An all-new story in her Forever Yours series is out this week from Monica Murphy, and I have a little sneak peek for you. This is a Forever Yours/Big Sky crossover novella, part of the Kristen Proby Crossover Collection, featuring a new novel by Kristen Proby and six new stores from some of her favourite writers.
“Tucker McCloud is back in town.”
I nearly drop the cake pan I’m carrying over to the counter at my older sister’s nonchalant statement. I set it down with a loud plop, glaring at Brooke.
She doesn’t even bother lifting her head. She’s too busy studying her phone screen, scrolling through Facebook.
It’s a Sunday afternoon and for some reason, I was full of nervous energy, so I decided to mess around in the kitchen like I do and come up with new cake flavors. When I texted Brooke to come over, she didn’t even hesitate.
“Are you serious right now?” I practically screech, then take a deep breath.
No biggie. No big deal. Nope, I don’t care that Tucker’s back in town. It’s probably a rumor. It’s happened before. The residents of Cunningham Falls are always eager to welcome back their hometown boy who made good. The first football player from our high school to ever sign with the NFL, he’s a big deal around here.
Not to me, though. I’d rather pretend he never even existed.
“His sister posted a photo of him last night,” Brooke says, her eyes still glued to her phone screen.
I walk over to where she’s standing, ignoring my rapidly beating heart. When she still doesn’t bother looking up, I thrust my hand between her face and her phone, snapping my fingers. She hates it when I do that. “Brooke.”
Brooke’s head snaps up, her brown eyes narrow. “What?”
“Show me the photo.” My voice is surprisingly calm, considering how jittery I suddenly feel.
She goes to the search box, enters in Tucker’s sister’s name—Stella McCloud—and clicks on Stella’s profile. “Looks like they had a family get-together over the weekend, and Tucker came home for it,” she explains as she starts scrolling, looking for those photos. “Ah, here they are—”
I snatch the phone out of her hand before she can say anything else, earning an irritated, “hey!” for my efforts, but I ignore her. I’m too hell bent on finding the photo of Tucker.
Brooke’s right, I realize as I start examining each and every photo—forty-eight in all. There was definitely a family get-together over the weekend for the McCloud clan, and let me tell you, their clan is a big one. They’re one of the largest families in the area. Tucker has lots of siblings—six besides him—and he’s smack dab in the middle. The middle child always craves attention. It’s a known fact.
And Tucker was the biggest attention hog I knew. From his antics on the football field and on social media, I’m guessing that’s still true.
I stop on a photo of the entire family gathered together, and I spot him immediately. Very back row, on the far right. Tall and imposing with those broad shoulders and the light brown hair and the laughing eyes. Ugh.
He’s still ridiculously good looking.
The photos are endless, and I’m surprised to see every single McCloud sibling is there. Only three out of the six remain in town, including Stella, the youngest. She’s a teacher at the local elementary school, and Wyatt, is the football coach at the high school in the next town over. Wyatt is considered one of the most appealing bachelors left in the area—thirty-four, still single, attractive and with a good job. Women call him the uncatchable catch.
Just like his stupid twin brother, Tucker.
My ex-boyfriend. My high school sweetheart. The boy who took me to all the big dances, who made out with me in the cab of his truck after every single game, who snuck through my window in the middle of the night so he could sleep with me, even for just an hour. The first boy to tell me he loved me. The boy who gave me my first orgasm. The boy who told me he couldn’t breathe if he didn’t have me in his life.
This is the same boy who got a football scholarship from a D-1 school and broke up with me, all in the same day. So excuse the above fact I just listed. He didn’t take me to allthe big dances. I didn’t go to his senior prom, but neither did he.
Little consolation for how badly he destroyed me.