“Blackwater Sheriff Henry Olgove reveals to NDC27 affiliate of CGFA-TV, the body found Sunday night in East Blackwater, approximately five miles from the notorious motorcycle club hangout, is believed to be that of missing teen, Amber Tonwlyn-Havers, daughter of Congressman Alexander Tonwlyn-Havers. Amber was last seen Saturday by witnesses, around 2:00 AM, leaving a house party in downtown City Central, alone. She was thought to have gone to a party in the neighboring city of Treville.
“Congressman Havers has not been available for comment, though his publicist asks that the family’s privacy be respected in their time of mourning. In other news, tensions rise in Blackwater as one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter organization plans a protest of the death of African American teen, Anthony Smiddle. The standoff between the KKK and Black Lives Matter protesters has police stretched thin.”
Teal turned off the television, then placed the remote control down. Leaning back, she closed her eyes and took in a few deep, calming breaths. There were things friends and family admitted to you about becoming a mother. There were the things you wanted to hear, the things you enjoyed hearing and then there was the truth. It was a rare thing for a parent to speak of the debilitating fear and uncertainty that came with becoming a parent. The indecision and then the apprehension in every decision made, small or large.
While Trent’s upbringing made Teal cringe, she also knew that her own past hadn’t been much better. Yes, Teal had grown up in a seemingly good home, and her family’s money had afforded her a great education and kept her fed and somewhat content, there was more to growing up in a good home than money and a full stomach. Irrational as it may seem, Teal wanted to shelter Emma, but would she truly need it? Would she need an overbearing mother? Hell, would Teal become her mother?
What the fuck was going on in the world today? Things were recently changed in Teal’s life, with a husband and a child to care for, and her ever-growing fear of raising Emma in a world full of dangers she couldn’t possibly protect her from was starting to weigh on her. Was this what motherhood would continually be like? Undying love and fierce protection, followed by the crippling fear of threats of the unknown?
Placing a hand over her stomach, Teal sighed. Trent mentioned wanting another child, while her inner voice told her now was not the time. Hell, she’d just be honest and admit she wasn’t sure she wanted another child—ever. She tilted her head to the side and watched as Emma shifted on Trent’s chest. Teal often found herself counting ten little pink fingers and toes, kissing cherub soft baby cheeks and caressing her daughter’s blonde curls.
Her daughter was the exact opposite of her physically, but Teal never once worried about their differences. She sensed Emma’s trust and love in her and Teal was dead set on never letting her down. As Teal slightly moved and stretched her stiff legs on Trent’s lap she shifted her husband and daughter just a bit.
Trent’s eyes popped open, his hand tightening over Emma’s back. “What’s going on?” His groggy voice woke Emma from her sleep. She released a sleepy coo that melted Teal’s heart.
Teal moved her legs from Trent’s lap, leaned forward and gently pulled Emma from Trent’s arms. “I thought you were just resting your eyes?” she admonished softly, giving him a sweet smile. Teal softly patted Emma’s butt, helping to calm her back to sleep. The sweet baby lay her head on Teal’s chest and began to snore once again.
Trent stretched his arm over his head and yawned. “I was, baby.” He sat up and glanced over to her. Teal noticed how he still favored his right arm for most things. While his physical therapy had ended, Trent still had trouble controlling his arm and certain movements.
“Oh, okay. I guess your snoring was just to trick Emma to sleep?”
Trent sat up and placed a hand on sleeping Emma’s back. His large hand made the little girl seem even tinier by comparison. Born a preemie, Emma had constantly fought to maintain a normal weight, and now at nine months and fourteen pounds, she was just barely fitting into the six to nine-month clothes gifted to her from Teal and Trent’s friends.
Teal placed a kiss over Emma’s curling blonde tresses, and caressed Trent’s hand. Her life in Kentucky had proven easy-going at first, but recently, she’d felt restless and anxious. The South proved to be just as tense as she’d expected, with the Black Lives Matter and KKK acting out for various reasons. Teal wasn’t sure she felt safe, and this was after she’d just stopped waking up from nightmares where Jake had made good on his threat to rape her.
Trent leaned in and kissed Teal’s cheek. “And my plan worked.” He pulled his hand away and stood. “Want me to take her to bed?”
Teal squeezed Emma once again, as she didn’t want to let the warm bundle of baby go. “Sure, make sure all those stuffed animals are out of the crib before you place her in there.” She handed Emma to Trent and went into the kitchen to pull a bottle of water from the fridge.
