Kimberly and her friends were young, they started a memory box to open
once they all turned 30 years old. It’s her 30th birthday, but she has a
bad feeling about what’s inside. Images of beer bottles, dancing with a
stranger, and a bare-end walking away flash before her.
box is finally opened. Their memories spread out in front of them, and
only one last item in the box. A marriage certificate!
discovering the stranger, Ryan Calvin, never annulled the impulsive
marriage, Kimberly has no choice but to put an end to it. Against her
brother’s legal advice, Kimberly takes the divorce papers to
is out of town. His brother Alex, has offered her a place to stay until
Ryan’s return. Alex is a single father, and generous to his guest. Oh,
did I mention he’s hot and Kimberly can’t help but notice? She’s in
danger of falling for him. He’s affectionately willing to catch her.
What could happen when Ryan finally returns?
Alex didn’t mean to eavesdrop but, when he passed Kimberly’s room and heard her on the phone, he paused to listen. The conversation was about him. That much, he knew. He wondered what her friend suggested and wished he heard both ends of the conversation. Alex didn’t have time to think about what his guest was saying because he heard her say goodbye. He quietly slipped into the living room and acted like he’d been there all night. “Hey, there you are,” he welcomed her when she walked into the room. “I was just thinking about watching a movie. Care to join me?”
“Do you have popcorn?” Kimberly teased as she sat on the other end of the couch.
“Only if you help me,” Alex joked. He didn’t need her help in the kitchen, but the thought of them working side by side, in the small space, excited him. She poured a couple drinks while he worked his magic on the stove. As the corn popped, he turned to her and asked, “Why do you want a divorce?”
Kimberly gave him a confused look and then shrugged her shoulders. “Because we were drunk and young. I have no idea who Ryan is. How can I stay married to a stranger?”
Alex didn’t say anything for a while. He put the popcorn in the bowl and seasoned it while Kimberly took the drinks into the living room. When he joined her, he continued the conversation. “I didn’t mean it like that. Are you engaged or something?”
“What?” Kimberly’s laugh sounded like she was nervous. “No, what makes you think that?”
“I don’t know,” Alex began smiling. “Isn’t that what they do in movies? Girl gets engaged, finds out she’s still married, and sets out to end it.” She was looking at him but not saying a word. “Romantic comedies.”
Kimberly couldn’t keep a straight face any longer. He was being serious; thinking she was there for those reasons. She started laughing which caused him to laugh. “Nothing like that.” She assured him.
“I don’t believe in divorce,” he told her.
“Neither do I,” she said, but Alex smirked. “Under normal circumstances,” she added. “Ryan and I don’t know each other. It should have been annulled years ago. This is different.” He reached over and tapped her knee, and nodded, letting her know that he understood.
“So, you’re single?” He noticed her rosy cheeks and the way she took a deep breath. Alex felt flushed himself but had the advantage of a five o’clock shadow to hide it. When she didn’t answer right away, Alex cleared his throat and said, “So what would you like to watch?”
“Sweet Home Alabama.”
They laughed. Alex knew she was joking and picked something else out instead. He flipped through the options and noticed her inching her way closer to him. The thought of putting his arm around her crossed his mind, but he held back. Getting close to Kimberly would only cause trouble.
When the movie was over, Alex put the television on mute and turned towards Kimberly. “What do you do for a living?”
“Social media consultant and online management,” she answered.
“What is that?” Alex knew what that was. He only wanted to listed to her sweet voice speak to him.
Kimberly stated to explain what she did but hesitated. “Wait, do you have the internet out here?”
“I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about, ma’am.” Alex laughed and continued in a hick voice, “Around here, we rely on nosey neighbors to keep us informed of all the gossip.” Then he pointed to a desktop computer and he threw a kernel of corn at her to make her laugh again.
Kimberly’s face turned red once more. “What about you?” She questioned in return. “You run this farm by yourself?”
“It’s a family farm,” he reminded her. “When Ryan isn’t here, I’m usually running it alone. Sometimes, I hire local guys to work for a few weeks at a time; usually around harvest.”
Kimberly looked like she forgot about Ryan. He watched her adjust her legs as she sat on one. If he didn’t know any better, Alex would think she was intrigued. “Do you have a big family?” She questioned him.
Alex frowned. “No, not anymore.”
Kimberly cocked her head signaling for him to explain that.
“Have an aunt and uncle on my father’s side of the family, but they moved to Florida years ago. I rarely hear from them.” He paused, figuring out what she’d like to hear. “My dad died when I was twelve. Mom, uh, just a few years ago. Remember?”
Kimberly nodded. He mentioned it the night before. “It’s just you and Ariel,” she said out loud without thinking.
“And Ryan,” Alex reminded her with a devilish grin. His face neared her as they wrapped up the conversation. Her lips were close. It took all his strength not to lean in and kiss them.
“And Ryan,” she whispered with a sense of regret in her voice.
Follow the Author
on Valentine’s day, Florella Grant is a pure romantic at heart. Her
first words were “happy ever after”. Okay, maybe not exactly those words
but she’s been writing them since she was old enough to pick up a
pencil. She comes from a long line of writer’s, including her very
distant relative, Ulysses S. Grant. Florella has been inspired by Jane
Austin and Emily Bronte, but her biggest inspiration comes from the
fictional romance novelist, Felicia Galant. All her life, she wanted to
be Felicia, and was deeply saddened when the long running daytime drama,
Another World, was canceled. Florella lives in New York and has 3