We camped out all that night, the three of us, alone, together. It was the most wonderful night of my life up to that point. Justin slept up against the fort wall with a comforter around his shoulders, legs out to the fire. I laid my head on one thigh, Lizzie on his other, with our blankets wrapped around us. Every time he stoked the fire we all shuffled and woke, but we didn't mind.
Between sleeping spells, we pretended to transport to faraway places. He always picked Washington State, which never seemed like much of an exotic destination to me. He liked Seattle because of Nirvana and Boeing. Boeing, he told us, was a place that invented planes, and he loved planes and flying, the faster the better. He was determined to make a real teleportation device someday, and he knew they were the company to do it. He liked the woods of Washington too because Sasquatch was supposed to live there. He wanted to be the first man to find him, and he liked hiding in the woods anyway, and he thought Washington had the best woods from the books he read.
He was sure someday when he was old enough he would move there and have a good life far away from our house. I played along, even though I would have preferred teleporting to somewhere more fun like Disneyland.
He deserved to disappear to anywhere he wanted to go that night, so I let him take us to Diablo Lake in the North Cascades. We must have had a dozen pictures of the Cascades posted in the fort along with a thousand other pictures of places we teleported to. He showed me different pictures of the Washington forests all the time, so I knew what they looked like, and we went there in our imaginations with the flip of a BTTF24 toggle switch.
POOF! One second we were in a cold dark fort with make-believe buttons and wires inside it, and the next we were warm, safe and happy looking out the windows of our mansion-cabin with a stunning view of the lake.
“Do you hear that, Haylee? I think Bigfoot is out there. I've got my rifle in case he comes out and I can shoot him. Watch for him.”
“I'm hungry. I want some cake,” I said
“Oh, that sounds good. Let me have some.”
I handed him a fake plate with a fake slice. Lizzie wanted some too.
“Sorry, you were sleeping so we ate it all. You don't get any,” Justin teased her, ruffling her thick black hair.
“Have some of mine,” I offered.
She took a bite off of my fake cake and we were in heaven, or as close to it as we were ever going to get. Lizzie fell asleep again, and that's when I told him. Maybe it was a mistake, but I told him I loved him.
“I love you too, Haylee. You'll always be my girl,” he said. “Now go to sleep.” He smoothed my stringy hair, but instead of scaring me the way it had when Brad did it, it reassured me that I was safe. He had a notepad he was drawing on, I think it helped him stay awake, and he would tear off the pages every so often, crumple them up and toss them into the fire. The noise would startle me out of my dreams momentarily, but I would fall right back to sleep, safe with my hero on guard.
Title: Waiting on Justin
Author: Lucy H. Delaney
Genre: New Adult
Can everlasting love grow amidst never-ending despair? Best friends Justin and Haylee learn early on that the answer is yes. Their parents would rather spend time drinking and partying than raising children, so the two rely on each other for the care and emotional support they need. Over time, Justin and Haylee become lovers despite the age difference between them.
Theirs is a forbidden romance that would destroy them both if discovered.
The older of the two, Justin is more than a little rough around the edges. He does everything he can to protect Haylee from as much abuse as possible, but when tragedy strikes there is nothing he can to do keep her from being taken into the foster system.
The system meant to save kids threatens to pull the two of them apart.
Haylee begs Justin to run away with her, but the powers-that-be force him into an inescapable corner.
Blaming Justin for the distance that separates them, Haylee shuts out everything and everyone from her past – including Justin. She tries to forget him. She tries to replace him. But he is always there. So is her own addiction. When it finally gets the best of her, she finds herself utterly alone.
She soon discovers what Justin has always known: Their love was worth waiting for.
Lucy H. Delaney lives with her blended family in the Pacific Northwest town of Leavenworth, Washington, nestled at the feet of the Cascade Mountains. When not tucked away in her writing room making up stories or standing in her cubicle in one of the offices of corporate America, Lucy spends her time with family and friends.
Along with her husband and four children, Lucy loves to be in nature: She can often be found on her homemade backyard swing, curled up with a good book, hiking the surrounding mountains or running country roads and game trails. A fitness enthusiast who regularly practices crossfit, yoga, and distance running, Lucy also volunteers for the Chelan-Douglas CASA organization and her church’s AWANA program to help keep kids safe and smiling.
Connect with Lucy online
Facebook: Lucy H. Delaney
Available on Amazon.com in Kindle and paperback versions.
Available on BarnesandNoble.com in Nook and paperback versions.