“They’re here,” she said. She must have fixed her hair before they arrived, because it was down now, no trace of the flour.
“I don’t care,” I said, lying back down.
She came over to the bed, knelt in front of me, stroked my face. “It’s just a couple of hours, baby,” she said, her voice gentle, soothing. God, this woman had the patience of a saint.
I wasn’t going to disappoint her, not when she looked at me like that. I hated the idea of this, but I had to suck it up. I sat up, gave the longest sigh, trembling the whole time.
“Fine, but can you please kiss me? Because I—”
She cut me off with the kiss I’d requested, not needing a reason. Then she gave me another, for good measure.
“That enough?” she said with a smile.
She got to her feet, took my hand, and we left the room together.
I saw him first. Despite the four people with him, he was the one my eyes immediately drifted to. He’d shaved, was wearing a crisp white shirt and a tie. As soon as his eyes met mine and he caught the pure, undeniable hatred in them, the look of joy that had been there upon seeing me soon vanished. With my glare, I tried to turn him to stone! Through the corners of my eyes I could see everyone watching me.
“Dakota,” Dove said, stepping forward, trying to break the tension and my death-glare, “This is Luke and Josie, and their mom Sarah.”
My eyes drifted away from my father and to the two redheaded teenagers shyly hanging close to their parents. And, quite unexpectedly, something inside me broke. My heart. It was as though I were looking in the mirror of my youth. They favored me and Dove so much… aesthetically, but with one key, missing element: that broken look wasn’t there. They looked… happy. Not malnourished, or distrustful of the world, not lonely or aware of how unloved they were. They looked like two normal teenagers. They were me and Dove without the pain. Josie even wore her hair the way I used to, a long braid hanging over one shoulder.
“Hello,” I managed to say, my voice small and grainy, choked.
“Hi,” they said in bashful unison. Luke waved. But Josie, after some hesitation, slowly walked toward me, her gait nervous, then threw her arms around me, taking not just me but the whole room by surprise.
I didn’t know what to do, not immediately. This stranger had just hugged me and wasn’t letting go. Except… she wasn’t a stranger, she was a part of me. It didn’t take long for me to feel that connection. And slowly… I hugged her back. The room did a collective sigh of relief, it seemed.
“…Luke plays the drums. He’s actually really good,” Sarah, the doting mother, said while we ate dinner.
12 thoughts on “Bliss: Chapter 3”
Wow. That. Was. Intense. But in the best way! Well worth the wait, and now the story finally feels complete. Thanks for that.
The pace and build of this was perfect. I was totally with Dakota in all her thoughts and on edge during that whole dinner. I loved how everything was handled! Especially when Dakota lost it and threw that water over Marshall!
And ohhhhh, that ‘look’ Naomi can give really got me. Very well done. I loved it. Whew. You make some strong, competent, surprising, clever characters, dear Heidi; that’s for sure! I loved every bit of Naomi’s scenes, as always. And I really liked how you had her ‘win’ that fight. That was pure gold!
Anyways, great fluff, fantastic storytelling, and I absolutely cannot wait for more. Also, I don’t think it would be spammy to get an email every time you update. I’m pretty sure people are going to want notifications for quality content like this. Just thought I’d share my thoughts.
Thanks so much, Heidi!
Thanks for all the kind words! Glad you liked the final chapter. It’s kinda sad to say goodbye to them, but it had to happen eventually. 🙁
Yeah, pretty intense. Dakota’s never been able to control herself, lol. Naomi’s the complete opposite, which is why they’re perfect for each other.
Aww, I appreciate you saying that about the newsletter. I’ll have to think about it, maybe come up with a regular publishing schedule so that I don’t have to keep bugging people with them.
So, Um yeah, I love you. This is such a special treat for your readers. And I’m over the moon that you’ve gifted us this special treat. You’re a phenomenal writer and I’ve purchased all your work. I am fuckin freaking out right now. So, Strummed…. please write about Elle and Autumn. I just reread the book and want more from after they made up. Please…. I’m dying
Aww, thanks! 🙂 Glad you stopped by to read.
Haha, there is a planned Strummed short in the works, I can say that much. Every story in the header image of this site will get at least one short. I’m not sure when I’ll get to Strummed, but it’s definitely on the list.
Wow! Again thank you so much for this. The story was amazing and I’m glad she realized she needed to forgive her father after all, since she was pretty lucky to have the great family she had. Maybe next you can write about, A Scarlet Kiss, I would love to see what’s going on with Jenna and Scarlet. The book was so good but the ending was over so soon once they got back together. Runner ups would be, The Neighbor and Set Dreams. Would love to see what the couples are up to from those two steamy stories. And or maybe a wedding between Dana and Erica. Please send emails every time you add a new story, do not worry about it being spammy. We love you and your writing!!!
Hey! Thanks for reading.
Yeah, she really needed to heal. Her father probably didn’t deserve her forgiveness, but she deserved to move on, and letting go of the pain was the only way to do that. Plus she wanted a relationship with her younger siblings.
A Scarlet Kiss is definitely on the list for a short sequel, don’t worry. 🙂 As for the others you mentioned, they were really only supposed to be short novelettes. I don’t think I have enough material to extend them, to be honest. I only planned to extend the books in the header image above. But never say never.
I loved the story. It was filled with tragedy and then hope and back to tragedy to love and hope for the future.
Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
What a chapter and a beautiful ending to this story! So happy that Dakota is moving forward, and you have to love how Naomi is her rock through it all. Thanks again for this incredible story. I can’t wait to read what you have coming next!
Loved the story and what a beautiful ending. ❤️ Sigh…. Looking forward to read what’s next in A Scarlet Kiss… the ending was too abrupt… and would really love to read more about Jenna and Scarlet 😊
Well…this was true to form when it comes to Dakota. I understand how hard it is to forgive a parent for the wrongs that they have done to you while you were impressionable and growing up. I had a similar up-bringing. It took me a while to forgive my mother for what she had done to me and all the abuse I suffered at her hands. That feeling gets engraved deep into the psyche. I was also born into the church, but fully took it on at 25 y/o and the time. And I am sorry to say that god stuff does nothing to quell the pain caused over the years. And a parent finding god and changing their lives does nothing for the horrific past they reared us in. I did in the end forgive my mother for what she did to me. And she is lucky of that, because when she got sick and had a stroke at a young age, I have been there for her caring and allowing her to live with me for years now.
So, I am ok if Dakota decides not to allow him access to her new family and into her life. Some things are just unforgivable and unforgettable. Him sitting around the dinner table as a loving father just burns me. Sure he is a great husband to his current wife and his “new” kids, but that does nothing to pull at my heart strings. I am glad Dakota was true to form and let him have it. Sometimes I wished she had done more, but for the sake of her own emotional and mental welfare, I am glad she didn’t. I am also glad that she is in a stable and very loving marriage to show her what love really is. I doubt that could have happened without Naomi entering her life. Thank goodness that Naomi had a good family and a great upbringing. She knows what love looks like, even with the challenges that comes with loving someone so hurt and broken like Dakota had been.
This is one of my favorite stories because of the abuse and the presence of the church. I left the church 20 years ago and never looked back. I hope this is something that Dakota does at well. The only difference between me and Dakota is that she found her Naomi. I am still waiting for mine.
Just stumbled into this series and read the book and the bonus 3 chapters found here in 2 days. Definitely more to this book than the synopsis on the playstore. I know its been 2 years since you gave us this short story and wanted to know; would you ever consider writing atleast the counter part to Born Again, from Naomi’s perspective? There is a lot that could be worked on from there to give us an insight to her mind when it came to Dakota. Just a thought. Thank you again.