Kitchen Promises

By: Brooke Cumberland

(Riverside Trilogy, #3) (The Riverside Trilogy)



PROLOGUE




Molly



My mother used to tell me that there was no such thing as coincidences. Rather, everything happens for a reason…like some set up plan already made for us from the beginning. My mom wasn’t overly religious or anything, but she believed in God, and that he had a plan for each and every one of us. No matter how much you try to fight destiny, fate always comes back to bite us in the ass. Always.

I never once thought much about it until it knocked me right in the face. Or until he knocked on my door.

Stanley Webber.

The moment I saw Denny’s face…after seventeen years, I knew my mother was right. The so-called plan that was set up from the beginning…this could not be a coincidence. Rather, a smack across the face. My past stood right in front of me, waiting for me to deal with it after all this time. But I couldn’t. And I wouldn’t. I wasn’t going to give him the time of day.

Let’s not forget he just shoulder-patted my biological father…this was way beyond coincidences. This was someone way up somewhere having a good laugh at how unbelievably awkward this was. Fate, destiny, coincidence—whatever it was, could fuck off.

Given the circumstances, I wasn’t going to give Denny the pleasure of rattling me. Although, I originally believed he was behind the notes and paying Ms. Hernandez in the beginning, I would never trust him.

As I stood in front of them completely beside myself, I took Stella’s hand in mine and made way to the restroom. There was no way I would ever come clean to Mr. Webber either. My best option was to stay as far away as possible—from both of them.

Oh god—Drake. How would he handle the news? I’ve already learned what keeping secrets between us can do, so it’s not as if I wanted to go that route again. Drake meant too much to me, too much to Stella, and now—the father of our twins.

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1




Molly

“Travis…why? Why did you pull the trigger? Why?” I stood in front of him, pleading for answers.

“I had to, Molly.” His voice is firm, his eyes dark.

“No…no, you didn’t. You were my friend.” I reach out to him, but my hand goes right through his transparent body.

“And I loved you, Molly. You didn’t love me.” I reach for him again, moving closer.

“No, I didn’t. But what about Jacob?” He walks backwards…reaching for the gun that’s tucked in the back of his pants.

“Travis, don’t!” I screamed, but it was too late. The gun went off and everything went dark.

Dark…

“Travis! No!” I scream.

“Molly!” Drake shook me until my eyes opened. I looked around and saw I was in bed—sweating and crying. “Are you okay?” he asked, turning the bedside lamp on.

“Yeah, just another nightmare.” I rubbed my belly, soothing myself from the trauma I seemed to be reliving.

“I’ll get you some juice, baby.” Drake pecked me on the forehead, pulling the sheets back. I nodded, thankful for how attentive he had been the last four months. Being that some women show faster in their second pregnancies, and I just happen to be one of them, and the fact that I’m expecting twins, made me look six months pregnant already.

“Thanks, baby.”

As I watched him leave the room, I remembered the nightmare that I was having. They started two months ago out of nowhere. At first, I pegged them as part of being pregnant, but now it was just getting ridiculous. I thought after hearing how sick Travis was, it would give me closure—that it wasn’t my fault, and that I couldn’t have saved him—but it hadn’t. I still felt guilty…sad…and that I failed him as a friend. How did I not notice? How did I let him fall for me so hard that I never saw it coming? I knew the burning questions in my head were making me insane, but add the hormones, mood-swings, and body aches—total hot mess.

I overanalyzed everything between Travis and me over the past year. We kept meeting in the oddest of places before he showed up at my internship. Then, in a heated moment, I gave in and kissed him. I hated myself for doing that, but I was curious. I hadn’t realized how bad I would hurt everyone—I should’ve known, but I was dumb, naïve, and made a bad choice—that now continues to haunt me in my sleep. Part of me knows why I kissed Travis that day. I was torn—I was in love with Drake, but there was chemistry between Travis and me. Before Drake, I hadn’t dated, or even kissed a man, in four years…then out of nowhere, two men fall for me. I was confused…

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