Valentine’s Day Bonus Scene~Cole & Bri

First Valentine's DAy-2

Bri

I rush down the hall that leads to my apartment. My heels click against the outdoor tiles and I grab the wall, careful not to slip. I take a deep breath and release the tension. Chill, bri. Cole will be here any minute to pick me up and there’s no way I’ll be ready on time. Joke on me for trying to be early for once.

The keys rattle as I unlock the door. I’ll jump in the shower, curl my hair into waves, and wear the outfit I picked out last night. I can be ready in thirty minutes, I lie to myself when I check the time on my phone.

Dixie’s barking reminds me of my other responsibility. New plan, I let her out in the patio while I jump quickly in the shower.

I push through the door and straight for Dixie’s cage, stopping in my tracks. I tilt my head. Those flowers weren’t there this morning. I admire the red, velvety petals in the clear vase. I spy the small, white envelope leaning against it and grab it before opening the cage and letting Dixie out into the patio. Smiling, I tear open the envelope and pull out the card.

Babe, 

I used to think this was a silly holiday, but having you in my life I’ll take any excuse to be with you. These roses are just a preview at what I have planned for tonight. I love you, Bri. I’m a lucky bastard, and I’ll never take you and what we have for granted. I’m running outta space here, love, but know I could go on and on about how I feel. 

love, 

Cole

I sigh and smile, hugging the card to me. I never thought I’d be here. A lone tear slips down my cheek. These days my tears are happy tears, and Cole is to thank for that. Spotting Dixie by the door, I let her in and walk into my room, Dixie hot on my heels.

“What the…” I grip my chest, my heart racing at the speed of light.

A quiet chuckle greets me. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“Fuckin-A.” I breathe out. The chuckles get louder as the man I love walks toward me. I stare at his suit, top buttons of his dress shirt undone, and a smile that lights up the dark room.

“Hey, babe.” Cole wraps an arm around my waist and pulls me to him, his lips brushing mine. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

“What are you doing here?” My arms find their way around his neck.

“I wanted to surprise you.”

I smirk. “Surprised I was. Thank you for the flowers.” I lean in and kiss him. Cole breaks away with a laugh.

“Looks like the other girl wants a little lovin’ too.” He bends down to pet Dixie, who is insistent on someone paying attention to her. After a few scratches behind her ear, she shuffles away, leaving Cole to myself again.

“You look handsome.” I run my hands over his shoulders and down the lapels of his suit.

“It’s all for you.” I stare into his blue eyes, immense love filling my heart. I’m so lucky. That thought weighs with meaning.

“I’ll be ready quickly.” I move to grab my things for the shower, but Cole pulls me close to him.

“No rush, babe. Dance with me first.”

“Don’t we have reservations at seven?”

“Don’t worry about that.” He holds a small remote before placing it back in his pocket. The opening of my song begins to play and my eyes crinkle with my smile.

“Let’s dance,” he repeats, wrapping an arm around my waist and holding my hand with his other one.

“Did you know this is my favorite song?” I look into his eyes.

“I’m glad it is. I mean every word as much today as the day I wrote it.” His lips touch mine.

“I love you, Cole Burkely.”

“Love you too, Bri.”

I move my arm tighter around the back of his neck, bringing him closer to me. Once upon not too long ago I never thought I’d find love again, but this stubborn and kind man didn’t give up on me. He granted me a second chance I never knew existed.

Swaying to the music, I listen as Cole’s soft voice sings into my ear.

We’ve got our lives to make this work 

And I’m counting on forever to give you the world

Gonna give you the world, girl

Your broken pieces make me whole

So let me be the one to show

How we fit together

With the final strum of a guitar, the song ends, but we continue to move together. Silence can’t break us apart in the darkened bedroom. My head on his should as the beating of his heart moves my body.

“I canceled our reservations,” Cole speaks.

“Why?” I look up at him.

“Change of plans. Trust me,” he winks.

“But you’re all dressed up.”

“I already told you the outfit is for your enjoyment.”

“You do look sexy,” I waggle my eyebrows.

Laughing, Cole slaps my behind. “Take a shower and get ready. I’ll feed Dixie.”

