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The touch series box set, p.1
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       The Touch Series Box Set, p.1

           t. h. snyder
 
The Touch Series Box Set


  © 2014 t. h. snyder (Tiffany Snyder)

  Published by t. h. snyder

  First published in 2014. All rights reserved. This book is copyright. Apart from the fair purpose of private study, research or review as permitted by the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced without written permission.

  This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

  Images Copyright

  Book Cover By Design: Kellie Dennis

  The journey of the Touch Series is one that I will never forget. I couldn’t have gotten this far as an author without the support and encouragement of my family and friends.

  My family! Mom (Roberta), Angie, Dad and Mar, you guys CHEER me on every day telling me how PROUD you are of my ACCOMPLISHMENT. I couldn't have done this without you and all your love and support.

  To my two WONDERFUL kids, you are my world Raeghyn, and Mason. I love you both to infinity and beyond

  My FANTASTIC writing BFF’s. The three of us have come so far in such a short time. I’m proud of the ways in which we’ve grown and can’t believe what we’ve accomplished in six months. I love you both….Traci and Trisha #thisishappening!!!

  My BETA GIRLS! You’ve stuck with me and I’m honored to have you all by my side throughout this journey. No matter how stupid I think a chapter may be, these girls are my rocks….love you Amy Conception, Jennifer Maikis, Barb Johnson, Joanne Schwehm, Karrie Puskas and Yamara Martinez. My SPICE GIRLS… I don’t know where I’d be without your love and support. Whether I need to celebrate or bitch, you ladies are always there for me. Love y’all Kathy Coopmans, Karrie Puskas, Nikki Flannery, Heather Slayton and Yamara Martinez.

  A special shout out to a few authors that I know and LOVE very much. Without your support and encouragement, I’d be lost. I love you Margaret McHeyzer, Joanne Schwelm, Trudy Stiles, Michelle Polk and Julie Morgan.

  Christine Stanley, you are one of my nearest and dearest friends. Whether I need a shoulder to vent on or a friend to laugh my ass off with, you are my girl. I love you poopsie.

  Kellie Dennis, you’re an amazing cover artist and so proud to have you as part of my team. This cover is gorgeous and I love what you’ve done to brand this series.

  Tiffany Tillman, I’ve told you before and I’ll say it again. I’m stuck to you like glue lady. You are a fantastic editor and I love you long time.

  Julie Mishler, I firmly believe that every great artist deserves to have their voice heard. You have an amazing gift of expression in your poems and I’m honored to have your words featured in this story. You were able to take the heart and soul of two characters and create a beautiful piece of art.

  Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

  I want to THANK the following people for their SUPPORT and ENCOURAGEMENT throughout this journey.

  My family! You guys CHEER me on every day telling me how PROUD you are of my ACCOMPLISHMENT. I couldn't have done this without you Mom (Roberta), Angie, and Mar.

  To my two WONDERFUL kids, you are my world Raeghyn, and Mason.

  My FANTASTIC writing BFF’s. I love you both for all the crazy ideas and stories that we’ve passed between one another. I need you both more than you will ever know Traci and Trisha.

  My BETA GIRLS! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to read my book. Even though I may have wanted to erase your emails and messages you helped me make this story even better….love you STAR BETA SQUAD Jenn, Jamie, Susan, Crystal, and Jennifer.

  Those AMAZING Indie Authors out there that inspired me to do something I never thought was possible. You showed me that with a little motivation and imagination anything is possible.

  Special author shout out to Margaret McHeyzer for guiding me under her wings. I couldn’t have made it through the ARC reviews without you my love!

  At this very moment I’m sitting on the back of a Harley, which could very well be stolen, setting off into the sunset with an amazing guy. His strong muscular form is driving and the vibrations of the motor send shivers through our bodies.

  I recall the past few years I’d spent with my ex-boyfriend, Marc. I close my eyes and rest my chin on this man’s back. It’s easy to remember the heartache and the pain of loneliness. I can still sense the tears I shed for Marc. My ex never cared for me the way I loved him. I was in love with Marc for years; he played my family and me for fools. Marc stole my heart and stomped on it the day I found him in bed with my best friend Natalie. That day I lost Marc and I lost a huge part of me as well. I told myself I wouldn’t give my heart to another man again.

  The wind ripping through us feels cool against my body and it’s tangling through my thick, wavy, brown hair. I scan my eyes looking down along his powerfully built chest and see my arms wrapped around his waist for fear that I may fall. The mere thought of falling in love scared me for too long.

  My eyes move over his broad left shoulder and I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the side mirror. The twinkle in my big-brown eyes and the smile across my face bring out an emotion as if I’m a little girl just waking up Christmas morning.

  I have a sense of freedom that I haven't experienced in a long time. I never imagined emotions this strong would consume me again.

  The past few weeks are nothing I ever imagined. This man in front of me is the one who allows me to be me. He loves me for the person I am, not the woman he wants me to be.

  "Shit, ouch, double shit!" I bounce across the living room on my left foot, stubbing my toe for the hundredth time. Ugh, when the hell is Chloe going to send for the rest of her shit?

