Life Unwritten

By: T. I. Lowe

Chapter One

Fun fact, two-hundred-plus-pound women are magical. Even with such a wide girth, these darlings possess the ability to form invisibility shields. How do I know? I’ve lived most of my life with these powers.

Hiding behind my obesity, I was able to successfully walk through nearly two decades of life unseen. No one noticed me on the plane when the small seat barely held me. No one saw when the booth at my favorite bistro refused me in its tight space.

All alone, just shuffling through an unwritten life. Too much of a coward to even get past the prologue.

Now that I’ve managed losing the excess weight, the world’s blinders have been removed to the one and only Harper Blume. They watch me now and smile while meeting my eyes after perusing my slim frame. Always quick to compliment my blonde hair that looks exactly as it did when I was two hundred thirty-some pounds—long, golden waves that rest at the small of my back. And always oohing and aahing over my pale green eyes, commenting on them being such a unique shade.

Society acknowledges my existence now that this body of mine is almost one hundred pounds lighter, yet all I want at the end of this complicated transformation is to have my invisibility magic back. The attention scares me and also ticks me off. Why didn’t my radiant hair and alluring eyes matter before the weight disappeared?

Yes, I’m stubborn enough to say the heck with it all and cram candy bars and fried chicken in until I blow back up. But that stubbornness of mine has another tenacious side that refuses to allow me to go back on this rash decision to get fit. If I ever decide to do something, it’s all the way, baby, or not at all.

“I have lost my ever-loving mind.” The words whisper out through my clenched teeth as I glare at my decision to go all the way this time.

“Get the lead out,” a big guy barks out from where he stands in front of a few dozen more idiots as I scoot off my golf cart. Mr. Hunk of Man wears a whistle around his thick neck that intermingles with a set of authentic military dog tags, making it easy to guess he is my worst nightmare.

His authoritative tone does nothing to make my tired body get the lead out. This fiasco is situated on a dimly lit shore in Outer Banks, North Carolina at five in the freaking morning, so there will be no pep in my step any time soon. Dude is gonna just have to deal with it. It’s what he gets anyway.

“Your name.” His deep, raspy voice rings out over the sleepy morning.

Looking up, I find his vivid blue eyes fixed on me. “Harper Blume,” I answer. My defiant chin jerks up like a thug instead of the recluse ghost writer I really am.

“This class begins at five.”

“Yep.” I place my water bottle down on a picnic table with a bit more force than I should, sending a popping echo to clang out. Choosing to act like I did it on purpose, I jut my chin out a bit further and move to stand beside a thick woman with brown hair at the back of the group who still holds her invisibility shield. Sure wish she’d share it with me.

“It’s almost five after.” He crosses his intimidating arms. Those babies are roped in taut muscle and defined with a few impressive tattoos.

Well, they should be intimidating, but it’s not working on me. This isn’t the first round I’ve had with the jerk. I know this retired Army Ranger’s name is Beck McCaffery, and I’ve paid him a ridiculous chunk of change to take his class. I now also know it’s a nonrefundable chunk of change. A fact learned after sobering up the next day and realizing my tipsy-self online shopped for a senseless body boot camp of all things.

Why the drunken idiot couldn’t buy a ticket to Hawaii instead of signing up for pure torture is beyond my understanding. It would have cost the same amount!

“What was I thinking?” I mumble under my breath.

Ok, so I know darn well what Miss Tipsy was thinking. I’m staring at the gorgeous evidence right now and must admit that I’m right ashamed of her shallowness. His black hair is cropped close on the sides while the top is long and unruly. A square jaw sprinkled with just the right amount of stubble, and let’s not get started on that masterpiece of a body. This entire debacle put a nonrefundable dent in my checking account all because she couldn’t control her inebriated hormones when glimpsing a photo of a shirtless sergeant who was gracing a sponsored post on Facebook.