It was a Friday night, and once again, Trent had fallen asleep on the couch while Emma napped in his lap, and Teal had flipped through the channels, hoping to find something to keep her mind off their issues with Harper and Markus.
Teal had learned that it was best to talk to Trent about stressful things at certain times, like directly after she’d sucked every bit of come out of his quivering body; however, after a long stressful day, now was not that time. Teal treaded to her office and retrieved her laptop from the dresser.
Back in the living room, she sat down and opened her emails to see a few from Jan Erik, past co-workers, and Summer. The header in the email from Summer caught her attention. Teal’s brow furrowed in confusion as she read aloud, “Help wanted.” Clicking the email, Teal read its contents. As she did, her heart flittered in her chest and her excitement grew. In her eagerness, Teal let out a light squeal. “A job opening?”
“Hey, where are Emma’s fluffy blue socks?” Trent broke Teal’s concentration.
She glanced up to see Trent with a handful of tiny socks in his palm, and a flustered expression on his face. Pointing to the bedroom, she said, “They are in the—”
“What were you just saying? Something about a job opening?” he interrupted her as he motioned to her laptop. “What job opening and where? More importantly, for who?”
Teal gauged his reaction carefully. While she had hoped the night would end without any heavy discussions, the second Trent dropped the socks on the couch and sat beside her, she knew there would be no putting it off.
Teal turned the laptop to face Trent. “I’m not sure yet. I just received the email from Summer.”
Trent pulled the laptop from her hands and placed it on his lap. “The chick that tried to help Shayla?” he asked, skimming over the email. “Why is she offering you a job at something called Safe Haven?” He gripped the laptop, his flustered expression changing into one Teal had become very familiar with. His veiled anger didn’t intimidate her though, it irritated her.
Teal rolled her eyes at the question. “How the hell am I supposed to know? You are the one reading the email.”
She and Trent had agreed she would spend the first year at home with Emma. And at the time, when everything was new, and Trent was home with her, recovering, she’d meant it. However, now, it was a completely different story. Teal felt cut off from the world, and it seemed her job had gone from an administrative assistant with a degree, to Emma’s mom. Not that Teal minded being a mother—in her mind, she thought she’d done well. It was that Teal never expected to have her identity stolen from her.
Perhaps, if Teal had had three toddlers running around the house, she wouldn’t feel the same, but one infant who barely made a peep? She found herself sitting on the back porch with more time on her hands than she’d expected. And to top it off, Teal’s friends were all in Vermont, and were career-oriented women who despite being married, and settled, hadn't had children yet. Then there was Katie, who was on her third book tour and in talks with her agent about film rights to her novel.
Teal had never felt so alone, yet surrounded by a loving family. To make matters worse, even though they’d won the civil suit against Jake, lawyers had stated it would take time to actually get the money he owed—if they ever got a cent. So, Trent still worked massive amounts of overtime to add back some of the money to his savings that the medical and lawyer bills had created.
Teal hoped once the money from Jake came in, Trent would stop working himself to death. But that wasn’t all. Katie and Logan were miles away, with a growing business and baby girls, and Violet, her new local friend, was now the CEO of a company, so gone were the days in which she came over for hours on end. Like a fool, Teal had fancied herself a true Southern Belle, sipping mint juleps, and gossiping while watching Emma play.
Months after opening up his heart – and his past – Trent is looking forward to a future with his new bride and daughter. He’s recovered from the near-fatal shooting, hopes to purchase a farm for his beloved Teal, and is building a life free from the horrors of his past.
But the past has a bad habit of never staying buried, and now it’s coming after his entire family. Because Trent didn’t reveal all his secrets to Teal, and the deepest, darkest secret he’d always kept just out of reach is about to break the surface.
An old debt is being called in, one that will pull Trent back into the world of sex, lies, and murder he’s fought so hard to escape. And in the wake of devastating betrayals, he’ll discover who is truly loyal to him, as he agrees to pay that debt with an unforgivable crime.
SEPTEMBER 28th, 2017
Trent will stop at nothing to keep Teal and his daughter safe. Even if that means losing them forever.
Meet Ace, Gator, and Mutt from the First Sons of the Revolution MC, and enjoy the first chapter and first look at the spin-off featuring the badass, no-shit-taking men from Blackwater Rising!