An Unexpected Kind
Kind Series Book 1
by Angela K Parker
Genre: Contemporary Romance
I used to think that love was for the weak.
It was not something that would ever tie me down.
Until I learned the truth behind my resistance.
When I let down my guard, I wasn’t expecting to find love.
Samantha’s voice called for my attention before I ever met her.
Now my heart is in need. My heart wants her.
And I will do whatever it takes to make it happen.
All I ever wanted was to be loved.
Until love crushed my heart into a million pieces.
I built a wall tough enough that no one could ever get that close again.
But Bradley isn’t just anyone. I’m not prepared for all that he is.
He’s searching for something that I don’t think I can give.
The more I try to deny him the harder it becomes.
He’s going to tear my wall down. And I’m torn because…
I wasn’t looking for love.
Love found me.
***This novel contains mature content***
“A mathematician? Really?” The tone of my question was all wrong. “I mean, that’s great.” I try to rephrase. I feel hot all over. Not only is he smoking hot, but he’s also got the brains to match. He’s not a true jock. This just keeps getting worse. My attraction to him is growing by the minute.
The vibration from his laughter reaches me from across the table. “I know… that’s the reaction that I get from everyone when they find out what I want to do. I’m full of surprises.” He leans up to whisper over the table. “FYI, I don’t like them myself.”
Note to self… he doesn’t like surprises. Why would I even care?
He sits back. “In case you’re ever thinking about throwing me a party or something.” He answers my mental question. It’s like he’s reading my mind. That could be bad if he is.
“Why would I be thinking about throwing you a party?” I raise my brow in question. At the same time, I’m amused by his premonition.
“That’s what people do when they’re dating right? They plan for birthdays and holidays. I figured I’d give you a head start on the small stuff. When you say yes, it’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about.”
“When I say yes to what exactly?”
“To our second date.”
“I wasn’t aware that we had a first date.”
He smirks like he knows a secret and leans closer to me. “Will you go out with me again?”
His question catches me off guard. I don’t know what to say. If I say no, I feel like I would be letting Lacy down, but I know that saying yes would mean that I’m agreeing to try. I like him. There is something about him that won’t let me speak the word no. I want to say yes, but would he be willing to take me as I am, with all of the broken pieces that can never be made whole again?
His eyes plead for my yes and the flame inside of them won’t let me say no. “Yes.”
He sits back in his seat satisfied. “Where should we go on our second date?”
“Yes, you just agreed that this was our first.”
“I did not.”
I asked if you would go out with me again and you said yes.”
“You tricked me.”
“No. I got you to admit what you already knew. I’m going to have fun getting to know you, Samantha.” He begins to scribble something onto a napkin.
This guy… I’m going to have fun getting to know you too, Bradley.
He reaches over and places the folded napkin into my hand. It brings a smile to my face when I open it and read the note written down. “Can I have your number, Samantha?”
“You know, you could have just asked. I’m sitting right here.”
“Yeah, I could have but I wouldn’t have gotten the same reaction.”
I scribble my number down along with my added note, ‘for emergencies only,’ and slide it back to him.
He reads it and looks up at me, one eye raised slightly higher than the other. A slow rumble comes from his chest. “I plan to have a lot of those.”
Bradley pulls out his phone and saves my number inside and begins twiddling his thumbs across the screen. My phone dings. He watches me with expectant eyes. My skin heats at the message displayed. It’s his number along with an invitation. “Anytime, day or night.”
“Did anything interesting happen while we were gone?” Emily plops down in the booth next to me.
I feel like I’ve just stolen a piece of candy from the sacred dish and it’s time for me to confess. I open my mouth to reveal my secret but the handsome hunk across from me beats me to it. I’m relieved when he opens his mouth to speak.
“Samantha just agreed to go out with me.” Bradley grins from ear to ear.
“Smooth talker,” Emily says to Bradley.
