Changing Course (Wrecked and Ruined #1)

by Aly Martinez

Prologue

"SARAH, DON'T do this. Damn it! Stay with me." I reach over and gently brush the blood-soaked hair off her forehead.

Even in this horrific moment, I'm in absolute awe of how beautiful she looks. Bleeding and broken, unmoving in my arms, she is still the most mesmerizing woman I have ever laid eyes on. Deep down, I know this is just the husk of my wife. My Sarah would never have done this to herself. More importantly, she would have never done this to me. Maybe it takes this level of madness, but I finally realize that I have lost her completely.

Whether she lives or dies, Sarah is gone. This is not the woman who made me laugh more in seven years than the rest of my life combined. She definitely isn't the woman who I spent years planning a future with, a future that now no longer exists. I feel a heavy weight in my chest at my silent confession, but oddly enough I also feel a weight lifted off my shoulders. I have watched this woman disintegrate in front of my eyes for almost seven months. Every day losing her a little more. The light in her eyes fading, while piece by piece and bit by bit, she lost grip of reality. Mentally, emotionally, and now physically, she's left me.

My Sarah died seven months ago on her way home from dinner, and I will never see her walk back into my life. Suddenly, I can't breathe. I'm terrified, and not only because Sarah might finally succeed in taking her own life. I'm paralyzed by the realization that my life is spiraling down in a free fall headed straight for misery, and the only thing I can think to do is anchor myself to this dying woman. I love Sarah with all my heart, but I am not clinging to the woman in my arms, but rather to the life I thought we were going to have together. I have to accept that she isn't there anymore. Her heart might still be beating but the bloody, confused, emotionally lost woman I am holding now, is only the shell of my first and only love.

"Where the f**k is that ambulance!" I yell as loud as my cracking voice will allow. Stroking the little bit of her unmarred skin that I'm able to reach, I whisper in her ear, "Hang on baby." Then I repeat the one sentence I have said almost daily since the tragic event that stole her from me. Maybe I say it for her, maybe just for me, but I know it is the biggest lie I have ever uttered. "Just hang on baby, it's all going to be okay."

1

Brett

I MET Sarah Kate Erickson seven years ago during a chance meeting at the local library. We were both reaching for the same William Shakespeare Collection. Our hands brushed, sparks flew, and it was love at first sight. We dated for three years, got married, and had sex for the very first time on our wedding night. Well, at least that is the story she made me promise to tell our future children.

The truth is that, I met Sarah in a bar while she was approximately one drop of alcohol away from spending the night praying to the porcelain gods. She had on some ridiculously tight red dress and the tallest pair of black f**k-me heels I had ever seen. It was whore-tastic, but damn, she looked amazing. She was already tall for a woman, but in those cock-hardening shoes, she towered over the other women. Her friends were dressed in similarly sexy and in somewhat coordinating outfits. A collaborative effort that was no doubt on purpose.

I watched as she asked for another drink from the bartender who stood staring at her partially exposed br**sts for a beat too long. She reached across the bar, pushed one finger under his chin, and guided his gaze back to her eyes while she ordered drinks. She then turned and leaned her elbows behind her, propping herself up on the bar, and effectively thrusting her barely covered br**sts into the face of every man in the room. It was then I knew I needed to meet them...I mean her...I had to meet her.

Sure, staring at her was probably creepy as hell, but I just couldn't take my eyes off her. As cheesy as it sounds, there was just something about the tall blonde that commanded my attention. It didn't hurt that I got an insta-hard on when I thought about those long legs wrapped around my waist. Okay, so maybe staring wasn't the only creepy part.

She continued to talk and laugh with her friends, swaying where she stood. It's a miracle she didn't fall over in those heels while she was so obviously trashed. Her friends seemed to be just as ensnared by her as I was. They listened intently as she spoke, and laughed hysterically when she stopped. I had no idea what they were talking about, but if her overly-animated hands and loud cackles coming from the group were any indication, it was one hell of a story.

A few minutes later, they started pointing out men and women alike as they walked by. They were rating the men on a one to ten hotness scale and bashing the women’s clothing choices. I could tell they thought they were being quiet and sneaky, but everyone in the room who had less than fifteen drinks could hear every word they said. The three women finally paused their scrutinizing eyes on the man across the bar, and judging by their smiles and boob adjustments, they were definitely interested. Lucky bastard. I needed to make my move soon before he had the chance to make good on the eye-fuck he was throwing their way. Tossing back the rest of my beer, I decided it was time to hit the bar.

It's just my luck the one night I decided to go out without my boys, I met a living, breathing, wet dream in heels. Women tend to run in herds, never straying far from each other. Fortunately for us, men work best as part of a team. One man approaching a group is difficult, but not impossible. I had to be smooth, or that group of piranhas would eat me alive. I needed to go over there, charm them all, and then ride off into the sunset with my leggy blonde. Well, her riding me until the sunset sounded like a much better option. But I was probably getting a little ahead of myself. I cracked my neck, shaking out my arms like some sort of prize fighter, as I found the only positive I could see about this situation—at least I didn’t have to argue with the boys over dibs.

"CAN I buy you ladies a drink?" I ask when I get close to the three girls huddled together. Real smooth, jackass! I'm sure they've never heard that one before. I mentally chastise myself.

"Nope," says the shortest of the bunch as she turns around ignoring me.

This is definitely not the usual response I get when I approach women. I'm not completely sure if she even looked at me before rejecting my offer. I'm a good looking guy. I won't pretend I don't know it. I'm 6'5" with brown hair and green eyes. I work out and take care of myself. All that shit women are supposed to like. I don't dress like the normal t-shirt clad douche bags you usually see in this club either. Tonight I'm wearing dark jeans, a button down royal blue fitted shirt, black belt and boots. It's not my best outfit, but seriously Miss Shorty Shoot Down would be lucky to even get my attention.