Who We Used to Be

Do-Over Series, Book 1

by Dara J. Nelson

Who We Used to Be - Dara Nelson - Do-Over
Part of the Do-Over Series series:
  • Who We Used to Be
Editions:Kindle: $ 2.99
Size: 5.25 x 8.00 in
Pages: 291

Ten years is a long time to live with a broken heart


Ten years ago Zeke Malloy had everything:

A happy childhood, a shot at a state championship wrestling title, a best friend, a boyfriend (albeit a secret one but that was okay because, once they graduated, that would change).  

He had love, happiness…...a heart.

All of that changed in the blink of an eye.

One moment he was deliriously happy, looking forward to a future with Digger Brandt, building a life, a home, a forever, with him.

And then it was gone, disappearing like the tears that flowed down Zeke’s cheeks as he watched from the back of the church as Digger married Lisa - with his father sitting proudly in the front pew.  Those tears were still flowing when he walked out of that church and went directly to the nearest recruiting office. Because he didn’t just lose the love of his life that day, he lost his hopes, his dreams, he lost…..himself.

For the next ten years he was a machine - the best Marine, the best friend, but like a machine, he did it all without a beating heart.

His was dead…..or was it?

Was ten years too long?

Was a broken heart too much?

Zeke didn’t know.  Hell, he wasn’t even sure he wanted to know.

From the moment Digger walked up behind him and said Hello in that smooth, sexy voice that used to light him up six ways from Sunday, Zeke was screwed

The only thing he really knew now was……….. he was about to find out


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Zeke shoved open the glass door to the shop, barely remembering to catch it before it slammed against the wall and shattered.

He’d been driving around aimlessly for hours and it wasn’t until his ass became numb that he began to think about stopping for the night.

He didn’t want to stay in some crappy anonymous hotel.  He needed to be somewhere familiar, someplace that grounded him and helped to keep him from feeling like he was going to shatter into a million pieces.

He closed and locked the door behind him and walked over to the ancient metal desk.  Pulling open the bottom right drawer, he grabbed the ever-present bottle of rum they kept in there for occasions just like this.

He mentally groaned when he saw the bottle was only half full.  He was sure he was going to have to replace it after tonight.


“Fuck,” he mumbled as he walked through to the small room behind the office.  Barely bigger than a closet, it had a twin bed, a chair and a small tv on a dresser in the corner.  It was there for a few reasons; if someone had to work late on a job, had a fight with a spouse or significant other, or just needed to lay down.  And it was there for occasions like this - when you couldn’t face the outside world and just needed to get your drink on.

With all four of them having their own versions of PTSD, those kinds of occasions happened, not frequently, but they did happen.

And tonight, well….

He shoved the door closed with his boot, unscrewed the cap and took a long swig directly from the bottle.  As the liquid burned down his throat, his back thumped against the door and then he slid down to his ass.


Digger was here.

Digger was out, or he said he was anyways.

How many nights had Zeke lain awake wishing for, hoping for, exactly that? How many times had he wondered what he’d done wrong?  How many times had he cried out Digger’s name begging him to tell him why he didn’t love him?  He’d longed for those answers and more for months, for years.

But now?

It’d been ten fucking years.

Ten goddamn heartbreaking years.

Ten years where he felt so lost, so damn alone, so…...broken.

Fuck this shit.

Fuck Digger and his too late admission.

Fuck Digger and his fucking gorgeous face.

Fuck Digger and….

“Fuck,” he mumbled as his shaking fingers slid through his hair.

He downed the rest of the bottle just before the first sob hit.

Falling to his side on the floor, he cradled the empty bottle to his chest as the hated tears burst through the shield around his heart.

“F-f-f-fuck you, Digger.  I don’t want you anymore.  I don’t fucking want you.”

Even to his own ears, he knew those words for the lie they were.



About the Author

Born and raised in northern California, I now call the Tacoma-area of the beautiful Pacific Northwest home. Mother of three grown children and happy Grandmother, I now spend my non-work hours (which are few and far between) mostly writing but also hiking around Mt Rainier and taking long bike rides - the breathtaking sights not only provide incredible photographs, but the solitude fuels my always active imagination and provide backdrops for my stories.

First and foremost, I am a writer.  It's not what I do, it's who I am. It's my lifeblood, it's my heart, it is what makes my soul sing.

It is from that passion for writing that I choose to give back, that I reach out to other authors to offer tips, suggestions, help, guidance and quality, affordable editing services.

Because we all have a voice...and it deserves to be heard.

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