With a final kiss, Cole leaves my room so I can get ready. I choose to still wear the same red dress I had picked out last night and my heels.

“You look stunning.” Cole stands from my couch and looks at me. “Beautiful,” he whispers as he runs his fingers down my arm and clasps my hand. He lifts my arm to spin me around. “You’re all mine.”

“That I am. So you like the dress?” I look down at the off-the-shoulder, form-fitting dress.

“I love it, although you look beautiful in anything.”

“You say that ‘cause you love me.”

“I say that ‘cause it’s the truth. Ready?”

I nod and follow him, deciding to leave his surprise just that, a surprise.

I squint my eyes when we pull into his driveway. His smirk tells me he has something up his sleeve, but I’m not sure why we’re coming to his place.

“Trust me,” Cole leans to me and kisses my bare shoulder. “Too bad you’re going to have to cover yourself up with a coat.”

“I’ll take it off when we’re inside,” I wink.

Out of the car, I hold his hand and walk toward the front door only to be tugged by the arm.

“This way.”

What did he do? I furrow my eyebrows and smile.

As we walk in to the patio I see a ton of twinkling lights hanging over his deck.

“This is beautiful,” I gasp.

“I know how much you miss having a yard.”

“Thank you, babe.”

The closer we walk to the deck, the more I see of the space. White roses mixed with peonies are placed on the table in a square vase. The flickering flames of candles are spread throughout the railing and table.

“I know it’s cold, but I’m hoping the space heaters keep you warm. If not, I have no problem holding you all night and warming you up.”

“This is perfect.” I turn to look at him. “You can keep me warm.” His thoughtfulness knows no limits. My yard was my favorite thing of my old home, and the apartment doesn’t allow for that luxury, but this is spectacular.

“I ordered dinner. Are you sure you’re okay eating out here?”

“More than okay,” I smile.

“Great. Take a seat.” He holds my chair for me. And serves two glasses of red wine. “I’ll be right back with dinner.”

While Cole is inside, I inhale the breathtaking view. The scent of roses fills my nose as the flames dance in the evening breeze.

“Here you go.” Cole places a plate in front of me.

“Mmm… That smells delicious.” I look at the dish.

“Chicken Masala with mashed potatoes.”

“Yum.”

“You haven’t drank wine?”

“I was waiting for you.” I hold my glass up, Cole mimicking me. “To my best guy for this very special night and for all the special days.”

“Nah, tonight is all for you. You deserve it.”

I smile and sip the wine before we begin eating.

“I have a surprise for you.” Cole says as he comes back outside after clearing the table.

“Oh, a blanket.” I stand and allow him to wrap me in it. By the end of dinner, my legs were trembling but I refused to go inside. Cole takes a seat and pulls me onto his lap.

“This isn’t your surprise.” He holds a gift bag out to me.

“I thought we weren’t gifting anything,”

“We weren’t.”

“Cheater,” I quip.

He shrugs. “Open it.”

I peek into the bag, the lavender tissue paper covering my gift. Removing it, I see white cotton and curiosity spikes as I pull out the soft material and open it. I chuckle as soon as I realize what it is.

“That’s for you to wear at our next concert,” Cole winks. I look at the tee shirt that reads, I’m with the drummer.

“I love it,” I lean in and kiss him.

“There’s more.” Cole juts his chin toward the bag. I look inside the gift bag again and find a small box. I hold the soft, black velvet and open the lid to find a delicate gold necklace with a small music note.

“I love it, Cole.”

“I’m glad.” He squeezes my waist. “I wanted you to have something that made you think about me.”

I cup his cheek. “I always think about you. I don’t need a necklace to remind me who you are in my life. There is no doubt in my mind or heart that you are the man I love. I know our beginning wasn’t how you would have wanted, but I’m living each day to prove to you that you are the man I want in my life.”

Visions of Josh come to mind. I’ve learned to live without him while honoring his place in my heart. I’ve also learned to live in the present, with Cole. My daybreak.

“Everything about us was perfect. I never find the right words to tell you how lucky I feel, and how blessed I am to have you in my life. To be on the receiving end of your love. You’ve given me this,” he places his hand over my heart. “That’s the best gift I could’ve ever received.”

