted to write out a short blog to help my writers block and to get out all of my pent up feelings. Put everything into words basically because it all helps me heal and move on. 

 

~Untitled~

I know I haven’t blogged in a while, so here it is. I’ve been busy working on my third novel called Saving Her: Minnie’s Lust. It is book one of a series of three. It is pretty exciting, dark stuff! 

This blog today is going to be focused more on life lessons I like to keep reminding myself of. Recently, I viewed my reviews on my amazon page and like every author out there, I can’t please everyone. My goal isn’t to please everyone, only the readers that like what I write. So, like every single autho out there, I have “haters”. That’s ok, though, because it doesn’t bother me anymore. Haters are the people that don’t buy the entire book and only assume what it is about and find anything about it to pick out that is negative to try and bring you down or get under your skin. Working as an Uber driver on the side until my writing career fully takes off has taught me alot about ignoring the haters because not every driver is for every rider. Just as in writing, not every author is for every reader out there. So, I laugh at these insults or bad reviews instead because that is the only way to not let it affect you. Instead, be proud of your work no matter what you are doing and stand by it. That is the only way to get through the hard times and truly make something of yourself and that is exactly what I’m trying to achieve. 

I’m not a huge fan of youtube, but there is this one youtuber I follow because one thing he always says sticks out to me especially when it comes to the haters. He always says no matter what yo do, there are always going to be haters out there because they are either jealous that they can’t do something like that or just find enjoyment in bringing people down becuase they can. He also laughs at his haters because of the ridiculous comments. That is the attitude I have and I would like to spread on to others that are trying to write, or become a youtuber, or have some talent they want to pursue. Don’t let anything get in the way or stop you from achieving those goals. It is hard work, trust me, but once you get there it is all worth it. Including the haters. Eventually, I will be at the point where I don’t even pay any attention to the hater comments, and so will all of you. As jacksepticeye would say, “haters will be haters, no matter what you do in life, there will always be haters”. He is exactly right, the key is learning how to overcome it…tough skin!! 

I will always write and I will always be a writer/author. Nothing in this life can change that, and nothing is going to stop me from publishing more and more books. I know where I want to get and I’m going to get there. This is the attitude everyone needs to have instead of being afraid what others are going to say or think. Who wants haters for their readers anyway? I sure don’t! Especially if they aren’t going to read the entire book, then they aren’t worth my time worrying about. Haters in general aren’t worth any time and worrying about.

“Get rid of the negativity and pursue the positive!” – Quote for the day!

~Book Blogging~

Being a first time published author is hard work! But enjoyable and exciting all the same. I love it. I love watching my career start taking off and watching the progress. So…I’m working on my second novel now. About a singer who gets into a really bad car accident that puts her into a coma and her family is around her sharing memories so you get to learn about who she really is…because when she wakes up she doesn’t remember. There are many ugly twists and heart wrenching parts in the book. 

Anyway, those of you that have followed my first book Hopes and Destinies from the beginning, you all know that I didn’t post the last 2 chapters. This is a must read book! A five star review already! So, if you haven’t please buy and read it both ebook and paperback are available! Ebook is available for $3.99 and paperback is available for $5.99. Next week, I have a week promotion on it where ebook sells for $1.99 and paperback is $2.99. If you like what I write, stay tuned for more novels by me. This is just the beginning!! 

 Here is an image of my paperback book! 

A mysterious romance novel about a girl who is living a double life to stay alive. She experiences murder and love all in the same life not knowing that one day both of her lives she is living are about to merge into one. She realizes the man she is so desperately in love with isn’t who he says he is, but neither is she. She starts to learn that sometimes fate gets in the way…maybe her destiny of living a double life. What was once destinies, is now hopes of finding solitude and love again. -About the book-

amazon.com/author/jesspagor  

Read the sample and leave a review. (There’s free sample of my ebook). An author wouldn’t be an author without the readers. Even for a little light reading 🙂

I do have a twitter account now for those that would like to follow me for more updates. You can find me at @jesspagor

The weather here is crappy; rainy and thunderstorms. Lots of wind too!! You would think we had a tornado…. We had a tornado last week. That was pretty scary! We had to hide in our little bathroom…(we don’t have a cellar or a basement). Every sound of the tornado was heard…luckily we were all safe. 

