A story of life, loss, love and family.
“Life doesn’t have to be long; it has to be well lived.”
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“Even Cinderella stayed longer at the ball than you. What happened?” Anderson asks as the tail lights disappear.
“His daughter wasn’t feeling well.” I open the paper bag, pulling out a jar filled with light blue, lilac, and pink M&Ms.
“I lied.” He licks his upper lip, making my mouth water then switches his gaze from the jar to my lips twice, then meeting mine. “They’re only for you.”
The tone makes my knees buckle, my jaw slack and I want him to…
I raise the jar, he nods. “From your mom?” He shakes his head. “How? I mean, thank you, but it’s late.”
He lifts an arm slightly angling his head, giving me an ‘I have my ways’ look.
“Using your heroic skills to obtain chocolate, impressive.” I twist the jar open, taking a few pink ones and popping them into my mouth.
“We’ve talked about your storytelling abilities, they’re far-fetched.” Anderson laughs, shaking his head. “I went to buy a few things for Mom. There’s a candy store filled with this stuff. I thought of you.”
My heart stops. I work hard to sip some air, trying to hide my shock. Calm down, you’re overreacting. Act calm; laugh it off. It doesn’t mean a thing. “And here I thought you had broken into the shop for me.”
A smile plays on his face. “Really?” He narrows his gaze, observing me. Did he notice my astonishment? Can he see what his voice and his actions are doing to me?
“Yeah.” I touch my temple. “The whole Mission Impossible scene where Tom barely hangs from a rope and he almost triggers the alarm with a drop of sweat.”
He laughs reaching for the jar. I playfully push him with the lid. “Stay away from my candy.” … and from me.
“Sharing is caring.”
“I don’t share chocolate.” I wink at him taking a few light blue ones and placing them in the palm of his hand. Our skin touches, producing a current of electricity. Cut this short, go back to your room. “Sorry for the intense text.”
He cocks his head to the side, shifting his eyes from the jar to me. “Do you wanna go out for a ride?” His mellow voice is a warm sensation enveloping every cell of my body. He eats the chocolates I give him, waiting for an answer. “Drove the bike tonight.”
I look down at my outfit and the lovely heels I wore.
“Did I mention that you look beautiful tonight?” He takes the jar away from me but not his gaze. “Did you dance?”
“He was too busy chatting around.” The gala wasn’t fun, and I would have preferred to be at home hanging out with my friends and Sophia.
“Do you hear that?” He touches his ear, setting the stuff he carries on the porch couch. “May I have this dance?”
Anderson doesn’t wait for me to respond. He takes my left hand, brushing my knuckles with his mouth. His other arm goes around my back and he pulls me to his chest. “Relax and let me lead, just follow the music.”
I don’t hear music but I relax, resting my head on his chest. We sway slowly to our own rhythm, our own tune; some beat I can’t hear, but it’s catchy and soothing. Driving sounded great—dancing enveloped by his strong arms and surrounded by the whiff of his woodsy aroma is a thousand times better. Tonight, I don’t feel lonely or incomplete.
ER doctor, Aspen Zimmerman is no stranger to pain and loss. The tragic death of her fiancé catapults her life into a promise of healing—of being the best damn ER doctor her hospital has ever encountered. After all, it makes her feel like she's making a difference when she couldn't so long ago. And when her most beloved patient suffers horrifically, all Aspen cares about is healing her—even though her son has a special way of igniting a fire she thought fizzled out long ago.
As a private security officer, Anderson Hawkins puts everyone's life before his own. With his mother fighting for her life in the hospital, Anderson is hellbent on finding a way to save her. On the plus side, he gets to spend his time with a sexy and fiery ER doctor who would do anything for his mother. Though Aspen seems to be pulling back—away from any feelings she may have for him. Now, it's up to Anderson to prove that they can build a future together if they both let go of the past. Can Aspen trust her heart with someone when she already feels "dead on arrival?"
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