Easton Crawford put his modeling career and good looks before his marriage until it was over. Years later, he is finally learning how to be the father his daughter needed him to be. He’s not looking for a new mom for his daughter—just nightly casual hook-ups. When his best friend, Avery, convinces him that a good way to meet a lot of single women is to go on a single’s cruise, Easton finds more than just a hook-up when he meets a fellow cruiser, Brooke.
Brooke Bradley has taken care of her younger sister, Bailee, for most of their lives. While their mother was enjoying not being a mother, Brooke became the adult in the household at thirteen. She had always taken care of the people in her life, especially her boyfriend, Jared. If it wasn’t for Brooke, Jared wouldn’t know how to function throughout the day.
When Brooke’s best friend, Nicole, gives her a gift of going on a cruise without telling her that it’s a single’s cruise, will Brooke find someone willing to be her constant and finally leave Jared?
Brooke and Easton learn that people are brought into their lives for many reasons. Over time, they find out what those reasons are. Some are to be a temporary acquaintance while others are there for life.
Want to read the Prologue for Tattooed Dots? Keep reading below!
The moment I held my beautiful baby girl in my arms five years ago, I swore to myself that I would never let anything happen to her.
Her mom and I were high school sweethearts who married right out of high school, and before we knew it, she was pregnant with Cheyenne. When Dana showed me the pregnancy test, smiling and jumping for joy, I thought nothing could go wrong in my life. I was doing what we were supposed to do: marriage, babies, forever.
Now those high school sweethearts sat at two separate wood tables inside a courtroom, waiting for a judge to tell us how much I owed the bitch who had given me the greatest gift I never realized I wanted or needed. We had been sitting in the courtroom for five days straight. We didn’t have much to fight over, but the one thing I wouldn’t budge on was my daughter.
Dana was trying to do everything in her power to get full custody. Over the last year of our rocky marriage, she had acted like an angel and painted me as the bad guy. She even went so far as to have her attorney request that the judge order a drug test for me. Of course, the drug test came back negative.
We used to smoke up after the high school Friday night football games when we would party with the rest of the school. We didn’t stop smoking because it was bad for us; we quit because we were poor and needed all our extra cash to eat, especially since we were kids playing house with an extra mouth to feed in less than nine months. I hadn’t smoked weed since before the bitch was pregnant. But now, as the trial was ending, my nerves were running through me, and I wanted to do nothing but roll a fat one and blow the smoke in her cunt face.
The day Dana told me she was pregnant, I’d answered an ad for a shoot and started my modeling career. I could lie and claim we’re only getting divorced because of Dana and her nagging ways.The truth was that I cheated on her repeatedly with whores. It was so easy when all that the whores saw was a pretty face and a nice body, and Dana stayed home to take care of Cheyenne.
Part of me regretted the cheating aspect of my marriage, but part of me was relieved. We married young, and I couldn’t imagine spending my whole life with a nagging, screaming bitch of a wife.Now she sat to the right of me, tapping her French manicured nails on the table, and all I wanted to do was walk over there and rip them off her fucking fingers.
I knew she was doing it to get under my skin. This was her last slap in my face because she knew she wasn’t getting full custody of Cheyenne. Hell would freeze over before I’d let some judge rip my heart from my chest and hand it to Dana on a silver platter.
I looked at the clock as it ticked, second by second, minute by minute. I heard the words being spoken, but I wasn’t paying attention. The trial had already dragged on for a week because of all the character witnesses, a vocational job expert testifying and our attorneys building our cases. Dana was playing dirty, and so was I. If she wanted to pretend I was doing drugs in front of Cheyenne, then she needed to get a job; no more supporting her ass.
Of course, Dana didn’t want a job. She wanted to live off my gigs and the work I did for her father at his landscaping business. As soon as the trial was over, and the judge issued his order, I was quitting that fucking job. The less she knew about my life, the better. I didn’t need her father bossing me around and then reporting my every action back to her. Plus, it would be less spousal support that I would owe her.
I made enough money modeling to support my baby girl. Dana’s father paid too little for me to want to stick around and work for him. If my gigs started to slow down, I would find another backbreaking job.
“Monday you’re going to need to start preparing something to tell the judge I have less income,” I leaned over and whispered to my attorney.
“Why?” she whispered back.
