They were best friends before he left town without a word. Now he's back. Will her heart be broken again?
Good girl Portia Phillips always followed the rules, colored inside the lines and walked the straight and narrow. Only her best friend Raymond Alessio could ever get her to quit being "perfect Portia" for a minute and take a risk.
Portia fell in love with Raymond way back in fourth grade. That love only grew stronger as years passed, but she kept it hidden, until one Fourth of July when she finally had the courage to share her feelings.
That was the night he broke her heart. Since then she's kept it safe, under lock and key.
Now, eight years later, he's back in town with his young daughter. His life's a mess, but his love for Portia never changed. Can Raymond convince her to give him another chance? Will Portia find the courage to risk her heart a second time?
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Portia stood with Raymond on Lake Verona's shore and looked out at the smooth surface of the water. "Remember the last time we were here?" he asked.
"Sure I do. You showed me how to skip stones." She picked up one of the small stones at her feet and flung it out, frowning as it landed with an ungainly plop. "Guess I lost the knack."
"It wasn't flat enough." Raymond selected another stone and handed it to her. "Try this one."
As she pulled back her arm to fling the stone, he stepped behind her and gently held her arm to guide her aim. "This way. And don't forget the little flick of the wrist just before you let go."
His touch made her feel warm and safe. Protected. She wanted to sink into his arms even though her brain told her to watch her step.
With Raymond guiding her she tossed the stone, adding the wrist flick, and watched it skim the water's surface one, two, three times before disappearing.
She laughed in delight and cried, "Did you see that?" Turning in his arms, she expected to find him grinning back at her. Instead his face was serious. Her smile faded as she gazed up at him. "Raymond?"
His arms closed around her and pulled her toward him.