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Messy Love by Stephanie Witter

It was messy.
It was raw.
It was love.

The first time I laid eyes on Wyatt Burton was outside of my biological mother’s house. Abandoning me twenty years ago, I never knew that meeting her would change my life so completely. In fact, there were many things that I never expected that day, but there were a few things I knew for sure. Nothing would ever be the same–not even me. And it was all about to get very MESSY.
Marissa Thornton deserved so much. She was beautiful beyond reason and never took my shit. She drew me in, while driving out the worst in me. But when she let me in, trusted me completely, I thought I could finally let down my guard and find true happiness. I was wrong. Dead wrong, about myself, about her, and most importantly about the binds of LOVE.

Copyright © 2017 BY STEPHANIE WITTER
  I had always thought that being a good person was easy. I had been so damn wrong I’d laugh if only my fucking heart weren’t about to irremediably break and if I wasn’t so scared. 
  Being good wasn’t easy. Doing something good for someone else could very well ruin you and leave you with nothing but darkness. I was about to experience that first hand.
  I looked down at the old and battered stuffed turtle with a missing leg in my hands. One tiny object changed everything right when I was just starting to turn my life around, right when I was making an effort to make her happy. 
  “What’s that?’’ 
  Her soft voice full of sleep after a night I was sure to cherish for the rest of my days made me tighten my grip around the turtle until some puffy white stuffing fell at my bare feet. 
  I closed the door and turned around to stare at the most beautiful woman I had ever met, a beautiful woman who turned my life upside down months ago and forced me to be a better man. 
  But if I wanted to be truly better I needed to break her heart and mine.
  My life had always been a mess and every time I had thought things were looking up and I dropped my guard something else came up. With her in my arms all night long, I had thought that I had a fucking right to be happy and claim my damn happy ending. I believed that because I fucking loved her with all my destroyed and poisoned heart I could be with her because she saw the ugly in me and still wanted me, even after all the pain I caused her. But no. I couldn’t have her.
  I swallowed past the tightness in my throat and lost myself in her eyes. 
  She knew me, so much better than I thought possible. I didn’t need to utter a word for her to understand I was gearing up to hurt her. 
  She took a step back, shook her head once and looked away. She was already retreating from me, and it cut me so deep I wouldn’t feel less pain or less weak if I was bleeding all over the place.
  “Please, don’t.’’ The plea in her voice was my undoing. Shit. How could I do this after everything? 
  I closed my eyes and turned my back to her. I needed to hide. I couldn’t do this if she kept on looking at me like that, with all that pain etched over her face. But before I could find my voice, hers tore through me.
  “If you do this again, I’m not coming back this time, Wyatt.’’
  My eyes fell on that fucking stuffed turtle so old it smelled of mold and dirt. I didn’t have a choice. I needed to protect her. She thought I was only reverting to my old habits, hurting her just because I was scared, but this time was different. 
  I had an excellent reason to get her out of my life. I needed to remember that. 
  I closed my eyes, didn’t turn around and said the words I knew would haunt me for the rest of my life.
  “Then go.’’


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