Bea Zanders’s interest penetrated me.
I tried to ignore her unwavering eyes and lasting touches.
But my willpower failed me.
Our one-night affair was mutual.
No expectations, no exchanging of phone numbers, nothing.
The next morning, she sauntered out of my life as fast as she had entered it.
I claimed Dylan McCain as soon as I saw him.
His disheveled dark hair and tattooed arms screamed bad boy.
Finally, I won, and he claimed me in return.
But in the light of day, he changed.
His smile further dented those dreamy dimples.
His panicked green eyes held layers of kindness.
Making sure the rules were clear, I walked away, showing him how little relationships meant to me.
My coworkers’ hands slow down until the clapping eventually dies.
“So, I’m excited to announce that Deacon Advertising has landed a top-notch graduate of NYU. After a fighting war, we won out.”
I inch up on my tiptoes to see the mystery million-dollar man, but to no avail. Big Vic from the mailroom is blocking any view I might have of the man standing next to Tim.
“Oh my dreams, he’s come to life,” Kevin says next to me.
I crane my neck desperate to catch a glimpse.
“He’s good-looking?” I whisper, still dodging my head in each direction to catch a glimpse. I’ve never been patient when I’m the one in the dark.
“That’s an understatement. This man could not shower for a week and have spinach stuck in each one of his teeth, and I’d still melt at the sight of those dimples.”
With the one word dimples, my stomach flips as I think about Dylan. He thought he was skating the issue the next morning when he said he had to go. Asking me to climb down the trellis of his parents’ house was new for me, but I understood. If my mom had been on the other side of the bedroom door, I’d have pushed him out the window. At least he met me down the street and drove me back to the bar to retrieve my car. He was sweet and kind to think my feelings would be hurt once I realized I was a booty call. Hell, he was my booty call.
“Deaconators, please put those hands together and welcome Dylan McCain.”
“Even the name.” Kevin shakes his head, probably already naming their kids.
“What?” I screech.
A few heads turn toward me.
I inch back to Kevin’s side, taking refuge in a friend. “It can’t be.”
Then, as if I asked for it, he switches spots with Tim, and he’s standing there with those mouth-watering dimples on high alert. Through a sliver of space between Big Vic from the mailroom and Ben from design, he’s clearly visible. And I can’t take my eyes off him.
A high-end tailored suit contours his broad shoulders, buttoned down past his taut waist. No tie but a nice, crisp gray shirt lies under his jacket with the top button undone. His hair is freshly cut, and the small waves are now gelled into a style that doesn’t suit him as well as the messy morning look.
As if he can spot me in the crowd of one hundred, our eyes catch, and my throat dries. For the first time in my life, I’m speechless. My body warms, and I don’t know if it’s because of the intimate things I shared with him that night or the fact that, besides Piper, he’s the first one in so long who seems to care for me.
“Hello, Deaconators.” He laughs. “Surely, we can find a better name than that, Tim.” He clasps Tim on the shoulder and winks.
The room uproars into laughter, and I can’t stop the smile sneaking across my lips.
“I’m happy to be here. I’m originally from the Detroit area. I grew up forty minutes outside of the city. I did my internship at AdSec in New York, but I wanted to come back home to my roots. So, here I am.”
He does a bow just like Tim, and I know he’s already mimicking his new boss. Dylan has a dry sense of humor, much like my own. He adds on a little wave of his hand in front of him, and suddenly, I wish we were back in the eighteen hundreds, and he was asking for my hand at a dance.
No, you don’t. Stop that line of thinking, I scold myself.
The room claps again, and Dylan stands there, absorbing the attention. He’s the glory boy, huh?
“You okay?” Kevin asks as everyone funnels out of the room.
“Yes, why?” I toss my own coffee in the trash can in the corner, not needing anything to further warm my veins.
“You look a little flushed, that’s all.” He laughs and brushes by Big Vic to make his exit. “See you at lunch,” he singsongs, leaving me behind. Thinking twice, he turns, his feet continuing to move with the line of traffic. He raises his cup in the air. “Thanks for the coffee, Bea Zanders. Tomorrow’s on me.”
He smiles, and I glance over to Dylan. He’s shaking hands with a line of women currently attempting to dig up his credentials. Married, engaged, or single?
Those green hues sparkle to me like emeralds in a jewelry store, and I hold his gaze. I’m surprised he doesn’t seem as shocked as I am, but instead more curious. Then, a slow smirk crosses his lips, and he turns to the woman touching his bicep. He shakes her hand, and before the next desperate woman can slide into her spot, he breaks free. Zigzagging between the throng of people, he lightly acknowledges the pats on his back, congratulations, and good-to-meet-you’s, but his eyes are focused solely on mine.
Love SurfacedThe equations are simple.
Piper Ashby + Brad Ashby = Twin Siblings
Brad Ashby + Tanner McCain = Best Friends
Piper Ashby + Tanner McCain = Off limits
Tanner and I abided by the rules. We stayed on our designated sides of the relationship circle.
Ignoring swarming butterflies.
Brushing off skipped heartbeats.
Settling on lingering stares.
Here’s the secret … a hand extended over that invisible line once, exponentially changing the equation. I was convinced we could make our relationship work until Tanner broke the trust he embedded in me from the age of seven.
One deceit of mega proportions and the relationship we built for that short month vanished. I swore never to speak to him again and it’s worked. Until now—two years later, when my brother’s wedding places me face-to-face with the best man—Tanner McCain.
Leaving one equation to be solved. Can love surface twice?
Love RekindledTaylor Delaney is the love of my life.
She’s also the one I've hurt the most.
Two years ago, I made a disastrous mistake.
One I’m not sure I can make amends from.
But I have to try, because I’m nothing without her.
Brad Ashby's here, in my hometown, asking for a second chance.
All those unresolved feelings for him have resurfaced.
Not that they ever went away.
I know I should run him out of the town, but I can’t.
He needs to know that I wasn’t the only one who was deceived.
Even if we gave our relationship another try, how can we rebuild what’s been destroyed? If we weren’t strong enough then, what makes us strong enough now?
This is a standalone novel involving two characters from Michelle Lynn's Love Surfaced novel.
USA Today Bestselling author, Michelle Lynn moved around the Midwest most of her life, transferring from school to school before settling down in the outskirts of Chicago ten years ago, where she now resides with her husband and two kids. She developed a love of reading at a young age, which helped lay the foundation for her passion to write. With the encouragement of her family, she finally sat down and wrote one of the many stories that have been floating around in her head. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can be found playing with her kids, talking to her mom on the phone, or hanging out with her family and friends. But after chasing around twin preschoolers all day, she always cherishes her relaxation time after putting the kids to bed.