Life has been pretty crazy with advertising and marketing for my books and home stuff. Of course the tornadoes played a huge part in my time lol crazy crazy. 

Here is an image of my ebook of Hopes and Destinies. Everyone has to start their career somewhere and its always at the bottom. It always gets better from here! Tell your friends and anyone else you may think will like my books! My saying is: There’s always an author out there for every person. Just like there’s a hairstylist for every person and a doctor for every person, a mechanic for every car. My books are classified as suspicious romance and dramatic romance. If this is your genre or an interesting genre to you, then these books are right up your alley!! Try the free samples today!! 

~PUBLISHED!~

Hey guys!! I know it has been a while since I wrote on here but things have been busy. First off, if you have been following my novel Hopes and Destinies you know I didn’t post the last few chapters. I DID finish the book and have published a kindle copy and a paperback copy. Below is the link to my author page on amazon so if you loved the book please please please go on there and purchase and find out what happens next! By the way, I am doing a promotion on this novel starting next month so be sure to buy it then!! Right now, it sells for $5.95 on kindle. Starting next month it goes down to $2.99 that’s half price!! Only for the month of June though. Also, if you purchase the kindle version, you can purchase the paperback version for $1.99!! That’s quite the deal because the paperback alone sells for $10. 

amazon.com/author/jesspagor

You all have been such a great inspiration to me because I thrive to write stories for those that love to read them. You all made this possible for me and that just makes my day making your days. This blog is going to be short, but I just wanted to give an update for those that have been wondering. I am now a published author and the happiest I’ve ever been!! You all can expect more from me in the times to come. With that being said, I am working on a new book right now. It’s actually a rewrite on my very first novel I wrote in highschool and never got it published. So I will be posting a link also to my author facebook page. Be sure to like it to follow me for more details and updates on new novels. I will be starting a twitter account soon for my author page as well for those of you that like to follow on twitter. I will post on this blog site when I get that up and going. 

@jpagorauthorpage – on facebook!

Anyway, go check it all out!! 

 

~Chapter 8!!! Time to wrap it up!~

Finally finished chapter 8!! Some big twists so this is not the chapter to miss!!!  Only a few more chapters left until I publish!! I am starting chapter 9 as we speak. I have all night to write so let’s see how far I get in chapter 9! So enjoy chapter 8 below!! It is a little short..we are getting to the end, readers!! 

 

I’m sitting on the couch next to him. He has a pad of paper open to a blank page, pen in hand. My head is in my hands as I slowly explain to Jason exactly what happened ten years ago. He is quiet as he takes notes and listens to me cry and tell my story again. I tell him about how my father used to beat my mother, how he killed her, how he went after me next, and how I stabbed him in self-defense. I tell him about how he was supposed to spend life in prison, but he must’ve pulled strings to get out early because he is Chicago’s best defense attorney. I tell him about how my father is after me to kill me, and about why I changed my name. I even tell him about Aunt Bethany and the part she played in my life protecting me. I tell him everything including how he was right; I never intended on falling in love with him. I tried avoiding him at all costs. I never once notice Shayna standing in the doorway listening as tears stream down her face. I hurt her, too, and I feel ashamed of myself for letting all of this go on for so long. I try to get any emotion out of Jason’s expression, but as always, he is so hard to read. He isn’t Jason anymore, he is Deputy Steth.

Jason remains silent as he paraphrases on his note pad everything I’m saying to him. Never once does he look up at me which makes me cry even more. What would life be like with him if I was a normal girl with no problems I was hiding from? Lately, that question has been running through my head like wildfire.

When I am finished talking, he closes his note pad and without looking at me he says, “OK, I will take this into the office tomorrow and start working on a plan of protection with Sheriff Williams. Until then, this is all we can do is stay here for tonight.”

“Do you think Sherriff Williams will help you, Jason?” Shayna asks quietly from the doorway. First time she has spoken throughout this entire confession.

“He has no choice if I make him,” Jason responds in a quiet voice as he stands up from the couch where we are sitting. “I’ll figure it out tomorrow.”

