Yours and Mine
Nick and Joelle
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
Saying goodbye is never easy.
Walking away is even harder.
Forgetting your soulmate is impossible.
We share the same birthday and breathe the same air.
My best friend Nick lives next door and I know him better than anyone. But I can't tell him that because well, he's a boy.
He’s a boy whom I watch grow up and become a man.
A strong, handsome and persuasive man whom I live for and whom I would die for.
He’s the first person I see each morning, and the last person before I close my eyes for the night.
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
We were standing facing each other. I could smell his sweet chocolate breath mixed with his cologne and lifted my hands to his chest, slowly sliding them over his pecs, over his shoulders, and around his neck. When we were like this, just the two of us, nothing else mattered. I could have remained in his arms forever, sharing the same space and breathing the same air.
“There’s no one else I’d rather be with, Nick.”
“Tell me you’re mine,” he breathed, and a need for something deep I couldn’t understand rolled off his body.
“I’m yours, Nick.”
His mouth lowered to mine. Rising higher on my toes, I tasted the sweetness of chocolate on his tongue. There was a sense of danger kissing him in the back of his mother’s bakery – she could walk in any time – yet I couldn’t pull my lips away. When we finally parted, I straightened my apron, and Nick shifted his pants. I wondered whether he was hard underneath his apron.
He took me by my hips and lifted me up to the counter. Our height was now even. Our gazes locked, and his hands slid over my jeans and up my thighs. He slowly lowered his gaze down my body, right over my swelling breasts. I was pretty sure that I stopped breathing at one point; that is, until his concentration zoomed in on my zipper and his nails scratched over the fabric there, sending delectable vibrations right to my crotch. I felt that swelling sensation build between my legs, the same way it did at night when I touched myself thinking about Nick.
“Tell me to stop,” he whispered. “Please.”
I didn’t want to. I wanted him to keep going. I wanted to see how far he’d go and how far I’d let him go. He was testing my patience.
“Jo, you have to. Otherwise…”
“I want to have sex with you,” I blurted.
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
My life is his and his is mine.
We’re going to grow old together.
And everything would have been perfect if he didn't choose to leave.
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
She’s the girl next door and my dose of daily reality.
Joelle has had my heart since the day we shared gum.
She’s laughed with me through the good days and cried with me through the rough ones.
One day, I’m going to marry her. But first, I have to complete my training. A man can’t be worthy if he doesn’t stand up to protect those he loves, can he?
My Dearest Joelle,
I hope this letter finds you well. Before you start reading, please wipe the tears away. It hurts too much knowing that you’ll cry each time I write. I don’t want you crying.
To say that I miss you would be blasphemy. Not a second passes that you’re not on my mind. You fill my days and nights, motivate me to pull through the torturous minutes and hours of training, and remind me of what I need to do. You give me strength I didn’t know I had.
I have to be honest, I don’t know how often I can write to you, but I will every time I can. I wish I could say that I was counting the days to my return, but everything here blends into one continuous string of time and it’s hard to tell the days from the nights. Sleep is a luxury I don’t always have. I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve been gone until I look at the calendar. That only makes me crave you even more. When I lie down in my bunk, I look out the window and see the night sky, yours and mine, and I wonder whether you’re on your rooftop. Hoping to connect with you on some level, I pretend that you are watching the same stars I am.
The rigorous physical activities are hard. They push you to your breaking point until your mind starts playing with you and hallucinations begin to be a part of your life, but I’m soaking it all in. I don’t want to turn around in eleven months and think that they’ve been a waste. I can already feel that I’m changing. Little things don’t matter. Only you do, our future and safety. I am now more determined than ever to make this world a better place for us to live in, I promise.
The most painful and difficult part by far is being away from you. I miss your sweet lips and your body. I miss everything about you, but knowing that I’ll come out stronger for the both of us is worth it.
Please say hello to our friends, your dad, and give my mom a kiss. I’ll try to write soon. I love you, Joelle.
I want to stay strong, but it’s not easy. I have one month left before the birth and haven’t heard from you. I know you would have written if you could, which makes it that much more difficult. After all, it means that you don’t even know about the beautiful miracle we’ll soon have. I pray that I’ll close my eyes and when I open them again, you’ll be here. I wish you’d never left. I’m sorry to be so selfish right now, but I’ve never needed you as much as I do now. I’m hurting on the inside. I don’t want to, because I need to stay strong for the baby, but what else can I do? Whom else can I speak to, to reach you?
I can’t climb up the ladder to the rooftop any more. It’s not safe. It’s another piece of you that I’ve lost, and if what you said was true before you left, if your deployment will in fact take two years, then I’m afraid you’ll miss our baby’s first fifteen months. He or she will be walking by then.
