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- Second Chance Romance
- Small Town Romance
She had a broken heart. He came to heal her.
Clarissa Hastings was the town beauty queen. She had it all position, looks, and money. What they didn't know was Clarissa has a secret, and he's coming back to Sweet Blooms.
Bain Parcel is a football hopeful turned model. Once upon a time, he had it all a football contract, a healthy body, and his one true love. then a football injury took it all away. Bain is back on track and asks his best friend to help him get the love of his life back in his arms.
Can two headstrong people forgive the past and embrace an unconditional love.
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Intro into Chapter One
Intro into Chapter One
faced angry townspeople before. Facing one man will be child’s play.”
Hastings continued down the sidewalk. She knew that everyone was watching her
as she strode through town in her four-inch heels and form-fitting dress.
Today’s dress had a flower print of large amaryllises, and she had paired it
together with her red shoes. Her clothes were her armor, and she made sure she
was armed every day. She made it her business to be out and about. She didn’t
want anyone to feel sorry for her or look too closely at her life.
her world had been shaken for a moment when the council was told that Adam and
Hannah Cade had decided to have their wedding here in Sweet Blooms. It would be the talk of the town, and it
would be a media extravaganza. The
thought of the media being around Sweet Blooms gave her pause. Last night she
gave it some thought and realized she was overreacting. Today she was the
untouchable queen. Then she saw a figure leaning against a car. He had a cowboy
hat on that obscured his face, but it wouldn’t have mattered. She knew that
pose, that hat, and that man.
just one man,” Clarissa reiterated, taking sure strides toward the figure. “He
can’t say anything that matters now. If he wanted to say anything, he would
have said it five years ago.”
if he could hear her, he pushed away from the car and stood in the middle of
gotten through worse,” Clarissa said, then she lengthened her stride and found
herself standing in front of him.
morning, Clarissa. We need to talk,” he said. “You look good.”
let the deep tones roll over her and seep into her soul. That voice had
comforted her when she was at her lowest. That voice had encouraged her to
follow her dreams. That voice had also abandoned her when she needed him the
aside, Bain,” she said in the most distant voice she could find. “You couldn’t
find me five years ago, so I don’t know why you think you need to find me now.”
didn’t say a thing; he just stood there.
looked at him and realized he had no intention of moving. That feeling of
nervous excitement was coming back. She didn’t know how he did it, but it was
as if he had never left. As if they had never been separated.
you going to move, Bain?”
think I moved the last time and look where it left us,” he said.
done, so whatever.” She took a step to
show him how little she cared. Then it all went south. Bain reached out a hand towards her. Clarissa
saw the hand and jumped back. She was so concerned about avoiding him that she
lost her balance.
heard the nickname he had for her and the world reverted to slow motion while
her anger spiked beyond reason. She whipped around to face him. He grabbed her
arms to save her. Realizing she was falling, she threw her arms around his
neck, and as gravity pulled them down, Bain twisted, so Clarissa was above him.
Before long, she felt the impact of the ground as she lay atop Bain.
pushed herself up and looked down at him. Time had been good to Bain; he still
had a muscular chest, broad shoulders, and it led up to a perfect jaw, a firm
mouth, a slightly crooked nose, and the dark eyes with long lashes. Growing up,
people had said he was pretty. When he broke his nose playing football, the
team said he was handsome. Looking at
the overall picture of the man beneath her, she thought he had to be one of the
most gorgeous men on the planet. When she realized those eyes were staring back
at her, she cleared her throat.
you okay?” she asked, pushing away from him. She brought her knees up so she’d
be able to stand up. “I’m not worried about your head because it’s been hit by
more weight than me –”
gave her a lopsided smile. “Seems like you are still a bit clumsy, Clarrie.”
waved her hand at the comment. “One, I’m not Clarrie anymore, and two, I’m not
sat up and gave her a look. “Well, I don’t know what women call it these days
but when you fell, I had to catch you. I don’t think you did that deliberately.
That makes you –”
placed her hand on his mouth. “Stop talking. You’re wasting brain cells. Are
You’re still the same.”
this never would have happened if you had just moved out of the way. So the
fact that you wound up on the ground is bad but not tragic.” She stood up and
wiped down the sides of her dress.
you going to get up or are you going to lay there waiting for sympathy or the
gave her a full-fledged smile, and she was stuck in place. Bain Parcel had been
blessed from birth with good genes. His
smile was enough to make a woman think twice about whatever it was she was
kept eye contact with her and got to his feet. He brushed off his jeans and
leaned over and picked up his hat. He dusted the hat off and then tipped it at
her. “Thank you for your concern.”
leaned in, and for a moment, Clarissa thought he might kiss her in the middle
of the street.
