I miss my youth – win a FREE ebook!

I miss the days when I felt confident enough to lead with my heart and not my head – when common sense didn’t stop me from having fun – when I had the desire and the impetus to experience adventures – when I felt invincible and couldn’t comprehend my parents’ worries.

Today as a woman with several decades behind me and offspring of my own, my perspective is quite different. Today I (try to) think before I act, weigh the possible results of every decision, and say thanks everyday that I survived my youth and still manage to make it through my present. I don’t lead a boring life by any means, but I do lead a more cautious one.

My two grown children have followed their hearts to travel the world, jump from airplanes, run obstacle races, play extreme sports, explore caves, hike mountains, respond to danger as first responders, learn and use new skills, take gambles, and always push themselves a few steps further. It would be sooo easy to live vicariously through them. And now I truly emphathize with my parents’ angst…

My characters are not boring people either. When I write I include some of my past experiences, borrow some of my children’s lives, and certainly toss in my dreams, to create people who live life to the fullest.

Have you read any of my books? Would you like to take a guess and try to win a FREE ebook of one of my novels?

Listed below are 3 columns – a character, a profession, a book title.  See how many you can match up. The first 4 people to play this game and get AT LEAST 1 complete answer right will win a FREE ebook. (hint: for easy clues, go to  http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/chellecordero) Submit your answer in the comments below

1:  Adam Sherman
A: artist
r:: Final Sin
2: Tom Hughes
B: state trooper
s:: Common Bond, Tangled Hearts
3: Julie Jennings
C: FBI agent
t: Bartlett’s Rule
4: Caitlyn Price
D: pr exec
u: Courage of the Heart
5: Matt Garratti
E:  business owner
v: Hyphema
6: Paige Andrews
F: bodyguard
w: Within the Law
7: Ryan Hunter
G: programmer
x: His Lucky Charm
8: Justin Ross
H: flight medic
y: A Chaunce of Riches
9: Ben Johnson
I:  paramedic
z: Hostage Heart

Cracking the WIP

            All alone. Not me, the heroine of my current WIP (work-in-progress). She’s married, lives with her husband and his mother in a small town where everybody knows her name. But she is alone. She feels lonely and is looking for a way to escape. For now my working title is “Dreamwalker”, I have to wait and see what the final title will be.

            I’ve been blessed with my life since, even when I might have been at odds with a person or two around me, I’ve never experienced such total isolation, I have never felt the desolation that my heroine, Annie, feels. So I am trying to get into her head and understand the sadness and the frustration.

            The story is a Paranormal, a first for me, I’ve never written in this style before. I am not sure WHAT kind of paranormal will this be, will it be a Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Thriller or what. But I am starting to get into the heads of my characters little by little and I am finding they are writing their own story. And this is a good thing, it’s the way I write.

            Several times I’ve been surprised by some of the choices and actions my characters have made. In His Lucky Charm I never expected the heroine’s cousin to be such a “bad boy” who was still mourning the loss of his high school love. I definitely did not expect Paige to bolt in Bartlett’s Rule when Lon was just doing his best to protect her. And it really surprised the heck out of me when Sudah turned her back on Matt in Hyphema and blamed him for her cousin’s death.

            I allow my characters to come to life and that is what I am doing now with Annie, Dave, Scott and Dianne (be warned, the names may change before I finish if the characters decide they don’t like the names I chose for them). They tend to become real and yes, like many writers experience, they talk to me and tell me what makes them happy or sad, or why they want their life to be different. Sometimes I play the role of a stern, lecturing parent to try to get them back on the right track, or at least the concept I had of them. Sometimes I am forced to add a twist to my story simply because I didn’t want my characters angry at me.

            I once said I give birth to my characters and sometimes the labor is long and arduous, but it is always well worth it. As I put words to paper I grow more and more anxious to see the way this turns out. I think I am probably going to be a bit surprised.

Mom mom mommy ma mom ma mommy mommy mom …"What!"

When I write, I fall in love with my heroes, I admire my heroines, and I try to humanize my villains. But the characters I have the most fun creating are the moms.

I had a terrific relationship with my mom, lost her far too many years ago, and have often wished I could be more like her as a parent. My mama was southern born and bred although she lost most of her thick southern drawl after living in NYC all of her married life, when she was upset, the SOUTHERN really came out. Which was really funny because my dad was Puerto Rican and spoke English at home except when he got mad, then he reverted to Spanish. If my folks had a dispute, I felt like I was being raised by Ricky Ricardo and Scarlett O’Hara.