  My sister promised the movers would be here yesterday to move out the last of her non-essential things from my small one-bedroom apartment.

  Surprise, the movers never showed or worse she never scheduled them to come.

  As a single 24 year old female, I don’t need much living space; I do however prefer things have their place in my little world and these boxes do not deserve a spot here.

  My apartment is indeed small. It’s really all I need for me. I have everything decorated the way I want it and my place is cozy. It has a modern flare to it with my wall décor, curtains, and the few pieces I have scattered around. The furnishings are a slightly used leather couch and chair in the living room which makes it extra comfy and a giant sleigh bed in the bedroom. The place comes together quite well, except for the cardboard boxes I want out.

  I don’t know why I even bother getting angry. I love my sister, I do, but her lack of consideration for others amazes me sometimes.

  Chloe is my older sister, the one I always cover when she can't figure a way out of a jam. Chloe is older than me by two years, but I always thought I was the more responsible sibling.

  Ugh, to hell with her. I’m not going to dwell on the drama, at least not for the next five seconds. Then the pain of my toe smacks me in the brain, "Ouch!"

  Chloe got an amazing job, the chance of a lifetime for her. Since the offer, she has relocated herself across the country from Boston to Los Angeles. She can pursue her dream career as a sports analyst for ESPN and to be honest, I’m proud of her.

  In addition to these damn boxes, Chloe also left a wee bit of man drama here to keep in line. His name
is Derrick Peters, and he is madly in love with my sister. Chloe and Derrick have been dating since they were in eleventh grade. I know that one day they will find themselves back together and get married, but for this moment he is once again waiting for her.

  This isn’t the first time these two have attempted a long distance relationship.

  I remember the day our mom and dad took my sister to New York University (NYU). I thought he was going to lose his mind. Derrick sat on the front porch as the car pulled out of the driveway and didn’t move for the remainder of the night. He was a hot mess that I couldn’t stand. Derrick was Chloe's problem to take care of, not mine.

  Here we are, six years later facing the same Chloe and Derrick drama. The wonderful kid sister I am to Chloe and best friend to Derrick, I keep him occupied and make sure he doesn't get into trouble.

  "Dude, where’s the hammer?" Derrick asks as I walk in the front door.

  "Well, hello to you too Derrick." I answer in a cocky tone.

  Even though Derrick and I met a few weeks ago, we’ve built a bond of friendship as though we’ve known each another longer.

  "I sure as hell don't know what you’re talking about. Aren't you using the hammer dude, its right there? Besides take a break from being Mr. Fix-It and grab some of this shit so it goes in the right spots this time.”

  “I’m just trying to finish off a couple of things Chloe and I had planned when we bought this house. Now since she has picked up and moved straight cross country, I have to finish what we started.” Derrick says in a pissed off tone.

  Damn Derrick, what the hell was this guy doing to his house? He’s been a real mess since I met him a few weeks ago. I moved here to avoid drama, not live with it again. After my parent’s death and my sister’s refusal to talk to me, I don't see a need to surround myself with people who are crazy.

  I busted my ass for six years after college helping dad build up the contracting business. We were damn good too. It’s amazing how one week and a bastard for a brother-in-law can ruin your life; taking hard work and dreams away.

  The abrupt decision to move from North Carolina to Massachusetts may have been a dumb idea. With no family left and losing my job I figured hell why not. After all, I’m a huge Red Sox fan.

  Thank god I was lucky when I came up to visit the city of Boston a few weeks ago. I met with Derrick after seeing an ad on Craig's List for a roommate. He had a place to live that cost little in rent, allows me to keep my dog and is in a small town not too far from the city limits. It was a perfect fit to start my new life.

  So I moved in a few days ago.

  Without a real plan or career direction, I packed up my loft apartment, loaded up the Durango, and hit the road with Manny my bulldog.

  After Derrick and I bring the bags into the house, I start to put shit away. Now that everything is in its place, I decide to help Derrick find the tools he needs for the latest house project.

  Derrick appears to be a smart man. He’s a junior partner at a prestigious law firm, but to be honest I don't know how handy he is in the home renovation department. From what I gather, he is trying to upgrade his new house little by little. Good thing he has a craftsman and building contractor living under the same roof.

  After we found the tools Derrick was looking for, I decide to take a seat on the couch. I watch as he attempts to hang a set of shelves next to the TV. The man doesn't seem to be struggling, so I figure why bother offering my help.

  I ignore him and the offbeat hammering, kick up my feet, scratch Manny behind the ears, and turn on the tube. The Red Sox are playing the Phillies, not a chance in hell the team will lose this game. Come to think of it, I need to get my ass to Fenway to watch the team play in person. Hell yea, adding that to my Boston to-do bucket list.

  The decision to move was good; a change of scenery was what I need. Derrick and I mesh well; we’re two peas in a pod. The house gives enough room to have privacy when needed and Manny is happy to have a huge backyard to run and be a dog.

  Things were starting to work out. Life is good...for now.

  "Hello." I say into my phone as I try to pry my sleepy eyes open.

  As soon as I answer, loud music and screaming comes from the other end. I look at my phone, once I can focus my vision, and see that the call is coming from Chloe's cell.

