Authors: Taryn A. Taylor
“I got sucked into the characters fast and had to finish it in one night. This author writes compelling and fun LDS fiction!!” Joan Anderson
“I love the clean romance! It reminds me of Anita Stansfield’s
First Love and Forever
.” Alisa Jackson
is an endearing story about the atonement and how life can change unexpectedly. This story will suck you in. You'll fall in love with the characters as you laugh and cry with them. Marcie Turner—lookingglassediting.blogspot.com
“Pretty much spent most of my day reading this story and I don’t regret it.” @
To my grandparents—Phyllis and Irish Anderson and Barbra and Dell Ashby—for always welcoming me into your arms and giving me a place to call home. Thank you! I love you all so very much!
And to my four wonderful boys-Daniel, Grant, Jacob, and Benjamin.
Always remember you can do anything! And, to my amazing husband, Mark, you’re the best! I love you!
“So you’re the unexpected girlfriend?”
held back the look her brother told her could kill a man in less than three seconds. She gave the rehearsed answer. The appropriate answer. The answer everyone expected. “We’re waiting to see what happens when he gets back from his mission.”
The man lifted an eyebrow and his whole face
stretched into a wide smile. He leaned forward, conspiratorially. “Sara, you don’t need to be nervous around me. I am Jonathon’s, Uncle Ben. The same uncle that Jonathon’s mother wants to skin and roast for Sunday dinner right now because she blames me.”
Sara frowned. “Blames you for what?”
He winked at her. “For you.”
Sara could feel the red sports forming up her neck. “Oh.”
He took a step back. “Hey, don’t you worry about that.” He winked. “I’m not. Jonathon tells me everything and he told me you are important to him, Sara. Very important to him. I’m glad you came.”
Even though she liked hearing that she was important to him, s
he didn’t want to be the unexpected girlfriend that showed up right before the missionary was slotted to leave. She really didn’t want to be
. “Well, it’s nice to meet you.”
studied her and then let
out a loud laugh, like she’d just said something funny, really funny. He clapped his hand down on her shoulder. “Don’t worry, Sweetie.” He turned and nodded at Jonathon, who was dutifully shaking hands with everyone. “You young kids will be all right. Like I always say, you never know when true love is going to hit, you all you can do is hang on for the ride.”
His words of reassurance didn’t reassure her. Not one
, single bit.
e placed a soft hand on her shoulder. “Chin up, girl. He’ll come back for you and then you’ll live happily ever after. I’d bank on that.” He laughed again and moved for the bathrooms. “Excuse me.”
Jonathon’s mother slowly walked past, an angry warning look
pointed at Uncle Ben and then she swung it to Sara.
Panic surged in
Sara’s chest. She moved toward the drinking fountain. She couldn’t be here. She shouldn’t be here. What was she doing here? Falling in love a month before he left? It sounded more like a doomed romance than a love story. Sara lifted her head from the drinking fountain and carefully wiped her mouth to make sure her lipstick stayed in place.
She turned slowly.
A slow grin touched his darkened brow and the slow bu
rning embers of his brown eyes melted into her.
er heart skipped into a staccato rhythm.
The dimple in
Jonathon’s left cheek deepened. He stiffly put out his hand. “I’m really glad you came.”
Tears moistened her eyes
and a hundred thoughts washed through her. The first day she met him at that sandwich shop. The way he’d looked in the moonlight when he’d unexpectedly shown up on her porch and asked her to dinner. The way he’d looked when he’d kissed her for the first time. She would not cry. She would not leave him with an image of her falling apart. She would not do this to herself. She tentatively shook his hand. “Thanks for inviting me.”
—warm, strong, sure.
dn’t control the rapid blinking of her eyes.
A tear fell, and she quickly swiped at the traitor. “I’m so excited for you.”
s soft brown eyes fluttered, and he took a step back. “How come this is so hard?”
tried to quell the turmoil that rose and fell inside her chest. She wanted him to have the perfect snapshot of her in his head. She wanted to make sure when he thought of her over the next two years, he would remember this moment and know that she was the one he would come back for. She was the one he wanted. She was the one who wanted to be here. “All good things are hard, right? It will be worth it.”
. I know it’s worth it. I just—I just feel like I’ve found you, and now I’m leaving.”
The well of emotion in her chest threatened to explode. “Jonathon
. . .”
His eyes met hers. “
I don’t want you to wait for me, I mean it.”
They’d both agreed that it was stupid for a girl to wait for a missionary
. The way they felt about each other was enough. They didn’t have anything to prove. “I want to wait.” It came out before she could think about it.
is eyebrows furrowed uncertainly. “No.” He released her hand and took a step back. “No, you date as many guys as you can—so when I get back, they’ll be no doubt that I’m the one for you.”
let out a surprised laugh. “Date as many as I can?”
athon flashed a happy smile. “Yep.” He leaned forward. “Because, when I get back, I want you to be ready to start our life together.”
pulsed in her stomach.
Jonathon’s dad put his hand on his shoulder
and gave Sara a stern look. “It’s time to go through security, Son.”
ara fought everything she wanted to do—hold him, pull him to her, and wrap herself in the certainty of this moment. Instead, she took a step back. “I’ll see you on the flip side, Elder Adler.”
He took the bag his father held out to him and met her eyes. “
moved for the line, and his family swarmed to him.
