With a will that reads like a piece of fiction, the return of his long-lost brother, and the possibility of losing the family ranch, Micah Cooper calls on high school friend, Sky Baxter, to bail him out of a bad situation.
Though her brain tells her no, Sky’s heart says yes. She accepts Micah’s in-name-only proposal, knowing it’s unlikely anything permanent will come of it. She’s been in love with him since the ninth grade, and if he hasn’t figured it out by now, there’s little chance he ever will.
When an unexpected kiss ignites a spark, giving Micah hope for a possible future with Sky, a tragic accident threatens to take it all away. Torn between following his heart, doing the right thing, and forgiving the past, Micah is lost in a whirlwind of pain and emotions. Will he make it through the next two years, or will a long-kept family secret be the undoing of them all?
Micah took Sky’s hand and they hurried across the street, stopping in front of the double wooden doors. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a shiny gold ring. “Here, it’s a bit big for me, but it’ll do for today.”
She held out her hand and he dropped it into her palm. They’d gone shopping a few days ago and he’d bought her a thin gold band, but not one for himself. The fact that he only planned on wearing the ring for the ceremony solidified her in-name-only status. “Your dad’s?”
Sky fingered the ring. “Other than this nick, it looks brand new.”
“That nick nearly cost Dad his finger. He got it hooked on a piece of farm
equipment shortly after he and Mom married. He made Noah and me swear never to wear any jewelry while working.”
“Did he ever wear it again?”
“And your mom didn’t mind?”
“Not that I was aware of. Then again, I was just a kid.”
At least she’d have a good excuse for why her husband didn’t wear a wedding band. She, on the other hand, would wear hers proudly. He might be a lug, but for the next two years he’d be her lug. “We’d better go. Don’t want to keep the judge waiting.”
The judge’s secretary ushered them into the office. His Honor stood when they entered and greeted them with a firm hand and warm smile. “Robe or no robe?” he asked.
She looked at Micah. “What do you think?”
He smiled. “Your call.”
“In that case, I vote for the robe.”
While the judge put on his robe, Sky took in her surroundings. The walls were painted standard office-beige, but the large mahogany desk, and photographs of Montana’s mountain ranges and plains that lined the walls added some warmth to the room. What she especially appreciated were the live Ficus trees that flanked the tall window behind the desk. It was no church, but at least it wasn’t the cold, barren room she had envisioned.
The ceremony was short, with only the court clerk and judge’s secretary in attendance. But that didn’t bother Sky. Nothing else mattered at the moment. This was her wedding day, perhaps the only one she would ever have. For that reason alone she chose to absorb every detail and print them on her heart.
Micah stood ramrod still until the judge had him place the ring on her finger. His hand shook a little, but his tender smile was one Sky would forever remember.
Her next memory would be their first kiss. She knew it was purely out of
obligation. After all, what would the three people staring at them think if a newly married couple didn’t seal the deal with a kiss?
When Micah leaned in, one side of his mouth lifted in a smile causing her stomach to flip. Assuming the kiss would be short, she was taken by surprise when his warm lips lingered longer than she’d expected. The scent of his spicy cologne tickled her nose. The feel of his hand on her cheek sent her heart rate soaring. She couldn’t even imagine what her reaction would be if he ever kissed her for real.
No longer involved with the performing arts, Lucie enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She hopes to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.
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