After years of drifting, Trevor Warren’s world comes crashing down with the news of his brother’s death. Returning to his hometown in Evergreen, Colorado for his brother and sister-in-law’s funerals, Trevor realizes he has but a moment to grieve before his nephew, Greyson, is thrust into his life. Becoming the legal guardian to Greyson will either be a blessing or a curse. His late brother, Dean, was the golden child—the perfect son, husband, and father—while Trevor was his polar opposite. Despite his rough past, Trevor pulls his life together to become the father Greyson deserves. Although he tries to be a better man, he never feels like he’s good enough… especially for his neighbor, Veronica Clark.
Veronica “Ronnie” Clark is the picture of maturity and success. Despite having her life together, she’s always felt as if something was missing. From the moment she saw Trevor, she knew he was trouble wrapped in a sinfully attractive package. While she would usually shy away from men like Trevor—something about his rugged appearance captivated her. His handsome face, gorgeous ink, and wounded aura may have caught her attention, but it’s his giving heart that kept her yearning for more.
This could very well be one of the most important moments of my life. I’ve never told a woman that I loved her before; the waters I’m about to venture into make me feel so exposed. The logical part of my brain knows Ronnie won’t reject me. She shows me that she loves me all the time, even though she’s never said the words aloud. Still, there’s a part of my mind that’s absolutely terrified. I’m putting myself out there—risking the chance of a potential heartbreak. I know I can’t think so negatively. I need to trust in her, and I need to trust in myself.
“I was thinking about my brother on the way home,” I begin, my voice soft and raw. “I was thinking about how grateful I was for getting the chance to tell him that I loved him. Weeks before he died, he called to invite me to come stay with him and Cat. You know, give me the chance to meet Grey for the first time. I knew I wouldn’t be able to come, but I talked to him anyway before whatever I had deemed ‘important’ at the time pulled me away. The last words I ever said to him were that I loved him. I’m so fucking grateful that those were the last words he ever heard from me.
“Life’s so fucking fragile, Ronnie. I can’t imagine dying without getting the chance to tell the people closest to me that I love them. I can’t imagine dying tomorrow without getting a chance to tell you my feelings. Ronnie, my feelings for you run so fucking deep.” She gasps, her eyes filling with tears. I take a deep breath before continuing, “Ronnie, I love you so much. I love you more than I can fucking express. I don’t want to go another second without you knowing. I loved you when you were my best friend. I love you as my girlfriend. And I know I’ll love you every single day for the rest of my life.” When she continues to stare at me without saying anything, I pause and emit a nervous chuckle. “I just wanted you to know. It’s been weighing on me for some time now.”
A tear slips down her cheek and before I can reach out to comfort her, she throws her arms around my neck and digs her fingers into my hair. “I love you, too,” she whispers in my ear. “I’ve been wanting to say it for such a long time.”
As soon as she says the words, my entire world seems to stop as I become so happy I can barely fucking breathe. She loves me. This beautiful, perfect girl loves me. And I’m going to spend the rest of my life showing her just how amazing she truly is.
Lizzie Lee is twenty-three years old and lives in Carmel, Indiana. When she’s not writing, she loves to spend her time reading, online shopping, attempting Pinterest projects, and watching cult horror movies.