AFTER THE FIRE (One Pass Away #3)

AFTER THE FIRE                                      MARY J. WILLIAMS

In his lifetime, Gaige Benson has dreamed of only two things. Playing football and Violet Reed. 


The Seattle Knights have the hottest players in the game. On and off the field. 

Second Chances. First Love. 

Gaige Benson is the NFL's golden boy. He's done it all. Won every award. Except that elusive Super Bowl ring. This year he is hanging up his cleats and he plans on going out a winner. 

Even a golden boy has secrets. Will Gaige's past be the one thing that derails his future? 
Violet Reed almost lost it all. Her sight, her dreams of becoming a doctor, and the only man she ever loved. A miracle saved the first two. Sixteen years later she is getting her second chance at love. 

Secrets kept them apart. Will the truth separate them forever?


     Gaige Benson was a kid who was offered a chance out of a horrible situation at home.  You see his father was an alcoholic and a physical abuser.  His mother was too weak mentally and physically from all the abuse to get away.  His father had her brain washed.  She wouldn’t leave him even when offered help and a much better way of living.
     Gaige was not like her.  He was willing to take the help from Terrance Aldridge gave him.  Although leery at first it was Brooklyn after all. Gaige knew enough to at least listen.  Terrance had he seen Gaige throw a football back to one of his players when the football went out of bounds and crossed his path while walking home.  When the ball he threw not only hit its mark but with the force and precision he knew a future player when he saw one. On that day he offered him a chance to play on his pee wee football team.  His only problem is that he needed his parent’s signatures.  His knew he could get his mother’s but not his father’s.  So like all the other times he forged it.
     The second hurdle was when he needed the fee.  But Terrance knew that would be a problem and had already gotten the board to approve a waiver for him to play.  At first Gaige’s pride was going to allow him to miss this great opportunity until Terrance said he should remember that it was just a loan until the day he was able to pay it forward.  To help another child when he could.  Terrance on that day became a father figure to Gaige he mentored him from then on.
     Gaige made it to Yale on a full ride scholarship and then was drafted with the Seattle Knights as first string QB for this NFL team.  He was only 22 years old.  No sooner did he sign the contract when his good for nothing father blows things up.  He drove drunk and was arrested with three times the legal amount of alcohol in his system.  He did what he said he would never do he went home to be with his mother in Brooklyn, N.Y. and hopefully talk her into coming home with him and once and for all leaving his father.  But no she wanted him to use his name and newly attained fame to get his father off of the charges he so earned.  For which Gaige would never ever do for his father.  Gaige believed he deserved whatever he got.
     Especially, when he got there and found out once again she was one, lying for him to keep him out of jail and two, that his father hit a girl while driving drunk.  He truly deserved what he got.  Meanwhile, he is at the hospital, which is where he has to visit with his mother since she visits the man every day he is there. 
     One of the days before he was released to the jail Gaige is walking to the visitor’s room and a young woman is cussing up a storm.  Her eyes are bandaged, and she is falling out of the bed as she is trying to reach for something that fallen off her bed.  He caught her and righted her.  She kept him hostage by not releasing him for a while she said she was bored and want to talk for just a bit.  They talked for a few days after that. 
     He really got to like her and to everyone else it may sound crazy to him it did too but he was falling in love with her.  At least he thought that is what love must feel like.  He would have never known it but Violet Reed was feeling the exact same way.  She was just so happy to have this guy to talk to but that they had so much in common was so calming to her.  You see she had to deal with the possibility of maybe losing her eyesight for good and she was afraid.  Gaige gave her the courage to face each day.  The was Gaige had just found out that Violet was the girl that his father had hit with his car and it was not something he thought he could face having to tell her.  Now there was this surgery her only hope and she had no money for it.  He called his agent and made it happen she would have this surgery.  (She would never know it was him.  She couldn’t.)  She too felt like she was falling in love.  She so wants to see him and had hoped that he would be there for her upcoming surgery but he couldn’t but she kept the faith for them both.  But he had a job waiting so…
     Fast forward 17 years later Terrance is having a meeting with a young female Dr. from NY who specializes in eye surgeries.  They want her to come and join them on the board as well as work the foundation Clinics for Gaige Benson Foundation… To her surprise it is her Gaige the one that helped her when she almost fell then walked out of her life.  Or did he?  Did others have their hands in the way their lives turned out or did they cheat them?  Life was meant to be lived and they had theirs to live but was it their own or not?
     I enjoyed how the characters were so positive during situations that could have been horrible for most.  It may have been predictable but the reactions of the characters were not.  In some areas in others they were so surprising I was like hmm?
I give this 5 stars.  Provided by  Follow us at:

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