But I digress…

When I write a mom into my stories she can be overprotective and manipulative, comical, almost always loving, sometimes pushy, usually young at heart, often opinionated and almost always adored by her offspring. In my latest WIP, the mom isn’t all that flattering, although she adores her son she is kind of a be-yotch to her daughter-in-law. None of the top TV moms have anything on my character moms.

My favorite mom in my novels has always been Sylvia Hughes from “His Lucky Charm” and “Within the Law”. Cousins Caitlyn Smythe and Tom Hughes were raised by Sylvia who Caitlyn calls Aunt Syl. Sylvia is loving and sometimes a little too involved in her kids’ lives. (and yes, she often uses the colloquialism “kids”, she’s just very down to earth.)

In this brief excerpt from “His Lucky Charm” Sylvia expresses concern for her son, his lost love and his solitary lifestyle:

“Tommy, you are a young man.” Sylvia continued. “You should not live alone.”
“Ma… please.” Tom laid his fork down next to his plate.
“You’re a good looking man.” She turned to Caitlyn. “Isn’t he good looking?”
“Uh, yeah.”
“Brandon, you’re getting married. Isn’t it a nice feeling to be settling down?”
“Ma! Stop it.” Tom stood up from the table. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.” He left in a hurry. The back door slammed shut behind him.
Sylvia looked at the rest of the family at the table. “What did I say?” She looked at each of their faces. Caitlyn was studying her plate. “What did I say?”
Walter shook his head and kept eating. “Sylvie, you never learn. Leave the boy alone.”
“What? I’m not allowed to care about my kids?”
Caitlyn put her fork down on the table and leaned over to hug Sylvia. “Aunt Syl, we love you. Tommy just needs to set his own pace. It will happen. Don’t worry.”
Sylvia took Caitlyn’s face in her hands and looked at her eyes. “I just want you two to be happy. That’s all I want.”
Caitlyn smiled. “I know.”
“You hear that Brandon?” Sylvia’s voice cracked. “You better keep my baby happy.”
“Yes ma’am.” Brandon looked at Caitlyn and saw her smile at him. “I plan to work at that for the rest of my life.”
“Good. Very good.” Sylvia nodded and went back to eating.

I think Sylvia is a little bit like Kitty Foreman from “That 70’s Show”.

Some years back I was told by my offspring that I am most like Rosanne Barr. I’m not entirely sure that’s very complimentary, but they said it was. I’ve never been very traditional, have never hesitated to embarrass my daughter and son, and have always loved them fiercely. I’ll never be June Cleaver, or Donna Reed, Marion Cunningham or Clair Huxtable. At least they never claimed I should star in “Mommy Dearest”.

How would you describe yourself or your parents? Do you have a TV mom-type you may have been “raised” by?

The Armchair Psychologist: Avoiding Success

            Writers like to people watch and we tend o read into someone’s actions and words just because that is the way our imagination works. While I did take a college level psych class for one term, I am not pretending to be a professional.
            Why is it human tendency to procrastinate? So often we put off the things we should be doing for tomorrow, or the next day. Hey, it took me at least three days between my getting an idea for this post and my actually putting it on paper. We allow ourselves to get distracted or busy with other things we think need to be done.
            Are we really being lazy or suffering from some level of A.D.D.? Or are we somehow afraid that if we try we won’t succeed – if we don’t try then our excuse is we just didn’t have the time. It’s a little like playing the lottery, “you have to be in it to win it”. Of course when we play and don’t win we grumble about wasting our money.
“He is able who thinks he is able.” ~Buddha
            We have to learn to focus on the positive even when the outcome is not what we were wishing for. What did we learn from what we did? Next time we try can we utilize those lessons and perhaps work towards getting closer to our goal? What was the real cost of trying? Maybe the cost wasn’t nearly as much as the potential of success.
            Success is not a measure of wealth, fame, title or possessions. Success is the satisfaction and confidence we feel about ourselves, it is the respect we receive from the people who mean the most to us. Success comes from believing on ourselves. Many of the characters I write about in my books are “successful”.
            Even though he comes from money, that isn’t what makes Brandon Price (His lucky Charm) a success. It’s his determination to make it in spite of the lack of relationship he has with his father. Brandon built and runs his own business in computer design, programming and robotics. He has a skill and reputation for the work he does which makes him a hot commodity to the government. Brandon does make a nice amount of money, but he is still a down to earth kind of guy and looks forward to taking care of the woman he loves, Caitlyn Smythe.
            Not all of my characters have complete confidence. Ben Johnson (A Chaunce of Riches) is a capable private investigator, but he is intimidated by Samantha Chaunce’s wealth and worries that he doesn’t have anything to “give her” in their relationship. He almost gives up trying.
            Whether it’s past disappointments, lack of confidence in ourselves, or some limited measure of success, we tend to fear trying. We procrastinate, We make excuses. We let distractions help us avoid doing the things we need to do. Later instead of feeling content with our achievements, we live with regrets because just maybe we might have succeeded.
            What have you been putting off lately? What do you think you could do to help reach your goal? Let’s discuss it here.

