When it came to her lifelong friendship to the Porter boys, Ryley Reynolds knew one thing to be true: The 3 of them would be friends forever. Friends 'till the end.
When life got in the way of their plans, one decision changed the course of all of their lives. Five years later, friends are brought back together, secrets are unveiled, and love is found again.
Has too much damage been done to erase the past?
**18+ due to language and explicit material**
"Hey, Gage, why don't you go grab us a few beers from the house," he said, his eyes not leaving mine.
"Good idea, I thought something was missing," Gage mumbled as he left Liam and I in the garage. Alone.
"What's wrong, Ryley?" Liam's voice was so low, he knew.
"I'm... sorry. I'm so sorry, Liam," I said, willing myself not to cry.
Liam rushed over to me and held me, staring into my eyes with so much love I almost said 'screw it'. All I really wanted was to spend the rest of my life with him, raise a family together, grow old together. He made it perfectly clear, though, that he wouldn't do that to Gage. So there we were.
"What's going on, Ry?" His voice was worried, frantic almost.
"I'm pregnant, Liam," I whispered, and then broke down in his arms. His arms came around me tight and he hugged me tighter than ever. Holding me there, letting me cry.
"Shh. It'll be okay. We will figure this out, Ry. I love you, we can do this. I can get a job, we can work this out." He kept talking about a future together, but I knew that wasn't what he wanted. He and Gage finally had a good relationship again, that would ruin Gage.
"No, Liam. Stop. I... I'm not keeping it."
His body tensed.
"What do you mean, Ryley?"
"I mean... we both have college to attend. I'm in no shape to raise a baby, and Gage would flip. Things are just starting to be okay between us again. I can't... we can't. Just, no." It was the right decision, right? I was eighteen, practically a kid myself still. I couldn't raise a baby!
Liam pulled away from me and started pacing the floor, running his hands through his hair in pure frustration. Almost like he truly meant it, like he truly wouldn't mind starting a family at eighteen years old.
"No, Ry. Not happening. You can't fucking do that to me!" he yelled. It scared me, Liam never yelled at me. The last time he yelled at me was when we were sixteen, and I didn't want to relive that again.
"Stop, please listen. I can't have a baby right now. This has to happen, you know it."
"No, please, Ryley. We can work it out, please promise me. At least think about it. You have time, there's time, right? There's still time to think about it? Please, Ryley! That's just as much mine as it is yours. Please! Don't do this." He was pleading now, on his knees in front of me, hugging my stomach. Hugging our baby.
"What's going on you two?" Gage stood in the doorway, frozen in place. We didn't answer. Liam was breaking down in front of me and I couldn't stop crying hard enough to get a full sentence out.
"Oh, Gage," I whispered. "Oh GOD, Gage, I'm so sorry."
"Say it," he ground out.
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Meet the Authors:
An avid, self-proclaimed closet book nerd by the age of nine, Dauphin didn't take her love of fictional worlds public until she self-published her first book almost 20 years later. Since putting to paper the voices in her head, she's fallen in love with a career of building, ruining, and rebuilding fictional character's lives. Currently, she has self-published two series, two full length novels, and two full length co-authored books she's written with her other half HQ Frost, as well as been involved with two anthology sets. Her love will always reside with the romance genre, but she does enjoy going off the grid every now and then with non-fiction.
From Southern Illinois, born and raised, she now resides with her husband, two small boys, and two very busy dogs.
H.Q. Frost is a fiction dictator of contemporary romance, but not limited to. After writing for nineteen years, Destructive Gods is her first published release.
"The improbable is very probable in my worlds." -H.Q.-