“I’m going to miss this, Iz,” he laments. His voice, trailing off as if he has something else to say. “Sitting here with you. The town. Just everything.” He pauses. “Maybe, I shouldn’t go.”
“This is your dream, Alex. You can’t just turn your back now. This is your chance to change your life. Why wouldn’t you go?”
“You,” he answers quietly, but without a single bit of hesitation. All the while, not looking at me. My breath hitches, as my chest seizes. Why now? After all this time. Is it because he’s leaving, and he’s trying to check another girl off his list, or is this one last desperate act of a boy finally admitting what I have been feeling all this time? Neither seems likely, but yet, here we are. Alex adjusts to face me, and I notice his knees, bouncing with his nervous tick.
“Me? Alex, are you crazy?” I fire back. “There is absolutely no reason why leaving me behind should be any reason for you not to chase this. I’m not that special. There’s bound to be hundreds of girls already lining up in Nashville, waiting to take my place.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Iz. No one can replace you,” Alex leans in. His face is so dangerously close to mine. “None of this makes sense without you.”
“What are you saying?” My voice is soft and cautious.
“Come with me.” He leans in closer. His lips so close to mind that I feel the heat rolling off of them. I move closer, but the front porch light flickers on. I turn to see Dad standing behind the screen door, scowling. I stammer out an excuse, but when I turn back trying to explain Alex’s presence on our porch yet again in the middle out the night, he’s gone.
Falling for your best friend, who just happens to be an up and coming country star, is probably not the best idea. Not even being a blip on his romantic radar? Yeah, shoot me now.
Growing up in Alex McCloud’s shadow was far from easy. Then, he blew out of town, before the ink was even dry on his recording contract, with empty promises of keeping in touch that he has never once kept. Some best friend, right?Now, he sings his heart out to millions of fans, and I milk cows on my family’s struggling dairy farm.
Well, that is until Alex strolls back into town, and he’s got more than writing his new album on his mind. I know from experience that I need to guard my heart, or I may end up being just another girl in a country song. It’s just harder than I thought, trying to get my brain and my heart on the same page.
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You may be wondering about the title, and why I would want to blog about my not so perfect wedding. Why would I want to share about one of the scariest times in my life? Sure, the pictures above look happy and blissful, but that day almost never happened.
It's weird thinking about to 9 years ago today, and our wedding day. The flowers fragrance filling the old church my husband served as minister. Our family and friends gathered around us, surrounding us with love and support. A perfect dress. But, the only thing out of place was my soon to be husband, carefully being helped to the alter by his groomsmen. You see a our wedding was delayed a week. My husband the Tuesday before our original wedding date began experiencing severe pain and swelling in his leg. He thought he'd strained it at a church league softball. That it was just the remnants of one of his horrible night time leg cramps. I was at work over an hour away, unable to see his pain and to access what might be going on. It was until that night when I arrived at the home that would soon be ours together that I realized something was very wrong. My soon to be husband, stubborn as always, assured me it was fine, but when he struggled to walk, it took my dad coming over to help me convince him to go to the emergency room. It was there his condition went from concerning to life threatening.
He had a blood clot in his leg, but that wasn't the most concerning part of it. It was the at least six other smaller clots that had passed through his heart and embedded into his lungs. The next few days were a blur. Spending my days in the hospital with him. My nights at our hopeful home with my cat, and re-planning our wedding. The biggest event of my life on hold until we knew whether or not Glen would make it through. After an experimental procedure, he was released, but we weren't out of the woods yet. As much as I wanted to postpone our wedding further, Glen insisted we would get married the next week.
And, we did. On my 24th birthday. Of course, things weren't perfect. Glen was restricted in the length of time he could stand so we had to have a stool for him to sit on for the ceremony. He had to walk with a cane when he did walk, and the only time he stood unaided was our first dance at our reception.
That was not so perfect wedding, but I wouldn't trade it for the world because I almost didn't get to be his wife. I almost didn't get to marry my childhood best friend. The boy I had fallen for in the 5th grade while he read the morning weather report over the intercom, and spent years admiring after him until he finally saw me for me. I may write happily ever afters for a living, but the best one of all is my own.
Avelyn Paige is an Wall Street Journal and USA TODAY bestselling Motorcycle Romance author.