  "Chloe, is that you? What the hell girl, why are you calling me at 5 o'clock in the morning?" I mutter to her in my sleepy voice.

  "Guess who I just partied with little sis?" She squeaks into the phone.

  "I have no clue Chloe and I don't care. It’s five in the morning and I’m not in the mood to listen to the details of you partying with famous people." I said.

  "Come on Char, you won’t believe the life I’m living here in LA. It’s amazing and I have never been this happy. To think a few short weeks ago I got the job opportunity of a lifetime and moved across the country. And now you won't let me share my fun stories?"

  For a second I’m happy for her and then I remember it’s five in the morning. There is the matter of poor Derrick; the boyfriend who is waiting for her to grow up and be ready for a real committed relationship.

  So in my most companionate-sleepy voice I ask. "So tell me Chloe, while you are out and living the fast paced good life, what should I tell your boyfriend Derrick when I see him for breakfast in a few hours?"

  She chose not to listen to what I was saying, she is ignoring me, or she is pissed at me because after that question the conversation goes silent for a few seconds.

  Another 20 minutes of my life is lost by her ranting. The discussion turns back to her club hopping with the rich and athletic, the three-hour time between Boston and Los Angeles, and Chloe decides to end our insightful conversation by hanging up on me. Bitch wakes me up and has the nerve to scream at me.

  Oh well, I suppose I’m up, why not get my ass out of bed and do something. After all, there’s no way in hell I’m going to be able to fall back to sleep.

  I throw my legs to the right, pick myself out of bed, and pull on a tee-shirt and shorts.

  It upsets me to no end that she just picked up and left Boston. I’m not jealous, I’m happy for her, I am. But leaving her excess baggage here, as in the non-existent relationship the dumb ass is trying to hold on to with her, gives me a headache. I mean come on the guy needs to let her ass go. I’m done hearing him whine about my sister and how he plans to show her what she is missing. God it has been eight years of torture, get over it and on with your life.

  I wonder what Derrick is doing at 5:30 in the morning.

  How about I find out and give him a call; might as well wake him up if he’s sleeping. He’s done it enough times to me over the past eight years.

  I make myself a cup of coffee, find my way over to the oversized soft leather chair and plop into my comfy spot while dialing Derrick's cell.

  Derrick gets the shelves hung up straight and even against the wall. He puts the satellite and Blu-ray device each on a separate shelf hoping that the shelves do not give and collapse on him. He did do a good job, even if it took him two hours.

  Derrick cleans up the mess he made on the floor and puts away the tools he used. He says he’s going to take a shower and turn in for the night.

  The lazy ass that I am at the moment stays on the couch while I tell him I’m going to finish watching the game in the living room.

  "What the...what the heck is that awful noise? Is that a rooster?"

  I don’t know if I’m losing my mind or in a dream where I’m shacking up with a hot chick on a farm. Well the hot chick part may not be that bad. Oh shit I hope I didn't sleep in her bed and her old man or boyfriend or husband comes to find me and blows my fucking dick off for screwing his daughter, girlfriend, or oh shit....wife!

  Instead of dreading my fate I roll over, opening my eyes, and realize I fell asleep on the couch. Ha-ha take that farm girl dream, no one is shooting at me today.

  The hideous noise of the rooster is not from an animal on th
e farm, but from Derrick's cell phone ringing. Why in the hell does this guy have a rooster for a ring tone and why is it going off at, huh what time is it?

  Whoever the idiot is won't stop calling till someone answers. I figure I may as well pick it up and tell them to knock it the hell off. God who even uses a phone at this time of day? Shouldn’t whoever it is be in bed sleeping or at least trying to sleep?

  "Hello?" I ask in a sleepy, yet even groggier voice.

  A raspy voice replies. "Good morning dip-shit."

  "Who the hell are you calling dip-shit you ice-princess?" I yell back, and realize this gal is not calling for me but for Derrick.

  "Excuse me?" A sweet and raspy voice replies.

  "Hey, relax. I’m sorry for the harsh tone. This isn’t Derrick and you just woke me up from my sweet slumber. You want me to go get your boyfriend right quick?"

  Before I can get my tired ass off the couch, I hear a raspy sound scream through the phone.

  "First of all, I sure as hell wont’ relax and second Derrick isn’t my boyfriend!"

  The line goes dead.

  That was odd. Well whoever the hell it was I bet they won't be calling back anymore tonight.

  Derrick has weird ass friends, but whatever, not my issue. I put Derrick's phone back on the coffee table and head up to my room. I will explain the early morning booty call that went wrong later when I am more rested.

  "Derrick, you need to change the ring tone you have set for when I call you. The whole rooster, cock block thing is somewhat old. I was 15 years old and you and Chloe were in the family room. How was I to know you two were kissing with the lights out?"

  "Charlie you make me laugh. You will forever be my little cock blocking best friend." He says as he steals a piece of bacon from the frying pan.

  I give him a look and he knows why my brows are scrunching and my eyes are glaring in his direction. Derrick is the only person I have ever allowed to call me Charlie. It’s the nickname he gave me the day we met and he took Chloe out on their first real date.

 
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