Ben Johnson was hired as a bodyguard for a rich widow and her kid, but he never expected to be working for the woman who had abandoned him just when he had needed her the most. Damn it all, he still wanted her. Samantha Chaunce never thought she would have to explain why she married the rich man instead of Ben. Or that her husband had been murdered…and Ben was the prime suspect.

Uh, what year is this?

Perhaps reading recent posts from fellow Vanilla Heart Authors Malcolm Campbell  and Joice Overton  about the research they put into their stories for authenticity influenced my subconscious… boy did I ever wake from a confusing dream this morning!

Basically the dream involved two brothers and their dad. There was mention of mom but she never appeared in the dream. The setting, clothing wise and scenery seemed to be in the middle ages (like the “Robin Hood” era), but here comes the confusion.

The younger boy was headed off to some fair or such, he was rolling a zippered suitcase. The boys wanted their dad to come with them, but dad was having trouble getting a message to his wife because she apparently “never got off of her cell phone”. At the fair the boys ordered lunch and sat in a booth in a 50’s style diner complete with car hops on skates. Confused? Definitely.

Please don’t analyze my dream, lol – I swear, it was just because I was thinking about research and period authenticity.

How many times have you succumbed to a movie or book plot just to be jolted awake by a glaring addition of something so very out of place like a wrong year car driving over a bridge that collapsed years before the manufactured year? Or maybe it’s a pineapple tree growing (naturally) on the streets of New York City? The last time I was bumped out of the fantasy, it had to do with a police uniform and the color of a shirt. Not everyone will realize or catch mistakes, but why ruin it for anyone? Just because it’s fiction doesn’t mean it shouldn’t seem real.

I write mostly contemporary fiction so, hopefully, I don’t have too much of a problem with the proper accessories of the time. But research is still crucial. Take the weather for instance, in Hostage Heart I used actual hurricane devastation to build my character’s story. Sometimes the tourist industry is important, in His Lucky Charm and Within the Law  I used well known landmarks to paint the picture. And in Hyphema  I used ethnicity and cultural insensitivity to build my plot.

Some research may come along easily especially if we write about areas, customs and time periods we are most familiar with. If I wrote about my community, my experiences, my lifestyle and my life in every book, I doubt readers would be fascinated (at least not beyond one story). I have to learn as much as possible about other occupations, religions, areas, cultures and more in order to make my stories real and believable.

How do writers do their research? Most of us delve deeply into the learning process using encyclopedias, the internet (and we know that EVERYTHING we find there is true, lol), read books, and even find tour guides for foreign locations.
When I am researching culture, religion or occupations, I stop random people in my daily activities and ask questions – I’m sure one of these days I’ll probably be arrested for harassment or such. I sometimes even go to experts for answers although I guess I wasn’t thinking too clearly the time I asked a real medical examiner if a particular poison could be detected in an autopsy…

We have muses, we have voices in our heads, and we live in fantasy worlds – but we do try to stay grounded in reality.

Please visit my website for more info about my books http://ChelleCordero.com/

Have you had your Expresso today?

Such exciting news!

Folks can walk into any location with the fun to watch EBM, call up a favorite title, and walk out five minutes later with their very own copy – it’s instant gratification!

What’s an EBM?   Expresso Book Machine

Now what this means for you, dear readers, is that you can walk into a location and walk out that same day with a fully printed book in hand!   Not ordered and wait – but you can start reading immediately.  Formerly this instant gratification was only available at a very few select mortar and brick stores – or for ebook purchasers… and there are still some purests out there who enjoy the feeling of a book in their hands.

