Book 1 in the Twists of Fate Series- Fate's Second Chance
Marie thought dying was the worst thing to happen to her, until informed she's always been a man's soul trapped in a woman's body. As Marc, he's got one shot to set things right--by finding love with his best friend and soul mate--with only a month to do it.
Marie Carter has never felt comfortable in her own body, and it took dying to find out why. Ross, her unlikely guardian angel, informs her that mistakes were made and he needs her help to save her fate, Ross's wings, and her best friend's heart.
Six month's after Marie's death, Marc arrives with one month to heal Sabrina's—his sister's—suffering, and win his soulmate, Shawn. If he fails, Sabrina will never know peace, Ross will be kicked out of heaven, and the love of his life will die from a broken heart. Will that be enough time to heal the wounds a lifetime in the wrong body has caused?
I always assumed when I died my life would flash before my eyes, but that was so not the case. Sitting on an airplane with complete strangers as the massive piece of machinery plummeted to the ground, all I could think was why the fuck did I take the earlier flight.
I was being a little dramatic I know, but I was about to die and leave my sister and my best friend. The only people I loved in the world, plus the only family I had. I was more than likely leaving them due to faulty equipment or engine malfunction. What a lousy way to go.
My poor sister Serena, what would she do? Our parents died when I was fifteen and she twenty-two. We were all we had in the world, and now I would be bailing on her too. Of course, this entire situation wasn't my fault but it didn't make it any easier. She'd been my friend and parent for the past ten years. I loved Serena, she was truly the best sister slash parent a girl could ever have.
Then there was Shawn, my best friend since kindergarten. The only man I ever truly loved. He was there when my parents died, there when Serena caught me having my first beer, and there when my first boyfriend broke my heart. Whenever I needed someone, he was there to pick up the pieces no matter how big or how small. I couldn't have picked a better friend.
The only thing bad about being in love with Shawn was that he's gay. I'm a girl so a romantic relationship would never happen. Now I wouldn't even get the chance to say I love you in more than a friend kind of way. Maybe going down was for the best. Telling Shawn my true feelings would ruin our friendship.
These were the things going through my mind minutes before the plane crashed and I'd die. To have just one more chance to tell Shawn and Serena I loved them, I would have given anything.
The swift drop in altitude told me the engines had stalled. I heard other passengers screaming, crying, and praying, but I sat there with my eyes clenched tight. Behind my eyelids, all I saw were Shawn and
Serena. Then nothing.
* * * *
Sometime later I woke up. I took in my surroundings--white walls, white bed linens, and I was wearing a white gown. My nose twitched at the sterile clean smell of the room. I had to be in a hospital.
How could I have survived a plane crash? Maybe I had dreamed the whole thing. I sat up and looked around me. I took notice of the large white room with fluffy white fog floating around the floor.
Okay, that was weird. I had to be dreaming.
"You're not dreaming, sweetheart. You're dead as a doornail."
What the fuck? I spun around and clutched my blanket to my chest. There was a man leaning against the wall. I could tell even in a relaxed state he would tower over my short stature. He had a golden complexion, platinum blond hair that came to his shoulders, and a smile on his face that lit up the room. Definitely gorgeous in a preppy guy way, as if he just stepped out of a J Crew ad. He wore all white as well.
What was up with all the white? Okay, this wasn't the time for stupid questions. I needed to focus.
"Yes, please focus since we don't have a lot of time here, sweetheart, but thanks for the compliment."
Okay, is he reading my freaking mind? I tilted my head to the side to study this apparent psychic medium.
"Yes, I can read your thoughts, but can you start using your mouth? It would make this less awkward," the man said as he pushed away from the wall.
I tried to swallow but my mouth was too dry. I wasn't sure if it was the rising fear or shock that had me unable to move or react. "Where am I?" Start slow, Marie, you can do this.
"Okay, once again, speak words to me. Reading your mind is giving me a headache and that's just poor manners." The man came and sat down at the end of the bed I was lying on. "To answer your question, you're in what we like to call limbo. There has been a mistake, or actually," the man let out a small chuckle, "a few mistakes but who's counting. My name is Ross and I'm your guardian angel."
The angel named Ross held out his hand for me to shake. So I did. After all, I was completely crazy. The dude just said I was in limbo. Crazy Town, population me.
"Girl, seriously, snap out of it. My name is Ross, your guardian angel. Let us speed this up, shall we? You remember the plane crash?"
Plane crash, plane crash, plane crash. Fuck! Ross nodded up and down. "I'm really dead. My whole life seems like a dream and I'm just now waking up." I looked around me to get a better look. "Is this the waiting room for Heaven?" I whispered as I leaned toward him.
