Authors: K. Renee
When I arrive back in Texas, I immediately think about turning around and going right back to New York. I’ve loved New York ever since I moved to the city. The sounds at night were the first thing that got me hooked. Texas is nothing like it. Sure, you have the honky-tonks and wild orchard parties, but you can’t find amazing pizza at two in the morning in Texas.
Newcomb, Texas, is about to be my home again, but I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. There are way too many memories here that I’m not ready to face again. Hell, I’m not even sure my parents will be happy to see me after the way I have treated them over the last few years. After ignoring their calls for months, I am now just going to show up on their doorstep like nothing happened?
Pulling into town, I see all the things I thought I would never see again. The town hall where Jaxson and I went streaking, the diner where we spent most of our Saturday nights, the little park where we first said we loved each other and, finally, my parents’ house. Looking at the front porch, I can't help but remember the day I decided I was leaving this place and everyone in it.
I watch as Jaxson's beat up grey Chevy pickup truck pulls into the driveway. We are supposed to be going to the lake to spend some time with friends before everyone leaves for college. Jaxson and I are both going to NYU. I am so happy he wants to go to the same school. I know we are going to be together forever, have kids, and live life as New Yorkers.
As I watch Jax get out of his truck, I know something is wrong. There is a frown on his face, and he won’t look up at me. Usually when he sees me, his eyes would light up, but they don’t now.
"Lyndley,” he states quietly.
I already know what he's going to say. My lip starts to quiver as I watch the boy I've been in love with most of my life struggle to find the words.
"You know how much I love you, right?” His voice is different, and I can't help the tears that start to fall down my cheeks.
All I can do is shake my head. He can't do this to me. We're supposed to be together forever. That's what we always said!
He walks closer to me and reaches to pull me into his arms. I try to pull away, but he's so much stronger than I am. "If you loved me, you wouldn't be doing this,” I sob against his chest.
Kissing the top of my head, he hugs me tighter. "Lynnie, I'll never stop loving you. I just can't leave here. My dad needs my help with the ranch and I can't let him down. He wants me to eventually take it over, and that is what I've always wanted to do. I need to be here for my family." His voice breaks, and I can tell this isn’t easy for him. We have been making plans for as long as I can remember. It was going to be him and me against the world.
"You lied!" I yell, trying to push him away. "You told me you would always be right there with me, but now you're leaving me.” I pound on his chest.
My legs start to give out and he has to support me. My whole world feels like it’s ending and I can't breathe. "You promised…," I whisper.
I feel his chest move as he takes a deep breath. "Lyndley, my feelings for you will never change. You will always be it for me, but I have to think about my family, too. They need me right now."
Burying my face in his chest, I can't stop the pain that is radiating throughout my chest. My heart is shattering, and I'm not sure I’ll ever be able to put it back together again.
"I've loved you my whole life, Jaxson,” I whisper. Before I can stop it, I say the most hurtful thing I can think of. "I should have listened when everyone said you'd break my heart. I wish I'd never met you!"
I choke back the sobs and pull myself free of his embrace. "Stay away from me. I never want to see you again!” I run up the front porch, run inside, and slam the door behind me.
I don't stop until I'm in my room. I slam my door and lean against it, sliding down to the floor. How can one person ruin you like that?
A week later, I leave for college and never look back.
I wipe the tears from my eyes. I hadn't realized I am still hurting over what he did to me all those years ago. To be honest, I never really got my heart back from him. Jaxson Harper will probably always be the only person I have ever truly loved. Sure, I loved Tyler, but it never compared to the feelings I had for Jaxson. Not that I will ever tell
Taking a deep breath, I grab my purse and my overnight bag, then walk to the front door of my childhood home. It is exactly how I remembered it, nothing changing in the last ten years. Walking up the cement steps, I pause, seeing where I wrote Jaxson's and my name in a heart the day they poured the steps.
God, I can't let him affect me anymore
. What we had was over when we were eighteen. There is no way we can go back.
