Ex-soldier Rahl Vendetti returned to his hometown after watching three of his friends die. He should’ve died too. The guilt weighs on him and every breath is fed by a demon of war that taunts his future.
Singer and interior designer Sage Whiteman hit a genetic jackpot when it comes to dying young. She’s living on borrowed time, so letting people in isn’t easy, but the bartender with teddy bear eyes makes her wonder if it’s time to open up.
They have plenty of chemistry between the sheets, but do they have the ability to be what the other needs outside of the bedroom, too? Sage may be the angel to bring out the gentle giant in Rahl, but can he be the strength she needs to face her uncertain future? Will they save each other and create something unexpected?
This is a previously published work. It has been revised and edited for Evernight Publishing.
Approaching me, he slowly ran his warm hands up and down my arms, which only made me shiver again, but for a different reason. I closed my eyes and planted my forehead into his chest. He was a fireplace in the zero degree air. Without questioning, I snuggled into his warmth.
“Your singing … it does something to me.” His arms rounded my back, criss-crossing low and tight.
I took in his cologne and sighed.
“Sage, what really happened last night?”
“I don’t think you understand what being part of my life long-term means. It’s constant worry that the cancer is back and when it does come back it will affect everything. Relationships, schedules, and finances.” I cringed and lowered my voice, “And sex.” I gazed into his soft brown eyes, deep pools of care that made me waver when it came to him and me. I stepped back to get space and perspective. “Lots of things become secondary to fighting a monster that is unpredictable and merciless. I … I can’t…” I turned but he slipped his hands into mine, stopping me.
“Can’t let me get to know you? Can’t take your past out of the equation? Can’t let me decide for myself what I want? I don’t care about the past or the probability of what might happen in the future.”
“Rahl, cancer breaks hearts all the time. You don’t want—”
“I can decide for myself what I want. And I want you, Sage. Cancer or no cancer. I. Want. You.”
He didn’t know cancer like I did. I’d had the monster dig deep into my soul. “I wanted a long life, a family, someone to love forever, all things that won’t happen. We don’t always get what we want.”