Life is a series of choices, and every one we make sends us down a different path…
It is easy to look back at your life and see the mistakes you’ve made and wonder how it all could’ve been different. But when the path you thought would last forever comes to an end and you have to choose a new one, do you follow the route that looks the straightest and easiest? Or do you follow your heart and choose the one that might have more twists and turns but could lead you to the happiest tomorrows?
Follow the story of lifelong friends Liane and Blake as they navigate life, love, and the twists that both inevitably take you on as fate tries to straighten their path once and for all.
“Liane?” I open my eyes, wondering where I had heard my name. Geez, I had fallen asleep again, this time in the chair with my feet in the Gulf of Mexico. I need to get a grip. The warm sun must’ve lulled me into a stupor again.
“Li?” When that one syllable reaches my ears, I stand up so suddenly that I fling the magazine I had been holding into the water. I watch it for a moment, floating then sinking into the water before a hand reaches past me and picks it up, throwing it behind me into the sand. Turning around slowly, I have no idea if I make any sound outwardly, but I sure as heck inwardly gasp. I’ve seen pictures of him over the last four years. We’d sent each other our senior pictures. But never did I expect that the man standing in front of me was Blake McIntyre. The young teenage boy I had left standing on this beach four years ago was gone, and in his place was the hottest man I’d ever seen. His blonde hair is still unruly, and his chocolate brown eyes still exude kindness. But while before he had been very thin, now he is all filled out. Cuts of muscle define his arms, chest, and stomach, and he looks like he has already gotten tan.
I’m staring; I know it. But I can’t make myself stop. This is my best friend. My lifelong friend; my everything. Standing in front of me looking like he just posed for GQ. “Blake,” my mouth finally works, a grin that would rival a Cheshire cat’s spreading over my face. His eyes drink me in, trying to read my reaction and my thoughts. At this moment, nothing in the world matters but him. I fling myself into his arms and he catches me with a laugh, his large hands splaying on my bare back as I wrap myself up in him. He’s so much bigger than I remember. I’ve grown a few inches, sure, and am heavier and more womanly than I was when I was fourteen, but am still mostly the same. Blake, however, has grown a good six inches and gained at least 40 or 50 pounds since I have seen him last, and not an ounce of it is fat. He’s Adonis-like. And just my friend, I chant inside my head.
The first thing I notice is that the man is seriously beautiful. His body is cut and sculpted like he spends hours a day in the gym, and even in the dim light from the pool deck, I can tell he’s tan. His board shorts hang low on his hips, and the defined cuts of muscle on his chest and abs is enough to send women running to him and dropping at his feet. Had I been a single woman, he would definitely be my type. My eyes lift past his impeccable body to the face and head that’s attached, and that’s when my heart completely stops. I must’ve gasped out loud, because I feel Mia turn and look at me as he gets closer.
I feel my mouth drop open as his eyes meet mine for the first time in years. “Blake.” He stops in his tracks, both of us staring at each other for what seems like every moment of the time we have been apart. I can’t believe he’s standing here, and had it not been for Mia standing next to me, I might’ve thought I was dreaming.
He lifts his eyes back to my face, a small smile playing on his lips. “Well, well, well,” he drawls, his South Carolina accent more pronounced than I remember. “Look what the cat dragged in.” He smirks at me before hauling my dripping wet body to his. The second our skin touches, I inhale sharply. It isn’t lost on me that we’re wearing the equivalent of underwear and our bodies are pressed together like they belong there. His hard muscles press into my softness as his hands caress my back, and my mind goes back to that alcove all those years ago where we had first touched. I’ve purposely stayed away from that area of the beach since I arrived; there are some things better left alone.