Happy's Ever After [Cade Creek 1]By: Stormy Glenn
Cade Creek 1
Happy’s Ever After
Happy O’Brian spent the better part of his life isolated from the rest of the world. He was told he was evil down to his soul. It was physically beat into him on a daily basis. He lived with it, believing that his ultra conservative religious grandparents were right until the day his mother was attacked. Seeking help changed Happy’s life in ways he could never imagine and showed him a world he didn’t know existed.
Answering a disturbance call, Deputy Marc Walker meets a man that shocks him with his gentleness. When he discovers Happy’s true nature, Marc wants to know everything about the man. He wants to show him the world.
When the past rears its head, and their lives are put in danger, Happy tries to do the right thing and distance himself from his handsome deputy. But Marc has other plans for his gentle giant and he’s not going to let a little thing like getting shot or having escaped prisoners gunning for them interfere with those plans. Happy will get his happy ever after.
“Were you seen?” The words were whispered, frightened.
Happy shook his head. “No, Mama.”
“Are you sure, Happy?”
“Yes, Mama, I’m sure. I waited until they went to bed.”
Happy O’Brian smiled as he climbed up onto the bed and snuggled into the arms his mother held out to him. For just a moment, he soaked in the feeling of her soft arms wrapped around him, knowing he would only have a little while with her before he had to leave.
“What would you like to hear tonight?”
“Sleeping Beauty.” His favorite because the prince came and saved Sleeping Beauty with a kiss. He dreamed of a prince coming to save him and his mama. He had been dreaming since he knew what a dream was.
The prince never came.
“Oh, that’s a good choice.” Mama squeezed him tight, planting a kiss on his head. “Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, lived a handsome prince named Sleeping Beauty…”
Happy’s mind wandered as he listened to his mother tell him the same story she had told him a hundred times before. No matter how many times he heard it, it never got old.
Maybe it was because his mama was telling the story or maybe it was because these times with her were few and far between. If his grandparents ever learned he had snuck into her room to be with her, there would be hell to pay. But it would be worth whatever punishment he suffered to be held by the one person in the world that loved him, even if it was just for a few moments.
Happy turned his head and pressed his nose against his mother’s neck, inhaling her sweet scent. No one smelled like his mama—sunshine and roses. Happy imagined that was what heaven smelled like.
“I love you, Mama.”
“Oh…” Anna O’Brian’s lips pressed against the top of Happy’s head again. “I love you, too, Happy.”
Happy beamed up at her. “That’s why you named me Happy.”
“Yes.” The warmth in Anna’s voice was broken by the softness of her whisper. “I named you Happy because I was so happy that you were mine.”
Happy lay in his mother’s arms, listening to her tell the rest of the fairy tale. He was sad when it came to an end. It meant his time with his mother was also coming to an end. They didn’t dare spend more than a little while together.
“It’s time to go, Happy.”
Happy nodded as he sat up. Arguing wouldn’t do either of them any good. It just made his mother cry, and Happy hated seeing his mother cry. She cried all too often.
Anna’s hand curved around Happy’s small face. “You be good, my beautiful baby boy.”
“I will, Mama,” Happy promised. He always tried to be good, even when his grandparents said he was bad.
“Give me a kiss and then off to bed with you.”
Happy leaned in and kissed his mother on the cheek, knowing he wouldn’t be able to see her for a few days. It was never safe for him to visit two days in a row. There were too many chances they could get caught.
“I love you, Happy,” Anna whispered with a shaky voice. “Never forget that.”
“I love you, too, Mama.” Sadness weighed heavy on Happy’s five-year-old heart as he climbed off the bed and made his way to the door. He grabbed the door handle and then glanced over his shoulder, smiling at his mother. “Bye, Mama.”