Ross shook his head at me. Sue me; I was new to all this dying business.
"L-I-M-B-O. Did you get that? Jeez, you're slow," Ross said as he relaxed back on his elbows.
"Dude, you don't need to shout at me or spell shit. I hear perfectly fine and speak English. You're just a lousy explainer," I said as I pointed my finger at him. Okay, maybe yelling at the crazy man claiming to be my guardian angel wasn't the smartest thing for me to do.
"I'm trying to explain but you're not listening." I watched as Ross ran his hands through his white blond hair as he mumbled something I couldn't make out. "Okay, let's try this again. My name is Ross, you died in the plane crash, and you're sitting in limbo. Long story short, there's been a mistake and like I said this dying business isn't the first mistake to happen to you."
I chewed on my lower lip as I tried to digest all the info. All I heard was mistake, dying, and wasn't the first mistake. Where does a person begin?
"What do you mean mistake? To me someone dying is a huge thing to fuck up on. Don't you think?" I shouted.
"Okay, first off, you can't yell at me if I can't yell at you, and second you cuss way too much. I've always thought that, you know," Ross said as he flipped his hair back in a very feminine manner.
Was this guy serious? "Listen here, grandma, if you don't explain yourself I'm going to want to speak to your boss or manager or some shit like that." There, that didn't sound completely absurd or anything.
Breathe, Marie, everything is all right, you're not crazy. My breaths started rushing in and out of my chest with so much force I thought I might hyperventilate.
"Take deep breaths and calm down. Can't have you dying on me again." Ross started to laugh and I narrowed my eyes at him. "Too soon for death jokes?"
"Sorry, you need to lighten up and laugh, because you're going to be laughing after I explain this whole mix up." Ross sat up a little straighter and crossed his legs at the knee.
"Okay." What else could I say? I didn't know how to get out of this place so listening to Ross was my only option.
"Twenty-five years ago I became a guardian angel. The night I got my wings, I went and celebrated with some other angels. That ceremonial wine has a kick like you wouldn't believe." Ross started to laugh but at my lack of amusement, he went on with his story. "Anyway, I overslept my first assignment. See, when we get our wings, we're given charges to follow from birth to death and you are mine.
Actually you're my only one."
"You sound bothered by that. Why am I your only one? Are you supposed to have more than one?" This dude sure wasn't gaining my confidence.
"Well, I made a mistake and until I fix this debacle, I'm stuck with just you. And let's just say you're not the most exciting person in the world."
"Hey! We are talking about your fuck–up, not my boring life. And for the record, my life is so not boring." I stuck my tongue out at him. Childish? Yes, but I didn't care.
Serena thought falling for a gay man was tragic until she accidently dies. Saved by an angel and sent back to live as a man, Seth now has to decide if this new chance at happiness outweighs the simplicity of his old life.
Serena has treated herself to a much needed vacation cruise. While on board she meets the man of her dreams. What was supposed to be the beginnings of love are dashed away when she learns the sweet, young Rylee is gay.
When an attempt to drown her sorrows goes awry, she wakes up to her brother’s annoying guardian angel, Ross, who informs her she has gone missing, and in order to keep her alive, her soul was placed into the first available body.
Serena, now Seth, is adapting to her new life as a man. But all that changes when he runs into Rylee again. A chance at love has Seth rethinking his life and how he chooses to live it. Time is running out and a choice must be made. One question remains: is Seth willing to gamble on love?
The plane landed and I could have kissed the ground. A little dramatic, yes, but after what happened to my brother, who could blame me for being paranoid when traveling by plane? I had the sinking suspicion if my flight went down in a blaze of glory there wouldn't be any redos for me.
With my suitcase in hand, I walked out into the humid Miami weather. The air was so thick with moisture, I felt the perspiration trickling down my back. The pool of sweat between my boobs alone could have watered a small houseplant. I thought Kansas City summers were hot.
I boarded the shuttle bus taking the cruise passengers to the dock. Luckily no one sat next to me. I had a chance to unwind and think about the advice my little brother had given me. He said I should have a vacation fling. But I honestly didn't think I could do something like that. Call me a prude, but meaningless sex just didn't seem worth it. According to Marc that was part of my problem and why I didn't have a boyfriend. He said I needed to live a little.
For the past eleven years I had focused on taking care of my brother, finishing school, and then starting up my dental practice. There was never time to date, let alone have a relationship. My lack of dating didn't bother me, of course. I was doing what I wanted in my life, and how many people could say they were working their dream job?
The bus came to a stop. I climbed out, and walked straight to the check-in counter they had set up beside the ship's on-ramp. Exhaustion ate at my weary bones and I couldn't wait to get aboard and take a nap. I handed over my ticket and passport to the very tan looking man. Cute but something seemed a little odd.
