Before Us Read Online Jewel E. Ann

Categories Genre: Angst, Contemporary, Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 110
Estimated words: 106798 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 534(@200wpm)___ 427(@250wpm)___ 356(@300wpm)

I never saw him coming.

I didn’t know what would happen after my client found me sleeping in my car.
I’d been cleaning his house as his wife was dying.
I didn’t expect them to invite me to live with them.
I didn’t expect Suzie to become my lifeline—until she was gone.

I didn’t expect him to ask me to marry him when he found out I needed medical insurance.

I didn’t expect to fall in love with a grieving man.

There are so many reasons to keep my distance from Zach. Every tender moment secreted away.

When we’re not together, I miss the man I call husband.
Does he miss his wife? If so, which one?

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

“I have never met a person whose greatest need was anything other than real, unconditional love. You can find it in a simple act of kindness toward someone who needs help. There is no mistaking love. It is the common fiber of life, the flame that heats our soul, energizes our spirit and supplies passion to our lives.”

—Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


At least I didn’t soil my pants this time. Or did I?

The hovering faces above me come into focus. Words gain clarity like someone unmuted this embarrassing scene.

“I’m fine,” I declare after my fingertips graze the crotch of my leggings to ensure they’re dry.

A short-haired brunette frowns an inch from my face. “EMS is sending an ambulance. I’m a nurse. You had a seizure.”

My head rolls to the side, eyes surveying my surroundings. I’m in the bank lobby—cold tile at my back. Fanfuckingtastic. “Uh … no.” I scramble to my feet.

“Don’t try to get up,” the nurse says.

“I have epilepsy. Nothing to see. I’m good. Totally good. Cancel the ambulance.” I hold out my hands, giving everyone the signal to stop.

Stop messing with me.

Stop worrying about me.

Go on with your day.

Too late. I hear the sirens approaching.

All eyes in the lobby are on me.

A nervous laugh sputters from my chest. “Just a little seizure.” I run my fingers through my hair. “Probably missed a pill. I’m good.”

The bank tellers give me wary expressions and sympathetic smiles before encouraging the next people in line to step forward.

I glance at my watch, wincing from the pounding in my head. I’m going to be late for my job interview. And I can’t be late. I need this job.

A young girl with braided pigtails hands me my bag.

I smile and whisper, “Thank you,” before her mom pulls her toward the exit just as the EMTs push through the doors.

Before I can disappear into a corner—or a black hole—the nurse, who so kindly called for the ambulance, decides to rat me out when the EMTs search the lobby for the person in need of medical attention.

“She had a seizure,” the nurse says to them while pointing at me.

“I’m sorry you were called. I’m good. Just leaving.”

“You can’t drive,” the nurse says.

I’m not in a hospital. You’re not my nurse. Thanks for your help, lady, but move along.

“Um …” I search my pockets and then my purse for my phone. “Yep. I know that. I’ll call someone.” Holding up my phone, I force a grin and turn in a circle like I’m threatening to detonate a bomb.

I have less than fifteen minutes to make it to my interview on time.

But I’ve seen that look before, the one the tall guy in uniform is giving me. He’s not okay with me walking away.

Here we go …

After the EMT checks me out in a non-sexual way, I shoot a quick text to Zach Hays, letting him know I’ll be late for the interview. Then I wait in my car—my temporary housing—pretending I’m waiting for someone to get me until the emergency vehicles leave the bank.

I have a college degree and live out of my car. There should be a program for that. And free therapy.

I waste no time changing my clothes, showing no regard for anyone who might see my half-naked body.

“You’re going to be legendary,” I say to the woman in the rearview mirror. “An artist of…” I frown, as does the reflection in the mirror “…of some sort. But today…” I apply gloss to my lips “…you’re going to get this job. Clean toilets like DaVinci painted the Mona Lisa and be grateful for it like…” I twist my glossed lips “…Gandhi.”

Damn … my head hurts.

After a short drive to my interview, I slick back a few flyaways of limp blond hair and climb out of my temporary housing, making my way to the house at the end of the cul-de-sac. It’s not a million-dollar home or anything like that, but it’s nice and the only one that doesn’t look like all the rest in the cookie-cutter neighborhood with its low-profile roof of asymmetrical lines.

Windows wrap around the sprawling single-story, giving it a glasshouse appearance. I don’t clean windows, so I hope that’s not going to be a dealbreaker.

This should be a slam dunk if they’re not upset over my tardiness. The Mumfords, an older couple and my best clients, referred me to the Hayses. I was told Mrs. Hays is sick, and Mr. Hays needs help cleaning so he can spend time with her. These new clients could be my ticket to stationary housing. Next step? A job that involves a camera and lots of traveling. Benefits like health insurance to pay for my medication and unexpected trips to the hospital would be nice too.

Giving my cuffed-sleeve blouse a quick adjustment to hide its wrinkles, I tug it down to meet the high waist of my capris.