Disappearing without a word, Eden Richardt fled from her naïve former life in Oregon to start anew in the Midwest. Being a morning radio show host, she’s got a lot going for her except finding someone to share her life with. In that aspect, no one seemed to compare to the one. Having absolutely no desire to step foot back in her hometown of Cottage Grove, her decision was swayed with an invitation to her high school reunion and solidified after receiving a letter from her first and only love from her past. Living his life the best way he knows how, Baylor Jenkins spends his time running the family plumbing business, after giving up his dream to be an Architect, and raising his almost teenage daughter solely without the help of his ex-wife. In the back of his mind he knows something was missing from his otherwise enjoyable life. But that something was actually a someone who disappeared after graduation; a former best friend turned lover. Locking eyes after fifteen long years raises deep emotions and unanswered questions: What happened to make Eden run? Could their love for each other still exist? Or will their past time together be nothing more than a memory?
“What is it that you do now that you’re all grown up?” I decided to put him in the limelight for a bit and give myself a bit of a rest.
“Who said I was all grown up?” he said in a flirty tone which earned another smile from me. “No, in all honesty, I’m actually a divorce lawyer. So while you are loved in your profession, people either dreadfully hate me or are repulsed by me.” He shrugged his shoulders. I definitely hadn’t seen that coming, Dean a divorce lawyer?
I wanted to make a little joke, but I didn’t know if he would take it the same way as he would’ve all those years ago. I decided to go ahead and take a shot. “So how many of your own divorces have you done?” I asked it in a light-hearted tone so he wouldn’t think I came across as a bitch.
“Two,” he answered flatly with not even an ounce of emotion.
“That bad, huh?”
“You could definitely say that again,” he finally cracked a smile which lowered my blood pressure rate again after he spiked it when I thought I said the wrong thing.
“You remind me of my best friend, Julia. She’s been married AND divorced twice just like you.”
His smile disappeared. What did I say?
After the questioning look I gave him, his voice lowered to a whisper which had to be lower than low since his voice was so deep, “We used to be best friends, Eden…The three musketeers, don’t you remember that?”
That was not how I wanted the conversation to end. “I’ve never forgotten, Dean. I thought of you every single day, believe it or not.”
The song was nearing the end and he gently pushed a strand of hair to the side of my face and said with a small smile, “We’ve missed you, Eden.” Not just I, but we. With the closing notes, he leaned forward and brushed his lips against my cheek, giving me the faintest of kisses. My heart broke all over again for the friend that I left behind. The friend who had nothing to do with what happened and was thrown in the middle when he was just an innocent bystander during the downward spiral of my departure. I hoped that he would someday forgive me for my naivety as I hadn’t meant for him to get burned in the crossfire.
Amber is a stay at home mom currently residing in Southern Indiana with her husband and two beautiful daughters. If she's not shopping, going to concerts or on road trips, or having her nose stuck in a book, you'll often find her at the ball field watching one of the numerous sports that her girls are involved in. She is the author of the contemporary romance Brown County Series, titles include Not Alone, Runaway Love, How To Save A Life, and Unconditionally (M/M). Follow her on Twitter @nation_amber, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ambernationauthor, on Pinterest at Ber2885, and check out her website at www.ambernationauthor.com.