I blush from embarrassment. Bradley is a very smooth talker. My intent was to not like him. I had already made up my mind from the moment that I saw him. I would not give him the satisfaction that he so obviously wanted. I didn’t care that his cheeks dimple when he smiles. All of that was thrown out the window the second he opened his mouth to speak. It didn’t matter to him that I was trying to ignore him. He could care less that I had a plastered scowl. He didn’t give up and I finally gave in. I only hope that my giving into him doesn’t come at a vast cost.
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A Callous Kind
Kind Series Book 2
“Everyone that enters your life is there for a purpose, and if you’re lucky, you find the one that changes everything. The way you laugh. The way you think. The way you love.”
–Angela K Parker
Sam is my one. When I met her, I knew that she would change everything. Our love was all-consuming. I thought it was unbreakable. We were happy, content, and making plans for our future.
I should’ve known better than to make plans. They always fall apart when I least expect it. Things happen beyond my control. Mistakes are made that are hard to accept, and the love that I feel falls prey to mistrust.
Brad is my yellow. I’ve been comforted in the blanket of our love from the moment I let him in.
It was stupid of me to think that nothing would change. I thought that if I ignored the problem, it would go away, but it didn’t. It stalked me, lurking in the distance for a chance to strike. Now everything that Brad and I have built is crumbling, and I don’t know if there is anything that I can do to stop it.
Brad traps me against the front door, his hands circled loosely around my neck. There’s a longing in his eyes, but his words say the opposite of what I see.
“Are you okay with meeting the guys tonight?”
His thumbs rub the contours of my cheeks. It’s hard to think with his hands on me. He could get me to agree to anything right now given the amount of time since the last time I’ve seen him.
“Yes. It’s fine. If we’re going to be together, I need to get to know the people that are important to you.”
“They won’t be here much longer. Just a short meet and greet. I promise. Just give me a sign and they’re gone.” His eyes roam over my lips and my whole body burns from the invisible contact. He clears his throat, then kisses my forehead and steps back a fraction. “By the way, you look lovely tonight.”
I smile at his comment. The way he says it makes me want to believe. I know I don’t look my best, but to Brad I always do. I could be wearing a trash bag and he would still say the same. It makes me love him even more.
He takes my hand and leads me into the kitchen just around the corner. Two sets of eyes are staring when we walk in; one a deep shade of brown and the other a little lighter. I look around to fend off the uncomfortable feeling coursing through me.
There’s a hallway leading out of the kitchen that was only slightly visible from the living room. The kitchen has a single window facing out to the parking lot. It’s a cozy space. I can see myself here with Brad. The more I see of this place, the homier it feels.
“Sam this is Nate, my old roommate,” Brad says motioning to the one with the dark eyes. “And Phil,” he continues, pointing to the other guy. I move closer and shake each of their hands when they rise from their spots at the bar to greet me.
“Nice to meet you both,” I say. I’m slightly confused. Brad said there were three of them. I shrug it off thinking maybe that’s a good thing. The less, the merrier.
“And this is Garrett,” I hear Brad say behind my back.
I freeze at the familiar name. I’m reluctant to turn around. It can’t be him. What are the odds? There have to be tons of guys with that name. Although, I’ve only ever known one.
I close my eyes and turn around praying that it’s not him.
There are times when I feel like laughing out loud and times when my heart feels so full of love that I fear it will burst. There are times when I feel invincible and nothing can defeat me.
When I open my eyes, I know that this is not one of those times. I want to laugh because I feel it’s the only thing that will keep me from crying. My heart is full but at this moment, it’s not because of love. It’s a mix of emotions that I can’t describe. My breath hitches and my throat runs dry.
Garrett! No! This can’t be happening.
My mind screams his name. I blink in quick succession, willing him to go away; wishing this was all a dream.
He appears just as shocked as I am, but only for a second. “So, this is your Sam?” Garrett smirks at Brad before his gaze locks onto me again.
Everyone around us is oblivious to the true meaning of his question, but not me. I heard him loud and clear. I don’t know what’s worse; the fact that he had the nerve to ask the question, or him thinking that I still belong to him. Both ideas are disturbing and completely insane. I’ll never be his again. I made that perfectly clear the last time I spoke to him.
