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SLAYING THE DRAGON

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages for review purposes. If you are reading this book and you have not purchased it or won it in an author/publisher contest, this book has been pirated. Please delete and support the author by purchasing the ebook from one of its many distributors.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or, if an actual place, are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

Published by Carpe Per Diem, Inc / Tracy Kellam, 25852 McBean Parkway # 806, Santa Clarita, CA 91355

Edited by Kim Young, Kim’s Editing Services

Cover Design: Cat Head Biscuit, Inc., Santa Clarita, CA

Front Cover Image Copyright 2015 Denis Mirinov

Back Cover Image Copyright 2015 Wallenrock

Used under license from Shutterstock.com

Copyright © 2015 T.K. Leigh / Tracy Kellam

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 0990739945

ISBN-13: 978-0-9907399-4-4

Slaying The Dragon

Chapter One - Ghost

Chapter Two - Kernel Of Truth

Chapter Three - Nothing

Chapter Four - Skeletons

Chapter Five - Second Nature

Chapter Six - Listen

Chapter Seven - Forgiveness

Chapter Eight - Through

Chapter Nine - Second Chances

Chapter Ten - The Past

Chapter Eleven - Full Disclosure

Chapter Twelve - Good Things

Chapter Thirteen - Love Happens

Chapter Fourteen - Sign

Chapter Fifteen - About A Girl

Chapter Sixteen - One More Time

Chapter Seventeen - Start Again

Chapter Eighteen - Worth The Wait

Chapter Nineteen - Scared

Chapter Twenty - New Course

Chapter Twenty-One - My Truth

Chapter Twenty-Two - With You

Chapter Twenty-Three - A Decision

Chapter Twenty-Four - Tripwire

Chapter Twenty-Five - Change

Chapter Twenty-Six - Regret

Chapter Twenty-Seven - Apologies

Chapter Twenty-Eight - Forever

Chapter Twenty-Nine - No Guarantee

Chapter Thirty - Us

Chapter Thirty-One - Goodbye

Chapter Thirty-Two - Grief

Chapter Thirty-Three - Giving Up

Chapter Thirty-Four - Set Up

Chapter Thirty-Five - Puzzle Pieces

Chapter Thirty-Six - Vindication

Chapter Thirty-Seven - Every Time We Say Goodbye

Chapter Thirty-Eight - Over

Chapter Thirty-Nine - New Orders

Epilogue

Playlist

Books By T.K. Leigh

Vanished

The Other Side Of Someday

Acknowledgements

About The Author

To Stan and little #Tinkerbump… The irony is not lost on me.

Slaying The Dragon: /slang/ A common literary motif used in fairytales whereby a dragon held a young princess hostage. Many would try to slay the beast, but none would prevail…until a handsome young knight came on the scene and defied the odds, rescuing the princess from her prison. Today, the phrase has been broadened to mean overcoming a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, either internal or external.

We all have dragons that need slaying…

What’s yours?

Mackenzie

BREATHE, I TOLD MYSELF, using my trembling hands to lift the parking brake on my Mercedes convertible. I stared at the two-story cream-colored stucco house, ghosts of what was for a brief period of time dancing in my mind. It had been a week since I ordered Tyler to let me go, leaving him alone and heartbroken on the streets of Boston.

But not as heartbroken as I was.

I had so many questions…questions I desperately needed answers to. Despite his lies, I still woke up each morning with an emptiness in my heart because another day had passed that I didn’t get to feel his skin on mine, his lips brushing mine, his heart beating in time with mine.

I didn’t want to feel this way anymore.

I needed to wash my life of his existence so I could return to the old Mackenzie, the one who maintained complete control over her feelings, but I knew I couldn’t do that until I finally confronted him and said the things I needed to say. Only then could I finally move on and forget about Tyler Burnham.

Walking up the cobblestone driveway on unsteady legs, I tried to focus on simply putting one foot in front of the other. If I thought of anything else – why Tyler lied to me, why he used me, why he didn’t come after me even when I told him to let me go – I would lose the small amount of nerve I finally had. I had driven to this same house every day since I had gotten back to South Padre. Each time, I sat in my car, never having the courage to walk those fifty steps up to the front door. I had walked fifty steps countless times, but nothing seemed as daunting and insurmountable as the path that lay before me today.

I didn’t know what I hoped to get out of finally confronting Tyler. Closure? Answers? The truth? Maybe I just wanted to look into his eyes and see that it was real for him, like he had begged me to believe. My brain never wanted to see him again, but my heart wanted it to be real because, for that brief moment in time, it was so real for me.

Step one, I thought to myself, my hands growing clammy as I timidly began the short journey that seemed akin to mounting the tallest peak. My eyes fell on Tyler’s Bronco parked beside his Jaguar and the memories began to pour in. Memories I had tried to suppress. Even though our two-week romance was short in the grand scheme of things, it felt as if it lasted so much longer, our connection stronger than any I’d ever had with another human.

A breeze blew my dark hair in front of my face as I ran my finger against the metal of the Bronco, dust settling on my skin. I stopped in my tracks, recalling the first time I sat in this very car. I had been shocked he would drive a Bronco, throwing all my preconceived notions of the ridiculously wealthy and handsome Tyler Burnham out the window. He was worth more than the operating budget of several small countries, yet he drove around in a vintage Bronco with an engine that made an obnoxious amount of noise. That was one of the things that had attracted me to him, and it was one of the things I missed. I missed never knowing what each day would bring with him in my life. I actually missed the unexpected, even though it had brought me nothing but grief and regret.

My hand resting on the hood of the Bronco, I closed my eyes, wishing I could turn back the clock and return to that first lunch date, every little detail still ingrained in my memory. It had been unseasonably hot and humid for the middle of March, and I was a bundle of nerves as Tyler led me to his car. His hand had lingered on the small of my back, sending an electrifying tingle through me. I had done everything I could to remain the poised woman I wanted him to think I was. In reality, I couldn’t remember ever being as nervous in the presence of a member of the opposite sex as I was around Tyler.

     

 

2011 - 2018