Where We Meet Again (Arrow Creek 1)

Page 1

An unexpected pregnancy by a man wielding sweet words and empty promises forced Cami to flee from home.
At sixteen, she gathered her torn and tattered heart, determined to construct the best life for her daughter.
Years after settling down in Arrow Creek, West Virginia, her life flourishes in all areas but one—love. She’s convinced the sacrifice is necessary to keep her daughter happy and a roof over their heads.
Until she stumbles into her childhood best friend Lawrence ‘Law’ Briggs at the local coffee shop, and a painful confrontation ensues.
Their long-buried feelings for one another quickly resurface and challenge a carefully constructed reality. Her strength wavers as Law’s reappearance exposes half-truths, and memories flood through the barrier.
Her daughter is a gift she’d never regret, even if it meant she lost him forever. Dark secrets hold them apart. The deepest betrayal imaginable.
Years of hurt and suffering can’t disguise that Law’s love remains, and Cami’s is equal in measure. But is love enough to find a way forward through their murky past?
Rain pelts my yellow umbrella as I dash down the cracked sidewalk toward the only coffee shop in town. Of all the days for my car to break down, it has to be the day we experience torrential rain and I’m scheduled for an important meeting. Factor in the tiny town of Arrow Creek uses one taxi, zero Uber drivers, and one bus that departs at the ass crack of dawn, limits my options to calling in sick or walking.
“I’m grabbing a coffee on my way in.” Wind whips by and steals my best friend’s response.
Gray skies overhead reflect my mood as a storm of nerves churn inside me. The ambulance company in our county has employed me for nearly a decade, and this is the first meeting I’ve initiated with my boss to discuss implementing new technology.
Our current system is archaic, and patient care is important to me. Maintaining mislabeled or misplaced paperwork hinders the hard work we do. A new streamlined electronic system will keep things in order so we can better focus on our patients. The problem, however, is the board and my boss are a group of older gentlemen who firmly believe in the motto, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” To them, the system works just fine.
“You’ve still got another fifteen-minute walk. You don’t have time for coffee,” Kiersten groans through the phone glued to my ear.
“It’s because I have another fifteen-minute walk that I need coffee. I won’t have time to down a cup before the meeting. I can’t go into a room with those misogynistic assholes without coffee.”
“This is true.”
I hum a response and enter the warm café. The aroma of fresh coffee beans and sweet donuts perk me up. I drift into line behind a tall, dark-haired man and listen to Kiersten pry into my private life.
“So, are you going to tell me about your date last night?”
A sigh pops free. I hope I learn to stop revealing my failed dating life sooner than later, because this conversation gets old fast.
“Not much to tell.” I sandwich the phone between my ear and shoulder to dig my wallet from my purse. “We had a nice dinner at his place, and then I left.”
She’s silent for a beat. “Say again?”
“You heard me,” I mutter, not wanting to repeat myself. The line moves forward a step. I go with it and pray it hurries up.
“Please explain to me how you went to this guy’s house, had dinner there, and left. Let me rephrase that,” she shouts, stopping my retort. “You had dinner, in the place where his bed is, and you left. Without sex. What is the matter with you?”
I lower my voice to a whisper. “He was playing ‘Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight’.”
“What?” Kiersten sputters.
An ache throbs in the center of my forehead. I squeeze the bridge of my nose with my free hand and advance in line. “That’s why I didn’t stay. You don’t walk into a room to get laid and have Phil Collins at the top of your sex playlist. Huge red flag.”
The broad back of the man in front of me straightens at my words, and I mentally slap myself for being so coarse in the middle of a public place.
“Maybe he’s just an 80s fan? That song used to be popular.”
“Not for sex,” I whisper and dart my eyes around the room to see if anyone else listens to this inappropriate recollection. Except for the man in front of me, I appear ignored.
“Maybe that’s the song they conceived you to.”
At the mention of my parents, my stomach sours. “This conversation is over.”
“Oh, come on. So, his taste in sex music sucks. Would Nickelback put you in the mood??
“No. Just no.”
“I didn’t realize you were so high maintenance, Cam.”
“I’m not.” Move people. I count the three people ahead of me. Pulling the phone from my ear, I check the time. 9:30.
“I still think this is just another excuse for you.”
Kiersten’s voice comes at me loud enough to hear above the whirr of blenders and grind of coffee beans, so I return the phone to my ear. “Leave it alone. I’m not seeing him again.”
“In fourteen years, you’ve gone out on approximately twelve dates, none of them ending in sex. Unless you’re hiring prostitutes