Happy Release day to Melissa Shirley.
Professional baseball player Ethan Remington—Remy to his friends—falls for Dr. Jillian Carter at first sight, but Jillian does things in her own time. It takes her a bit longer to realize this is a man worth hanging onto. And she does…for ten years, through the births of their daughters, through Ethan’s career-ending accident, and through marriage counseling to deal with problems he isn’t aware they have. A new job, though, sends Jillian on her way to another town, and when Ethan doesn’t follow, she lets the pain overcome the love she’s never forgotten. Ethan convinces Jillian to come home for a weekend where they face all their hurt, all their memories and a past that will either draw them back together or tear them apart for good.
“Hey.” Nothing about Ethan Remington had changed, not the ice blue of his eyes, or the way the light glinted off the natural highlights in his caramel colored hair, or the way his voice washed over me.
Yes. We’d been apart awhile if I was thinking in poetry about his hair. Glinted. Caramel. Ugh.
This was crazy—the trembling, the shake in the single word, the way my eyes took in every square of inch of him. We were married for ten years. All we could think to say to one another as we stood in the living room we’d once shared was hey. I could still ogle like a champ, though.
He shuffled from one foot to the other and shoved his hands in his pockets. “I put my stuff in the spare room. I figured you’d want the master.”
“Thanks.” I didn’t bother to tell him that the room didn’t matter. This house—our house—was more and less than just a place for us to sleep in separate rooms. It was our past, and now…someone else’s future. My heart ached a little as I pictured a nameless, faceless woman holding her child in the nursery, or some random man whistling his way through an oil change in the garage. Someone else’s future.
I’d won half the battle. She was here…with me. Probably with a stack of divorce papers in her suitcase, but here. That she’d come when I called gave me hope.
I tossed the phone on the table beside the bed. If there was one absolute I’d learned in our ten years of marriage, it was that Dr. Jillian Carter-Remington did things in her own time unless I pushed her to the edge. So, maybe I lied about the house being sold, and maybe I didn’t tell her I’d taken it off the market only one day after I’d listed it. But I was losing my wife, and the desperation had to negate the lies. I had to believe so, anyway.
I’d almost lost it in the kitchen. I’d breathed her in a little too deep, felt a little too much to hold back. Only the idea of not ruining my last chance kept me from pulling her close, kissing her into submission…if that was even possible anymore. This was my last ditch effort to find out—the final time I would be able to come up with an excuse good enough to wrangle her into my space, a space we’d once shared happily, more in love than any other couple we knew. This was my brainchild to remind her of everything right about us.
Before she showed up, I’d had a plan, but all that flew right out the window when I smelled her perfume, brushed against her shoulder. Now, I could only wing it.