Colton Kingston’s livelihood has been reduced to a pile of black ashes by a tragic act of arson. After sending away the woman he’s loved since the tender age of five, a dark hateful revenge threatens to overtake his heart. Colton knows pushing her away is the only way he can keep her safe.
Paige Summer’s has endured her fair share of obstacles in the past, and refuses to give up on Colton and the life they share together. As interferences try to tear them apart, Paige is determined to stand by Colton’s side and remind him of their love and its strength.
But at every turn, tragedy continues to strike and more devastation falls upon them.
Will Colton and Paige’s love be boundless? Or will revenge conquer their fate?
Without a single word, I slipped off my boots and went to her. After I climbed in next to her, she let the comforter gradually fall over me, and then she stretched over to the nightstand where she turned off the light. She settled back down on her right hip, her back toward me. I could feel her hesitation as she tried to distance herself from me.
To sense that kind of uncertainty pouring out of her was the same as someone cracking open my chest and grabbing a hold of my heart. In truth, I couldn’t blame her for feeling this way. It was my fault for being hot and cold and all over the place. It wasn’t fair to her.
I desperately craved her warmth, and I needed to know that we were okay. Even though it was wrong of me to do so, my arm came to the center of her stomach, and in slow motion, I hauled her into my chest. She didn’t fight me.
I outstretched my free arm above her head and rested my cheek on my bicep while scooting closer until my nose met her hair, so I could inhale the sweet scent of her.
With my hand still at her center, the pad of my thumb began to methodically rub tiny circles on her abdomen. Her breathing increased with every full loop.
My eyes began to fall heavy from the weight of the last few days. I was so damn tired, but lying here with Paige, just like this, was all I ever wanted.
“Colton?” she asked suddenly, out of the blue.
Her hand came to my wrist, and she softly caressed it. “What are you doing here?”
Paige couldn’t have asked me a tougher question, and I bit back the defeat I felt inside. I didn’t hold the answer she was seeking.
Instead, I made light of the situation, hoping to bring a smile to her face. “Sneaking into your room. By the way, your window shrank drastically in size over the years.”
A quiet laughter seeped out of her, and I found myself genuinely smiling for the first time in days.
She rotated to face me and set her hand on my chest. “It didn’t shrink. You have”—she skimmed her palm across my chest and up to my shoulder—“broadened, so you don’t fit through it as well as you used to.”
“Maybe.” I grinned mischievously.
In that instant, so many childhood reminiscences with Paige flashed through my mind, all of them filling my soul with a sense of peace.
As a teen, there were countless nights when I’d longed to see her, so I’d go to her house and knock on her window. Paige would come outside, and we would lie in the grass for hours, watching the stars.
Even in the midst of my darkest days, those memories could bring a smile to my face. She always kept me going. An unexplainable tranquility settled over me at having Paige’s body pressed against mine. She gave me hope that I’d find myself again, and she made me believe that, someday, I could let go of the hate and revenge I carried inside of me.
A profound tiredness took over me from the buildup of the past several happenings, and I was losing the willpower to keep my eyes open.
Paige raised her hand to touch my cheek, caressing it. Her skin was so soft.
“Colton?” she repeated my name, softer this time.
I gazed down at her, and seeing the intensity burning in her eyes, I paused the movement of my thumb at her hip. “Yeah?”
“You know that’s not the answer I was looking for.”
“I know.” She deserved an honest explanation, so I added, “I don’t know why I’m here. I only know that I didn’t have the strength to stay away, so please, just let me hold you.”
“Okay.” She set her finger on my lower lip and gently ran it back and forth. Then, she leaned in and softly kissed the corner of my mouth. “Good night, cowboy.”
“Night,” was all I had time to say before sleep carried me away.
Alicia Rae is a Contemporary Romance Author who lives in Dekalb, Illinois, with her husband and three beautiful boys. Alicia has a passion for reading all types of romance, writing to bring a story to life, and photography.
Thank you to my dear sister, Kels, who showed me a few years ago how much I truly missed reading. And to my loving husband, for not throwing away my Nook, and planting the seed of writing in my mind. I am forever grateful. Xo
Readers, words cannot thank you enough for supporting me along this incredible journey. I hope you enjoy my novels as much as I do writing them. I thank each and every one of you.
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