3 Stories in 1 Anthology–A 20 year high school reunion changes the lives of former classmates & leads to unexpected futures.
Three Strikes Thursday
Barry Carlson had it all, a successful pro baseball career and the adoration of any woman he wanted. Except one, Amanda Marsh. Twenty years ago, in high school, Barry won Amanda’s love only to crush her heart. Forced to retire in his prime, he’s back in their home town of Serendipity, Vermont determined to earn a second chance. Recently divorced, Amanda is happily single until Barry slides back into her life. She isn’t interested in a repeat performance. Turning him down should be easy, if only he wasn’t still the love of her life. Barry and Amanda must put aside old wounds and new misunderstandings to find their forever love.
The solution was simple. Get out of the car, walk up to the house and ring the bell. Apologize for the intrusion when her father came to the door, and ask to see Amanda.
Only for a couple of minutes. Please.
Then he could fall all over himself telling her how sorry he was.
“Yeah that’s gonna fly.” His whisper filled the emptiness around him, and he dropped his head. “Face it, asshole. You blew it.”
In an odd way, talking to himself, he didn’t feel quite so alone.
He turned his gaze back to stare at Amanda’s window. The shade was still down. Her light was out.
So that was it.
Moving like a rigid, soulless robot, Barry put the car in gear and drove slowly away. Picking up speed as he left Amanda’s subdivision, he floored it once he hit the highway. With the windows down, the warm night air cooled as it roared around him.
He flicked the headlights on high. Their beams lit up the trees, telephone poles and bushes as they whizzed by. Nothing could stop him as long as he kept his foot down hard on the gas pedal. Then something did.
Pulling to one side of the deserted road, he jammed the gear shift into park, jumped out, ran around to the back bumper, bent over.
And puked his guts out onto the warm asphalt.
Two On Tuesday
Blane Weston’s construction company needs the venture capital Matt Durand is more than willing to provide. But with his reputation for hostile business takeovers, she makes it clear she wants no part of what he has to offer. Especially when he shows up at one of her building sites, unannounced and early to negotiate terms. Besides, Blane has other plans for the next few days. Alone and single for far too long, she’s ready to hook up with a former flame at her high school reunion in Serendipity, Vermont. Not used to being denied, Matt follows her only to find her destination holds memories and unfinished business for him. How can Blane possibly enjoy a journey back to her past when Matt is determined to dictate her future?
Sparks flashed in those bright green eyes that had so captivated him from day one. Except, just now he was sorely tempted to dodge out of the way so he wouldn’t get scorched by escaping flames.
“It’s my job to remember a lot of things.” Her gaze dropped away from his. “The appointment with you wasn’t one of them. I thought you understood that had been cancelled.”
“Guess nobody told me.” Though he couldn’t let her see him sweat, a frantic voice screamed at him this wasn’t going to work. Ignoring it, somehow he kept his composure as he slowly shut the door. “I had some questions.”
“About Weston?” She picked up some papers she moved to the left corner of her desk. “Galloway, or do you still represent the Dorman involvement with Advanced Properties.”
“None of the above.”
Leaning forward, she leveled a wary gaze on him. “What do you want then?”
With a deep breath and a prayer, he pushed off from the doorway. “You.”
One Fateful Friday
His twentieth high school reunion in Serendipity, Vermont leaves hospital CEO Jake Holbrook feeling lonely and alone. So when a special woman from his past tumbles back into his life—and his bed—he’s determined to keep her there. Family practice physician Bethany Thomas knows it’s a bad idea to sleep with her late husband’s best friend—even if he is the only man she ever loved. After years of marriage to the wrong man, she isn’t looking for an entanglement with her future boss. Clashing philosophies on patient care lead Bethany to betray Jake. As the holidays approach, his job is on the line. Can Bethany and Jake overcome their lack of trust to find their own Christmas miracle?
“There’s something we need to discuss.” Jake’s strangled exhale drew Bethany’s attention.
One fateful Friday night had progressed to an inevitable morning after. In contrast to the heat of a late August day outside, their cozy Palm Springs hotel room took on a sudden chill. Her rock of security stirred. Their perfect existence tilted. Reality hit with the subtlety of Dorothy being blasted out of Kansas.
“Which is?” She braced for his response.
Like everyone else, was good old reliable Jake about to bail on her?
Nestled beside her in the bed they shared, he took another breath. “We need to talk about what just happened.”
Each word sliced through her heart. “And?”
“Difficult as it is for me to admit stupidity, we, ah, didn’t exactly practice safe sex.”
“There’s no chance I could become pregnant if that’s your concern.” She made sure her tone was solid and direct. “I’ve been—I’ve taken care of that.”
Mostly at her late husband’s insistence since he never wanted children. Another philosophical difference which drove them apart. True to his selfish nature, Brian made it clear the responsibility to ensure they didn’t procreate fell to her. Rather than argue, she took her birth control pills as prescribed. No matter how much she loathed doing it. A practice she’d maintained out of habit, even after the man she’d been married to for nearly twenty years was gone. The one she’d begun divorce proceedings against shortly before his unexpected death.
“That’s not what I’m asking, Bethy. It’s what I’m trying to tell you. I’m not capable of getting anyone pregnant.”