I tilted my head from side to side, trying to figure out what seemed off with this picture. He seemed almost too perfect. Not a single flaw on his skin.
Was he wearing make-up?
I shrugged and said thank you and took my boarding pass. If the guy wanted to dabble in wearing eyeliner more power to him.
I finally made it to my cabin with the help of a super friendly female steward. She wouldn't take no for an answer and accompanied me to my room when I asked for directions. Said she didn't mind showing me the way, something about not wanting me to get lost. I wasn't going to complain though; she did help wheel my other suitcase down the long hallways.
"Well, thank you for all your help. I hope I wasn't too much trouble," I said with a smile and held out my hand for her to shake.
"Oh it was no trouble at all." The woman gently grasped my hand. She continued to smile at me and wouldn't let go when I tried to pull it back.
Did I need to tip her or something? I started to run through proper cruise ship etiquette in my head but couldn't remember.
"Well thanks again." I very carefully extracted myself from her grip.
She started to walk out of my room then turned and held out a card to me. "It's a long cruise, if you need anything, and I mean anything--" she shot me a wink, "--just give me a call, day or night."
She turned and walked out of my cabin and waved as she turned down the hall. I shut the door behind me thinking it odd she would give me, a complete stranger, her phone number. For all she knew I was a serial killer. Oh well, maybe they were friendlier down here in Florida.
Once in my room I unpacked then settled down on the bed. One week of no patients, no early mornings, and no worries. I snuggled into the soft comforter and yawned so wide I thought my jaw would come unhinged.
"Yep. Best choice I ever made. My relaxation and fun can now commence," I said to myself as I drifted off to sleep.
Two hours later, I woke refreshed and ready to explore the upper deck. Going over to the dresser I pulled out my black one piece and white waist wrap. The pool and a large margarita called my name.
Half an hour later, dressed in my swimsuit and floppy sun hat, I walked out of my room before I changed my mind. I closed the cabin door without checking to make sure I had the card key. With a heavy sigh I started searching through my bag. I was standing in the middle of the hallway when I was bumped from behind and my bag dropped, spilling all my crap on the floor.
"Shit," I grumbled as I went to my knees and started picking up my stuff.
"I'm so sorry. Here, let me help you with that."
I looked over to see a blond head tilted downward picking up my belongings. I sat back on my heels to get a better look at the young man. He looked like he couldn't have been more than eighteen years old. Granted he was on his knees at the moment but he looked short and a little on the thin side.
A big goofy smile spread across my face as he mumbled to himself while shoveling my stuff back in my bag. He looked up and I damn near choked on my tongue at the sight of the greenest eyes I had ever seen. The man had to be wearing colored contacts.
The young man smiled sheepishly at me and gave a half-shrug. "I'm so sorry, ma'am. I'm such a klutz."
Kill me now. The little hottie just called me ma'am. My smiled dropped and he must have picked up on my mood change. As he started to speak again I held my hand up to stop him.
"Sweetie, it's okay, but if you call me ma'am again, I swear I will punch you in the nose." I held up my fist to emphasize my point.
I had to clench my thighs together to keep from peeing myself from the look of utter terror on the poor guy's face. I starting to laugh so hard tears blurred my vision and I lost my balance and toppled over and fell flat on my ass. Still laughing I looked over at the man to see him look from side to side either in an attempt to seek help from the crazy lady busting a gut on the floor, or a quick escape. Sobering up, I wiped the tears from eyes and grabbed my bag from his hand.
"Are you okay?" he asked nervously.
I let out a huff of air. "I'm fine, but seriously, did you think I would actually punch you?" I grinned as he looked down at the floor. "What's your name, Blondie?"
Blondie was a good nickname for this guy. He had honey blond hair that hung across his forehead. Styled short in the back, long on top, very cute on him.
"Rylee," he said with a small smile.
"Well Ry, I have to ask one thing of you. Please don't call me ma'am. It makes me feel old," I said with a shudder.
He chuckled and I swear it sounded like angels singing. I tilted my head in thought. Did angels sing? I would have to ask Ross for a demonstration the next time I saw that particular angel.
"I didn't mean any disrespect but my mom always said manners made the man. So I always say yes sir and yes ma'am, even to people younger than me." He stood up and reached a hand out to help me up.
"Smart woman," I said as I allowed Rylee to pull me to my feet.
"Yes she was." Rylee looked to the ground where he almost stepped on something. He scooped the object up and then tossed the small package at me like it had burned his hand. I reached up and caught the object in midair--a tampon. Good Lord. If I had been a teenage girl I would have died, but I'm not. I tossed the tampon back at him to watch him dodge the flying missile.