He walks slowly into the guest bedroom that is off to the side of the living area we are in, and closes the door softly behind him leaving me and Shayna to stare silently at each other.

“I know I’ve hurt you, too, Shayna. Just know that everything I said to you about being the best worker I’ve ever had was all true. I understand if you don’t believe me right now. I know one day you will.”

“I always believed you, Hope,” Shayna says softly. “What I can’t understand is that if I was your best friend, why didn’t you tell me before now? It just hurts to know that you didn’t even trust me like you should’ve. All the times I was there for you and confided in you about things I’ve never told anyone…you couldn’t even do the same for me. If anyone should be sorry, it should be me for allowing myself to trust you like that.”

“Shayna…” More tears are rolling down my face.

“It’s done, Hope. Whatever comes of this will be. I’ve always had your back…even now. I just feel like the fool for doing so.”

“You will always be my best friend,” I choke out as she turns away from me, and walks away; wiping tears from her eyes as she does so.

I am alone. Not in the sense of physically being alone in the room, but alone in the sense of knowing I’m by myself in this situation. I always have been. I can’t count on anyone being there and understanding what I’m going through; what I’ve been going through for the last ten years of my life. It’s always down to me, myself, and I. This is why Aunt Bethany didn’t want me getting too close to anyone. I now understand the meaning behind her protection and her words of trying to keep me away from everyone. Aunt Bethany

My mind wanders to Aunt Bethany. I know I should go visit her again to see how she is doing. I know she isn’t getting any better, and she won’t, but she needs to hear me say I was wrong before she decides to leave this earth and leave me alone. She is, and was, the only person that was ever there for me; the only person that kept me from feeling alone in this world.

Immediately, I scramble with all my belongings, and run out of the house…again. This time without anyone realizing I’m running. I pull my phone out of my pocket and call for a cab because my car is locked up in the garage of Jason’s house. I’m too frazzled to go back now and try to get it out, especially if I don’t want them knowing I’m running again.

The cab takes me all the way to UW-Madison hospital, where Aunt Bethany has been staying for the last few days. The driver takes me all the way without me even glancing back into the distance. I don’t think about Jason or Shayna or even the situation that we are all in because of me. All I think about is staring straight ahead into the future; to keep moving forward.

The cab drops me off at the front door. I don’t hesitate when I get out and throw the driver a fifty-dollar bill. He looks at me astonished as I turn and run into the hospital building. I take the elevator to the ICU floor; once there, I run all the way down to Aunt Bethany’s room. I pass nurses and doctors on the way, all of them yelling at me to slow down. I don’t listen to them. I barely hear them as thoughts of Aunt Bethany run through my head. I must get to her…

Doctor Dalorez is in her room once I reach it. I come to an abrupt halt at the doorway. Everyone in the room is quiet. All I hear is my heart pounding profusely. What is happening? I watch as Doctor Dalorez walks around the room looking distraught. After a few moments, she spots me. Her expression grows saddened as she makes her way slowly toward me; almost like she’s contemplating what she’s about to say to me.

“Destiny…” she says quietly in recognition.

“Doctor Dalorez…what’s going on?” I choke out.

She sighs. That is when I notice the bags under her eyes. She must’ve been called in last night and been here ever since.

“Please talk to me!” I exclaim. I hadn’t noticed how loud I was until I spot every doctor and nurse looking at me from every angle on the floor.

She shakes her head. “Go in and see her. When you are finished, please come to my office. We can talk there.”

She leaves me without saying another word.

I walk into Aunt Bethany’s room to find the same setup of tubes on her. The only difference is that it appears she can no longer talk according to the handwritten message on the white board. There is a tube going down her throat which I assume is for food. Her breathing is very raspy as I come closer to her so she can see me.

“I must leave, Aunt Bethany. I can’t stay here anymore. I don’t know how much longer I am safe here now that my secret is getting out. God only knows when that man is going to come here and find me again…I just…couldn’t leave without saying…goodbye to you,” I stutter out as tears come flowing down my cheeks. How do I do this? How do I say goodbye to my Aunt that is already dying? How do I say goodbye early? How do I let her know I will not be attending her funeral? This is the last time her and I will see each other…

She stares up at me as tears form in her eyes as well. I can tell she wants to say something, but can’t.

