Paige’s father has Alzheimers, and her fiancé is shot and killed in an armed robbery. Paige fights her depression and pulls herself out of the dark place that she has succumbed to, with monumental effort and a new-found determination to live her life to the fullest, doing things that both terrify and exhilarate her.
When Paige meets Adam, the attraction is instantaneous. Adam grew up in an orphanage and has no recollection of his life before the age of six. Paige falls head over heels in love and embraces a happiness she never dreamed possible. Until the day she finds Adam in bed with another woman.
Wanting nothing more to do with him, Paige cuts Adam out of her life, until she receives a mysterious visitor, who reveals secrets about Adam's past that shock Paige to her very core.
Determined to fight for the man that she loves, Paige finds herself on a journey that will change her life forever.
“Adam, please,” I beg, taking hold of his face and forcing him to look at me. He stares through me as if I am invisible and I bite my lip, my face crumpling. I am so close to the edge, the emotional precipice that has beaten me once before. In 14 hours I think to myself. In 14 hours you can have me. I will leave this life when he does. I have no intention of coming back without Adam.
I force myself to stand, my legs feeling weak and I head for the kitchen. I make two cups of tea, using the short time to collect myself and regain control of my emotions. Making my way back to the lounge I stub my toe on the edge of the sofa and give a yelp of pain, my eyes and nose starting to water instantly. Adam glances up, concern crossing his face and makes as though to stand, then seems to think better of it and sinks back into the armchair.
“Enough!” I shout at him, anger coursing through my veins. “Don’t act as though you don’t exist Adam, please!” He lifts his head, an ugly, sinister smile spreading across his handsome face.
“But I don’t exist, Paige,” he says calmly.
“Oh no, you don’t,” I mutter angrily, setting the cups down, not concerned that half the tea sloshes onto the wooden table. “Don’t you dare do this to me!” I round the table and sit down on the opposite end of it, facing him.
“Do what?” His tone is sarcastic. “I don’t exist. You know it, I know it. In fact, I don’t even know why you brought me back here. Is this some sort of self-persecuting act of pity?” He raises his eyebrows and opens his arms, gesturing at the apartment. “This is not my house,” he laughs without humour.
“This is your house; this is our home!” I half-sob.
“These are not my clothes,” he continues as though I haven’t even spoken, pulling at his cotton shirt, “this is not even my body,” he adds, gesturing at himself.
“Adam, please,” I beg, and he regards me with a disgusted look on his face, “and you?” his tone is accusatory and I brace myself for what is coming next. “You are not my wife!” he hisses, standing and stalking into the kitchen as I cover my face with my hands, the pain of his words too much for me to even voice a denial.
“These!” he yells, opening the kitchen cabinet and pulling out two of the mugs that I gave him for Christmas. “These don’t belong here!”
“No, no, no!” I mewl, shaking my head. He ignores me, smashing them to the ground before reaching into the cabinet and retrieving another two. I jump off the table, tears blurring my vision and fling myself at him just as the mugs crash to the ground.
“Stop it!” I yell, clinging to him with all my strength as he tries desperately to push me away.
“Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!” I keep yelling, ignoring his enraged cries and his fingers digging painfully into my arms as he tries to extricate me.
“I am not Adam!” he roars, the sound filling the entire apartment and echoing down the passage. “I am not your husband!” he continues and I turn my head from side to side, refusing to let him go and gasping, “Please Adam,” over and over again like a mantra.
Finally his superior strength wins and he disentangles me, holding me at arm’s length and hissing into my face.
“Adam Parker doesn’t exist, Paige! My name is Simon Harris!”
Something inside of me snaps and I claw at his face, his chest, his clothes, anything I can reach. I hate, hate, hate him right now and all the anger that I feel towards Simon is unleashed on Adam like a river of hot, scalding lava. I feel my nails tearing at his skin as he tries in vain to subdue me, the anger adding a hysterical strength to my efforts. When he finally hits me, it is so hard that I spin almost a full 180 º before landing hard on the tiled floor in a crumpled, broken mess.
“Paige?” Adam’s voice has returned to normal and soft hands are pushing my hair out of my face. My cheek is aching and I lift my hand gingerly, wincing as I touch the bruised area.
“Oh God,” Adam sounds forlorn and I open my eyes to see his beautiful blue eyes gazing down at me with an eternity of regret reflected in their depths. “Paige, I am so, so sorry,” he whispers, and I sit up, feeling a sharp pain in my hand as I do so. I realise that we are both sitting on the shattered remains of the smashed mugs. Adam seems to realise this at the same time and he scoops me up into his arms, treading carefully as he makes his way through the kitchen, then deposits me gently on the sofa.
“I’m sorry,” he repeats leaving my side for a moment. I hear the crunch of him walking through the broken ceramic and the sound of the ice-box opening and then he is back with a frozen bag of peas which he presses up against my cheek.
Wife, mother of 3, businesswoman by day and writer by night, Melissa is the author of The Legacy and The Legion (books 1 and 2 of The Legacy Trilogy), and she is currently writing the final installment of the trilogy, The Legend.
Melissa is also the self-published author of the stand-alone novels Rainfall and The Traveler (available on Amazon).
An avid reader herself, Melissa finally decided to stop ‘watching from the sidelines’ and to do what is her passion.
“I was driving home from work when inspiration struck, and a storyline started unravelling in my head. For a few days, it was all I could think about and eventually I realised that the only way to get it out of my head, was to put it all down on paper. I started writing, and that was that.”
She lives with her husband and three children in Hillcrest, South Africa.
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