Hastings, are you okay?”
didn’t realize until that second that she was leaning into the kiss with Bain.
She snapped herself back and then straightened herself up.
you, Geeta, I’m well,” Clarissa said, keeping her hand next to her side so she
didn’t push Bain back down on his backside.
was the owner of the town hangout called the Banter House. Geeta was
well-intentioned and not a gossip, but Clarissa couldn’t chance anyone knowing
there was any connection between her and Bain.
raised his hand.” She’s fine. I’ve got her.”
plastered a smile on her face and took a step back onto Bain’s foot. She heard
him grunt as she nodded towards Geeta.
turned and walked away. When Clarissa faced Bain, he still had that same silly
smile on his face. Instead of him being angry, it seemed like he was amused.
can see you’re a woman who knows how to use her heels to their best advantage.”
do, and I also know how to use my knees.”
took a step back. “Fortunately, I don’t need that kind of help. I’m glad that I
was here to help you when you fell.”
She wanted to stamp her feet in frustration, but instead, she took a deep
breath and smoothed the sides of her dress and then stood, straightening up.
have it your way! Do whatever you want; just go away.”
kept her cool and calmly walked away even though she was so frustrated she
could have run away from him screaming. She had to keep her cool and make sure
he knew that he didn’t move her at all.
was over Bain Parcel. She just had to remember that those eyes could woo anyone
and mean nothing. His lips never told the truth. Besides, beauty didn’t
guarantee happiness; she of all people could attest to that. She had fallen
once, but she wouldn’t fall twice. Bain could go back to wherever he came from.
She wasn’t going to be the small town stopover.
had built herself up so she could take care of herself. She had invested well,
gone to school and educated herself, and then she decided to stay in the town
where she could look after the people she cared about. She didn’t need Bain.
She didn’t want Bain.
he said her name in those deep tones, the sound wrapped her up in thoughts of
nights by a fireplace, long talks, and walks on the beach.
didn’t even bother to turn around. “Yes?”
know you want me to go but I can’t. I came for you.”
on her heel, she took her finger and poked his chest.
can go back to wherever you came from. There’s nothing between us anymore.”
can you get it through your head that what’s done is done? And don’t call me
Clarrie; that’s not my name!”
took a step closer to her and flashed her a wide grin before running his hand
down her cheek.
are still full of fire, and you’re still the most beautiful woman I’ve ever
words wrapped around her heart, and she could feel that dreamy sensation
washing over her and the slight sway towards him.
name was like a bucket of cold water being splashed on her.
Clarrie? I don’t think so, and I’m sure by now you’ve met lots of beautiful
women since you weren’t with me so I’ll take that compliment and go on my way.”
you go, I wanted to tell you something.”
was confused and shook her head, looking at him.
be seeing you later, Mrs. Parcel,” he said, whispering in her ear.
grabbed his forearm and tugged him close.
are you, crazy! I’m not that anymore,” she hissed.
grin was so wide she could see every one of his perfect white teeth.
you had answered any of emails, letters, or correspondence, you would have
known. Our divorce never went through. We’ve been married the whole time. I
know you need time to process this, and I’ll make sure to give it to you, but I
wanted you to be aware because I’m in town for Adam’s wedding.”
waved it off. “Of course you are. The two of you have always been as thick as
Adam has asked me to be his best man, and I said yes.”
this matters to me because?”
have my wife on my arm when I walk down his aisle.”
got to be –”
leaned in and placed a quick kiss on her lips.
know this is sudden, so we’ll talk later. I rented a house in town so I’ll be
seeing you, Mrs. Parcel.”
watched him get into his car and pull away. She had to let him go. She couldn’t
kill him on the street. It was as if he hadn’t left. She was feeling the tug of
attraction and frustration. Bain Parcel was the football king, and the one
everyone wanted. When he chose her, he made her believe she was more than a
pretty face. Then she grew up. Mrs. Parcel?
He had to be wrong. Those were the words that played in her mind as she
walked down the street.
It wasn’t true. She
wasn’t Mrs. Bain Parcel. The first break up had sent her into a tailspin; to do
it again might break her.