“I’m leaving today. I’m going out and starting a new life where I will be safe again. I know you will find me…your spirit will. I believe that. I have to. I need you to know something before I leave…you were right. You always were. I was stupid for fighting with you and for disobeying you. I want you to know you will always be in my heart…I will be using the tools to survive you always taught to me growing up…so, don’t worry about me.” I lean in and give her a kiss on the forehead. “I love you, Aunt Bethany. I always will and I will never forget you.”

Just as I say what I need to say to her, the machine starts beeping indicating she had flat lined. No longer breathing. She stayed with me as long as she could because she knew this day would come where I would come in and explain everything to her and say my goodbyes. She held on for that.

I put my hand to my mouth trying to keep in the choking sobs as I back away from her. Nurses start filing into the room one by one. As soon as there’s enough nurses in the room, I run for the door and down the hallway before the doctor comes in. She said she wanted to speak to me, and honestly, I have nothing to hear form her or say to her. My time here is done.

I run until I am outside the hospital again, but don’t stop there. I keep running with the road in my focus; I’ll call a cab once I’m walking down the road.

SMACK! I am on the ground, hurting. My lungs are fighting for air. It all happened so fast I barely had time to register the arms wrapping around me, one around my body and the other one around my neck. Those same arms holding me tight, and then throwing me on the asphalt ground. I continue to lay there as the pain through my head throbs harder with every second that passes. My lungs are stinging from the lack of air in those short seconds. I move a hand to my head, which is then instantly covered in blood. I am bleeding…badly.

A foot is pushing me over to face the person whom hurt me. I close my eyes not wanting to see them, but a voice makes me open them in shock.

“I told you no more running!” The voice says, angrily.

Jason? Why…what…?” I stumble on my words trying to make sense of this situation. All the while, trying to ignore the throbbing pain in my head.

Jason bends down, and picks me up by the collar of my shirt. He holds me up to him by the collar of my shirt, which makes me lose even more air in my lungs.

“Hope, the things you have done to me…when I tell you not to run, you run anyway. What is wrong with you?!” He shouts in my face as he shakes me vigorously.

“Jason…you…hurt me,” I whisper out in as much feeling as I possibly can.

“Now, you know how it feels to be hurt, Hope…”

“Put her down,” a deeper voice says calmly from the behind Jason.

My heart instantly stops as I realize that voice belongs to my father. What is going on? My eyes never leave him as he makes his way up to us, to me. Jason lowers me to the ground, not taking his angry eyes off me, and keeping my arms in his tight grasp.

“Hmm, you’re bleeding, Destiny,” my father says matter-of-factly, running on hand across my forehead.

I flinch at the touch as my body tenses, Jason’s grasp growing tighter.

“Listen, Destiny, we need to talk. Let’s catch up! It has been, what, ten years?” Angst says in what seems to be a professional voice.

I nod, scared of what is about to happen. Confused as to why Jason is helping him. Was this part of the plan all along? Was I the fool from the beginning when I thought I had fooled everyone else?

“Why are you helping him?” I choke out, looking right at Jason.

His eyes grow saddened at the creases, but keeps his eyes locked on mine the entire time my father explains.

“You see, Destiny, he was always on my side right from the beginning. I hired him to follow you, and keep an eye on you. He would report to me daily on your whereabouts and the things you had been up to. I met him while I was in prison. He was one of the academy students touring the prison one day. Right after he graduated, he had gotten the job as the courtroom bailiff. When I was relieved of prison time, I paid him to drive me back to our home in Chicago. That is where I hired him as my detective. I gave him the necessary tools he needed to get a job in Arlington as the new night police officer, so he could spy on you and not get caught. I also hired his sister to get close to you as well. Why do you think your aunt didn’t want them in your life? She knew this entire time about them the moment those detectives spotted you and her at that restaurant ten years ago. You see, I was always in the loop just waiting on the perfect time to make my final move.”

I look over at Jason, whom is still staring at me and holding me by my wrists as tightly as he can.

“Now I see why you were always so eager to turn me in. Why? Why would you make me fall in love with you? Why would you lie to me? Did you even have a girlfriend that died or was that some bullshit story you were feeding me all this time?”

