Read Where Forever Lies Online

Authors: Tara Neideffer

Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary Romance, #Sweet Romance, #Love Story, #Womens Fiction, #Chick Lit, #Love, #Romance Novel, #Cowboy, #Dating, #Family Life, #Sex, #Passion, #Adult, #Lust, #Flirting, #Grief, #Psychological

Where Forever Lies (8 page)

“Well, I am really sorry
about that. If it wasn’t for that jack ass cutting me off, I
wouldn’t have darted into your lane and hit you. Did you get
all your insurance stuff lined out? I feel like such a jerk.”
Tyler ran a hand through his hair, feeling at a loss as to what he
should say now.

Paige decided to retract her
previous thought, he did play it off that he wasn’t at fault at
all. In her opinion, he should have been paying attention to the
road. “Yeah, finally. But my car is totaled. I think mostly
idiots work at the insurance company, but after being on the phone
with them all morning, they finally got things figured out for me.
Don’t worry about it; I’m just glad we’re all
okay.” Paige glanced over at Kyra, making sure she wasn’t
trying to venture out of the playground area.

Tyler stood there for a moment,
bouncing the ball back and forth in his hands as he eyed Paige
sitting on the ground below him.

“So, that’s your son
over there, isn’t it? I remember seeing him with you at the
accident.” she asked, trying to change the subject and say
something because he was just standing there looking at her and
saying nothing at all. It was beginning to make her feel
uncomfortable. She wondered if there was a mark on her face from the
ball hitting her and that was what he was looking at.
probably left a huge mark and he’s embarrassed to say anything,
she thought. She prayed to God that was not the case.

Tyler cleared his throat and
said, “Yeah, that’s my son,
Brandon, he just turned eight a week ago. He’s a great kid. I
get him every weekend and on all the holidays,” he said, as he
looked to the right at the basketball court where a dark haired boy,
looking just like his father, waited patiently. “His mother and
I got divorced six years ago, and he lives with her in Linton,”
Tyler said, as he motioned for his son to come over.

“He’s cute and
that’s awesome that you are able to get him that much. I know
most guys don’t get their kids every weekend like that,”
she paused for a moment and then added, “Now, if I remember,
your name is Tyler, right?” she asked, hoping she had
remembered it correctly. Even if he seemed somewhat arrogant, at the
same time she also thought he seemed like a decent guy. It seemed a
rarity to see a guy bragging about how often he was able to get his
son. He came across as a guy who would want his son full time, if it
was possible. Of course the thought crossed her mind that he could be
exaggerating some to impress her, but her instinct told her

“Yep, and you are...
Paige?” Tyler asked, smiling and trying to make it look like he
had to try and remember. If he was being honest with himself, he
hadn’t forgotten when she’d told him at the accident
scene. He noticed the way her long wavy hair fell around her round
face and the way her white shirt seemed to cling in just the right
areas. Her plaid shorts were short, but not too short, and showed off
her nice tanned legs. He thought she looked beautiful, and wondered
if she was dating anyone. He swallowed hard, his mouth feeling dry,
and wondered what had made him think that; he couldn’t remember
the last time that question had crossed his mind about a woman.

Paige couldn’t help but
smile back at him. She had to admit, he had a killer smile. Every
time he flashed her that crooked smile, his dimples showed underneath
a hint of stubble. She felt herself blush and hurriedly said
something. “Good memory. It’s nice to meet you, again,
and that is my daughter Kyra over there on the jungle gym, pretending
she’s a monkey,” she smiled as she pointed towards Kyra,
squinting as the warm sun hit her face.

“She looks like she’s
having fun,” Tyler said, as she watched Kyra swinging back and
forth on the swing. He looked at Paige from the corner of his eye and
saw the smile on her face as she watched Kyra play. He couldn’t
get past the look of love she put out towards her daughter. She
seemed like the type of woman who wore her heart on her sleeve. It
definitely showed on her face.

“Hey, Dad! Are you ready?”

