It’s a lovely little life Kelly Seaton leads. He’s got his own landscaping business, a nice little house, and his best friend, Cosimo Renaldi, and Coz’s goofball family who have adopted Kelly as their own. Sure, it’s a little lonely at night, but it’s a sweet deal, and Kelly can’t chance ruining it by letting on that he wants more—has always wanted more—with Coz. Then Kelly’s past comes to town, bringing bad memories and hurt feelings that start to break Kelly down, and Coz just doesn’t understand why Kelly won’t let him be the support and strength that Kelly’s always been for him. They’ve already been through war, Coz’s devastating injury, and starting new careers in Mangrove, Florida. Why shouldn’t they face their chaotic pasts and build their future of quiet nights… together?
IT WAS childish, that was true, but at the moment, with my adrenaline pumping, the flush heating my body, and my heart pounding in my ears, I couldn’t think of a better option.
I ran. Fast.
I had been strolling on my way to The Colonial, one of the many bed and breakfasts along the seashore in Mangrove, when I walked by the patio of Brenner Manor, one of the most exclusive B&Bs, the high end of the lot, and saw him.
It was just a quick glance, but as I would have known him anywhere, the man’s features forever stamped on my memory, I’d jolted to a stop and stood there staring like an idiot. Blessedly, my brain kicked in and I got control of my muscles back. I had pivoted and run down an immaculate alley paved in brick, past white picket fences to the street on the other side. Now I flew by The Lighthouse, that good bar where they mixed handmade cocktails, then by Cuppa Joe, where everyone got their coffee all day, and around the side of Wick and Wand, which sold spells and supplies to both Wiccans and posers. When I cleared Schnapsidee, the German restaurant that made the best Jägerschnitzel I’d ever had—German dumplings with mushrooms—I stopped running and ducked into another alley, this one shaded though still stunning, and leaned up against a wall.
It took long minutes for me to catch my breath and then parse what I’d seen.
After ten years, there he was, Britton Lassiter in the flesh. What the hell was he doing in Mangrove, Florida?
The last time I’d seen him was in New Orleans. He had just graduated from college and had taken a road trip with some buddies from his home…