Beau Bennett has been my best friend since I can remember. He was my first crush before everything came crashing down, and now he wants more, but it's more than I can give him. Things are different now. I wish I could tell him why, but I can't.
I haven’t told anyone.
I never knew how much I really needed him until the day he left for college, and I was completely alone.
Then one day, Asher Hunt rides into town with his dark, captivating eyes and cocky grin. He doesn't care who I used to be, he's simply breathing life into what’s left. People warn me to stay away from him, but he helps me forget the pain that has held me hostage for so long; something I thought was impossible before he walked into my life.
I’ve been hurt.
I’ve been saved.
And I’ve found hope.
I thought my story was written that night, but now I know it was only a new beginning. Until one secret turns my world upside down…
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“Did you change your mind about college yet?” he asks, breaking the silence.
I haven’t changed my mind. I haven’t even given it a second thought. It doesn’t matter anyway; I don’t see much of a future for myself. “No, I’m staying here, at least this year.”
“I wish you’d change your mind. You have so much to offer, Kate. You should let the world see it,” he says, keeping his eyes on the water.
“I just can’t right now,” I whisper, swallowing down my emotions.
“Something changed you, and I’m going to keep digging until I find out what that is.” His head tilts in my direction and our eyes lock. I want to tell him that the old Kate is never coming back, but we’ve had that conversation before. He will only ask questions that I don’t want to answer.
“I’m sorry,” I say, turning my eyes away from him.
My eyelids are getting heavy, so I lie on my back and wrap the jacket tightly around me. I close my eyes and focus on the sound of nature to keep my mind off of other things. When I feel Beau against my side, I open my eyes to see him looking down at me, his head resting in his hand. His face moves closer to mine and I can feel my heart beating hard against my chest. When I feel his warm breath against my mouth, I close my eyes and his lips gently brush against mine. His touch is warm and tender, and I can’t help but comb my fingers through his hair. I’m trying to make an old dream come true.
I let myself get lost in him. For a moment, I feel as if we’re the only two people in the world and nothing else matters. I feel like there is a small chance I could let go of everything and just be with him like this forever, but when he leans in to me and rests his body on top of mine, panic shoots through my entire body. My mind flashes to Drew and painful memories start to race through my head as I push roughly against his chest. “Stop!” I cry, rolling onto my other side.