A fateful childhood accident changes the course of Olivia Owens’ life. Her body left broken by a fall, she becomes a near recluse. She chooses to hide from society by pursuing a writing career, never stepping into the spotlight. Her loving parents coddle her, which only makes it easier to withdraw from the life around her.
Liam Palmer was twelve when he helplessly watched Olivia fall, and he blames himself for the mishap. Guilt propels him into a career in medicine, as he seeks a way to lessen the weight of the responsibility he bears.
After years apart, Liam visits Olivia to offer a surgical solution to her pain. He’s shocked to find a woman where the young girl had once stood. He struggles with his attraction at first, but soon realizes his perfect woman was right before him his entire life.
Olivia is leery, as the surgery he suggests has risks. She also shuns his advances, knowing he could never love the broken woman she is, no matter how much she wants to give in to the man she’s had a crush on her entire life.
Tied together by pain and guilt, they must break free of their past if they’re ever to have a future together.
NOTE: This is a previously published work. The title has been edited for Twisted E-Publishing.
“Olivia Anne! Can you please get the door? My hands are full at the moment.”
It was the last thing on earth she wanted to do. “Yes, Mom.”
Begrudgingly, she left the first step and opened the front door. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer stood in the doorway, wide smiles on both their faces. Olivia loved to look at Mr. Palmer; she could see Liam’s handsome face within the hints of wrinkles and crow’s feet in her parents’ friend.
“Olivia! Congratulations!” Mrs. Palmer stepped in and pulled Olivia into an embrace. Mrs. Palmer had always been a touchy-feely sort and was one of the few people outside her family who Olivia could stand fussing over her. Plus she always smelled of vanilla and gardenias, which made Olivia smile for some reason.
She lifted her gaze and noticed Liam standing at the bottom of the entry stairs looking up at her. Stiffening, she leaned back and took in the sight of him. She hadn’t seen him since he’d left for college, followed by medical school, leaving her to cry into her pillow for weeks, her heart broken. For years, she’d been left with tidbits of news when the Palmers had come for dinner, but it hadn’t been enough.
Olivia soaked in the sight of him like a thirsty woman, needing the nourishment of his presence. He was a towering man, well over six feet, and his wide shoulders had made him an incredible football player in high school. Coupled with the perfectly aquiline nose and strong chin, he was almost too masculine, but his full lower lip softened his appearance somewhat.
Olivia remembered sitting in the bleachers with her family at the occasional game they would attend with the Palmers, her secretly fantasizing about being one of the cheerleaders on the sidelines, getting a kiss from him after he threw the game winning touchdown. She felt her face fill with heat as her gaze centered on his lips. She wondered what it would be like to be the focus of his intimate attentions.
Suddenly, she realized she was standing there gawking at Liam and hadn’t welcomed them in. “Come in, please, come in,” she said quickly as she stood back to give them room. She shook her head, wondering how the remnants of a crush she’d last dwelled on a decade before could come crashing into her as if he’d never left. The last time he’d seen her, she’d been almost eleven. Now she was a woman of twenty-two. Then why did she still feel like that ten-year-old in his presence?