Their time together is up...
Let's have a lookie-loo at what's in this magical piece of literary goodness known as the newsletter:
  1. Greetings and salutations
  2. Pact with a Heartbreaker, chapter 15
  3. What even am I doing with my life? 
Hiya, friend!
Can you believe it's finally time? If you've been waiting to read Pact with a Heartbreaker until its completion, I have good news for you: your wait is over!
This newsletter concludes the totally unplanned prequel to Mackenna and Hudson's  full length book. This baby clocks in at just under 30,000 words. If you'd rather read it as a compiled e-book, I'm afraid you'll have to wait a bit longer—how long, I'm not sure. I'd hoped to release it this fall, but my life isn't going according to how I've written it in my planner (*shakes fist at the world*), but I'll get there. And you'll be the first to know as I'll announce it here. 
For those inquiring minds, here's the order for the Havenbrook series:
Prequel (can be read as book 0, or book 2.5): Pact with a Heartbreaker
Book 3: Title TBD (Mackenna and Hudson)
Book 4: Title TBD (Natalie)
Because of how I've structured it, Pact with a Heartbreaker can be read either as your first foray into Havenbrook, my fictional southern small town, or after you've read Second Chance Charmer

In case you've missed any previous chapters, you can get caught up here
Quick disclaimer: in order to get these chapters to you every week, they are raw and unedited, so thank you for excusing any mistakes! 

Chapter 15

It felt like they’d been at a stand off for hours, when in actuality it had probably been only thirty minutes. Round and round they’d gone, both of them sharing their reasons for why they should and should not continue on with a relationship. Despite that, Mac wasn’t any closer to caving. And she knew Hudson wasn’t either.

“This is bullshit, Kenna, and you know it.”

She clutched her head and groaned, so frustrated that he wouldn’t just listen to her. He was too dead-set on keeping her that he was totally ignoring her fears. Didn’t he realize that she’d give up everything—even if it was all she’d ever wanted—if it gave him a better chance at coming back to her? “What I know is that I won’t be able to live with myself if something happens to you because you were distracted by me.”

“Jesus, you’re not listening to me!”

“Back atcha, jackass,” she grumbled. She didn’t want to spend their last hours in a fight like this. She wanted to lay with him in the hammock, wanted to explore the canopy of trees at the back of his property hand in hand. She wanted to rest her head on his chest and just listen to his heart beat because she had no idea when she’d be able to again. If she’d be able to again.

His lips curved up the slightest bit at her response before smoothing out once again into a harsh line. “I’m gonna be distracted by you one way or another.”

“You won’t. Hud, just listen to me. Please.” She stared at him, waiting for the jerk of his head in acknowledgment. When he finally gave it, she swallowed hard. “You won’t be distracted if we go back to how it was. It was easy, effortless. Our friendship was never anything we had to worry about. Nothing we had to think about. It just is. And as much as I think you need that while you’re gone, I need it too. Let me have it. Please.”

He froze at her words, his jaw ticking and his eyes wild and frantic. She had no idea why she hadn’t started with that. Hudson had always put himself last. He was the most unselfish person she’d ever met, and he’d give his last shirt to a stranger if they needed it. When he’d thought her adamancy on this had been solely for his benefit, of course he’d pushed back. But now that she’d been honest and said it was as much for her? His resolve was crumbling, and she could see it as it fell.

He scrubbed a hand down his face with a groan. “Christ, Kenna, you think I can go back to friendship with you after that?” he asked, waving an arm in the direction of his bedroom. “After I’ve been inside you? Made you come more times than I can count? Held you and slept with you in my arms? I’ve loved you as a friend for as long as I can remember, but this is different and you know it. I’m in lo—”

“Don’t,” she said, slapping her hand over his mouth. “Don’t you dare say that right now.”

She couldn’t take it if he did. She’d cave and then everything would be ruined. In the wreckage of her broken heart, she knew this was what needed to be done. For both of them.

His eyes turned hard, his hands braced on his hips. He should’ve looked ridiculous—this tall, muscled guy wearing only a thin pair of underwear while he stood stark-raving mad and glaring at her. Instead, he made her knees weak. And if he said those words to her, she’d relent on everything. She knew she would.

“Doesn’t make ‘em any less true whether I say ‘em or not,” he said through her fingers.”

No denying that. Tears welled in her eyes and she nodded. “Same goes for me, you know.” She swallowed back her tears, spoke through the thickness in her throat. “But I’m not gonna budge on this. I can’t. I need you to let me go like this. Not for forever. Just for right now.” Her voice cracked on the last word. 

Hudson tugged her to him, crushing her to his chest, his arms wrapped so tight around her she could hardly breathe. But she didn’t care. She clung to him, feeling his resignation in the hunch of his shoulders, in the weight of his forehead against her neck. And though it seemed like she’d won, she couldn’t ignore the overwhelming weight in her heart that said she was really losing.

