Home > Forever (Seaside #3.5)

Forever (Seaside #3.5)
Author: Rachel Van Dyken

Prologue

The first time I shot up heroin, I was fourteen. We were on tour and I’d been partying with the band for the past few weeks, but they’d never given me any hard drugs. They said I was too young. To hell with that, I had thought as I grabbed the needle and asked what I needed to do. They had laughed for a few minutes, but they ended up showing me when I didn’t back down.

Drug addicts don’t forget.

The human body is incredible in the way it stores memories, the way it stores feelings. People who lose limbs often have phantom feelings in their extremities even though the limb is no longer present. Doctors can’t really explain it — I guess it’s just another one of those things we simply accept. You lose a hand… you’ll still feel pain even though it’s not there.

If you ask me, that’s pretty screwed up. I mean, how bad does it suck, that the one thing causing you pain is gone? Yet the pain remains?

The same thing happens with drugs. Even when you’re not on them anymore, you can still feel the effects of them. You still crave them. The most dangerous part about any drug isn’t the physical addiction, though some may argue that, it’s the mental dependency. Every damn thing could be going to hell in your life and your brain, amazing machine that it is, will choose that exact moment to remind you what it felt like to be high.

And all of a sudden, the craving appears out of nowhere. Your body flares to life, nerve-endings turn into live wires as blood pounds in your ears, your brain tells you, just this once, and the sick part is, you believe you have control over it.

But you don’t. I thought I could control it, and even then as I was clenching and unclenching my fists — my body was trying to persuade me that just one hit would do me some good, cause me to relax, all that shit.

Nat would kill me.

I’d been in therapy for weeks leading up to our wedding. What type of guy did that make me? That I’d actually needed therapy in order to be whole enough to marry the girl I loved?

Whatever. I’d go every day of my life if that meant I could be with her. I just hated when I felt weak. And I felt weak when my body craved drugs. I felt weak when it craved her. So basically any addiction made me feel like I was one step away from losing it.

Nat said I needed to learn how to let go.

Right.

If you looked up OCD in the dictionary my name would be next to the definition.

I breathed in and out for a few seconds as I waited at the end of the aisle. It felt like I was standing overlooking the edge of a cliff, and the minute I saw my future wife, I was going to freefall.

The music started.

Shit, I was seriously going to pass out.

People stood, Demetri nodded his head and patted me on the back.

And then I saw her.

It was like seeing her for the first time all over again. Memories of meeting her that first day of school had me grinning from ear to ear. The local girl, who didn’t even know who I was the first time she saw me, fell for me. And in return, gave me her heart for safekeeping. I ached to touch her as she walked slowly down the aisle. Her brown eyes met mine. And I lost it. Every single fear that I was holding on to snapped.

Forget drugs.

Forget needing to calm down.

I couldn’t stop my heart from beating out of my chest, and I didn’t want to. I just wanted to touch her, to tell her how pretty she was in her white dress. I wanted to promise her forever, I wanted to be her eternity.

Chapter One

Alec

The Day Before

“You ready?” Demetri ran down the stairs, stopped at the bottom. “You look like hell.”

“Thanks.” I swore and began to pace the floor. “Just give me a hint.”

Demetri grinned. “Nope, but it looks good.”

“Damn.”

He slapped me on the back. “Think of it this way, in less than twenty-four hours you get to see her in the dress and… you get to be the one to take her out of it.”

“Right.” I snorted. “Still not comfortable with you talking about Nat taking off her clothes, but points for trying to make me feel better.”

Demetri took his hands off me and smirked. “No worries. Alyssa and I will just be having our own little—”

“If you value your parts you won’t finish that sentence.” Alyssa bounded down the stairs. “I won’t be taking anything off, not until you put a ring on my finger, remember?”

“Conveniently forgot,” Demetri offered hopefully.

“Ring.” Alyssa held out her left hand. “Right here, and then you may play all you like.”

“Why did I agree to this again?” Demetri asked.

I laughed. “She wants to make sure you’re hers before you go on tour and have women throwing themselves at you.”

“This is true.” Demetri winked. “The women do love me.”

“Way ta make it better, bro.” I slapped him on the back and turned to Alyssa. “How’s it look?”

“Like a dream.” She sighed. “I swear, Nat just keeps getting prettier with this pregnancy. Kinda makes me want to slap her.”

“I know.” Warmth spread through my body. “She looks amazing.”

A throat cleared at the top of the stairs. Nat rolled her eyes and made her way down the stairs slowly, carefully, as per my instructions. I’d officially turned into the guy that wanted to take her to the ER over a cough, or an eyelash in her eye. The first two months of her pregnancy she had been violently ill, and now that she was on month three, she just looked — incredible. It was the only way to describe her.

   
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