I pulled into the garage, wondering if Sunny was still asleep in my bed. Part of me hoped she was. She worked too hard, and I wanted to spoil her today.
But entering the house, I had my answer. All I could smell was biscuits. I found Sunny, not in my bed, but in the kitchen, wearing one of my dress shirts, the tails hanging down to her knees, and a pair of my heavy socks. Her hair was pulled into a ponytail, her face free from makeup, and she looked adorable.
She looked up as I came around the corner, her welcoming smile bright. I headed straight for her, catching her in my arms and lifting her off the ground. I crashed my mouth to hers and kissed her long, hard, and passionately. She plunged her hand into the hair at the nape of my neck, kissing me back with equal fervor. I eased back, dropping my face to her neck with a groan.
“You have no idea what seeing you in my kitchen is doing to me right now.”
She wrapped her legs around my waist, laughing low in her throat. “I think I can, um, feel your reaction.” She rubbed against me. “I think you’re happy to see me. Or your cell phone is in your pocket,” she deadpanned.
“Baby, my cell phone doesn’t take up that sort of real estate.”
She giggled, the sound lilting and strange in my house. I liked it. I was about to kiss her again when the timer on the oven went off and she pushed away.
“Cockblocked by biscuits,” I muttered and set her on her feet.
“Your father did the same sort of thing.”
I froze, narrowing my eyes at her, the biscuit now dust in my mouth. I swallowed and cleared my throat. “You think I’m like my father? I didn’t do it to hurt anyone for any sort of gain. I wanted Abby safe.” I tapped the top of the wooden table, driving my point home. “He deserved what he got. I could have done far worse.”
She bit her lip, sadness washing over her face. “That’s what frightens me, Linc.”
She was the light in my dark life. The sunshine that warmed me and made me smile.
We had one summer. One perfect summer, until the day it ended.
Years later, she walked back into my life. Older. Sadder. More beautiful than ever.
How can I prove to her that summer was real?
How do I make her see that boy that loved her then, still loves her now?
How do we get back to the summer when we were us?
THE SUMMER OF US
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New York Times/Wall Street Journal/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.
While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.
Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She's learned happily ever afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story.
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