Zoe always loved Calvin, who left Major, Alabama after high school and joined the military, never knowing her feelings. They are reunited five years later, and their passion runs hot. As Zoe's life is rocked with bombshells, Calvin leads the way, teaching Zoe to follow the rhythm of her heart.
“Um, hi,” he said slowly. “I'm Calvin.”
“Yeah,” she answered. “I know who you are. Aside from not recognizing you at the airport and not piecing together the fact that this whole thing was for you, I've always known who you were.”
“Well, damn, I sound like an ass when you say it like that.” He rested his elbows on his knees and leaned forward, wondering if he’d already struck out.
“You kinda were an ass.” She began drawing X's in the sand with the tip of her flip-flop. “Even if it wasn't intentional, you were always being an ass to me.”
“I'm sorry,” Calvin said genuinely, his head dropping in shame.
“Ain't your fault. Next to Callie, I ain't much to look at.” Zoe sighed. “It was even worse in high school.”
He suddenly felt defensive, but kept his voice even. “I was a different guy in high school. I was still a kid, but I've grown up a lot in the last five years. I'm sorry, and you're wrong about not being much to look at.” His eyes were warm in the firelight.
“Don't sit here and lie to me to try to make me feel better, or whatever the hell it is you're trying to do.” She finally looked over at him in anger. “She's got everything every boy in this town wants, she's even as dumb as a damn log. Plus she's skinny as hell and has those damn blue eyes, and being pretty doesn't hurt matters.”
“Yeah, she's all of that, but she's got nothing I want.” Calvin looked back at her. “I feel
like a dumb ass now, you have no idea. You know what, forget her. I don't want somebody else's sloppy seconds. Speaking of her, shouldn't you be over there picking up the broken pieces of your best friend?”
“Screw that bitch,” Zoe growled.
“I see.” An awkward silence followed as the two of them locked eyes again. He wasn't sure at all what to do or what to say. Finally he murmured, “Did she screw you over too?”
A harsh laugh escaped Zoe’s lips, her mouth turning down into a grimace. “Yeah, if you call being boned by my boyfriend on the hood of his car in public screwing me over.” She pitched her red cup into the fire and it sizzled as it melted.
“Oh shit, then Layla wasn't lying.”
“Yeah, no.” She looked into the fire and was silent for a few minutes. Finally she peeked over at him. “You know, I really didn't recognize you at the airport. You look good, Cal. You always have, but I mean...you look good. I'm glad you’re home.”
He grinned bashfully and replied, “You look good too, Zoe, and I'm only home for two weeks.”
“Oh,” she said quietly. He noted the sadness in her voice. The pause became pregnant between them again.
He leaned over and murmured, “Hey, let's get the hell out of here.” Her chocolate eyes went dark. “Where you wanna go?” “Somewhere with you.” His shoulder brushed hers and she shivered. “I drove.”
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Scarlett Jade is just a small town Southern girl who is now a Northern transplant. She was always found from a young age with her brow furrowed, scribbling words on paper. Now that she is grown, life isn't much different, she still scribbles words, but mostly on the computer! She is married to the man of her dreams, her real life knight in shining armor and Prince Charming. She has one son who is the apple of her eye and she homeschools year round. You can typically find her playing in the dirt with her son or snuggled on the couch with her dog Peanut, reading a good book. She loves chocolate, thinks coffee should be a religion, and loves to make people laugh with her quirky sense of humor. She is bold, brazen, and even been told she's ballsy, but she doesn't mind, she takes it in stride. She has a huge passion for all things paranormal and has a penchant for spicy love stories that leave you turning the pages and dying to slide between the sheets of her next book!
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