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When You Needed Me

When You Needed Me

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When You Needed Me

ratings:
5/5 (4 ratings)
Length:
183 pages
3 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jul 30, 2020
ISBN:
9781393240433
Format:
Book

Description

He said his name was Cain...

At least that's who Ahmalee knows him as, but Cain Wesley has been smoldering with secrets, leaving Ahmalee completely in the dark about his true identity. Their connection is undeniable. The love is all the way real, but will it be enough to keep their bond strong when Ahmalee finds out the truth about him, or will this relationship be extinguished before it has a real chance to ignite?

 

 

Publisher:
Released:
Jul 30, 2020
ISBN:
9781393240433
Format:
Book

About the author

TINA MARTIN is the Amazon #1 Bestselling author of over 70 romantic suspense novels, novellas and short stories. She currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.tinamartin.net


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When You Needed Me - Tina Martin

When You Needed Me (An Unlikely Love, Part II)

Synopsis

He said his name was Cain. At least that’s who Ahmalee knows him as, but Cain Wesley has been smoldering with secrets, leaving Ahmalee completely in the dark about his true identity. Will love be enough when she finds out the truth or will this relationship be extinguished before it has a real chance to ignite?

When You Needed Me is part two and the conclusion to An Unlikely Love Series. Part one, When I Needed You is available for sale at all eBook retailers.

Loving Cain

A Poem by Ahmalee Hayes

written by Tina Martin

––––––––

I was his from the start, he just didn’t know it

The feelings I carried, I tried not to show it.

He’s the kind of man who makes an impression

I know this for fact, no, I’m not guessing.

Flames this high in my heart have me seeing double

Let me explain how I got in this trouble:

Compassion turns into

Passion

Where lines are crossed without anyone asking.

Where freedom in love means being enslaved

This once poor soul is now a KING that I saved.

In my mind, he’s forever mine

Without him, my own breath I cannot find.

That’s why I’m thoroughly heartbroken when he leaves.

How in the world did this happen to me?

I need to see you once more, Cain, that’s all I’m asking.

It’s my turn to receive a little compassion and passion.

~

WHEN YOU NEEDED ME

Chapter One

Ahmalee

––––––––

Sonji, can you help me box up these candles? My customer called and said she’s on the way to pick them up.

Like, right now? Sonji asks. The store has been open for all of two hours and she looks flustered already.

Yes, please. I told her they were ready, but I didn’t think she would come right now. I need to package them.

Alright...alright. Just know you’re killing me, woman. You know I’m in the middle of labeling. I hate interruptions while I’m labeling. You could’ve told her overeager behind to come this afternoon.

I could have, but remember, the customer always comes first.

Blah, blah, blah, she says with an eye roll.

I grab two boxes, recount the candles to make sure all twenty-four of them are here, then we box them up.

Sonji sings, It’s so exciting. Weddings, that is.

Sure, weddings are exciting, especially to her since she’s engaged. For single women like myself, weddings are just another vivid reminder that we’re no closer to finding love.

I hate that feeling.

I’m not jealous, but it’s hard to be happy for someone who’s getting something you desperately want but can’t see it in the near future. I can see myself at Sonji’s wedding now tussling with other single chicks as we try to catch the bouquet and then when the celebration moves to the reception, I’d be somewhere in a corner hiding, tossing back champagne while sneaking glances of Sonji and Khalid dancing and kissing – asking myself when my time will come. When will I be hugged up and in love?

Did you hear me, Ahmalee?

"Oh. Yeah. Weddings are exciting, especially for women like you who are engaged and actually have a man. And to think you were about to kick Khalid to the curb, with his cute, innocent-looking self."

She laughs. He is cute, ain’t he?

"Yes, and he loves you. When you told me you said no when he initially proposed, I promise I wanted to slap some sense into you."

She giggles. Why? I was legitimately confused at the time.

Confused? Here I am, almost thirty, and I ain’t got the first prospect, and you got a man who’d go to the ends of the earth for you.

First of all, Ahmalee Hayes, you don’t have any prospects because you ain’t looking.

"How do you know what I’m doing—or not doing?"

"Easy. You’re always here. Working! Making candles. Wicking jars. Blending fragrances. Packing and shipping. You gotta get out there, girl. There’s a world outside of Ivy and Eden, you know."

I don’t have time to see the world when I have a business to run and bills to pay. Who has time for a fairytale when life is happening right now?

Me, she sings, blushing already. I work and I’m living my fairytale—getting married to the man of my dreams soon.

I smile. Her happiness is infectious.

After the candles are all boxed up and secured, I stamp a red fragile sticker on it, the same way I would do if I was shipping the package.

Thanks for the help, Sonji.

No problem, girl.

So, did you and Khalid decide on a date yet?

Um, no, but Khalid wants to get married this year, so it’s probably going to be in December.

Okaaay, I see you, Khalid.

Sonji laughs.

Khalid ain’t playing around, is he?

Nah, he ain’t.

They say when a man knows, he knows and Khalid ain’t about to let you go, Sonji. He’s trying to lock you down ASAP, even if y’all gotta get married in a blizzard.

"Yeah, like it’s really gonna snow in North Carolina."

I know. You could mess around and catch a spring day in December.

I can only hope, she says, crossing her arms like her work of labeling is over. Don’t you think it’s too soon, though—you know—to be getting married in December?

"No, but apparently you do. Why?"

I feel like I need more time to plan. I want everything to be perfect. I don’t want to book no last-minute venue just to say I have a venue. I want a dream wedding. Like those weddings the stars have.

