Preston and Nick endured the breakup of all breakups when Nick accused her of cheating on him. He insisted, and she denied while the rain pounded against her driveway and thunder roared in the distance. Then they both ran—Preston to a life of Rock & Roll, and Nick to a career in the Army.
Four years later, they’re damaged and broken almost beyond repair. He’s carrying baggage from his military days, and she bears the scars of living a lifestyle she’s grown to hate.
When Preston’s label forces her to take time away from music, their paths cross in a parking lot not twenty-four hours after her hometown return, anger and sparks flying in a confusing blend. But regardless of the feelings neither has been able to shake, too many lies and secrets stand in the way of the one thing they need in order to recover.
“You think I’m trying to trap you in your past.” He reached for me once more with his free hand, and I let him cup my cheek with his still-dirty fingers. “I’m not. I don’t want to go back in time and be who we were then. I want to be me, with you, here and now. I’m fine with moving on from your past. I just want to be a part of your future.”
“I can’t separate them.” I moved my face, and his hand fell to his side. “It’ll always be in my mind, how you accused me, dumped me, and drove off. That’s not a clean break from my past. That’s inviting it to ruin the rest of my life, too.”
“That’s trying. That’s knowing what’s between us is worth pushing beyond whatever obstacle we gotta overcome to have it. You’re worth it. I understand why you can’t say the same about me, but I’m gonna keep trying to be worth it to you. Until the end, when I’m gone and buried. And even then, you’ll still have my love, whether you want it or not.”
I started to speak, whether to tell him to kiss me or beg him to keep his distance, I’d never know. His boss called from near the Silverado, reminding him he had less than five minutes to finish with the truck before the owner was due to arrive.
Despite the strained schedule, Nick took the time to hold my gaze for a few seconds more, the one word he offered dripping with affection. “Always.”
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