by Amber Lacie
New Adult Contemporary Romance
A coming of age love story of life long friendship and second chances…
Sometimes love is fated in the stars. You know you are destined for each other. Your souls entwine and you can’t imagine your life without them.
Sometimes it’s found when you’re not looking for it. It peeks around the corner when you least expect it, sweeping you off your feet, carrying you off into the sunset.
Sometimes, there are a lucky few who get to experience both. I was one of the lucky ones.
“I love you, Carsten.”
“I know.” My eyes fall to my hands folded in my lap. I can’t go from one guy to another. What kind of person would that make me? Looking up at Holden, I see the sadness in his eyes. The golden specks have lost their luster. I will hurt you. I love you, Holden. The thoughts are there, but I don’t speak them.
“When are you going to stop with the Han Solo act and say it back?”
I shrug my shoulders. “I don’t know.”
“Do you love me?”
“Since I was five.”
“No, not that kind of love. Do you love me? Does the world stop when you think about me? Does your day begin and end with thoughts of me? Can you feel me in your dreams? When you breathe, is it the air from my lungs filling yours? Do you love me so much it consumes you completely, leaving room for nothing else?”
“I love you, Carsten. I love you like that. I exist to love you. I always have.”
“Don’t freak out. I want you to hear everything I have to say…just hear me out…I love you.” My breath hitches and a gasp leaves my lips. “I knew you were different the first time we met. You blew me off without even a second glance. I wasn’t used to that. Your body was there that night at dinner, but your mind wasn’t. I could tell something was missing. It was like your light was out. The longer the night drew on, the dimmer your light got. Then we were in the kitchen and I dropped the bowl, I knew someone had shattered you.”
‘Your light was out.’ His words strike something in me. I did burn out. I crashed. I exploded, destroying everything around me and he could see it. Without one word said between us, he could see it.
Owen softly wraps his hand around the back of my neck, his fingers gently brush against my skin. “When we were standing together in the cold, I made you laugh. Something lit up inside of you and for a split second, I was so blinded that I couldn’t see anything else, but you. The light faded as quickly as it came and then there we were, standing in the dark together.” His forehead presses against mine, our lips almost touching.
“I love you. I love the spark that shines through you when you laugh…I love your sadness. I love the way you put all of yourself into your art…I love the way you are cautious with your heart…I get it. I completely understand if you can’t say it back. I want you to know that you don’t have to. If you let this happen, if you let us have a chance, I will love you enough for the both of us.” His eyes look straight into my soul.
Emotions, I wasn’t sure I had anymore, are racing through me. My mind is trying to sort out all the confusion, while my heart beats a little bit faster with every word he says. A tear rolls softly down my cheek, not out of sadness, but from something completely different.
Owen swipes my tear away with his thumb. “It’s okay. I got you.”
“Why are we here?”
“Why not?” Holden jumps down and holds his hand out for me. I follow him over to the trees. He jumps onto one of the trunks, grabs my hands, and helps pull me up. We slowly walk to where they meet. Moving carefully, we sit in the center of the trees. Holden wraps his hands around my waist and leans his head on my shoulder.
Slightly turning my head, I stare into his deep brown eyes. “Will you tell me why we are here now?”
I tilt my head up towards the sky. The tops of the trees surrounding us have left an opening between the branches right above us. It is almost a perfect circle made from the tips of red and yellow leaves. The orange sunset is slowly fading, revealing two stars in the deep blue sky.
Holden softly kisses my temple, as he points to the two twinkling diamonds shining above us. “See those stars? They are the first ones to come out every night. One never shines without the other. They are only bright when they are together…like us.”
“It’s more like we need each other. Without you, my light goes out.”
“What happens when I’m with you?”
“I shine so bright the other stars explode. Some people experience fireworks when they love someone. Fireworks are so small in comparison to what I feel for you. When we’re together, all I see are supernovas.”
Indie-Award Winning Author Amber Lacie is about all things books, glitter, and shenanigans. Never without a book or caffeinated goodness, she's managed a husband that worships at her alter and two awesome kiddos, all while pumping out tales of love and suspense. Growing up in Chicagoland, she's seen the nitty, and knows the gritty. As for love and home, that landed her in Beverly Shores, Indiana where she dreams up adventures for her characters so that you the reader can explore new bends in the road. Buckle up.