Alive (Mended Hearts #1)

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Alive

 

By Beth Maria

 

 

Alive

 

Book One in the Mended Heart Series

 

Copyright © 2014 by Beth Maria

 

 

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the written permission of the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously
. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely coincidental.

 

Dedication

Alive is dedicated to my beautiful son,
Callum.

I just want to make you proud of me baby. I love you!

 

Prologue

3 months earlier…

“MAISIE
, HURRY UP! WE’RE GOING TO BE LATE!” I hear my best friend shout from somewhere in my house.


CHLOE, SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GET IN HERE AND HELP ME!” It’s not my fault we’re going to be late, when Chloe knows I need her help with my dress, but she’d rather stand talking to my brother Jake. They think I’m clueless, pretending they tolerate each other for my benefit, when they obviously have a crush on each other. They should just sleep together and get it over with!

“How can I be of service
, your majesty?” Oh, I just love sarcastic Chloe. I raise my eyebrows and point to the back of my dress. I’m going to look so good tonight. Matt isn’t going to know what to do with himself. I bought this beautiful red dress last week. It goes down to the middle of my thighs and cuts down low on my chest, though not so low that I look trashy, but more sophisticated.

Turning back around to face Chloe
, I wait for her opinion... “Matt is going to explode in his pants when he sees you in this! You look so hot, sexy lady!” That’s the reaction I was aiming for. “Now tonight, Maisie, if you leave me there without a ride, I will KILL you! I don’t want to end up getting a lift from Jefferson again. That boy
really
doesn’t know how to take a hint! So what is it you’re not allowed to do tonight? Just to make sure that I have it drilled into your head.”

“I’m not allowed to leave you tonight
, so you don’t get pestered by Jefferson. Got it, boss.”

“Good. Now come on
. We have to leave, or otherwise, we won’t find a parking space.” I pick up my phone from my bed, checking to see if Matt has texted me. I haven’t heard from him for a few hours. We had an argument earlier because I said I was going to arrive with Chloe to the party and not him. Oh well. Let him get on with it. Seeing that I have no message alerts, I put it in my bra, and we make our way out to my little red Honda. The radio blasts out Pink’s ‘Get the party started’, so Chloe and me scream out the lyrics on the short ten minute journey to Matt’s house party. The closer we get to Matt’s, the more excited I become to see him.

Matt and I started dating when we were thirteen and have been together for just over four years now. We’d been in English together and had to partner up for assignments. We grew attached really quickly. I never could understand why he took an interest in me.
He’s the captain of the football team, the guy all the girls wanted because of his exceptional good looks. He’s your typical blonde hair, blue eyes kind of guy. I’m just your ordinary girl who doesn’t wear much makeup, and I’m not popular. Matt told me he never cared about what anyone had to say or that I wasn’t popular. He loves me for me. I love him so much. He really is my soul mate.

Pulling up outside Matt’s house
, it’s not a surprise that half of the school has turned up. Word gets around that Matt’s parties are the best, so everybody who is anybody turns up. Luckily, I have a small car, so it’s easy to find a parking space. Chloe meets me at the front, and holding hands, we make our way up toward the front door.

“Alright
, sister, let’s go get a drink and then get our freak on!” Chloe says.

The music is blasting out Robin
Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ as I walk through the front yard, so I start doing a little shimmy because it’s my favorite song at the moment. As soon as I get in the front door, people start pushing me around. I swear, if someone makes me fall flat on my face, I will knock them out. Now, I’m not the violent type, but these people are pissing me off! Looking around the living room, I notice that the sluts of the school are hanging around Matt’s team mates, but Matt’s not in sight. I take my phone out and text him to let him know that I’m downstairs so he can find me, and then proceed into the kitchen with Chloe in tow to get a drink. Looking at the table with all the alcohol on it, I see that there’s a choice of warm beer or vodka. I decide to stick to the vodka. I can’t stand the taste of beer! “CHLOE, YOU WANT A DRINK?” I yell to her so she can hear me over the music.

“Yeah, babe, I’ll have a vodka and coke. Can you get it for me? I’m going to talk to Jimmy.” She waggles her eyebrows at me as she walks off
, and I just laugh. Jimmy is Matt’s best friend who Chloe has been having a no strings sexual relationship with for the past 5 months.

Spotting Jamie at the breakfast bar
, I make my way over to talk to him. “Jamie, do you know where Matt is? He isn’t answering my messages, and I can’t find him.”

