by Jacquie Biggar
Mitch Taylor and Rebecca Sorenson share a secret.
Rebecca’s job as secretary of Cascade Elementary, the same school she attended as a child, is rewarding. She has a great group of friends, many of whom are married now. And if sometimes she wished it were her up there in that sparkling white dress…
Except, wait—she did get to wear bridal white. Granted, it was a slinky party dress and the justice of the peace was Elvis in a gold lame jacket, but still, the deed was done.
She’d tied the knot.
Mitch Taylor doesn’t do regrets. It would be a waste of energy bemoaning the mistakes he’d made in his life. The end of his promising football career taught him nothing in life was a guarantee.
What were the chances two people from the same po-dunk town in Washington would end up together in a nightclub in Las Vegas? A few too many drinks later, a hasty ceremony performed by the king of rock ‘n’ roll, and they’d been hitched. The night that followed lived on in his dreams, but when he’d woken the next morning she was gone.
Can these two mismatched lovers find a way past their mistakes, or will they keep their lonely hearts forever guarded?
Peter Montgomery was sick and fricking tired of do-gooders getting into his business. It wasn’t like they were going to hurt that teacher-lady. They was just havin’ a bit of fun with her, that’s all. He cursed and yanked Davey into a recessed doorway as a cop car raced past. Just what he needed, the fucking cops on his tail. It didn’t matter that his stupid sister’s ex was the sheriff. There’d be no help from that quarter.
“Where’s that bottle o’ whiskey I told you to hold on to?” He held out a shaky hand and frowned, grasping his wrist to hold it steady.
Davey backed up another step and almost tripped over a cement stair. “I dropped it when we ran.”
Pete cursed and lunged forward.
“It slipped.” Davey covered his head and cowered. “I didn’t mean to. C’mon man, take it easy.” He felt around in his jacket pockets and pulled out a silver pint flask. “Here, have some of this, it’s better anyway. One-eighty proof. I made it myself.”
Pete snapped it out of his hand almost before the idiot quit yammering. He twisted the cap off, gave the top a swipe with his coat sleeve, and took an appreciative sniff. Yep, Davey knew how to make some damn fine hooch, that’s for sure. The first sip burned its way down his gut like a dragon’s breath and he let out a little gasp.
Davey reached for the flask and Pete batted his hands away, glaring. Then he lifted the half-full container to his lips and drank deep, letting it wash the anger and frustration away.
“Hooyah,” he wheezed when the carafe was finally drained. He stumbled and lost his balance for a minute, smacking up against the tin-sided building.
“Shh,” he said, and then laughed.
Davey stood him up and retrieved his now empty flask, stuffing it into his jacket. “Thanks for sharing, man. C’mon, we better get movin’ before the cops show up.” He shoved a shoulder under Pete’s arm, almost reefing the thing out of its socket.
“Take it easy. I use that once in awhile you know.” He guffawed at his own crude joke.
“Yah, man, you’re a riot. Let’s go.” Davey helped him get his feet moving in the right direction. “I have more ‘shine where that came from.”
See? Things were looking up already.
* * *
Rebecca lay in embarrassed silence as the ambulance drove them to the hospital. Wonder how good her chances were that no one heard Mitch’s little announcement? A glance at the smiling EMT gave her her answer. Damn it.
What was he thinking? They’d carried this secret around for so many years. Nobody was going to understand. Her friends were going to freak out. And what about her mom?
Oh, my God.
“Your heart rate is climbing. Are you in pain?” the paramedic asked, placing two fingers to her wrist and checking her watch.
“No. I really don’t need to go to the hospital. You could let me out at the corner. I can walk.” She started to sit up but the EMT put a hand to her shoulder, pressing her back down.
“Just let them do their job, honey,” Mitch said, humor warming his voice.
Rebecca glared at him. “You’re not helping here.”
He met her look, unrepentant. Then his gaze roamed her face and the amusement died. His jaw clenched and he nodded toward the injuries. “She going to need stitches?”
The EMT leaned over to check Mitch’s forehead. “No, but they’ll want to hold her to check for possible concussion.”
He hissed and pulled away from her touch.
“Just take care of Becky, I’m fine.”
The paramedic hesitated, then shrugged and sank onto her seat. She picked up a clipboard and started filling in the info. “So, have you two been married long?”
“We’re not married,” Rebecca answered.
“Five years,” Mitch said.
The EMT looked from one to the other of them, eyebrow reaching for her hairline.
Rebecca shot him a shut-up-or-die glare. “We’re separated. It’s been so long I’d forgotten.”
The paramedic eyed them skeptically, then made a note on the clipboard. “Yep. Check for concussions.”
About the Author:
JACQUIE BIGGAR is a bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want, that is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls.
She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.
Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂
Free reads, excerpts, author news, and contests can be found on her web site:
Or email her via her web site. Jacquie lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!