Check out Sheri Lynn’s The Heart Won’t Forget
Frannie thought she had life all figured out. Don’t get involved. No expectations means no disappointments. And that’s exactly how she chose to live her life with her four-year-old son over the last three and a half years. Safe and quiet.
But in the span of ten days, her safe, quiet life starts to fall apart. Corey, an ex-boyfriend, moves back in next door. He apologizes for breaking her heart, and wants another chance. He’s as good looking as ever, and their children pick up their friendship right where they left off. But Frannie can’t forget the agony she experienced when he left her.
Adam, her ex-husband and son’s father, also comes back into her life. He was her first love, and they had remained in each other’s life for their son’s sake – as friends. Now he’s forcing her to confront the pain of her past in the hopes of ensuring a better future, one that includes him. He’s different than the young man she married just out of high school. He’s confident and commanding.
Frannie has a difficult, life-changing decision to make. Give a relationship with Corey another try, or give Adam and their failed marriage another try. Or, is she better off alone following her safe and quiet life plan? Which man will step up to win her heart? Which man is strong enough to convince Frannie she is safe with him?
She sat on the couch, staring at her packed bags. Why did she agree to this? She didn’t want to go. Since Adam returned, he had been helpful, supportive, and attentive. He climbed in the bed with her the first two nights, spooning her. The third night, he explained that with her feeling better, she needed her rest, and he felt comfortable leaving her to sleep in the guest bed.
Before he left with Zach to go North on Wednesday, he became domineering and unyielding. Of course, she had the flu when he first arrived, but once she got well and returned to work on Monday, he dictated how the week would play out. He expected her to fly up to meet him and their son on Friday.
Her phone buzzed, a text message from Adam. “If you aren’t already, you need to be in the car driving to the airport if you are going to make your flight.”
She couldn’t respond. She hadn’t talked to her family in over three years. They all took it personally when they heard Adam received his first overseas assignment, a remote one in Korea, and she wanted to stay here, not move back up there. Six months after that when Adam returned home on leave, she got pregnant. She drove across the country to share the good news with her family. The family that greeted her was a family she didn’t know, and the distance between them became greater than just the miles between them. The disillusionment of it all scarred her. Eventually, she changed her cell number and broke all contact with them.
She never even told them when she and Adam decided to divorce. She assumed they must know though, news travelled fast in their hometown.
Lost in her thoughts, she screamed when the front door flew open and a very angry Adam burst in. “Get your ass up and get in the car!”
“What are you doing here?” Backing away from him as he reached for her, she fell to her side on the couch, attempting to scurry away. She’d never seen him like this. His palm landed hard on a portion of her rear, mostly on her outer thigh due to her position. “Ouch!” He wasn’t playing. It hurt and she crawled off the couch, running over to the bar stools before she turned around and looked at him. “What’s that about? That hurt.”
He fisted his hand and released it before running it through his short light hair. “Frannie. I’m trying really hard here, but there is going to be a lot more where that came from if you don’t get your ass in the car.”
She may not recognize this man, but she liked him. Kind of. “I told you before you bought the plane ticket that I didn’t want to go. I’ll pay you back for the damn ticket.”
A big sigh passed through his lips, and his eyes narrowed. He looked like a man struggling to maintain his calm. Nothing ever rattled Adam that she could recall. “If I come over there, you will find it an achy drive and flight sitting on a blistered ass. I don’t give a fuck about the cost of the ticket! Zach is waiting for you up there. As was I.”
The seriousness in his tone and words created conflicting emotions in her. She found this new version of him sexy, yet frustrating. “I don’t know what’s gotten into you. Gonna spank me like I’m some little girrrrrrr…” So surprised and shocked by his quick move towards her, she dashed down the hallway. She didn’t really think she had a chance. He returned from Germany in excellent physical condition, obviously taking his PT seriously.
Entering her bedroom with him on her heels, she jumped on her bed attempting to get far against the wall. Not a chance. He gripped her ankle dragging her face down over the bed. Tossing up her peasant skirt, baring just a thong covered ass, he spanked her. Over and over again. The more she struggled, the quicker and harder the smacks. He didn’t quit until she sobbed with tears rolling down her face, all the fight in her gone.
Rolling her to her back, she kept her eyes closed. She didn’t want to look at him. She didn’t want him to look at her. Wiping her tears away with his hands, he cupped her face. “As much as I want to kiss you right now, it won’t be enough, so I’m not going to start something I want to take my time with.” She sniffled, and he kissed the bridge of her nose. “Go get some tissue and meet me in the car. I’ve got your bags. Hurry though, we are hurting for time now.”
Opening her eyes, he stood in front of her holding his hand out. He helped her to her feet, adjusted her skirt, and directed her to the bathroom.
In a trance, she made it to the car. Neither spoke on the drive to the airport, and since they weren’t seated together, they didn’t speak on the flights. During the ninety minutes in Atlanta, while they waited to catch the connecting flight, she went to the restroom, and walked around the shops. She picked up a dinosaur book to read to Zach.
Landing in Minneapolis, almost six hours from when he picked her up, they retrieved their bags and walked out to his rental car. Just like someone hitting a light switch, she snapped out of her trance. Her hands shook, and she couldn’t draw in any breaths.
Dropping his bags, Adam rushed to her side before she panicked. He pulled her tight into his chest, stroking her back. “Hey, hey. I got you. It’s going to be all right. I promise. I’m here, and I’m not leaving you.” Rubbing her head, held firmly against his chest, he calmed her. “I didn’t do this to hurt you, Frannie. I’m here with you. I’ll be with you every step of the way.”
Sniffling, she lifted her head, looking into his face. “Why? Why do you want this so much?”
His blue eyes softened more. “Because we’re family. I need Zach to grow up knowing his extended family, and his mother is part of that. She needs to stop thinking it’s her against the world, and leave the past in the past.” Patting her shoulder, he stood her in front of him, rubbing his hands on her shoulders. “Don’t worry. We are crashing at my parents. Let’s just see how things go, and how we feel tomorrow.” He put his finger under her chin, lifting her eyes to meet his. “Deal?”
Looking away, she couldn’t make sense of anything. Did she enter the Twilight Zone? She knew this was Adam, but it wasn’t her Adam. “Yeah,” she replied. She supposed. Why wouldn’t she? He’s saying all the right things, and he might spank her if she doesn’t comply. Now she felt shaky for an altogether different reason. And a little flushed.
Opening the passenger door, he waited for her to get in, then put their bags in the trunk. Starting the vehicle, he grabbed her hand and squeezed it. “I wish this last part wasn’t a three-hour drive. I’m pretty beat.”
The mention of a long day for him had many questions resurface. “Yeah, how did you get back to Alabama today? And why?”
Putting the car in reverse, he backed out of the parking space. “You know why, Frannie. To make sure you got on the plane. I knew you wouldn’t come, so I got a ticket and flew down to get you.”
“You spent a lot of time and money on getting me up here for some reason.” “Yep. I sure did.” The only response he gave, no elaboration.
Meet Sheri Lynn
I grew up an Army brat, so my childhood involved moving every three years. However, truly a southern gal, I currently reside in Alabama with my husband, two golden retrievers, two chihuahuas, a mean cat, turtle, and a teenage daughter. I have two sons, who live on their own, and a stepson and stepdaughter.
Romance novels have always been my first reading choice. I’m a hopeless romantic, and that trait materializes in every aspect of my life. “Wearing your heart on your sleeve” has been a common phrase repeatedly heard throughout my life. Writing romance and happily ever afters comes naturally.
Whether a result of my childhood, or not, I love to travel. Warm weather and beautiful beaches are always my choice destination.
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