About the author:
Ashley Sands likes to read and write about taboo stories full of romance and hot sex scenes. She enjoys telling stories of strong women and the men who aren’t afraid to support them and love them. When she isn’t writing, she likes to spend time exploring the out of doors with her rescue dog, Abby or enjoying a nice glass of wine. She currently lives in Southern California where she is working on her latest taboo romantic story.
Here is a short sample from the book:
“What do you mean, you can’t help me?” Lyla all but yelled at her parents.
Neither one of them spoke and her mother wouldn’t even look at her. She shot a look over at her stepfather, hoping that he would give her a better explanation. The day before she had graduated from college. Celebrated the end of her schooling as she prepared for the start of her professional career. It was something she had been working long and hard for and she couldn’t wait for it to start. Only now, her parents had sat her down and told her it wasn’t going to happen.
They were situated around the kitchen table, a spot that Lyla had always loved. She had so many great memories there. She had only started living in the house when she was 11, but her stepfather, Jack, had always made it feel like home, her home. She couldn’t count the number of meals she had enjoyed at that very table. Talking to Jack or her mom and Aidan, her stepbrother, when he had lived there.
For a few years, they had been a nice family unit. They were tight, what Lyla had always wanted growing up. She had lost her father when she was very young. She had hardly known him and had only a few memories of him. Jack had stepped into her life when she was about 8. It had taken him three years to convince her mother to marry him, but Lyla had loved him from the start.
Jack was everything she thought a father should be. She felt he was more of a father to her than a stepfather. He had always been there for her. Teaching her how to change a tire, check the fluid in her car before taking a long trip or how to cook a steak. He had helped her move when she had gone away to college and always knew how to cheer her up when she was down. He listened to her and had been there for her no matter what she needed. Even if it was to simply help with her homework.
He was perfect for her mother, they were both workaholics but somehow found time for each other and their children. They both ran a successful business and it was because of them that Lyla had started her own. One that was going to take off as soon as she got out of college. Or so she thought.
Now, she was sitting across from her parents and finding out that not only were they both on the verge of losing their businesses but that they needed the money they had said would be available for Lyla to pay off her student loan to kept themselves afloat.
“The economy has been really bad. We’ve all had to make sacrifices,” Emma, her mother said to her. She reached out to try and take Lyla’s hand but she moved it away before she could.
Lyla didn’t understand what she was hearing. Her parents were smart business people. They had both ran successful companies for years. They lived in a nice house, had luxurious cars and took extravagant vacations. She knew they had seriously discussed retiring but both had been reluctant to do it as they liked working so much. She couldn’t understand how her parents could be on the verge of bankruptcy. And in such desperate need they would have to take it out of her college fund. One that they had been putting into since she was a child. One that they said she could never touch, that it was only for college and her future.
It was because of that promise, that she had even started up her own company. The idea had come from both of her parents and what they did. Her mother helped educate and reintroduce stay at home mothers back into the work force. While Jack ran a very successful temp agency. She had decided to take both of their passions and put them together. She even had hoped to maybe buy both of them out of their companies and combine them into hers when they retired.
The idea was to get stay at home mothers and fathers back to work when they wanted to. To work with companies who would be more flexible and understanding to people who had kids and that their job wasn’t their only obligation. She had made arrangements with companies in the area, mainly start-ups and smaller corporations who needed the expertise of an older generation but couldn’t afford the wages they might ask for. She felt it was a win win for everyone and so far, she felt it had the potential to be successful.
She had two employees who were working for her part time and a large group of men and women who were all counting on her to find them jobs. She couldn’t back out on them now, but she had one loan already for the company. There was no way she could take on another. She worried that her dream was over before it had even started.
“We needed to cut back. I had to considerably downsize my business last week, and Jack’s not sure how much longer he can keep his doors open,” her mom said.
“I don’t understand how you could let this happen,” Lyla said.
“We didn’t mean for it to, we really didn’t,” Jack said and she could see how much it was hurting him.
“What do you expect me to do?” Lyla asked.
“Get a job, work for someone else for a while. I know you were excited about getting Fostering Inc, off the ground. But maybe you just need to wait a few years,” Jack said.
“I can’t wait a few years. I have people who are counting on me. Companies. Employees. I can’t just bail on them. Especially not even before we’ve started. There has to be another way,” Lyla said, shaking her head.