Just as I'm about to knock, the door swings open and my momma comes charging towards me. "Oh, my gosh! My baby girl is finally home!" she screeches, pulling me into a hug. It's been so long since I've seen my mom, but she doesn't look older than the day I left. I didn’t realize how much I've missed her. She was always my rock.
"Hi, Momma,” I whisper into her hair.
My mom is beautiful, a real southern belle. She's originally from Alabama, moving here once my parents got married. Her long blonde hair is always perfect, and I can’t remember ever seeing the woman in jeans. When I was a kid, I used to play dress up and act just like her. I would poof my hair up, then put on her dresses, aprons, and heels.
Everything about her is so perfect, you would think I was adopted.
"Baby girl, what are you doing here? Is everything okay? Why are you crying, my sweet girl?"
I laugh. Of course she has to start the inquisition. Before I can answer, she drags me inside. Once the door closes, I come face to face with my daddy…and Jaxson.
I feel my heart sink as I look at the man standing in front of me. He is definitely not the boy I dated all those years ago. His light grey eyes burn into me as we stare at each other, eyes wide. Trying to look anywhere but into his eyes, I end up checking out his body.
Every part of him is built from what I can only assume is working on the ranch. His arms and chest are big, and I would love to see what he's got under his t-shirt that fits him like a glove.
I can feel all the memories flood my mind and I can't get them to stop. Turning on my heels, I make my way back outside. Every emotion I felt that day comes rushing back and I feel like I'm going to be sick. When I get to my car, I hunch over, placing my hands on my knees, trying to keep my head from spinning. Why the hell is he in my parents' house? Why would they have contact with him after what he did to me?
My mind is spinning and I try and focus on breathing. I have to get this under control.
"Lyndley." His raspy voice shoots straight to my core. Just hearing him say my name makes my panties damp. God, I can't…I
do this to myself.
Standing straight, I turn and face him. Big mistake. The stubble on his face makes me want to run my hand across it.
"Don't fucking call me that!" I interrupt. "You have no fucking right. What the hell are you doing here anyway?"
"Why do you care if I spend time with your parents? It's not like you've been home once in the last ten years! Why did you even come back Lynd? We already know you don't care about any of us."
I don't know what comes over me, but I suddenly slap him across the face as hard as I can. His hand goes to his face and he actually smirks. "Don't you dare!" I grind out, pointing my finger at him. "You have no fucking clue about me or my life.”
Grabbing my finger, he pulls me closer. "Lynnie, you can pretend I don't know you, but trust me, darlin'. I've never forgotten a single thing about you. I know you’re pissed right now, but I didn't know you were finally gonna decide that today was the day to start being a daughter again."
His scent makes me weak in the knees, so I push away from him, almost falling. He reaches out and grabs my arm, making sure I don't fall on my ass.
"Why are you here?" he asks with a smirk.
I roughly pull my arm away. “It’s none of your damn business.”
When I hear his laugh, I decide it isn’t worth the effort. I turn and start walking back to the house. I hear his footsteps getting closer, so I increase my pace. Suddenly, he wraps an arm around my middle and pulls me into his body. He runs his nose up my neck, and I can’t help the moan that slips from my mouth. My body still reacts to his like we were made for each other. I try to fight it, but I know it’s no use.
“Lynnie, your body doesn’t lie. You still feel the same way about me. I know I hurt you, but I never meant to. I never stopped loving you.” He grinds his erection into my ass, and I want nothing more than to turn around and kiss him.
Turning around in his arms, I state, “Jaxson, just because I’m horny doesn’t mean I feel the same way about you.” I push away from him and march back into the house.
Once Jax leaves my parents’ house, I know I need to get a drink…maybe ten. Watching him pull out of the driveway is like watching him leave me all over again. When I turn around, my mom is right there, pulling me into her arms.
"Baby, I'm sorry. If I had known you'd be coming home, I would have asked him not to come over today.
The tears start to roll down my cheeks and I can't stop the sobs escaping my throat. "Why, Momma? Why do you let him come over here?”
"Lynnie, he is like a son to us. We love that boy. I know he broke your heart, but he had to stay to help his family. Not long after you left, his father passed away. His family needed him more than you did."