Rock Wedding - Nalini Singh

PART ONE

CHAPTER 1

SARAH KNEW TODAY WAS A BAD DAY FOR ABE. The anniversary of Tessie’s death always was… and it didn’t matter that today was also the anniversary of the day Sarah and Abe had first met. Any happiness he felt at being with her was crushed under a black cloud of grief that descended the instant the clock ticked past midnight.

Sarah understood that Tessie came first, always had. She wasn’t jealous. How could anyone be jealous of a sweet girl who’d only lived for eight years before her life was cut cruelly short? It seemed deeply unfair that someone so innocent was gone when such ugliness continued to exist in the world.

No, Sarah would never be jealous of Abe’s beloved baby sister.

All Sarah wanted was to be there for Abe. He’d refused to share his grief with her on their first anniversary, but they’d been married nearly two years now. It was time she took the bull by the horns and made him understand that she’d always be there for him—in the darkness and in the light. Through the good and through the awful.

Why he didn’t already understand that, she didn’t know. Sarah had stood by her husband through the drugs and the stints in rehab and the backsliding. She’d been there every step of the way, had never, not once, given up on Abe—but he didn’t seem to realize she’d bleed for him, die for him.

Sarah loved Abe with a devotion that terrified her.

She knew he didn’t love her back. That was okay. She could accept that—she’d never expected someone so magnificent to love her. But he wanted her and he needed her and he was wonderful to her when he wasn’t poisoning his body with drugs and alcohol. Only last month, he’d surprised her by taking her to see the live taping of her favorite television show. And the way he touched her… she felt precious.

It was more than she’d ever thought she’d find, more value than she’d ever believed anyone would see in her. If only she could help him with his grief in return.

Four years after Abe and his family buried Tessie, following the rapid onset of a disease against which Abe’s sister stood no chance, and the loss remained an open wound inside him.

The outside world might look at him and think he’d given in to despair, but Sarah knew the truth. Her husband was full of rage. He held it within, his screaming at fate silent, but his anger, it never died. And sometimes, when there was too much inside him and he couldn’t hold it within any longer, he took drugs and turned into a man she didn’t know—and then he raged in truth.

Broken furniture, holes in the walls, Sarah was used to all of it. But no matter how awful his mood, how much poison ran through his veins, Abe had never, not once, turned that rage on her. He took it out on stone and concrete, leaving himself with bloodied knuckles he refused to allow her to bandage.

The last time, she’d called David in desperation. The drummer had come, gone toe to toe with him, made him calm down.

She hoped tonight wouldn’t be a painful echo. Please let Abe be all right tonight.

Heart aching in the post-midnight quiet, she padded barefoot down the hallway of the airy and light-filled house and pushed open the door to the music room where a black baby grand piano sat in solitary splendor. The cover had been pulled off, dropped to the side; the stunning instrument gleamed in the moonlight that speared through the gauzy