“We’re really sorry,” Jack said. “We need the money and unless you can come up with a significant amount by Monday, we don’t see how you can keep your company. We didn’t want to do this, but we had to think of our own companies, our own employees. Your mother has 50 people working for her. I have 140. You only have yourself and two part-time workers. It made more business sense to save our two companies than keep yours going. You’re a business woman, surely you can see that?”
“Why didn’t you tell me this sooner?” she all but wailed at them.
“We were hoping it wasn’t this bad. That we were going to find a way to fix it. We never wanted you to know. It was only when it was so bad that we had no choice but to tell you,” Emma said.
Lyla leaned back in her chair, her mind going in a million different directions. There had to be a way out of this. There had to be something she could do, they could do to fix this. She had been taught by both of them that there was always another way. You only needed to find it.
As if he was reading her thoughts Jack leaned forward on the table and said, “We’ve looked at this at every angle. If there was another way out of this, we would, but we just can’t. I’m sorry. This wasn’t how we wanted your day after graduating college to be like, but we didn’t want to keep you in the dark any longer.”
“You couldn’t have given me the weekend before you told me?” Lyla asked thinking that at least she would have a little bit more time in ignorant bliss.
“Not if you were going to sign the lease for the office space on Monday. We wanted to give you time to process it all. Let them know it wasn’t going to happen. Tell your employees,” her mom said.
“There has to be a way out of this,” Lyla said and ran her hands through her hair, giving it a little tug as she did.
They sat in silence for a few minutes. Her mother still wouldn’t look at her and Jack kept giving her sad smiles from across the table. Finally, she came up with an idea and slammed her hand down on the table.
“What about Aidan. Isn’t he filthy rich now?”
Her parents exchanged glances and she could see them both tense up in their seats. She knew things had gone south between Jack and his son, Aidan. He had left their house abruptly right after she graduated high school and he had never come back. Lyla had tried to find out why but neither her parents would ever talk to her and any attempts to contact Aidan had gone unanswered.
They had been close, friends even, when they had lived together. He had been kind to her. He was two years older than her and could have been a jerk. When their parents got married, she had to move to a new school, but Aidan had done everything he could to make it as painless as possible for her. He had introduced her to some people and because he had given his approval, she had fit right in. She didn’t think she would have enjoyed junior high or high school as much if not for him giving her the in that he did.
After school, they had hung out. Sitting at that same kitchen table, doing homework. Talking and gossiping about fellow students. She would tell him about a guy she would like and he would always find some excuse for her to not date him. She thought he was being overly protective and sweet to her. Just like the big brother she always wanted to have.
She had even had a little crush on him when they were growing up, but knew nothing would come of it. Not only because they were stepsiblings but because he would never be interested in her in that way. Aidan was one of the most popular kids in the school. He was tall, athletic and extremely good looking. Even if they hadn’t been related through their parents’ marriage, he never would have gone for her.
Right after she graduated high school, he and his father had a falling out. She had thought it was a small argument and it would pass. They were both opinionated men and had clashed in the past. Lyla figured it had to do with Aidan going to college and finding his own way. She hoped that things would get better eventually.
She had gone away to college and things had not gotten better. When she got back, Aidan was never talked about ever again. Whenever she would bring him up or try and suggest they invite him over, they had told her to drop it. She had tried every avenue she could think of to talk to Aidan but anything she had done had been met with silence. She began to worry that maybe she had done something wrong but when she asked her mother about it, she had been quick to tell her no.
“Geez, it’s been years. Can’t you let whatever it was go?” Lyla asked.
“No,” Jack said and the way he said it left no room for discussion.
“I think you’re being short sighted. I know Aidan would help you out if he could. If only you told him,” Lyla said.
“He isn’t going to know because we aren’t talking to him and he will never know,” her mother said.
She knew when to push her parents and when to back down. She could tell by the set of their stance and how they were looking at her, that they weren’t going to change their minds. Frustrated, Lyla shook her head.
“This isn’t over,” she said. “I’m going to find a way to fix this.”
“Nothing would make us prouder, but we don’t see any other way,” Jack said.
“Maybe you have given up. But I haven’t,” Lyla said and with a newfound determination she got up and walked out of the kitchen.