He heard Brandon yell for him in
the distance, breaking him from his wandering thoughts. He seemed to
be doing that a lot lately, and mentally cursed his friends for
putting thoughts in his head about his miserable single life. It
wasn’t like him to let other people influence his way of
thinking. He was usually straightforward, knew what he wanted in
life, and had his whole life planned. He knew he didn’t have
much interest in dating and he’d been fine with staying single;
but lately he’d been finding himself thinking about how lonely
he was, how there was something missing. And now, here he was letting
his mind get to thinking too much about some girl he didn’t
even know. She was probably married, but as he nonchalantly eyed her
hands, he didn’t see any ring sitting there.

“I’ll be right
there!” Tyler called over his shoulder to Brandon. He turned
towards Paige, not sure what to say. Seeing her again crossed his
mind, but he wasn’t sure now was the right time to say anything
so he settled for, “Well, it was nice to see you again but I’d
better get back to my game. I’ll have to take him home soon

Paige looked over at Brandon who
was shuffling from foot to foot, looking impatient. She smiled.
Typical boy
she thought. “Um, yeah, it was nice to see you, again.”
Paige gave him a small wave as she got up and headed towards the
swings where Kyra was. She thought she felt his eyes on her the whole
way, and to her surprise, she was hoping he
watching her. But, when she risked a glance behind her, he was
already back to shooting hoops with his son. She felt a hint of
disappointment at that, but then told herself it was crazy because
the odds of her seeing him again were slim. He was a country boy, she
could tell by his slight redneck twang and cowboy boots, and she
lived happily in the city where there was very little dirt and plenty
to do. They were two different people from different sides of town.

Chapter 7

Paige got Kyra buckled into her car seat, she walked around to the
driver’s side of her car to get in, and watched Tyler and
Brandon walk across the parking lot to an old orange and white Chevy
truck. She thought the truck looked ancient and figured he must have
had to pull out his junk truck while his new truck was getting fixed.

was trying to wrestle with his dad and was punching him in the arm.
Tyler got him in a head lock, almost making them both fall to the
ground. Paige laughed and opened the door to get in but then she
heard someone yell. She turned around and saw Tyler staring at her.
He waved to her, and she quickly waved back, embarrassed that he’d
caught her staring.

As she got
in her car, she found herself not able to get the image of Tyler’s
crooked smile out of her mind. It was sexy as hell and her own dirty
thoughts were making her blush. It was so out of character for her to
be infatuated with a guy she’d just met. This guy she didn’t
even know was loudly making his presence known in her thoughts. The
one who had totaled her car yesterday and then hit her with a
basketball today. She wondered if he was bad luck.

She pushed
the thoughts of Tyler out of her mind. She never had good luck with
men, and right now was not a good time to be trying to get back into
dating. She had been dealing with a lot of grief lately and she knew
her mind would not be able to concentrate on being in a relationship.
She was lucky to be able to hold down a demanding, full time job and
be a single mom right now. Plus, she just didn’t have a lot of
time with work and taking care of Kyra. But, she couldn’t help
but be envious of seeing how good a dad Tyler seemed to be with
Brandon and wishing her daughter had that opportunity. It just wasn’t
fair, but their life could be worse, she supposed.

A knock at
her window caused her to jump; she cocked her head to her left and
instantly felt her chest tighten. Tyler gave her a half smile and
made a roll the window down gesture at her. She quickly pushed the
button for the window and wished she had checked for a red mark on
her face but she never would have guessed he’d come over to her

He flashed
a confident smile, his forehead still slightly damp from playing
basketball, and she eyed him carefully as he bent down and rested his
arms on her window. “Yes?” she asked hesitantly.

eyebrows rose slightly and he briefly looked over in the direction of
his truck before bringing his attention back to her. “Well, I
was wondering if you’d like to go do something some time? I
know we just met and if you’re dating someone just tell me. I
don’t want to step on anyone’s toes or anything but I
also didn’t see a wedding ring. I looked.” He grinned and
raked a hand through his damp hair as he waited for her answer.

