I GET THERE FIVE MINUTES early and debate sitting in the driveway until I’m on time, but Kat looks out the front window of the house and comes rolling out the door to meet me.
I get out of the car, and she’s in front of me in seconds, her face lit with a smile. “Sam! They’re asking everyone if they know who put that ad in the paper. No one does, and I’m the last person they’d ever guess would do it.”
“That’s a good thing,” I say.
“I guess. Even though I’d sure like to see the look on their faces when they found out.” She turns back to the house, rolling along beside me as I walk to the front porch. I give her a push up the ramp, and Gabby meets us at the door.
We study each other for a moment, everything I’d practiced on the way over so much wasted effort since my mind can’t get a foothold on a word or a thought. “Thanks for having me,” I finally say, and it feels as lame as it sounds.
I follow them both through the living room and into the kitchen where something smells wonderful. “Um,” I say. “What is that?”
“Kat is doing homemade pasta tonight,” Gabby says, by way of explanation.
“It’s a surprise past that,” Kat says. “You and Mama are banned to the deck while I finish.”
“Honey, I planned on helping,” Gabby says, as if she’s just spotted a pothole ahead that she hadn’t anticipated.
“But I want to do the whole thing,” Kat says, and I see Gabby waiver between her desire to avoid being alone with me and her recognition of her daughter’s sincerity. “I already put iced tea and glasses out there for you, so shoo.”
We’re left with little option but to do as she says, and Gabby leads the way through the sliding glass doors, shutting it behind us.
“Sorry about that,” I say.
“She wants to repay you,” Gabby says. “I understand.”
“She doesn’t owe me anything.”
“That’s not how she sees it.” Gabby picks up the pitcher of tea and pours us both a glass.
“Thanks,” I say, taking it and immediately setting my gaze on the lake beyond the deck when what I really want is to linger on Gabby’s face and the troubled look in her eyes.
“Do you think, for tonight, because it’s important to Kat, that we could just forget about everything we talked about last night?”
“Yes,” I say, wanting to add that I’d be happy if we could permanently erase all of it from both our minds.
About the Book
Author: Inglath Cooper
Genre: Contemporary Romance
First love. . . forever love.
Sixteen-year old Gabby Hayden wasn’t the kind of girl who gave a hoot about boys. She had a few real loves. Water-skiing, going out on Smith Mountain Lake with her dad and her dog. Anything else ranked a distant second. Until the summer smart, caring, gorgeous Sam Tatum gave her his heart. It had been the most wonderful time of her life, lazy days hanging out at the dock, skinny-dipping at midnight, staring up at the stars from the back of Sam’s truck.
They are planning their future together when Sam’s father is transferred to South Africa. Devastated, Gabby and Sam promise to wait for each other during the two years before he returns for college. But lonely and angry, Sam makes a mistake that will change the course of both their lives.
Years later, an unexpected diagnosis brings Sam home to his parents’ house on Smith Mountain Lake where he believes he can find peace and acceptance. What he finds, however, is the girl he once loved, now a woman unwilling to lose him again, a woman who will make him realize that both love and life are worth fighting for.
RITA AWARD WINNING AUTHOR INGLATH COOPER writes books that aim to give her readers a mini-vacation. A stretch of time during which they can visit other places and other people’s lives. Her books have reached the top 100 Amazon Kindle Bestseller list, with Truths and Roses hitting #11.
Inglath Cooper’s Nashville series became a reality after she spent time in Music City, writing lyrics with other songwriters. She fell in love with the community and gets to revisit regularly through her characters.
Readers on the Nashville series:
“The characters are great, and so is the story line.” – Catherine Emmons, Amazon.com Reader
“The way the story started and the way it has ended makes me want more.” – Robin Ostrowski, Amazon.com Reader
“I was hooked from the first chapter and can’t wait to read Part Two!” – MomLovestoRead – Amazon.com Reader
Visit her website at: www.inglathcooper.com
Follow her on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/inglathcooperbooks. She loves to engage with readers there!
Subscribe to her mailing list and get a FREE book at:
Buy the Book on Amazon