We turned the guest room into a nursery. With the money I’ve been making with online sales, I was able to buy everything for the baby on my own. I feel proud. I know you would too. I wish you could be here. I’m praying for your safe return. I’m praying that we’ll soon be together.
All I can do is wait...
...wait and pray that he comes home safely to our new family.
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
“Jo!” I heard Carter call me from outside, and I opened my eyes.
“Yo, Jo!” he called out again, in a loud whisper.
What in the world is he doing?
I put on a pair of sweats and a shirt and went out to meet him. My father and Marge were already at the bakery, and given that I’d been feeling under the weather, I had stayed in bed longer than usual. Still, this was way too early for Carter to be calling me outside my window.
I opened the front door and met him on the front porch. “Do you know what time it is?”
“I thought you bakers wake up early.”
“And I thought you were studying for the firehouse.”
“I’m off today, and I’m knee-deep in trouble.”
He pointed to his left, where a familiar cow was standing by the roadside, chewing on the chrysanthemums I had planted by the driveway. It had been two weeks since Nick left, and I couldn’t get myself to smile, no matter how much my parents, Carter, and Molly tried, but something told me that today would be the day I broke through.
“Betsy escaped. She came to my house this morning, and now she won’t stop following me.”
“Carter, what does this have to do with me? Couldn’t you have brought her back to Mrs. Gladstone’s and tied her up, instead of walking her here?”
“I would have, if she didn’t moo at me each time I approached.”
“That’s what cows do. They moo.” I chuckled at Carter’s perplexed face. He was acting like a complete city boy, as if he’d never seen a cow before.
“Yeah, but this one’s different. Watch.”
He took a wary step toward Betsy, who of course never stopped watching him from the side, and stopped when she bobbed her head up and down.
“See, she’s going to attack.”
“Awww, Carter, she loves you.”
“Don’t you remember? It’s what she used to do to Nick when we passed by the farm. She wants you to pet her. I guess now that he’s gone, she’s found a new buddy.”
“She loves me?”
“Step closer, and she’ll kneel and let you rub her head.”
I watched him pace toward the cow as if he were approaching a tank that was aiming right at him. The scene was getting funnier by the moment, and while I wanted to warn him about what would happen if you approached Betsy from the left side, I didn’t. Everything inside me was twisting into knots filled with laughter as I composed myself on the outside. As Carter reached out toward Betsy’s head, she did what she’d always done to Nick — licked him from the jaw right up the center of his face, over his nose and to the top of his head, setting his hair standing.
I burst out laughing.
“What the hell, Betsy?”
“I told you she loves you.”
“You knew this would happen, didn’t you?”
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
And when Nick returns, I will never let him leave again.
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
For the first of May, the day was perfect. Little did I know, it would be a day I’d remember for the rest of my life. It was Sunday morning, and I’d just gotten Mackenzie into her new dress. She was walking now, no longer wobbly, and she’d even taken a few of her first runs.
“This is the dress you should wear when daddy comes home,” I said to myself. “But then again, you’ll grow out of it in two months.
“Joelle, give Mackenzie to me.” My father was looking out the window.
I stopped combing her hair and looked up to my father’s concerned face.
“Dad, she’s not done—”
“Honey, give her to me right now. I’m going to take her to the back yard. You stay here with Marge. Come on, sweetheart, let’s see if Grandpa can find a special cupcake and a Freezie for you.”
“Walter? What’s going on?” Marge asked, and then she looked out the window. Her face went pale white, and I wondered what she saw that scared the living ghost out of her.
As soon as my father disappeared, tears spilled out of Marge’s eyes.
“Marge? What’s the matter?”
She didn’t say anything, only brought me to her body and squeezed me so hard that I thought she’d break a rib or two. “You need to stay strong for your daughter, do you understand me?” she whispered into my ear.
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
Will Jo and Nick find their happiness? Or will the news destroy her, forever?
If you love friends-to-lovers stories about friends who grow up to become lovers, you will love Yours and Mine.
★★★★★ “I've always loved books that have twists and turns, but this one has got to be my all time favorite. It kept me on my toes the whole way through and I just could not put it down... ...I cannot wait to read more of these stories.” ~ Shelly, Reviewer
Read about Nick and Joelle’s journey filled with trials and tribulations as they grow up together, endure heartbreak and pain, and allow love, hope and patience heal their shattered lives.
Right in Front of You
Carter and Molly
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
I had it all figured out: a gorgeous girlfriend, a baby on the way, and a firefighter career I’ve always dreamed of. Life was perfect… until piece by piece, it all fell apart, and I lost my will to live.
I crouched beside his limp body and touched his blue face. Its temperature was close to that of a corpse and a second of fear that he was actually dead passed through me. Relieved to see a fog of breath escape his purple lips, I got down on my knees beside him. I wasn’t too late. The smell of alcohol and vomit hit me next, and I fought not to throw up myself.