Garrett looks the same, except he’s all grown up now. He still has those boyish curls that I used to love but his body has filled out even more than I remembered. And I can tell by that smirk on his face that his cockiness has grown right along with him. If I were any other girl and I didn’t loathe everything he stands for, I could probably appreciate his stature and good looks. None of that matters to me now because I know the real Garrett. I know what he’s capable of and I know exactly who he’s not.
I look at him and give a slight shake of my head, silently asking him to keep quiet. I don’t know how Brad would react knowing that his friend is the one who broke my heart years ago. As much as I would like to see his fist connect with Garrett’s face, I can’t chance it. I should be the one to tell Brad.
He’s so happy looking between the two of us. I hate that my dislike for Garrett will drive a wedge between them; or worse, drive a wedge between us. I’ll tell him once we’re alone and he can think before reacts.
“Yeah, this is my Sam,” Brad replies, pulling my back flush against his chest so we’re both facing Garrett. He places a lingering kiss on my temple and I hate that I can’t enjoy it.
Garrett flinches slightly but quickly recovers. I don’t know if it’s because I know him so well, but I notice every minute move that he makes. I hope no one else notices. He holds out his hand and I reluctantly place my hand in his. Bile rises in my throat when he pulls my hand to his lips. He stares at me like I’m a prize to be won, not caring who our audience is. How could Brad ever be friends with someone like him? It takes everything in me to not pull away and punch his lights out.
Garrett tilts his head to the side in thought. “Sam,” he says smugly. “Short for Samantha, right?”
“Yes,” I say with a forced smile.
“You look familiar,” Garrett continues.
“Alright man. Give her a break. She’s had a long day.”
I’m relieved when Brad cuts in. Who knows what going through Garrett’s screwed up mind and what will come out of his mouth next. I follow his eyes to Brad’s hands holding my waist and this time when I look at him, I smirk. I knew I shouldn’t but I couldn’t resist. His hand forms a fist at his side before opening up again.
“It’s good to finally meet Brad’s friends,” I say, looking at each of the guys. “I wish he had told me more about you before today. Maybe one day we can all sit down and talk; get to know each other better.”
I was hoping we could do that tonight but after seeing Garrett, I feel drained. I feel like I’ve been thrown back in time. All of those old feelings from the last time I saw him are creeping up inside of me again. How could I be this unlucky?
“I’m afraid Brad is right. I’m a little tired. I think I’m going to turn in early, but if Brad wants, you guys can stay.” I turn to Brad and smile up at him, praying that he can see through my false statement.
Brad pulls me in for a not so quick kiss. The kind of kiss that makes me wonder. The kind of kiss that forces him to hold me just a little bit tighter, to keep me from falling. The kind of kiss that lets everyone around us know how he feels about me.
Even if Brad knew who Garrett really was, his feelings for me would never be about revenge or karma. This is who he is, regardless of the audience. I will never forget his words to me for as long as I live, “I don’t care who knows you’re my girl. Let them watch.”
Brad only pulls away when one of the guys clears their throat loudly.
And still, one more kiss to my temple.
My skin has to be the shade of an apple, but I don’t care. Brad gave me a little bit of relief in just a few seconds.
“Okay baby. Rooms down the hall to the left. See you soon.”
I turn to leave and Brad smacks my behind. Garrett’s glare hits me like a freight train as I pass him. I know it’s a risk leaving my fate in his hands, but I’m confident that he won’t say anything. If Garrett has never been good at anything else, he’s good at keeping secrets. He knows that Brad can’t find out like this. Not tonight.
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A Forgiving Kind
Kind Series Book 3
Learning to live with betrayal can prove to be a difficult task. Being able to trust again, can be even harder.
Sam and I have both made mistakes. We’ve both been hurt by the ones we love, but we’ve never hurt each other until now. I know that nothing could ever change my feelings for her. I know that she is meant for me. What I don’t know is how to move past the deception, but I’m doing everything within my power to try.
