Series: Youngblood Series #2
Author: Monique Orgeron
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 1, 2019
My retribution may be over, but my future remains controlled by my past.
A son always pays for his father’s sins.
Stripped of everything, I was punished for crimes I believed my father was wrongly accused of.
My need for revenge blinded me.
Faced with the truth, I was forced to make a choice that went against what I’d fought so hard for.
With my atonement complete, I’m asked what would make me happy.
I had it once and the very person who gave it to me is the same one who robbed me of it.
How can I look forward when I’m tortured by memories of her?
The girl I loved with all my heart and now hate with all I am.
Sometimes love isn’t good for you.
Sometimes, you have to love yourself enough to see the destruction ahead and simply move out of the way.
I once loved a boy who was determined to continually hurt himself.
For a chance to prove himself worthy.
He was worthy in my eyes, but it wasn’t enough.
Then a secret opened my eyes to see the years of pain and hurt the future held.
Leaving, I took a risk for a better future, but my return unravels a spiral of betrayal.
I know I will be at their mercy.
Later that evening, I drove to the Stern mansion to see Catherine. She’s wasn’t at her best which left it even more appealing for me to want to forgive her. She went over what would be my new life. She laid it all out, but then at the end she hit me with the fact that it would all be mine in time. Once I passed through probation.
I remember that day so clearly, it’s almost like I’m reliving it.
Catherine instantly sees my rage and tries to calm me, tries giving me guarantees but then she halts her speech and asks me one simple question,
“What is it that will make you happy?”
Looking at her baffled, she repeats herself, “Shane, what is it that will truly make you happy? You need to figure it out because this life is not made for everyone and you missed a lot by not being raised in it. If you think that me giving you everything you always wished for will make you happy, it won’t. And with everything I’ve put you through, I want that for you. I know I don’t deserve your forgiveness…”
Interrupting her, I say, “I never said you had my forgiveness and the way things are going, it doesn’t look like I will be giving you a reprieve from your guilt any time soon.”
She nods her head and quietly says, “I deserve that. I do, but I’m not putting you on probation to hurt you.”
“Really? Care to explain? Because it seems like you’re not finished torturing me.”
“I will give you it all, but you need to know how to handle it. You weren’t at the age of training when your father was taken from you.”
“And you took everything else.” I practically yell at her.
“Yes, I did. I will not make any more mistakes with you. When I give you your father’s territory, I will make sure you won’t lose it. You’ll never have to worry about someone trying to take it from you because they will fear you.”
“I’m already feared.”
“Not my kind of fear.” She smiles and says, “This life can eat you up, Shane.”
“Are you worried I will become my father? Is this what all this is about?”
“No, Shane. You are not your father, just like my sons are not theirs. I’m done with the past. All of it. Having cancer has taught me what is really important in life. I can see it clear as day; you think that when I hand you back everything it will make you happy, that it will solve all your problems? It won’t.”
Before she could go on, I stand without another word and leave. I know what comes next, and I can’t believe the nerve of her to want to question my life choices.
Pulling myself out of the flashback, I turn my attention back to the envelope. Turning it upside down, the single dried up wildflower of years gone by, falls onto my desk. Slowly and carefully I pick it up. The once simplistic wildflower is so fragile now and the vibrant yellow coloring it once had is long gone. But still it holds a special meaning to me. More than just the small crush I had for Catherine.
It brings back another memory, one of a girl, innocent and beautiful with hair as golden as the sun. With curls that surrounded her delicate features. She was my wildflower. Images remain of her lying beside me in an open field under the light of day. Laughing so sweetly as I slipped wildflowers like this one through her curls making a crown around her head as she looked upon me like she needed me for her next breath.
Catherine wants to know what would make me happy. How do I tell her that I had it once and the very person that gave it to me is the same one who robbed me of it?
I slip the flower back into the envelope and stick it back into its place in my drawer. Yesterday is gone, my wildflower girl took with her everything I ever cared about. Leaving me with a void I’ve never been able to fill.
All I know is things are about to change. I will seek out my new future. I might never be truly happy again, but I’m done paying retribution for someone else’s crime and Catherine damn well better deliver on her promises.
Written by Monique Orgeron’s eldest, most beautiful, and intelligent daughter. (My sister is going to hate this part.)
My mom happens to be the most caring, loving, and stubborn person I know, well anyone knows. She gives 100% percent of herself to everyone and has given up so much of herself for my sister and I. For twenty-one years she has poured her heart and soul into making sure we know that we are loved and that we can do anything we put our minds too, but it was about time she figured that out about herself.
Up until this year I hadn’t seen my mom do anything for only her, but this book has allowed her to travel the world through the pages of a book, make new friends, and feel the joy of doing something exciting.
There is a new light behind her eyes and it is just making me feel more joy than she can ever imagine. While she might be annoying most of the time, I am so thrilled that she is finally allowing herself to grow as a person and not spend all of her energy on her family.
It has been a long journey of self-discovery for my mom; she has gone from domestic supermom to domestic goddess throughout the process of writing.
We are so very excited and proud of you! I love you as big as the world.
-Bria and Tony