She is the daughter of the Governor, he is her first love and the boy who broke her heart. Now, he is back and even though she’s way out of his league, he wants one more chance to prove he’s a man who’s worthy of her. An all-new second chance romance is out this week from Jennifer Probst, part of her Stay series, and I have a sneak peek for you.
Owen Salt paused outside the door, his hand clenching into a death-grip around his briefcase.
His life was about to change.
He took a few moments to calm his thundering heart and hoped he hadn’t taken the ultimate gamble for nothing. All his hard work over the past few years to transform not only his career, but the man he was had been concentrated into a single goal.
He squared his shoulders and knocked.
This time, he didn’t hesitate. He walked into her office, set his briefcase down, and waited for her to tear her glance from the computer.
His gaze swept over her cramped office, the finely organized chaos a staple of an overworked rescue agency, but it was the woman behind the desk who commanded his full attention.
Time stopped, then raced backwards until he was once again that awkward, young kid, staring at the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. Even now, prepared for the shock of emotion that punched through him, he was struck a bit dumb and mute as he greedily took in her appearance.
Her hair was shorter now, barely touching her shoulders, a dark sable brown with deep hints of mahogany. He remembered running his fingers through the strands, the silky pull and dance of silk rising to meet him. Her face was turned toward her screen, red lips pursed as she silently read. A pair of trendy black glasses perched on her nose. He’d memorized every angle of her face until she haunted his dreams. Heart-shaped face. Sharp, angular cheekbones, rounded chin, and a pert nose she’d always groaned about. He remembered kissing it while she fought to get away, her giggles rising to his ears like music. Remembered rolling in the green grass of the meadow, limbs entangled, lips pressed together, the haunting scent of sunshine and daisies permeating his senses and wrecking him for anyone after her.
His throat tightened but he remained still and stoic. Waiting.
She looked up.
The naked flash of vulnerability and searing pain almost made him stumble back. Shock flared in those cobalt blue depths, but he dove beyond the surface, desperate for the other emotions that he could build on; desperate for any type of hope.
One precious, fleeting moment of longing flared pure and bright. And he knew he’d do everything in his power to exploit that lingering feeling because it meant she hadn’t forgotten him.
She pushed back in her chair and stumbled to her feet, eyes wide in her face. “Owen? Wh—what are you doing here?”
He offered a small smile. “I’m back in New York. It’s been a long time.”
As if realizing she’d already shown him too much, a wall slammed down between them. She stiffened, her hands politely clasped in front of her like she faced a bored politician rather than the man who’d broken her heart. And he had. Badly. But if he was going to have a chance at redemption, he needed to focus on tiny steps. A flash of admiration tangled with disappointment as he watched her quickly compose herself and emanate a cool professionalism. Her voice was still husky, but tipped with ice. “I see. Well, to say this is a surprise is an understatement. Are you visiting your family?”
He nodded. “This weekend. Will stop by the Bishop farm, too, of course. Have you seen them lately?”
“Yes. Dad, Alyssa and I try to get out there regularly. They’re all doing well. Mia and Ethan’s daughter, Evie, will be turning one soon. Harper’s expansion has been a success and she’s able to rescue so many more horses.”
He smiled, his heart full from the image of the beloved farm expanding with children and animals who took care of one another. The Bishops had changed his life, along with Chloe. He thought of them as his second family. “I stayed in touch,” he said, not wanting her to think he’d abandoned them when he moved away.
Her lips pursed like she’d eaten something bad. “Glad you didn’t leave everyone behind for something bigger and better,” she said. Her light tone contradicted the hardness in her gaze.