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Jessica White

Mercy & Justice: A Small Town Age Gap Romance Special Edition Signed Paperback + Free Gift

Mercy & Justice: A Small Town Age Gap Romance Special Edition Signed Paperback + Free Gift

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Main Tropes

  • Age Gap
  • Small Town
  • Second Chance

Synopsis

This collection contains books two and three of the series and can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Mercy

A woman who only wants to start over somewhere new, the men who would do anything to protect her, and a dark secret that threatens to destroy them all.

After losing my husband, I moved to a small town in the Rocky Mountains for a fresh start. But when two men determined to win my heart fight for my attention, I end up in someone else’s sight too.

Torn between the man of my dreams and the fear of losing everything, I make a choice with disastrous consequences.

When a ghost from my past comes back to haunt me, I find out who I can really trust and that I have one more secret that changes everything… if I survive.

Justice
All I wanted was to keep my little family together.

After a year and a half of being everything to everyone, though, I made a mistake that rips my life apart.

The timing couldn't be worse, because I was so close to having everything I dreamed of.

But that mistake isn't quite willing to only disappear without a fight... and she has her sights set on the one thing I love most.

Intro into Chapter One

As he did almost every night in my dreams, the man in the baby blue shirt paused when he felt me watching him at the water fountain. Even after all this time, the scent of his lavender and bergamot-infused soap sent a thrill through every nerve in my body to jerk me back to life from the deepest of slumbers.

Steady beeping poked through the darkness, and I became aware of the pressure around my hand. Burning, like a scorching plastic seat by the swimming pool, dug into my low back above my buttocks. Still, I stayed frozen in place on the most uncomfortably hot mattress I had ever laid on.

The wrinkles in the sheet against my sweaty back were a special kind of uncomfortable, akin to having to go to the bathroom when you’re already cozy in bed.

As hard as I tried to swallow, my tongue was trapped beneath the tube in my throat, and I thought I might choke to death.

The heat of my racing heart surged through my veins to break through the haze of the paralytic medication they had me on, and my finger wiggled ever so slightly against his skin to make him free me from this groggy nightmare.

The worst bed I ever experienced dipped under the weight of his hip as Roman sat down beside me. Stale coffee breath blew over my face as he brought his nose to mine. “Mercy, can you hear me?”

About a hundred different ways, I willed my eyes to open, but all I managed was a wrinkle of my nose. A rush of air touched my lips, and I sensed how he smiled at me. “Hang tight, let me call for the nurse.”

Soft flicks against the floor came closer, and as my nurse came to my other side, Roman’s voice retreated. “She’s starting to move.”

The hand sanitizer she rubbed on her hands burned my nostrils, but not as much as my eye stung when she yanked my lid up and shoved the penlight in it. Despite the tugging at my skin, I tried my hardest to keep my eyes shut, and she snickered at my reaction. “Yeah. You’re right. That sucks. Doesn’t it?”

The collar that held in my breathing tube jerked and twisted as she peeled the straps away. “Okay, sweetheart. The doctor said this thing can come out as soon as you wake up. So, open those pretty eyes for me.”

Wiggling my muscles to work my eyes apart, the bright white light made me immediately want to close them again. But as my vision cleared, panic set in when I found all the equipment that had kept me alive this last week or so.

My hands slapped at the strap around my neck, and her warm fingers curled around them to stop me. “Everything’s alright now. You’re out of the woods. You don’t need this anymore.”

Roman’s fingertips rubbed at my arm, and his knees cracked as he crouched beside me. “Mercy, be still. This nice woman is only trying to help you.”

The tip of her double chin rocked back and forth as she leaned in closer, while another woman with a small metal cart came into the room behind her. “No, it’s okay. This has to be scary for her.” Her thumb tips uncurled to rub at my cheeks in long, soft strokes. “When I tell you to, I want you to breathe out as hard as you can. Alright?” I flicked my eyes closed once, and she smiled at me. “Good.”

The side of her head tipped backward a little. “My friend here is a Respiratory Therapist, and she’s going to take that thing out of you. Okay?”

I blinked again, and she pulled my hands away and gave one to my brother. “I bet you’re thirsty. Aren’t you?” Both her hands cupped mine as she moved away to let the therapist come to my side, and her thumbs glided over the back of my hand to soothe me. “Your brother told me you’re a junk food junkie, so I got a tall glass of ice-cold soda waiting on you.”

As if she were turning me inside out from my feet first, a pull started deep within me, and the masked woman in front of me widened her eyes. “Alright, now push.”

Like the entire universe sat on my shoulders, I never worked so hard in my life as I did for the first breath that made me part of this world again.

A thin, flexible tube came to my face, and she leaned from side to side as she wrapped it over my ears. “This is just a little supplemental oxygen to perk you up until you start moving around a little better.”

My nurse busied herself tossing used supplies in the trash bin as she talked to Roman, and the therapist put her icy stethoscope on my chest. “I can see everything on the monitors from the nurse’s station. But if she has any problems, give me a holler.”

Blips came from every direction as the woman before me poked at the big machine beside us, and the nurse beat her finger into the panel at the end of my bed. The fat, hot mattress settled a bit, and the loud engine wound down when it deflated.

An ulcer stabbed at my tongue where the tube had rubbed it raw, and every muscle in my face spasmed when I stretched out my jaw.

The straw for that soda she promised me came to my lips, and after I sucked back as much as I could, I worked to swallow it while I looked up at my brother. Trying to squeeze the noise through my neck instantly brought tears to my eyes, but all that squeaked out was a whisper. “Where is he?”

Always stoic and stern, his thin green eyes flicked up to the women as his ear tipped to the door to get rid of them. “They got him in a psychiatric facility upstate.”

The door shut, and he held the bendy straw up to my mouth when he sat beside me again. “A lot of things have been brought to light over the past couple of days that no one could have seen coming.” As I took a drink, his top teeth bit down into his bottom lip. “The attorney for the state said they probably wouldn’t be able to convict him because of his mental health issues, so they’re seeking long-term residential confinement instead. Can you believe that shit?”

My chin lifted into the air to get the fluid down past the swelling. “What if they let him out?”

A slight shake answered me as his eyes dropped away. “Shit, I don’t know.” His tongue swiped his lips, and he set the cup on the table. “For right now, he’s somewhere secure, and you’re safe.” Dark brown hair that seemed even grayer at the temples since last I saw him shook under his palm. Not one to show his emotions at all, he internalized his suffering. But it aged him more and more these days as he witnessed my life unraveling. “So, let’s just worry about getting you out of here before we make any plans.”

My fingertips pushed the tears from my face, and I stared out the window at the ugly strip-mined mountain bathed in a fresh layer of snow. Yet, all I really noticed was that swollen black and purple face in the reflection. Had it not been for that unruly hair I smoothed down with my hand, I wouldn’t have known that beaten-up woman was me at all.

The feeling of fingers around my neck was still heavy, and I wrapped my hand around it like I could somehow go back in time and stop him. “I can’t stay here anymore. He’s going to kill me.”

Already completely winded and exhausted from the simple act of lifting my hand over my head, I understood I was absolutely helpless. “Make me disappear.”

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