I cuddle into him and kiss his chest. “Who knows where I’d be right now without you.” I keep my chin on his chest and look into his eyes. “Thank you. Thank you for tonight and for being the man you are.”

Cole tightens his arms around me and hums with the twinkling lights and the warm blanket now covering the both of us. I inhale the man who loves me wholeheartedly and thank the stars above for bringing him into my life.

*Copyright 2018, Fabiola Francisco 

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His & Hers~Perfectly Imperfect Bonus Scene

A look into Grayson & Mia’s future. 

**If you have not read Perfectly Imperfect, I suggest you read it before this scene since it does include spoilers.** 


His & Hers

Grayson

Portland, Oregon

I can’t wait to get home. It’s been a long ass day, and I can use some relaxing. Pulling my car up to the driveway, I sigh as I face my escape. My home is my own personal space where I can leave the world behind and just be. It’s become even more of an escape since Mia moved in. God, I love that stubborn woman. Now she’s going to be my wife. It’s about damn time, too. I’ve been waiting nearly a year to call her Mrs. Carter.

I make my way into the house and hear a familiar beat blasting through the speakers. Interesting. I stop at the entrance of my kitchen and smile. Leaning against the wall, I cross my boot-covered foot over my opposite leg and cock my head to the side enjoying the view.

Well, I’ll be damned. Little Miss I Hate Country Music shaking her ass to Luke Bryan. She’s even singing along. I hold in my chuckle, trying not to pull her away from her obvious enjoyment. At that moment, she turns and jumps when she sees me watching her.

“Jesus Christ, you scared the living shit out of me, Grayson!” I push off the wall and walk towards her, still smiling.

“Thought you didn’t like country music.”

“I don’t. It’s you and that stupid radio I still don’t know how to work.”

Laughing, I kiss her warm lips before saying, “Yeah, and the radio made you dance and sing, right?”

“Ugh, it’s catchy. And Luke Bryan is hot!”

“Oh, really?” I cock an eyebrow.

“Come here, cowboy.” She pulls me by my shirt and kisses me. I wrap my arm around her slim waist, pulling her flush to me. This never gets old. “Hi.” She smiles at me, her blue eyes twinkling.

“Hey.” I lean back, reluctantly loosening my hold on her. “What are you making?”

“Fettuccini Alfredo with chicken and garlic rolls.” She gets on her tiptoes and gives me a chaste kiss. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah. I’m just tired. It was a long day and I missed you.”

We had gotten back from Greenville the night before after Mia insisted we take the trip down for the long weekend and check on the house. She’s much stronger than I am. I hate going back to South Carolina, but I know it’s something I need to do to keep moving forward. My relationship with my mother is irrevocable unlike Mia’s with hers. They’re nowhere near being friends, but she’s been able to tolerate a phone call every now and then.

Every time we visit Greenville I’m also reminded about Logan and how he’s no longer here. He won’t be here to celebrate my bachelor party this weekend, or next week when I marry the love of my life. He won’t be here to stand by my side as my best man. Hell, he won’t even be here if we decide to have children one day.

“I’m going to take a shower,” I tell Mia, feeling the weight of my emotions heavy on my shoulders.

“Oh, okay.” She drops her arms to her side and moves to the stove.

“What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing. I was kind of hoping to shower together later. I was waiting for you, but you seem like you need some alone time.” I move to her, wrapping my arms around her as my front pushes itself against her back.

“Really?” I can’t hide the humor in my voice. This woman is my rock, and I fucking love her for it. “Why would I need alone time when I’m with you?” I kiss her neck.

“Because South Carolina drives you crazy,” she points out. Gotta love her bluntness.

“And you want to cure the crazy with your body?”

“Grayson!” She slaps my arm softly. Then she adds, “Hell yeah!” I laugh and kiss her cheek.

“I love you, Sweet Pea.”

“Love you, too. Go take a shower and relax. Dinner will be ready in a few.”

“Nope. Now I’m waiting for you. I want your body to erase my memory,” I tease her.

“You’re not getting cold feet, right?” I hear the fear in her voice.

“Are you kidding me? Are you? You’re not looking for an out?”

“If I wanted to run, I would’ve already.” She’s speaks the truth. She was once the queen of running, and I’m grateful she decided to finish the race with me.

