LONNIE: I came to Tennessee to help a friend. And now, I’m stuck. By the Southern charm, By the sweet tea and By a tall, red-headed “Strawberry Shortcake.” And when my world crumbles apart, Wynn is there to help me pick up the pieces. To show me the way.
WYNN: My life was a huge disappointment. My marriage, My job, Everything slipped away. Coming home seemed like the final failure. But then I meet him, Lonnie Brennan, the sexy bass player, Who adds laughter to my life. And now, I realize that I can Change my tune, Sing a new song.
“Okay. But being twenty-five,” she emphasized her age like I should have known it. “And already having a divorce under your belt doesn’t bode well for any future endeavors.”
I turned back to the sky because looking at her was harder than I could have ever expected.
“One mistake doesn’t make you a failure,” I replied automatically but truthfully.
She didn’t respond, and we just laid there watching the stars wink into existence in a way I never got to see in L.A. Here in this part of Tennessee, they were out nightly. And here at the lake, they were stunning. Like her, glimmering…shiny…heart wrenching.
“Look at it this way,” I told her. “Now you get to have a whole bunch more firsts.”
“What?” she asked. I could feel her looking at me now, and I risked turning my head to meet her eyes. They were so pale that it was hard to see them in the darkness that had settled over us as the sun disappeared.
“You know. First time getting drunk…after the divorce. Well, hell, you already did that.” She smiled weakly, and I continued. “How about first date…after the divorce? First kiss…after the divorce. First time making love…after the divorce. It’s like you get a whole shitload of do-overs now but with more experience than you had when you did those things the first time. You can do them better than you did them as a kid.”
She held her breath at my words and stared at me.
Then she leaned slightly forward and kissed my cheek. Her lips hit my skin and filled me with a scent of berries and lake and I had to clench my fingers into my fist to prevent myself from pulling her all the way to me and devouring all of her, not just those sweet, full lips.
“Thank you,” she breathed out as she settled back on the dock and stared at the night.
“For trying to make me feel better. For reminding me that there’s more to life than this moment.”
But as soon as she said it, I was struck with a longing I don’t normally have. A longing to have this particular moment last forever. Because laying on the dock in the dusk with this beautiful creature might be something I could do three hundred and sixty-five days a year. And that was definitely not in any of my plans.
MY LIFE AS A COUNTRY ALBUM, book #1 (Cam and Jake): https://amzn.to/2yNQgkO
MY LIFE AS A POP ALBUM, book #2 (Mia and Derek): https://amzn.to/2yMBzhV
MY LIFE AS A ROCK ALBUM, book #3 (PJ and Seth): https://amzn.to/2yIReib
Award winning author, LJ Evans, lives in the California Central Valley with her husband, daughter, and the three terrors called cats. She’s been writing, almost as a compulsion, since she was a little girl and will often pull the car over to write when a song lyric strikes her. While she currently spends her days teaching 1st grade in a local public school, she spends her free time reading and writing, as well as binge watching original shows like The Crown, Victoria, and Stranger Things.
If you ask her the one thing she won’t do, it’s pretty much anything that involves dirt—sports, gardening, or otherwise. But she loves to write about all of those things, and her first published heroine was pretty much involved with dirt on a daily basis. Which is exactly what LJ loves about fiction novels—the characters can be everything you’re not and still make their way into your heart.