Hey everyone, and thank you to Kristin for having me over!
This excerpt from Sidelined comes at the height of Bree's frustration with her life, and especially with her husband. What she doesn't realise is, things are about to get a lot worse for her!
She looked at me with the kind of Bambi eyes that would have men rushing to her side but to me, they were just… eyes.
“Bree, please can you hear me out?”
“Nothing you can say will change anything.”
“Please. Bree, I need someone to listen. Is that so much to ask?”
In true Taylor style she’d managed to utter the sentence that struck a painful chord with me. What harm would be done if I let her speak?
“You have two minutes,” I told her.
“Thank you.” Her shoulders sagged with relief. “I’ve been the worst friend ever. The worst person ever but I only ever wanted to fit in with you. You and your friends were always so cool and respected and I was an outsider.”
“You weren’t an outsider, Taylor. We included you. I included you.”
“I wanted to be like you,” she insisted. “You’re beautiful and you always have amazing clothes, and a gorgeous house and… I just went about it wrong.”
“There isn’t even a word to describe how awful you were.”
She nodded. “I know. But before I lost my mind, we were friends. And we had the best times. I’ve never had a friend like you before. I want another chance. That’s why I…” she paused, her cheeks colouring.
“Why you what?”
She sighed. “The day I saw all of you outside Freya’s apartment… I followed you.” I opened my mouth to speak but she rushed on. “I wasn’t stalking you or anything. I just hoped I could find a second to talk to you face to face. Everyone was there, and I freaked out, and… Bree, don’t you even miss me a little bit?”
I missed her before. Right after it all happened. Even after she hurt me by using my past to taunt me. I got over it. I got over the way she treated me, and no. I didn’t miss her anymore. Not really.
“I’m giving you three seconds to get off my property.”
I started at the sound of Jude’s voice. Ha. Perhaps Taylor had hypnotised me. I hadn’t heard the gate open, but Jude strode towards us with annoyance written over his face.
“Yeah, I don’t care.” Jude cut her off. “Get out of here, and leave my wife alone.”
Jude nudged past her and gently moved me out of the way before slamming the door in her face.
“Jesus, Bree. I thought you were finished with her.”
A look of impatience was on his face again, like I was a bad kid and he was my parent.
“I didn’t invite her.”
“You were talking to her.”
“Yeah. Because the only way she’ll leave me alone is if I listen to what she has to say.”
Jude shook his head. “You’re too soft on her. She doesn’t deserve to have you as a friend. You need to stay away from her.”
He was telling me who I could talk to now? Even though I’d already told him I’d made my decision?
My frustration from the last few weeks bubbled up inside me again, more furious than before.
“Aren’t you even going to ask about my day? Remember? I worked today. My first day, and all you can do is tell me I can’t talk to Taylor?”
“You said you didn’t want to talk to her.”
“I don’t care about Taylor!” I shouted. “Today I actually did something I care about but that doesn’t matter to you, does it? What were you thinking? I’d go, get it out of my system, and that would be it? That I’d be scared by a day of work?”
“You didn’t give me a chance to ask.”
“Because you were too busy telling me what I can’t do!”
Jude shook his head and started towards the stairs. “I’ll talk to you when you’ve calmed down. I’m going for a shower.”
“Stop ignoring me!” I yelled at his retreating back. “You just told Taylor to stay away from ‘your wife,’ well you know what? That’s not all I am!”
Jude turned back to me. “What’s with you? You’ve been jumping down my throat the last few weeks over nothing.”
“You think the things I want are nothing? That’s great. Really great.”
“Come on, I never said that. All I asked was that you make sure you’re doing this for the right reasons.”
“What does that even mean? Isn’t not wanting to be stuck in this house a good enough reason? You get to leave! You go to work, and you-”
“You’re not stuck here. You’re free to come and go when you want.”
I wanted him to yell. I wanted him to stop being so reasonable and yell at me but he wouldn’t. He never raised his voice. He’d never needed to because we’d never argued. We used to joke maybe there was something wrong with us because we never fought over anything. We fit together in every way, and if anything bothered either of us, we talked it through.
Why was me wanting a job the first bump in our usually smooth road? When I asked him why, he kept saying the same thing over and over. I want you to be sure. Like I’d be signing my life away if I committed to a couple of classes.
He’d sucked the happy right out of my day with his lack of interest and his telling me what to do. I had to get away.
Isolated and unsure who to turn to, Bree finds herself falling back into a dangerous friendship, and developing feelings for the only person who really listens to her. Torn between her loyalty to her husband and her attraction to a man who has the perfect family she always wanted, she has some tough choices to make.
While Bree tries to figure out what she wants, a tragedy rocks the Westberg Warriors, triggering some dark memories, and pushing her to take a look at what’s really important.
Kyra is a self-confessed book-a-holic, and has been since she first learned to read. When she's not reading, you'll usually find her hanging out in coffee shops with her trusty laptop and/or her friends, or girling it up at the nearest shopping mall.
Kyra grew up on the South Coast of England and refuses to move away from the seaside which provides massive inspiration for her novels. Her debut novel, Game On (New Adult Contemporary Romance), was released in July 2012, and she scored her first Amazon Top 20 listing with her New Adult novella, If I Let You Go.