“I know. Just checkin’. So about that shower, what did you have in mind?”

Mia turns in my arms and the mischievous gleam in her eyes says it all. “Well, I was thinking I’d start with soapy hands roaming your body.” Her hands move down the front of my body, making their way to my back before grabbing my ass and pulling me closer to her. I know she feels my erection pressed against her.

I take her mouth in mine, my tongue forcing its entrance, and let our bodies do the rest of the talking. I growl into her mouth and hoist her up, her legs wrapping around my waist. I press into her, pinning her between my body and the kitchen counter. She moans, feeling my hardness pressed against her, and I want to take her right here on the counter.

“Grayson…Dinner…” I stop her from talking. I love the feel of her hands in my hair, pulling it, showing me how badly she wants this. “Grayson.” Mia breaks the kiss, her chest rising and falling quickly, and looks at me. “Let’s have dinner first.”

“I want you for dinner,” I groan.

“Oh, please. I may satisfy one type of hunger, but we both know you’ll still need food at some point.”

I push into her and say, “I really want to satisfy this hunger now.” She closes her eyes and tilts her head back, the feel of me driving her wild.

“Mmmm…” She moans. “Later, and you better live up to it, cowboy.” She unhooks her legs before she changes her mind. I know too damn well how she thinks.

“Fine. After dinner we’ll have unlimited amount of time for me to live up to your fantasy. I do every night.” I wink at her and release her.

“Damn straight you do.”

She finishes cooking dinner and I take her in—her pencil skirt the perfect fit and her shirt untucked after a long day of work. Her bare feet on the floor make me smile. I love her in heels but seeing Mia in her true form—comfortable and honest—is an honor I appreciate and one not many get to see.

Pouring two glasses of wine, I give her one and drink from mine. I smile at the His and Hers wine charms hanging from the stem of the glasses. A gift from Steph.

Two years ago I never would’ve thought I’d find someone who would make me this happy. I never thought I’d find someone who would draw me in the way she does, and I know our connection deepens because of our past and the similarities of what we’ve lived. When I first met Mia, her honesty and broken pieces drew me in. I felt something I’d never felt before, peace. For some fucked up reason her presence pacified me. It calmed me to know there was someone else out there who had been broken because of the decisions her mother made. It brought us together and also tore us apart.

As I got to know her, her compassion reminded me of Miss Jackie, the only person who actually cared about Logan and me when we were younger. I knew she’d hurt me before I ever got the chance to hurt her. And boy was I right.

Before her, I didn’t date. I only fucked. I escaped my frustrations through sex with meaningless women because I held resentment for the shitty mother I had.

Just as I finish my dinner, Mia stands and grabs my hand, pulling me towards our bedroom. “Is it time to save a horse and ride a cowboy?” I tease her.

She looks at me over her shoulder and says, “Really?” The smile playing on her lips betrays her thoughts. She thinks she’s a clever one using that line on me but I’ll be honest, it took me by surprise when she said it the first night we met. I will admit I’m happy she decided to ride this cowboy. She had me hooked faster than a catfish on a hot summer day, and it took me for a spin when I realized what I was feeling. I cannot wait to live the rest of our days together.

****

“Are you sure we need to do this separately?” I look over at Mia, eyeing the lingerie set she’s wearing.

“Don’t even think about it,” she says, reading my mind. Just one touch. She’s tempting me by standing there in a lace bustier bra and matching thong.

“Are you sure?” I trail a finger from her shoulder to the swell of her breast, my cock hardening.

“Mmm…” Mia closes her eyes and her lips partly open. I step closer, moving my other hand down the side of her body, loving her curves. I cup her bare ass, pulling her to me.

My lips are on hers, fast and teasing. I push through them with my tongue and taste her. Our bodies are molded together, and I know she can feel my erection through my unbuttoned jeans.

“Grayson…” she murmurs against my lips. I ignore her and continue to tempt her. If I need to spend the night with a group of guys instead of her, knowing what she’ll be wearing under her clothes, I want a little something to keep me sane.

I tried for combined bachelor/bachelorette parties but Steph was adamant that we have separate parties. I don’t know why. Kyle will be with me, and those two have been inseparable since they got together.