My blind participation in a daring act could possibly cost me everything.
I’ve been over it countless times. I’ve asked myself, why did I let it happen? How could I be so naive? I’ve hurt Brad in the worst way and I don’t know how to fix it. A visit from an old friend does nothing to help matters. It only makes my uncertainty that much stronger, but I refuse to give up on us. I won’t let this be the end.
Seeing Brad brought forth a rush of mixed feelings. He said all of the right things, but I couldn’t bring myself to forgive so easily. I know Brad. I know what he said is true, but it doesn’t change the fact that he kept something huge from me. Two weeks and he never mentioned it. I sympathize with why he did it, but there was another way. There is always another way. He should’ve come to me. If he doesn’t trust me with his judgment, then what will we become?
I nearly shattered when he left, but I couldn’t be around him and think straight at the same time. I needed him gone so that I could process my thoughts.
Minutes later, I sit on the edge of the bed, pick up the note that he left, and read it.
“When you’re ready, I’ll be here. For as long as it takes. Aspen Hotel.”
I run my fingers across the small piece of paper. Brad hasn’t lost his touch with words. I look up when I hear a soft knock on my room door. I ignore it, hoping that they will go away. The knock sounds again.
“Grace. It’s me. Lacy. Can I come in?”
I want to sulk, and cry, and wallow in my own self-pity. I want to force out tears that I’ve been holding back. I don’t want to talk, but it may be just the thing that I need.
I sigh. “Come in.”
Lacy peeks her head around the door. She comes in and closes it behind her when I nod. She walks over and sits next to me.
“I saw Bradley leaving. Is he coming back?” She asks.
“No. He rented a room at the Aspen.”
“Oh. I see.”
I turn to meet her concerned eyes. She wants to know why my eyes aren’t smiling.
“Something is clearly on your mind. Would you like to talk about it?” She asks.
I contemplate spilling my guts and telling her everything. Every sordid detail.
“Can I ask you a personal question Lacy?”
“Sure. Anything, Grace.”
“What would you do if Robert kept something important from you because he feared it would break you two apart?”
Lacy gives me a strange look and straightens beside me. Her hand instinctively finds her belly.
“Well.” She thinks. “I guess it would depend on the secret.” She pauses again. “I would have to decide if the hurt he caused outweighed my love for him, or if it’s something that I could move past and forgive.”
I look away and ponder over her answer. What Brad did, it hurt, but it wasn’t enough to make me cry. I could definitely move past it, but forgiveness is not an easy thing. He of all people should know that.
A gentle hand settles on my knee.
“Grace?” Lacy questions. “Do you still love him?”
My response is immediate and unfiltered. “I do. With all of my heart.”
“Then go to him. Talk this out. Don’t let it fester. It will only bring more doubt. Love may not always be enough, but sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s strong enough to see you through the bad times, the mistakes, and betrayal. Sometimes it’s enough.”
I stare at her wondering how I got so lucky. I let her words play through my mind.
Lacy continues. “I’m not telling you to forgive him.” She pats my knee once. She glances into the bathroom and smiles. “He bought you Sunflowers for goodness sake. Have you ever known any guy who buys sunflowers? I’m guessing it has meaning.” Her brows raise inquisitively.
I shrug and smile sheepishly. “It’s sort of our thing,” I say.
“That has to be worth something, right?”
“Do you know how much I love you, Lacy?” I ask, changing the subject. Lacy always gives the best advice, but I don’t know if I’m ready to confront Brad again so soon.
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About the Author
Angela K. Parker is a country girl with a big heart. She grew up in Greeleyville, SC where she graduated from C.E. Murray High School. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Finance from Limestone College in Gaffney, SC. Her passions include reading, writing, music and she loves spending time with her family. When she’s not engaged in any of the above, she’s knitting or catching up on the latest movies. She’s always had a very active imagination. Now she’s putting it to good use.