And there are NO shipping charges – how much better can this get?   Even overseas readers can enjoy print copies of books WITHOUT those exorbitant shipping charges.

There are dozens of these machines already out there ALL OVER THE WORLD – and they are expecting that amount to more than double by the end of 2012.

Right now you can find EBMs in the following countries:
United States of America
Santo Domingo
United Arab Emirates

… and there are MORE coming!  For a complete listing of locations AND books available go here  http://bit.ly/JtiIpm 

Read the brochure here   http://bit.ly/NQOikO

Happy Mother’s Day

Reva      &      Paula
What is a Mom? The title means much more than simply giving birth to a child, it’s the love and support and nurturing given to that child. A Mom can give something up without sacrificing because that child is her priority. A Mom’s love is never-ending and always a constant filling her child(ren) with confidence and security. Being a Mom means leaving your child(ren) with memories and a warm hug even long after she is gone.
My Mommy (Reva) and my Mom (Paula) [mother-in-law] earned their monikers and they left behind offspring who remember the lessons, the love, the warmth and the sometimes “crazy” ways they acted for their kids. I miss them both.
I had a lot of fun when I developed one of my characters, Sylvia Hughes, “aunt” and adopted-mother to Caitlyn in His Lucky Charm and mother to Tom in Within the Law. Sylvia was a doting mom who always wanted only the best for her kids, sometimes even resorting to well-meaning nagging and craziness…
(an excerpt from His Lucky Charm)

Dinner was chaotic. Sylvia cooked up a hearty beef stew because it was one of Tom’s favorites. Everyone sat at the round kitchen table for dinner, there was no order to their arrangement. Brandon was seated between Sylvia and Walter. Tom sat next to Walter and Caitlyn sat on Sylvia’s other side. Brandon was amazed that no matter how many different conversations were going on at the table, Sylvia managed to hear each one. And she made sure she added her opinions to each one, no matter what the topic was.
When Caitlyn asked Tom, again, if he was going to bring a date to the wedding, Sylvia added her comments. “Joyce would not have wanted you to live like this. You really should find yourself a wife.”
That was the first time that Tom hadn’t smiled for his mother’s benefit. “Ma, this subject is off limits.”
Tommy, you are a young man.” Sylvia continued. “You should not live alone.”
Ma… please.” Tom laid his fork down next to his plate.
You’re a good looking man.” She turned to Caitlyn. “Isn’t he good looking?”
Uh, yeah.”
Brandon, you’re getting married. Isn’t it a nice feeling to be settling down?”
Ma! Stop it.” Tom stood up from the table. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.” He left in a hurry. The back door slammed shut behind him.
Sylvia looked at the rest of the family at the table. “What did I say?” She looked at each of their faces. Caitlyn was studying her plate. “What did I say?”
Walter shook his head and kept eating. “Sylvie, you never learn. Leave the boy alone.”
What? I’m not allowed to care about my kids?”
Caitlyn put her fork down on the table and leaned over to hug Sylvia. “Aunt Syl, we love you. Tommy just needs to set his own pace. It will happen. Don’t worry.”
Sylvia took Caitlyn’s face in her hands and looked at her eyes. “I just want you two to be happy. That’s all I want.”
Caitlyn smiled. “I know.”
You hear that Brandon?” Sylvia’s voice cracked. “You better keep my baby happy.”
Yes ma’am.” Brandon looked at Caitlyn and saw her smile at him. “I plan to work at that for the rest of my life.”
Good. Very good.” Sylvia nodded and went back to eating.
The back door opened and Tom came back in. “Sorry everyone. I just needed some air.” He went to Sylvia and kissed her on the cheek. “I love you ma.” Before he walked around the table, Brandon saw Tom squeeze Caitlyn’s shoulder.
Walter stopped eating long enough to ask Tom how he was feeling.
Good dad, good.” Tom sat back down in his chair and went back to eating.
And just like that, the conversations started again. And everyone ate. And Brandon learned just what family was all about.

Living on the edge

Heroes and heroines in romantic suspense stories seem to always live on “the edge”, flirting with danger and taking chances.