Paige felt
herself just staring at him, not knowing what to say, exactly. Of
course she wasn’t dating anyone. That had seemed like a
lifetime ago. But she wasn’t sure what she wanted to say.

finally tore her gaze from him and said, “No, actually, I’m
not seeing anyone.”

watched his reaction and thought she noticed his eyes light up and
then he shrugged as he said, “So? How about it, then?”

she was losing her mind by saying she’d go out with some
stranger, she suddenly felt like playing the wild card. “Sure,
I’d love to go out sometime.”

A broad
smile formed on his face and he quickly pulled out his cell phone,
asking for her number. As she rambled off the numbers, she watched
him quickly punch it in, and then a small voice from the back seat
suddenly broke the silence.


He looked
towards the back at Kyra who was staring at him with big blue eyes
and red curls that were pulled back into a high ponytail that sat on
top of her head. With a small hand, she waved vigorously at him, a
wide smile taking over her face.

noticed a softness settling on his face as he smiled back at Kyra. He
leaned farther inside her window and she stiffened as he got
intimately close, bringing to life feelings that had seemed to have
vanished for some time now. His shoulder barely brushed hers as he
held up his hand towards Kyra and Paige could smell his cologne mixed
in with a touch of sweat. Her insides swam with feelings of want and
desire and she suddenly had the urge to run the backside of her hand
against the coarse stubble on his cheeks. She didn’t know where
on earth that thought came from and was relieved he couldn’t
read her thoughts.

How about you give me five?”

giggled as she slapped her hand against his and Paige felt her heart
twist at seeing her daughter interacting with a guy. Not just a guy.
A father figure. Would she ever have the opportunity to have a man
like that in her life? One who wanted to protect her and love her as
if she were his own? The thought stuck in Paige’s mind like

giving Kyra another high five on top of the first, he pulled away and
looked down at Paige with concerned eyes. “Are you okay? You
look a little upset about something? I didn’t do anything
wrong, did I?”

wiped the thoughts out of her mind and smiled up at him. “Oh,
no, no,” she said, trying to sound at ease about what she was
really thinking.
just did everything right
what she wanted to blurt out. “I’m fine. I’ve just
had a busy day that’s all.” She looked at his phone and
said, “So, you have my number. Just call when you want to do

nodded. “You bet I will,” and flashed a smile full of
certainty as he turned towards his truck, giving Kyra a wave before
he left.

watched him walk away, blew out a long breath, and then looked in her
rear view mirror, sighing with relief when there was no red mark on
her face. As she pulled out of the parking lot and headed home, she
rolled the windows down to let the fresh air in, hoping that it would
sweep away her thoughts. In the back, Kyra squealed as the wind hit
her face, making her red curls blow everywhere. Paige laughed and
turned the music up. She looked in the rearview mirror and saw Kyra
dancing happily in her seat. She didn’t think her day could get
any better.

As they
pulled into the parking space to their apartment, the sun had just
started to set behind the red brick building, leaving behind a mix of
muted blue and pink hues. Paige put the car in park and jumped when
she heard a loud banging on her driver’s side window. Her first
thought was wishing that people would stop doing that but then she
clasped her hand to her mouth, as she saw who was staring back at

Kyleigh!” she whispered through the window. She quickly opened
the door and stared at Kyleigh, who stood before her with a busted
lip and a bruised cheek, an embarrassed yet defiant look on her face.
Paige immediately pulled her into a hug, and as Kyleigh started
crying, Paige couldn’t help but cry as well. She’d had a
bad feeling when Kyleigh told her about her plans to leave Brad, but
deep down she was hoping she was wrong. At least now she could get
away from him for good and, hopefully, move on with her life.

pulled away from Paige, “Well, I left that bastard. For good,
this time.” She ran her hand to straighten up her hair and gave
Paige an unsure smile through a steady stream of tears.

couldn’t help but smile back. “Come inside and we can
talk.” Paige grabbed a sleepy Kyra from the back and they
headed inside.

putting Kyra to bed, Paige made her way to the living room to talk to
Kyleigh, two glasses of wine nestled in her hands. It was heading on
nine o’clock now and they both had to be at work at six in the
morning, but this was important. This was something that needed to be
dealt with, needed to be worked through, and needed to be talked
about. Kyleigh had already said she’d stay the night with her,
just to avoid Brad trying to stop by her place tonight.

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