“Carter, wake up.” I shook him by the shoulder.
“Come on, Carter. You need to warm up.”
“Daisy…” He reached out with his arm, pointing toward the cemetery.
“I know, honey, but Daisy wouldn’t like to see you this way, would she? Let’s get you home.”
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
Molly Fowler, my best friend from grade school, has saved my life countless times. She helped me heal and move on. She guided me to be a better man, while she herself held pain I failed to see.
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
I left Hope Bay the moment I could, but a force by the name of Carter Clark kept pulling me back home.
The road to hell must be littered with his despair. A few more rounds of cries and he’d extinguish Satan’s deep, burning pit.
His pain will never be justified.
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
I was too blind to see her deep scars.
I was too blind to see that we needed each other.
I was too blind to see what was right in front of me.
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
I opened the door and leaned against the frame, blocking his view. He was standing there in his white t-shirt and jeans that screamed I came to make you mine. It wasn’t fair that he’d look even more handsome at night than during the day. I mean, who else could pull off that mouth-watering sexy grin at two in the morning?
“Did you drive here?” I asked.
“No, I took a cab.”
“Carter, that’s one hundred miles—”
“And every inch of that was worth it to see you.”
A wave of hormones surged through my body, despite the hint of alcohol on his breath. I hated alcohol. It was deadly and it made people do things they wouldn’t otherwise when they were sober. But Carter was here, and that must have counted for something, didn’t it?
The touch of his lips to mine was better than cold ice cream on a hot summer’s day. And it was warm — a warm kiss that soothed my soul, removed my doubts, and created a safety I had never felt in my life.
For a man who fought fires, braved tornadoes, and wasn’t afraid of much, it must have taken a lot for Carter to admit pain.
“Oh, Carter. Itching is good. It means it’s healing; but why didn’t you say something? I could have helped.”
“In the shower?”
“Yes, I’m a professional.”
“So if I were naked in the shower, you would have just bathed me? Now that I say it out loud, the idea sounds pretty good. Would you have washed my entire body, Molly?”
His voice was so low and enticing that shivers ran up and down my arms. Feeling my vocal cords constrict, I swallowed through my throat, which felt like a straw, and just nodded. It would take all my willpower to remain professional, but I wasn’t one to reject a challenge. What woman would, with a man like Carter Clark?
“Liar. I can see it in your eyes, Molly. You would have been turned on.” His coy grin of satisfaction stretched wide.
“Well, I can turn off the turn on.” I felt my cheeks heat. Did that even make sense? “Cover yourself and let me help you get up.” I reached for his right, unbandaged arm. He braced himself against me, the closeness of his body affecting mine way over any comfortable limits. My heart palpitated, and I tried to calm it with a steadier breath, but it was nearly impossible. As I took him under his elbow, he stepped over the tub, letting the small towel fall from underneath. Instead of covering himself with the bath towel, he let it drop to the floor at the foot of the tub. I looked straight ahead, desperately trying to concentrate on the task at hand: washing Carter’s wound. Though, the thought of touching him in any way made my mind spin.
He finally sat down in the tub as I kept my gaze fixed on the wall tiles. I turned on the water, checked the temperature, and let it run.
“Bubbles?” I asked. Maybe they’d cover him a little. Perhaps if there was a visual break between us, even if it was only foam, I could actually focus.
I poured in the liquid and waited with impatience until the water forced clouds of white suds upward.
“Are you more comfortable now?” he asked, cocking his head to the side.
“Why would I be uncomfortable?”
“Come on, Molly. Don’t tell me that having me naked in your bathroom is not affecting you, because it sure as hell is affecting me.”
“It’s taking everything I have not to pull you inside here. Do I have to be half-dead and frozen for you to join me in a tub?”
My memories of how good it felt to be in a bathtub with Carter weaved through me like a poisonous snake, filling my mind with hormonal venom that flushed my body with long-denied needs. I wondered what it would feel like to sit against him in that tub again, but this time not to save his life, but to enjoy him.
“Carter, we’re friends. Good friends. And I don’t want to cross that boundary.” To prove to him just how okay I was with helping him bathe, I reached for the sponge, squeezed some soap, and gently pressed it to his shoulder, scrubbing up and down his right arm. It didn’t seem to deter his questioning at all.
“I… I don’t know. I’m not sure. It’s… my life’s good now. I wouldn’t want to complicate things and you’re recovering.” I didn’t want to tell him that I was afraid that he still loved Daisy.
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
If you love friends to lovers stories, you will love Right in Front of You.
★★★★★ “This is a beautiful story full of emotions; you will smile, you will cry and you will be angry. But, in the end your heart will swell with happiness. ” ~ Maria, Reviewer
Join Molly and Carter as the unlikely duo takes on a suspenseful adventure filled with romance and attempts to navigate the murky waters of their friendship.