ROCKING KIN by Terri Anne Browning NOW AVAILABLE!
From USA Today bestselling author Terri Anne Browning.
With one promise her life was changed…
Saying goodbye to my mother also meant saying goodbye to my life in Virginia. After reluctantly making a promise to my mom, I was California bound with the father who I haven’t seen since I was four years old. I was miserable living under the same roof as my step-monster and the two step-bitches from hell. My only saving grace? Lucy Thornton, daughter to Demon’s Wings’ drummer, Jesse Thornton. Without her friendship—and her odd rocker family taking me in as one of their own—I was sure I would have lost my mind after the first week.
A blast from her past…
I never thought I would see Jace St. Charles again. Honestly, after the way he’d broken my heart, I would have been just fine without having to see his face for the rest of my life. With Lucy’s close friendship with Harris Cutter, owner of the hottest new club in SoCal and Jace’s new boss, I was forced to see that damn face often. Forced to see the way every girl seemed to trip over themselves to get close to him.
A second chance?
Being tossed into one situation after another with Jace made it hard to fight the fact that I wasn’t as immune to him as I wanted to be. But, damn it, I was only human and he was hell bent on winning me back.Rocking Kin is the third book in The Lucy & Harris Novella Series.
Why did I feel so numb?
I wasn’t supposed to be numb today. I mean, how can you feel nothing on the day that your mother was slowly lowered into the ground, taking the life you had lived the last eleven years with her? There were no tears—those had long since gone dry over the last week. There was no feeling in my body—my fingers, hands, arms, toes, feet, legs wouldn’t cooperate with my brain when it was time to do something as mundane as pick up a single red rose, move two steps forward and drop it onto the coffin that was now in its final resting place.
My brain for the most part had completely shut down on me as well. That particular organ was encased in a fog as thick as what was in the wet Virginia air. If it weren’t for the two men standing behind me, and the girl to my left, I might have actually fallen as I stepped up to be the first and only person to toss the rose onto my mom’s beautiful mahogany casket. Part of me wanted them to let me fall, and to stay down there with her. It would be so much better than what I was going to have to face when this day was over.
But they didn’t. I knew they wouldn’t. For those three people, the people who loved me just as much as I loved them, I was all that was left of Abigail Jacobson.
Around us, friends and family members murmured soft words to my stepfather and stepsiblings. Offering condolences and other kind words at the loss of a woman who had been taken from the world far too young. Abby had only been forty-five years old. But cancer? That monster didn’t care how old a person was, or how much they were loved, or how kind they happened to be. If anything, cancer went for those types of people quicker than anyone else. I hated that damn disease, hated it for everything it had taken from me.
For everything it was going to force on me now.
My hands started to shake so badly that Angie and Caleb both turned from talking to their great-aunt Cindy to wrap their arms tightly around me. But not even being in a step-sandwich, something that we had always called our group hugs, could offer me comfort right then. I just wanted to go home and lock my bedroom door, pull the covers over my head, and hope that I woke up in the morning to this being all just a really terrible dream.
With her blond head on my left shoulder, Angie squeezed me tighter. “It’s going to be okay, Kin.”
I closed my eyes tighter but remained silent. Caleb lifted his head from my right shoulder and kissed my cheek. “We love you, sugar bug.”
Unable to speak around the lump in my desert-dry throat, I merely nodded. I knew they loved me, but there was no way they would be able to know if everything was going to be okay. It wasn’t going to be. Because in the morning I would be on a plane to California. Tomorrow I was going to have to tell Angie, Caleb, and Carter goodbye.
It wasn’t fair. I wanted to scream the words at the top of my lungs to the sky. To the casket in the ground. To the man standing mutely on the other side of my mother’s grave. It just wasn’t fair.
As if feeling my eyes on him, my father lifted his eyes from my mother’s casket and met my gaze head on. I hadn’t seen my father in almost thirteen years. Not since he married my step-monster and decided he wanted to raise her kids instead of co-parent me. He was a stranger to me, since I had only been four years old at the time. But he hadn’t changed much from what little I remembered of him. Or maybe it was because I’d seen him on a hundred magazine covers and a few big screens since then.
Scott Montez was an actor/director so he had been in plenty of trash magazines and a few not so trashy ones. He was still handsome for a man in his early fifties, with his bright blue eyes he had gotten from his English supermodel mother and that dark Latin skin tone he had gotten from his Spanish aristocratic father. My father was fit, well groomed, and screamed narcissistic a-hole.
I hated him.
But as of tomorrow he would be a major feature in my life, since I had to live with him now. I had known it was coming from the moment the doctors had told my mom that there
wasn’t anything else they could do for her quickly spreading cancer. The same day she had been told that she only had six months at the most to live, she’d been on the phone to my father. She wanted me to live with him when she died.
I’d begged on my hands and knees not to be sent away when she died. I’d cried, screamed, and broken things when she had calmly explained that it was time I got to know my other family. Her excuse was that she wanted me to know Scott before it was too late not to. My argument had been that I didn’t need to know the man that had supplied half my DNA. Carter Jacobson was my real father in my eyes. Caleb and Angie, even though they were almost four years older than me, were my brother and sister more than any blood sibling I could have had.
Why couldn’t I stay with them, people who actually loved me? Why did I have to go all the way across the country to live with people I didn’t know? People who I knew resented me just as much as I resented them?
“Because you deserve the chance to get to know him, McKinley,” my mother had told me in a voice barely above a whisper just two weeks ago. “Listen to me, baby girl. You only have a year until you will be eighteen. If you decide that you don’t want to be around your dad after that, then Carter will welcome you back with open arms. But take that time and get to know Scott and your stepsisters. Give your stepmother and her kids a chance. A real chance.” Abby had pushed a few tear-soaked strands of hair away from my face as she had smiled sadly down at me. “Don’t live with the regret of not trying, Kin.”
I’d been fighting her tooth and nail up until that very moment. Those words—those wise words—had been the last ones my mother had said to me before she couldn’t say anything else. The next day she had been placed on a ventilator and three days later she had died holding my stepfather’s hand.
Since then, I hadn’t protested once about having to move to California, but that didn’t mean I was looking forward to it. I didn’t want to have to say goodbye to my family, my friends, and my life in Virginia. I didn’t want to have to move three thousand plus miles to a new family, possible new friends, and a whole new life. It wasn’t fair that I had to do that.
But I was going to follow my mother’s advice. I wasn’t going to go through life with the regret of not at least trying.
It still hurt, though. It felt as if I had lost more than just the mother who had loved me just as much as I’d loved her. I was also losing Carter, Angie, and Caleb.