I try to lift her up, but she stays firm. “No.” She pulls back, breathless. Her smile captivates me. “Fiend. Save that for tonight. I’ll be ready for you.” She winks and kisses me before walking into the closet to grab her dress.

“Wait ‘til you see the set I have saved for our wedding night,” Mia calls out from the closet.

I groan, imagining it. “Seductress.”

I can’t help but smile thinking about Mia planning the wedding. Steph has been more of a bridezilla than Mia.

Mia never thought about marriage or having a wedding. Sometimes she looks lost in the planning. Steph tries to get her to make decisions, and Mia just looks at me with those beautiful, confused eyes and I smile.

She’s gorgeous. To this day she still takes my breath away, but I also know it’s been a long and broken road for her to get here. I try to help her with what I can. I’m grateful for her crossing my path despite the struggles we’ve both endured.

I think about that Rascal Flatts’ song, “Bless the Broken Road.” Mia would make fun of me for referencing our relationship to a country song, but I know she secretly loves it. Besides, that song really does sum up our fate.

Steph doesn’t know it yet, but Kyle’s proposing soon. He confided in me the other day. I haven’t told Mia either just in case she gets the urge to spill it to her. I know how stressful it is to go through a proposal. I won’t let anything ruin Steph and Kyle’s moment.

I button my shirt and put on my belt as Mia emerges from the closet dressed in a very form fitting, white lace dress.

“You look gorgeous,” I say, tipping her head up to kiss her.

“You look hot, cowboy.” She smiles against my lips and slaps my ass. I never thought I’d find someone as perfect for me as she is.

“Where are you ladies going?”

“Not telling.” She smiles wickedly. “You’ll just accidentally run into us.”

I laugh and kiss her again. “You’re right.”

“Love you,” she says as she puts on those sky-high heels she wears that accentuate her legs. “You wearing your fancy boots tonight?” I roll my eyes at her laughing at my footwear, but I know she loves my boots.

“Of course I’m wearing my nicer boots tonight. I won’t be wearing the ones I use in the barn.” I arch my eyebrow.

“Oh, the barn…” Mia sighs, wistfully. “You can wear those anytime you want so long as we repeat what we did while you were wearing them.”

“I can put them on right now and have a repeat experience.”

“Grayson, Steph and Kyle will be here any minute. It’s our bachelor and bachelorette parties. I promise it will be worth it later.” I see her chest rising and falling quickly letting me know she wants what I want, but I’ll let it go. She’s right; we have the rest of our lives to make love.

At that moment there’s a knock on our door and Mia rushes to answer. The girls greet each other like girls do—squealing and hugging. Kyle walks in behind them and shrugs, knowing how it is between those two, and shakes my hand ready for our night out.

“Here you go,” Kyle shouts over the music, handing me a glass of whiskey. We both enjoy our drinks, waiting on the rest of the guys to show up. Just a few guys from work will join us. I still don’t have a huge group of friends but the ones I have are loyal and always up for a good time.

“So, have you decided when you’re going to propose?”

“Yeah. We’re going out of town in two weeks. I’m asking her then. It will be nice to have some alone time away from the city and work always keeping me late.”

I nod in understanding. The late night shifts were a bit of a struggle for them when they got serious in their relationship. I’m not sure if Kyle plans on bartending when they get married, but he’s a smart guy with a great degree despite people’s ideas about bartenders.

The rest of the guys appear and we hang out while we drink and I enjoy watching them hit on girls. I remember when I lived for scouting the perfect woman for the night. There never was a perfect woman, not until Mia, and even she was a challenge at first. Something when I looked into her eyes that night told me I was wrong to think she’d be easy. She was a challenge all right, but a different kind than a one-night stand.

Thinking about where she is and what she’s doing, I fantasize about tearing off that dress later to admire the body under it before I have my way with her.

“Well, if it isn’t the cowboy,” a voice calls from behind me. I turn to look who it is, coming face to face with the one person I can live without seeing again, even more than my mother.

“If it isn’t the jackass,” I spit out and turn to ignore him.

“Does it bother you that I had her first?”

I turn to stare into icy, brown eyes. “Back off, Chase.” This fucker isn’t going to ruin my night.