Jason sighs and looks at my father. My father nudges him the OK to speak.

“Yes, I did have a girlfriend I loved very much. However, the man who killed her happened to be your father. He ran her off the road causing her car to flip four times down into the ditch on the side of the road. I was the first officer that arrived on the scene and your father was there. I recognized him from the trip to the prison in Chicago.” Jason takes a deep breath and looks at the ground as he continues the rest of his explanation. “He killed her because I had failed to do what he asked of me. As soon as I graduated from the academy, he sent me to find you…I had a very small time limit window. He said if I couldn’t get you to him by the time he had asked, I was going to pay…and I did. I lost her…because of my actions. I went on and resented myself for losing her the way I did…” Tears are now streaming down his face, but he keeps talking. “I made it my mission then to find you…to repay her memory. Shayna wanted to turn you in right away…but I wouldn’t let her…”

“Why?” I almost shout.

He looks at me just then at the sound of harshness in my voice.

“Because I fell in love with you, and I’ll be damned if I lose you, too.”

Just then, the sound of gun shots being fired run through my ears, but only aimed at one thing: my father. Jason has me pinned on the ground as he tries to cover me from the bullets flying through the air.

I am so confused…what is going on? What do I believe? The last forty-eight hours of my life have been all sorts of inside out, and twisted. Is all of this for real?

I push against Jason to try and free myself from underneath his body that has me pinned in this awkward position on the hard ground. He notices my struggle and pushes my body harder into the asphalt, making it impossible to even try to escape.

Out of the side of my eye, I see the salute of my father fall to the ground after hearing what seemed like hundreds of gun shots being fired. He falls next to me and remains motionless.

“Come check him!” Jason is yelling at the person whom was shooting at my father.

As the person approaches my father’s dead body, I am taken by surprise that much more because the person holding the rifle is Shayna; a tiny girl that I didn’t think was capable of even operating a gun. Her brother is law enforcement, so she probably took lessons from him…

She pokes his body a few times and announces he’s dead. She shoots him one more time just to make sure.

I am frozen in shock at the entire scene that played out before my eyes as Jason picks me up off the ground. He carries me as he follows Shayna back towards the hospital doors.

The first nurse he sees he flags down and tells her to take me to a room, and that I’ve been a victim in a violent crime. He assures the nurse he’s a police officer by showing her his badge after he sets me down on top of a bed she brings over. Once she starts taking me to a room, I hear Jason tell Shayna to call the sheriff and get them down here to take care of my dead father in the parking lot.

Once the nurse has the bed arranged in a room, Jason tells her to inspect my entire body. I try to sit up and tell him I’m fine, only to be pushed back down by him, and told to lay still.

“Can you be more specific, sir, about the violent crimes she was a victim of?” The nurse asks Jason as she starts to undress me in front of him. “I need to know what kind of injuries I’m checking her for.”

My eyes are wide as I realize his eyes are on me; all of me.

“A shooting that happened right outside in the parking lot,” he replies quietly.

The nurse nods and continues her pursuit in undressing me and checking for injuries. Jason keeps is eyes on me as I become more and more naked. I am frozen in shock as I realize that Jason has never seen all of me naked. We had that touchy-feely make out session that got quickly interrupted…

I feel a pang of hurt as I remember that day. Feels like forever ago…when it was only just days ago. So much has changed and happened since then, including finding out he was working with my father this whole time. He made me fall in love with him…only to turn me in.

He sees the flicker of hurt and disappointment in my eyes. His eyes grow sad as he turns and looks away from me as the nurse continues to examine my naked body.

“Mr. Steth, I found an open wound on the back of her head that needs a few stitches. Otherwise she is good to go,” the nurse explains a few moments later. “I’m going to go get the doctor to clean it up for you.”

“Thank you,” Jason replies, not once turning around to face me or the nurse as she walks out of the room.

We are alone in the room. Neither of us says anything while we wait for the doctor which isn’t long at all. The doctor sedates the spot on my head after she cleans it, and it takes her what feels like thirty seconds to stitch it up. Jason tells her to medicate me for the pain, which puts me to sleep.

The only thing I hear as sleep consumes me is the low humble of Jason’s voice and the beep of the heartrate monitor next to me.