LOST DAYS Four Days, #4
Aaron O’Donovan is a rational man prone to reflection, used to being proactive and finding a solution for every problem. He’s spent the past few years taking care of his sister and running a pub that he owns with his friends, after setting aside his passion for music. Aaron is a constant presence in the lives of the people who surround him, a rock you can count on; but Aaron is a lonely man who has given up his own ambitions. Someone with a difficult past behind him. His experiences have made him cynical, unable to believe in anything – especially in love.
Ciara Doyle works as a tour guide during her final year of an Art History degree. She’s young and full of life. Her world is made up of light, colour and limitless dreams. She believes in people, in love and in happily-ever-after, even though there’s only space for one man in her heart — the only man she shouldn’t want.
Aaron has known Ciara since she was a child and has always thought of her as a sister: he’s watched her grow up before his eyes, maturing into a beautiful, sexy woman, so headstrong and proud. A woman who knows what she wants. And Ciara wants Aaron.
Aaron tries to resist her, but the passion between them explodes, forcing him to give in to something that he has denied himself for years. However, giving in to her would mean the end of her dreams – because Aaron isn’t capable of love.
He can never be her Prince Charming.
EXCERPT ~ PROLOGUE
There are many things I don’t believe in. I’m talking about all those things you can’t touch with your hands or see with your eyes.
I don’t believe there’s anyone up there, a spirit or entity – whatever you want to call it – watching over us.
I don’t believe in destiny, fate or the inevitable.
I don’t believe in chance or bad luck.
I don’t believe in hopes or dreams.
I don’t believe that we all have a soulmate out there. I don’t believe in ‘The One’, someone who completes you and makes you feel indestructible.
I believe that we are in charge of our own destiny, and that life is just a consequence of the decisions we make. No one else can interfere in that process, or make the decision for you. They don’t bring any kind of tragedy into your life, or anyone else’s.
You decide on certain actions: you decide to take on responsibilities, you decide whether or not to stay in relationships.
External influences do not exist. It’s you alone who plays your hand, and if you’ve got a shitty hand, you’re the one to blame. You’re probably just not a very good player.
Rain’s accident wasn’t fate. It was because of a drunk driver.
The end of our career wasn’t bad luck; it was a direct result of the accident, which made us all re-examine our lives, roll up our sleeves and get on with things.
Alex’s illness is a genetic condition; it’s science, for God’s sake, not something that happened by chance.
The fact that Patrick is a shithead? Straight up fact. There’s no need to dig any deeper than that.
Our life here in Howth, the pub, this house: all of it has stemmed from a decision somewhere down the line.
There will always be a problem, you just have to find a solution. And we have.
Be concrete and resolute. That’s all there is to it.
Love? Emotion? It’s all a distraction, just something to trip you up, to drag you down into something inexplicable, the only guarantee being that it’ll cloud your judgment.
Lifelong bonds, through blood or through friendship: those are the tangible things I can really grasp.
Family is the most important thing in the world. People that you can share everything with, people who are beside you and who you can always count on. People who are part of you.
My family is a little unconventional, and decidedly too big, but it’s the only thing that matters. That peace, that harmony.
It’s true that there are factors that I could never wrap my head around, but I’ve accepted them. It’s their choice, not mine. But I respect that.
Liam is in love with my sister, Rain; luckily for him, it’s reciprocated. Jay and Alex are a couple, Patrick and Erin are engaged, and have already started their family with little Lily.
I don’t judge their way of life. They’ve all decided to place their faith into something dark and uncertain—that’s their business, not mine.
I keep out of it, watching from a distance and making sure that nobody gets into trouble, or forces me to intervene. When love is involved, everything becomes precarious, unstable. You lose all rationality.
It’s not for me.
Maybe it was different when I was younger. I was immature and life still hadn’t hit me yet. Growing up I learned in a hurry that showing your feelings doesn’t pay off—it destroys you, instead. Since then, I’ve grown more rational, more cautious. But I never really had a choice.
My parents died when Rain and I were just kids. First my mum, from a degenerative disease. Her body just started to shut down, a scientific process. Dad died in a car accident just a year later. Some idiot, high on God-knows-what, ran him over as he was crossing the road. His death was the consequence of an action.
Rain was seventeen years old, in her last year of high school. I’d graduated a few years before, and was working hard to get by, keep her in school, and not lose the house.
Then, there was music.
There are some people who say you need to be in the right place at the right time, and I guess that’s how it happened for us. We worked hard and put ourselves out there, kept our spirits up as door after door was slammed in our faces, until one day, someone recognised our talent.
Everything has an explanation, its own logic.
Even though I was at the top of my class at school, I’m no intellectual; but I can still tell the difference between what’s rational and what’s not.
That’s how I live.
And that’s how I’m going to keep living.