At seventeen, the small town of Saltwater Springs had been everything to Scarlett Devereaux—as had her boyfriend Luke. Never had she imagined she’d have to leave them both behind—until the night that changed everything. A decade after skipping town Scarlett returns to start over in the only place that ever really felt like home. But when nothing goes as planned, she’s forced to turn to Luke for help.
With a drunk for a dad and a mom making pocket change at the local diner, no one ever thought Luke Garrity would amount to anything. After building a successful contracting business he’s proven everyone wrong professionally, but things in his personal life are upside down. Making it the exact wrong time for Scarlett to return to Saltwater Springs.
With a history of devastation and heartbreak between them can Scarlett and Luke make amends, or will secrets from the past threaten the foundation of Scarlett’s new life? Were Luke and Scarlett really built to last?
“I’m glad to see you still enjoy baking.” A small, sad smile formed on his lips.
Luke had been one of the few people in her life aware of her passion. Growing up, the few times she’d shown an interest in baking at home, her mother had shooed her out of the kitchen, insisting it was the staff’s job to prepare the food, not hers.
Luke’s mom had allowed her to use their kitchen to try out different recipes, even sharing some of the ones that had been handed down in his family over the years.
His voice interrupted her reminiscing. “I remember you made me your chocolate brownie cheesecake bars once. Those things were to die for.” He grinned at her and laughed. The memory seemed to have warmed him up to her. Gone was the chilly reception she’d received when he first arrived.
Scarlett remembered that day. They’d been playing house over at his mom’s while she was working at the diner, and who knows where his dad had been—off on a bender, more than likely. Luke had almost finished the entire plate on his own. At one point, he’d smeared some of the batter on her nose and she’d returned the favor. In the end, they’d found themselves undressing on the kitchen floor, pawing at one another until they’d made love right there, surrounded by baking sheets and bowls full of batter.
Heat poured into the juncture of her thighs and she pressed them together, hoping to ease the ache. Squeezing her eyes shut, she willed her body’s reaction to Luke to dissipate. She needed his help, and though he seemed like he was trying to put the past behind them, she was certain that if he knew what had happened all those years ago, he wouldn’t be so quick to forgive.
She opened her eyes to find his intense gaze roaming her body. “I also remember what happened afterward.” He dropped his arms to his sides and removed the distance between them in a few strides until he stood in front of her, almost pressed up against her body.
“You do?” She shouldn’t have asked, but a small part of her was thrilled that being with her had made enough of an impression that he could recall it a decade later.
“I remember every detail…of every time we were together.” He rubbed the back of his neck with his hand. “Memories are all I’ve had to soothe me for ten damn years,” he said with a note of sadness to his voice, then turned and began measuring the space.
Scarlett was more than familiar with the feeling…and that’s what made this situation so bittersweet.
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