“Hey, Maisie!
Yeah, I think he’s upstairs in his room. He’s pretty drunk already, so has probably gone for a lie down.”

“Ok
, thanks. I’ll go see if he’s alright. Talk to you later.” I turn on my heel and walk toward the stairs. Matt doesn’t allow anyone upstairs when he has a party, so it’s no surprise that it’s empty. I stand outside of his bedroom door and am about to turn the handle when I hear a woman laughing. Feeling confused, I put my ear to the door to hear better and wish that I didn’t.

“Baby, you look so fucking hot tonight. I can’t wait anymore. I have to be inside you.” Vomit starts to make its way up my throat because I’m sure that was Matt
, but because of the loud music it’s hard to tell. My hands are starting to shake and sweat, and tears prick my eyes, but I carry on listening. I have to be sure that it’s definitely him.

“Oh
, Matt… baby, this feels so good. Harder, baby. Give it to me harder!”

That’s all I need to hear before I open the door and see what I thought I would never see. My eyes land on my boyfriend, butt naked on top of the school
’s biggest slut, Megan, who has been after Matt for the last three years! I start to back slowly out of the room, trying to leave without them knowing I was here, when I hit something hard. Something crashes to the floor, grabbing Matt’s attention. I freeze and watch as he turns around, looking pissed off at having been interrupted until he sees that it’s me. All the color drains from his face, but he still doesn’t move to get off Megan. After what feels like minutes, but was probably only seconds, he jumps off of her, stumbling in the process. I laugh humorlessly and wait for the lies to flow from his mouth. I won’t let him see that he has just broken my heart and that it’s lying on his bedroom floor right now!


Maisie, baby, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean for this to happen. I’ve had a lot to drink...” I hold up my hand to stop him spouting off more rubbish. Of course he meant for it to fucking happen. Does he think I’m stupid and that he just fell and landed inside her? I look at Megan, seeing a huge smirk on her face. She knows she has successfully won now, but I won’t give her the satisfaction of letting her see me crumple. I turn back toward a horror faced Matt, the face of the man I have loved for four years and who I thought would never hurt me.

Swallowing the huge lump in my throat
, I try to stop the tears from appearing as I get ready to say goodbye to the love of my life. “Save it, Matt. I don’t want to hear it. You’ve made it pretty clear that I’m not enough for you anymore. Now, I’m going to go downstairs, and you are not going to follow me. Do I make myself clear? You can delete my number because I never want to see or hear from you again.” I turn to leave, but I have to say something to Megan before I go. “Oh, and Megan, sweetie?” She looks up at me with that fucking smirk still in place. Stupid bitch. “You’re welcome to him as you have probably just given him herpes. Oh, and desperate does not look good on you.” Not waiting for a reply or a last look at Matt, I turn and walk back downstairs toward the kitchen where I see Chloe and Jimmy making out. I practically run to her, wanting to leave before everyone finds out what has just happened.

When I get to Chloe
, I tap her shoulder and whisper, “Chloe, we need to leave
now
! I just walked in on Matt with Megan, and I want to leave before he comes back downstairs and humiliates me.”

Chloe stops what she’s doing, turns to face me
, and I can tell that this isn’t going to be good. She is going to kill Matt.

“WHAT? WHERE ARE THOSE FUCKERS? I’
M GOING TO CHOP HIS BALLS OFF!” That got everybody’s attention. Well done, Chloe. There’s no chance of leaving quietly now...


Chloe, shut up and let’s just go. I don’t want everybody to know. Please, let’s just leave,” I hiss through gritted teeth.

Not bothering to see if she follows, I turn and start to make my way
toward the front door, ignoring the fact that everybody is staring at me now, waiting to see if I will break apart. Well, I’ve got news for you people; this woman will not break in front of anybody. I will do it in the safety of my own bedroom, where I can realize that I no longer have a heart because it shattered on the floor of my ex-boyfriends bedroom not five minutes ago. Matt’s voice stops me two feet from the front door.