“So she did tell you my name. Or did she mistake mine for yours while she was fucking you?”

I breathe in, clenching my jaw as tightly as I am clenching my fists. “I told you to fuck off.”

“Or what? You’ll tie me up with your lasso? She didn’t moan your name when she fucked me right after you left her.”

Son. Of. A. Bitch.

I try. I really try to keep it together, but he just crossed a huge line.

My fist collides with his jaw before he could even react. The impact was hard, and I don’t envy him by the cracking sound that reverberated. Chase scatters and tries to get to his feet, but I knock him down again with another blow.

I want to shatter him until he’s a pile of nothing lying on the ground. How dare he fucking talk about Mia that way, or bring that up to me. I don’t need fucking reminders of our mistakes.

His angered face and bleeding lip meet my eyes. “Never again speak about her, think about her, look at her. This is a glimpse of what I’ll do to you if you do. Now run along, jackass, this cowboy is done with you.”

I see fast movement around me and whispers. I don’t give a shit what people are saying or thinking. “Are you okay?” Kyle’s concerned face meets mine.

“I will be.” I focus on breathing. I won’t let him fuck this up and ruin the best thing I have in my life. The only real thing I have. He’s a piece of shit that feeds off of this. He did it to Mia for far too long. Call it payback for the both of us. “I need a drink.”

I have a shot in front of me before I can even look at the bartender and order. “Drink.”

“Thanks, Sam.” I grab the liquid from my coworker and down it. The guys take a shot with me, easing me slowly into calmness. Little by little, I release the tension and will it to leave my mind and body.

“Grayson!” I catch Mia before she knocks us both down. “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!”

“Shhh…” I hold her to me and inhale her delicious scent. This already makes me feel better, but I feel the vibrating energy coming off her in panic waves. “It’s not your fault.”

“I swear… I haven’t spoken to him in forever. Not since I told him off, and even then it wasn’t a friendly conversation.” Her blue eyes are desperately searching mine. I’m sure my eyes are stormy gray. My ever-changing eye color is a traitor of my emotions.

“I know, Sweet Pea. Relax.”

“Fuck! It’s like something always goes wrong.”

I hug Mia close to me and whisper in her ear, “Nothing is wrong. I got pissed and hit him. He’s no one. Not important to either of us.” I kiss her warm lips, closing my eyes to take in her comfort.

“How the hell did you find out by the way?” I just realized that she’s supposed to be out somewhere else with the girls.

“Kyle. He called Steph as soon as it happened and I rushed over here. I don’t care if we’re supposed to be celebrating separately. I needed to see you and make sure you’re okay.”

“I’m better now.” I take a step back, looking at her for the first time, and smile. She’s wearing some kind of pink sash that says Bride to Be and beads hanging from her neck. A shiny tiara is on her head and a huge, plastic diamond ring on her finger.

I can’t help but laugh. “You look…interesting.”

“Shut up!” She slaps my shoulder. “You know Steph and her crazy wedding planning. Apparently this is a must. I look ridiculous.”

“No, you don’t. You look hot. Will you dance with this bachelor on his last night out with the guys before getting hitched?”

“Hmm… I don’t know. Will your bride-to-be get jealous?”

“Nah. She’s not the jealous type. Only this one time did she get jealous and I made sure never to let that happen again.”

Mia rolls her eyes and drags me out to the dance floor. I remember that night so clearly. Seeing her dancing with some random guy while I had some stupid blonde next to me. She ran off so fast. It broke my heart to see her red eyes when I appeared at her apartment. It took me a while to build the courage to go see her, but as soon as I saw her upset I made sure that blonde found someone else.

We get lost in the music and movements of our bodies. I hold Mia close to me and lead her with my body. This is much better.

I wrap my arms around Mia’s waist, leaning my head down to kiss her. I remember the first time we danced at Luxe—our bodies moving to the rhythm and Mia’s buzzed eyes and flushed face finding mine. In that moment, I knew there was more to her than what meets the eye and when she excused herself to get fresh air, I had to follow.

“I love you. I’m so sorry that asshole ruined your evening,” Mia says, worry all over her face.

