Dani refuses to lose another parent due to her absence from their life. After pulling herself back together following the death of her father, she moves back to her childhood town to live with her mom. She’s slowly pulled back into the lifestyle she worked so hard to get away from ten years ago. She accepts that this is the life she has always been destined to live. Getting a job at the store down the road and hooking back up with her first love Gage, seems to be the logical way to go…that is until Holden Reynolds shows up in town.
Now that Holden is finally back home from the Navy he plans on following in his father’s footsteps. Still trying to move on from the one woman who had his heart, he busies himself in work and returning to the country boy lifestyle he’s always loved. The best way to get over someone is to get under someone, right? That’s his mindset as he travels town to town with his job perfectly content with being a rambling man…that is until he meets Danielle Brooks.
When Dani isn't leaving and Holden isn't staying will they be able to keep themselves from getting too attached? Or will they be just what each other needs to cut all the strings that have them bound?
“You can’t save me from me, Holden.” –Dani
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I really don’t want to quit swinging. But the fact that I’m starting to get a boner has me thinking I really need to slow down, get off the swing, and adjust myself without Dani catching me.
Once the swing comes to a stop, neither happens. Instead, Dani leans back and looks at me. Her blue eyes shining bright, I watch her face, as she seems deep in thought. And then… she smiles. A full blown, heart pounding, boner-inducing smile that has me wanting to turn this into some kind of kinky sex swing.
“What?” I smile back. She’s contagious and I have a feeling that I don’t ever want to find the antidote. I don’t need to be getting attached, but it’s not like I live in a different state. I mean my home home, the one I grew up in, is only two hours away. People make it living twenty hours away. Yes, I work different places all the time, but it doesn’t mean anything. In all reality, I’m still searching for my place to put down my own roots. I don’t have to go back home one day. With my job, it’s almost expected that I never do. It’s not like my dad visits as much as he should, so why should I have an actual home if I don’t ever get to see it or enjoy it.
“I just really like hanging out with you. It’s been a while since I’ve truly been happy. So, for that, thank you.” And with that little thanks said, she bends down and shows me her gratitude by placing her lips on mine. She tries to make it short and sweet, and pulls away not knowing if she should fully press on, but I quickly pull her tightly back in with one hand on the back of her head and the other holding her cheek. I open my mouth, encouraging her to do the same. Her tongue soon finds mine. I haven’t legitimately made out with a girl in what seems like forever. Yes, I kissed the girls that I’ve slept around with, but I have never felt anything, because I’ve never felt anything towards them. I haven’t been friends with them or haven’t known anything about them, so it’s been easy. I’ve had no trouble keeping everything shut off. But with Dani, I feel. And I like feeling.
“Wait, I can’t do this.” She pulls back from me trying to free herself from my hold.
“Why not?” I ask as confusion sets in.
“Because, I’m trying not to get attached to someone. And I’m already doing that with you.”
Grabbing her face in my hands, I force her to look me in the eyes as I ask her, “Do you want to be with me, Dani?”
“Holden, it doesn’t matter what I want. I gave that up months ago.” Deep sadness fills her eyes.
I’ve finally found this sweet woman who makes my head all crazy, stupid with thoughts of things I believed I’d never have, and she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. She doesn’t have to say it, but I can tell that she feels like everyone else in her life has to come first. The guilt that she won’t let go of is heavy enough, let alone this extra burden that she’s placed upon herself.
“What you want matters to me, and it should matter to you.”
“You don’t even live here. One day you’ll be picking back up and moving along to your next destination.”
Not only is she worried about the life she has here, she’s worried about the life I’d have away from her. There are ways around obstacles, and if this whole thing with us is going to be a giant sized puzzle, then I’m going to solve it. If both people want something bad enough, then there is a solution for it.
Being born an "Army Brat", Erika Ashby has been residing in Oklahoma the last 10 years finally putting an end to the nomad tendencies she had grown accustomed to. She's a happily married woman who has 5 kids between her and her husband. She has an insane passion for music and embraces her Inner Groupie any chance she has. It wasn't until the age of 29 that she realized she also had a hidden passion for reading; before then she claimed to have hated it. Six months after unlocking that deep desire she never knew she held, she turned the key to another chapter of her life which has become the desire to write. And the rest is still history in the making.