Sometimes the “chances” they take are putting off doing things they should be doing earlier, like sharing a truth, saying I’m sorry, or saying I love you.
In His Lucky Charm, Brandon nearly loses Caitlyn when he fails to tell her of the double life he leads… and then she finds out. In A Chaunce of Riches, Ben is too stubborn and hurt to tell Sam that he still loves her… and then it appears he may have lost her forever. And in Bartlett’s Rule, Paige feels that she needs time to work things out by herself… and then worries that she has missed her chance for Lon to want to spend his life with her.
People procrastinate for a variety of reasons. Every year we hear of last minute gift shoppers hitting the stores the afternoon of Christmas Eve! And every year we hear hair-raising stories of folks sending out their tax returns in the “eleventh hour” and looking for those elusive post offices that are still open until midnight – Yikes! (btw, electronic submission is so very easy)
Here’s a good article for last minute filers:
So, have YOU filed yet or is this your way of living on the edge?
Tell me about it, leave your comments below.

A Fairy Tale Wedding

Congratulations to
Prince William & Kate Middleton!

It was a magnificent day, beautiful weather and a small, intimate ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Kate wore an elegant wedding gown designed by Sarah Burton – she was gorgeous!
We all love a good fairy-tale wedding… and I thought of one of the two wedding scenes I wrote about in His Lucky Charm.
This wedding takes place in a New York City church between the heroine’s best friend and her special man. Keisha and Malcolm incorporate many ethnic customs into their ceremony witnessed by close friends and family…
It’s a day for romance and weddings ~ so feel free to lose yourself in another fairy tale wedding.

Brandon was seated at the back of the church when the bridal procession started. He was pleased that he had entered the church in a crowd and blended among the many well wishers. Malcolm, his parents and his best man, his younger brother, took their places at the front of the church. He felt his heart skip when Caitlyn walked down the aisle. She was beautiful in a street length shiny gold dress. Her shoes were matching gold strapped sandals with ribbons that tied off above her slender ankles. She was carrying a small bouquet of tiny orchids, small yellow-white flowers on long stalks. Her beautiful chestnut hair was swept up into curls and tied off with gold ribbons.

Keisha followed with both of her parents escorting her. She wore a two-piece ethnic white wedding suit and ankle length skirt that was slit up one side to her thigh. The gold metallic embroidery around her neck and at the hem of the skirt glinted with every graceful move. Golden edged leaves surrounded her bouquet of white roses. Malcolm waited for her in a matching white dashiki and trousers that were also edged with gold metallic embroidery. Their parents, all four, joined them as they received blessings from the priest.

Malcolm had explained many of the traditions and rituals of their wedding to Brandon. He had told him that the wedding was the union of not just the couple, but of their families and their lives. Their parents and immediate families were just as much a part of the ceremony as the couple. It was a very spiritual time with prayers that were begun weeks earlier. Keisha’s father blessed his daughter and son as he now referred to Malcolm. Malcolm’s mother tied a loose string of conchi shells around Keisha’s neck as a sign of fertility and luck for a happy family. The priest conducted the service interjecting the civil requirements among the prayers and blessings.

Malcolm spoke to his bride thanking her for completing his life. “A man without a wife is a man without a home.” He promised to keep her happy and provide for her and he placed a simple band on her finger.

Keisha promised that her love for Malcolm would be never-ending like the circle of the wedding band. Then she placed a ring on his finger.

Both mothers took turns reciting an African marriage creed. Brandon noticed Caitlyn look downward as they gave the advice to “Be Open With Each Other. Bind not yourselves in the secretiveness that causes suspicion and doubt. Trust and reveal yourselves to each other, even as the budding rose opens to reveal its fragrance and beauty.”

He berated himself again for having kept secrets from the woman he loved and wondered if he would ever have the opportunity again to reveal his true self to her. More than that, he worried that she no longer had an interest in him or of learning his truths.

The ceremony concluded with Malcolm’s father tying Keisha and Malcolm’s wrists together with a purple cloth to symbolize their union. Together they jumped over a broom laid on the floor to show that they were starting fresh and welcoming the new path before them. Smiling and happy, they walked together up the aisle to the back of the church while the audience applauded.

The parents followed the happy couple and so did Caitlyn and Malcolm’s brother. Caitlyn noticed Brandon in the back row as she neared the door and her steps faltered. The best man placed a hand under her elbow and looked in the direction of her distraction. The smile Caitlyn had been wearing quickly left her face and she turned away from Brandon as she regained her footing.