“He didn’t. If anything, my evening got better by having you here.” She reaches up to kiss me, her arms wrapped loosely around my neck and her body teasing me against mine.

“How much longer do we have before I can take you home and devour you?”

“Down, boy. We still have a little while. Buy me a drink? It is my bachelorette party after all, and I was instructed to find a hot guy to buy me a martini.”

“Is that so? I’m your man then.”

“Yes, you are.”

The love I feel for this woman goes beyond words. In a week she will be my wife and I look forward to seeing where this crazy life takes us. One thing is for sure, ups and downs, I wouldn’t want anyone else but my Sweet Pea by my side.

© Fabiola Francisco, 2015


Thank you for reading this scene. I hope you enjoyed looking into Mia and Grayson’s future! You can sign up to me Newsletter here to receive the latest news, updates and exclusive sneak peeks.

Imperfect Past ~ Perfectly Imperfect Bonus Scene

To celebrate Perfectly Imperfect’s upcoming one year anniversary, I wanted to share with my readers this bonus scene. This is short scene will give you a peek into Grayson’s life as a child. Happy reading! 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Imperfect Past

Grayson

Greenville, South Carolina

I’m cold. I feel my body shiver and try to pull the blanket over me. Logan fights me with a tug-o-war battle with the blanket. I open my eyes, blinking softly. I feel the sun peek in. It must be time to wake up already. “Logan, wake up! We gotta get ready for school,” I say, nudging him on the shoulder. He turns over and gives me his back.

“Hmm…leave me alone, Grayson,” he growls at me. It’s the same thing every morning. I give him five more minutes while I get dressed for school. It’s a colder morning today, so I dress quickly to warm up.

“Logan! Get up. I gave you a few more minutes. We’re gonna to be late and you know Miss Jackie will get mad if we are. We can’t disappoint her. I also need to put the tent away before we go.”

Miss Jackie is my fourth grade teacher. She’s really nice and always making sure Logan and I are safe and cared for.

We slept out in the tent tonight so we won’t get in mom’s way. Her new husband is mean. The other night he tried to beat Logan for sneaking in through the window and I got in the middle to protect him. My ribs still hurt. He’s a real asshole.

“Camping was fun! Can we do it again?” Logan asks excitedly. He’s only eight so he doesn’t quite understand the reason behind our campout although he’s witnessed a lot of wrong behavior with our mom for his young age.

“Sure, buddy. Whenever you want, but only if you promise to wake up on time! We’re gonna be late.”

“Scouts honor!” he salutes me and I laugh. His innocence always makes me smile. I may only be ten years old, but I’ve got the temper of a drunken, old man. I’ve had to develop this attitude to keep Logan and myself safe from all of the men mom brings home and marries.

Somehow, we’re always in the way. She’s starting to become a real slut. She does whatever they want and is usually drunk or worse. We try to stay out of the house, but it’s difficult sometimes. We want to take a shower and sleep on a bed. Thank goodness Miss Jackie gave us this tent and a sleeping bag to share. I took the blanket from our house. No one will notice.

“Let’s go.” I guide Logan out of the forest and towards the main road. Thankfully our school is only a mile away. I notice Logan tremble. Fall is really kicking in. “Are you cold?”

“A little,” he says, wrapping his arms around himself.

“Here. Put this on.” I give him my jacket.

“Thanks,” he says gratefully and puts it on. “Won’t you be cold, though?”

“Nah. I’ve got thick skin to keep me warm.” He laughs at my comment.

“We have the same skin!” he says pulling on my skin and his, showing me that it’s the same exact thing. His eyes sparkle with delight. To be eight years old and oblivious to reality.

We make it to school ten minutes late. I rush Logan to his class and run to mine. I try to sneak in and take my seat, but Miss Jackie catches my eye.

“Grayson. Are you late again?” she asks, tight-lipped. I just nod, embarrassed to be called out in front of all my friends. “Are you okay?”

“Yes, ma’am. Sorry.”

“Try to be on time tomorrow.” She lets a smile slip and I relax into my chair. Thank god. I wish I had a mom like Miss Jackie instead of the crappy one we have at home. She would always take care of us and never let us sleep outside alone. Maybe one day I’ll meet a nice girl like her.

© Fabiola Francisco, 2015