Callie Winters left Idaho seven years ago, shrouded in secrets and lies, and vowed to never look back. Walking away from the only boy she ever truly loved, Callie works hard to forge a new life for herself. Waking one day to find herself homeless and penniless, she returns to Idaho where she finds a man in place of the boy she loved so long ago.
Tate Corbin spends his days jumping fires, trying to forget the girl who obliterated his heart seven years ago. Happy at last, Tate is ready to move on with a new love, but doubt takes seed when a ghost from his past returns. He vowed to never let her in again, but the embers of the past begin to burn hotter than ever before.
As the friendship is rekindled, secrets are revealed and new threats surface. Second chances are meant to be a way to start over- but how far do you go to protect it?
He moves around the car, showing me all the things he’s done, and telling me about how he found each part, and I follow close enough to breathe in the scent of his cologne. It doesn’t take me long to realize he still uses the same cologne brand I bought him for his eighteenth birthday. I’m so lost in thought, I don’t notice when he stops abruptly, causing me to bump into his back.
“Sorry,” I mumble, as he turns around and grabs my wrists to steady me. My heart beats staccato against my chest when his thumb brushes across my pulse point and I feel like I might combust into fragments right here.
He’s standing close. Too close. Our bodies are just inches apart, and I wonder if we still would fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the way we used to when we’d curl into each other on the couch while watching a movie. I can see the steady rise and fall of his chest as I stare straight ahead at his body, not wanting to risk looking him in the eyes because I’m worried about what I’ll say if I do. That I’ll admit I regret not choosing him that one day. That I’ve missed him every day since. That I never stopped loving him. I can feel the warmth of his breath skim the top of my head, and when his Adam’s apple bobs in this throat, I know he’s as affected by me as I am by him.
But he’s not mine to have. Not anymore. He belongs to someone else now. Clearing my throat, I try to focus my thoughts on finding a neutral topic, but his proximity to me is making it impossible for me to think. I take a step back, and for a second I think I see disappointment flash across his face, but when I look again, it’s gone.
He turns away from me and heads to the other side of the barn, stretching his arm to grab a key hidden inside a broken birdhouse on a shelf. Letting it dangle from his index finger, he holds it up and smirks at me. “Whaddya say? Want to take her out for her first spin?”
About C.J. McKella
C.J. McKella is a romance writer living beneath the hot Arizona sun with her husband and their cat, Kaylie. She devotes her days to working, and her nights writing, allowing the characters in her head to come to life. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, binge-watching Netflix, or playing video games. A romantic at heart, she has a love for stories, and all things ending in happily ever after.
C.J. McKella loves to meet new people. Stop by and say hello!