“Maisie... please, baby
, let me explain.” I was so close to leaving. I take a deep breath to compose myself, and then turn to face him. He sounds all choked up, and taking a look at him, I see that he’s been crying which breaks my heart, but then I remember what I saw not even five minutes ago. I wait for him to carry on. I couldn’t speak even if I wanted to because of the big lump lodged in the back of my throat. God, I’m going to be sick! “It wasn’t what it looked like, Maisie. I’ve had a lot to drink, and we had that argument earlier. I didn’t know if you wanted to be with me, baby. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise. You have to believe me! I love you so much! You know you’re my future. Please don’t let this ruin us. I couldn’t live without you, baby.” Lies, lies, LIES! Does he think that because he has had a lot to drink it makes up for it? “Please say something...”

“Good-bye, Matt. Don’t call me or speak to me ever again.” With that
, I leave and don’t look back. The ride home is quiet, and Chloe knows that I just need time to think without her asking me questions. I know that eventually she will want to know what happened, but I just can’t talk about it at the moment.

Chloe drops me off at my house with a promise to phone me tomorrow and bring my car back, and then I make my way through the front door
, careful not to wake anybody up. I can’t face anybody right now. They will know something is up, and the pain is just too raw to talk about it.

As soon as I’m in my bedroom, I lock the door then fall head first onto my bed
, finally letting out the big fat ugly tears that taste of heart break. Deep down, I knew that I would only be good enough for Matt for so long; I just hoped he could have proved me wrong. Thinking about it only makes me cry harder and uglier. I can feel the hollow space where my heart used to be, and the feeling of emptiness is already making me feel numb. I’ve never been in so much emotional pain in my life, and I’m hoping the numbness will creep through the rest of my body quickly so I don’t have to feel the pain anymore. I stay like this until the sun starts to rise, and just before I fall into the slumber of sleep, I vow to myself that after today, I will never fall in love again!

Chapter
1

Present Day - Maisie

Looking around my room one last time, I make sure that I have everything I need. My room, which I have had since my childhood, is bare except for my bed and closet. Everything else is packed in my car and waiting to go to a new destination; one where there aren’t any bad memories and where I can start over again.

Making my way downstairs, I drop my bag and see my mom and dad waiting for me. They have been my rock over the last three months after everything that happened with Matt, so it’s going to be hard to leave them
, but they know I need to do this in order to move on with my life. Stepping into my mother’s embrace, I let the tears flow freely.

“Baby girl, I am so proud of you! Now you go and show what you can do and have fun. I will see you soon okay?” I nod my head and let go of her. Turning
toward my dad, I see his eyes mist over, and I can’t help but cry even more. I have always been a daddy’s girl, and leaving is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Giving me a hug, he squeezes me so tight, like he’s afraid to let go.

“Daddy
, I can’t breathe. Loosen up a little, will you?” I laugh.

“No, Pumpkin
, I won’t. I won’t ever let go. You’re going to have to take me with you!” The funny thing is that he probably isn’t joking. Pushing away, I pick up my bag and coat and open the front door. “Maisie, you be careful, okay? Stay away from guys and focus on your studies. If you need anything, anything at all, remember we’re a phone call away, okay, sweetie?”

“Yes
, Daddy. Now, I really need to leave if I don’t want to get stuck in traffic. I’ll call you when I arrive. Bye. Love you both,” I say and then turn around.

“Love you too,” they reply in unison.

  Putting my bag on the passenger seat, I get into my car, which is packed with all of my belongings, and turn on the engine. As I look out of the window at my house, I think of all the fun times I’ve had and how much I’m going to miss living there. But then I think about moving into my dorm with Chloe, starting a new life miles away from home, and all of the drama that has happened in the past few months. I smile properly for the first time in three months and then drive off, looking at my parents one last time before I turn the corner.

 

****

 

I finally arrive at California State University and take in a huge breath at the sights that surround me. I knew this was the place I was destined to attend the minute I set eyes on it. It is beautiful. I could see myself sitting next to the fountain, reading a book under the hot California sun, and relaxing for the first time in months. I’m used to the California weather as I am a California girl born in San Francisco. I could have chosen to go to a college further away, but I love California. Plus, six hours away from my home town is long enough. If I had gone somewhere like New York, I’d have hated it. It’s far too busy for me, and there aren’t enough beaches. Besides, I have the company of my best friend here, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My cell rings
, startling me from my thoughts. Looking at the screen, I see Chloe’s goofy face pop up. “Hey what’s up?” I answer.

“Where the hell are you? I thought you said you would be thirty minutes? That was forty-five minutes ago
, bitch. I’m waiting to go check out the eye candy. Maisie, don’t make me wait anymore!” Chloe whines down the phone to me. Yes, she actually whined.