When Love is Not Enough

A common thread in all of my stories is trust. Sometimes there is complete lust, sexy attraction, passionate opportunities – but if the couple has a chance in hell, or heaven, they have to trust each other.
In Bartlett’s Rule Paige’s past makes it difficult for her to trust any man and nearly impossible for her to trust her own judgment. Along comes Lon whose patience and compassion teaches her she can trust. Then when events occur that put Lon in jeopardy, Paige never loses her faith in him even though she’s prevented from showing her support. Brandon deceives Caitlyn in a vain attempt to keep her safe in His Lucky Charm, instead though he almost loses her for good when his duplicity is too much for her to accept.
Adam shares his deepest secret with Davie in Courage of the Heart. While Adam trusts her enough to take the risk he is scared of her reaction, but thrilled when he receives her acceptance. In Final Sin a psychopath targets Jake and Julie when they act on their mutual attraction. Despite the torrid passion between them, they are torn apart when they lose trust in each other, it’s that trust that will, hopefully, save them both.
This theme is prevalent in all of my novels and stories whether is a passionate love affair or a close, platonic friendship –In Not Alone, a short story in the Forever Friends anthology, trust is questioned when a mutual friend dies in a car accident and when trust is regained and strengthened, the friends stand by each other.
Most of my stories involve love, many even include mind-blowing sex, but sometimes even love isn’t enough to make and keep my characters happy and bonded with each other. I believe that trust is the foundation of any worthwhile relationship.
(excerpt from A Chaunce of Riches)
“Where are you going? You’re the one who wanted to… have sex. I just want to see what you wear to bed.” He was talking in a loud whisper so that no one else in the house was disturbed.
“You weren’t drunk when I said I wanted to make love with you.” She tried to pull her hand away again but he wouldn’t let her go.
“I told you I am not drunk.” He sounded annoyed. “And I didn’t come here to have sex with you.”
She relaxed and stopped pulling away from him. “Then why are you here?”
“We need to talk.” He sat down heavily on the side of her bed and leaned back against the headboard. Ben kicked his shoes off and stretched his long legs out in front of him. He was still holding on to her.
She was annoyed that he had frightened her. “What do you want to talk about?”
Ben took her by the shoulders and turned her towards him. He squinted in the dark. Sam felt exposed under his gaze. “Is that a nightgown? How long is it?”
“To my knees.” She still wasn’t convinced of his sobriety.
He released her suddenly. “It’s not very sexy.”
“Well excuse me, I didn’t know I had to dress for company.” She sounded indignant.
“I remember when you used to wear one of my T-shirts to bed. Now that was sexy.” He told himself that her tousled hair and the simple fact that she was lying there in a bed wasn’t turning him on.
“That was a long time ago.” She painfully whispered.
He laughed. Then there was silence.
Finally Sam sighed and relaxed beside him. “What did you want to talk about?”
He looked at her in the dark. “You, me, sex, your husband, who killed him and who is trying to scare you?”
“Is that all one question?”
“Don’t be bitchy.” He sounded exasperated. “Did you love him?”
“Julian? He was a good man.”
Ben snorted. “That doesn’t sound like you loved him.”
“He’s gone.” She sounded sad. “Why do you need to ask?”
He grimaced. “Did you ever love me Sam? I know you said you did. But did you really?”
“Yes.” She still did but she knew he would never believe her.
“Then I don’t understand why you did what you did. If it were just the money… Sam, it’s not like you had a fling with the guy. You married him… you gave him a son. You lived in his world.” His words hung in the air. “And you never thought twice about me.”
He could hear her breathing in the dark. Sam was struggling not to cry.
“I can’t undo the things I did. I am so sorry I hurt you Ben.” Her voice cracked and she had to pause. “I really thought you would have found someone else and would be married by now…”
“I will never again put myself out there. I will never again trust a woman with my heart.”
“But Ben,”
“Don’t sound so surprised. That’s the lesson you taught me Sam.” He shook his head. “I never needed someone as much as I needed you when I woke up in the hospital. You have no idea what I went through.”
“Tell me.” He didn’t know how much she knew. He didn’t know that she was willing to do anything to save his life. He didn’t know that she was willing to sell herself to Julian to pay for his medical care.
“No. It was a long road. If you had cared, you would have been there.”
“So are you saying we’re stuck now? We can’t move on?” Sam turned to him. “Ben, we’re here now, together. We can be together now. Ben, you could have died but you didn’t…”
“We both could have died.” He thought she was talking about the car accident. “And you could have stayed.” He was quiet for a long time. “I wish I could forgive you, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to.”