The tears she held back would not be contained much longer. She flew to t
he exit doors. Shouldn’t time pause somehow? At this moment? At the moment she was losing the only boy she’d ever loved. The warm air swooshed around her as the double doors opened. She tried to orient herself.
He was gone.
The tears broke free and she rummaged through her purse for another tissue.
Sara would realize that she should have been paying more of attention to where she was going.
The pain ripped through her hip and she saw the cement post as she fell.
Strong hands gripped her shoulders.
Her feet went back to the ground
he strong hands steadied her. “You need to watch where you’re going.”
tried to calm her pounding heart. “I’m sorry.”
He bent and
picked up her purse. “Doesn’t it drive you crazy that everyone at the airport thinks their life is the most important? Everyone’s so busy getting where they need to go that they can’t even watch where they’re walking.” He shoved her purse into her hands and steadied her with a glare.
Sara clutched her purse
and focused on him. Really focused. His angry bloodshot eyes. His bleached-blonde surfer hair that jutted around his face like he hadn’t taken the time to gel it up or comb it down. A rumbled suit. Black cowboy boots. “I’m sorry.”
His jaw clenched.
“Just do the world a favor and watch where you’re going.” He rushed past her.
Sara watched him stalk
through the airport double doors. She bit down on her lip. She could not breakdown right now. She had to get as far away from here as she could.
Two rows up
, she found her car. She unlocked it and quickly turned her key in the ignition. She had to get away. Get away. Get away.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
It was the third time this month.
She couldn’t stop her tears.
“Dang it!” She yanked down the mirror and watched black tears run down her face. She jerked a tissue out of the box and mopped her face.
She tried it, again.
Click, click, click.
Sara slammed the heel of her hand into the steering wheel.
Stupid car. Stupid, idiot ranch car that broke down all the stupid time.
Sara got out and hooked up the
cables. She surveyed the parking lot for someone that could help her.
A blue sedan zoomed into
the space next to her. A woman stepped out, wearing a pin-striped suit and tall black stiletto heels. She pushed a button on her keychain and moved to the back of the car.
Could you help me jump my car battery? I know how to do it, and it won’t take long.”
The lady lifted
her bag out of the trunk and gave Sara an ‘I don’t have time’ kind of look.
“I promise it won’t take long.”
The lady sighed. “I am early. Traffic was surprisingly better than I expected. Go ahead.”
moved to her car hood. “Thank you. If you could just pop the hood and start your car when I tell you to.”
’s the problem?” A black, shiny cowboy boot propped onto the concrete curbing next to her.
looked up into his bloodshot eyes. “You?”
He narrowed his eyes.
“Look, if you don’t need my help . . .”
She cut him off.
“I don’t need your help. I wouldn’t want you to think that my life is more important than yours.”
He let out a soft sigh. “Ah, you’re
going to hold a grudge? Let’s not forget, I did catch you.” He moved next to her. “What’s the problem?”
Anger circled into her gut. Sara didn’t like help. She didn’t need help. And she really didn’t like someone thinking she couldn’t take care of herself.”
Sara finished putting the cords into place and turned to face him. “If you didn’t notice, I’m doing just fine.”
e put his hands up, surrendering. “Fine.”
He walked away.
finished getting everything into place and motioned for the woman to start her car. She tried it again.
lick, click, click.
It should work.
The woman tapped her pointy-heeled toe and checked the time.
“Do you think you should chase down that man?”
repositioned the cables. “Umm—no. I think it’ll start.”
The woman pulled her lipstick out of her purse and puckered her lips.
“Why didn’t you accept his help? He seemed so helpful.”
really didn’t want to talk about this. “Oh, he was a jerk earlier. He’s just trying to make himself feel better.”
She got back in
and tried it, again.
lick, click, click.
The woman sighed.
“I’m sorry. I’ve got to get going. Good luck.”
Sara undid the cables and shut the hood.
The woman waited. “Here’s some free advice.”
started the mental calculations in her mind. How much would it cost to get someone to tow the car and put in a new battery.
The lady gave her a sad smile.
“When people try to do nice things to redeem themselves—let them.”
watched her walk away. Whatever. She didn’t have time for this.
Moving to the metal concrete curbing next to her car,
Sara sat down. She pulled out her phone and thought about calling her father. She pictured his long, lean face. It’d been leaner since he’d started his treatments. She hovered over his number and then put her phone down. There was always too much to worry about on the ranch right now and she couldn’t worry him with her problems. She had to take care of this herself.
A red truck pulled into the parking sp
ot next to her.
Sara stood to move out of the way.
The window rolled down and his messy hair leaned out the window. “Need my help yet?”
Beau didn’t know why he was trying to help her. She’d made it clear she didn’t want his help. Granted, he’d been a little off his game when she’d tripped into him. The past seventy-two hours had been a nightmare, but still—he’d been rude.
She glared at him.
e got out and rushed around the truck.
Putting her hands onto her hips, she glared at him like
she was squaring off for a fight.
He suppressed a smile and took in her outfit—
red, silk shirt, black pants, heels. Pretty dressed up. But she looked younger than an executive type.
She glared at him,
her voice low and controlled. “I already tried to jump it.”
the cables off of her shoulders, he tsked his tongue. “Are you always this rude to people trying to help you? Or do I just bring out your good side?”