“I don’t know if I can do this. There’s no way I’m gonna just be able to let you go, Kenna.” He spoke into her neck, his breath ghosting down against her chest. “Not after having you and loving you almost my whole life. And now, knowing you feel the same?” He shook his head against her skin, his hair tickling her. “There has to be some kind of end game. Some kind of finish line for us with a promise that we’ll get a chance at a future.”

He pulled away, gripping her face as he bent his knees so they were eye level. They were deep and so full of emotions, she could get lost in them. She reached up and gripped his forearms as he ran his thumbs over her cheeks, the touch combined with the love shining in his eyes nearly enough to make her knees buckle.

“Tell me we can do that,” he said. Begged. “Because I won’t be able to leave without it.”

She shook her head, not understanding. “Do what? What do you mean?”

“Gimme a timeframe. Tell me how long before we can be together.”

“I… I don’t know.” She had no idea what his longterm plans were, because he’d never let her into this part of his life. She’d known his college plans, his major, but this? This was all new. Was he only planning to serve for four years? Or was he hoping to make a career out of it like his daddy had? “How long will you be…” She couldn’t finish the sentence, but she didn’t have to.

He clenched his jaw and closed his eyes, resting his forehead against hers. “I don’t know.”

Her heart ached. Tears stung her eyes, and her throat tightened from attempting to hold them back. Years. She’d be without him for years.

But it’d be worth every day of missing him as long as he came back.

“Whenever. Wherever. Name the day, and I’ll be there,” she finally whispered. She could give him this. A promise. A pact. No doubt too far off, so many years from now that she couldn’t think about it too much because she’d break in half. Split right down the center and wither away.

She could only nod as he whispered his proposal. Holding her close and kissing away every traitorous tear that fell from her eyes. Holding on like he’d never let her go. 



Hudson was never going to let her go. 

“You’re gonna squeeze the life outta me if you keep on like this,” Kenna said against his chest, her face buried in the cotton of his T-shirt.

They’d been standing outside her sister’s car for who knew how long. The blink of an eye, really. The day had fallen away like sand through his fingers, and he’d give anything for a few more minutes…just a little more time. Except they were all out.

“I’ll call, okay?” he said, cupping her face in his hands. Pressing his nose to her hair and breathing her in. “And I’ll write. E-mail. We can Skype. I don’t know the details or when I’ll—”

She pulled back enough to press her fingers over his mouth like she’d done earlier. “I know. We’ll figure it out. And I’ll be here. Don’t worry about that. Promise you won’t.”


In the hours prior to Willow’s arrival, he and Kenna had come to an agreement. One he hadn’t been satisfied with—despite having come up with it in the first place—but one he’d settled on. He couldn’t have it all with Kenna right now—she was dead set on that. It’d been easy to throw up every argument he could think of when he’d thought her hesitation had only been for his benefit. But when she’d said she needed it too? When her voice had cracked and her eyes had filled as she’d pleaded with him to do this? He was done for. He’d give her anything in the world, even if it meant time and space out of his grasp.  

“Come back to me, okay?” she said, her voice wobbly but her smile bright. 

He nodded, unable to speak. With one last, lingering kiss on his lips, she pulled away and slipped in to the car, shutting the door behind her. He stepped back, hands shoved in his pockets just to keep himself from reaching for her. From pulling her out of the car and into his arms for just one more hug. He hadn’t had nearly enough time holding her. But as desperately as he wanted more, he knew he had to let her leave. Because she’d asked him to.

So he’d give her what she needed. He’d let her put up a distance between them, even if it was just in her mind. Just a mirage. Because no matter what she said, no matter the details or the miles or the years separating them, there was no denying the simple fact Hudson knew deep in his heart: He was hers. Always had been. Always would be. 

He was going to make something of himself. Live up to be the man his father had been…the man Hudson knew he could be. The man Kenna deserved. And then he’d be back. To Havenbrook. To Kenna. Because if there was one thing he knew for certain, it was that Mackenna Haven was it for him. 

And come hell or high water, he was coming back to her.


Thank you so much for reading this story as I wrote it, for sharing your feels via email or DMs or over in the Brigade. I can't tell you how much it fuels my muse when I hear from you and how the fictional characters who live in my brain affect you and capture your heart. For that, thank you a million times. <3

My co-pilot says hello. Jack and I have been trying to get back into a schedule now that school is back in session and we've had a full week under our belt. It's...going. LOL

Did I tell you that me and my boys (including my big boy) have been rewatching all the movies in the Marvel universe in chronological order of when they happen, not when they were released? Why, you ask? Well, we saw Infinity War, my heart and soul were shattered beyond all repair, and I needed to see my friends again. (Plus, superheroes and the best Chrises...) Tonight's movie? Guardians of the Galaxy. One of my faves. (Which, coincidentally enough, I've said about nearly all of them...)

Are you a Marvel fan? Which movie is your fave? Reply and let me know!


As always, I love to hear from readers! Reply to this e-mail or swing by Twitter, Instagram, or the reader group on Facebook to keep up with me between releases! 
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