Yes, I had a female attorney, and she was smokin’. I’d initially hired Allison because I knew Dana would think I was fucking her. Okay, I was fucking her, but we were exchanging services. I’d give her multiple mind-blowing orgasms, and she’d give me discounted legal advice and representation. She was a kickass attorney, and I loved watching her toned, lightly tanned legs walk in front of the table while she examined a witness or presented evidence to the judge.
“I’m quitting Parker & Sons,” I replied, leaning closer to smell her perfume that would linger on me after we had sex.
“You’re what?” she whispered, eyes wide with confusion.
“I’ll explain when this shit is over,” I whispered back, looking over her shoulder to see Dana staring at us. Just to dig at her more, I placed my hand on Allison’s thigh, which was in plain view of Dana’s evil eye, and inched it up between Allison’s legs. Allison grabbed my hand, gave me a stern look, and nudged her head towards the judge.
“What?” I asked with a wicked grin on my face.
Fuck, I was just trying to make her fantasy come true. One night after a … meeting, she told me that she had always wanted to be laid bare on a table in a courtroom and fucked until she couldn’t walk. I guess that fantasy didn’t include my soon-to-be ex-wife in the same room or an old judge who was on the verge of dying on his bench.
After an hour of being questioned in front of the courtroom, Dana’s attorney finally released my best friend from the hot seat. Of course, Avery said nothing that would lead anyone to believe I was the bad father Dana was accusing me of being.
Avery and I had been friends far longer than Dana and I had been together. We played baseball together from the age of four until our senior year of high school. Then he went off to college while Dana and I played house. I knew I should have gone with him and used my baseball scholarship to Florida State instead of listening to Dana tell me she couldn’t live without me. Let’s just say I wasn’t thinking with the right head.
“Do you have any more witnesses?” the judge asked the schmuck of an attorney Dana hired.
“No, your honor.”
The judge said some bullshit I didn’t listen to and then we were dismissed. I walked with Allison out of the courtroom to the parking garage.
“Do you want to go get a drink?” Allison asked when we got to her car, running her finger up my hard chest as she gave me the look I had learned in the last six months meant that she was horny as fuck and wanted my cock.
“I can’t, babe. Cheyenne’s with my parents who flew in from New York, remember?” It was my weekend to have Cheyenne, and she hadn’t seen my parents in five months.
“Can’t we make it fast? I’ve been horny ever since your hand ran up my thigh twenty minutes ago.”
I looked at my dying cell phone and realized the judge had dismissed us thirty minutes before five. “Fine, but you keep the skirt and heels on. You’ve been shaking that ass at me all day.”
“I’ve been shaking my ass at you all week.” She winked.
My pants tightened at the memory. “I know, and you remember what I did to you two nights ago because of it?”
“Yes, and I want you to do it to me now,” she said, pulling her medium-length, chestnut brown hair from her ponytail as she stepped closer to me.
I grabbed a fistful of her hair and pushed her against the trunk of her silver BMW. Her back arched backward as I began kissing her soft throat.
“Not here, Easton. My peers will …” Allison giggled and squirmed beneath me as my cock grew harder, thinking about tying her up to her headboard—or in this case, her hands tied above her head and attached to the “oh shit” handle in her backseat where she hangs her suit jacket.
“I knew you were fucking the help,” said the familiar voice of my past that wouldn’t leave me alone.
My dick wanted to run and hide from that voice; it was like nails on a chalkboard to me now. Allison and I broke apart. She smoothed her black skirt down as I turned to address my baby’s momma.
“The ‘help,’ as you so call her, can go all night and not have to stop after one orgasm,” I said, squaring my shoulders before realizing Dana was standing there with her father.
“Oh God,” Allison murmured under her breath.
“Fuck you, Easton! Why aren’t you going home to our daughter? It’s so typical of you to pawn her off on your parents.”
“Dana …” Bill said, trying to pull her towards her car.
“For your information, I was saying goodbye to my attorney and thanking her for kicking your ass in court.”
“Enough!” Bill shouted, causing all eyes to turn to him.
I still feared the man. The first night I’d met him, when I went to pick Dana up for our first real date, I’d almost shit my pants. He was very fit for his age after putting in many years of hard physical labor for his landscaping business. When he found out the reason why Dana and I were divorcing, I’d actually feared for my life.
“Dana, get your ass in your car and go enjoy your evening. Easton, I’ll see you on Monday.”
