Title of Book: For Better and Worse
Author: Stephanie Nicole Norris
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Coming out of hibernation, Danielle Shumaker has put behind her the pain and misery she’s caused Victoria and Joshua. Blinded by her selfishness her ultimate goal is still her main one. As far as Danielle’s concerned Joshua belongs to her, always has and always will. No amount of therapy can cure her love addiction and no matter what anyone says she will fight for him, even if she has to kill someone AGAIN.
Wedding bells are in Victoria and Joshua’s future, Victoria is excited to be Mrs. Eubanks. However, when she closes her eyes at night, Greg invades her dreams, the passion and love leaves her wanting more and waking with doubt about her upcoming marriage. How will she get over this man or does she even want to?
The phone rang and Joshua answered it on the first ring. “Yeah.”
“Yes, Joshua Eubanks, please.”
“You got him, who’s this?”
“This is Doctor Singh at Saint Francis Hospital. Danielle Shumaker has you down as next of kin. She’s been in an accident and is currently in intensive care.”
Danielle had been missing in action since last week, and Joshua had wondered why she never called.
“What happened to her?”
“From what I know, she was found off road at an abandoned warehouse. The warehouse was on fire and she lost consciousness. There seemed to have been some sort of explosion,” the doctor said.
“An explosion!” Joshua yelled in shock. He didn’t know how to respond after that.
“Am I the only person on her next of kin list?”
“There is a January Peppers on the list as well. We contacted her and she’s at work. She said she’s stuck in a conference but will get down as soon as she can. I thought I would contact you too, just in case you wanted to come see her. I didn’t think it would be good for her to be alone. Most patients tend to give up when no one familiar is around. I’ll be honest with you and just say, it doesn’t look good. Over sixty percent of her body is covered in burns, and she has lost a kidney. Every day her condition worsens, and I don’t know if she’ll make it through.
Joshua was stunned. Danielle had gotten herself into something that she might not get out of. The news saddened him. With all the hell Danielle had put him through, he never imagined the day someone would call telling him her life was hanging on by a thread.
“I’m in Atlanta, Doctor Singh. It will take me a few hours to get there, but I’m on my way.”
“Okay,” the doctor said.
“Thank you for calling me.”
“It’s the least I can do,” Doctor Singh said.
They hung up. Joshua sat down slowly on the couch, trying to digest the information.
Victoria and Shay came through the front door. Seeing the ghostly look on her fiancés face, Victoria asked, “Baby, what’s wrong?”
“I need to talk to you,” he said morbidly.
Shay rushed Dashia and Chelsea to the back.
Victoria took a seat next to Joshua. “What happened?” she asked.
He informed her of the news he was just given. Victoria didn’t want to sound harsh, but she had to speak how she felt.
“I’m sorry the girl is dying, truly I am, but I don’t really care. That has nothing to do with us. She has nothing to do with you, and I’m tired of you running to her rescue every time the girl gets into trouble. There is no telling what she was into.”
“Victoria, I know what she’s done to us, but the doctor said the only people she had on her next of kin was me and her friend, January.”
“Good, let January go see about her then. You say you know what she’s done to us, but you don’t act like it. Every time I turn around, you are taking up for this ratchet chicken head, and I’m completely sick of it! For goodness sake, she kidnapped Chelsea!”
“So, I should just forget about her and let her rot?”
“Why not? She made her bed, now she has to lay in it,” Victoria said.
“How can you be so cold?”
“How am I being cold because I’d rather my soon to be husband in a couple of days not still be running to the rescue of his high school psycho ex-girlfriend? It’s like you don’t care what I say, how I feel, or what I think, you’re going to do it anyway.”
“I bet if it were Greg, you would be on the next plane to Chicago. But I’m wrong for bringing that up, right?” He shook his head. “Priceless.”
Joshua stood up angry; he grabbed his keys and walked out of the door.
Shay stepped in the room. She’d been listening in the hallway.
Victoria looked her way. “What I say wrong?” she said.
“Is he really going to check on her after everything that’s happened?”
Victoria shook her head in disgust. She wondered if Joshua was truly over Danielle. Then she wondered would she run off if it were Greg. The truth was sour, and left a bad taste in her mouth.
“I feel like—”
“Crap!” Dashia said.
Shay turned around and popped her on the mouth. “Didn’t I tell you not to say that?”
Dashia ran off crying, but she was right. Victoria was feeling like crap. Of course, she would run off if Greg were in the hospital. Coming to this conclusion made Victoria wonder if she was ready for marriage.
“I know what you’re thinking,” Shay said.
“And how do you know that? You can read minds now?”
“I know you, and I heard the conversation you guys just had.”
“So what am I thinking, genius?” Victoria asked.
“You’re thinking about Greg.”
“Lucky guess,” Victoria said. “That much is true. I am really trying to put him out of my mind, lock the door and throw away the key, but…”
“But what?” Shay asked.
“But, I keep having dreams about him. It’s disturbing too, because in my dreams, we are husband and wife.”
“You telling me. I told you about the one where we got married, right, and all of you guys were there?”
“In all of them, I’m super happy. We’re always out doing something. We feel so in love and meant to be together it’s scary. I never see or mention Joshua. What does that mean?
“How do you feel about him when you’re awake?”
“I love him and fight every day to flush those emotions away. Truth be told, the dreams only intensify my love for him. What am I going to do?” she said.
“Are you and Joshua still going to the therapy sessions?”
“We haven’t gone ever since we started planning the wedding.”
“Maybe it’s time to go back,” Shay suggested. “Think real hard before you answer this question. Do you really want to marry Joshua, or do you want to be with Greg?”
Victoria took too long to respond.
“Okay, I definitely think you two should go to your sessions. You have too many issues to get married. Well, you’re always going to have issues, but the ones you have involve your love for other people. That’s got to be worked out.
Shay was right. Victoria knew something had to be done, and things needed to be right with her and Joshua, or there wouldn’t be a wedding.
Author Bio; Stephanie Nicole Norris is an author from Chattanooga Tennessee with a humble beginning. She, along with her six siblings, was raised by her mother, Jessica Ward. Growing up a lover of reading, Stephanie loved to read books by R.L. Stine. She always had a natural talent for writing and 2010 was the beginning of her journey. In early 2012, her debut novel, "Trouble In Paradise", was published.
Seven months later, Stephanie released her sophomore title, "Vengeful Intentions", which is part 2 of “Trouble In Paradise”. September 27, 2014 "For Better and Worse", part 3 of “Trouble In Paradise” was released, In the works is her first Christian fiction romance, "Catching Bees with Honey". She has a series of short stories that releases throughout the year called The Lunch Break series. These stories are not continuations of the same story and can be read in your lunch break hour. The Lunch Break series, which features titles like “Wreckless” and “Broken”, can be found on Amazon, Kobo and Barnes and Noble. Stephanie’s words tell stories of love, drama, deception, suspense, and restoration.