“I’m in the parking lot. Come down and help me with my things?” I ask.

“Okay, be down in two. Ciao.” With that, the call disconnects.

I get out of the car, open the trunk
, and start lifting boxes out and putting them on the floor. This is going to take about five trips. I hope we’re on the bottom floor. As I am pulling the first box out of the trunk, Chloe comes bouncing over, looking all hot in shorts and a white tank top. She is beautiful with naturally wavy sun bleached blonde hair and the bluest eyes I have ever seen on a girl. Looking around, I notice quite a few of the guys are watching her. I’m not surprised, either, because she always has the guys after her. Chloe is the complete opposite of me. I have straight, dull brown hair with brown eyes and freckles. I envy her sometimes. She stops next to me and just stares at all of my stuff.

              “Maisie... this is going to take forever. Please tell me you’re going to unpack later?” Chloe asks, looking deflated.

“Don’
t worry. I’ll unpack later. Now, what floor are we on? I haven’t had a chance to check,” I ask, dreading her answer.

“We’re on the second floor
, sweetie, so not too bad. Eurgh, it would have been good if your brother was here to help. We could have sat back and watched while he did all of the hard work,” Chloe says. My brother attends California State University too, which is one of the reasons I selected this campus. It always helps to have a big brother here to show you around and look out for you.

“Jake will be here later
.” I wink at her, and she rolls her eyes at me. “Anyway, let’s get my stuff to our room.”

  Arriving at our dorm room for the next year, I drop the boxes on the floor and take it in. The room is tiny with two single beds, two bedside tables, a desk
, and a dresser. Off to the left is a door, which I’m guessing leads to the bathroom. I know that when Chloe and I have finished doing this room up, it will look cozy, so I’m happy to call this my home for the next year. I pick up the boxes and put them on the bed I assume is mine because it’s completely bare. Taking in a deep breath, I turn to Chloe. “Let’s go get the rest of my things then.”

Fifteen minutes later
, I am on the final box, while Chloe is upstairs getting ready. Picking up the box, I turn around and smash into what feels like a brick wall. I’m about to tear one into this jerk about watching where he is going when my eyes meet the most beautiful pair of brown eyes I have ever seen. My mouth is hanging open ready to start my onslaught, but my brain has completely forgotten what I’m meant to be saying. Standing in front of me is by far the best looking guy my eyes have ever set sight on. A six foot two man with muscles covered in tattoos, wearing a black t-shirt and tight, dark jeans is what I smashed into. No wonder it felt like a wall. Mr Beautiful is pure toned muscle! After scanning him from bottom to top, my eyes land on his face. He has jet black hair and the most amazing brown eyes that seem to have flecks of gold in them. To finish it off, he has a panty melting square jaw! Oh, I think I’m in love...

Coughing startles me out of my trance. I quickly shut my mouth, feeling a blush creeping onto my cheeks. To further humiliate me, Mr Beautiful then smirks
, and out pops two dimples! This man cannot be real. I must have knocked myself out somehow and am now dreaming. Men this sexy do not exist. Remembering that I didn’t come here to look for guys, I pull myself together and stand up straight. “Excuse me, please,” I say, trying to sound confident.

“Sorry
, darling,” he says with a wink, then turns and walks away.

I just stand there
, flabbergasted and wondering what the hell just happened. This overly good looking guy just walked into me when he could clearly see that I was here, and then one look into his eyes was all it took for me to be completely mesmerized. I acted like a fool. I’m surprised I didn’t dribble all over the floor! And then he just walked off like nothing happened. Who does he think he is, calling me darling and then winking? I already know that I need to steer clear of this guy; he has player written all over him. None of that matters, though, because I didn’t come here to get involved with guys. I came here to get my degree in English to achieve my dream of becoming a teacher, and no guy, especially not Mr Beautiful, will get in the way of that. Snapping out of my thoughts, I take the last of my belongings up to my room, and then get ready for Chloe’s plans.

 

****

 

Chloe decided that we should check out the coffee shop, Cafe Blanc, on campus. Her theory is that all of the hot guys hang out in coffee shops. Where does she get this knowledge from? Stepping inside, I am instantly awakened by the smell of fresh coffee as it hits my nostrils. As I join the line, I look around at the booths filled with students and at the computers in the corner, knowing immediately this is where I be will hanging out between lectures. With the light mocha colored walls covered with pictures of the history of the café and worn red booth seats, it has a homely feeling about the place.

