One to Love (One to Hold #4)

One to Love (One to Hold #4) by Tia Louise Read Free Book Online

Book: One to Love (One to Hold #4) by Tia Louise Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tia Louise
everything about Patrick says he loves me. I love him, and I love Lane.”
    Melissa suddenly charged forward, catching us both in a hug. “Oh, you two!” She cried. “It’s so good to clear the air finally!”
    The finally made my face burn with shame. I’d been so self-absorbed. “I’m so sorry, Elaine. I won’t come here ever again without your permission, and I—”
    “Stop it!” Elaine shook her head and put her arm over my shoulder. “That would be terrible for Lane, and like I said, it’s getting better all the time.”
    My chin dropped, but she gave me a little squeeze. “Friends?”
    “Of course!”
    The rest of the way back, the windows were down and the music up. Melissa and Elaine discussed the appearance and disappearance of Brian, who apparently was Elaine’s ex-boyfriend and lost his shit when she started dating Patrick. Mel dropped us at the condo, promising to bring Elaine’s car back tomorrow, and we whispered goodnight before I slipped quietly into Lane’s room, over to where he slept sideways in his crib.
    Resting my chin on the back of my hand, I reached down and slid a lock of soft blond hair off his little forehead. He sat up at once, causing me to jump, but his eyes were still closed. With an exhaled laugh, I gathered him into my arms, going to the small bed on the other side of the room and crawling beneath the sheets with him in my arms. Three breaths of snuggly, baby scent, and my body relaxed completely into sleep.

Chapter 5: “Change is the only constant.”
Slayde
    ––––––––
    B reakers crashed on the sandy shore, and every day the air grew a little cooler. The one-room studio apartment I was able to afford had the sole perk of being close to the beach. Make that two perks—the double bed was comfortable.
    Inside, a track with hooks ran along the ceiling, so I hung a curtain to separate the sleeping half from the living half of the square I now called home. At two-fifty a month, I couldn’t complain, and I was used to smaller quarters these days.
    Walking along the shore before work, I thought of Doc’s advice to take it one day at a time. It was a good system, even if I wasn’t an alcoholic. No pressure, positive. My hands were shoved in the pockets of the same jeans I’d worn since I arrived in Bayville. Next payday, I’d have to buy another pair. Then I’d have the start of a wardrobe.
    For now, I stood watching the waves hit the shore with all their force. The strike sent my mind reeling into the past, to the few bright years of luxury, the days when I was on top. As a rising star, I had the best rooms at every hotel, a different girl in every city, and designers sent me clothes for free. All they wanted was for me to walk around wearing them.
    A low burning in the pit of my stomach brought me back to reality. Those days were long gone. I was living in the real world now, and I had to get used to it. I repeated my personal mantra: This is my life now.
    Heavy black boots waited for me at the edge of the boardwalk, and I reached inside to pull out one of three pairs of socks I owned. I’d have to buy more of those as well—and underwear. For now I usually went commando.
    Walking back, I climbed into the beat-up, rusty truck I’d managed to purchase. It took the last of my money, but I needed transportation. Cheap white bread and even cheaper generic peanut butter would have to get me to payday. If anything else came up, I’d get creative.
    Doc had a saying for starting over: Change is the only constant . For me, change was not only constant, it was good. If it weren’t for change, where would I be?
    Rook was alone at the gym when I pulled into the parking lot. It was Saturday, my first full day on the job. I went inside and made my way straight to the supply closet when the scent of eggs, cheese, and sausage assaulted my nose.
    My mouth instantly watered, and I gripped the door handle, waiting for the dull ache of hunger to release my midsection.

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