“I want to make you smile like you mean it.”
The day Cole Lannington says those words to me, I already know I’m falling. Hard. For a man I can never have. Because there’s no way in hell I’ll ever deserve a man like him.
All I need to do is keep my head above water. Push a little harder. Keep that smile plastered on my face for my son as we try to wade through the new life that’s threatening to drown us both.
But on the first day I can’t seem to hold it all together, I meet him. And for some reason, he comes to my aid. Before I know it, Cole steps in and becomes an important part of my life. Our lives. Fills a void left vacant by a man who never wanted to fill it in the first place.
Too bad he can never be more than a friend.
All I need to do is be a nice guy to my new neighbor. Make her smile a little bit. Find space in my tidy, structured life to ease the burden she carries so she and her son can enjoy life without the bastard who treated them like they were insignificant.
I don’t expect to talk and laugh and feel a warmth in my chest I didn’t know was missing until she showed up at my door. Somehow I end up caring about her more deeply than I should. But my friendship with Annie opens my eyes to what it could be like to have something deeper. To feel something stronger.
To fall in love like I mean it.