Chosen (Chosen Trilogy Book 1)

By: David Leadbeater

(The first part of the Chosen Few trilogy)



1





NEW YORK CITY - U.S.A.





The lights went out.

Johnny Trevochet’s breath froze in his throat

A hush fell over Madison Square Garden; a hush laced with so much tension and suppressed excitement he had never experienced the like of it before. The rock group Supernatural were about to kick off a kick-ass concert, and the anticipation was palpable.

Amidst the whispers, the whistles, and the rising wave of noise he turned to smile at his wife, Natalie. This simple act was harder than he could ever have imagined before the accident that took away the use of his legs and destroyed his acting career. The wheelchair didn’t give like normal seating. He had to turn his entire body like a damn robot.

“Hey, Johnny,” she winked and leaned forward to whisper in his ear. “Remember Harvard?”

His discomfort slipped away as a rare smile came to his lips and he remembered a perfect day more than ten years ago. A day when smiles came naturally, before Fate took its greedy bite out of him. It had been one of those unforgettable Boston, Massachusetts, mid-Autumn days: a bracing wind, a crisp golden light that splintered through the trees, and the promise of winter snapping at the air.

“Remember what?” he teased her and delighted in the way she threw back her head to laugh. It was his greatest pleasure, watching his wife laugh. It was the reason he hadn’t taken the easy way out after a drunken attorney put an end to his acting career one snowbound New York night.

Natalie leaned in closer, her words falling like drops of honey. When her lips brushed against his ear, tingles spread from his brain to his toes, never mind the numbing paralysis. Then, Supernatural made a high-level appearance, and the rest of her sentence was lost in uproar.

Powerful chords of rock music drowned out everything except the spectacle of light and dancing that erupted before them. People rushed to the front of the stage. Due to his recent disability and his luminary reputation, Johnny had been able to secure front row ‘disabled-area’ tickets to the gig, the hottest of the year. He had heard that Supernatural were the new wave; an all-girl rock group who knew how to play, how to write, and sure as hell knew how to dress.

He stared for a moment, then blinked, swallowed, and pretended he hadn’t been staring. “Good. . .erm. . .start,” he shouted.

Natalie raised her eyebrows, still laughing, and again he was catapulted back to Boston. One evening, in the gardens of one of the quieter halls, they had enjoyed a picnic of cheese and wine whilst hiding themselves away among the shedding trees. They had taken blankets too, and had spent the night there, keeping the cold at bay with each other’s bodies, toasting Chardonnay to the frosted stars, and making the conversation of two people who knew they were destined to be with each other beyond youth and into old age. It had been the best night of both their lives.

Johnny was dragged back to the present as the first song came to a rowdy end and the lead singer of Supernatural, Emily Crowe- a dynamic girl with raven-coloured locks, shouted: “CAN YOU HEAR ME?” in a booming voice that belied her size.

The crowd responded immediately, Johnny and Natalie included, roaring their approval. Without delay, Supernatural launched into their second song, electric guitars screamed, and the drummer went into a frenzy. Johnny let the atmosphere take him. After all, he thought, if you couldn’t forget your worries at a rock concert, along with twenty thousand like-minded people, you might as well be dead. You might as well have breathed your last on that snow-ridden street.

The crescendo of noise swelled around him. People were dancing in the aisles. He turned to Natalie.

“I wish. . .I just wish. . .” he shouted, and then a crushing sadness fell over him, causing a break in his voice.

“I wish I could take you to Central Park after this,” he said. “I wish I could take you ice skating.”

He saw his own hurt reflected in Natalie’s eyes. And then the sudden strength. And the belief. “One day,” she said, then added “Spanky.”

And just like that she made him smile. ‘Spanky’ was her pet name for him. A few years ago, the producers of his soap-opera had green-lighted a humorous spanking scene with his pretty female co-star. He had come home sheepish; terrified his wife would be angry at him for agreeing to do it. Instead she had fallen about laughing and had never let him forget it.

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