Sometimes Fate hides in plain sight while you stumble through darkness.
Ivy escapes from an abusive husband, finding peace with her daughter in her childhood home. She’s determined to keep her past a secret to protect those she loves.
Archer has been in love with the same girl since seventh grade. When Ivy comes back into his life—bruised, broken, and haunted by secrets—he knows he can’t lose her again.
But Ivy made a promise to her daughter. No one would hurt them again. She’s afraid to trust, afraid to be wrong again, and afraid that the one man she’s loved forever will break her heart.
Fate might take its time, but it won’t wait forever.
As he walked her to her door, she slid her small fingers into his, and he ran his thumb across the back of her hand. The night was cool. At the door she turned, smiling up at him. “Thank you Archer. It was… fun.”
He couldn’t see clearly, but he could swear she was smirking. Yeah, you blew your chance. Way to go. So he hugged her, wrapping his arms around her waist, like he’d done a hundred other times before. They were a huggy group.
He was surprised when she rose on her toes and slid her arms around his neck, holding tight like he was a lifeline. He pulled back, just a bit, hoping but afraid to hope as he searched her eyes. They sparkled, just a bit, and then she leaned forward, closing the gap between them and brushing her lips against his.
Time stopped. The world stopped and he froze in shock. It took him several seconds to realize what was happening, and then he kissed her back, holding her tight against him. He could feel her heart racing, matching his. When she relinquished his lips, he sucked in a breath, struggling to breathe. “I’ve wanted to do that since high school,” he muttered, almost without realizing it.