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Dating Princeton Charming
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This fairytale doesn’t end at midnight.
With one kiss Spencer Beckett swept Charlotte Hayes off her feet. But dating Princeton Charming comes with a cost. And Charlie can barely afford her life, let alone the drama that comes with being Spencer’s girlfriend.
His family won’t accept her.
When a stalker’s threats become increasingly serious, Charlie needs more than a prince. She needs a white knight. And Spencer isn’t the only guy vying for Charlie’s affections.
This is no fairy tale. This is real life. Where money and prestige trump love.
Can this prince keep his girl’s heart, without losing his crown?
** Dating Princeton Charming is book two in a four book series releasing January of 2019.
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Most people hate the smell of hospitals. Sterile, sad, cold. But as I walk through the halls of the fourth floor toward my mom’s room, listening to the sound of respiratory machines and constant beeping, I know it’s better than the alternative.
My heart pounds in my chest and my lungs squeeze so tight with emotions that I wonder how I’m able to take in any air.
I can’t lose my mom.
No, I don’t hate the smell of hospitals, because I know here she can live. What I hate is disease. Sickness. Death.
I swipe away the tears that burn my eyes and cheeks and take a steadying breath before I enter the room, not knowing what I’ll find. It took me two days to get home. Even with the money my roommate Daphne gave me, I couldn’t book a flight. Everything is so much more expensive this time of the year. So after sitting in the airport for almost twenty-four hours, hoping to get a cheap fare on a last minute cancellation, I finally gave up and booked a bus from New Jersey to Michigan.
It was a long, miserable ride, which I spent most of praying that I wouldn’t be too late. I’ve never been very religious, but I prayed to any god or higher power that would listen for a Christmas miracle.
I’d give up everything to have my mom better.
But there’s no cure for Multiple Sclerosis, and even if she is able to fight the pneumonia, the illness has taken so much of her already.
“Hey baby girl,” my dad says, standing from his spot by my mom’s bed when I walk in and wrapping his arms around me in a tight hug.
My dad has always been my rock. Stable. Strong. But I can feel that strength slipping as he holds me. Emotions wrap around me, making it difficult to breathe.
“How is she?” I manage to choke out, finally getting a glimpse of the beautiful, broken woman on the bed.
She’s lost more weight since I saw her at Thanksgiving. Her eyes are closed, the dark circles beneath them making her look older than her fifty years. It’s not the first time I’ve seen her hooked up to a ventilator, an endotracheal tube down her throat helping her breathe, but it’s the first time I’ve really seen true fear in my father’s eyes.
“She’s stable right now.” My dad squeezes my shoulder and swallows hard. “I’m glad you came. She’ll be happy to see you when she wakes up. She was asking…” He chokes on the words, and I feel so helpless. So damn small.
It isn’t fair. Any of this.
I hug my dad again, taking in the day’s worth of scruff and his disheveled appearance. “Have you been home at all?”
He shakes his head. “I couldn’t…”
“Go. I’ll sit with her.”
“I shouldn’t leave.”
“You said she’s stable. Go home, have a shower.”
He rubs the back of his neck, dark eyes focusing on my mom. There’s so much love there. Even after all these years, she’s still the love of his life. I don’t know how he’ll survive if he ever loses her.
When he loses her, my brain reminds me, even though my heart protests that it’s not true. My mom is a fighter, but she’s been fighting this disease for years. And recently the disease has been eating away at more than just her myelin sheath, it’s taken her strength as well.
I’ve seen it despite how hard she’s tried to keep it from me.
“I should check on a few things at the shop,” my dad finally says, worry making his words come out shaky. “I won’t be long.” He mumbles the last words as he leans over and kisses my mom’s forehead, hovering over her for a few long moments, like he’s memorizing every detail of her face.
I blink away tears before he can see them. I need to be strong for him, for both of them. The last thing he needs is to worry about me too. Which is why I’ve kept the fact that I lost my job from them for the past several weeks.
My parents were already struggling with previous hospital bills, the cost of my mom’s medication. I can’t imagine how much another visit like this will cost. Thousands, I’m sure. They already re-mortgaged the house last fall. And I know my dad’s mechanic shop has been struggling with all the time he’s had to take off to take care of my mom.
Anger and frustration stir inside of me at the unfairness of it all.
“I wish I could do something,” I say.
A sad smile tugs at his lips. “You’re here now, kiddo, that’s all you can do.”
But it’s not enough.
When my dad is gone, I sit down beside my mom and take her hand in mine. Her skin seems almost translucent, the veins dark blue against her pale skin.