“Yeah, about that …”
“No, I don’t want to talk to you anymore today. Go enjoy your time with your parents, and tell them I said hello. We’ll talk man-to-man on Monday.”
I swallowed hard at his words. Dana stepped into my Ford Edge, slamming the door while her father walked to his car. After they’d both left, I turned back to Allison and said my goodbyes. Even though I wanted to bury my cock inside her tight pussy, I wanted to see my daughter more. We made plans for Monday night when Dana would have Cheyenne and my parents would be back in New York.
After each long-ass day in court, I turned my stereo up, blasting the radio while driving down the freeway to calm my nerves to clear my head, especially before I arrived home to see my baby girl.
Cheyenne had no idea what was going on, other than mommy and daddy didn’t live together anymore, though she’d probably figure it out before we told her since statistically, eighty percent or some shit of her age group had divorced parents. There would probably be a clique of the “broken home” kids and the “happily married parents” kids by the time she was in high school instead of the jocks and nerds I grew up with.
Ten minutes after I pulled out of the garage of the courthouse, Sorry by Buckcherry started to play through my speakers of my Ford F150. Yeah, I was a model, but not some pansy ass who spent all his money on an expensive car to get chicks. Trust me, chicks dug my truck. Hell, Tim McGraw even had a song about it.
As I listened to the words sung by Buckcherry, I considered calling Dana and telling her that I was sorry. I really was sorry for cheating on her. I wasn’t happy in our marriage; I was young and had hot girls surrounding me all the time. It wasn’t fair to her, and it wasn’t fair to Cheyenne. Dana was my first love, and when I’d asked her to marry me after our high school won the championship game my senior year, I’d meant every word I said to her that night.
I did want marriage at that time—the kids and the forever. If I could have seen into the future, I would have waited longer before promising anything. I would have waited until we grew up and lived a little. Made her come with me to college and wait until we graduated to start our forever.
It was my fault that we had a broken home. If I were a better man, things would be different. I’d done a lot of thinking during our divorce proceedings, and I hated that I’d made her cry. I couldn’t take any of it back. I was ashamed of how I treated her, and each day I masked my feelings by being a complete asshole. An asshole to her and an asshole to Cheyenne for not being a better father. But I couldn’t change what happened seven years ago.
I dried my misty eyes with my white-collared dress shirt and whispered “sorry” as if she could hear me. I would never say it to Dana’s face, though. Not after the hell she put me through, trying to take Cheyenne away from me. But I needed to make this right. I needed to be a better man, a better father, a better person.
“Easton!” my mother exclaimed as she stood up from my couch when I walked in my front door.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, looking at her red, tear-stained face. “Is Chey okay?” I looked around to see only my mother in my living room.
“Yes, she’s in the backyard with your dad.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. I figured Cheyenne would tell my parents that she customarily waited for me at the window, but she also needed play time with my folks, so she’d probably just lost track of time.
“Okay, well, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?”
“What a prick!” I ran my hands through my finger-length, dirty blond hair. “I know you’re friends—”
“No, it’s not like that,” my mother sobbed, shaking her head and sitting down on the chocolate brown suede couch.
“Well, spit it out!” I could feel my blood start to boil as I envisioned my father-in-law calling my parents about what had happened in court today.
“It’s Dana …”
“Of course it is. What the fuck does she want now? I just saw her thirty minutes ago. Remember I was in court with her all day?” I gestured, my hands flying in the air to emphasize how angry and irritated Dana made me feel. I sat on the couch next to my mom, not wanting to talk about my ex for one more minute of the day.
“Just shut the fuck up and listen to me!” my mother snapped. Tears started to run down her face as she started to speak again. She stood to face me, and my heart stopped. I didn’t understand why she would be crying. “After leaving the courthouse, Dana got into a … car accident …”
Yes, at that moment, I hated Dana, but she was my daughter’s mother, and even though I had wished her dead thousands of times in my head, I’d never meant it seriously. Cheyenne needed her mother, and the thought of Dana being in a car accident stunned me.
“Is she okay?” I whispered, trying to hold back the tears.
“No,” she whispered back, shaking her head again. “She was airlifted, but it was too late. Dana died before they made it to the hospital.”
They say grown men don’t cry. Bullshit.
That was the day my daughter lost her mother. That was the day my daughter didn’t get to say good-bye to her mother. That was the day I lost my first love. And that was the day I cried in my mother’s arms, whispering sorry over and over again.
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