Searching around the café
and looking at everyone gathered around, my eyes land on a familiar face. Mr Beautiful. He’s standing with three guys, who also don’t lack in the looks department, with a tall blonde girl hanging all over him. Seeing that he is engrossed in conversation, I take the time to study him further. How is it possible for him to look even more beautiful than he did earlier? Mr Beautiful puts his arms around Blondie, pulls her flush against his body, and then sticks his tongue down her throat. I feel disgusted. They are definitely not acting PG in public. Do they not have any respect for others? Some people are trying to eat or have a quiet drink in here!


Yo, Jesse, what’s up man?” Some surfer looking guy shouts at Mr beautiful. So, Jesse is his name? It suits him.


Hey, Brandon, I’ve been looking for you all over, man. We have to head down to practice in thirty minutes or Coach will kick our ass!” Jesse shouts back. He pulls away from Blondie and walks over toward his friend. Hey, I’m not a stalker. I’m just going by what I’ve heard.

“Can I take your order please
, miss? Or are you just going to stand there all day?” Swiveling my head around to face a pissed off barista, I realize that I have been staring for so long at Jesse that I forgot I was waiting to get a coffee. God dammit, why didn’t Chloe say anything? I turn around to see that she is talking to a guy off to my right. Well, she doesn’t hang around, does she! She could have at least told me that she was going to talk to that guy. “Well...?” the barista asks when I still haven’t told her my order.

“Y-yes
, sorry. Could I have a caramel latte, please?” Paying for my drink, the barista turns around to make my drink with a huff. I can’t blame her really; I would have been pissed off with serving me too. The barista passes me my latte, so I turn to go stand with Chloe. Next thing I know, something bumps into me, and my latte ends up all over me. OMG, this freaking burns! Could this day get any worse? This is the second time that someone has bumped into me! Feeling pissed off because my top is starting to stick to my burning skin, and because I didn’t even get to try my latte, I turn around and find Jesse with his hands held up in the air. “YOU! THIS IS THE SECOND TIME YOU’VE BUMPED INTO ME TODAY! WHAT IS YOUR DEAL?” I practically shout. I don’t even care if anybody is looking. I’m so angry, I feel like I might explode at any second. Do I have this big sign on my back saying
’Please feel free to bump into me at any time, Jesse?’
What is this guy’s problem? Putting my hand on my hip, I tap my foot and wait for him to reply.

“Well
, aren’t you a little fire cracker, darling?” Jesse says with a big smirk on his face, showing off his beautiful dimples. If he wasn’t so good looking, it would be easier to be angry with him, but his dimples seem to have doused the fire inside of me, though only a little bit!

“Don’t call me darling
. I am not your darling! Now answer my question. Why do you keep bumping into me? You’re lucky this latte is all over me, or it would be in your face right about now,” I say, while shooting daggers at him.

“Okay
, okay… Whatever you say, darling.” He winks at me, and I feel my temper rising again.

“But for the record, this morning you bumped into me. I was just walking on the sidewalk like normal people do
, minding my own business, when you turned around and smashed a big, hard, heavy box into my chest. And this time, I apologize. My friend and I were messing around, he pushed me too hard, and I fell into you. I am so sorry. Let me buy you another drink?” he asks. Staring into his hypnotizing eyes, I can’t even remember what he just said. I’m sure they have powers, as I seem to be turning into a fourteen year old girl who’s just discovered boys for the first time.

“O-o-
kaay...” I stutter. Turning to ask the cashier for another one, my brain registers what he just said. What did he just do to me to make me forget? He isn’t getting off the hook that easily. Making sure not to look into his hypnotizing eyes, I say, “No, actually, it’s not okay. I can buy my own drink, thank you very much, though I wouldn’t have to if you were watching where you were going! And for the record, as you put it, you could clearly see I was bent over picking something up off of the sidewalk. Now, if you didn’t have your head shoved so far up your ass, you would notice this, wouldn’t you? Actually, don’t answer that. Of course you wouldn’t. Please, just go away. You’ve done enough damage today already.” Shaking my head, I decide that I can’t even be bothered to wait for another coffee. Seeing that Chloe is still talking to some guy, I walk over to her and tell her that I’m going to go back to the dorms to unpack. She doesn’t say anything, just raises her eyebrows in question, but I slowly shake my head. I know I’m off the hook for now, but later, I will have to explain everything.