I grin.

What are you laughing at? Sonji asks.

Girl, it be those dream weddings that usually end in divorce. You don’t want to get married just so your ceremony looks glamorous to other people. This wedding is for you and Khalid. Don’t go broke trying to go overboard. That’s my advice.

Ugh...you sound like my mother.

She doesn’t know how lucky she is to have a mother to give her advice.

I say, If she said the same thing I’m saying, maybe it’s time you listened, baby doll.

She folds over. I don’t know if it’s nerves or anguish.

What would you do, Ahmalee? Would you wait until next spring to get married or get married in December? In the winter? Grr...

I laugh at her growl. I say, Girl, if I had a man who was into me like Khalid is into you, shoot, we could get married today!

She laughs. Shut up.

You think I’m playing? I ask with raised brows. She can think I’m playing all she wants, but I’m as serious as open-heart surgery. What’s the point of waiting when you know the love is real?

The door chimes. It’s probably the woman coming to pick up the order, so I bring the boxes of candles to the front.

Good morning, I say.

Good morning, she responds. I’m Hannah...here to pick up a candle order.

Hannah’s a tall white woman – looks like she could be a model with her green eyes and perfectly flippable blonde hair. I bet her wedding is going to be lit. Well, it will be now that I’m supplying her these candles.

I grin to myself.

Thank you so much for supporting my little store.

I love this place, she says, looking around. She’s got that sweet Jessica Simpson accent going on. Me and my friend were passing by that day and she said, ‘let’s go in there and see what they got’ and I’m glad we stopped. I sooo love these candles. They’ll be a hit at my wedding for sure.

Well, if you ever need more, you know where to find me. Oh, and by the way, I walk behind the counter and retrieve a bag. "Here’s my wedding gift to you. It’s one of our eight-ounce candles called Pamper Me Pretty. It smells glorious and would be perfect to light for a relaxing bath."

I like the sound of that already. You’re so sweet, she says, then hugs me. Thank you so much.

You’re welcome and congratulations.

Thank you.

When she leaves, I sigh. I’m elated to have another satisfied customer, but then I get to thinking about marriage and stuff. I got customers getting hitched left and right. Sonji’s getting married and I can’t help but think about when my time will come. Even though I know I’m not actively looking for anyone, I still think about love. It’s constantly on my mind, even more so recently because of him – Cain.

Cain was with me for five weeks. I was accustomed to having him around. We did things together. We were friends. Good friends. And he was here for me. He was the man around my house. I miss that. I want someone around who I can call mine. Someone who I can connect with on every level. Who knows what I needed without me having to say a word. Who can support me. Take care of me. Be a man for me. I only had one man in my life who had the potential to be that man, but he walked out of my life eight weeks ago.

I smile, thinking of him, but lately, I’ve been trying not to think of him. With each passing day, I grow sadder at the realization I won’t see him again. I hate that feeling – it’s like trying to hold on and let go at the same time when I know I should be letting go. Cain hasn’t called me which takes hardly any effort, so why would I fool myself into thinking he would come to visit. If he hasn’t returned after two months, chances are he isn’t returning at all, leaving me with nothing but memories.

I have a hard time believing the five weeks we spent together is all we’ll ever have. Some nights I go to bed in anguish not knowing. I just want to know if he’s okay. That he’s successfully navigating his job. But what if he’s not? What if the job didn’t pan out and he’s back on the streets and this time, he won’t come to me for help to save face?

On the flip side, what if he’s doing well? Maybe he has his own apartment by now and no longer needs to rent a room. He could be rocking his new job – so good at it that he’s about to move up to a new position.

If only I knew...

I hang my head. Eight weeks should’ve been enough time for me to move on, but I can’t. The memories are too good. We ate dinner together almost every night. We watched movies. We played games. We kissed.

Oh, those kisses...

Is it normal that I lay in bed, touch my lips, close my eyes and imagine he’s kissing me again? Or that I hold my pillow and pretend my arms are wrapped around him?

I miss him. I haven’t so much as looked at another man with any sort of curiosity. Last week, a cute guy came in the shop. Jamie tried her best to steer me in his direction. He was nice-looking, but that’s it. There were no vibes. No exchange of energy. There was nothing there, probably because I didn’t want it to be. I want a man who has eyes I can get lost in. That extend deeper than a vast forest. A man who rocks a beard that makes him look beastly. A man who smells like a man – that deep woodsy, musky smell that excites female hormones. A man of strength and power and yet a warmness that endears me – my man,

Yeah, Cain’s left me ruined.

Chapter Two

Cain

––––––––

My head swells with frustration as I listen to executives bicker about who should be in charge of casting for our newest TV series – Mom in the City – an idea that sprung from a novel by a local author. It follows the story of a single mother who juggles work and five children and still tries to maintain a poppin’ social life. The pilot is set to air in 2019, but these people can’t figure out who to cast for the mom after two rounds of full-day auditions.

I massage my temple. I can’t deal with this. Not today.

Stop! I yell before I realize it. All eyes roll to me. The room is full. Table big enough to do cartwheels from end to end and twenty of us are here, listening. These meetings are usually intense. Most of them say it’s because of me, but I’m not bothered by what they think of me. I’m especially not in the mood for this nonsense. Today marks two months since I met the woman who changed my life. She’s not here with me, and that’s left me frustrated.

"This back and forth is not going to keep happening on my watch. If you don’t decide on an actress for the lead role by end of business today, I’ll choose. And if

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